Following the death of infamous pirate Jean Laffite, his men returned to Louisiana to the beautiful antebellum mansion, Chretienne Point, in order to rob its namesake, Madame Chretienne. Chretienne was a close friend of Laffite and was a rather wealthy recluse. When she heard the pirates breaking into her home, she fled and looked for an escape, but became cornered by one of them. Brandishing the Derringer pistol she had hidden within her clothing, Chretienne shot the assailant between the eyes, causing the others to evacuate at the sound of the gunshot. She proceeded to stow the body away in the closet, where it remained for three long days until authorities could reach her rather secluded abode.
Hope Hill Cemetery, located between Milan and Medina in Gibson County, Tennessee, is home to the spirit of a young girl who died under controversial and shady circumstances in 1931. In some sources, the five-year-old Dorothy Marie Harvey was said to have perished to natural causes, while others offer a much more sinister tale of her being raped and beaten to death by her uncle. Another version state she was killed by a piano dropped by the mover that her parents hired. In any case, her family built a dollhouse over her grave after she was buried since it was her favorite place to play (the original has had to be rebuilt several times due to vandals; it is now maintained by family members).
The Partridge Preschool was supposedly the site of a four-year-old girl’s murder. Her spirit now rides back and forth on her favorite swing in the playground. When you rattle the doors, she will rattle them back in response. At night, the girl listens music in the room nearest to her swing; it has been known to stop and start on its own, sometimes being played very loudly. Outside in the playground, toys are scattered in her favorite places. Should you move them around and leave, they will return to their original spots.
John Hart Crenshaw was an entrepreneur in the salt mining industry during the early 1800s in southern Illinois. Due to the dangers of mining the mineral, he struggled to find labor for his mines. Slavery was illegal in Illinois, but one small loophole in the law made it possible to “lease” slaves; Crenshaw did just this. However, he started kidnapping freed men and women and runaway slaves, either putting them to work in his salt mines or up for sale.
In 1817, John Hart Crenshaw married Sinia Taylor, and started building her a better home in the 1830s. He names the three-story mansion Hickory Hill. Unbeknownst the outside world, however, was a secret passageway that allowed for wagons to bring slaves directly into the house, as well as a tunnel that connected the basement to the Saline River to unload slaves brought by boat.
Windigo in Savoy, Massachusetts opened during the 1980s, and it is believed to be haunted by the spirits of six young girls and a woman. Legend has it that one of the camp’s councilors had gone insane, hanging three girls in a barn and drowning another three in a tub. After her rampage, she proceeded to commit suicide. Odd paranormal activity now surrounds the camp and the adjacent Winsor State Forest.
Camp Lulu in Brownsville, Texas was opened as a summer camp for young children. However, the nice getaway quickly turned sour after a counselor went insane and proceeded to rape and kill the girls. Now, the sounds of girls crying can be heard at night. The property owner works to preserve the souls of the young girls and shoots at anyone who trespasses.
When a woman thought her two children were possessed by the devil, she drove them to Cry Baby Bridge to kill them. She drove over the bridge, killing both she and her kids. Witnesses report that if you park your car atop the bridge, roll down your windows, and honk three times, children’s voices can be heard yelling “Don’t do it, mother!”
In 1775, the first European settlers, led by Mitchell Clay, arrived in Princetown, West Virginia. Clay and his family worked together in farming on the land that would later become the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park. Their seemingly safe new life took a tragic turn in 1783. While the men were away hunting, Clay’s two children, Bartley and Tabitha, were attacked by Native Americans in the area. Bartley was murdered and scalped, and Tabitha was killed while trying to save her brother. Their younger brother, Ezekiel, was later kidnapped by the tribe. The men returned to find the children missing, and they took off after the third child.
The Natives took Ezekiel to Ohio, where they proceeded to burn his body at the stake shortly before the rescue group could catch up to them. After defeating the warriors, the search party took strips of skin off the Native Americans’ backs to use as razor straps; the trophies remained in the Clay family for years to come. The chief permitted Mitchell Clay to take the body of his son back home to be buried. The bodies of Bartley and Tabitha were exhumed so that they could be relocated to the hill behind the farmhouse where Ezekiel had been buried.
Two centuries later in 1926, C.T. Snidow purchased the property and turned it into Lake Shawnee Amusement Park; he was entirely unaware of the dark history that lingered on the site. The features of the park included a swimming pool, carnival rides, concession stands, a racetrack, a dance hall, occasional Wild West shows, and guest cabins. Very quickly, it became a popular summer vacation for families.
Tragedy struck again after a mother dropped her son off at the park one morning. When she returned later that afternoon, she found her son’s limp, lifeless body floating in the pool. In order to prevent any further accidents, the owners filled the pool with sand. A few years went by peacefully without any more accidents. During the early 1950s, a truck delivering soda to a drink concession stand accidentally backed up into the path of a swing ride operating at a high speed. The truck collided with one of the swings, killing the young girl riding in it. The fatalities caused the park to close in 1966.
Gaylord White, a former employee of the park, bought the abandoned Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in 1985 with plans to divide up the land and sell it as residential lots. However, his investment plan went south when he found a number of Native American burial sites and artifacts. Instead, he reopened the amusement park – but it only lasted for three years.
After some research, archaeologists discovered that two separate Native American settlements surrounded the area around Lake Shawnee before any European settlers arrived. In 1988, both the Marshall and Concord Colleges worked on digging around the area. They found that the settlements were arranged in a circular formation, and they were inhabited for a long period of time. However, they were believed to have been abandoned several hundreds of years before the settlers arrived. During their study, they found thirteen skeletons, most of them belonging to young children. There are as many as three thousand bodies buried on the property.
Today, the Ferris wheel, the swings, and several other rides remain at the park, which is haunted by a number of spirits. Paranormal activity includes orbs, disembodied voices and footsteps, Native American chanting, odd sounds, and the defunct carnival rides moving by themselves. A male apparition has been seen several times on one of the Ferris wheel cars (the one at the 9 o’clock position). The swings are said to have cold spots just above the wooden seats, which are known to move on their own.
Gaylord White reported having felt someone touching his shoulder or his arm from behind several times while working at the park. He also had a feeling of a presence washing him at the park. However, his most notable interaction was when he was clearing out brush from the field with his tractor shortly after purchasing the property. While doing so, he witnessed a full body apparition of a young girl wearing a pink dress with ruffled sleeves. White now believes that the girl was the one who was killed on the swing ride. Because she liked watching his tractor, he parked and left it for her to enjoy.
The Kimo Theater was opened in fall, 1927. It was not long after that a young boy was killed in a fatal accident – a hot water pipe on the theater boiler burst, hitting him with metal and scalding water. He now haunts the theater, as two other spirits who seem to be much older than the boy.
Tao Dan Public Park is said to be haunted by the apparition of a young man who floats through the park trying to find someone. Close to a decade ago, he and his girlfriend were attacked while enjoying their privacy at the park.
The barber shop in Silver Lake, Kansas is rumored to be the site of a murder, but the case has never been solved. One day, a customer was “accidentally” killed while getting a shave. His apparition is seen in the shop to this day.
The University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington is home to a tale of abduction and murder. During the night of August 31st, 1961, eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr went missing from her bedroom in her house on N. 14th and N. Junett. The front door had been locked, but the next morning it was found to be broken into. On the porch was a small men’s shoe print.