"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

The Elms Hotel

Do you believe in curses? At one time, it may have crossed the minds of those living in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The Elms Hotel and Spa burned down twice. Thankfully, no one was hurt in either fire. But lets start at the beginning.

The Elms didn't become a twinkle in someone's eye until after a local farmer used the healing mineral waters to cure his daughter's incurable tuberculosis in 1880. Word of her miraculous recovery spread about the country and people began to descend on the location in hopes of curing their own ailments. A pastor named John Van Buren Flack and a landowner named Anthony Wyman saw it's business potential, forming Excelsior Springs.

Excelsior Springs Company was created to bring the town pavilions, parks and The Elms Hotel. The hotel opened in 1888 and guests enjoyed the mineral water baths, gardens and luxurious parties and balls. Ten years after it open its doors, the first fire burned the wooden structure to the ground on May 9, 1898. Another ten years went by before the second Elms Hotel was completed. It reopened its doors on July 31, 1909. However, guests were only allowed to enjoy it for a little over a year before burned down again. Again there were no fatalities.

Third time was a charm for The Elms. The structure seen today was completed and opened on September 7, 1912. It continued to advertise and sell it's healing waters, experiencing success in the 1920s. Was even nearly converted into a sanitarium. All good things come to an end at some point. The hotel may have aided in the good health of its guests but couldn't survive the Great Depression. It filed for bankruptcy in 1931. New owners were able to revive it, attracting a variety of famous guests including Harry S Truman, Jack Dempsey and well known criminals such as Bugsy Moran and Al Capone.

The Elms saw many changes in ownership over the decades. Even experienced a second bankruptcy and a couple of renovations but managed to keep it's doors open to guests. So why is The Elms be labeled haunted?

Many believe one of the spirits tied to the hotel was from it's speakeasy days during Prohibition. This particular ghost hangs out in the basement, enjoying the lap pool. This area of the hotel use to host all-night gambling events and a popular hiding place for liquor brought by gangsters. Another spirit is that of a woman, searching for her child. They say she has been known to pull a person's hair and throw objects.

The Elms Hotel and Spa
Only in Your State

Remembering 9/11

9 11 photo 911neverforget.jpg

The White Lady of Frio River

There is a lot of fear that surrounds ghosts, particularly those who had a violent life. It's always good to come across one who is good and gentle in nature. The life of Maria Juarez may have ended tragically but she spends her afterlife as a protector of children in Uvalde County, Texas.

All Maria wanted was to marry and start a family of her own. She was very close to her older sister. Even cared for her children. However, her constant presence in her sister's life came with a price. Her sister's husband Gregorio fell in love with Maria. She being the good honest person that she was refused him. Unfortunately, he did not want to take no for an answer.

The day came that Maria almost received her wish. She met a man name Anselmo. They fell in love and were about to marry. Upon learning of this news, Gregorio became enraged. If he couldn't have her, he wasn't going to let anyone else either. Maria went to meet Anselmo but came face-to-face with Gregorio instead. He pulled out a pistol and shot her in the heart.

He fled but was later captured. He confessed to the murder and spent many years in prison. Maria was buried in an unmarked grave wearing her wedding dress.

Many who visit the Frio River have seen a white mist in the shape of a woman. It is believed to be that of Maria. She's also known to be a guardian of sorts for children at night. Even covers them with blankets when it's cold.


Wide Open Country

Texas Escapes

New London Ledge Lighthouse

New London Ledge Lighthouse was built in 1909 on top of a concrete pier. This Groton, Connecticut lighthouse has been tended to by keepers until 1939 when the U.S. Coast Guard took over. Then, it was converted to automated in 1987. Of course, that is not why it is being mentioned here. It's alleged haunted status began with one lighthouse keeper.

This man's name was supposedly John Randolph. Living in a lighthouse in the 1920s or '30s can be a lonely existence. Randolph's wife found ways to maintain her sanity by flirting with local fishermen and sailors until that wasn't even enough. One day, when he went ashore for supplies, his wife ran off with the Block Island Ferry boat captain and never returned. When Randolph discovered his wife had left him, he slit his throat and fell from the 65 ft tower. His body was never found. A heartbreaking story, right? Unfortunately, there isn't any documentation John Randolph even existed much less killed himself.

However, a spirit named "Ernie" seems to be active at New London Ledge Lighthouse. Reports include doors opening and closing on their own, constant smell of fish, cold spots and items in locked drawers would rearrange themselves, Tools disappear and and reappear. Sheets ripped off their beds. Strange noises and whispers. Sometimes he turns on the foghorn on clear days. Boats and ships set adrift when someone speaks ill of him. "Ernie" would only appear to women and children. This active spirit is also kind enough to wash floors and windows. Who doesn't like a ghost who does windows, right?

In 2014, ownership of the New London Ledge Lighthouse was transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard to the New London Maritime Society. It's in the process of being restored and yes, they do offer tours.


Ledge Light Foundation

Damned Connecticut 

Haunted Lighthouses, Legends and Lore

Los Feliz Mansion

Designed by architect Harry E Weiner, this 1925 Los Angeles mansion was once owned by German silent film director/producer Frederic Zelnik. While Los Feliz Mansion may look like a thing of beauty, it bared witness to a tragedy.

On December 6, 1959, a Dr. Harold Perelson struck his wife Lillian with a ball-peen hammer, leaving her to drown in her own blood. Then proceeded to his teenage daughter Judye's room. He struck her in the head as well but in such a way she wasn't seriously injured. She managed to flee and call for help. Her two siblings were left unharmed. By the time police and an ambulance arrived, Dr Perelson was dead, committing suicide after swallowing pills. Supposedly, he had attempted suicide several times before but was stopped by his wife. The reason behind the murder-suicide is unknown. However, some believe it may have been because of financial troubles.

Since then, the house has changed owners a few times, but no one has really lived in it. Well...until now. Famed celebrity attorney Gloria Allred's daughter Lisa Bloom and husband purchased the house. Perhaps they will learn first hand if Los Feliz Mansion is haunted or not.

Many claim Dr. Perelson's spirit is still roaming the house. Or perhaps, because of the tragedy, many want to believe it's haunted.


Daily Mail Online - Photos of inside the house

Los Angeles Curbed

Los Angeles Times

Gaither Plantation

Gaither Plantation was once a cotton plantation ran by Cecilia and William Hubert Gaither in the 1850s. The property extended several thousand acres but now consists of only a few hundred, including the original home, several outbuildings and a relocated historic church built in 1822.

Cecilia and W. H. had several children. W.H. died in 1890 after the house was deeded to Cecilia. Their daughter Clara died at the age of 9. Her and her father are both buried in a family cemetery on the grounds. Cecilia was forced to sell the plantation in 1921 when she was unable to pay the $28 in taxes she owed. During the Civil War, it’s rumored that Cecilia hid Confederate soldiers at the plantation up a secret stairway so the Yankees wouldn't burn her house. Thankfully, they didn't discover the soldiers, but did take some livestock she had hidden away.

Several spirits are said to roam the property. A female is often seen. Sensitives state her name to be “Ceely”. One paranormal group discovered Cecilia was often called Ceely by her grandchildren. The smell of perfume is found in her room as well. Other apparitions are believed to be connected with Confederate soldiers, a murder committed at the back of the house, and a pastor murdered his wife and himself in the church. A male is also seen in the upstairs area of the house. Footsteps and voices are often heard in empty rooms.

Hanoverville Roadhouse

The main colonial-style structure was built around 1825. The rich soil and abundance of rain in this area of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania made it the perfect spot for a farmhouse. However, perhaps the location made it perfect for a lot of things. In 1837, the building was turned in to a hotel, general store, and post office complete with a stagecoach stop. The business remained the same through the Civil War.

Despite changing hands, the bar always remained open. When the 1930s rolled in, it transformed in to a restaurant, bar and hunting lodge. It gained a reputation as a family establishment during the '40s and '50s. A decade or so later, the building went through some construction. First floor walls were removed. A stage and two bars were built. Canned Heat from Woodstock fame and Tiny Tim both performed at the Roadhouse.

The Hanoverville Roadhouse may be known as a great place to take the family, but is it haunted? Many believe so. Most of the activity centers around a little boy. He is described as being around 8 or 10 years old, dark hair and dark clothing who is often seen weeping. Unfortunately, his identity remains unknown. Witnesses have also heard odd noises, voices and footsteps as well as a poltergeist who loves to pull a prank or two.


Hanoverville Roadhouse

Tevennec Lighthouse

Would you spend two months in a lighthouse with a reputation of driving people insane? One man took on the challenge to raise awareness for Tevennec Lighthouse in hopes of restoring it but after one failed attempt, not sure if he has completed his task much less kept his sanity while doing it.

Tevennec Lighthouse is located in the Raz de Sein strait off the coast of Brittany, France. It was built in 1871 and first lit in 1875. The first keeper Henri Guezennec couldn't handle the long periods of time alone and succumbed to madness. He claimed he heard voices shouting to him to leave. Considering the Tevennec had a dark reputation prior to the lighthouse being built, perhaps he did hear voices.

Tevennec was a place where the dead was taken, well according to folklore that is. It was also the place where the mythical Ankou, the Breton grim reaper, supposedly resided. Such stories were fueled by the fact that if you had a boat with no engine, you would be automatically taken to Tevennec by the waves.

After Guezennec, the most logically step for the one to replace him would be a job for two instead of one. In 1893, two keepers began their one year residence at the lighthouse. One died unexpectedly. Thus, beginning a string of deaths. In 1897, a keeper resided there with his wife. The keeper died and his wife was forced to live with his corpse until they could be collected. The third keeper died in his bed. The fourth lived there with his elderly father. The man found his father dead in his bed with a slit throat from a shaving razor. There are other stories of a child dying there and a keeper who supposedly died from falling on a knife. A priest was even called in to exorcise the property but it may have been a failure. The last residing keeper's wife was in the middle of giving birth when a wall was destroyed by waves.

It was decided in 1910, to make the lighthouse fully automated. Twenty-three keepers have tended to it but no one has lived there since. With a mythical grim reaper allegedly living there and multiple deaths, it's not surprising visitors have had ghost sightings.



Reader Submission: Paranormal Activity at the Pharmacy Museum

As a ghost tour guide in New Orleans, you tend to get repeat questions:

Are we going inside any haunted locations? Unfortunately, no, not unless you have a cool million or so to put down on a historic residence in the French Quarter.

Do you believe in ghosts? The answer to that is yes. I’m fully aware that many guides out there are all-in-out skeptics, but I’m not one of them.

Which leads us to . . .

Will we experience any paranormal activity on our tour tonight? This one’s the kicker, mainly because all guides only wish that we could make ghostly phenomena perform on demand. How much easier would that be for tour companies or paranormal investigators? So much easier.

So that question of whether or not guests will experience ghostly phenomena while on a tour? Highly unlikely—until, that is, it actually happens.


The first time occurred last August. I remember only because it was deathly hot outside and I was, unfortunately, sweating profusely. That night, only two sisters had joined me for our Killers and Thrillers Tour. They were incredibly nice, interested in the paranormal and intrigued by the mystery of the darker side of New Orleans’ past. The Killers and Thrillers Tour was a perfect fit.
As we made our way to our second stop, the sisters asked me about different haunted hotspots in the city—in New Orleans, it’s difficult to come across a place that doesn’t have a ghost story or two lingering around.

But perhaps my favorite story of all entails the Pharmacy Museum. Its original owner Dr. Louis Dufilho was the first licensed pharmacist in the entire country. The first floor of the museum still boasts that 19th century atmosphere, with items like Voodoo Love Potion, medicinal leeches and laudanum (opium) stocked on the oak shelves. But the dark and gory tales of the property didn’t begin until Dufilho’s retirement and the property’s sale to pharmacist Dr. Joseph Dupas.
Photo Provided By Ghost City Tours

Whereas Dufilho was a man greatly loved by the citizens of New Orleans, Dupas was the guy you avoided if you could. In the mid-1800s, he had been arrested for violating health code violations, for bludgeoning a politician in the head with a hammer, and for nearly (or so they say) murdering a young girl with his medicinal work.

As I related the tale, the sisters exchanged looks of disgust. It only got worse, though, because it was rumored that Dupas practiced experiments . . . and he preferred to do so on pregnant women. After hiring local grave cart drivers (who were bringing yellow fever victims out to the cemeteries for interment) to poison pregnant women on the streets with chloroform, they would bring the women to the pharmacy so that Dupas could practice c-sections. Most often, the women died, bleeding out right on the table—in the chances that they survived, it’s said that he murdered them before handing them back to the grave cart drivers.

Dupas suffered from syphilis, and so mentally became more unhinged with every passing year.

It was at this point that I noticed one of the sisters begin to sway. Her skin turned yellowish-green. She asked me to sit down and I quickly helped her to the sidewalk curb. Rifling through my bag, I pulled out an extra water bottle and offered it to her.

It was hot,” I said. The sun was beating down, torching our necks with its unforgiving rays.

And, to be completely honest, that first time I chalked up the near-fainting to a bad case of heatstroke. Even after I asked the sisters if they wanted to reschedule or be refunded, they both assured me that they had been so excited for the tour—they weren’t backing out.

So we continued.

The second time occurred perhaps three weeks later. It was the later tour, the 8PM, and night had already slipped over the sky and blanketed the heavy sun.

The air was cool for once. My group was much larger that night, probably around twenty, and we were camped out directly in front of the Pharmacy Museum. At that time, I liked telling the grisly story right before its front doors so guests could peek inside the glass windows and glance up to the entresol (the French Quarter’s version of a basement) where the experimentations allegedly occurred.

Like always, I jumped into the storytelling, weaving it this way and that like a musical performance reaching its crescendo. Throughout I sporadically glanced at a woman who looked ready to pop at any moment. Her hands continuously went to her pregnant belly and I offered her an I’m sorry smile for the nature of the story.

It wasn’t her I should have been worried about, but the woman beside her. She reached out and clutched her partner’s arm. Immediately I jolted into action. Again I rifled through my bag for an extra water bottle, shoving it into her hand as the group formed a circle around us.

Are you okay?” I asked.

Her nod was weak. “Yeah,” she whispered, “It was just . . . It was weird. One minute I was totally fine, and the next this haze just came right over me. I’m really, really sorry."

I told her not to apologize. I pretended that it all had to do with the hot Louisiana summer, even though it wasn’t that hot anymore and even though her dizziness had struck almost to the same exact sentence that the first girl had weeks prior.

That night, the pregnant woman was the only one to capture any paranormal activity at all on her phone.

I tried not to let either of the instances faze me.


It happened again two weeks later. Same location, same part in the story. Like the two previous times, it was another woman.

This time, when I saw the lady’s hands dip to her knees, I said: “This is going to sound really weird. I know it will. But I think that if you move . . . even just five feet over . . . you will feel dramatically better."

She gave me an odd look, which then forced me to explain why I thought this to be the case, but she took my suggestion anyway. Almost immediately her color cleared and her gaze lost that glossed appearance. The tour continued without any further incidences, and if my guests thought me a little weird for overreacting they didn’t tell me so.


The final instance came perhaps two or three weeks after the near-miss. Up until then, I had convinced myself that they were pure coincidences. The French Quarter, especially if people have been boisterously drinking all day, can take out even the best of us.

On the tour that night, my group was middle-sized. Already I’d gotten the question, Will we see a ghost tonight? Probably not, I told them. What’s the best way to capture paranormal activity? Use your phone or digital camera, I said.

We neared the Pharmacy Museum, took our places. I launched into the tale, immersing myself in the grittiness of our city’s history. The yellow fever epidemics, Dupas’ scheming ways.

I should have known that something would happen—the air felt electric that night. As I spoke, the Irish girl beside me went down. With reflexes I did not know I even had, myself and her friend caught her by the arms.

We caught her, just barely, before she would have gone smashing to the concrete. To say that my heart was beating fast would be an understatement—how could this keep happening?

Wearily, the girl glanced up at us. My fingers were posed over my cell to call 911.

The first words out of her mouth were: “Am I in Dublin?"

My first words were: “No, but I imagine right now that you wish you were."

After explaining to her what had happened, as she remembered nothing at all, the girl turned to her three friends with a laugh. (It’s got to be said that I was not laughing at all). “Guys,” she exclaimed, “How about the fact that I said right before this tour that I didn’t believe in ghosts."

Her friend giggled. “You did say you wanted to be shown that ghosts exist."

While they laughed, I pretty much suffered a mini-panic attack. I ushered the girl a few feet over, just like I had before, and the yellow cast of her skin cleared. She drank heartily from my extra water bottle and discussed how it was so weird that that had happened to her.

It was weird. The first two times could have been chalked up to coincidences, but three or four times? No. Something paranormal was happening. I glanced up at the three-story townhouse. Guests who visit the museum often experience a disorientating scent (like formaldehyde) while ascending the staircase. Ghostly activity occurs on almost a daily basis, with security cameras picking up shadowy figures and museum artifacts being moved by unseen forces.

Had Dupas somehow decided to show me that he held the power? I didn’t question it. After that instance, I brought my tour groups across the street instead. Nothing like that has ever happened again to me, and if my groups have asked why other companies stand by the front doors but that we don’t . . . Well, I explain to them what happened.

I explained that Dupas’ penchant for women and making them feel week did not stop with his death, but has continued for the last century and a half.

Usually, they don’t have much to say after that. Neither do I.

About Maria Pinheiro

Maria first came to New Orleans to attend Loyola University, only to quickly realize that the Crescent City's weirdness matched her own. Since then, she's left only to visit her hometown in the Northeast and to attend graduate school across the pond in England. She's been a tour guide in a medieval townhouse, a Viking museum, and, most recently, a guide for Ghost City Tours. Through working as a tour guide for Ghost City, Maria was offered her current position of Media and Public Relations Director. Her role for the company comprises her favorite topics: writing and history. If you’re looking to talk murder, mystery and scandal in Pre-20th century America or Medieval Europe, she’s your girl! When not working, Maria can generally be found bringing her two black labs on adventures.

For more information on Ghost City Tours, visit their website at

Ghost Hollow

An Elm tree once stood along the Cimarron River in Ripley, Oklahoma believed to be cursed. In the 1800s, this tree served as the ideal spot for hangings. Legend goes in 1887 an innocent man was strung up on that Elm. The next day, all the bark mysteriously fell off of it. When the light of the moon shined on this bare tree, it glowed an eerie white color. Some say you could even see a body hanging from it.

Another story states, three horse thieves were mysteriously hung from the tree, but was not the first death this tree has seen. Supposedly, an "Indian princess" on the site of the tree. Her crime? Falling in love with a white man. She was 17 and wanted to run away to marry him but her father intervened. He attempted to shoot her suitor but instead killed his daughter. Ever since then, the tree has been cursed, demanding a life every 17 years. Other deaths associated with the tree includes a gambler who was caught cheating, two bodies were found there in the early 1900s and a deadly car wreck in 1939.

The Elm remained standing for many years but has since fell down or destroyed (depending on who you ask). We'll never know if it's alleged "glowing" was due to the natural occurrence of the moonlight hitting a bare tree or something more paranormal. However, visitors still claim to get a "creepy" feeling and hear an eerie moaning sound at Ghost Hollow.



Seeks Ghosts - Ghost Hollow's Curse

Goose River Bridge

Looking for a good drink? You may give Goose River Bridge a try. Now, I'm sure you're asking yourself "Why go to a bridge for a beer?". A very hospitable ghost has been known to offer mugs of ale to visitors.

Goose River Bridge is located in what is now known as Rockport, Maine. During the American Revolution, a man named William Richardson played his part in aiding an American privateer who stole a British ship by guiding him to safety and away from the British. Feeling proud of playing his part in winning the war, Richardson decided to throw the biggest party in 1783.

He drank heavily throughout the night and made certain everyone else did as well. Richardson made the rounds, making sure everyone's glass was always filled. Sometime during the night, he wandered off from the party and continued to entertain the good people of Goose River with his singing and dancing. It would be a mistake he would not live to regret. The road led to the bridge where he came across three horsemen.

It was his misfortune that these men weren't allies but Tories or British sympathizers. They beat Richardson, hitting him with the butt of a rifle and rode over him as they left him to die.

Ever since, people visiting the Goose River Bridge have been met by "The Pitcher Man" as he is known as. Pitchers of ale appear in open car windows before disappearing. The bridge has since been replaced but he remains perhaps looking for someone to share a drink with.


Haunted Places - Pitcher Man - Goose River Bridge

Prairie Ghosts - The Goose River Bridge

Suicide Bridge

Many of you know of the Aokigahara Forest in Japan as the location to take their lives. Here in the United States, we have The Colorado Street Bridge a.k.a. The Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, California. Since being built in 1913, over 150 people have relinquished their lives from this structure. The bridge spans 1,486 feet over the Arroyo Seco and sits on the original Route 66. It's known for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, light standards, artistic supports and railings.

A suicide barrier was added to reduce the number of suicides. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California of 1989, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic but reopened in 1993 after a substantial retrofit. The Suicide Bridge was thrown in to the spotlight thanks to film, music, and TV. It's first onscreen appearance was in Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp and was later used in Alias, Seabiscuit, NCIS and The Mentalist. A monument with so much history makes one wonder, why does it attract the attention of the depressed and desperate?

Six years after the construction the first suicide took place on November 16, 1919. However, the majority of suicides taken place on The Colorado Street Bridge was during the Depression between 1919 and 1937. Seventy-nine people leaped to their deaths in the 1930s and more occurred over the years as recently a couple of weeks ago. A 25-year-old Covina man jumped on April 17, and a 49-year-old Altadena woman dove to her death on April 21. Police continue to respond to impending suicides each month. Is the bridge curse? Some believe so.

Legend has it that the first death to occur at the bridge was not a suicide, but an accident when a construction worker fell into wet concrete and his co-workers weren’t able to reclaim his body from the thick mass. It’s believed by many his spirit continues to haunt the bridge, luring others to their deaths. They say whenever he is present the street lights turn blue. Another legend involves a mother and child. A mother intended to kill both herself and her infant daughter. When she threw her over the side, tree branches slowed her fall. She landed relatively unharmed. Her mother was not so lucky. Her spirit is believed to haunt the bridge, searching for her child. With over 150 deaths occurring at the Colorado Street Bridge, they may not be alone. A male spirit with wire rimmed glasses and a woman wearing a long flowing robe are also seen.

Of course the bridge itself may not be the only thing being visited by spirits. Witnesses have heard strange sounds and cries from unknown sources originating from the river bed. The homeless have often seen and heard ghostly spirits under the bridge including someone who says "Her fault" whenever someone runs across the bridge.

Sorry For the Delay

I know Ghost Stories has been lacking new posts as of late. I have no excuse other than the lack of time. I'm in the process of giving the blog some much needed TLC. I'm hoping to have some new stories posted soon. Thanks for your patience.

Blogger Templates