I started writing about haunted places in the United States the other day. It’s funny how when you start thinking about ghosts, your certainty that they are all around you just grows and grows. And manifests itself everywhere. Late at night, the towel hanging on the back of the door can be an otherworldly creature or the footsteps from upstairs aren’t your neighbors, but a foe coming to haunt you. Just late at night. You know you agree. Join in the ghostly hysteria and let’s visit some more of the most haunted places in the United States:
Lincoln Theater. Decatur, Illinois. Old theaters like the Lincoln are rife with ghosts and ghost stories. The theater first opened in 1916 and was constructed on the site of an old hotel that burned down in 1915. Some say that the ghosts of the fire’s two victims still haunt the theater today. It is said that in the old theater, which is closed most of the time except for special events, you can hear foot steps and feel icy chills when nothing is near you. Ghostly presences at this theater have been captured both on camera and on film.
1921 First Avenue. The Kells Building. Seattle, Washington. The Kells Building in Seattle used to house one of the most notorious mortuaries at the turn of the 21st century, Butterworth & Sons Mortuary. Because of a number of epidemics that swept the Seattle during early decades of this century, city officials offered $50--a huge sum of money at the time--for dead bodies. Butterworth offered to cremate bodies if people would bring them to him--taking $25 of their pot and giving them the other half. Needless to say, the bodies of people who had died from unnatural causes made up a huge portion of his business.
Today, Kells Irish Pub does a good business in the bottom of the building, but nothing can stay open in the upper floors. Several restaurants have gone into the space, but have the owners have fled before their leases were up. Some say that a parade of the dead walks through the floor; others say that the murals on the walls begin screaming. Kells tried to open a business on the main floor in spring of this year, but couldn’t get enough contractors to stick around long enough to finish it.
Key West, Florida. Captain Tony’s is a bar that, before its current incarnation, used to be the stomping grounds for the sailors and renegades that used to frequent the sunny city. Pre-bar, Captain Tony’s was supposed to be the site of the island’s morgue and the tree that stands in the middle of the bar was supposed to be the tree on which pirates and criminals were hanged. Writer Ernest Hemingway, too who called island home for thirty years, is supposed to haunt his home, which has been turned into a museum about the novelist. Clicking sounds from his typewriter are often heard and some claim to see the novelist's ghost wandering the grounds. One of the most haunted objects also finds a home on the island’s art and history museum. Robert the Doll, a toy given to painter Gene Otto in the 1900’s, is supposedly possessed by an evil spirit. Otto became terribly afraid of the doll when he was a child, saying it would throw furniture around the room and threaten him. Otto’s parents said they saw the doll moving and neighbors would see it pacing the hall when the Ottos were away.