Monday, October 12, 2009

Clinical One’s Top 5 Spookiest Travel Destinations

With Halloween fast approaching, Clinical One has compiled our Top 5 list of Spooky Travel Destinations. In addition to the ghosts, goblins, and evil spirits, you can also find high paying and rewarding travel assignments in each of these locations. Local Per Diem assignments are also available in Salem and Fall River, Massachusetts.

#5: The Winchester Mansion, San Jose CA

Not only is this located in one of the countries prettiest cities, it is also considered one of America’s strangest and most haunted houses. While all accounts of haunting and weird experiences in the house are your usual run-of-the-mill cold spots, unexplained noises, and various psychics with all kinds of reports; the architecture of the mansion and the history of its former owner make this site much more intriguing then your average haunted house. . William Winchester was heir to the Winchester Rifle Empire which was worth a reported $20 million in 1881. Upon the death of William along with their baby daughter, his distraught yet wealthy wife, Sarah, took the advice of a psychic medium who told her that her bad luck was the result of the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifles. The psychic told Sarah that she must head west to build a house to escape the spirits of those who were killed during the Civil War. She landed in San Jose and started to build a house that eventually had 160 rooms, staircases leading to nowhere (Sarah believed this would confuse the evil spirits), seven towers, and hundreds of fireplaces. When Sarah passed away in 1922, it reportedly took workmen 6 weeks to get the furniture out of the “labyrinth.” Since then, the house was declared a California Historical Landmark by the National Park Service and is a major tourist attraction. Is this place really “America’s Largest Haunted House?” Go and see for yourself, if you’re brave enough!

#4: The Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA

As the home of the most infamous and darkest times in Massachusetts history, Salem, consistently ranks on the top of the list of most haunted places in America. Besides having one of the largest Halloween celebrations in the world, it is said that the ghosts of the men and women who were prosecuted for being witches during the “Salem Witch Trials” of the 1800’s, roam the streets of Salem during the night’s darkest hours all year round. The first person executed was, Bridget Bishop, who owned an apple orchard where the Hawthorne Hotel now stands. Visitors report the scent of apples throughout the hotel even though apples are rarely on the menu. The Hawthorne Hotel is also said to be haunted by many sea captains of this coastal community that used the area as a gathering place before the hotel was constructed. Guests claim hearing strange noises and occurrences including a houseman who reported that his room was inexplicably rearranged. He was so spooked by this that he now refuses to work nights. Known world wide, Salem, Massachusetts is truly the kind of place you have to experience for yourself!

#3: The Lemp Mansion, Saint Louis, MO

Oddly enough, this sad and morbid story all starts with beer. The Lemp’s Western Brewing Company was the country’s only regional brewing company with a national customer base during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. With the fortunes from all the sales of beer, William Lemp, the owner of the brewery, built a beautiful Italian Renaissance style mansion. Despite his massive fortune, in 1904, after the loss of his first born son and his best friend, William shot himself in his bedroom. His son and heir of the brewing company, William Jr. ran the business into the ground with his extravagant lifestyle. Prohibition then made a bad situation worse which finally brought the end of the St. Louis institution, forcing William Jr.. to sell what he could of the brewery. More tragedy struck the Lemp family with three more suicides in the mansion. After the suicide of William Lemp Jr., the property was finally sold and renovated into a restaurant that still stands today. The establishment is now well-known and liked by residents and visitors not only for the delicious food and comfy lodging but also for all the reports of spooky happenings. Employees and customers have reported various happenings such as glasses flying off the bar, doors locking and unlocking themselves, the piano playing by itself, and various unexplained sounds and sightings. Some less brave employees have left the restaurant never to return. This may be why the Lemp Mansion was ranked in the top ten “Scariest Places in America” according to Life magazine.

#2: The Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg, PA

The Civil War was not only one of the most defining times in American history but it is also the source of many American ghost stories. “The Battle of Gettysburg” was considered a turning point of the Civil War, since more soldiers died in this battle (some historians estimate that nearly 28,000 men lost their lives) than in any other battle of the war and resulted in Confederate General Lee to end his invasion of the North. The battlefield and surrounding areas where so many men lost their lives is now considered one of the most haunted places in the world. It’s said that every Gettysburg resident has had some kind of paranormal experience including sighting of soldiers walking up and down the halls of Gettysburg College. Many accounts from residents, visitors, and paranormal experts alike have included reports of apparitions and cries of soldiers that can be heard on the fields, especially in a section called the Devil’s Den and the Valley of Death. Electronic equipment has inexplicably failed to work on the fields as well. The spirit of Jenny Wade, a civilian killed in her home by a stray bullet while baking bread, is said to still reside in her home where visitors have reported smelling fresh baked bread. Come here to experience history and possibly have a paranormal experience of your own!

#1: The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, Fall River, MA

Fall River, Massachusetts is well-known by Massachusetts residents for its large Portuguese community and a place to get some fabulous sweet bread! A little less known fact about Fall River is that it is the scene of the true-life children’s rhyme “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she’d seen what she had done, gave her father forty-one.” Although she was ultimately acquitted of the heinous murders of her very wealthy father and step-mother, Lizzie Borden, has gone down in history as the first woman in America to get away with murder and be convicted by the media as a murderer. The Borden home where the axe-murders took place, was renovated and replicated to look exactly as it did when Lizzie, her father, and step-mother resided in it. Guests are able to sleep in the bed where Lizzie’s step-mother was killed and sit on the couch where her father was found. The breakfast served is the same the family ate the morning of the murders. A well-known psychic claims to have made contact with Lizzie’s sister, Emma and children who were drowned in the house next door by their mentally disturbed mother before the Borden murders took place. The case is still a major piece of American folklore in which plays, books, and movies are based. A stay at the Bed and Breakfast provides a comfy place to stay along with séances with the house “psychic” and possibly a visit from Lizzie herself! Small wonder the Travel Channel named the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast “The Number One Scariest Place in the WORLD.” Come experience it for yourself, if you dare!

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1 comment:

  1. More tragedy struck the Lemp family with three more suicides in the mansion. After the suicide of William Lemp Jr., the property was finally sold and renovated into a restaurant that still stands today

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