So here we are. Once again we’re sitting side by side on the front porch steps of a lovely house. The night is blissful, the stars are out, and we can just relax in the tranquility of the world around us. Sure, there’s a lot of life going on inside the house. Doors opening and closing, children running about and laughing, the sounds of the woodwork creaking and furniture being shifted about. But that’s what most houses are like in the evening, right?
Doesn’t help that this one’s been empty for decades, does it?
They say the third time’s a charm. They also say that all bad things come in threes.
Come along then…
1. Colonel C.C. Pegues’s House
Colonel Pegues’s house, located in Cahaba, previously functioned as a jail from the years 1920 to 1926 before he purchased it and turned it into a place of residence. He lived there for the rest of his days until he died in 1960.
Several people have reported seeing a white orb floating through the corridors of his garden maze. The apparition had even made its way into books as it had been documented in Kathryn Tucker Windham and Margaret Gillis Figh’s book ‘13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey’.
There’s a number of speculations as to why the house is haunted and who’s been haunting it. Cahaba, also pronounced Cahawba, used to be the capital of the state of Alabama until it was reduced to rubble by an intense flood. However, the town was prone to catastrophes due to its position below the water surface, so rebuilding it was a tough task and it didn’t last.
All buildings, except for a few, began to fall apart, and as a result, people entirely abandoned the town. Moreover, the town was actually a civil war site that witnessed many deaths in addition to the imprisonment of over 3000 soldiers.
There is a theory that suggests that the whole town is haunted by victims of the flood, which is why most of the buildings collapsed. Another theory credits the dark past of the town to the spirits of the dead civil war soldiers. These, however, are general theories regarding Cahaba being a literal ghost town. There are more specific theories that try to explain the origin of the white orb. Some think it is the ghost of Colonel C.C. Pegues himself, while others believe it is the ghost of one of the prisoners that was kept there.
Although Cahaba remains unpopulated, people from all over the United States go there to try and establish contact with anything that attempts to cross the veil between us and the spirit world.
Considering everything, the possibility that the town is a residing place for a number of ghosts is quite significant. After all, the history of the town provides a believable backstory for the spirits’ origins, unlike other places in America with fragile stories that fail to hold up against solid research.
2. The Sylvester K. Pierce Victorian Mansion
A wealthy businessman, Sylvester Pierce, had big dreams of moving into a peculiar mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts. Sadly, within a few days of moving into the house, his wife died from a bacterial infection.
Sylvester married Ellen Pierce a year later, with whom he had two children. A year later, Sylvester died, leaving his new wife with their babies. Several years later Ellen died, and left her sons bickering over the ownership of the mansion. Edward, one of the sons, turned the mansion into a boarding home, where gambling, drinking, prostitution, and murder took place.
In 1963, a Finnish immigrant burnt to death in the master bedroom. Some say it was spontaneous combustion, but was it really? A prostitute was strangled in the red room in the mansion, and a young boy drowned in the basement.
The mansion has welcomed many guests over the years with the ghosts that inhabit it. Guests have experienced all kinds of paranormal activity, from furniture moving, chanting, cold spots, disembodied footsteps, shadow people to full body apparitions. Some guests said that spirits tried to kill them by pushing them down the stairs or from the window on the third floor.
Paranormal experts describe the spirits as one of the strongest entities they’ve ever met. They added that the spirits could contain electrical energy and use that power to move large objects and force their will physically on their environment.
Currently, The Dark Carnival owns the mansion, and it’s going to turn it into an overnight rental for anyone who dares to sleep there. Talk about restless nights.
3. The White House
Out of all the houses in America, one cannot overlook the most famous of them all. The White House is said to be haunted by numerous ghosts of people who have lived there. The spirits of the former first ladies, presidents, and even a young boy roam the White House.
Although people reported seeing and hearing Mr. David Burns, the landowner, whisper into the Valets’ ears, in addition to Mrs. Abigail Adams, President John Adams’ spouse, one ghost that has been encountered significantly more than others is that of the 16th president Abraham Lincoln.
If we go back in time before his assassination, we will find that his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was a firm believer in the occult. She even held séances to try and communicate with her dead son when she had a brush with the spirit of Andrew Jackson.
The first person to see Mr. Lincoln was First Lady Grace Coolidge. She said that she saw him in the oval office, gazing across the Potomac at what was then the battlefields of the civil war.
Other people who have reported sightings include Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s maid. During her visit to the White House in 1942, Queen Wilhelmina heard a knock on her bedroom door, and when she opened it, found herself face to face with the apparition of Abraham Lincoln, which caused her to lose consciousness.
Mr. Winston Churchill claimed to have made eye contact with Lincoln’s ghost who was standing beside the fireplace, during his stay in the Lincoln Room. The ghost then suddenly vanished according to Mr. Churchill.
In case these testimonies were not enough, Eleanor Roosevelt stated that she used to feel the 16th President’s presence when working late at night in the Lincoln’s bedroom, which, despite not being solid evidence, supports Mary Eban, Mrs. Roosevelt’s maid’s claims of seeing a ghostly figure that resembled Abraham Lincoln sitting on the bed.
Finally, it appears that former presidents are not the only ones who roam the hallways there. Major Archibald Butt mentioned seeing the ghost of a 15-year old boy in a letter to his sister as well as to President Taft; to which Taft responded by banning the mention of that boy dubbed the Thing. According to several witness accounts the boy had sad blue eyes and would appear right after causing a feeling of pressure on a person’s shoulder.
The Houses Stand
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you cannot deny that some things just can’t be explained. If the past accounts of houses haunted be not enough, then you could always muster up a bit of courage and take a trek across the country to see for yourself. What was that other saying? Seeing is believing? Well, just be sure to let me in on what you end up seeing.
And here ends our tale, dear Reader, and I must wish you a good night. Please, don’t get up, rest a little if you want. You don’t need to escort me on my way. The night is my friend. Besides, if you listen closely, you’ll notice that the sounds in the house behind you have stopped.
Maybe the ghosts are asleep?
Or maybe they’re just waiting for someone to come inside.