The Queen Mary began construction in the December of 1930 in Clydebank, Scotland. Due to the Great Depression, work on the ship was ceased in December, 1931. In order to complete the project, Cunard (the construction company) applied for a loan from the British Government. It was approved, and there was enough leftover money that a second ship – the Queen Elizabeth – could be constructed.
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.
The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania opened in 1829 with some of the USA’s most infamous criminals entering the facility over the course of its operation (such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton).
The Bird Cage Theatre belonged to William “Billy” and Lottie Hutchinson. Opening on December 26th, 1881, the name came from the fourteen boxes called “cages” that were located on the two balconies on either side of the central hall. The cages were mostly used for prostitutes, and drapes could be drawn in front of them for while they entertained their clients.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse (which is also known as the St. Augustine Light) is one of the most famous hauntings in America.
The Ashmore Estates has been haunted for several years, and it was off-limits to the public for twenty years. For a long while (from 1987 to 2006), the building was abandoned. Built in 1916, the three-story brick building was built on the Country Poor Farm. The residents that lived there had little to nothing in their possession. The home remained a poor farm until 1956, when the house was transformed into a center for the mentally disabled.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (which is also known as the “Armand Auclerc Weston State Hospital”) was built under the standards of the Kirkbride Plan. In the 1850s the Virginia General Assembly authorized the hospital. In order to build such an asylum, they consulted Thomas Story Kirkbride, the man behind the Kirkbride Plan as well as the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane.
Peoria State Hospital (which has also operated under the names “Bartonville State Hospital,” “Peoria Asylum,” the “Illinois General Hospital for the Insane,” and the “Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane”) opened as an insane asylum operated by the State of Illinois from 1902 until 1973. The asylum has a total of 47 buildings on its grounds.
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.
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.
Bobby Mackey’s Music World is a nightclub currently owned by country singer Bobby Mackey. It has been dubbed “the most haunted nightclub in the USA” by Mackey. Urban legends and folklore say it is the “gateway to hell”. One of the nightclub’s resident spirits is Pearl Bryan, whose body was found in a field several miles away from the club. Rumor has it that Bryan’s murderers were Satanists who cursed the location and vowed to haunt everyone involved in the prosecution of the case.
Another ghost is that of Johanna, a 1930s dancer who got pregnant when she wasn’t married. She committed suicide in her dressing room in the Latin Quarter Club (now Bobby Mackey’s). Although there is no record of it, it is believed that she killed herself after her father murdered her lover, who was a singer at the club.
While both tales are merely rumors, there are some who believe in the connection to the place while others don’t. According to Bobby Mackey, the site was a slaughterhouse in the early 19th century that was later demolished to build a roadhouse. He purchased it in 1978.
The Ohio State Reformatory (also known as OSR and Mansfield Reformatory) is located in Mansfield, Ohio and is noted as one of the most haunted places in the world. Work on the prison began on November 4th, 1886, when the first cornerstone was placed.
The campaign to build the prison had been a long one, running from the end of the Civil War up until 1884, when the state legislature approved the prison’s creation. It was to serve as an intermediate step between the Boys Industrial School in Lancaster and the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.
In order to purchase thirty acres of land for the prison, the city raised $10,000 to continue building. For $20,000, the state had acquired 150 acres of adjoining land. The chosen site had served as one of two Civil War military camps. The celebration of the prison’s construction was massive, with guests such as former President Rutherford B. Hayes, Senator John Sherman, Governor J.B. Foraker, and General Roeliff Brinkerhoff (who led the prison campaign). November 4th, 1886 was declared “Mansfield’s Greatest Day” because of the building of the Ohio State Reformatory.
Levi T. Scofield, an architect from Cleveland, was hired to design the prison, which would cost about $1.3 million to build. Scofield based his designs after sketches of Old World castles in Germany. It wasn’t until 1896 that the prison was able to accept prisoners, as financial problems caused several construction delays.
On September 17th, 1896, the prison officially opened, and 150 inmates were transferred from the Ohio Penitentiary into the Ohio State Reformatory. The Columbus Evening Press wrote about the event, and described the prisoners as if they were celebrities. Many of the prisoners had even been given cigars.
Being moved from the Penitentiary to the Reformatory via train, crowds watched as the prisoners were unloaded into OSR directly into their cells. However, the prison was still far from being finished, despite being open. The inmates were sent to work on building the sewer system, and they built 25-foot stone walls surrounding the 15 acre complex.
In 1908, the east cell block was completed. Due to the fact it was an intermediate prison, it held young, first-time offenders, as well as a few famous inmates. Some of the convicts would later go on to perform bigger crimes, including one prisoner, Henry Baker, who would go on to pull off the famous Brink’s robbery of 1950.
On November 2nd, 1926, a paroled inmate returned to the Ohio State Reformatory and shot Urban Wilford, a 72-year-old guard, outside of the west gate in an unsuccessful attempt to help a friend escape the prison. Philip Orleck, the gunman, was arrested two months later, and he died in the Ohio Penitentiary’s electric chair a year later.
Six years later on October 2nd, 1932, Frank Hanger, age 48, was beaten with an iron bar to death during an escape attempt made by twelve inmates. In 1935, inmates Merrill Chandler and Chester Probaski were found guilty of the murder, and were killed on the electric chair.
When it first opened, OSR was considered the best prison of its kind. However, it began to gain criticism for its overcrowded conditions from as early as 1933. A research group made up of educators and penologists investigated the prison in the same year, and called it “a disgrace”, particularly taking note on the fact that the reformatory had no rehabilitation for the inmates.
Ohio State Reformatory’s darkest day was July 21st, 1948, when two former inmates kidnapped the prison’s farm superintendent, John Niebel, his wife, and his 20-year-od daughter from their home and murdered them in a cornfield off of Fleming Falls Road.
The two killers, Robert Daniels and John West, got trapped two days later in a roadblock near Van Wert. West died in a shoot-out and Daniels was captured. The Niebel murders were a part of a two-week crime spree that involved West and Daniels killing six people. Daniels confessed to the murders, stating that it was merely an act of revenge. He died in January of the following year via electric chair at the Ohio Penitentiary.
Arthur Lewis Glattke, who was the superintendent from 1935 to 1959, was respected by professionals and inmates alike. He was appointed directly after his work on the Martin Davey political campaign. In order to keep inmate morale high, he played music throughout the cell blocks.
One fateful day in November, 1950, Arthur’s wife, Helen Bauer Glattke, accidentally discharged a handgun while reaching into a jewelry box in the family quarters. Three days later, she died of pneumonia because of the accident. Arthur died in his office on February 10th, 1959 of a heart attack.
One of OSR’s prisoners went on to become a celebrity. Gates Brown from Crestline, Ohio served in the prison from 1958 to 1959 for burglary, but he went on to play for the Detroit Tigers from 1963 to 1975. He earned a reputation as one of baseball’s best pinch-hitters.
Another prisoner was already famous when he was sent to prison. Kevin Mack, who was the star running back for the Cleveland Browns, served a month at the prison during 1989 for drug charges.
Forty years later in the 1970s, a nine-member evaluation team came to study the vocational programs offered at the Ohio penal institutions. They recommended, replacing the OSR with several smaller institutions that would hold no more than 500 inmates.
The prisons deterioration came to a head in 1978, when the Counsel for Human Dignity, which was a coalition of civic and church groups, filed a federal lawsuit on the behalf of 2,200 inmates at the prison. The suit stated that the prisoner’s Constitutional rights were being violated since they were forced to live in inhumane conditions.
In 1983, the lawsuit was resolved, resulting in a consent decree in which the prison officials agreed to improve the conditions while prepping to close the cell blocks by December 31st, 1986. The closing date was extended by the court due to the construction delays of the Mansfield Correctional Institution.
The final years of the OSR somehow attracted movie makers, as only then did movies start using it as a location. Celebrity actors started coming to the prison, such as James Caan, Elliot Gould, Diane Keaton, Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russel.
The prison remained in operation up until December, 1990, when the federal court shut it down with the Boyd Consent Decree. A number of “extra” buildings were demolished afterwards. In 1995, the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society (MRPS) was formed in hopes of restoring the prison for recreational use. The prison then turned into a museum, and tours were added to help fundraise for restoration projects.
At six tiers high, the East Cell Block is the world’s largest free-standing steel cell block. The prison is haunted by many of the inmates, a few guards, and the wife of one of the superintendents, Helen. Over 200 inmates and guards died at OSR.