October 27, 2010 at 11:05 am , by Sara Dayton
I’ve always loved the spooky, ghost-story side of Halloween. Well, that and the chocolate. So this year, while I’m waiting for trick-or-treaters (and not eating their candy), I’ll curl up with Corinne May Botz’s Haunted Houses. Botz spent ten years hunting down ghost stories across America, and her book is filled with eerie photographs of more than eighty haunted locales. Even if you’re not a believer, the accompanying first-person supernatural accounts will send shivers down your spine. Go ahead, read the stories of those who lived through the creaking floors, apparitions, and cries in the night. But be warned: You might just jump out of your skin when that first trick-or-treater rings your doorbell. Get into the Halloween spirit with a few of my favorite stories.
Alice’s Grave, Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Alice was a young girl from a wealthy family who fell in love with a man with a social standing well below her own. After learning of their engagement, her family forbade her to marry him, and she died of malaria soon after. They buried her with only a first name on her grave because she had disgraced them. Now locals claim that you can see her ghost drifting through the cemetary, searching for her lost engagement ring. If you place a ring on her tombstone, she rises up to check whether it is hers. Some have even felt her turning the rings on their fingers, always looking for her own. You can see the path around her grave (pictured at left), worn down by her endless searching.
Farmhouse, Girard, Pennsylvania
For forty-five years, Vee and her family have shared this house with the otherworldly presence of a brother and sister who were murdered here in the 1930s. Vee describes how, one Halloween Eve, she and her husband lay shaking in bed while the sound of a hurricane roared around them. When the noise finally stopped, they got up and turned on the lights to find their room torn apart: books and china strewn everywhere, lamps and statues missing. In the morning, their children told them they hadn’t heard any noise at all during the night.
Old Bermuda Inn, Staten Island, New York
Martha lived in the house that later became Old Bermuda Inn until her husband was killed in the Civil War. When all of her letters and pictures were sent back after his death, Martha died of a broken heart. Legend has it that Martha’s ghost burned a painting of herself that hangs in the restaurant (pictured at left). Now guests see her floating sadly through the inn, and one staff member even claims that Martha once walked right through him.
Pick up a copy of Haunted Houses, out now, for even more creepy stories.