Haunted houses history
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If you ever find yourself driving down Mimosa Street near downtown Raleigh after midnight, be aware: You might find yourself in the presence of a ghostly apparition. Local News Explore the haunted history of the Mordecai House If you ever find yourself driving down Mimosa Street near downtown Raleigh after midnight, be aware: You might find yourself in the presence of a ghostly apparition.
Details Transcript. Web Editor: Heather Leah Posted p. Oct 2 — Updated p. Oct 5. So today I am outside one of the most well known haunted homes in Raleigh. This is the more tiki house and when I say one of the most well known, this is one of those legends that started here in Raleigh but has actually gained national fame. Uh ghost stories surrounding the Mordecai house have actually been put on national television, national uh, tv shows about ghost stories around the country and Raleigh, this house specifically has shown up on national tv because of the legends and there also are paranormal investigative groups that come out here and explore uh this home and have done investigations, most notably in recent times.
The ghost guild, north Carolina has done a lot of investigations out here, but more than just being a ghost story, the house itself is an incredible piece of history. This house is older than the surrounding city. So we’re right here, of course, close to downtown Raleigh really in a neighborhood area, in the Mordecai area, but this is actually older than the city surrounding it.
It was built in 17 85 or at least the main portion of the house was. So it’s actually predates the city and the family that lived here. And the family that built the home really did help shape what Raleigh would become. Uh this house, the Mordecai house was built by Joel lane.
So Joel lane, if you’re familiar with that name, he is often referred to as the father of Raleigh. The Joel lane houses of course, pretty close by to here. Um and so he built this house for his son, but unfortunately his son passed away and then moses Mordecai married into the family.
Uh some of you may have heard this referred to as the Mordecai house. Uh that is not correct anywhere else in the country. It would be Mordecai. But here moses actually changed his last name to be pronounced Mordecai. So it’s the more tiki house.
Can I walk the house? Deborah, that’s a great, great question. I did go inside to get some photos and footage, but they didn’t have time for me to go all throughout the house doing a live stream, but I wanted to walk you throughout the park and the story that’s coming out will have footage and photos from inside the house.
But here’s the good news. You can actually walk the house yourself because they’re gonna have all kinds of events going on throughout october and they do have tours. So you can actually call them and set up a tour. Just come down here and get tickets and they’ll let you walk through the house yourself. So you can see it with your own eyes today. I mostly wanted to walk the park and tell you the stories around it.
I do know that they’re also planning to have a a haunted trolley. Uh that will tell you ghost stories about the city and take you around as well as a cemetery trolley tour.
So if you like haunted Raleigh uh, Mordecai historic park is going to have a lot of that for you this year. The park itself actually has a lot of historic buildings, part of them were part of the original house or the original original plantation that was here. And some of them are just historic buildings that were moved here very, very quickly. I just want to show you before going back to talk about the ghost stories over here. We have the birthplace of President Andrew johnson. So he was born in Raleigh and this was actually the house that he was born in just over here.
They also have several other very small historic buildings. But again, that was more popular back in that time period, as well as a church over here, a chapel. But the legend of this park. So Gosh, back in the s, the Mordecai family lived in that house for five generations. So we have multiple generations growing up in that house.
Here’s the birthplace of Andrew Johnson. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe that this is probably part of the tour as well. And then you’ve got this beautiful chapel here as well as an old federal building. And as much as I love Raleigh history, I didn’t know all of this was out here. I only knew about the Mordecai house.
Look at this old federal building. It almost looks like something you would see built in downtown Raleigh today as a federal building, but just smaller, miniaturized and much more green. So as we look at the history of the Mordecai house, obviously it has a very rich history, deep roots here in Raleigh. However, with any house or structure that’s been here for that long. There are some ghost stories behind it. I’ve heard a few legends and then I’ve had some of them confirmed by other people.
Um, the legends that I’ve heard, I think the most popular legend, the one that’s been spoken about on national television. Um, the one that you’ll most often read about.
And if you look at my story which will be coming out this weekend, you’ll see pictures and video footage of this piano. So the piano is reported to sometimes play on its own. Um, specifically people who are in the house late at night, potentially people working here or um, you know, who are doing rentals because you can’t have rentals in here. They have claimed that they can hear piano music coming from the piano, which is sitting downstairs And other people, I guess ghostly investigators or well, it’s just part of the legend.
People have said that they see gray mist hovering over the piano. So the piano reportedly plays on its own. People can hear it, they’ll be upstairs working and they’ll hear it downstairs playing from the other room.
And it’s believed to be according to legend, the ghost of one of the women who lived here who in particular loved playing that piano when she was alive. I know that my family had a grand piano as well, that my grandfather personally used to play all the time.
Um, and there is something about the nature of old pianos, old clocks that really do seem to hold on to that uh, that sense of having some energy still attached to them. So we’ve got that piano and again, reportedly, uh, according to the legend, the piano plays by itself at night. Um, or or I guess any hour and sometimes a gray mist can be seen hovering over it.
Similar to that, a gray mist has also, according to legend, been seen floating down the stairwell. So again, if you look at my story this weekend, there will be some footage and video of that stairwell, but reportedly a mist has been seen floating down that stairwell.
And also people have claimed to see a full on apparition of a woman wearing an old antique, you know, style gray dress hovering or floating down the stairwell. Thank you lolli. Um So those are two of the big things that I’ve heard, according to the legends that are floating around.
Another legend I’ve heard personally just living here in Raleigh, but that has not come up in any of my research for some reason. Um but that I’ve definitely heard passed around is that this balcony up here, I have heard you could see the same woman wearing her white or her gray dress, a very long old antique style gray dress standing on the balcony. If you drive past here at midnight and I’m gonna go take a look at this place from the road.
So you can see what that might look like. Now, I can see where that legend would come from. Um Certainly when you drive down this road out here late at night, it’s quite dark and then peeking through these enormous oaks. I mean, these are very old trees as well. Part of this land which I mean has been preserved for so many years. This is actually the oldest house in Raleigh still on its original foundation.
So it’s not the oldest house in Raleigh, but it is the oldest house in Raleigh that hasn’t been moved because one way that preservation is sometimes safehouses is by moving them. So if you’re driving down this road late at night, it’s quite dark, you’ve got this old old trees and just peeking through them. You see this year old home with a balcony. It’s very old and in the dark it’s very shadowy.
I can certainly imagine how people would or even walking walking down here at night. Um I could certainly see how people would imagine Um you know, a woman wearing style clothing standing on the balcony uh gazing over the Raleigh and perhaps wondering why Raleigh has you know, changed so much over the past years. Things must look quite different to her as she comes out on her balcony every night too.
Look out over the city. So that’s another legend that I’ve heard. And the final legend that I’ve heard is simply that um items in the house would move around on their shelves. Um or that you might hear footsteps upstairs when You’re downstairs alone at night. Um these are stories that have been passed along for really decades. I would be interested to find out when the legend actually started the Mordecai family lived in this house until I believe the s.
So I have to wonder did the legend maybe start after the home was sold.
Haunted houses history –
Sometimes the simplest of structures can be home to the most terrifying and tragic ghost stories you will ever hear. Located in Old Town, San Diego, the property has long been an infamous location in the community. Their young son Thomas died inside the house at 18 months old after contracting scarlet fever. When their general store caught fire, the Whaleys moved out of the house but returned in with their five surviving children.
Their daughter Violet married George T. Bertolacci, who revealed his controversial past to his new wife after their wedding. Violet was so distraught that she ended her life by suicide in the house. The Whaley family abandoned their home once again until their son Francis took on the challenge of restoring the property to turn it into a tourist attraction.
Ever since, strange things have happened at the Whaley house. Today, you can tour the Whaley House and see the paranormal phenomenon for yourself! Molly and her husband J. Brown both came from lower-class families and lived a normal life until J.
As shareholders of the company that owned the mine, J. The couple purchased their home in Molly started several charitable fundraisers and became a local advocate for improving poverty in Denver. Molly boarded the Titanic in , where her life would change forever. She survived the sinking on a lifeboat and used her fortune to help aid rescue efforts and keep the memory of Titanic victims alive. Visitors to the home have claimed to smell pipe smoke when no one is home, likely from the ghost of J.
Lightbulbs become unscrewed and furniture is often found rearranged. The Molly Brown House Museum offers daily tours. The Riddle House, circa Even though it was a simple home for middle-class workers it is considered the most haunted house in Florida. The home was built in using leftover wood from the construction of a hotel nearby. Originally, the cemetery gatekeeper lived there and the house also served as a funeral parlor. In , Karl Riddle moved into the house as the first city manager and superintendent of public works of West Palm Beach.
The house was left vacant several years later and used as a school and dormitory before it was moved to Yesteryear Village, a heritage attraction, in the s. You can explore the haunted house for yourself at Yesteryear Village and see what other spirits could be haunting the halls of Riddle House. The Villisca Axe Murder House , now a museum. The horrendous Villisca Axe Murders of left eight people dead, and with no identified suspects the murder remains one of the oldest cold cases in American history.
In the early hours of June 10, , a stranger entered the home in Villisca, Iowa, and bludgeoned eight sleeping victims to death using an axe, including six children between the ages of five and The murderer left a bizarre crime scene behind.
A four-pound slab of bacon was found leaning against the wall next to an axe, the mirrors in the home were covered with pieces of clothing, and a plate of uneaten food and a bowl of bloody water were left on the kitchen table. The victims were all in their beds with their heads covered in clothes, each had their skulls beaten 20 to 30 times with the blunt end of the axe.
The historic home still stands on a quiet street in Iowa. Paranormal investigators believe that the spirits of all eight victims still reside at the house, waiting for justice to finally be served. The home was once the residence of Madame LaLaurie, a serial killer who tortured and murdered an unknown number of enslaved people in the s.
When a fire broke out in the home in , locals arrived to help extinguish the flames — but what they found was beyond horrific. Enslaved people were found locked in the attic with clear signs of torture. Some had their eyes gouged out, while others had their mouths filled with feces and sewn shut. When local townsfolk heard of the shocking discoveries at the LaLaurie mansion, they descended on the house and ransacked everything until nothing remained except the walls.
Actor Nicolas Cage purchased the house in , hoping it would inspire him to write a book. Visitors claim to hear moaning come from a room where slaves were frequently kept, while others have been scratched and pulled at. The exterior of the notorious Lizzie Borden House. The bloodied walls of the Lizzie Borden House have held on to a secret for the last years. Andrew Borden purchased the house in Settled on a busy street, it was nearby the shops and stables. On August 4, , Andrew and Abby were beaten to death with a hatchet in their own home.
Lizzie lived at the Borden House until her death in , while Emma moved out of the house in and never saw her sister again. Visitors often see a woman in a white nightgown in the former room of Abby Borden, while others have had limbs pulled or hear voices, footsteps, and furniture moving.
You can even stay the night at the house and eat the same breakfast Andrew and Abbey did the day they died. The Lemp Mansion. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Lemp Mansion was built in Family patriarch Adam Lemp immigrated to the US from Germany and began to build a name for himself brewing beer. He passed the family business on to his son William Lemp, who helped to build the Lemp beer brand Falstaff which was the first beer company to have national reach in America. William Sr.
Hard times came in the s with the start of the Prohibition movement, and after a difficult divorce, Billy Lemp shot himself in his office at the mansion — just like his father. Tragedy struck again when Charles Lemp, William Sr. The legacy of the Lemp family and their misfortunes have made the historic building a famous landmark. Today, you can stay at the haunted mansion or have dinner at the Lemp restaurant.
The historic Ocean Born Mary House. The ghost story of Ocean Born Mary is as East-coast as it gets — complete with pirates and buried treasure. Mary Wallace was born on a ship crossing the Atlantic to America. The same day, pirates captured the ship and began to attack the passengers and crew until the pirate captain heard a baby cry.
He demanded to meet the newborn child, and legend has it he was so moved he promised to set the captives free if they named the baby girl Mary in honor of one of his relatives. The pirate even presented the family with green silk fabric to sew a wedding dress for the baby girl one day. Mary grew up and married and yes, she wore the silk and had five children of her own in Henniker, New Hampshire. When Mary died, a man moved into her house looking for a story.
He would show people around the various rooms, claiming he had seen the ghost of the late Mary in her rocking chair. Others believed Mary was buried under the hearthstone of the home, and that the same pirates who spared her life had stowed their treasure in a nearby orchard. Tourists visiting Henniker would even pay money to rent shovels to dig for the treasure. The story of Ocean Born Mary has since been debunked, but the house still remains a valuable piece of New Hampshire history! Right: Portrait of Mark Twain in his iconic white suit.
One of the most famous residents — who appears to be residing there in the afterlife as well — was Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain. In the s, a mother and daughter claimed they saw a ghost in a white suit resembling Twain sitting near a window. Enter the famed Trans-Allegheny Asylum if you dare! The year-old asylum in Weston, West Virginia has a tragic history of death and neglect. Hundreds of patients died while at the asylum, making it a paranormal hotspot.
Visitors have claimed to hear voices, see apparitions, and be touched by invisible beings. Want to see it for yourself? The asylum hosts ghost tours for skeptics and amateur ghost hunters. Oct 4, Elisabeth Edwards.
Haunted houses history
Haunted house owners across the U. Turning fears into reality Some look to science for help divining the latest scary features.
Kerr puts her sociology expertise to work for ScareHouse, a haunt in Pittsburgh. She pores over customer surveys from years past, looks over trends over time and even does her own physiological before-and-after studies, using EEG brain scans, in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh. The old inhabitants chant amid fog and twisting vines. Nightmare has changed its theme every year, and like ScareHouse, asks for its customers input. From the beginning, Greeks, Romans and other ancient civilizations created Gods to speak to their fears of an unforgiving world, according to Kerr.
As civilizations grew and people migrated, a fear of the elements transitioned into a fear of other people in the form of ghosts, demons and witches. Christians in the Middle Ages traveled from town to town, putting on plays and pageants to scare locals away from sin. By the s, industry was booming, and with it the fear of a rapidly unrecognizable world, one fueled by electricity and other mystifying inventions.
This sparked a renewed interest in ghosts, spirits and the supernatural. People paid to watch magic shows, get their fortunes told and enter houses supposedly haunted by spirits. The early s saw the beginnings of the haunted attractions we know today, said McKendry, the Fangoria marketing director.
At the notorious Theatre du Grand Guignol in Paris, audiences were shocked by gruesome plays. From there, the dark arts accelerated. All across the U. Dark rides carried passengers into a world inhabited by dangling bats and animatronic skeletons. The house used special effects, old and new, to create rooms alive with moving skeletons, witches and ghosts.
In the s, when haunts were usually at theme parks, a national charity organization based in St. Louis called the Jaycees began encouraging its younger members to raise money by turning vacant houses and lots into haunted attractions. Steve Kopelman, a haunted house expert and a pioneer in the industry for over 30 years, says fears over trick-or-treating in the ’80s made haunted houses even more popular.
The increasing popularity of haunted houses made it possible for like-minded people to get together and put on a show. In a city known for its celebrations, House of Shock was more of a giant party between friends than a business when it first kicked off back in The attraction still features satanic monsters, freak shows, live metal bands, an Ozzfest MC who lobs insults at the crowd, and people suspended from the ceiling by hooks pierced in their backs.
With sales down he and the other owners are deciding whether to revamp the house or shut it down all together. Like House of Shock, Fright Dome had humble beginnings. Egan starting putting on haunted houses when he was a teenager and eventually moved to Vegas, where he started a haunt in an old ballroom while working as a parking valet for MGM Grand casino. Fright Dome, which opened in the Circus Circus casino in , now packs six haunted houses, four “scare” zones and multiple other attractions and live shows into , “scare feet.
Other features include a “Killer Clown 4-D” haunted house described online as a “twisted play land” and the multisensory “Hyper Charged Zone,” which boasts “interactive performers, hatching beats, visual laser displays and special effects that will spark your energy.
The pair have used their knowledge of theater to create a minimalist house that takes a psychological toll on visitors. Their latest approach is to cast people inside groups of visitors in a bid to pit those visitors against one another inside the house. Kopelman, the veteran haunted house expert, believes houses will become more and more tailored to the fears of individual guests as the years go on.
He had patrons wear RFID tags a few years ago so that actors could follow them by name. This means houses must have a heavy online and social media presence and really tap into consumers’ personal frights. Like other companies outside of the Halloween industry, haunted house owners will be interested in gathering as much information on patrons as they can: their names, their histories, and of course, their fears. Good actors are what make a haunted house, but investing in technologies and additional entertainment is what keeps customers coming back, he said.
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