In honor of the Lionsgate release this Friday of Daniel Stamm's The Last Exorcism (review here), which fictitiously tells the tale of some really spooky goings on in Louisiana, we thought this to be an opportune time to dig up the real life dirt on some of the state's most infamously haunted places and legends!
Nashua, New Hampshire - It sits in an unexpected place, a rustic and quaint farmhouse between a car dealership and other modern businesses. While some may look upon it with curiosity, the cars in its parking lot are very telling. Outside one can smell delicious food as it is prepared, and it is hard to imagine that anything could possibly be wrong within the restaurant's walls.
Bristol, Indiana - Rehearsal isn't going well. Actors are missing their cues, songs are not quite up to tempo, and someone keeps moving the props around. From backstage a blood-curdling scream is heard in the women's dressing room. When the actress, half-dressed and terrified, storms out the door, the director stops her and tries to explain. The man in the dressing room isn't a pervert; he just doesn't like musicals very much. And that she saw him means he likes her. Oh...And he's been dead for years.
Pea Patch Island, Delaware - Names can often be deceiving. Take, for instance, the innocuously named Pea Patch Island. Taken in name only, it sounds like the kind of place one would go to have a garden party or even a nice place to raise children. But sitting on the middle of the tiny land mass is a hulking structure, its walls of gray stone foreboding. Inside the bare walls tell tales of pain and suffering, imprisonment and death.
Saugatuck, Michigan - Inside a dimly lit hallway, a door opens. Not an unusual occurrence, but when that door stops and distinctly swings shut, people tend to notice. Especially when that door is opened and shut by invisible hands. Inside, shadows move along walls without their corresponding people, and sometimes it seems as if there's something in the high window above, looking down upon you.
Oahu, Hawaii - It was a day that would forever live in infamy, known throughout the world for its brutality and devastation. Two thousand three hundred forty-five soldiers lost their lives while an additional fifty-seven were seriously injured. And the most frightening part was that no one saw it coming. There was no warning, no inkling, that such a thing could possibly happen on domestic soil on that winter's day. And now, almost seventy years later, those voices are not silent.
Washington, D.C. - In a town famed for leaders and shapers of destiny, it is little wonder that things linger. It seems that every house has historic significance, every building is a monument. From high windows people feel that they are being watched from even the most innocuous of buildings.
San Jose, California - It has been the inspiration of movies, books, and imaginations, the subject of documentaries and television specials. If ever there were a "poster child" for haunted houses in America, it would be this one. Four acres of sprawling confusion attracts gawkers and the curious, but when the tourists are gone, the hallways are not quiet. No workmen are seen, but the building continues in possibly the most famous haunted house in America, if not the world. And it was built out of equal parts guilt, fear, and, some say, craziness.
Salem, Massachusetts - The town's name lives in infamy, many say deservedly so, for hysteria and bloodshed brought about by intolerance and greed. From out of the mouths of many who died, it can be assumed that curses flew, damning their persecutors to the coldest flames of hell with one breath and declaring their innocence in the next.
Warbonnet Creek, Nebraska - You are out in the woods, near a famous trickling creek that once ran red with proud blood. From behind you, all around you, voices whisper and talk in a strange language. Footsteps rush through the underbrush. You search but come to the sudden realization that you are alone, and the owners of the voices and running feet are not there, but echoes of history replaying.
Frederick, Maryland - It comes in the early hours of the morning, its arrival heralded by heavy footsteps on stairs. Who he is, many have guessed, but they do not know for sure, nor do they know his intentions. But what is certain, from witnesses to victims, is that he is very real ... and very frightening. Whether he means to hurt anyone is unknown, but he appears just the same, prodding with long bony fingers anyone who has the audacity to stand in his home. Although he is dead, he still lingers, many believe, out of spite.
Chicago, Illinois - Inside it's another busy day. Through the hallways, interns dash back and forth with coffee and papers and the latest demands from their higher ups. It seems for all the world like a modern office, far removed from things that happened almost a hundred years ago. But in the hush of a darkened room, the past will not be forgotten. Tragedies continue to leave their marks in the form of phantom footsteps and whispering voices. Even in a city the size of Chicago, things happen that cannot, nor should ever, be forgotten.
Pikeville, Kentucky - Most people don't give much thought to what happens to a corpse once it's buried. Into the coffin it goes, the lid is locked tight, and it's covered with dirt, out of sight, out of mind. But what happens if the person inside that coffin wasn't really dead?
Bentonsport, Iowa - A guest comes down the stairs after a night's rest and approaches the owner of the historic inn. "Did you know this place is haunted?" she asks. The owner smiles, not because she thinks her guest is delusional, but because she's heard it before. And far from being afraid, the guest seems more excited. They're not scary, not malevolent, and not tortured. In fact, in life, the entities liked the place so much, they just didn't want to leave.
Leavenworth, Kansas - Its guest list reads like a who's-who of infamy, full of swindlers, gangsters, murderers and monsters. The gargantuan structure is at once a beautiful piece of architecture and an imposing sentinel on the land. In fact, from the outside, it looks almost like one of the many halls of government in Washington, D.C. But the people who stay here aren't guests of their own free will. They don't make laws. In fact, they broke a few. And inside, where penance is paid and cells are overcrowded, there are a few inmates who have stayed longer than most.