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Random Haunted Houses

Beardslee Manor & Castle

Little Falls, New York, United States

Outside of Utica, in the town of Little Falls, New York, is Beardslee Manor. Now a beautifully restored restaurant, Beardslee Manor hosts weddings and receptions. But some visitors have found more attending their wedding parties than just their invited guests. Beardslee Manor has a reputation for being haunted, and once you understand its history, you may know why.

Beginning with a small, fortified homestead in the middle of the 1700s, the property where Beardslee Manor now rests was occupied by European settlers. Located deep in the heart of the Mohawk Valley, the quaint homestead became an important storage depot for the local militiaâ??s munitions. Legend has it that one evening a band of Native Americans sneaked into the homestead to investigate and their torches touched off the gunpowderâ??blowing them straight into history. Perhaps their spirits continue to explore the region, watching for new interlopers…

Borrowing from traditional Irish castle designs, Augustus Beardslee created the building that became known as the â??Beardslee Castleâ? in 1860. When the original family left the area, the property passed from owner to owner several times. One owner, â??Popâ? Christensen hanged himself after a long battle with a terminal illness.

But perhaps the Indian influence is not limited to the ghosts of those lost souls. One of the early owners of what was initially called â??Beardslee Castle,â? Guy Beardslee returned home from military service out west with several Sioux war bonnets, weapons and ceremonial artifacts. Items of this nature were revered by many of the Sioux, so it is possible unrest followed them and has remained even after the original building (with the artifacts inside) burned in the first fire (1919).

Beginning in the 1950s, travelers nearing the property claimed to see strangely colored lights rush towards their cars. Several accidents occurred, being blamed on blinding lights. Some accidents proved fatal. People have speculated that the strange floating lights are long-lost reflections from Beardsleeâ??s lantern as he searched for a child whoâ??d gone missing many years ago. A few other drivers reported seeing a mysterious and ghostly child walking along the side of the road. Regardless of what sights have been reported in the area, the final quarter-mile stretch of straight and clear road leading to the manor boasts more car accidents than are easily explained away.

People claim that weeds will not grow in the path leading to the old family mausoleum, though it is seldom tended. And in those same pine woods people have reported seeing more strange lights and hearing voices. Strange rainbows have appeared in photos here, disregarding the regular patterns of light.

Staff members complained of voices and singing emanating from the second floor until the area was closed off in 1984. Now footsteps are heard in the dining room after dinner service has ended and phantom keys jingle as if someone is readying to lock up. Voices have successfully been recorded in the Manor, and ghost hunter Norm Gauthier felt the Manor was haunted by at least two different spirits. Visitors have also claimed seeing a young woman in white, now nicknamed â??Abigail,â? who supposedly died the night before her wedding was to take place.

In 1989 the manor caught fire again, some people feeling that it was sparked by the spirits who felt disrespected by the ghost tales being told so often and investigators entering so frequently. In 1994 the property was again named â??Beardslee Castleâ?, out of respect for the Beardslee familyâ??s original designs and intentions.

Open to the public, Beardslee Castle is still a place to experience the richness of the pastâ??even as it ghosts up to your car or dinner table.

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Eldridge Hotel

Kansas, Lawrence, United States

In the latter part of the 19th century, this building burned twice. During these fires, many died and today their spirits remain. There are numerous cold-spots throughout the home and lights also flash on and off.

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The Lady of the Lake (a.k.a. The White Rock Lady)

Dallas, Texas, United States

Soon after this lake was built in the 1920s, a girl was on her way home when she decided to cross the spillway to save time. Halfway across, she slipped and consequently drowned. Nowadays, it is said that she hitchhikes in the area. After riding in the car for a while, she vanishes leaving a wet spot.

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USS Lexington

Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

The retired US Naval vessel USS Lexington is most famous for the ghost of the engine room operator who was killed in battle. He has never harmed anyone and only makes his presence known when tourists enter the engine room; he gives guided tours of the room. Sometimes he becomes impatient, however, and slams doors and turns off lights.

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6 Mt. Zion Road

Croaker, United States, Virginia

It is said that in front of one particular house, the Ghost of Avenel may be seen walking. The woman is said to wear a long white dress and carry a parasol. Allegedly the woman used to live in the house that is now owned by the Bedford Historical Society.

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Sprague Mansion

Cranston, Rhode Island, United States

Today, â??one of Americaâ??s most haunted mansionsâ? is open to the public for tours. Around Halloween each year they also hold an annual Ghost Partyâ?? playing on their reputation and the homeâ??s history of tragedy to maintain a building of significant historic value. Once the home of societyâ??s elite members, the Sprague Mansion in Cranston, Rhode Island fell on hard times and faced demolition in 1967. Luckily the local historical society purchased and has since maintained the estate.

The Sprague family was powerful in Rhode Island society. Investing early in textile mills and printing the popular calico cloth of the late 1700s and 1800s in bulk brought them riches. But it also seems to have brought them a share of tragedy. Two of the Sprague brothers, William and Amasa, ran â??Sprague Print Worksâ? in Cranston in the 1860s. Business was booming and the Sprague family was growing tremendously wealthy thanks to the wonders of industrialization and the factory system. And then, on New Yearâ??s Eve day, 1843, Amasaâ??s badly beaten body was found. Amasa was dead and there were no eyewitnesses.

There was, however, an entire family to blame the murder on. It seems an Irish immigrant (a member of an unpopular minority at the time) by the name of Nicholas Gordon owned a small pub near the print factory. At lunch the Spragueâ??s workers would frequent Gordonâ??s pub and drink a pint or two. The idea that their workers were drinking on the job infuriated the Spragues and Amasa managed to get the city council to revoke Gordonâ??s liquor license.

Amasa had no real reason to ask such an action be taken, but he was a Sprague, and therefore quite influential. Gordon was just another struggling immigrant. The license was revoked.

Unfortunately, Nicholas Gordon had asked his entire family to come join him in Rhode Island due to the popularity of his pub. He felt certain he could find work for them since business was going so well, being as how he was so close to the Spragueâ??s factory. His family had only recently moved in when the liquor license got revoked. It must have been like a punch to the gut. Suddenly Nicholasâ?? booming business was nearly worthless.

So when Amasaâ??s body turned up, dispersions were automatically cast on the Gordons. Amasaâ??s body lay in state at the family home in Cranston before his burial. Perhaps this is why his spirit lingers there.

The police supposedly arrested every member of the family they could find, including an elderly matriarch and the pet dog. Claiming the Irish families were tremendously tight and surely there was quite a conspiracy as a result, the first trials were for Nicholasâ?? brothers. With a prostitute as the main witness (and she supposedly kept mixing the brothers up when delivering her testimony) and a jury that certainly included no Irish immigrantsâ?? peers, the first trial found John guilty of the murder. They had no tangible evidence, and the prosecution and the judge both showed blatant examples of discrimination. John was hanged as a result. It took him twenty minutes to die. William was found unanimously not guilty. Nicholas was released on bail, most of his jurors voting for an acquittal. By the time his trial came up, the murder that originally had no witnesses now had nearly 100.

Perhaps it is no wonder that Amasa haunts the family homeâ??rather it may be a greater marvel that John Gordon does not as it seems he certainly has a right to. Strange presences have been felt in the house and a man in black has been seen on the stairs. Cold spots are frequently felt and visitors often get strange and creepy feelings related to the â??doll roomâ? where a collection of traditional dolls stares at the visitors staring at them.

Strange things have shown up in photographs of the cellar and people have seen strange reflections in the cupola; some were debunked by the â??Ghost Huntersâ? (TAPS) investigation crew in 2007. But TAPS also experienced some strange things while there. The RI Paranormal Research Group also performed a lengthy investigation of the site, finding sufficient evidence to support claims the mansion is indeed haunted.

But then thereâ??s the ghost of the lovely Kate Chase Sprague. Kate may well be the ghostly woman first reported in 1925. In her time Kate was considered a remarkable beauty and a woman at the height of fashion. Her style was often mimicked by other ladies, and, as the wife to Governor William Sprague, she hoped to someday be the First Lady of the White House. But things did not go as Kate had hoped and she died at her fatherâ??s deteriorating estate in Washington DC, destitute and all alone in 1899. It is no small wonder then that people have believed theyâ??ve seen Kate standing before the mirror in the mansionâ??s ballroom. Perhaps she returns to the mansion to relive better times just as Amasa returns to revisit tragedy.

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