A Ghost on Every Corner
There’s a ghost town then there’s a “ghost” town! A Ghost on Every Corner is a collection of stories from paranormal investigators who have done investigations in some of America’s most haunted cities. Read about the ghost haunting a restaurant in Galena, Illinois, or about a Gettysburg Battlefield ghost who follows an investigator home! There’s also Marilyn Monroe’s ghost haunting the famous Roosevelt Hotel, a ghost violently attacking an investigator at the Sallie House and the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe’s adoptive father angrily pushing an investigator down the stairs! You’ll also get to read historical (as well as ghostly!) information about places such as The Alamo, Myrtles Plantation and the famous BirdCage Theater. Walk with investigators located across the country as they gather evidence about ghosts and go where no other would dare to tread!
The atmosphere in the pub seems calm. Bar patrons converse with each other, gratefully sipping their brews and reminiscing of times gone by. Talk about work holds the attention of customers seated along the bar, as the faint sound of country music plays in the background.
The jovial mood is broken when a stranger bursts through the door. Eyes wide and hands shaking, he recounts how he’s just driven along a certain stretch of road and encountered what appeared to be a hitchhiker. He picked up the hitchhiker, and they continued along the barren dirt road, making idle chit-chat. During the course of their conversation, the driver turned to see that his passenger had suddenly vanished.
Disappeared. Without a trace.
Instead of reacting with shock or alarm at this tale, the bar patrons shrug it off and go about their conversations. Only after some desperate prodding of the barkeeper does the stranger learn this kind of thing is common in their town.
. . . Because, you see, it’s filled with ghosts, and everybody has grown accustomed to spectral encounters.
By definition, a ghost town is a city or town that has been abandoned. Ghost towns are usually envisioned as places where you’ll find barely-there houses, vacant streets and rundown buildings that once served as places of business.
However, there are bustling cities and towns that are literally ghost towns. Haunted cities abound throughout the world, and it seems everywhere you turn in such a city, someone has a good ghost story to share. The only difference between their stories and what you hear around a campfire is that theirs are true.
Why are cities haunted? There are several factors that can cause a whole city or town to burst at the seams with paranormal activity. A town may be haunted because of unique variables. What may seem like a harmless, innocent prank that ends up going wrong can open a Pandora’s Box of ghosts and hauntings. Or, in cases such as the Bell Witch, someone might curse an entire town and thereby incite ghostly occurrences.
Another reason a town or city may be haunted is historical events. Cities such as Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Appomattox, Virginia, were the sites of battles that took the lives of many brave soldiers. Ghosts from the past still linger in such places, often seen in full uniform, reenacting the roles they played in history. Or the city may have suffered an outbreak of an epidemic disease that killed many of its residents, like the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in 1878.
A town or city may be haunted because of where it is built. Any city built on an ancient Native American burial ground is a prime candidate for being a haunted city. If it’s built on the site of bloodshed or where tragedy occurred, then it is also possible the whole city or town will be visited by ghosts.
From time to time, a city or town will be labeled haunted more because of urban legends and rumors than for actually having ghostly residents alongside the living ones. Another reason may be the presence of one or two famous haunted sites—the Amityville Horror house, for example. These are not the places you will find in this book. The towns and cities offered here are actual, bona fide ghost towns rife with ghostly encounters and haunted locations, with residents willing to share true ghost stories. Cities where it’s not uncommon to discover the woman standing next to you on the corner is a ghost.
It’s not just the residents of a ghost town who have spooky stories to share, however. Paranormal investigators are the folks who confront haunted cities head-on. They investigate reports and make it their mission to get the facts about just what’s up with these locations. The evidence they collect may prove a true haunting is taking place and add to the city’s credentials as a real ghost town.
One surprising thing about haunted cities is that there are so many of them. As a result, not all have been included in this book. If you don’t find a particular notably haunted city here, rest assured it will likely appear in a future volume. For that reason, the author welcomes contact from paranormal groups and residents of a haunted city or town.
Because paranormal investigators have shared stories in their own words, the occasional bit of jargon or ghost talk is included in their stories. A glossary of terms used by investigators is located in Appendix A. You will also learn more about their tools and equipment in Appendix B.
While it is the author’s wish to share stories straight from the mouths of investigators, this was not possible for every case. On the one hand, in some cases, several different witnesses needed to be interviewed and more research, and information gathered independently for a story. On the other hand, many investigators felt more at ease discussing their cases through interviews, and the information they provided was then compiled by the author. All stories originating directly from investigators are noted as such.
Some of the locations discussed in this book are private property, and exploring them without the express permission of the owners is trespassing. Professionals don’t trespass, and for those who are simply curious, we ask that you consider how you’d feel if strangers suddenly invaded your home without invitation, before you go exploring.
When this book was in the early stages, I was amazed to discover that there were so many stories associated with so many actual ghost towns. It made me wonder: What’s it like to live in a haunted city? What kind of ghostly encounters take place there? How do local residents manage to live peacefully and happily alongside their ghostly neighbors? This book helps uncover the answers to those questions.
Say the city name Tombstone and probably the first thing that comes to the minds of many people is Wyatt Earp and the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This Arizona city, founded in 1879, does indeed have a rich history of outlaw gunslingers fighting lawmen during the days of the Old West, but it is also widely recognized as one of the most haunted cities in America.
Aside from shootouts among the outlaws creating fear and anxiety among residents, there were also mining disasters, fires and lynchings. Violence and murder got to be so bad in Tombstone at one point that then-President Chester Arthur nearly sent the military to restore order to Tombstone.
Because of this violent and tragic history, it’s no surprise that many people today believe that Tombstone is haunted. The ghost of Marshal Fred White, who was accidentally shot by Curly Bill Brocius, a leader of the Cowboys, then later died of his injuries. White has been seen in front of what is today the Birdcage Theatre, where the shooting took place in 1880. The ghost of who many believe to be Virgil Earp has been seen crossing a road—though he never officially makes it to the other side. A ghostly figure who many believe to be the warrior Cochise has been seen playing a flute at the Cochise Stronghold State Park.
Ghosts have also been seen or made themselves known at various restaurants, motels, homes, bars and even Boot Hill Cemetery. Tombstone has been featured as a haunted city in books, TV shows and on various web sites. There is even a Tombstone Ghost Tour that will delight visitors with historical information and real ghost stories.
If you want to visit one of the most haunted towns in America, the city of Tombstone is definitely a ghosty town that will not disappoint.