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Random Haunted Houses

Ruins of Gore Orphanage

Loraine County, Ohio, United States

If you travel down a winding road through the thick of the woods, you will eventually come across a bridge, a field, an overgrown foundation, and a short sandstone pillar. This is what remains of the Gore Orphanage, one of Ohioâ??s most haunted locations.  Although it was originally known as the Light and Hope Orphanage, the place earned its nickname from the shape of the land and, later, the gruesome story that accompanied it.

Founded by Reverend Johann Sprunger and his wife Katharina in 1902, the place was a nightmare even before being supposedly engulfed in flames. The couple shared a depressing, unfortunate history, which included the destruction of their previous orphanage and two other businesses in Indiana, as well as the death of their two children. However, nothing could compare to the atrocities inflicted upon the children they were currently made to take care of at Light and Hope.

The orphanage held up to one hundred twenty children, with two separate farms for the boys and girls, a schoolhouse (which included a chapel), and a small printing press. Although the Reverend must have been a religious man, rumors surrounding the orphanage suggested that the children there were being subjected to a hell beyond belief. In fact, a few even waded through the deep Vermilion River in effort to escape. Tales were told of bedrooms filled with rats and other vermin, large welts that developed on oneâ??s skin after being beaten, and a diet consisting of animal innards, and diseased meat and corn. The inmates received hardly any schooling, and any illness was treated only by prayer.

However, further research has concluded that the eventual burning of the Gore orphanage is simply a legend created by the accidental entwining of another morbid occasion into the story. In 1908, an elementary school in the town of Collinwood had mysteriously caught fire, killing well over a hundred children. Some were burned or trampled to death, while others were trapped by the walls and flames. Still others tried to escape, but found the back door locked. When rescuers tried to open it, they found it was the kind of door that swings inside, and therefore wouldnâ??t budge because of the desperate crowd pressing against it. The blaze spread quickly, drawing screams and shrieks from the trapped children. Although the heartbroken town investigated, the cause of the fire was never found. The legend states that a little boy dropped an oil lamp outside, but many people suspected it was started by the schoolâ??s own janitor, a German-American named Herter.

The Light and Hope orphanage finally closed down in 1916 due to ongoing financial problems. It might have been closed down sooner, after an investigation was conducted in 1909, but the state of Ohio had no formal laws concerning the operation and conditions of such institutions. Strangely enough, this happened exactly 13 years after the orphanage first opened. The children were then dispersed among relatives and guardians throughout the town, with the exception of those who had nowhere to go. Now widowed, Mrs. Sprunger took them with her back to Indiana, where she eventually died in 1953.

The areas around the ruins of both the school and the orphanage are said to be very haunted. There are often reports of shrill screaming, balls of light, visions of fire, and strange apparitions. Visitors who have taken pictures of the nearby forest and bridge are surprised to find that, after developing the film, mysterious white smudges and smoke wisps have shown up in the photo. There have even been some ghost sightings, including the discovery of a little ragged boy named Jacob. But perhaps the most disturbing of all are the small, dusty fingerprints found all over many a visitorâ??s possessionsâ?¦

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The Falcon Apartments

Oregon, Portland, United States

Two ghosts have appeared frequently in this building’s hallway, near the mailboxes and the manager’s apartment. The ghosts are reported to be two former residents of the apartments: Mr. Cooke, who always watched over and repaired the mailboxes. The other was Jimmy, who always had a fear of dying alone. Mr. Cooke died in 1989, and appears to have never left. He has been spotted where his chair once stood, and walking down the hallway. In 1994, the building was devastated by a series of fires. The first fire left a circular burn spot on the very location that Mr. Cooke used to sit on during his mortal life. Jimmy kept to himself during his years at the apartment complex, and would talk to various other tenants as they passed by. Contrary to his wish of having someone to watch him, he died alone. He is often seen sitting where his chair once was. Various ghostly happenings have occurred on the premises such as knockings on the doors, slamming of locked mailboxes, and many others in apartment 101, which some say can be attributed to a third ghost. The ghosts of Mr. Cooke and Jimmy have never been seen together.

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The University of Alabama

Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States

Violence. Death. Destruction. When you walk onto the campus of the University of Alabama, you are walking into a place where gunfights, riots, and war have left a number of phantoms behind to haunt the hallways and grounds of the U of A.

The U of A opened its doors to the public in 1831, having about 100 students. Since its inception, the university had disciplinary problems, with gunfights on the grounds not being all that uncommon. After 29 years of trouble, the school was transformed into a military academy, and just in time to train soldiers for the Civil War. Some say that in April of 1865, a Union soldier came onto campus to sign a treaty. When he entered the cadet guardhouse, now known as Jason’s Shrine or as The Little Round House, he was beaten, tortured and murdered. Another version of the story is that when Union troops were marching to the university–specifically to burn it down–two confederate soldiers stayed behind to kill a few Yankees. When three Federal soldiers asked one of the young cadets where to find some whiskey, he told them to go into the small structure. Lying in wait was the second southern cadet who shot the three soldiers when they entered the building. If you put your ear up to the door, you can sometimes hear soldiers prowling for whiskey. On a foggy night, some say the spirits of soldiers can be seen marching through the quad to an unknown spectral destination.

Smith Hall has also had some spooky incidents reported from within. Some say that they have heard Dr. Smith’s carriage, which is exhibited on the main floor, careen through the building, the sound of wheels and horses coming out of nowhere. Footsteps also have been heard entering the upstairs classrooms and the sounds of a ghostly lecture coming from a classroom at night. One night, a few students tried to catch what they thought was an intruder in the building. They followed the voices to a classroom, and when they entered the room, the once lined-up rows of desks were scattered. They later discovered that a boiler explosion had killed a number of students who were in the room years before. In the basement, students have complained of feeling watched while working in the lab. An assistant was pushed into a closet one night and locked in. When he tried to open the closet door, it would not release him until morning. From then on, he ignored any out of the ordinary sounds, all interest in investigation had been sucked out of him.

The most common complaint students have is microwaves starting, stopping and making strange noises, even when the microwave is unplugged. Photos are developed showing light orbs floating through them, and footsteps are heard at night. Some say that a girl committed suicide by lighting herself on fire on the 13th floor of Tutwiler Hall. Shadowy forms of people have been spotted speeding through the halls.

Gorgas Library still entertains the ghost of its namesake, Amelia Gayle Gorgas and the Music Library is haunted by a man in black who wanders the stacks, sometimes touching people looking through materials. Hoole Special Collections Library has an elevator that will still occasionally drop off ghostly riders when the power has been turned off.

Even Tennessee Williams has a part of the hauntings at the University. Marian Gallaway, the theater director during the mid-twentieth century, has been sighted in white on the stage in her theater in Rowand-Johnson Hall. Marian’s husband had left her to pursue a romance with Tennessee Williams, and Williams supposedly used Marian as the inspiration for Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

The students of the University of Alabama have a lot more â??school spiritâ? than they may have bargained for.

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Pass the Jack

Massachusetts, Natick, United States

It is said that on St. Patrick’s evening, 1874, an intoxicated man was walking alone. So inebriated was he, that he stumbled over the cliff. His remains were never found; only a bottle of whiskey was located at the site of the accident. It is said that on the evening of every St. Patrick’s Day, the man can be seen drinking a bottle of whiskey.

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Keesler Air Force Base

Biloxi, Mississippi, United States

There are several ghostly tales involving Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS.

One ghost tale is of a cadet who died by hanging himself in the barracks.  He was known to be a malicious entity who stayed around to haunt the room he died in.  When they tore down that part of the barracks, his ghost seemed to disappear.

Another haunting is of a ghost who haunts the women’s dormitory, it is said that he doesn’t like females in the Air Force, that is why he haunts them.

And finally, the last tale if of a friendly ghost named Jeremy.  He is known for his practical joking, but is also very polite.

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Northern State University

Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States

A four-year public university in Aberdeen, SD, Northern State University, is not only home to several college students, but also to some ghosts.

Two particular buildings are said to be haunted, one is Jerde Hall, which is a dormitory.  It’s said to be the home of a female child ghost who has been seen by students and heard in the hallways.

The Johnson Fine Arts Center also has a ghost roaming about.  This ghost likes to whistle in the men’s bathroom and likes to jingle keys and flick the lights on and off.  While a friendly ghost, reports say that this ghost likes to move, throw and drop objects around.

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