“NORTH CAROLINA: HAUNTED HOMES, EERIE ESTATES, BEDEVILED BUILDINGS, PARANORMAL PATHS” #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: According to Haunted Rooms America, “When you look at North Carolina’s geography, it almost seems as though it was made for paranormal stories. There are the mysterious mountains to the west and seemingly endless, creepy marshes in the east!”
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A passenger train in North Carolina said to be making up for lost time in the early hours of the morning lurched off a 60-foot tall bridge and into the creek below on Aug. 27, 1891. Now, every year on the anniversary of the wreck, people swear the “ghost train” and its long-dead specters can be seen on the tracks at Bostian Bridge just outside Statesville.
At the bottom of the fall, seven train cars crashed into Third Creek. A few of the passengers walked into Statesville for help. Others crawled out of the wreckage, dazed and confused, while some wandered around. Still others sat on top of the train cars until help arrived.
The 20 dead passengers were laid out in the Farmer’s Tobacco Warehouse. Nearly 30 more were injured. Some drowned in the creek as the waters rose. It was the “worst disaster in Iredell County’s history” at the time. It’s still second behind an influenza epidemic in 1918 in terms of lives lost, according to a local newspaper.
Engine number 9 belonging to Richmond & Danville Railroad was 34 minutes late as it rumbled west to Asheville. The train descended into Third Creek at a speed of approximately 40 mph, less than five minutes after leaving the Statesville station, landing 153 feet from where it left the bridge. A coroner’s inquest found the accident was caused by someone allegedly removing spikes from the rails.
The perpetrators weren’t caught until six years later when two men supposedly confessed to other inmates at the state penitentiary – they were convicted in 1897.
In the years since, North Carolinians have reported strange sightings. A woman waiting on the side of the road near the tracks in 1941 — 50 years after the accident — said she saw a train drive straight off the bridge. The woman, who had been waiting for her husband to return after their car got a flat tire, ran to the embankment and saw a twisted mass of wreckage being flooded by the waters of Third Creek. When she brought her husband to see, no wreckage could be found. They reportedly asked the Statesville train station if any crashes had been reported and an agent told them none… aside from the 1891 disaster. As he said this, the woman screamed and fainted. She knew that she had seen a ghost train.
On the anniversary in 2010, the legend of the ghost train brought a team of 12 “ghost-hunters” to Bostian Bridge hoping to watch the wreck play. The Iredell County Sheriff’s Department said a 29-year-old died and two others were injured when they mistook a real train hurtling toward them for the “ghost train.” A nearby resident, Peggy Ree Cook, said people often ask to walk through her property to visit the bridge. “It was pretty much a tragedy,” she said.
–”The Charlotte Observer”, August 28, 2019
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – (I’m Darren Marlar and) this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
I began working on tonight’s episode of Weird Darkness yesterday afternoon – it began with North Carolina hauntings and I had a few websites I was going to check. It came to about four pages but during the process I found a few more sites, and suddenly I had about eight pages. But in the process I found more pages, well you can see where I’m going here. It normally takes me about six to eight hours to put an episode together – four of those hours just planning out the show before I get to the microphone, but this one was taking muuuuuuuch longer because I just kept finding more and more that I wanted to include! By the time I finished, I had nineteen pages of material, all about ghosts and the paranormal in the Tar Heel State – North Carolina, USA. If you know anyone who lives in the northern Carolinas, maybe you could let them know that something special has been posted today at WeirdDarkness.com and hopefully they’ll love the TAR out of it. See what I did there!
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, to visit sponsors you hear about during the show, sign up for my newsletter, enter contests, connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness of North Carolina!
STORY: NORTH CAROLINA HAUNTED LOCATIONS=====
A good ghost story gets the heart pumping — and if they’re really great — the hair standing up on the back of your neck. But what about when it’s not just a story?
Lacy Palermo said she had her first ghostly experience last year in a cabin she rented near Hendersonville, North Carolina. The cabin seemed completely normal at first, but then her small dog began acting strangely. The dog wouldn’t go downstairs, was clingy and seemed uneasy.
“It was kinda weirded out about the place in general,” Palermo said.
Palermo’s experiences in the cabin seemed focused on technology — specifically a mobile phone. After taking photos around the cabin one day, a cell phone was placed on a kitchen counter underneath cabinets with the video app accidentally left on, recording the paneled ceiling of the room. Palermo later found the phone on the floor across the room, and said it wasn’t until she was looking through photos later that she understood how it got there. In the accidental video, the phone moved — slowly at first — before launching across the room onto the floor. You can see the video for yourself, I’ve placed a link to it in the “Links and Resources” section of the show notes – and it does start very slow, but picks up pace, it’s only a minute long.
It wouldn’t be the only time whatever was in the house took an interest in the phone, she said.
Later that night, she awoke to get a glass of water, and in the darkened room, heard the cell phone being picked up, slammed on the table next to the bed and then thrown on the floor.
She left the cabin the next day.
Palermo learned the hard way that haunted vacation rentals aren’t always disclosed by realty companies. Even when not disclosed on paper though, some sellers have given their realty agents a creepy heads up.
“I worked with a seller who claimed their house was haunted by a ghost who lived in the basement,” said Zillow agent Jennifer Stauter Kornstedt. “When I arrived for the open house, I heard banging noises coming from the basement. I went to investigate but could not find the source of the noise. Then the phone rang three times with only static on the other end.”
According to Haunted Rooms America, “When you look at North Carolina’s geography, it almost seems as though it was made for paranormal stories. There are the mysterious mountains to the west and seemingly endless, creepy marshes in the east!” While I will be sharing a long list of North Carolina’s famous haunts, it is by no means an exhaustive list; it only scratches the surface of the paranormal activity the Tar Heel State has to offer.
(Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk NC) Established in 1900, Lees-McRae College is named after Suzanna Lee and Elizabeth McRae, named by founder Reverend Edgar Tufts after a renowned educator (Lee) and the school’s benefactor (McRae). Friendly ghost, Emily Draughn, is said to be found around Tate Dorm. The site of the dormitory was once Grace Memorial Hospital, which was where Emily died of tuberculosis during the 1930s. Outside of some pranks, like making the phone ring, operating the elevator, and shifting furniture, Emily doesn’t appear to have any malicious tendencies.
(Piney Grove Church, Concord NC) Built in the early 1900s and abandoned by the late 90s, Piney Grove Church is said to be haunted by four distinct ghosts, each with their own behaviors and tendencies, according to reports. Additionally, the building is susceptible to random mists and shadows, blurred photographs, and unexplained lights.
(Riverside Cemetery, Asheville NC) With over 13,000 individuals buried since it was created in 1885, Riverside is one of the most well-known cemeteries in North Carolina. From authors Thomas Wolfe and William Sidney Porter to eighteen German sailors from WWI, the status and diversity contained is rather astounding. With the site of the 1865 Battle of Asheville less than a mile away, many of the haunting rumors that surround Riverside deal with the shouting of troops, exchange of gunfire, and in one instance, a sighting of an entire Confederate troop in phantom form.
(The 1859 Cafe, Hickory NC) A friendly local eatery, 1859 Cafe was a staple of Hickory for nearly three decades before it closed its doors in 2011. The cafe had been set in an 1800s home and general store, and apparently had a ghost as friendly as the individuals who frequented the joint. Blonde and always wearing a white dress, the ghost never reportedly did anything besides merely appearing in mirrors and played with the lights. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that anything has taken the cafe’s place, and thus remains as an abandoned building or is being utilized by a private renter.
(First Presbyterian Church, Asheville NC) Built in 1841, the First Presbyterian Church was burned to the ground during the Civil War. The church that stands today is the rebuilt building that was erected in 1884, and has been the source of numerous notable incidents, such as the funeral of Thomas Wolfe. Supposedly, the spirit that haunts the church is named Black Abbey, due to the female apparition wearing a black dress. Whether or not she is related to the church’s original fire is unclear, but she has a tendency to aimlessly roam up and down the church’s halls.
(Brunswick Inn, Southport NC) A quaint bed and breakfast, Brunswick Inn has been situated along the Cape Fear River for over 150 years. The owners say that Tony, a guest who drowned in the river during a stay in 1882, roams the halls of the inn and engages in various mischievous acts.
(President Andrew Johnson’s Birthplace, Raleigh NC) Adjacent to the Mordecai Mansion is the ancestral home of the 17th U.S. president, Andrew Johnson, who took office following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The small house has only three windows–one beside the front door, one above and a tiny second-floor window on the side. Several realtors who have managed the property, as well as local neighbors, have reported seeing a lighted candle being held by an invisible hand in the first-floor window by the front door. Some have also said they have seen the candle reappear in the little window in the middle of the second floor, so quickly that there is no way a person could go up the stairs that fast to light another candle. The candle is then extinguished, as if with a snuffer.
(Bellamy Mansion, Wilmington NC) Designed by James F. Post in 1859 for the Bellamy family, the Bellamy Mansion was constructed out of the blood, sweat, and tears of both enslaved and freed black artisans and carpenters. With ten children, John and Eliza Bellamy had a twenty-two room home designed as well as additional buildings to serve as slave quarters and a carriage house. With such direct ties to a period of U.S. history marred by gross human rights violations, the Bellamy Mansion is said to be haunted by both servants and members of the Bellamy family. On instances when paranormal investigators were invited into the home, they have claimed to have recorded several EVPs and witnessed unexplained noises and door slams.
(South Asheville Cemetery, Asheville NC) The South Asheville Cemetery is often, unfortunately, called the South Asheville Colored Cemetery due to its roots as a resting place for African American individuals. George Avery, a slave of William Wallace McDowell, was entrusted by McDowell to manage the cemetery beginning in the late nineteenth century. Avery joined the Union Army during the Civil War, but returned afterward to oversee burials for the remainder of his 90-year-life. After 1943, however, the cemetery was essentially left unattended and has since only been maintained by volunteers. Considering the lack of official documentation for burials, it is unknown how many individuals are buried at the site. Estimates point to anywhere between 1500 and 5000 individuals, many of which were slaves. As such, the cemetery is said to have a tremendous amount of paranormal activity, with visitors reporting shadowy figures moving slowly, as if still burdened by weights of pain and despair.
(Prince Charles Hotel, Fayetteville NC) Built in the 1920s, the Prince Charles Hotel survived a rather tumultuous period in U.S. history. Unfortunately, bankruptcy and structure concerns caused it to close in 2010. While there are plans to restore it and create condos and office space, the building apparently is deserted for the time being. Regardless, its ghost story shall continue to live on considering that Charlotte, the building’s ghost, can no longer live. The story goes that Charlotte committed suicide after walking into the honeymoon suite and finding her new husband in bed with a bridesmaid. While the event allegedly happened on the seventh floor, reports say that she was known for causing a ruckus and for riding the elevator to the eighth floor.
(The S&W Building, Asheville NC) Built in 1929 and used as a cafeteria for over four decades, the S&W Building has long been a staple of the Asheville community. The building also used to house Shotzy’s Bar, which was the source of many of the building’s ghost stories. Employees reported phantom waiters in the hallways, a girl’s apparition on the balcony, and coolers/doors that opened by themselves. Where these ghosts stem from is debated, but locals point to its speakeasy roots during Prohibition as the likely beginning. The building is under renovations and is now used for condos and hotel rooms.
(The Battery Park Hotel, Asheville NC) Serving as a popular hotel for many decades during the 1900s, the Battery Park Hotel has recently been renovated into apartments for senior citizens. While paranormal occurrences only seldomly leak out of the building now, during its time as a hotel, the popular story was that the ghost of a murdered hotel guest frequently followed hotel employees around.
(The Grand Old Lady Hotel, Balsam NC) Built in 1908, the Grand Old Lady Hotel – formerly Balsam Mountain Inn – has seen its share of paranormal activity. Rooms 205 and 207 are said to have the most haunted activity, but throughout the hotel, guests have reported everything from hearing children giggling on the third floor, a woman in blue on the second floor balcony, phantom footsteps, banging on hallway walls and doors, and seeing doorknobs twist on their own. The hotel even acknowledges the paranormal activity, and has worked with spiritual advisors to ask the spirits why they’re still at the hotel. Discover the answers at one of the hotel’s “Tales from the Spirits” events, where you can also schedule a private investigation afterward.
(The Asheville Ballet, Asheville NC) Originally known as the Fletcher School of Dance, The Asheville Ballet is a functioning, instructional dance school in Asheville. The hauntings surrounding the building actually relate to the transfer of owners and subsequent remodel during the mid-2000s. Supposedly, construction workers tools were constantly being shifted by shadowy apparitions that would make their way around the building. No one is certain who these figures are or what their initial purpose was, but many say that they are still roaming the building to this day.
(Brookstown Inn, Winston-Salem, NC) A distressed spirit is the main draw to the Brookstown Inn in Winston-Salem. Guests who have spent the night have reported a woman calling each one of their names out of the darkness, or repeatedly shouting “Mercy!” to deaf ears.
(Vance Birthplace, Weaverville NC) Arguably the most prominent political figure in North Carolina history, Zebulon Baird Vance was a state legislator and Congressman by 28, a Confederate colonel and governor by 32, three time NC governor, and U.S. senator for fifteen years. Vance Birthplace is a five-room log house that was reconstructed around its original frame and is a registered historic site. Numerous ghosts have been reported at the site, all of which reportedly in old-fashioned clothing. Perhaps one of these is Vance himself? Members of his family? Or simply just a few of the thousands of supporters he acquired in his political career?
(The Midnight Rode Club, Asheville NC) A warehouse complex that has had a variety of tenants over the years, including Coolworld and Midnite Rodeo Clubs, the location is now essentially closed besides some possible rented spaces. In its heyday, the building was the site of numerous paranormal experiences, including mysterious energy orbs around the club’s dancing areas and a spirit that was supposedly caught on security camera.
(Cousin Martha’s Bed and Breakfast, Beaufort NC) Considering Cousin Martha’s Bed & Breakfast is proud to sell its homemade “Satan’s Breath” and “Elmo’s Fire” hot sauces, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the building is plagued by a slew of spooky occurrences. Its staff and visitors have reported random bouts of childish laughs and footsteps coming from the rooms upstairs, yet there is never anybody up there. If the giggling ghosts don’t make you run for the hills, the hot sauce just might.
(The Governor’s Mansion, Raleigh NC) Governor Daniel Fowle was the first governor to call the North Carolina Executive Mansion home when he moved in upon its completion in January 1891. He lived in the home only three months before his passing. However, during his short time living in the mansion, he’d found the bed in his room uncomfortable and had a new one made. This bed stayed in the bedroom until 1969 when Governor Robert Scott took office and moved into the room. Scott found that Fowle’s bed was too small and had it moved into storage and replaced. Governor Scott claimed that shortly after moving the bed, he and his wife were disturbed one night by a loud knocking from within the wall behind the headboard. This knocking occurred every night at approximately the same time. The governor speculated that the nightly occurrence was Daniel Fowle’s spirit requesting that the bed be returned to his room. Governor Roy Cooper has since had the bed moved back into the room. Cooper’s family claims to have never encountered any strange noises themselves. Could it be that Fowle’s spirit is content now that his bed has been returned?
(The Winds Resort Beach Club, Ocean Isle Beach NC) Though “The Winds” is renowned for its Southern hospitality, Sam, the ghost, clearly isn’t buying into the praise and accolades. After spending the night at the resort and dying from a heart attack, Sam has supposedly never left his cabin, instead deciding to haunt the resort and creep out the guests. Employees and guests have reported cold spots, windows and doors opening by themselves, and sightings of a ghostly apparition.
(Latta Plantation, Huntersville NC) Reports out of the Latta Plantation indicate that the original Latta family has no intention of ever leaving their home, despite, well, being dead for over a century. Much of the paranormal activity is said to occur in the attic, where people have heard children slamming doors and playing with various toys, though the attic is completely bare. One of the favorite stories told at the historic site involves a scheduled tour in which one of the workers was showing off a cane that had belonged to the Latta family. As the cane was being handled, however, it jumped up on its own and moved around the room as if being walked by an invisible man. Considering a shadowed apparition has also been spotted on the grounds, it’s fairly likely that these incidents are linked.
(Queens University, Charlotte NC) Queens University, located in Myers Park in Charlotte, is said to have multiple haunted locations on campus. Students said they have experienced paranormal activity in multiple buildings, including happenings like doors opening and closing by themselves and knocking sounds.
(Calvary Episcopal Church, Fletcher NC) A congregation of the Episcopal Church, Calvalry has been standing for almost 200 years. Since it dates back to the Civil War, many believe that the church is regularly visited by the Phantom Rider of the Confederacy. The Phantom Rider is a woman on horseback who is believed to have lost her husband during the war. Long blonde hair, period dress, and a Confederate cape are all visual indications that it is indeed her riding down the street. According to the legend, the apparition led 23 Union soldiers to their deaths by a Confederate ambush in 1865 in an act of revenge for her slain husband. Whether or not she was also killed by Union forces is unknown.
(Mountain Brew Cafe, Arden NC) Though no longer in business, Mountain Brew Cafe still stands, both literally (as a vacant building) and figuratively (as a testament to its haunted history). Cafe workers often heard footsteps and various human noises from an alleged spirit who haunted the second floor. The spirit was said to have belonged to a woman who was murdered in the building years prior.
(Historic Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh NC) In the northwest corner of the beautiful and Historic Oakwood Cemetery lays a rather notable angel statue known as the “Guardian of Oakwood.” The stone angel can be seen from the fence on Watauga St. According to legend and locals, at midnight every Halloween, the angel’s head spins around 12 times then stops. There are some who claim that the angel appears to completely turn around, depending on your vantage point, as if to keep an eye on those watching her. It has also been reported that those visiting the cemetery at night could actually see her carved stone eyes following their movement.
(North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC) Like most of the colleges in North Carolina, NC State is also prone to the occasional ghostly sighting. The university’s rumors circle around a student that attended the school in the 1980s. According to the story, she committed suicide by jumping off the D.H. Hill Library’s roof. It is on this same roof the students and faculty have reported sightings of a ghostly silhouette. Additionally, there is talk of a construction worker haunting the Bell Tower, but it is unclear who this spirit is or why he has chosen the location as his haunting ground.
(Somerset Place, Creswell NC) One of the largest plantations in the South for the eighty years it operated (1785-1865), Somerset Place had an unbelievable 800 slaves working on the grounds. Despite this horrific figure, the haunting stories are actually not slave-related, but focus on the former lady of the house. Supposedly, her son drowned in an irrigation canal; a son she still mourns with screams and cries to this day.
(The Country Squire And Liberty Hall, Kenansville, NC) Ever wanted to dine with a ghost? That’s exactly what you can do at The Country Squire Restaurant, Inn & Winery in Kenansville in Duplin County, where the spirit of original owner Joe West is rumored to still hang around making sure everything runs the way he likes. After enjoying your meal in a cozy, vintage setting, watch where you walk near the dartboard – darts have been known to fly through the air on their own. Merry chatter and phantom footsteps have also been heard in the Jester’s Court and throughout various hallways. For more local haunts, head down the street to Liberty Hall, a historic house and museum where you can learn about the family who lived there hundreds of years ago, plus a new group of “ghosts” will tell you about their lives at Liberty Hall.
(Chowan University, Murfreesboro NC) Founded in 1848 and with a current student body of only 1200 students, Chowan University is known for its united atmosphere and its athletic record. What the school is also known for, however, is its long history of paranormal disturbances. Its Music Hall is haunted by a piano-playing ghost, while the second floor of Mixon Hall is haunted by the ghost of a student who hanged himself. Belks Hall is haunted by both a student who committed suicide and a screaming/laughing little girl who rode her tricycle down the stairs. The “Brown Lady” is perhaps the most disturbing and famous apparition that haunts the school. Lingering on the third floor of the Columns Building, her footsteps have been heard, leading to brief chases by security guards suspecting unauthorized students.
(Ri Ra Irish Pub, Charlotte, NC) The building in which Rí Rá is located is the second-oldest original building in uptown Charlotte. Rí Rá’s opened there in 1997. A red brick was found one night after an alarm system went off, and there were no signs of anyone entering the building to place it there. Ghost stories include a young girl practicing her ABCs above the host stand, beer taps turning on by themselves, and sewing machine sounds in the basement.
(Asheville City Hall, Asheville NC) City Hall is the site of a particularly upset paranormal entity. Said to be the ghost of a businessman who committed suicide after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the ghost dresses in old-fashioned clothes and has been spotted in various areas of the building. Sometimes mellow, such as when he is standing on line at the snack bar, he has been said to be violent at nights, being held responsible for ransacked offices and general mischief.
(White-Holman House, Raleigh NC) Dating to 1799 and located on E. Morgan St., the White-Holman House, also known as Whitehall, is an original late Georgian/early Federal-style dwelling that was built for secretary of state William White. Residents and visitors have both recounted incidents of hearing the distinctive sound and rhythm of a “peg-legged ghost” walking up and down the back staircase of the house.
(Biltmore-Oteen Bank Building, Asheville NC) Though it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, the Biltmore-Oteen Bank Building hasn’t served much of a purpose in recent years besides its architecture being eye-catching. Built in 1925, the two-story bank is said to be haunted by a man from the early 20th century who is desperately searching for something within the bank’s walls. Did he hide something inside the building that he wants back? Is he a victim of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 that is still in despair? Or does he have a more complex or peculiar reason for spending his afterlife searching in vain?
(Teach’s Hole, Ocracoke Island) Edward Teach, or more widely known as Blackbeard, was killed in a battle with the Royal Navy in 1718. Lieutenant Robert Maynard had Teach beheaded and his body thrown overboard. Blackbeard’s head was then suspended from the bowsprit of Maynard’s ship for good measure. Blackbeard’s head was returned to Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia for a bounty of one hundred pounds sterling. Legends from the Outer Banks suggest that Blackbeard still walks the beaches of North Carolina. The stories claim that Teach can be seen wandering around the Ocracoke Island cove looking for his severed head. Alleged sightings vary from orbs of light to Teach’s appearance in full spectral form.
(Harvey Mansion, New Bern NC) Built in the early 1800s, the Harvey Mansion has become a staple of the New Bern community both because of its cozy atmosphere and its paranormal ties. Visitors have witnessed a woman, dressed in period clothing, lingering and walking across the second and third floors. Workers have reported silverware being moved and flickering lights, among other possible ghostly occurrences.
(The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill NC) Named one the Top 10 Haunted Hotels in America, at UNC’s The Carolina Inn, you can rent the room through the hotel’s “Boo! Package”, and spend a night with the room’s ghost, Dr. William Jacocks. The hotel says the room used to be the doctor’s permanent residence and that he is a “friendly spirit” that likes to play practical jokes. Staff and guests that have stayed in the room have witnessed an aroma of flowers and a loud ‘whizzing’ noise, among other things. They’ve also seen a “finely-attired, portly” man walking the halls, seeking an unlocked door. If a guest opens the door, he gets scared and runs away.
Keep listening. When Weird Darkness returns I have many more North Carolina haunts to tell you about.
(The Lodge On Lake Lure, Lake Lure NC) With land purchased from Chimney Rock Mountains Inc., North Carolina’s highway patrol constructed what is now known as The Lodge on Lake Lure. While originally used as a retreat for officers and their families, the lodge was opened to the public in 1990. The lodge also served as a memorial for officer George Penn, who was gunned down while on duty. As the legend goes, George Penn is rather content with staying at the lodge that was built in his honor, and has been known to haunt Room 4 and steal toilet paper from Room 2. Ghosts have to go, too.
(The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville NC) The Pink Lady is a well-known, friendly spirit roaming The Omni Grove Park Inn since the 1920s. Whether her fall from the fifth floor of the Palm Court Atrium at the Inn was an accident or something more sinister, the Pink Lady doesn’t seem to hold much of a grudge. She’s either seen as a vibrant pink mist or a young woman in a pink ballgown, most often by children. Also a fan of pranks, the Pink Lady is blamed for lights and air conditioners turning on and off, and for the rearrangement of objects in guest rooms. Book a night in room 545 – where the Pink Lady seems to be particularly active – for your best chance at an encounter.
(Albemarle Opera House, Albemarle NC) The history of the Albemarle Opera House is quite unique in that it operated from 1908-1915, but has essentially been vacant since then. Stretching across the top floors of multiple buildings on Main Street, it is a town oddity that sometimes opens its doors for tourists/visitors (Starnes Jewlery Store is located beneath it and has anniversary parties). Since the space has been unused for decades, the ghost stories that revolve around it relate to shadowy figures lurking about and a phantom band that can be heard playing ragtime music during the fall season.
(The New Hanover County Library, Wilmington NC) A haunted spot cited in Wilmington is the New Hanover County Library, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman believed to be a patron. Her apparition has been seen over the years, as well as people hearing footsteps, books moving and another ghost, who people believe was a man killed in a duel. His home stood on the current site of the library.
(Gimghoul Castle, aka Dromgoole Castle, Chapel Hill NC) The name alone deserves an entry in this episode. Shrouded by mystery and with only the vaguest of certifiable facts to base off of, the legend of Grimghoul Castle is one of the most enduring stories at the University of North Carolina. The castle was constructed in the early 1920s at a cost of around $50,000. While much of the details of its construction are unknown, it was funded by the Order of Gimghoul, a collegiate secret society founded in 1889. The society based its name off of Peter Dromgoole, a UNC student that disappeared without a trace in 1833. While the castle itself fuels the imagination, the paranormal stories that surround it are even more interesting. According to one story, Peter Dromgoole was buried somewhere on the castle’s grounds after losing a duel over Fanny, the girl of his dreams. In another, Fanny clutched Peter in her arms as he bled out from a gunshot wound from the duel. Other accounts say that Fanny didn’t know about Peter’s murder and held on to hope that he would return; hope that she took to her grave. Whatever you choose to believe, it seems that Peter’s spirit remains at the site, and resides at the castle that was built in his honor.
(The Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill NC) Built in 1854 by Benjamin Hedrick, the house has gone through numerous owners in the past century and a half, now maintained by Preservation Chapel Hill for public meetings, events, and administrative tasks. The house is named for Horace Williams, a UNC professor (most famous for teaching author Thomas Wolfe) that owned the home from 1897 until his death in the 1940s. It is said that Williams’ spirit still resides in his home.
(The Great Dismal Swamp, South Mills NC) Despite its name possibly suggesting the opposite, The Great Dismal Swamp is a pleasant place to visit. In addition to its beautiful scenery and wildlife presence, Dismal Swamp State Park possesses a wealth of history. The once dangerous and untamed land played host to the Underground Railroad, an exploration by George Washington, and even communities of escaped enslaved people. “Dangerous and untamed” being key words here, stories have survived telling tales of visitors who were lost to the swamp. The swamp is large, can be difficult to navigate, and is home to many dangerous animals. There are reports of visitors hearing noises, seeing strange lights, and more extreme cases of encounters with spirits whose lives were claimed by the swamp.
(Louisburg College, Louisburg NC) Louisburg has undergone a number of name changes and academic shifts since its founding in 1787. It was originally known as Franklin Male Academy, but also became affiliated with Louisburg Female College in 1857. The institution received its current name in the early 1900s, and has operated as a private Methodist college ever since. The ghost stories at the college start in its Main Building, which was converted into a hospital for the Confederates during the Civil War. Almost reminiscent of the main character from Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun, the building is apparently haunted by a young boy who attempts to make noises despite lacking a face. The dormitories are also believed to be haunted, with Merritt Dorm being the source of slamming doors, phantom faucets, cold spots, radio interference, and occasional spirit sightings. The Kenan Girls Dorm is said to be haunted by Mrs. Kenan herself, whose activities on the fourth floor result in visible green glowing.
(Kennedy’s Premium Bar and Grill, Charlotte NC) Located in a repurposed farmhouse dating back to early Charlotte, Kennedy’s Premium Bar and Grill has a long history from which to base its paranormal occurrences on. Nobody is exactly sure who the entities are or what business they have still being in the establishment, but a variety of slammed doors, unexplained noises, and radio interference have been reported by workers and patrons. Additionally, a ghost has been spotted in the bathroom after closing.
(Mordecai House, Raleigh NC) Mordecai House, a two-story mansion located at Mordecai Historic Park, was built in 1785 by Joel Lane and was named for Moses Mordecai, who married Lane’s daughter, Margaret. Mary Willis Mordecai Turk, a descendant of Margaret and Moses, lived there during the 19th century. She enjoyed socializing, playing piano and showing off her magnificent house. The oldest house in Raleigh still on its original foundation, the mansion is nationally renowned for its paranormal activity. Visitors and workers have reported seeing a woman wearing a long black skirt, white blouse and a black tie moving quietly through the hallways. It has been rumored that she can sometimes be seen standing on the balcony if you pass by late at night. In recent years, visitors have recounted hearing a piano playing.
(Whitegate Inn and Cottage, Asheville NC) Marion Bridgette, the nurse who purchased the building as her home in 1928, seems to be fairly displeased that there are now guests staying in her former room. The Robert Frost Room of the 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage is said to be haunted by Bridgette, with floating energy orbs, slamming doors, phantom footsteps, and flickering lights all reported at the inn. In the words of Robert Frost: “Itis under the small, dim, summer star. I know not who these mute folk are Who share the unlit place with me— Those stones out under the low-limbed tree Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.”
(The Jackson Building, Asheville NC) An instantly identifiable building in Asheville, the Jackson Building is known for being the first skyscraper in Western North Carolina. At 140 feet tall, the Neo-Gothic building is not only notable for being a main tourist attraction in Asheville, but it was also built on the site of Thomas Wolfe’s father’s tombstone business. The building originally featured an 18 million candlepower searchlight and 400x telescope at the top. Unfortunately, the building is used for private purposes and is not open to the public. The Great Depression hit Asheville very hard, like almost every other city in America. Since the Jackson Building was filled with businesses and office space at the time when the market crashed, it is said that the ghost that haunts the building is that of a businessman who leaped to his death from one of the higher floors. Supposedly, not only can his face sometimes be seen in a window, but there is apparently a faint bulls-eye on the ground that marks where his body hit the pavement.
(Salem College, Winston-Salem NC) Salem College has undergone a number of transformations since its founding in 1772. Originally built as a primary school, it later was turned into a high school, and then finally a college. It is consistently ranked among the best colleges in the nation, and has the distinction of being the United States’s oldest female educational establishment that is still a women’s college. An institution with over two centuries of continued use is bound to have a colorful history, and Salem is no exception. The Gramley Building is the site of a library where two girls were killed in an electrocution accident in 1907. According to reports, the girls visibly manifest and scream at students. Similarly, a student allegedly hanged herself in the attic of Gramley’s dormitory, leading to students hearing dragging and scratching sounds from the attic. A young girl fell down an elevator shaft in Clewell’s dormitory,making many believe her presence is still in the building. The school’s other dormitory, Babcock, is said to have a painting in its lobby of Mary Reynolds (daughter of R.J. Reynolds), whose eyes follow students as they walk by. Last, but certainly not least, the Fine Arts Center has had a variety of paranormal disturbances, including a phantom pianist who plays pianos and organs, and a patron who died in Theatre #2 and still lingers to this day.
(The North Carolina State Capitol Building, Raleigh NC) Legend has it that “former inhabitants” of the building still remain. A former night watchman heard noises, which included screaming, doors slamming and books hitting the floor in the third-story library, breaking glass, keys jingling, and the sound of footsteps. The same watchman also said the manually-operated elevator went up and down by itself. A building curator also said that he heard sounds from the committee room off the Senate chamber, and when he went to go look, saw an apparition which dissolved.
(Reed Gold Mine, Midland NC) During an afternoon stroll in 1799, Conrad Reed discovered a 17 pound, yellow rock on the property of his father’s farm. After keeping it as an unusual oddity for nearly three years, a Fayetteville jeweler offered $3.50 to the Reed family for it. They accepted, not realizing that its market value was $3500. The significance of this find was not only that it led to the creation of the Reed Gold Mine, but that it was also the first documented gold find in the United States. North Carolina would lead the U.S. gold charge for over four decades, claiming combined values of over $1 million each year before The California Gold Rush consumed the nation. The ghost story that surrounds Reed’s Gold Mine involves Reed’s former neighbor, Eleanor Mills. Supposedly, an argument between Eleanor and her husband, Eugene, led to her falling down the stairs. Eugene had left the house at the time, unaware that Eleanor’s fall had been fatal. After he returned several hours later, he was horrified to see Eleanor’s corpse…still screaming. Consumed by panic and unable to make the noises stop, Eugene dumped his wife’s body down a mine shaft near Reed’s property. It is said that Eleanor has never stopped screaming.
(McGlohon Theatre, Charlotte NC) Named in the honor of jazz pianist Loonis McGlohon, McGlohon Theatre was converted into the performing arts building it is today in 1980 after taking over and restoring the First Baptist Church building. The ghosts that inhabit the theatre are thought to be from the church days, and have been heard roaming the halls and singing on the stage. It’s hard to be surprised considering the theatre is located in Spirit Square.
(Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Manteo NC) While serving as a tribute to Native Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoake Island, the site is most well-known for being the location of the Roanoke Colony. Established in 1585 by Queen Elizabeth I in an attempt to create a permanent English settlement, the charter was originally funded by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, but was passed to his half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh, after Gilbert’s accidental death. After an initial settlement that went horribly wrong, leading to the disappearance of all 100+ of the original settlers, a new group of 115 men, women, and children were dispatched to create a new colony on Roanoke in 1587. Despite promises that supplies would be brought from England, the raging Anglo-Spanish War delayed supplies for three years, and when the ship finally arrived, it discovered that the colony has been abandoned. Dismantled houses and proper clean-up suggest that the move was planned, but not a single settler, living or dead, was ever found. Since the site is marred by an intense and frightening history, the paranormal stories that surround it are not surprising. The general consensus is that the site is haunted by the ghost of Virginia Dare, who was the granddaughter of John White, Raleigh’s close friend and the individual who led the “Lost Colony’s” settlers to America. Virginia Dare, being the first English child born in the New World, was among the disappeared settlers.
(Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington NC) Battleship North Carolina was commissioned in 1941 and participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific during World War II. One of the deadliest attacks on the battleship was a Japanese torpedo strike in the hull, where five men died. One young soldier was killed in the battleship’s washroom, and his spirit has been seen there. There have also been sightings of other apparitions in passageways, shadowy figures peering through portholes, hatches and doors opening and closing on their own, sounds of running and even objects being hurled through the air.
(The Basilica of St. Lawrence, Asheville NC) The Basilica of St. Lawrence is an architectural marvel in Asheville due to the unprecedented dedication of architect and builder, Rafael Guastavino. Built in 1905, the Basilica features an ancient Spanish tile and mortar building system that dates back countless centuries. Known as the Guastavino system in America, the style has been emulated in Grand Central Station, Carnegie Hall, and Grant’s Tomb, among many others. The church also features a dome that spans 58 x 82 feet, which is reported to be the largest unsupported dome in North America. Since the building also contains Guastavino’s crypt at the rear of the chapel, which contains Guastavino, his wife, and his daughter, many believe that Guastavino’s spirit still resides in the building his body once made. Similarly, a priest who died in the church is also believed to be present in some capacity. Witnesses have reported a variety of apparition sightings, as well as cold spots, glowing orbs, and doors that open and close at random.
(The Old Courthouse Theatre, Concord NC) Built in 1922 as a Baptist church, the Old Courthouse Theatre is now used for musicals and other plays. Apparently, however, not everyone is content with the building being used for charming, creative expression. “The Deacon” is the apparition who apparently is the culprit of flickering hall lights, rattling set pieces, and shifting stage lights. Other noises have also been reported, including jingling keys and assorted singing voices.
(The Elizabeth Inn, aka the Sabiston House, Beaufort NC) Captain David Sabiston lived from 1750-1811- a life that was cut short on July 4th, 1811 after he was allegedly bludgeoned to death with an oar. Sabiston’s slave, Sal, was tried and convicted, leading to him being hanged at the Beaufort Court House on September 13th, 1811. Whether it is the ghost of David or Sal, witnesses are clear to say that a spirit definitely still haunts the grounds of the home. The home was converted into the Elizabeth Inn and was in operation for many years, but has since been closed.
(Fort Fisher, Kure Beach NC) Several legends have been talked about over the years surrounding the former Civil War fort, including the ghost of General W.H.C. Whitting, who sits atop the fort’s parapet, watching over. Another, referred to as a sentinel or “watcher in the woods” has been spotted as well, and other things have happened like doors opening without reason. A paranormal research team from Carthage, N.C. conducted an investigation at Fort Fisher, which captured images of several oddities, including one which could be the sentinel.
(Scandal’s Nightclub, Asheville NC) Serving for 30+ years as arguably Asheville’s most popular LGBT club, Scandals is simultaneously loved and haunted. While its paranormal ties don’t seem to have a negative impact on attendance, there have been reports of a Native American woman’s apparition messing with the club’s electrical workings.
(New Bern House Inn, New Bern NC) According to local legend, the Inn had two haunted rooms, with each one being the source of countless paranormal interactions and ghostly occurrences. Perhaps the ghosts convinced the owners to close down the inn? Regardless, the inn has since been closed and is now a private residence.
(Roanoke Island Ghost Deer) Most who call North Carolina home know the story of the vanishing Roanoke Colony, as I spoke of earlier. Namely John White’s granddaughter being the first child born in the “New World” – Virginia Dare. All of this is commonly retold because it’s eerie enough, but a more obscure aspect of the legend is the Ghost Deer of Roanoke. A popular appearance of the ghost deer is “The White Doe, or the Fate of Virginia Dare,” a poem written in 1901 by Sallie Southall Cotten. Cotten’s poem tells a story where Dare survived into adulthood. She was admired by native people and English settlers alike for her beauty. One jealous sorcerer transformed her into a white doe to spite her lover, a noble named Okisko. Okisko shot her with an arrow, killing her. Some retellings of this legend say the ghost of the white deer can still be spotted at Roanoke.
(Attmore-Oliver House, New Bern NC) Built in 1790, the Attmore-Oliver House has had numerous private owners and is now protected by the National Register of Historic Places. For decades, the house has been said to be haunted by a number of ghosts who may have been previous residents. Another theory is that the poltergeists are all linked to one of the nation’s past smallpox epidemics.
(Carolina Theatre, Greensboro, NC) The Carolina Theatre in Greensboro is the site of two events that have been said to have permanently haunted the building. Though the theatre was opened on Halloween night in 1927, the opening was plagued by the death of a construction worker who fell to his death during the building’s construction. More well-known, however, is an incident in 1981 in which a woman hid inside the theatre after closing and was killed after a fire broke out. Her body was recovered in the stairwell, and since her presence in the building was unlawful, it is widely believed that she set the fire herself in a suicide attempt. Today, visitors of the theatre claim that odd occurrences, like seats moving and lights flickering, are proof that her spirit remains in the building.
(Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Asheville NC) The cemetery he is buried in is haunted and he had a professor whose spirit still haunts the Horace Williams House. Considering Thomas Wolfe’s old home is also haunted, one would be led to believe that these are more than just coincidences. Regardless, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial is indeed the home of former author, Thomas Wolfe. The home is reportedly haunted by a man and a woman, with the woman being spotted in the dining room. While the man has been seen sitting in a rocking chair, the main story stems from a face in the upstairs window and the sounds of a typewriter, leaving many to believe it is actually the ghost of Wolfe himself.
(Dana Auditorium, Greensboro NC) This auditorium on the campus of Guilford College was built in 1961. The spot where it stands can be traced back to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War. During the war, the area was used as a field hospital and many say that a fallen solider haunts the space. There have also been reports of a little girl being spotted in the Choir Room, as well as a man in a brown suit in the halls.
When Weird Darkness returns I have many more North Carolina haunts to tell you about.
(Patterson-Noble-Baker House, Louisburg NC) A plantation home during the early-mid 19th century, the home has been the source of numerous paranormal investigations with results that were caught on EVP recorders. The house is privately owned now, however, and is off-limits to the public.
(The Museum of Ashe County History, Jefferson NC) The Ashe County Courthouse, built in 1904, has been converted and now exists as the Museum of Ashe County History. While the building doesn’t have a long history of paranormal occurrences, a notable incident occurred in 2010, when a summer intern reported the presence of a ghost. The intern said that she was on the first floor and heard a distant phone ring, followed by a string of footsteps toward the sound.
(The Brown Mountain Lights, Blue Ridge Mountains NC) For decades, a series of unexplained lights have appeared after sunset above the peak of Brown Mountain, changing in size, shape and color. The earliest reports of the lights were from Cherokee and Catawba Native Americans, then Civil War soldiers. Today, thousands have reported seeing the lights above the mountain. Try to spot them for yourself from Wiseman’s View in the Linville Gorge; look for small, star-like dots moving either slowly or in an almost firework-like manner. Groups of students from nearby Appalachian State University have studied the lights, and they’ve even been investigated three times by the U.S. government.
(Theodosia’s Bed and Breakfast, Bald Head Island NC) Theodosia’s website describes the bed and breakfast as “a place where one may be reminded again of who they are and whose they are. A place to recapture your heart and rekindle your life.” It is a striking description considering it is a place that was supposedly haunted by the girl who it was named after, Theodosia Burr Alston. Her family was filled with notable names, including her father, Aaron Burr, and her husband, South Carolina governor Joseph Alston. Theodosia was last seen on an 1812 voyage from Charlotte to New York, but after an incident at sea, widely thought to involve pirates, none of the passengers or crew were ever heard from again. Supposedly, however, Theodosia escaped and made her way to North Carolina’s Outer Banks and lived with a family who took her in. Whether or not she was happy is debated, since according to the story, she ran out of the house one night and threw a portrait of herself into the sea. Supposedly, the portrait was recovered, but Theodosia remained missing. For some reason, her spirit appears to have always been drawn to the bed and breakfast, where her presence was felt by guests. Though Theodosia’s Bed & Breakfast’s website is still up, it appears that the business has been shut down indefinitely and is now closed to the public.
(Isis Restaurant and Music Hall, Asheville NC) Isis Restaurant & Music Hall is situated in the old Isis Theater that dominated Asheville in the first half of the twentieth century. The building is still regularly used for concerts, but now also features a full restaurant, outdoor seating, and three bars. Much of the ghost stories relate back to the days of the Isis Theater, with locals saying that the ghost of a young girl named Susie is the daughter of a past owner. Apparently, a young child was with her family and was seemingly laughing and talking to herself. When her family asked what she was doing, she replied that she was talking to her friend Susie. The projection room is reportedly haunted as well, with a male apparition being blamed for items falling off shelves, loud footsteps, and audible whistling noises.
(Guilford College, Greensboro NC) Founded in 1837 by Quakers, Guilford College, like many other buildings in North Carolina, has hauntings related to its Civil War roots. The college’s Dana Auditorium, built in 1961, was apparently built on the site of a temporary hospital used for troops. At 2 AM in the Choir or Moon Rooms, an apparition named Lucas is said to frequently cause mischief; from playing instruments to smashing a chandelier in front of guards. Students claim that the Choir Room is also haunted by a small, dark-haired girl in a clean, white dress.
(Cry Baby Lane, Beaver Island NC) After a fire destroyed an orphanage outside of Raleigh, and sadly, killed several children who called this place home, locals began to notice something strange. Weeks after, in the field where the fire took place, the smell of smoke was so strong it would fill up their lungs and they would violently cough. After the coughing subsided, a quiet cry floated through the air. The cries began to multiply and all at once there were deafening screams and cries throughout the field. Crybaby Lane is home to one of the truly tragic real North Carolina ghost stories, and not many people are able to stay in the field for long.
(Northside Grill and Bar, Asheville NC) Though originally the Northside Grill and Bar, the restaurant was closed down and replaced by Appalachian Tavern; both of which are now closed. The building is either privately rented or vacant at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that the ghost has left. Customers that used to frequent Northside say that they used to witness a shadowed apparition make its way across the restaurant and cause general feelings of uneasiness among the occupants. The ghost was alleged to have been a former tenant that lived in an apartment on the second floor of the building and had committed suicide.
(Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria, Asheville NC): According to town lore, the current location of Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria is the site where Will Harris’ infamous massacre occurred in 1906. Will Harris, a gang member at the time, arrived drunk at his girlfriend’s sister’s apartment after he was unable to locate his girlfriend. A fight broke out, resulting in two police officers being called to the scene. Harris, armed with a rifle, shot at them, killing one and seriously injuring the other. He proceeded to make his way down to the street, where he shot and killed three civilians, a police officer, and a dog. After fleeing to South Asheville, Harris was cornered by a mob of angry citizens, and after a brief standoff, the mob opened fire, riddling Harris’s body with over 100 bullets. Today, the entire street is said to be haunted by the massacre’s victims. Wandering apparitions, random dog barking, and a ghost in an old policeman’s uniform have all been reported. Barley’s Taproom reports the most activity, with ghost sightings, random noises, and unexplained electrical activity plaguing the building.
(Lewis Memorial Park, Asheville NC) Founded in 1927, Lewis Memorial Park is a cemetery with an unsurprising association with paranormal occurrences. The main apparition is said to be a man on horseback, followed by a phantom dog. The ghost is thought to be Robert J. Lewis, the site’s former funeral director. In addition to managing the land, he was also the one who originally donated the land for the cemetery.
(Ghost Hiker of Grandfather Mountain, Linville NC) Grandfather Mountain State Park is one of North Carolina’s most visited. Gorgeous views, majestic wildlife, and daunting hiking trails attract guests to the park year-round. Halloween is a perfect time to visit whether you’re in search of brisk air, auburn leaves, or, well, paranormal encounters. One frequently encountered ghost is that of a lone hiker. An older man with a long beard can be spotted carrying a walking stick and hiking silently at dusk. The apparition is harmless. Hikers have even attempted to engage with the man over the years to no avail. The man reportedly has never acknowledged anyone who has seen him. The spirit seems content eternally hiking the 12 miles of trails through the park alone.
(Foscue Plantation House, Pollocksville NC) The Foscue Plantation House is home to some of the most disturbing paranormal stories in all of North Carolina. Built on his father’s land in 1824, Simon Foscue, Jr.’s enormous plantation was the source of both great prosperity and horrid crimes against humanity. Between himself, his son, and his son’s eventual widow, they owned a combined 90 slaves over a 30-year-span. Supposedly, many of these slaves were chained in the attic, leading to reports that their cries and moans are still heard to this day. Most shocking of all, however, is a legend related to the attic’s staircase. Supposedly, the slaves’ blood randomly appears on the stairs despite fresh coats of paint applied in vain cover-up attempts.
(Elon University, Elon NC) With over a century of history in Elon, Elon University has amassed its fair share of ghost stories related to a 1923 fire that ripped across the campus and burned most of it to the ground. It was quickly rebuilt, and legend says that Mary, a student that jumped to her death after being trapped in a burning dormitory, is unhappy about the school moving on without her. In addition to whispering to students while they sleep, Mary has been said to break mirrors, disrupt electrical currents, and sometimes appear as an apparition. The actual events surrounding the legend are sketchy as best, considering there were no recorded fatalities from the fire, nor was the dormitory affected- but students swear by the occurrences and their stories appear to be rather compelling.
(The Smith-McDowell House, Asheville NC) This home dates back to 1840 and is rumored to be haunted by two young girls, Sarah and Carrie, who died in the building. There is also a specter called the Dark One that is said to linger the place, who is believed to be the spirit of a slave owner. Reports here include photos taken with a dark misty entity, cold presences, people hearing their names being called and feeling touched by something unseen in the basement.
(The Duke Mansion, Charlotte NC) The story goes like this: Jon Avery, a former owner of the Duke Mansion, began an affair with a young writer while his wife was institutionalized. Despite Avery telling the woman he would always come for her, dead or alive, it became clear he was not going to leave his wife. The writer ended the affair. Devastated and desperate, Avery asked her to meet him one year later at midnight. Upholding her end of the bargain, she arrived a year later, saw him approach and reached out to grab his wrist – and her hand went right through him. He turned around and said, “Dead or alive.” Later, she learned that Avery had died a week earlier. Today, eerie story aside, you can stay in one of the Duke Mansion’s 20 beautifully decorated rooms, or enjoy Cocktails in the Courtyard in the summer months.
(The Blakeney House, Charlotte NC) Originally built as a private home in 1903, the building has been used for multiple restaurants as well as religious purposes in the past century. Though it is now actually on the market, it is still private property and is not open to the public. Regardless, the home is said to be the spot of many paranormal entities, including a young girl, a lady in a red dress, and Mr. William Blakeney. Despite being a paranormal hot spot, it doesn’t appear that any of the ghosts mean to do any harm since witnesses have only reported doors opening, sets of footsteps, and gusts of cold air blowing through the home.
(Church of the Redeemer, Asheville NC) With origins as a family chapel during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Church of the Redeemer is now an Anglo-Catholic Congregation that serves Asheville and Woodfin. According to witnesses, a female apparition has been spotted making her way down the church’s outside stairs that lead to its cemetery. The woman then proceeds to head down the hill, crosses the road, and then disappears into the river. Some believe that this woman drowned in the river many years ago, and might be related to the family who lived in the mansion. The mansion has burned down and no longer stands, so there’s certainly a chance one of its potential victims is still seeking water to extinguish the flames.
(Western Carolina University, Cullowhee NC) The story that has floated around WCU for decades involves two female roommates in the 1960s that decided to remain on campus during a school break. Supposedly, one of the girls left the room to go take a shower, but was gone for a suspiciously long time. When the other girl went to go investigate, she stood frozen by the door as a set of scratching noises accompanied a scream from the hallway. Out of seemingly nowhere, a repair man walked by outside the dorm’s window and yelled up that everything was okay, and for the girl to stay in her room. She obliged out of a crippling fear, but as it turns out, the other girl had been raped and murdered. Rumors suggest that the spirit of the murdered girl never left the Moore Building, instead staying to terrify future classes of girls with screaming and crying bouts. In a strange twist on the regular ghost story, the murderer was apparently arrested and served time in a mental institution, only to die in the mid 1980s. Since then, the sightings of the murdered girl’s ghost have been few and far between, as it is believed that she has now found peace.
(The Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC) A place as old and expensive as the Biltmore Estate is bound to have some spirits wandering around. George Vanderbilt died unexpectedly from complications from an appendectomy and is said to haunt the grounds. His widow, Edith can allegedly be heard talking to him in the library to this day. The legend is that in the years after her husband’s death, Edith spent much of her time there in the library talking to him. Which is funny because it’s scary. Their daughter, Cornelia, was eccentric as well and I haven’t even gotten to the part where I mention the headless ghost cat. Cornelia left the estate in the care of her estranged husband, preferring a bohemian lifestyle for herself. If you ask some, they’d say she just wanted nothing to do with the place.
(Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa NC) Founded in 1894 as the Asheville Farm School by education-concerned Presbyterian missionaries, Warren Wilson College has since undergone numerous educational changes. A four-year liberal college since 1967, the institution is a rare combination of education and work, in which students must perform work-related tasks as part of graduation requirements. With thousands of student workers over the years, it’s no wonder that the school has acquired a reputation for numerous hauntings that appear to be work-related. Hellen Kittredge, the ghost that haunts Kittredge Theatre, is said to cause major disruptions on the stage, from shifting props to messing with the lights. She allegedly has very little patience, and reportedly breaks objects when she does not approve of the performances. Jensen Lecture Hall is also said to be inhabited by various spirits, who seem to operate the elevator at random, cause lights to flicker, and cut power to electrical devices. Additionally, the Sunderland Dormitory seems to be haunted by the female victim of a brutal axe attack initiated by a fellow female student. The victim was not killed, but the strikes were enough to severely mutilate parts of her body. Whether or not the hauntings are related to this incident is not clear, but the severity of the incident leads one to believe there is a connection.
(Sanford House, Fayetteville NC) The Sandford House is a historic building in Fayetteville that is part of Heritage Square. The land is owned by The Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, who also rented the Sandford House from 1941-1945 to house unmarried working women during World War II. According to legend, the hauntings began during the Civil War, where a young couple attempted to flee from the house out of fear of the approaching Union Army. The tunnel that they used, however, was blown up, and the couple’s bodies were never recovered. Since then, the woman’s apparition has been seen on one of the staircases in the Sanford House, leading to her being deemed “The Lady In Black.” The man, meanwhile, supposedly haunts the rented out apartments and watches television with the tenants. Tenants have reported indentations on couches and unexplainable channel changes.
(Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton NC) The tallest brick lighthouse in North America has quite the haunted history. The most well-known ghost story is that of the Carroll A. Deering ship known as the Ghost Ship that washed ashore in 1921 void of passengers or equipment. Oddly, the only items found on board were food laid out as though for a meal. There’s also the legend of the ghost cat, a large black and white cat visitors have seen in and around the lighthouse for more than 100 years. Talk about living nine lives!
(Alexander Michael’s, Charlotte NC) Alexander Michael’s has been a trusted tavern in Charlotte for over three decades and is frequently said to be haunted. Details on the exact nature of the disturbance are few and far between, but it seems that the apparition that is sometimes spotted is that of an unnamed patron. Supposedly, the ghost sits by himself in a booth and doesn’t disturb the other customers in the tavern.
(The Devil’s Tramping Ground, Bear Creek NC) Just south of Siler City is a barren circle about 40 feet in diameter in the pine woods of Chatham County known as the Devil’s Tramping Ground. Folklore says the spot is a place where the devil himself paces in a circle each night to ponder what havoc he can wreak. Seemingly going against the law of science, not a single living thing will grow in the circle – not a tree, flower, weed or blade of grass will sprout. Even vegetation that’s transplanted there will wither and die. Thrill-seekers have traveled to the circle at night and reported that if you place an item in the circle, it will have vanished by the following morning.
(Beaver Lake, Asheville NC) With a past marred by apparent suicides and drownings, Beaver Lake has developed a distinct reputation for paranormal activity. One of the ghostly residents is said to be a young man who drowned in the lake in the 1970s, with sightings of him on the shore being reported. A female apparition has also been spotted looking into the water. It is believed that she is one of the many individuals that committed suicide and she spends her time sitting and contemplating what she did in her past life.
Coming up… ghosts aren’t restricted to haunt four-walled structures like houses and buildings or pinpoint locations where they can’t move about. People die in all sorts of places, so it would make sense that ghosts would also be found in those locations – for example: roads, bridges, even a river. And in these, the ghosts sometimes travel the roads, bridges, and even the river. Some of North Carolina’s paranormal paths when Weird Darkness returns!
STORY: NORTH CAROLINA’S PARANORMAL PATHS=====
North Carolina is full of haunted history. But ghosts aren’t strictly limited to ‘haunted houses’ or estates. Some haunt the places they died, like an alley, a highway, or a bridge. Some aren’t ghosts, but possibly demon dogs straight from Hell. Either way, North Carolina’s spirits roam all around the state. Looking for a fright? Travel some of these paranormal paths of the Tar Heel State… if you have the nerve.
(Church Street, Asheville NC) According to local lore, Church Street was built at the expense of the resting spirits who were buried in the church graveyard it now covers. A nun and a woman dressed in period clothing are among the spirits who have been spotted.
(Heartbeat Bridge, Whiteville NC) Several years ago, an innocent young girl was murdered here. In a gruesome turn of events, her heart was said to have been cut from her body and thrown off the bridge by her killer. Today, the heartbeat persists. Even those not easily spooked find much discomfort here. As you approach the bridge, you’ll begin to hear the sound of a beating heart in your ears. You might think it is just your own, until the sound becomes excruciatingly loud. Several sources claim they were forced to leave the bridge due to the torment of sound.
(Gravity Hill, Richfield NC) While some non-believers say Gravity Hill is simply an illusion, others adamantly defend the legend and the tragic story of Gravity Hill. It’s said that one night on Richfield Road, a young mother and her child were driving and her car stalled. As she got out and attempted to push the car up the hill, a truck came along, hit, and instantly killed both mother and child. Today, put your car in neutral at the bottom, and you will be pushed up the hill. Also, if you put baby powder on your hood, you will see handprints when you get to the top.
(Craven Street Bridge, Asheville NC) Haunted by a naked boy’s apparition, Craven Street Bridge is the location where the child attempted to jump from for a swim in the river below. Unfortunately, the child’s earnest intentions led to his drowning; he has been haunting the location ever since.
(Helen’s Bridge, Asheville NC) Located at Beaucatcher Mountain in Asheville, Helen’s Bridge is rooted in legend and unexplainable occurrences. After her daughter died in a fire, the inconsolable and grief-stricken Helen hung herself from the bridge. She is said to be seen in a long gown asking the whereabouts of her child. The strangest part is that there are multiple reports of car trouble at the bridge. Maybe it’s a battery dying on the bridge, or days after….people who have experienced Helen’s bridge have found looming car issues during or soon after their visit. It’s not just Helen, but strange and dark apparitions cited around the area. The high volume of paranormal activity around this bridge fuels much of the legend. People have described seeing monster-like figures lurking behind the dense brush. Even slaps, punches, and scratches have been reported.
(The Caroleen Broad River Bridge, Ellenboro NC) The Caroleen Broad River Bridge is said to have been the spot of numerous deaths and suicides over the years. Locals say that if you drive across the bridge on a rainy night, you may see the spirits of two elderly sisters that were killed in an accident that sent their car over the bridge. Reports vary, but many say that if you stop and offer them a ride, they will accept and get into your car. The moment you turn your head, however, they will be gone.
(Chicken Alley, Asheville NC) Chicken Alley is a small, narrow alley in downtown Asheville. But late at night, you might see a strange, dark apparition lurking there. The ghost is said to be Dr. Jamie Smith, a physician in Asheville, who was stabbed in the heart after accidentally walking into a bar brawl at Broadway’s Tavern. Spotted for over 100 years, the doctor stays true to his style. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, with a long, black coat. You can even hear the tip of his cane tapping against the street.
(The Corner of Merrimon and Broadway in Asheville NC) At the corner of Merrimon and Broadway Avenues in Asheville was the site of frequent town hangings during the 19th century. In 1835, after allegedly stealing a horse, James Sneed and James Henry were convicted and hanged at this very spot. The two men proclaimed their combined innocence until their deaths at the hands of the townsfolk. As such, there have been reports of the sounds of galloping hooves, wagon wheels, and opening gallows doors.
(The Demon Dog of Valle Crucis) All ghosts aside, Valle Crucis is home to something extra terrifying. A ‘demon dog’ that chases after your car and keeps up no matter how fast you drive. Legend says if you drive past St. John’s Episcopal Church, located high up in Valle Crucis, the dog will leap from behind a gravestone and chase your car. People have reported seeing the demon dog, and in demon dog fashion, it has large glowing eyes and yellow teeth.
(Waneta Street, Asheville NC) As the story goes, two women were murdered in cold blood on Waneta Street during the 1920s. Both women were savagely beaten to death, and in a case of injustice, the case was never solved. Even today, people claim to occasionally see the killer’s apparition walking up and down the street while holding a blunt object.
(Lydia’s Bridge,, Jamestown NC) People traveling between Jamestown and Greensboro on U.S. Highway 70A said they’ve encountered the ghost of Lydia, a hitchhiker. If she is picked up, she gets into the car and vanishes before she reaches the requested destination. Various versions of the Lydia legend have been passed along over the years, and there are apparently eleven different versions of the story that are set in North Carolina. It is common for folks to go ghost hunting for Lydia near the bridge. In the book, Looking for Lydia, historians Michael Renegar and Amy Greer cite the 1923 death of Annie C. Johnson as the real life “Lydia,” who died after a car flipped in 1920.
(Pond Road, Asheville NC) Pond Road is well known by Asheville residents as the spot where a ghost dog frequently strolls. He is said to hang around where the road crosses over a quarry. Before seeing the dog, witnesses say they hear a distinct howl before it eventually crosses the street. Supposedly, the ghost dog breaks into a run, leaping over the road’s barrier and disappearing into the night.
(Tar River) Obviously not a road, but it is a method of travel so I thought I’d include it here. Stretching for over 200 miles in northeast North Carolina, the Tar River has long been a source for local fireside tales. Its name comes from Revolutionary War times, as it was frequently used by tar-laden barges heading out to sea. Interestingly, the main tale stems from the Revolutionary War, as well. According to locals, a patriot was drowned in the river by British Soldiers. Right before he was killed, he screamed that if he was killer, a banshee would haunt them for as long as they should live. After the patriot was killed, the banshee appeared and swiftly killed the soldiers. According to the tale, however, the banshee has never left the river- instead traveling up and down it for eternity.
(Payne Road) If you grew up near the Rural Hall area, from childhood you’ve heard the legend of Payne Road. Once you turn 16, or have older friends to drive, you even decide to test the infamous legend and take a night drive to see just how scary the area is. I’ve done the drive, and I will tell you, it’s not for the faint. The road is long, dark, and in the middle of the country. Decayed buildings, winding curves, and a certain presence in the air will stay with you long after you’ve put the car in park, safely at home. Some even have their own ghostly encounters on the road, while others swear to never drive down it again. Due to construction and rerouting, Payne Road is indeed creepy, but Edwards Road is actually the real Payne Road. While everyone can agree this place is terrifying, the three different stories tied to the haunting – and what could be doing haunting in the area – remain in debate. There are three main legends; we’ll start with the first and most well known. Edward Payne owned a very large slave plantation on the land. After finding out his daughter was impregnated by one of the slaves, he revolted in a rogue rage. Payne murdered the slave and descended into what some sources claim as ‘devil worship.’ But it wasn’t just one of his daughters that had relationships with the slaves – there was another. After finding out this news, Payne completely lost it. He not only murdered the slave, but his entire family. But he didn’t stop there; Payne set fire to the plantation, killing the rest of the slaves on the land. Stories of Devil worship are also tied to this legend. It remains the most heard in regards to the road. The second legend is tied to the actual Payne Road instead of the land inhabited around the area. A young man was driving late at night, and didn’t quite make one of the sharp curves on the road, crashing his car next to the spot where a chapel once stood (and apparently, where Edward Payne once worshipped the Devil). As his car caught fire and he died a slow, painful death, bystanders gathered around watching, doing absolutely nothing to help the man. It is said that if you drive down the road late at night and pass that particular curve, you will see the headlights of an old Ford following you. In typical ghostly fashion, the lights will suddenly vanish without a trace. The third and final legend is another commonly heard story, but also the most time-conflicting one. In the 1800s, a man lived in the farmhouse on the land with his family. After multiple disagreements and terrible fights with his wife, he decided their children were the root of their problems. An explosive fight led to devastating consequences. The man gagged his wife and bound her to a chair in their living room. One by one, he had each of their children come downstairs and say goodnight to their mommy. Sadly, it was their last time, as he took each child upstairs and slit their throat after. The wife, fully aware of the massacre happening in front of her eyes, found a way to work herself free from the constraints of the rope. While making her escape, the man took their infant child to the well, as he decided that would be the best way to kill such a small baby. As he stood at the well, dangling the child over, the wife attacked her husband from behind and grabbed the baby from his grip. In a frenzy, she ran as fast as she could, but he caught her at the bridge, lopping off her head with his knife, then throwing the baby into the well. Finally, the man committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree. Legend says if you go to the road today and whistle ‘Dixie,’ the woman’s ghost will appear, holding her head, and approaching your car. People have also reported hearing the cries of a baby coming from the old well.
Thanks for listening (and be sure to stick around for the bloopers at the end)! If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at email@example.com. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find information on any of the sponsors you heard about during the show, find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, sign up for the email newsletter, find other podcasts that I host including “Church of the Undead”, visit the store for Weird Darkness merchandise, and more. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
All stories on Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find links to the stories or the authors in the show notes.
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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… Psalm 25:4-5 = “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
And a final thought… “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.