Just in time for Halloween, let’s take a look at some of the creepiest places the south has to offer! Most people are familiar with at least one of these areas, and many may be surprised to hear about the other.
Heather Graham, a New York Times and USA Today best selling author takes us along on her short, yet in-depth, journey into some of the most historical and haunted places in the south.
Graham, a Florida native, with the help of F. Paul Wilson, wrote about a creepy mausoleum in “Infernal Night.” Today, Florida is a melting pot with everything from the panhandle’s moss-covered trees to Miami’s steaming nightlife. But once upon a time Florida was Old South, and the Old South, with it’s haunted plantations and historic cemeteries, has its own stories to tell.
The Key West Cemetery
701 Passover Lane
Key West, Florida 33040When Carl Tanzler fell in love with Elena de Hoyos, he was a technician and she was a beautiful young woman suffering from tuberculosis. When Elena died, Carl visited her grave for two years, and then suddenly stopped. Seven years later, he was finally was caught with the corpse, arrested, declared sane—and released. Five hundred people attended Elena’s first wake—five thousand attended her second.
Elena is buried somewhere within the cemetery grounds—her exactly location was never disclosed lest she be disturbed again. The cemetery offers evening trolley ghost tours – the perfect way explore this creepy historic site.
Castillo de San Marcos
1 S Castillo Drive
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
In St. Augustine, the oldest city in the US to be continually inhabited by European settlers, is the Castillo de San Marcos. The Castillo has been haunted by ghost stories for centuries. There are tales of public displays of torture with medieval era torture devises, horribly botched executions, among others. The history—and the hauntings—are as old as the United States here.
Related: Haunted Bay Area
The 17 Hundred 90 Inn
307 E President Street
Savannah, Georgia 31401Wonderfully atmospheric, this inn comes complete it its own ghost, Anna Powers, a young woman who defenestrated herself after being betrayed by her British naval lover. Not only can you rent Anna’s room, but there is also a mannequin of her that waves at the tours as they go by. The young woman who stayed in the room just before I did left a note about the way Anna had played with her clothing and luggage.
With tales of pirates, wars, and murder—Savannah’s air seems to have an accent. The scenic Bonaventure Cemetery, which was featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is one of the most beautiful resting grounds you’ll ever find. More recent graves (and some older ones) are decked out for holidays—with pumpkins and witches for Halloween and holly for Christmas.
The French Quarter
New Orleans, Louisiana
With everything from torture to voodoo, the French Quarter is bursting with creepy historical sites. Stop by the LaLaurie Mansion where Dr. and Madame LaLaurie were known for their brutality to their slaves—terrible amputations, bizarre re-attachments, and other forms of torture and mutilation were common here. Nearby is the Sultan’s House where you can still hear the screams of those butchered in the largest mass-murder in the city’s history. Every block of this compact historical district offers something unique and terrifying!
And that’s just a fraction of the wonder to be found in the South!
Related: 5 ‘Haunted’ Spots In New York City