Fall is truly the most underrated time of year. You get to wear your cozy sweaters and cute fall accessories, you can drink all the PSLs you want, and there are so many Halloween activities and events happening all the time!
For the witches, wizards, and ghost enthusiasts, this is our time to shine. You can sit down on Netflix and watch everything in the horror genre! You can buy Halloween candy on sale and eat it before you head out in your costume to go clubbing. But this time of year is the best for anything spooky.
Believe it or not, North Carolina is a hub for haunted spots. That building you always drive by or have been in several times? Yeah, that's a hotbed for paranormal activity. So if you're looking to do a self-guided ghost tour, we've got a list of some of the creepiest spots in NC.
After you're done reading, text the bravest friends you have. Seriously, don't invite your friends that scream at even the slightest rustle of leaves. And, of course, record what you can for evidence!
Where: Hot Springs
Located on the Appalacian trail, Paint Rock is a must-see attraction. The cliff has some of the best preserved examples of Native American pictographs! You really can't beat that view if you manage to do the hike up to the top. But it's been known that campers should never set up shelter too close to the water. Legend has it that campers have heard a woman singing by the river and when they've gotten close to her, she disappears and they get pulled into the water by a creature. Don't be tempted by the siren song!
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
You should know that all lighthouses are haunted. They might look great in Instagram photos and can be really fun to climb up, but something is always lurking in the shadows. People have reported seeing the ghost of Theodos Burr, a man who was shipwrecked near the lighthouse and is always wandering around trying to find his way home. And are there any cat lovers out there? There have been several instances where people have seen a ghost cat that loves to be pet by people taking a tour of the lighthouse. You can pet the cat, but if you try to pick it up, it'll disappear in your arms!
You can come here for an education and a paranormal experience. Several dorms are reportedly haunted as residents have heard doors slaming and knocking from within the walls. Others have said that there are random cold spots around the dorms and loud clanging noises that can't be explained. Nothing can be confirmed, but if you start hearing things when you're up late cramming for an exam, don't be too alarmed. It could be a ghost or it could be your mind telling you to go to bed already!
The Great Dismal Swamp
Where: South Mills
Swamps can be creepy even if Shrek calls one home. There have been many cases of people getting lost in the swamp or drowning in the deceptively deep waters. But if you are brave enough to come out here for more than the stunning views, you're in for a treat. The resident ghost is named "The Lady of the Lake." For many years, people have allegedly seen a woman in a white canoe holding up a lamp looking for her lost lover. If you see her, just leave her be. You don't want to be one of those people in the stories who go after her and end up being lost underwater.
The Mordecai House
What's a historic house without a ghost as its resident? If you find yourself in Raleigh and want to know more about the people who built the city, take a tour of Mordecai House. And if you happen to see an apparition dressed in 19th century clothing, don't be alarmed! That's just Mary Willis Mordecai. There have been reports of seeing her playing the piano in the drawing room. Visitors have supposedly seen a grey mist hanging around the piano too. If a ghost just wants to play piano for some guests, they can't be all that bad, right?
Is it a ghost or is it Wilmington's version of The Phantom of the Opera? There are many reasons to believe it's a ghost. Strange things are always happening at the theater where scripts, tools, and makeup often disappear or are moved around. People have heard eerie noises and get the sense that someone's in the room when they are alone. Perhaps the most bizarre story to come out of the performing arts center is that one time a director's dog somehow made it to the third floor and was reportedly thrown off the rail to land in the first floor audience. Don't worry! The dog was unharmed, but who would do that?! Besides a ghost just wanting to stir up some trouble?
Blackbeard, is that you? Teach's Hole is the site of Blackbeard's gruesome final battle. He was shot and stabbed multiple times and was even decappitated. His headless body was thrown into the water and the captain who defeated Blackbeard kept his head on a stick as they sailed away triumphantly. Supposedly, you can see Blackbeard's spirit swimming in the water in search of his head. So, um, maybe skip this spot if you're looking for a relaxing vacation by the water.
The Devil's Tramping Ground
Where: Bear Creek
What did you expect with a name like that? The spot refers to a barren patch of land in the woods. Nothing can ever grow again because the Devil has walked there. Several weird occurances have happened in that one spot. People have left things in that small plot of land overnight and it's always been thrown back no matter how heavy it is. Legend has it that this happens because the Devil needs room to dance and people have even said they've seen red glowing eyes in the middle of the circle! Even creepier, a couple of people have tried to disprove this theory by camping right in the middle of the circle. They weren't thrown out, but they did hear prancing and footsteps outside their tent.
Like any mansion, the Biltmore Estate comes with, um, extra features. The private estate was built by George Vanderbilt and is now a museum where you can tour the grounds and inside the beautiful house. If you're on the guided tour and stop by the library, you might spot a shadowy figure in there. Reportedly, he loved to retreat to the library when there was a storm coming and tourists have noted that they've spotted his spirit when it's particularly grey and gloomy outside. Not only that, visitors have also heard his wife Edith calling for her husband over and over again.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
This place has become popular for weekend getaways and weddings! But while you're enjoying your relaxing treatments at the spa or getting ready for bed, you might run into "The Pink Lady." And if you do, don't fret! She's a nice spirit. She's either a lady in a pink ballgown or a pink mist that roams the hotel. Legend has it that she was a guest at the hotel who met her untimely death by falling off her balcony on the fifth floor. She's often blamed for things being moved around in rooms and lights turning on and off randomly. Reportedly, she enjoys the company of children and loves to talk to them. So, be on the lookout for that.
Lydia needs a ride. Do you help her or not? There are many stories of people driving over the bridge and seeing a meek woman flagging down anyone driving by. If you are a kind soul who decides to stop for her, she'll get in the backseat and give you an address that's curiously far. If you decide to drive her to that address anyway, she'll sit quietly and won't engage in conversation with you. And when you've reached her destination, she'll open the door and disappear into the night. Good Samaritans, skip out on this one. Seriously. You don't want to hang out with a ghost AND waste gas driving out of your way when ghosts can just float there themselves!
The best time to see the mysterious Brown Mountain lights is in the fall! There have been way too many reports by people to deny that this is a real thing. The best place to see these mysterious orbs of light is at Wisemans View. Supposedly, the lights are the spirit of a woman who was murdered by the mountain back in the 19th century. Some attribute it to the existence of UFOs. Nobody knows the truth, but it's still a fun road trip to try and get these dancing lights on camera!
Reed Gold Mine
This whole time, you thought ghosts were the problem? Reed Gold Mine has to deal with zombies and goblins too! You just never know what you're going to find when you're that deep below the earth. People have reported seeing ghost miners wandering around while visitors are trying to enjoy the tour. If you do see a ghost, the employees will tell you that it's the victim of an unsolved murder. Review all your photos and videos when you get home! You never know what you'll catch while innocently recording.
Old Davis Hospital
You'll shudder as you look at the abandoned building. The broken windows, graffiti, and falling bricks aren't the only scary thing about this place. People living in the area near the old hospital have heard a baby screaming in the night. Not only that, slamming doors and loud banging on walls are noises that are constantly heard too. You are trespassing by visiting the dilapidated structure, so just park the car and look on from afar. Besides, you never know what spirits will follow you home if you get too close.
Roanoke Island Inn
You'll have a wonderful stay at this quaint bed and breakfast. And you'll get more than you paid for too. Ghosts of guests past roam the hallways of this place. Guests have heard footsteps running up and down the empty hallways, vases being smashed in rooms, radios turning on and off, and blinds moving up and down by themselves. Other than that, the spirits that haunt here seems to be on the kinder side! Just try not to do anything to vex them. And certainly don't go playing with an Ouija board or holding a séance in your room.
North Carolina State Capitol
What's scarier than the current political climate? Ghosts that won't leave government buildings. When you visit here, you'll be greeted by more than just the statues of great presidents past. At night, people have reportedly heard elevators moving when they weren't in service, a woman screaming bloody murder, and whispers coming from empty rooms. Being in politics is stressful, but who knew you had to deal with ghosts as part of the job too?
North Carolina has its own version of the Loch Ness Monster! Beware when you're swimming or going out onto the water in a boat. If you see something in the distance or feel your canoe mysteriously almost tip over, that's just Normie playing games. People have said that Normie is just a large fish and not a mythical sea creature, but there have been way too many reported sightings for this just to be written off!
The Bellamy Mansion
Pay attention to who's in your guided tour. If you notice some extra people who weren't there at the beginning, well, those are the house spirits. Some people have reported seeing random shadowy figures while exploring the various rooms in the museum. You can go investigate further or maybe just stay closer to your group and keep looking over your shoulder just in case.
Next time you're here for a wedding, look out for paranormal activity. Don't be distracted by drunk family members and awkward dancing! The event space used to be a medical college and people have seen ghosts that are sliced into from anatomical research. The most common apparition people see is Louise, a little girl who runs around the building.
1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa
Where: Lake Lure
The inn has seen many famous guests! F. Scott Fitzgerald, Patrick Swayze, and Franklin Roosevelt have stayed the night here. This place has more than one ghost haunting the grounds. People have heard the screams of a young bride who was murdered in room 217 long ago. Objects have been known to move around in the rooms and one person even reported tripping in the room as if something was under the bed and reached for her leg. Be honest, you felt a chill down your spine from reading that.