Sunday, October 25, 2015

Haunted Open House ~ Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Nancy Gideon's 5th Annual Haunted Open House


Welcome my Pretties!
Hey Y'all!  Welcome to my stop on Nancy's Haunted Open House Blog Tour.  As you can see, I'm in costume & ready to have some spooky fun.  There's a crispness to the air & I do believe a full moon rising . . . the perfect time to visit some haunted places!  What? You don't believe in ghosts?  Let's see if I can make a believer out of you tonight.  Take my hand while we visit some of the ghostly haunts in my home state of North Carolina.  I've been to most of these . . . & left in a hurry.  HaHaHaHaHa  

For eerie tales about haunted places, there's no place like the South.  From the mountains to the sea, North Carolina is either blessed or cursed, according to who you ask, with tales of ghost sightings and stories of narrow escapes.  Many tales have evolved from historical roots, documented facts that have resulted in spirits wandering, haunting the night.  Whether you're a believer or not, most of these places are hauntingly beautiful, steeped in history, and rich in folklore.  Let's check out a few tonight . . .

After we finish, be sure to enter my treat giveaway below and check out the other HOH Tour Blogger stops for a chance to gather more treats!

The Mountains of N.C.

Asheville - The Biltmore Estate, America's largest home, is the site of numerous hauntings. The 250-room estate, which opened in 1895, has 34 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. In 1914, George Vanderbilt, the owner, died of appendicitis, and his wife reportedly can still be heard speaking quietly to him in the library. George appears in some of his favorite rooms in the estate, and a headless cat roams the grounds while voices echo in the swimming pool room. Asheville's other grand edifice, the Grove Park Inn (groveparkinn.com), is a massive hotel and spa built with boulders dug from a nearby mountain. A woman in a gauzy pink gown fell to her death in the hotel's atrium around 1920, and her spirit inhabits a fifth floor guest room. The Pink Lady hasn't revealed why she stays, but some suspect she jumped to her death when her heart was broken.

Valle Crucis is a small town high in North Carolina's mountains. People driving by the cemetery of an old stone church at night report a huge dog with glowing eyes and yellow teeth leaping from behind a headstone and keeping pace with the car, no matter its speed.

The Piedmont & Foothills of N.C.

The Brown Mountain Lights, first reported by Native Americans, appear after sunset as they rise above the peak of the mountain. Visible from Linville, the Blue Ridge Parkway or Wiseman's Gap, the lights change in size, shape and color. Legends surround the lights, which have been dismissed by the U.S. Geological Survey as marsh gas, even though there are no marshes in the area. The earliest legend recounts a great battle between the Cherokee and Catawba; purportedly, the lights are maidens searching for their lost warriors. A later story suggests an explorer was lost on the mountain, and the light is his slave's lantern, swinging as he searches for his owner.

*(The Devil's Stomping Ground is about 20 miles from my home. The barren circle this article speaks of is really there.) The devil paces, plotting evil, 150 miles east in Siler City. A spot called the Devil's Tramping Ground is a 40-foot diameter circle, barren of life, perhaps used for ancient ceremonies, as an alien landing zone or simply the place where the devil's hoof prints cause nothing to grow.

*(The site of the disappearing hitchhiker is also about 20 miles from my home in the other direction.  I pass this place often, and it always gives me chills.) North Carolina adds its own vanishing hitchhiker to the long list of spirits searching for a ride. Lydia's Bridge near Greensboro is the site where a young woman in white flags down a passing car. She rides in the back seat as the driver takes her home. When he opens the door to let her out, he discovers she's vanished. He knocks on the door of her home where an old woman tells him Lydia died in a car crash at the bridge many years ago.

The Dismal Swamp in N.C.

The Great Dismal Swamp covers 112,000 acres along North Carolina's northern border with Virginia. Open from sunrise to sunset, the huge swamp's cypress forests and shaded waterways provide a suitably creepy setting for hauntings. Unsettled visitors report seeing strange lights and ghosts and hearing unexplained sounds. Legend has it that slaves first escaped to the swamp in the 1600s and lived in small communities isolated from the world, inspiring a novel by Harriett Beecher Stowe. Lake Drummond, just across the border in the heart of the swamp, is the site where a young man searches vainly for his lost love, who paddles her white canoe across the water. The tragic circumstances are related in poet Sir Thomas Moore's "Ballad of the Lake of Dismal Swamp."

The Coast of N.C.

Edward Teach, the infamous pirate known as Blackbeard, met his end at a bloody battle in the sound off Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. After two years of preying on ships, capturing their cargo and murdering their crews, the governor of Virginia decided to put a stop to his piracy and sent two ships to defeat him. In 1718, after a furious fight, Blackbeard died at the hands of Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy. His head was severed and his body thrown overboard. Blackbeard's ghost haunts Teach's Hole, his favored hideaway, where it searches for its head, howling at his loss.

Another headless ghost haunts Maco Station, a few miles from Wilmington. In 1867, the caboose of a train came uncoupled on a dark and rainy night. The conductor waved his light frantically to warn the train advancing behind him, to no avail. The train collided with the caboose, killing Joe Baldwin. On some nights, a light sways from side to side along the tracks, advancing faster and faster. It could be Joe, looking for his head.


*(Information for this article was gathered in part from an article on Haunted Places in USA Today.)

Nancy, Thanks for once again hosting a fabulous Haunted Open House Blog Hop!  I look forward to it every year.  Congratulations on the release of Unleashed By Shadows!  It's an awesome addition to the Moonlight series.  Grab a copy y'all!  I highly recommend it.  You can check out my review:  Unleashed By Shadows Review

Be sure to trick or treat at these other HOH Blog Stops to fill your treat bag with lots of goodies! My treat for you is a chance to win a $10 gift ecard from Amazon!  You'll find the other blog stops here Haunted House Bloggers or in the list below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

26 comments:

  1. I used to think that my old house was haunted. I was almost too scared to live in it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes! That would be tough, Natalie! Was there a particular ghost story attached to the house?

      Delete
  2. Thank you for informing me about this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an awesome read, Sara! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. while would love to go sightseeing with you, it's ok to do so in daylight only right? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! I only venture to these places in the daylight hours now! :)

      Delete
  4. I really enjoyed reading about the various myths and legends. I love local folklore, coming from Wales, which is full of creepy stories - we even have our own version of the Atlantis legend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so cool! I, too, love hearing the stories of myths & legends. I used to be brave enough to visit at places at night...not anymore! It's daylight hours only for me! :)

      Delete
  5. You're so lucky to live in a place with a perfect autumn setting for Halloween. It was 90 degrees where I live over the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Indeed I am! The foliage is just beautiful here now & temps just cool enough to make a day outside perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The hospital I used to work at had some haunted areas. I would hear noises when all by myself and my name loud enough to answer it back.
    Sue B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That gives me chills, Sue! Can't imagine working in a place where I heard voices like that.

      Delete
  8. Great post! Makes me want to visit North Carolina. I used to live in a house I'm pretty sure was haunted. A lot of creepy stuff happened there and I still have dreams about it sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really eerie that you dream about it still, Tricia. Sure makes one stop & think! N.C. is rich in myths & legends . . . many rising from historical roots. I think you'd enjoy it!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. And yet some of these places are beautiful...great tourist stops. The Biltmore House is amazing!

      Delete
  10. my dentist used to say his house was haunted, think he was just weird - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something to think about, Daniel! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  11. Great stories. Love your costume. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Diane! I like to pretend at least once a year! ;)

      Delete
  12. I do believe that some places are haunted. My favorite haunted spot was a cemetery close to where I grew up.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jeanna, I LOVE old cemeteries...I try to visit them wherever I go. Only in the daylight, of course! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Replies
    1. That's awesome, Amanda! I think I've gotten more cautious as I've gotten older. lol

      Delete
  15. Interesting information - I've been to the Biltmore several times and had no idea about the reported hauntings, I'll definitely be on the lookout next time.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Ann S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goes to show you just never know! lol Thanks for stopping in, Ann.

      Delete