The Alamo

The Alamo was built in 1718 under the name San Antonio de Valero. The mission has had a haunted history ever since it was built. On March 6th, 1836, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his forces overtook the Alamo, killing all of the Texans who were fighting there.

Oak Alley Plantation

The plantation, which was originally named Bon Séjour Plantation (meaning “good living”), was built to grow sugar cane. The mansion that stands today was built by slaves under the command of George Swainy between 1837 and 1839 for Jacques Telesphore Roman.

Slater Mill

Slater Mill was built in 1793, with the original portion being six bays long and two stories tall. Being modeled after cotton spinning mills found in England, Slater Mill was the first water-powered cotton spinning mill in North America. It utilized the Arkwright system of cotton spinning, which was developed by Richard Arkwright.

Borley Rectory

The Borley Rectory was built in 1862 near the Borley Church by Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull. A year later, he moved into the house after being named the rector of the parish. The house was built ont he same land as the old rectory that had burned down in 1841. As time went on, the Borley Rectory was enlarged to include an additional wing for Bull’s family of fourteen children.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse (which is also known as the St. Augustine Light) is one of the most famous hauntings in America.

Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is regarded as one of America’s most haunted locations. It belonged to Sarah Winchester, widow of William Wirt Winchester, who was the man behind the Winchester Rifle. For thirty-six years, the house was continuously worked on.

The Whaley House

The Whaley House was the residence of Thomas Whaley and his family. It also served as Mr. Whaley’s general store, the second county courthouse in San Diego, and the first commercial theater over the years.

Anne Frank’s Secret Annex

During Hitler’s Third Reich, Jews were murdered for the Nazi “race purification”, otherwise known as the Holocaust. The Frank family hid in an attic called “the Secret Annex” for safety. Now, visitors of the Annex can experience strange cold spots in Anne’s room.

Lemp Mansion

William J. Lemp attended the St. Louis University, being able to afford his attendance by using the riches brought in by his father. After graduating, he worked at the brewery but went on to form a partnership with a different brewing company. By the 1860s, Adam Lemp had forty breweries in the caves along the Mississippi River. In 1861, William enlisted in the United States Reserve Corps, where he attained the rank of Orderly Sergeant. He eventually married Julia Feickert. Seven years later, William’s father-in-law Jacob Feickert, who had lived in the area all of his life, built a house near the brewery, a property that William would later buy in 1876 to use as an auxiliary office and residence: the thirty-three-roomed Lemp Mansion.

In 1884, the radiator system was installed – only half a decade after radiant heat was patented. An open-air lift was added in place of the grand staircase. A tunnel was added to connect the mansion through the caves to the brewery.

Island of the Dolls

In the canals of Xochimico (near Mexico City) lies a rather disturbing island decorated with dolls. The Island of the Dolls (in Spanish, “Isla de las Munecas”) is the home to several hundred deformed and creepy dolls, most of them missing limbs, heads, or eyes. They are haunting enough by day, but they are truly terrifying at night.

The island’s twisted history began when the island’s sole inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a little girl who had drowned in the canal nearly fifty years ago. Being haunted by the sight of her skeletal cadaver, he did what he could to try and please the girl’s spirit. When he found a doll floating in the canal recently after finding the girl, he put it on a tree to please her and protect the island from evil.

Santana was not pleased with just one doll, however. Somehow, dolls and doll parts kept appearing in the canal, and he would fish them out and hang them up on various trees on the island. This method, though, was not providing Santana with enough dolls to satisfy him, so he started “dumpster diving” whenever he went off of his private island.

Later on, he began trading fruits and vegetables grown on the island for the dolls. Legends and rumors have orbited this mysterious place for years. One such story says that Santana went insane and had begun believing that his dolls were real children he had attempted to rescue.

However, his family members (who now operate the island as a tourist destination) say that Santana simply believed the island was haunted by the young girl, and he believed he could make her happy by displaying his massive collection of dolls.

In 2001, Santana drowned in the canal just like the little girl did. Several people have made rumors that the dolls were possessed by demonic spirits that murdered Santana, while others say his death was accidental and the dolls have taken his place as the island caretaker.

During Don Julian Santana’s lifetime, the island received little-to-no tourism. Now, it is a famous attraction in Mexico. Several TV shows have featured the island, and a few of them have proved that the island is in fact haunted. The Island of the Dolls is considered one of the scariest and disturbing places on Earth, paranormal or not.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

A portion of land was bought by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883 and called it the Hays’ family home. Since the home was too far from any sort of school, Mr. Hays opened a local school so his daughters could learn.

The one-room schoolhouse soon had a teacher, Lizzie Lee Harris, to teach at it. Miss Harris, having enjoyed Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, entitled the school “Waverley School.” Mr. Hays liked the name, as it was peaceful-sounding, and he named his property Waverley Hill.

When the Board of Tuberculosis Hospitals bought the land, they kept the name and opened the sanatorium; it is unknown when or why the name’s spelling was changed from “Waverley” to “Waverly.” Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened as a tuberculosis hospital in 1910 and had a capacity of 40 to 50 patients.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a good portion of Jefferson County and Louisville had been infected with tuberculosis, a disease that affected the respiratory system. The swampland of Kentucky had created a large amount of TB bacteria, and much of the area was in danger.

As a measure to contain the deadly disease, a wooden sanatorium standing two-stories high opened. It consisted of an administrative building and two open-air pavilions, each capable of holding twenty patients. Eventually, the hospital was rebuilt after $25,000 in funding was given to create a hospital to take care of cases with pulmonary tuberculosis.

On August 31st, 1912, all of the TB patients in the old sanatorium were transferred into tents so the new hospital could be worked on. Waverly Hills reopened for the treatments of an additional forty patients in December of the same year. In 1914, the hospital expanded to have a children’s pavilion, providing fifty more beds.

The pavilion was used for children sick with tuberculosis as well as the healthy children of patients carrying disease, which caused more problems than solutions. At this point, the sanatorium’s goal was to add a new building each year. Since the wooden building was almost always in need of repair and more beds, construction on a five-story building capable of holding more than four hundred patients began on March 24th, 1924.

By October 17th, 1926, the new hospital opened for more patients. However, streptomycin, the TB vaccine, came around in 1943 and reduced the number of tuberculosis cases. This made Waverly Hills less of a necessity. All of the remaining patients in the hospital were sent to Hazelwood Sanatorium in Louisville.

Due to the lack of need, Waverly Hills closed its doors for good in June 1961. A year later in 1962, the building reopened as Woodhaven Geriatric Center, a nursing home for treating ageing patients with dementia, mobility issues, and mental disabilities. The center closed in 1982 due to patient negligence, which was not uncommon in understaffed and overcrowded hospitals like the Woodhaven Geriatric Center.

Myrtles Plantation

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, the Myrtles Plantation was known as Laurel Grove at the time. For several years, the general lived there alone until he was pardoned for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion in 1799 when President George Washington ordered that Bradford be executed. The rest of his family was living in their Pennsylvania home at the time. He later moved his wife, Elizabeth, and five children to the Myrtles Plantation.

The general died in 1808. Clark Woodruff, who was one of Bradford’s law students, later married Sara Mathilda in 1817, who was Bradford’s daughter. The two took care of the plantation for Elizabeth. Later on, they had three children, who were named Cornelia Gale, James, and Mary Octavia. Clark Woodruff and Mary Octavia moved to Covington, Louisiana after the death of Elizabeth Bradford in 1830. They left behind a caretaker for the plantation.

Four years later, Woodruff sold the plantation, land, and its slaves to Ruffin Gray Stirling. Woodruff passed away in New Orleans in 1851. Stirling and wife Mary Catherine Cobb began to remodel the house, nearly doubling its size. They also renamed it “The Myrtles”. They had nine children, five of which died young. Stirling himself died in 1854, leaving the plantation to his wife. In 1865, Mary Cobb hired William Drew Winter to help her manage the plantation as a lawyer/agent. Winter eventually Mary’s daughter, Sarah Stirling. They had six children, and one of them, Kate Winter, died of typhoid at the age of three.

Even though the Winters were forced to sell the plantation in 1868, they bought it back in 1870. A year after buying the house back, a man (suspected of being E. S. Webber) shot William Winter on the front porch of the Myrtles and died within minutes. Sarah remained at the plantation with her mother and siblings until she died in 1878.

The plantation was passed on to Stephen, one of Mary’s sons, two years later when she died in 1880. Being heavily in debt, Stephen sold it to Oran D. Brooks in 1886. Brooks sold it in 1889, and the house changed its owners many times until being purchased by Harrison Milton Williams in 1891. In the 20th century, the land was owned by several people. A few of the owners noticed odd happenings at the Myrtles. The place is known as “one of America’s most haunted homes”, as it is home to at least twelve spirits. It is claimed that a total of ten murders occurred in there, but historical records only suggest the one that William Winter was victim of.