Ghosts. Some people believe in them, some do not. The television show "Ghost Adventures" is great for either of those people. The show started from a documentary that Zak Bagans and Nick Groff did in college, and it has grown ever since. Nick has recently left the team, but Zak, along with Aaron Goodwin, continue to go to different locations all around the world to investigate haunted areas. This is a list of 15 of the locations they've been to that I would love to visit.
1. Edinburgh Vaults, Edinburgh, Scotland (Season 1, Episode 7)
As Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh is no stranger to hauntings. The city suffered through Roman occupation and Viking raids until 1035 when Duncan I became the first king of Scotland. The South Bridge was fundamentally flawed, but endeavored to span the Cowgate Ravine and connect Old Town Edinburgh with the newer section of the city and commenced building in 1785. The fatal flaw of the bridge threatened the lives and livelihoods of Scottish citizens living near it, the rain driving through the cracks in the poorly constructed viaduct and carrying the city's blood, water, waste, and disease to the lowest levels, where the poor battled to survive. During the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1847, thousands of Irish immigrated to Scotland to survive, where they were forced into the vaults under the bridge and as many as 10 people were living in a single room. The area quickly became Edinburgh's red light district. The vaults were closed off for good during the late 19th century in an effort to drive out the seedy activity from under Edinburgh's main thoroughfare. For decades they sat empty and faded into obscurity.
The obscurity ended in 1988 when a local man crawled through a narrow passageway in one of his buildings and rediscovered the rooms underneath the bridge. Since then, the vaults have been opened to the public and the reports of ghosts have poured in. Cold gusts of air, voices, seeing and sensing intangible presences, a child named "Jack," and a menacing presence named "Mr. Boots" are said to haunt the place, as well as the infamous serial killers William Burke and William Hare who lurked in the vaults and killed some of their 17 victims. Dozens of other deaths attributed to disease and crime cause the Edinburgh Vaults to remain one of the world's most haunted places.
2. Magnolia Plantation, Natchitoches, Louisiana (Season 2, Episode 4)
Standing as a grand reminder of pre-Civil War prosperity, every building on the grounds still stand as they did during the 1800s. As beautiful as the grounds are, it has a dark past. The slaves at Magnolia used to use voodoo to cast evil wishes on their oppressive masters. The enslaved blacksmiths were tasked with forming metal Christian crosses that marked the Lecomte family graves which also included West African voodoo symbols hidden within the design. Federal soldiers used Magnolia's main house as a stronghold during the Civil War. In 1897, the main house was rebuilt as an exact replica of the original plantation home that had been greatly damaged during the Civil War. The wood used during the construction was taken from former slave quarters and, many believe, hold the memories and experiences of the oppressed people that lived there.
Motion detectors on the grounds are often triggered without cause, ghostly apparitions are seen in the main house along with the sounds of disembodied voices, and the large evidence of dark voodoo combined with the plantation's sordid history make it one of the most haunted places in the Southern United States.
3. Moon River Brewing Company, Savannah, Georgia (Season 2, Episode 7)
I've actually had the opportunity to see this location in person. My best friend and I actually ate at the restaurant, where the food is absolutely delicious, followed by a short tour of the second floor and a tale of the building's ghosts. I had seen it on "Ghost Adventures" and definitely had to check this place out before leaving Savannah. The Brewery started pouring pints in 1999, but prior to becoming a brewing company, the building was the City Hotel, originally built in 1821. The hotel survived Sherman's March during the Civil War and sat unused until the 1990s when it was renovated into Moon River Brewing Company. There have been incidents of violence at the building when it was a hotel, one in 1832 when a feud broke out between an undesirable local named James Stark and the city physician, Dr. Phillip Minus, in which Stark was killed, and another in November 1860 when a Mr. James Sinclair almost met his death at the hotel. Sinclair was from New York City, and this was during the Civil War, so you can imagine why it was that he was almost killed.
Since opening the Brewery, the staff and customers have encountered unexplained, and sometimes violent, occurrences, including bottles being thrown by unseen forces and people being touched, pushed, and slapped by invisible spirits. One prominently ghostly figure is "Toby," who lurks in the bar's billiard room where he has been known to push patrons and staff.
4. Gettysburg, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Season 4, Episode 1)
Quite possibly my favorite episode of "Ghost Adventures" to date, the investigation takes place at 3 different locations of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Part one is at the Soldiers National Museum, a former American Civil War-era orphanage where it is claimed that the children were abused by a matron. The second part takes place at the Jennie Wade house, where Jennie Wade (the only casualty in town) was hit by a stray Confederate bullet. Part three takes place at the Engine House, where the first battle of Gettysburg occurred. Gettysburg is probably the most famous battle of the Civil War and definitely is on my list of places to see, if not for the haunted history then for the American history.
5. Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado (Season 4, Episode 5)
The Stanley Hotel is one of the most haunted, if not the most haunted, hotel in the history of the United States. It's the inspiration for Stephen King's novel, "The Shining," and haunted events have been recorded at the hotel as far back as 1911 when Ms. Elizabeth Wilson, a housekeeper, was electrocuted during a lightning storm. Although she wasn't killed, the room where it happened, room 217, has become a hotbed for paranormal activity.
6. Goldfield Hotel, Goldfield, Nevada (Season 4, Episode 16; Season 7, Episode 16)
Goldfield, Nevada is the site of the historic and reportedly very haunted Goldfield Hotel. The town was born in 1902 when gold was discovered, quickly becoming the largest city in Nevada as millions of dollars of ore was extracted from the area's mines. In addition to numerous saloons, the city also had 3 newspapers, 5 banks, a mining stock exchange, and a population of nearly 35,000. 8 years after its founding, the volume of ore began to decrease and many residents moved on to more prosperous claims. A devastating fire wiped out 27 blocks of homes and businesses in 1923, and the population now is less than 500.
In 1908, the Goldfield Hotel was opened amidst an array of fanfare. It was built on the site of the former Nevada Hotel, which burned in the fire of 1905. Shortly after it was built, the hotel was sold to mining mangate, George Wingfield, and hotel entrepreneur, Casey McDannell. Ever since, the hotel has changed hands numerous times, each new owner promising to restore and reopen the old property. In 1985, the plans looked like they would come through, but the company went bankrupt when the restoration was 85% completed. Several ghosts haunt the place, including a woman named Elizabeth who was a prostitute that George Wingfield visited frequently. She turned up pregnant, claiming the child was Wingfield's, who subsequently paid to keep her quiet. When she could no longer hide the pregnancy, Wingfield was said to have lured her into room 109 where he chained her to the radiator until the child could be born. Some say she died in childbirth. Others claim that Wingfield murdered her after the child was born, then proceeding to throw the baby into an old mining shaft. The legend asserts that Elizabeth died in the 1930s and that the story is confusing Wingfield with Newton Crumley who purchased the property in 1923, but I don't think we'll ever know the true story.
7. Salem Witch House/Lyceum Restaurant, Salem Massachusetts (Season 4, Episode 19)
Salem, Massachusetts. Need I say more? You've all heard the stories of the infamous Witch Trials. The Salem Witch House was once the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin and is the only building still standing with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials. The Lyceum Restaurant was built on the former site of an apple orchard owned by Bridget Bishop, the first person executed for witchcraft during the trials, and who is believed to haunt the restaurant.
8. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California (Season 5, Episode 4)
This house has intrigued me ever since I saw this episode for the first time. The house belonged to Sarah Winchester in 1884, where she started an intricate building design that lasted for over 38 years of mazes of hallways, staircases leading to nowhere, and trap doors. The heiress of the Winchester rifle company was informed by a fortune teller that the spirits of those killed by the rifles would kill her as soon as the house was finished being built. Honestly, this would be a fairly short season, but I'd like to see "American Horror Story" do something with this, especially because it's believed that some of these doorways and stairways are portals to Hell. Also, the investigation was never completed, ending at 1 in the morning when Zak felt strange and found out that, at that exact time, his grandmother had died in her home in Detroit, Michigan.
9. Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts (Season 5, Episode 5)
Well, the name Lizzie Borden should be enough to say why I want to see this place, but I'll give you a little insight into the story anyway. In 1892, Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in their home. Although she was acquitted of the crime, her name is still synonymous with the murders that still remain unsolved. Now a bed and breakfast, you can sleep in the master bedroom that belonged to the deceased couple or in the room where Lizzie's stepmother, Abby, was found dead. And it's not unusual for the guests to have an early checkout. I mean, the proprietor herself has experienced some strange happenings in the house in the 9 years that she's owned it.
10. Old Charleston Jail, Charleston, South Carolina (Season 5, Episode 10)
Finding this episode and seeing the date on it kind of threw me for a loop. At the time this episode of "Ghost Adventures" was filmed, I was going to school at the College of Charleston and was home for Christmas Break, just missing Zak, Nick, and Aaron's investigation. I walked past this place many times in the next months after the episode, doing a little light investigation of my own (i.e. taking pictures of the outside).
The Jail was built in 1802 and housed some of the region's most infamous criminals, including rebellious slaves, 19th century pirates, and one Lavinia Fisher, America's first female serial killer. Thousands died within the structure's imposing walls, and the spirits still haunt the old building today. Now owned by the American College of the Building Arts, the jail is generally off-limits to the public, but you can take the Haunted Jail Tour offered by Bulldog Tours and get every ounce of its spooky history. Also, Lavinia Fisher still hangs out there, and she was the one who screamed from the gallows, "If any of you has a message for the devil, tell me now--for I will be seeing him in a moment." Fun.
11. The Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada (Season 6, Episode 7)
Notorious for its connection to the Mafia, the Riviera Hotel and Casino is believed to have been the site of numerous mob-related murders. Hotel workers routinely hear voices and feel the presence of the no-longer-living when cleaning the top floor suites. The hotel is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Frank Sinatra, still entertaining guests in his old penthouse suite. I mean, what music fan wouldn't want to talk to Frank Sinatra?
12. Alcatraz, San Francisco, California (Season 8, Episode 8)
One of the most historic, infamous, and notoriously haunted prisons in the world, the guys visited Alcatraz to investigate back in season 8. The first prisoners to occupy Alcatraz were military prisoners in the late 1850s. The US Army used the island until 1933 when the Federal Government decided to open a maximum-security, minimum-privilege penitentiary to deal with the most incorrigible inmates. Designed to break rebellious prisoners by putting them in a structured, monotonous routine until their release, Alcatraz was home to famous criminals such as Al Capone, George "Machine-Gun" Kelly, Alvin Karpis, and Arthur "Doc" Barker.
The haunted history behind the walls of Alcatraz include the utility corridor (where inmates Coy, Cretzer, and Hubbard were plummeted with bullets after a failed prison escape), Cell 14D (one of the 'hole' cells believed to be very active with spirits, including a creature with glowing eyes), Cell Blocks A, B, and C (crying and moaning in A and B; a disruptive spirit named Butcher in Cell Block C), and the ghost of Al Capone himself, who died from untreated syphilis.
13. The Oman House, Los Angeles, California (Season 9, Episode 1)
The Oman House, located at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, is a mansion said to be riddled with paranormal activity that is believed to be directly linked to the Manson Murders of 1969. Having always been interested in the workings of Charles Manson's mind, you can probably tell why I want to visit this place. (Interested in the sense that I want to know why he did what he did, just to clarify.)
14. The Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana (Season 9, Episode 2)
The Myrtles Plantation was built in 1796, and that was when the history of its hauntings began. The plantation has been the site of at least 10 murders, the last of which took place in 1927. Honestly, I just wanted to visit the place because it's beautiful and in Louisiana, but...Well, I'm always one for a good ghost story.
15. Sorrel-Weed House/Gribble House, Savannah, Georgia (Season 9, Episode 10)
Considered one of the most haunted locations in the world, the Sorrel-Weed House is located at 6 West Harris Street in Savannah, Georgia. A beautiful Greek Revival house tucked into a leafy green setting, this house has quite a bit of haunted history tucked inside its walls. It's a definite stop on just about any ghost tour you would take in Savannah, and it's history of grisly deaths are sure to curdle your blood. Or make you sad. I mean, the first death in the place was a young woman who died five years into her marriage. The second one is a story of infidelity between Francis Sorrel and one of his servants, a young girl named Molly. The second death is that of Sorrel's wife, Matilda; the third death is Molly.
The Gribble House is the place of a horrific axe murder that incited citywide fear and speculation in 1909, a triple murder that led to many accusations during the investigations. The house has since been torn down and a garage has taken its place, but paranormal activity still is reported at the location to this day.