It's Halloween time and I wanted to share some of my most favorite places that have left a deep, and yes, lasting haunting impression.
|Kioni windmills in Ithaki, Greece|
In 1989, I travelled with my father to the island of Ithaca, Greece, to meet my Greek relatives who had a house there. In the Ionian Sea, Ithaca is host to the Kioni windmills that were possibly constructed in the 12th or 13th centuries. No longer operating in their utilitarian capacities, they now grace the landscape as haunting mementos of antiquity having long since fused into organic extensions of this magnificently rugged island.
|Hotel Boulevard Atlantico in Mar del Sur, Argentina|
|Hotel Boulevard Atlantico, Mar del Sur, Argentina|
|Morris Jumel Mansion, NYC|
|Interior of a jail in Jerome, Arizona.|
|Ruin in Jerome, Arizona.|
|Fallen structure on Little Chebeague Island, Maine.|
Little Chebeague is a small island connected by a sandbar to Great Chebeague island in Maine's Casco Bay. Once a bustling summer colony and year-round home to a handful of farmers, the United States Navy took over the island for recreation and training during World War II. Sadly, the houses fell to ruin and no one returned, so the island eventually became a state park. I have spent practically every summer on Great Chebeague Island and always went on a pilgrimage to Little Chebeague, where we explored and crawled through its decaying houses. When I was a child, many of the houses were still standing with paint and plaster on the walls, and even full of some furniture. I imagined who lived in the houses, what their rooms looked like, how they decorated their homes...
As I return year after year, I tend to feel the spirits strongly attached to their homes, long after so many of the structures have at last disappeared.
|Ye Waverly Inn, Greenwich Village, NYC.|
Having grown up in New York's Greenwich Village, my family dined many times at the historic Ye Waverly Inn, located on the corner of Bank Street and Waverly Place. It was a favorite place to go when my grandmother came to town and took us all out to dinner. She favored American food and I remembered that their specialty was chicken potpie, which she always loved to order. I continued to frequent the restaurant well into adulthood and went back fairly recently for a drink at the bar. It had been newly renovated and really looked lovely. But I miss the the musty old place with splintered benches we once sat in for our quiet dinners by the fireplace. I understand it is now uber-trendy. Reputed to be one of New York City's most haunted places, I wonder if there is indeed any room for the spirits of the paranormal variety with the current influx of "A-list" celebs? There goes the fourth dimension...
|Ansonia Hotel, NYC.|
|Ansonia Hotel, NYC.|
Before it became a luxury apartment building, it was built as a residential hotel. A little known fact is that it was also intended as the original "green hotel" in that the architect envisioned a self-sufficient structure boasting the only known rooftop farm. Many luminaries stayed and lived in the hotel, including Babe Ruth, Theodore Dreiser and Igor Stravinsky.
I had a personal relationship with the hotel; I attended many dance auditions back in the day when the building was somewhat rundown and renting out studio spaces. Thankfully, the plan to demolish the building (a popular thing to do in the 1960s and 1970s) was fought-off and the hotel became a landmark in 1980.
|St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans, LA.|
|Ladies decorating a grave in St. Louis Cemetery in 1900.|
'Je suis la papesse de voudoun' ~ Marie Leveau, a permanent resident of the St. Louis Cemetery ('I am the pope of Voodoo' in Creole)
The Saint Louis Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the name of three Catholic cemeteries, the earliest of which was opened in the late 1700s. They are exquisitely architected above-ground cemeteries designed in the European tradition. One of the reasons I find above-ground cemeteries so fascinating is because they resemble small cities. I remember being in New Orleans during the Jazz Festival and could only view the moonlit tops of the mausoleums behind stone walls. New Orleans is a city that can safely be described as one of the most haunted in the U.S. I had the pleasure of visiting three times, but the St. Louis cemetery only once, due to the fact that cemeteries are closed during festivals such as Mardi Gras and the Jazz Festival. It's best to go during a quieter season if you want to partake of the ultimate haunted experience in New Orleans.
|Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, Holland.|
The house where Anne Frank spent several years in hiding may be haunted with her spirit but not as a spirit in unrest, despite the horrendous eventual cause of her death. This catacomb of both hope and despair where she spent the bulk of her teenage years, fostered an illumination of thought virtually unmatched today. She was basically a prisoner in her own home long before her family was sent to the camps. Like a prisoner in a jail cell, she suffered very little privacy (more than devastating to a teenage girl) and was only able to look out from the darkness into the light of the bustling world outside. No longer did she have the luxury to enjoy the gift of everday life. Yet, she was so evolved that she was able to not only record her daily thoughts and grievances but to also move ahead of them: she found a light which included a deep understanding and love for all of humanity, despite what some of humanity was capable of at the time.
|Bosque Energetico, Miramar, Argentina.|
Photo by Dominique S. Williams
|The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy.|
I would love to hear your feedback as well as your own favorite haunted spots!
"It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."