Whether you are more apt to call a séance to summon the ghost of someone from your past, or more ready to call ghostbusters at any possible sign of one, you are one of 52% of Americans who believe in ghosts, according to a Chapman University survey.
Some paranormal researchers travel the country in search of spirits, while others concentrate their energies in specific locations they feel have either shown or are thought to have ghosts yet not confirmed.
Sightings of ghosts are said to date back as far as the first century AD. Many religions have the belief that the soul of a person is separated from his or her body at the time of death. That soul may continue to live on in heaven, hell, or somewhere else unobtainable to man during his life on earth. Some believe that soul may take on a shadowy appearance of its human form returning to visit, or haunt, others on earth, while their physical remains have long been buried or interned.
Former homes of the deceased have been said to be “haunted” by their ghosts. Cemeteries are also thought to contain ghosts of those whose bodies are buried there. Fact or fiction, tales of ghosts and the paranormal have been recorded for as long as man has taken quill to paper, or rock to stone.
Ghost Tours near You
Whether you truly believe in ghosts or are simply curious of the possibility, those paranormal researchers along with historians and museum docents may offer a ghost tour near you. Traditionally, some places are long thought to be more haunted than others. New Orleans, Galveston, and Salem, Massachusetts are a few cities where multiple ghost sightings have been claimed in multiple locations within the city.
Exact locations that have seen massive losses of life, such as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia, or the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, and older cemeteries throughout the country are home to multiple ghost sightings.
Yet still, there are other private homesteads also thought to be haunted such as the childhood home of Lizzie Borden, who is said to have bludgeoned her parents to death. The home is now a bed and breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts.
The former home of Sarah Lockwood Paree Winchester, who while in mourning the loss of her infant daughter and later her husband, William, moved from Connecticut to an eight-room farmhouse in San Jose, California. From her arrival in 1886 through her death in 1922, the heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms fortune continuously had additions made to her home which had reached a total of 24,000 square feet.
Some believe she was advised by a psychic to do this. Now open to the public, the Winchester Mystery House is believed to be home to the ghost of Sarah Winchester and many others, and is a must-see for Californians and visitors to the area.
There are so many ghostly haunts to visit from the ghost towns of the Old West to the battlefields of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. If there isn’t a ghost tour near you, make sure to look for one on your next vacation. Maybe you will be lucky enough to make a paranormal sighting of your own.