E42 – Let’s Visit Haunted Places in the US – Part 1
In this episode of The Roaming Yeti podcast, I send my fearless Yeti, Addi, to explore some of the most haunted locations in the United States. Join me as I as I share Addi’s bone-chilling experiences and findings at haunted places like the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana, the Winchester Mystery House in California, the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee, and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia. Discover the eerie legends, paranormal phenomena, and ghostly encounters that make these locations a must-visit for any paranormal enthusiast or ghost hunter. So, grab your headphones and get ready for a hauntingly good time with The Roaming Yeti podcast.
In this episode, you will be able to:
- Discover the chilling history and paranormal activity of Eastern State Penitentiary, a haunted prison in Philadelphia, that will send shivers down your spine.
- Uncover the mysteries and encounters at Myrtles Plantation, a haunted plantation in Louisiana, including the eerie presence of a ghost named Chloe.
- Explore the haunting secrets of the Winchester Mystery House, a bizarre mansion in California designed to trap spirits, that will leave you questioning reality.
- Dive into the dark legends and spine-tingling tales of Bell Witch Cave, a haunted cave in Tennessee, where the notorious witch’s presence still lingers.
Here is a transcript of the podcast. Please remember this was done via AI, so there are typos and mistakes.
Welcome to the roaming Yeti podcast where we share travel stories for nostalgia, interesting locations and the tales behind those locations. I am your host and head Yeti Beth Schillaci. It’s spooky season. So I thought I would send our favorite Yeti Addy out to check out some interesting haunted locations throughout the US. Because quite frankly, I am too much of a scaredy cat to do it myself. So let’s open her field notes and see what haunted locations she has in store for us. Wow, she’s brought us so many. I think I’m gonna break this down into two shorter episodes. So you’re ready to get scared? Let’s Rome. Our first stop is the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And this former prison was once known for its harsh, harsh conditions and solitary confinement. Believe it or not, today. It’s it’s a popular tourist attraction. But it’s also said to be one of the most haunted places in the United States. The penitentiary was constructed in the early 19th century, and then operated as a prison from 1829 all the way till 1971. And it was designed with this. They call it a revolutionary idea, but um, sounds awful. This revolutionary idea of solitary confinement where inmates were isolated, often in small windowless cells. They say it was to encourage reflection and reform. And they spent, you know, 23 days hours a day in their cells with limited human contact and often wearing hoods, when they were allowed to go out of their sales cells to prevent interaction with other prisoners. As you can guess, and believe this strict regimen and isolation severely affected inmates mental health, not not surprising. And some of them inmates that were held at the Eastern State Penitentiary, were notorious criminals in one of them was Al Capone, one of America’s most infamous gangsters, and, and another prisoner who was there. His name was Morris, the rabbi bullbar. And he was serving a life sentence as a member of an arsenic murdering, located in Philly. And there was also Frieda frost. And she was the last of the female prisoners that were held at the penitentiary, and she was convicted for murdering her husband with poison. And the presence of so many of these sort of infamous individuals of the time, definitely adds to the prison’s eerie aura. Now, over the years, many visitors staff and even paranormal investigators have reported experiencing paranormal phenomenon within the prison. And these experiences include apparitions seen ghostly figures and shadowy forms moving throughout the prison. Lots of unexplained sounds, footsteps whispered and even some disembodied voices and empty cell blocks and corridors. sudden drops in temperature or cold spots that are often associated with paranormal activity. And lots of people witness cell doors opening and closing on their own. And there’s even been said to have photographs have taken, taking them or take them within the prison sometimes captured unexplained, unexplained orbs of light. Like I said, you can still visit the penitentiary if you dare. And they actually have Halloween nights that have five haunted houses. You know if you’re up for the scares, and I’ve heard it’s one of the one of the scariest haunted houses out there. So if you’ve ever been I would love to hear from you and details because that is something I’m not not gonna go experience on my own. So there’s that. Next up, we’re going to head south to Myrtles Plantation, which is located in St. Francisville, Louisiana. The Myrtles Plantation was built in 1796. And it has a rich but troubled history. Originally, it was a working plantation and like many southern plantations, it was associated with slavery and the hardship endured by the enslaved individuals. So the plantation had several owners over the years. and some experienced tragedies. During their ownership, the most famous owners were the Woodruff’s judge Clark Woodruff and his wife Sarah Matilda Woodruff, purchased the mark Myrtles Plantation in 1820. And they acquired the property from General David Bradford, who was known for his involvement in the whiskey revolution. Clerk Woodruff was a prominent figure in the local community, and he served on as a judge and held other positions in the legal and political room realms. So that’s all good and fine, but what what are the legends? What are the hauntings? You know? Well, here’s a few. One of the most famous legends associated with the Myrtles involves a slave named Chloe. According to the story. Chloe was this slave who had her ear cut off as punishment, and in seeking revenge poisoned the family with Oleander leaves. The poison caused the death of Sara Woodruff and her two children. And as punishment for the poisoning deaths Chloe was hung, but it is said to her ghosts still haunts the plantation plantation to this day. William winter, was a former owner of the Myrtles Plantation and he was said to have been murdered on the front porch in 1871. And his ghost is said to be seen walking the grounds of the plantation in his footsteps can even be heard in the hallways of the house. There’s also a mirror in the house that is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sarah Woodruff, and her two children. So when people look in the mirror, they sometimes see the ghost of Sarah and her children. Yeah, I’m going to be a pest to I told you, I’m a scaredy cat. The Myrtles Plantation continues attracting visitors interested in both its historical significance and its alleged paranormal activity. So whether one believes in the hauntings or not, this plantation also offers a glimpse into the complex history of ourselves and enduring the lore of ghostly legends. This next location is is actually one that is on my to do list. And I really hate to say that when I lived in the San Jose area, I never I never made it to visit I visited a lot of places Alcatraz and other places, but I did not make it to the Winchester Mystery House. The Winchester Mystery House is in San Jose, California, and Sarah Winchester was the widow of gun magnate William Winchester. She built this bizarre mansion starting construction in 1886 and continued to build nonstop until she died in 1922. Now Sara believes she was cursed by the ghost of people killed by Winchester rifles, so she built the house to confuse and trap the spirits. The Winchester Mystery House is a sprawling structure with over 160 rooms 2000 doors 10,000 windows and 47 staircases the house is also home to a few other unusual features including a door that opens onto a blank wall. A staircase case that leads to the ceiling, a fireplace with a chimney that goes nowhere. A room with 13 windows, but only 12 openings for the windows and a room with a secret passageway that leads to a hidden room. So, like I said, legend has it that Sarah Winchester believe the hot house was haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. She reportedly consulted a medium who told her she must continually build on the house to appease these vengeful spirits. Me thinks maybe the mediums husband was a contract. No, just kidding. Sorry, had this had to be said. But it is said that she never slept in the same bedroom twice, and constructed secret passageways, dead end hallways, and other baffling architectural elements to confuse the spirits. Over the years visitors and staff at the house have reported various paranormal experiences including footsteps, seeing apparitions, and even encountering other unexplained phenomenon. Some have even claimed to have seen the ghost of Sarah Winchester herself, while others have reported ghostly workmen’s still laboring on that never ending construction job.
While the legend of Sarah winch Esther’s ghostly motivations has persisted. Some historians actually questioned the accuracy of this narrative, and suggest that maybe just personal beliefs and architectural trends of the time may have may have influenced her eccentric architectural choices instead. So the Winchester Mystery House remains a fascinating and mysterious place. It’s known for its grossly alleged legends and also its architectural oddities. So whether you’re interested in the paranormal reputation, or its historical significance, definitely provides a unique experience for the visitor. So moving on from the Mystery Mansion, we’re heading to a cave, and specifically the bell witch cave, which is a karst cave and it’s located in Adams, Tennessee, and it’s near where the bell farm wants store once stood. The cave is approximately 490 feet long. And the belt which cave is thought to have been formed millions of years ago by erosion of limestone by the groundwater. And Native Americans use the cave for centuries, and there is evidence of their occupation within that cave. But when we look at the early 1800s, the bell family settled on the land where the cave was located. And the bell family began to use the K for storage and shelter during storms. So what or who is the bell which was a bell, which is one of America history’s most famous ghost stories. It all started in 1817 When the bell family in Adams, Tennessee started experiencing strange phenomenon. They heard disembodied voices strew saw strange lights, and were even physically attacked by an unseen entity. Now the bells believed that this witch that was haunting them, it was a witch that was haunting them, and they actually called her Kate Pat Kate bats. Now Kate was a neighbor of the bells, who believe that John Bell had cheated her in a Lampard purchase. However, no one knows if Kate bats was actually the bell witch or not. So these bell witch hauntings lasted for three years, and it was one of the most well documented cases of paranormal activity in American history. The Haunting was investigated by several people, including Andrew Jackson, who at the time, was the governor of Tennessee. Strangely enough, the bell witch hunting ended in 1820 with the death of John Bell. Some people believe that bell the bell witch was responsible for his death while others believe he simply died from natural causes. The bell witch haunting is such a fascinating and mysterious story. It is the story that is told and retold for over 200 years. And it is a story that continues to capture the imagination of people. You can visit the cave where the where they provide guided tours. And if you’re brave enough, you can also book a lantern tour for a more spooky experience. So from Tennessee, we’re going to head to West Virginia to the trans Allegheny lunatic lunatic asylum, which is a massive hand cut stone building in western West Weston, West Virginia. It was built between 1858 and 1881 and it’s the largest hand cut stone masonry building in North America. And it’s the second largest in the world right behind the Kremlin. So renowned architect Richard Andrews designed me asylum, which was built following the Kirkbride plan. This plan called for long rambling wings arranged in a staggered formation. So they each so that each connecting structure would receive plenty of therapeutic sunlight and fresh air. Now, the original hospital was designed to house 250 patients, but by the 1950s It was so overcrowded and in poor condition. At that point, it had over 2400 patients. Now due to changes in how we treat mental illness, and just the overall deterioration of the building, it was forced to close in 1994. Now today, the trans Allegheny lunatic asylum is a popular tourist destination and it’s known for its haunted reputation. visitors have reported seeing strange lights, hearing disembodied voices and even feeling Like unseen hands are touching them. Nope. No thank you. Little Lily is actually one of the most famous ghost at the asylum. And the story goes that Lily’s mother Gladys, was sent to the asylum after being raped by Civil War soldiers, and Gladys gave birth to Lily in the asylum, but she died during childbirth. The nurses in the war took pity on lily and they named her and Lily only had a home for a short time though when she was nine years old, she got pneumonia and died. So now when people visit Lily’s room, they bring her gifts like toys, stuffed animals and candy. And some people say that the toys move on their own, and that the candy disappears. They believe that this is Lily’s way of playing with the visitors. If you ever visit the trans Allegheny lunatic asylum, be sure to stop by Lily’s room. And if you bring her a gift, be sure to leave it in a place where she can find it, she might just play with it. Now, a lot of these locations that I’ve talked about they as you know, as you can hear, they have some pretty horrible histories. And there are places where people once lived and unfortunately died. So I just feel like if you do visit these places, please be respectful to the histories. And remember that they’re not just tourist attractions put together for enjoyment, it’s essential to respect the dead and the history of the place while visiting please. So have you been to any of these? Are there any you want to visit on this list? Let me know on my social media accounts. And tune in next week when we will finish up the list with five more haunted locations in the US. And until then, I hope you enjoy these episodes and they inspire you to get out and roam even in your own neighborhood. So please subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. And if you like what we’re doing here, please leave a review and a rating. Also to help support us. Please head to Yeti to shop.com to pick up some Roman Yeti merch. I’ll talk to you soon and keep rolling