There are quite a few alleged hauntings and haunted areas in WNC. The history that surrounds the area is rich with stories, lore, and unexplained events and sightings. Asheville alone is reported to be on what is known as a “ley line” where a vortex of strange, powerful, and unexplainable energy and phenomena tends to occur. Ley lines occur throughout the world, and you will often find ancient sites at different points of these lines. Ley lines go far back into history and ancient times and span many other countries and continents. For example, in China they are called “dragon lines,” and in Ireland, they are called “faerie paths.”
Whether these lines are “real” or not, there is no doubt that you will find a magnetic draw and powerful force pulling you into what Asheville and other parts of Western North Carolina have to offer, and “ley lines” may be responsible. Although there is no real science backing these claims up, it’s still interesting to consider.
To commemorate Halloween later this month, we thought you may be interested in exploring some unusual experiences in Western North Carolina while you stay with us here at Mill House Suites. Some of those “hauntings” and “paranormal” sites are below!
The Grove Park Inn, located in Asheville, NC. When you begin a google search and start research into paranormal activity in Western North Carolina, there is no doubt that the Grove Park Inn will be one of the first results. There is allegedly a resident spirit, lovingly known as “The Pink Lady” that roams the halls of the Grove Park Inn. Known as the pink lady for a reason- she is seen wearing a pink ballgown or as a pink mist when she appears.
Often touted as a kind and friendly spirit, the pink lady has been reported to play friendly pranks on guests, comfort children who have taken ill during their stay, and spends time playing with and talking to children.
Her origins are unknown, but many believe that she fell to her death in the 1920s, whether by accident or intent and hasn’t left since. Although she has been seen throughout the inn, it has been reported that she seems to be particularly attached to room 545, which may have been the balcony from which she fell to her death on that fateful night.
The Brown Mountain Lights, located in Newland, NC. This one is a bit of a drive (about 2 hours), but it is still in Western North Carolina. The Brown Mountain Lights have been witnessed for centuries and were first recorded in 1854, but the Cherokee has observed and taken accounts for this strange phenomenon even further back than that. Additional reports of seeing these strange lights came in the early 1900s and even today, are still witnessed regularly.
The lights have been described as glowing orbs that float over the mountain tops at night when the conditions are right. They have stumped even the most skeptical of scientists, military personnel, and government entities and no rational or feasible explanation has yet to be found at the writing of this article.
Although reports have stated these strange lights can be seen any time of year, the number of sightings increases throughout the Fall and early Winter months of October and November, and often after a rainstorm. The best place to experience these lights is off of Wiseman's View or Brown Mountain Overlook in Morganton.
Biltmore Estate, located in Asheville, NC. One of the most famed tourist destinations in the country, the Biltmore Estate has been known for its hauntings. This lavish private home once belonged to George Vanderbilt and his wife, Edith. There are reports from staff and visitors that they have experienced ghosts and other hauntings throughout the home. One such haunting is of George Vanderbilt himself.
Vanderbilt adored his library and spent vast amounts of time perusing books and artifacts he had collected there. He would often retreat there to get a break from the many parties he and his wife hosted, and it was a favorite spot of his to slink off to if he saw a storm coming. Guests and employees have recounted that he is still spotted sometimes as a shadowy figure in his library usually when the skies are dark and there is a threat of rain.
Others have said that they have heard a woman’s voice, likely Edith’s, calling his name and telling him to return to the party, with fleeting sounds of clinking glasses, music, laughter and noises of splashing from the now empty pool in the basement echoing throughout the halls.
Helen’s Bridge, located in Asheville, NC. Helen’s Bridge was constructed in 1909 to provide access to nearby “Zealandia Mansion.” The lore talks about how the woman named Helen lived there with her beloved daughter. There was a housefire that unfortunately took the life of her daughter, leaving the mother in anguish over the loss of her child.
Rumor has it she was so distressed that she took her own life by hanging herself from the bridge that connected the mansion acreage to the main road. Visitors to the historic home often report that their car batteries die, their car won’t start again, or some other car trouble soon follows after visiting the haunted site. Some have even reported that they see a woman dressed in white when Helen’s name is called. There are also reports of other strange happenings at Helen’s Bridge, and some people have allegedly been physically assaulted by an unknown entity when visiting, so if you go to check it out, do visit with caution.
Basilica of St. Lawrence, located in Asheville, NC. What type of list of hauntings doesn’t include at least one church? The Basilica of St. Lawrence, a Catholic church, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Asheville. It is considered to be one of the main features of the city’s skyline. The church is still in use today for sermons and worship, but word has it that it’s pretty haunted too.
Accounts vary, but many believe that a priest’s apparition still is present in the church, as well as the architect who built the church. Unexplained cold spots, glowing orbs, and doors opening and closing at random when no one is around are some of the most common occurrences. Some people have also allegedly witnessed apparition sightings of the priest himself, and the architect who built it is buried in a crypt at the rear of the chapel, along with his wife and daughter.
Interested in more haunted history and sites in Western North Carolina? Check out this article by WLOS for more spooky stories.