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Western North Carolina Ghosts -- Info for the Thorough Tourist

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As promised, here's a guide to the ghosts of the Asheville-Hendersonville area of Western North Carolina. Please bear in mind that these are the haunts open to, or at least visible to, the general public. There are hundreds of ghosts haunting private property here, so this is only the tiniest sampling of what's spooky in the Asheville area. Asheville is quite a scary city if you do your research.

Also bear in mind there are lots of great haunted places elsewhere in the mountains away from Asheville, like the Glendale Springs Inn and Restaurant in Glendale Springs, east of Asheville, and Western Carolina University in Cullowhee and Appalachian State University in Boone, west and north of town, respectively, just to name a couple! Here though, are the haunted places to see in Asheville-Hendersonville and nearby -- if you're visiting the area this fall, don't miss 'em!

Asheville -- Battery Park Apartments -- This Georgian-style high-rise building was once downtown Asheville's grandest hotel. Though now an apartment complex for senior citizens, the building is haunted by the ghost of a young female hotel guest who was brutally murdered here in the 1930's, and also by at least two male suicide victims who jumped from the roof and are sometimes seen plummeting toward the ground before vanishing in mid-air -- about which the Asheville Police Department occasionally receives calls from horrified witnesses.

Asheville -- Battle Mansion -- Now vacant, the former headquarters of WLOS-TV, Asheville's ABC affiliate, is neighbor to the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa. A spirit named Alice, thought to be that of a maid who died in a fall down a staircase haunts this imposing mansion. A ghost in a lavender dress, somehow connected with the Battle Mansion, is sometimes seen walking with the Grove Park Inn's "Pink Lady" on the Inn's golf course.

Asheville -- Biltmore Estate -- Numerous phantoms stalk the elegant halls of America's largest home, including a woman dressed in black who appears on the second floor, a maid who appears to startled visitors and offers them a glass of champagne from a tray before vanishing, a headless orange cat seen in the gardens, and a maid who stands guard by a door on the third floor. Unidentified spirits, thought to be Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt, haunt the Library, Oak Sitting Room, and Billiard Room, while the sound of maniacal laughter sometimes issues from the drain of the basement swimming pool.

Asheville -- Club Fusion -- This hip Asheville nightspot occupies a former warehouse over a century old in Biltmore Village. Poltergeist activity has been reported here, and from time to time a misty white human form appears on security videotape, striding across the dance floor before disappearing. Peculiar electrical, temperature, and light phenomena seem to cluster around the dance cages.

Asheville -- Clyde A. Erwin High School -- This modern building was constructed in 1973 on a plot of land owned by Buncombe County and thought to contain a handful of graves from a small family cemetery. To their horror, engineers and county officials discovered well over a thousand graves beneath the soil, and an investigation revealed that the land was home to a long-forgotten paupers cemetery where orphans, drifters, criminals, and patients from local tuberculosis hospitals were interred. Nails, splinters, and pieces of broken bone work their way up through the soil after heavy rains and numerous grave-shaped and -sized depressions dot the school grounds. Though efforts were made to relocate all the graves, between one and two hundred bodies are believed to still lie beneath the school. Custodians are reluctant to work inside the building at night, and report being followed by heavy footsteps through the halls.

Asheville -- Estes-Winn Memorial Automobile Museum -- Located near the famous Grove Park Inn, this showplace of antique cars is home also to mysterious orbs of light, visible using infrared cameras, seen flitting from vehicle to vehicle at night.

Asheville -- Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa -- A female apparition dressed in pink appears throughout the property, especially in and around Room 545. Electrical anomalies and inexplicable temperature changes have been recorded throughout the historic Main Inn, and guests report being tickled and pinched by unseen fingers, and are sometimes even hugged by invisible arms. While activity is strongest near Room 545, the hotel nightclub is so haunted that years ago security refused to police it late at night after closing, and workers have been chased out of utility tunnels beneath the buildings by "things" they refuse to discuss, while guests in various rooms occasionally awaken to feel someone who isn't there crawling into bed with them. Ghosts have also appeared in various hallways throughout the hotel, and even on the resort's golf course, where the so-called "Pink Lady" is sometimes seen strolling with a phantom in a lavender gown. The Pink Lady seems fondest of appearing to police officers and to young children, with whom she holds long conversations.

Asheville -- "Helen's Bridge" -- Something of a local urban legend, this decrepit wooden bridge on Town Mountain connects Zealandia Castle with its grounds across a narrow gorge. In the early 1900's a woman named Helen hanged herself here in despair at news that her daughter had died in a fire at the Castle. Her tragic spirit remains at the bridge, kept company by much darker entities -- Helen's Bridge has become a popular place for the practice of black magic.

Asheville -- Jackson Building -- The upper floors of Asheville's most historic skyscraper are haunted by the despairing spirits of financiers who lost their fortunes in the stock market crash of 1929 and consequently hurled themselves from the roof.

Asheville -- The Melting Pot -- The ghosts at this popular Biltmore Village restaurant date from the building's history as a bank controlled by mobsters during the Prohibition era. One ghost is that of a man perpetually searching for a lost fortune hidden in the walls.

Asheville -- Reed House Bed and Breakfast -- Constructed for George Vanderbilt's attorney and his family, this Victorian mansion in Biltmore Village is haunted by the ghosts of its original inhabitants, including Mr. Reed, who can be heard playing billiards late at night in the game room, Mrs. Reed, and their children, who are heard laughing and bounding up and down the back staircase.

Buncombe County/Henderson County -- French Broad River -- Cherokee legend states that a murderous mermaid lives in the river that flows through Asheville and, southward, through Henderson County. She snatches the unwary who wander too close to the riverbank and pulls them in to drown.

Swannanoa -- Warren Wilson College -- One of the dormitory buildings at this small liberal arts college in the Asheville suburb of Swannanoa was originally constructed as a slaughterhouse. Sometimes the building is permeated by the odors of blood and freshly butchered meat, and teachers and students alike have encountered spectral cattle in the basement.

Weaverville -- Inn on Main Street -- This quaint bed and breakfast inn in Weaverville, an Asheville suburb, was originally the comfortable home of a local doctor. Though a competent physician, some patients died on his operating table and still haunt the house, seemingly unaware that the doctor himself died long ago as well.

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