Duluth, MN - The newspaper headlines read like a tale from a dime-store detective novel. An heiress murdered, a fortune to blame, and all set in an enormous mansion overlooking a lake. And now, more than thirty years after the crime, the victims are still not at rest. During the night, lights flicker and shadows glide from room to room, as the dead continue to tell their tale, unfettered by the truth, that they died long ago.
By now, we've all seen the trailers of creepy shadow people, a boy with strange writing all over his body, and women screaming when the shower curtain attacks them.
Cheyenne, WY - As you drive down the street, you happen to glance up into a window and see a little girl waving at you. For a moment you forget yourself and begin to wave back, only to realize a moment later that there is no girl living in that house, and the owners are away for the weekend. You drive on, startled when the sounds of snorting horses and clopping hooves, accompanied by loud shouts and gunfire, grow louder and move past your car without any physical being to make the noise, until you reach your destination, a museum guarded by a man in uniform.
Anchorage, Alaska - Hotels are, by their nature, frightening places. Horror scribe Stephen King wrote how one never knows what happened in the room before a lodger lays his head down to sleep. Who slept there before? And who died? In the dead of night, with the blankets pulled up tight to your chin, what is it in the darkness that sounds like breathing? Is the cold merely because of a draft of frigid night air, or is there something more lurking in the darkness?
Banta (Tracy), CA - Off the beaten path, away from large cities and burghs, there are small towns with curious histories. Travelers stop to brush away the road dust and enjoy a hearty meal while soaking in some of the local atmosphere. Between the tables there’s a faint mist that floats without benefit of a breeze, accompanied by the sounds of a crying child. Behind the bar, a man stands ready, dutifully handing out cold long-necks, but he knows he’s just holding the space.
Florence, OR - Over a cliff once known as the Devil’s Elbow there shines a light to warn ships of approaching danger. Shining more than twenty miles out to sea, her light pierces the night and keeps those unfamiliar with the Oregon coastline safe from the cliffs and jagged rocks. But behind her light, something walks in the night, her eyes red with tears, her cry plaintive. Just who she was, or why she remains is something of a mystery with very few clues. But few doubt that she is real, having been sighted for more than sixty years.
Aberdeen, WA - Stopping in to an historic old building for a bite to eat can be a dicey game. On the one hand, the food is great and the atmosphere is second to none. On the other, however, there’s something there that you can’t quite put your finger on. Maybe it’s the phantom figures of scantily-clad ladies that lurk in the upper floors. Might be the miserable-looking sailors who disappear before anyone can ask them what ship they’re on. More than likely, it’s the bartender.
Through the course of writing Cold Spots, we’ve taken our readers on a tour of the U.S., taking a look at the most haunted and strangest places from each state. In many cases, the articles are written about places by speaking to eyewitnesses, reading newspaper reports, and trusting in the skill of other paranormal investigative entities to provide evidence of hauntings, taking only the most interesting and disturbing pieces to illustrate the history of the locations.
A fishing boat late at night, a crew in a deep fog. Sailors are a superstitious lot, pledging their lives and livelihoods to a cruel mistress in the sea. Many have claimed to see mermaids, sea monsters, and other terrors too horrible to give names. The man in the crow's nest calls out, a ship approaching under full sail. Hailing with lanterns yields no contact, and as she swims by, the crew feel a cold shudder running down their spine.
A click of a button and the hiss of white noise fills the air. You remember the night you made the recording, alone in a room of a reputedly haunted location. With your recorder held high, you asked the questions, feeling a little foolish in the process. After all, you are first and foremost a skeptic, right?
Orcas Island, WA
The Old Medical College of Georgia Augusta, GA Late at night in Cedar Grove Cemetery, nearly two hundred years ago, strange work was afoot. In a scene straight out of a gruesome horror movie, there were those who claimed to see a man committing unthinkable acts against God and nature, and while those claims were reported to the proper authorities, police and other officials turned a blind eye.
San Antonio, TX Halloween brings things that every horror fan loves in the form of candy, costumes, and that wonderful halmark of Halloween, the haunted attraction. Darkened hallways full of shrieking patrons and wall-to-wall ghouls are always enough to give all horror fans a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. It's too bad that Halloween only comes once a year, and its passing is marked by the closing of spookhouses, right?
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma An old hotel is sometimes just the thing to really experience the history of a city. From the high marble arches to the gargoyles staring down from the walls, it is clear that the old adage of "they just don't make 'em like they used to" applies. But at night, sleep can be elusive in particular rooms. Did you really just hear a baby cry? And who whispers in your ears?
Deer Lodge, Montana Passing outside the high stone walls, visitors feel a chill. There, but for the grace of God, go they. It wasn't so long ago that within these same walls, the worst of humanity thrived, their cycle of crimes continuing against their fellow inmates instead of the defenseless. But still, all that is in the past, isn't it?