Best Places to See a Real Ghost This Halloween

haunted houseConsidering the fact that it feels like I was ringing in the New Year only a few hours ago, it's crazy to think that Halloween is already here. But it is. And it's crazy.

Despite the reminder that time is moving faster than it ever has in the history of time, I love me some Halloween. I love the costumes, I love the candy, and I love having the ever-living crap scared out of me.

But every year is the same. My friends and I get together, have a few cocktails, and walk through some jank haunted house, where the anticipation is much scarier than the house itself. So this year I'm eschewing the "scary" corn mazes, fog machines, and black lights. I'm going to a real haunted house. I'm talking a place where actual ghosts are.

You in? Or are you too chicken?

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After talking to a few people and trolling the trusty Internet, I've found five places where supposedly real ghosts reside. And what better time to visit them than Halloween? Muah-ah-ah-ah-ah ...

New York: The Morris-Jumel Mansion. Built in 1765 as a summer home for British Colonel Roger Morris and his wife, the Morris-Jumel Mansion is the oldest remaining house in Manhattan. Many people have reported seeing ghosts haunting the joint: Eliza Jumel, the former mistress of the mansion, has allegedly been seen walking around the house in a purple dress, tapping on walls and windows; the ghost of a young servant girl who committed suicide via jumping out a window has been seen in the servants' quarters; and a soldier from the American Revolution, whose picture hangs on a wall in the mansion, has also been seen.

Los Angeles: Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Okay, I'm not sure I have the balls to visit any cemetery on Halloween, but if you do, this is your place. The final resting place of many famous Hollywood icons, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is said to have a ghost -- a kind of scary one -- who haunts the grounds. She is said to walk around in a long black veil and place flowers on the grave of Rudolph Valentino every week since he died in 1930. Yeah, I'll pass on that one.

Boston: Fort Warren. Used as a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War, Fort Warren is said to have its fair share of ghosts. It's reported that one of them can be heard playing "John Brown's Body" on the harmonica, and another one -- a woman who dressed as a man to get into the island to see her lover -- may still be heard screaming today. Rumor has it that shortly after her hanging, a guard reported a women dressed in black pinned him up against the wall and tried to strangle him to death. There's also an image of a woman's figure in black in the back of a photograph. I may pass on this one, too.

Savannah: 17 Hundred 90. Savannah's kind of a creepy town, which means there are loads of places to have the daylights scared out of you this time of year. My favorite? 17 Hundred 90. Supposedly, it's the place where the ghost of a girl named Anna Powers lurks. Legend has it that in the early 1800s, Anna fell in love with a married sailor, who had to return to sea. Anna threw herself from the third-floor balcony from her room, Room 204, onto the brick courtyard below just as the sails of her lover’s ship sailed away. Anna is still in room 204.

Chicago: Schweppe Mansion. Word on the street is this 20-room mansion was unoccupied for half a century after the man who owned it committed suicide over the loss of his wife, Laura Schweppe. People have reported that the halls are haunted by the ghost of the owner's servant, and the ghost of the former owner himself can be seen in some of the bedrooms. There is one window in the master bedroom that, despite all the other windows being dirty, never needs cleaning. Freaky.

So, whaddya say? You ready for a real scare this Halloween? Or are you gonna stick to your namby-pamby corn maze?

(I think I'm going to go corn maze.)

Have you ever seen a ghost?

 

Image via barb_ar/Flickr

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