Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things that go Bump in the Night (guest post!)

We may think that the notion of a haunted house is just a silly fabrication of the over-imaginative kind, but there are plenty of people who insist that they have had paranormal experiences in the same buildings that others have had. Going to see for yourself is a sure thrill and we’ve picked a couple of locations that will, word has it, test your poker face to the max.
Sanatoriums are top candidates for ghostly sightings and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville Kentucky is a prime example. This famous former tuberculosis hospital features ghostly nurses, shadows and deathly voices emanating from the attic, having treated thousands of patients during the ‘white plague’ of the 1920’s. By far the scariest spot in the sanatorium is the Body Chute, a tunnel down which deceased TB patients were sent to be collected by hearses at the bottom of the hill. All areas of the sanatorium is accessible to the public via private tours, but tour places are extremely limited and are often fully booked for months in advance. Sleepovers are recommended for the ardent thrill seekers.
For a floaty experience ghost hunters should definitely visit the HMS Queen Mary on Long Beach, an enormous ship larger than the Titanic that was initially an ocean liner before becoming a military transport vessel during WWII, before again becoming an ocean liner. With such a wide repertoire and 49 reported on-board deaths it is no surprise that paranormal activity on the ship is regularly documented, with apparently at least 150 known spirits lurking on the ship.
The hottest spot for ghost hunters is the engine room located 50 feet below water, complete with an 18 year old crewman who died in 1966 making a regular appearance. The two onboard swimming pools also sport some really strange activity ranging from unexplained wet footprints and splashing, to a 13 year old girl, Jackie. The ship has a fully-featured entertainment centre open to the public with guest rooms, Art Deco salons, restaurants and shops, but it is only the well-informed that know where to look.
Often called the ‘haunted house inside a prison’, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia Pennsylvania has been certified as ‘haunted’ by SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters. Having made two trips to the prison, Ghost Hunters came away utterly convinced. The prison was built in 1829 and held 1,700 prisoners at its peak, even though it was designed to hold only 250 prisoners and is most famous for hosting Al Capone, the casino owning mobster.
As early as the 1940’s employees as well as prisoners started reporting unusual activity, with Cellblock 4, 6 and 12 the most notorious. However it is the catwalk featured on Ghost Hunters that is the hotbed of activity. As a historical site the prison is open to the public during the day for unguided or guided visits, however access to the prison at night can be arranged if booked well in advance in a group of at least 20.
Until we’ve seen for ourselves we’ll have to remain skeptical, but there are too many documented reports at these sites that simply cannot be ignored - so for now we’ll wait to hear from you!