The only troubling sound I heard the night I spent in the Jailer’s Inn in Bardstown, Kentucky was the sound of a cell door closing. There are two reasons I found that disturbing. First, the jail was shut down late in the twentieth century, so there are no inmates, and it’s unlikely the staff was … [Read more...] about A return to Bardstown, Kentucky: Spending the night in a cell at the Jailer’s Inn, a haunted jail in a town known around the world for its ghosts
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To hell with Holiday Inn and Applebees. These haunted hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns and pubs ooze character and are often a better value than the chains. This isn’t paranormal investigation. It’s where to go to feel the kind of atmosphere where you can believe anything can happen at any moment. And get a pint and a great bacon cheeseburger in the process. Pick a category below, or browse by region to the right and start exploring the macabre side of travel.
The haunted house is the bedrock of gothic horror. Luckily, historic homes that are open to the public often have their own ghosts. With others you can be content standing outside in the dark of night, peering up at the darkened upstairs corner window. Public buildings of the past aren’t without their own charms, and quite often their own spirits.
So you want to sleep with the spirits? Looking for a room with its own ghost? The bogeyman under the bed? What hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts give the most chills for the buck? Wanna sleep like the dead? Haunted accommodations can be found here …
I like spirits of all sorts, and luckily there is a plethora of haunted pubs, inns and restaurants where you can indulge in both. Whether you’re looking for top shelf spirits, or you’re more of a fish and chips and pint type of traveler, you’ll find a bit of both in here.
“Out, out, brief candle,” were the words put into the mouth of Lady Macbeth when she spoke on death. Death is the ultimate misery, the ultimate curiosity and it’s something we all face. Some run, some embrace the thought. You find us loitering in cemeteries on moonlit nights. These are places where death has stained the landscape black.
Some towns and cities are more haunted than others. From the free for all weirdness of Salem, to the genteel southern charm of the ghosts of Charleston, South Carolina, a spooky town can keep you entertained for days. Herein is a guide to some of the creepier towns, villages and cities that make for curious destinations.
We needn’t always wander alone in search of chills. From the over the top, ghastly thrills of Horseman’s Hollow, to the more traditional Legend of Sleepy Hollow recanted in the very same Old Dutch Church, to the horrors of our fellow man in Cry Innocent in Salem, there are plenty of opportunities to sit back and be entertained. Or if you’re feeling energetic, how about a ghost walk?
A month ago I stood atop a long barrow on White Horse Hill, with the grass covered chalk walls of Uffington Castle behind me, the galloping Uffington White Horse below me, and pondered a question for which there is no answer. What makes a landscape sacred? Is sacred the right word? Mystic … [Read more...] about Pondering why landscapes become sacred and the mysteries of the Uffington White Horse, Uffington Castle and White Horse Hill
The chambered tombs and long barrows of Britain have long tickled the imagination, and perhaps none more so than Wayland’s Smithy. Perhaps it’s the stand of beech trees enclosing it which makes it feel more intimate, more hushed. Unlike West Kennet Long Barrow near Avebury, sitting exposed to the … [Read more...] about The hammer of the gods still ring out at Wayland’s Smithy, a long barrow chamber tomb nestled in a secluded grove in Oxfordshire
The Luccombe Valley below Salisbury Plain and Bratton Camp, just visible in the upper right. In the foreground are two of the four barrows in the valley, with one of the others being the site of the Bloodstone. While wandering on Salisbury plain one day I came across a hidden valley and … [Read more...] about Folk horror from Wiltshire: The Blood Stone at Luccombe Spring, starving out the Vikings at Bratton Camp, the White Horse of Westbury and the nature of folklore
Looking down on the White Horse of Westbury from atop Salisbury Plain Nobody really knows when or why a chalk horse was carved onto the side of Bratton Downs, below the iron age Bratton Camp. The current version has evolved over the past two centuries into its rather literal shape today. An 18th … [Read more...] about On the mystery of a white horse carved into the slopes of Bratton Downs … the White Horse of Westbury
Top: The Glengesh Pass, Donegal, Ireland The top of Glengesh Pass in Donegal, Ireland is breathtaking. You’re in one of the most remote corners of the country here, sparsely populated, windswept and wild. You’re as likely to hear Gaelic spoken as English, for life hasn’t changed a whole lot over … [Read more...] about On the abandoned village of Port, in Donegal Ireland … wind swept, wet and wild, the folklore of Irish music and the ideal place to go drowning
Top: Old Wardour Castle, Tisbury, Wiltshire “On the south western border of Wiltshire about half between Salisbury and Shaftesbury and in the parish Tisbury stand the ivy crowned remains of the old castle Wardour.” The Antiquary, Volumes 3-4 Front Cover.W. Allen, 1873 Old Wardour Castle was … [Read more...] about Old Wardour Castle … a splendidly haunted ruin in the British countryside
"There among the stones they committed unspeakable acts. On the stones, against the stones. Their cloaks barriers to the storm of nature that raged around them, they were thrown aside and as two beasts they met in the circle in rut, in heat, in pure primal desire. It was a ritual of sorts, a wedding … [Read more...] about A megalithic darkness descending on Stanton Drew stone circles and cove
Entrance to the Avebury henge Hair stands high on the cat's back like a ridge of threatening hills. Sheepdogs howl, make tracks and growl --- their tails hanging low. And young children falter in their games at the altar of life's hide-and-seek between tall pillars, where Sunday-night … [Read more...] about Ghost stories and supernatural occurrences from Avebury circle and henge
View from the interior of Dunbeg Fort, with Mount Eagle in the background On the edge of Europe, along the coast of Dingle Peninsula, Dunbeg Fort is a promontory fort, not far from Dingle town towards Slea Head. Known in Gaelic as An Dún Beag, it was protected by sheer cliffs on three sides, … [Read more...] about Dunbeg Fort on Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula: Saved for centuries by local folklore, slowly being reclaimed by the Atlantic Ocean
I once spent about a week hanging out with Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, noted Donegal fiddler and historian, particularly on all things Donegal fiddle. He wrote about the tune Maighdean Mhara Mhullach Mhoir, or The Maid or more precise, The Mermaid of Mullaghmore. I was driving up the coast of Donegal, … [Read more...] about An Irish folk tale, Maid of Mullaghmore and memories of Muckross Head, county Donegal
If you’re looking for the picture book English village, it’s hard to find better, at least in Wiltshire. Lacock is a bit more refined, with about twice the traffic from what I’ve seen. Then again, I’ve never been to Castle Combe in the summer. It was a winter stop. Technically we were there for a … [Read more...] about Traveling back in time to explore the hauntings in Parsonage Woods, and the ghosts of Castle Combe