Put the Oooh into Hallo “ooh” ween
By J. J. Scott
1. The night watchman: In Albany, NY, the state Capitol offers free seasonal tours that takes brave visitors to the exact spot where Samuel Abbott, the Capitol’s night watchman died in the Capitol fire of 1911. He has been seen wandering the corridors making his rounds. The tour continues with tales of otherworldly Capitol hauntings. For reservations call 518-473-7582.
2. The hitchhiker: If you take a road trip this Halloween think twice before picking up a hitchhiker. The legend of the Vanishing Hitchhiker is one of the American’s most enduring urban legends. Many a motorist has seen the ethereal lone man on a dreary, foggy evening, stopped and given him a ride only to have him disappear from his seat while the car is still in motion.
3. Jenny’s ghost: Battlefields are often the home of ghosts and restless spirits such as that of Jenny Wade, the only civilian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. A nightly tour concludes in the basement of the very house where Jenny was killed by a stray bullet and where her ethereal spirit has been spotted. www.gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com
4. Walk with the author: In Charleston, SC, take a ghostly walk with Julian T. Buxton, III, author of “The Ghosts of Charleston” and leading authority on things that go bump in the night. Learn the sad tale of Susan Howard Hardy and other wistful spirits. She is just one of the many ghosts who never wants to leave beautiful Charleston. www.tourcharleston.com
5. Cry Witch: Nearly every evening visitors to Colonial Williamsburg can attend and take part in the trial of Grace Sherwood, Virginia’s Witch, who was tried in 1706. Called “Cry Witch” the re-enactment follows the real events surrounding the trial and allows visitors to determine the Grace’s punishment based on the evidence presented. Get there early and you could be selected for the jury. For other ghostly happenings take the nightly walking tour that explores, “Legends, Myths, Mysteries, and Ghosts.” www.colonialwilliamsburg.org
6. Boo Ya’ll: Savannah, GA, has been named America’s Most Haunted City by The American Institute of Parapsychology. In the evening Savannah’s beautiful squares glow with lantern lights as visiting ghost hunters walk the streets in search of ghosts, goblins, and other things that go “bump” in the night. Ghost Tours and Haunted Pub Crawls are offered year-round and take visitors back through time with stories of pirates, lost loves, and tales of woe. One favorite tour follows the book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt, that was later made into a movie. www.savannah-visit.com
7. Where’s Mary? For years a mysterious blonde woman dressed in white has been sighted in doorways of the Casa de Solana Inn in St. Augustine, Florida, on Aviles Street, the oldest European Street in the United States. Many think it is Mary Mitchel scurrying down Aviles Street to the old Spanish Military Hospital a few doors away. Take the tour and decide for yourself. Check with Casa de Solana, www.casadesolana.com, for a complete ghostly package.
8. Dead city: Visit one of the Cities of the Dead in New Orleans, called America’s most haunted city. Take one of several tours of the old cemeteries with Save Our Cemeteries. Check on their All Saints' Soirée - an annual evening celebration in October. The cost of the tour helps to maintaining the historic cemeteries of New Orleans. www.saveourcemeteries.org
9. Faith: Shortly after the Hassayampa Inn, in Prescott, AZ, opened in 1927, a honeymoon pair checked in. The husband left to “go out for a pack of cigarettes.” After several days, when he didn’t return, his new bride Faith hung herself. Her presence is reputed to still haunt the Hassayampa Hotel as witnessed by many guests. www.hassayampainn.com
10. The Blue Lady: Dine with the spirit of the Blue Lady at Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach, CA. Legend has it that a married lady, always dressed in blue, was carrying on an illicit affair with a handsome piano player at the bar. While on the way to met him, she died in a violent automobile accident. Her spirit frequently returns to the Distillery to search for her lover. www.mossbeachdistillery.com
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