Real Haunts and Ghosts of Catawba County and the Greater Hickory NC Area
Just in time for Halloween!
Here's a starter list of possible real haunted places and ghostly tales from in and around Catawba County and Hickory NC. If you decide you'd like to visit some of these places, please remember to first ask permission from the legal owners...No Trespassing!
1859 Cafe - Hickory NC: This restaurant was originally built in 1859 by Henry Link. It is reported haunted by a 'gentle blond woman.' She has appeared in the dining room and in the womens' bathroom. A ghostly image of a woman has been seen in photographs of the Cafe, as well. Stop in for a bite and see if you can catch a glimpse! 1859CafeOnline
Alice M. Raeford Memorial Center - Hickory NC: Reports are that doorways seem to disappear after you pass through them and there have been several sightings of shadows and 'misty figures.' Some people have heard faint whispering sounds and a few have even said that they were touched or pushed by an invisible hand.
Catawba Memorial Park - Hickory NC: There have been several reports of ghostly images and shadows around this cemetery. Some have claimed to have captured 'ghost orbs' in their photos, as well.
Crown Cinema VI - Hickory NC: Though this movie theater is now closed, while open, there were several sightings of shadows and apparitions.
Hickory Community Theatre - Hickory NC: Supposedly, a ghost has a "special" seat in the balcony of this grand old theatre. The sit is always in the down position. If it is ever put up, when you return, it will be down again. Other apparitions have also been seen around the place. One appeared onstage and seemed to be dancing about. See some great LIVE performances at the Hickory Theatre.
Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory NC: The whole campus is haunted! The main points of 'interest' are Mauney Music Building, where ghostly footsteps are heard, and several have reported a phantom orchestra playing. Highland Hall, where more ghostly footsteps, as well as slamming doors are heard. Apparitions have been reported here, and several motorists have seen a strange light coming from a third floor room. Carl A. Rudisill Library, where many have heard the the ghost of the 'crying boy.' And Schaeffer Hall, where the ghost of an elderly lady sometimes decides to make "bed checks" on the 2nd floor. University Website
Old St. Paul's Church - Newton NC: The ghost of a runaway slave that was shot by his owner while hiding out here is said to haunt this old church, built in the 1750's. The organ has been heard playing when no one is near it. Their website.
The Old Jail - Taylorsville, NC: Now, the Old Jail is a museum and the offices of the Alexander County Ancestry Association and their Genealogical Research Library. The second floor is where the old lock up was, and it's reported that sometimes, you can hear footsteps coming from that floor and the sound of the metal doors closing. The Old Jail Website.
The Lucas Mansion - Hiddenite NC: James Paul "Diamond Jim" Lucas built this mansion in the some community, famous for it's one of a kind emerald, about 1920. He died in 1952 and the place was abandoned. Now, it's been fully restored and is the offices of the Hiddenite Center Cultural Arts Center. Several ghostly sightings have been reported over the years, as well as ghostly sounds and music and other 'bumps in the night.' Take a tour of the place and see if you can feel an unearthly presence. NOTE: although beautiful to see today, when I was a kid, this house was an overgrown wreck that I had to walk by on my home from school. It was creepy in the daylight and plain scary at night!
The Bostian Bridge - Statesville NC: On August 27, 1891, a passenger train from Salisbury bound for Asheville derailed and plunged off the bridge, killing some 30 people and injuring many more. If you go to the site on the anniversary of the wreck about about 3am, you can reportedly here the sounds of the wreck again. Many people have reported hearing the phantom human screams, the crashing metal, and the moans of injured and dying. Some have even seen an apparition of a conductor on the tracks holding a pocket watch just before the ghostly recreation begins.
Old Davis Hospital - Statesville NC: Now vacant, Davis hospital is home to several ghosts. Many who have entered have seen apparitions of former patients, heard the sounds of babies crying on the pediatrics ward and have felt an overbearing feeling of dread while in the building. Reportedly, the building is always cold, even in the summer months.
The Warren Bridge - Statesville, NC: Named for Claude Warren, who was shot and killed by his brother-in-law, in 1916. Every afternoon, you can hear a bloodcurdling scream, reportedly that of Claude's sister, who witnessed the shooting. Several apparitions have been seen in the area as well. Many claim that at least one of them is the ghost of Claude himself, searching for his missing head, which was removed by the shotgun blast from his brother-in-law.
Chapel of Rest - Happy Valley NC: In the 1920's, the preacher of the church caught his wife cheating, and overcome with despair, hung himself from the rafter above the front pew that Saturday night. The congregation found him hanging there the next morning. Supposedly, you can still see the his blood stains on the floor, and indention on rafter from the rope, as well as the scuffs on the front pews from his shoes. At night, you can see his ghostly image swinging from the rafter and at the podium is a Bible that can apparently predict the exact date and how you will die.
South Caldwell High School - Lenoir NC: There are two ghosts in the school. One is of a young man that died while building the elevator. He 'operates' the elevator several times a night, causing it to go up and down unattended. Another is reportedly of a girl who died while rehearsing a play. Now, she is said to cause blackouts and to play around with the lights and set and props during productions.
Brown Mountain Lights - Linville NC: Probably the most famous North Carolina 'haunt,' the Brown Mountain Lights have been appearing since around 1200AD. Seen from various vantage points, the lights appear to be small, dancing orbs that appear and disappear. Many say that these lights are the spirits of dead Cherokee and Catawba braves. Others say that they are the spirits of Indian maidens lighting a torch for their dead warriors. No one really knows what they are, but many, many people have seen them.
Do you know of any ghostly haunts in the area? Let me know. Comment here or send me an email with the details and I'll post it. Thanks.
UPDATE: Due to the incredibly high number of attempted spam comments on this post, I have had to unfortunately, lock comments. If you enjoyed reading this and have other areas not mentioned, please drop me an email. Thank you