For spooky and eerie tales, sure to make your spine tingle and your hairs stand on end, the South is the perfect place to turn. North Carolina is rife with lore, Raleigh in particular. Whether you believe in “spirits” or are a skeptic – these bone-chilling stories will leave you wanting to visit these historical landmarks this Halloween – if you dare.
**Insert Spooky Laugh Here**
1- Mordecai Manor
Built in 1785 by Joel Lane for his son Henry, this historic home is filled with haunted history. The house is named after Moses Mordecai, whose wife, Margaret Lane had inherited it from her father, Henry Lane. Margaret passed away and Moses went on to marry her sister, Ann Lane, with whom he had a daughter. The descendants of the Mordecais went on to own the property until 1967 when the house was put on the market. Local preservationists protested and the city purchased the property, turning it over to the Raleigh Historic Sites Commission to supervise and develop as a historic park. The Commission was able to obtain many of the original furnishings and preserve the family papers and library. Mordecai Manor is described as a large, two-story mansion, with a balcony on the second floor, that dominates Mordecai Square. One report of a paranormal encounter says that the housekeeper was cleaning after hours when she noticed a woman whom she thought was a tour guide. She found this odd as the guides were typically not on the premises during the time that she was working. She describes this mysterious guide as a pretty, familiar-looking woman, dressed in a long, black pleated skirt, and a white “middy-type” blouse and a black tie. She goes on to explain that the woman walked past her without acknowledging her presence which annoyed the housekeeper. When this seemingly full of herself woman didn’t come out, the housekeeper went to investigate and found no one there. This snobby guide, if of this world, would’ve had to come out of the parlor right by the housekeeper in order to leave. The housekeeper then realized that this woman was no guide, but actually OWNED the place, in the 1800s! This solid, life-like, walking apparition was Margaret Lane, as the housekeeper realized this was the same woman she had seen in a portrait that hangs in Mordecai Manor. Visitors report hearing the faint sounds of a piano playing and many say they have even seen Margaret herself, just like the housekeeper. They say that Margaret still reigns as the mistress of the manor looking out for her beloved books and belongings.
The house has since been featured on Ghost Hunters in which a TAPS team investigated reports of paranormal activity.
For touring information visit:
2-The North Carolina Executive Mansion
The North Carolina Executive Mansion, or otherwise known as, The Governors Mansion, sits nestled in Burke Square on Blount Street in Downtown Raleigh. Construction began in 1883 where the bricks were laid by prison laborers. Many of the men whose forced labor built the mansion, inscribed their names into the bricks, signatures that are still visible today. The mansion’s construction was completed in 1891, when the first Governor, Governor Daniel G. Fowle inhabited the home. Some say he has never left.
Fowle was a widower when he first moved into the mansion with his four children. Of those children, his youngest son sought comfort in the arms of his father and would climb into his fathers’ bed with him during the night. Fowle, being a man of size proportions, found the bed to be too small to accommodate both he and his son. Wanting to provide comfort to his son, without losing focus on State matters due to lack of sleep, Fowle ordered that an over-sized bed be constructed. Unfortunately, Fowle was not able to enjoy the bed for long as he died before his term was over IN THE BED. The city of Raleigh ushered him to Oakwood cemetery where his soul was thought to rest – but did it?
In 1969, Governor Bob Scott took office and inhabited the mansion where he reported that the bed in which gave Fowle and his son so much comfort, was the source of some very strange encounters. According to Scott, the activity started when he decided to remove the original bed from the Fowle bedroom as he had very particular taste and wanted something more modern. He removed the bed and had it replaced with a new one that more suited him. According to Scott, this is when the paranormal activity began.
Scott’s Details from the N&O :
“One evening, Mrs. Scott and I were in the bedroom reading, and we heard this strange knocking. It seemed to be coming from the wall near where the headboard of Gov. Fowle’s bed had stood. The knocking had a rather unusual cadence, like bouncing tennis balls from a high distance.”
“After the first knock, there was a pause of several seconds,” he continued. “Then there was a second knock and a pause, then the third knock. Finally, the pauses at the end were almost negligible. We, of course, do not believe in ghosts. However the knocking does occur, and it is usually about the same time every night.”
Governor Scott declined to bring the original bed back into the room during his term, despite the ghost of Fowle’s wishes but through succeeding administrations, it eventually found its way back. In 1993, Governor Jim Hunt told the Durham Radio station that the phantom of Fowle had returned.
“We have a ghost in the governor’s mansion,” he said. “It’s the ghost of a previous governor who died in his bed. And I sleep in that bed.” When asked if he had seen the ghost, Hunt replied, “No, but I’ve heard him. I’m trying to establish contact with this ghost. I haven’t done that yet.”
For touring information visit:
3- Andrew Johnson Birthplace
Adjacent to the Mordecai Mansion is the ancestral home of the 17th U.S. president, Andrew Johnson, who took office following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The house has a small single window by the front door, which is in the middle of the front of the house and a small single window in the middle of the second floor, directly above the front door. The sides of the home have 2 tiny windows, making this home a rather dark one inside. The lack of any other windows makes any light coming from these single windows very visible and direct. One November afternoon, a Raleigh Historic Employee who was working on a project next to the Andrew Johnson home reported that as she was locking up, and being the only person left on the property, was overcome with an uneasy feeling, as if a presence was near her. She hurried to the parking lot, and as she passed the Andrew Johnson home she happened to look up into the first floor window where she saw a flame flickering from a candle as if someone was holding it there with an invisible hand. Mesmerized, she stood there watching the candle until it appeared to have burned out, when it quickly vanished and reappeared moments later in another window in the middle of the second floor, directly above the front door. She states that it happened so quickly there is no way a living human being could have made it up the stairs, light a new candle, and make it into that room that quickly. Obviously, frightened and a little freaked out, she continued on to the parking lot. She looked back one last time and saw the flame go out as if someone had put it out with a candle snuffer. Several employees, realtors who have managed the property, as well as local neighbors, have also reported seeing a lighted candle being held by an invisible hand.
For touring information visit:
Now, if you’re not a little creeped out by these stories, I don’t know what will do the trick! I started getting goosebumps just writing this!!