The season of chocolates and chills is fast upon us, and while some of us are more than willing to partake on the sugar-coated side of Halloween, others are much more interested in the supernatural side come Oct. 31. Whether this is an attempt at keeping your waistline from getting similarly "supernatural" or just an ode to the time-honored tradition of getting the crap scared out of you, here are some of the haunted locations you can find yourself running for your life from…
7000 Hamilton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45231
Her garment softly bright,
Like some fair cloud about the morn
With roses all a-light:
My deathless little one.
-excerpt from "My Little One" by Alice Cary.
Located on the campus of Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Cary Cottage was the home to two noted Ohioan poets, Alice and Phoebe Cary, and lies just outside of Cincinnati. In 1833, an older sister of the two poets named Rhoda died of tuberculosis, as did another 3-year-old sister Lucy (of whom the poem above was written about). Just two years later, their mother died. According to the Unitarian Universalist Association Web site, Alice often claimed that the ghost of little Lucy, in her favorite red dress, was seen a number of times on the farm, once by a young nephew unaware of the child's existence.
Waverly Hills Sanitorium
4301 East Pages Lane
Louisville, KY 40272
Although a bit of a drive from Cincinnati, the Waverly Hills Sanitorium is one of the more infamous haunted houses in the country, having been featured on the Sci-Fi Channels Ghosthunters, ABC/Foxs Scariest Places on Earth and VH1s Celebrity Paranormal Project. The Waverly Hills Sanitorium was a tuberculosis hospital where patients were sent and never allowed to leave until their recovery or death. Recovery was a difficult matter, however, as in the 20s and 30s a technique for fighting TB was to remove a few of the patients ribs and collapse the section of lung that was infected. The Waverly Sanitorium had death chutes, which were originally service tunnels that began to be used to transport the dead away from the hospital when the rate of death exceeded storage room for the cadavers. According to the Spook Hunters Web site, A lot of people died here. Including one nurse who committed suicide on the fifth floor because she was depressed that she couldn't go home to see her family. As best as some historians can estimate, around 60,000 to 65,000 people lost their lives. The site features both historical and paranormal focused tours. Visitors must go to the address cited above in order to be directed to the actual site.
In 1841, after his father William Henry Harrison (ninth president of the United States) died, John Scott Harrison followed suit soon after in his Cincinnati home. When a body in the same city was found to be missing, one of John Scott Harrisons sons went looking for it, and instead found his father with a length of rope tied around his neck. It seems that medical students of that time calling themselves Resurrectionists (what a creepy bunch of school kids) would wait until a burial procession was over, then dig up the grave, break open the coffin and drag the body out by the neck to preserve the organs of the deceased. In many cases, as in the case of Harrison, the body would be pickled to stop any decay. Harrisons body was scheduled to be skinned and harvested for organs, but was discovered just in time to return it to the grave, desecrated as it now was.
(Information on The Harrison Horror courtesy of Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard)