For BRIDES, by Allyson Dickman.
Whether you’re throwing a Halloween wedding or are just really into the spooky side of things, America’s most haunted wedding venues are sure to entice your wicked side.
Chandeliers swaying in empty, still rooms. The shrill shriek of a woman off in the distance. Piano’s playing on the own accord. Pictures flying off the walls. The giggles of children around an empty pool. The sound of footsteps on deserted stairs. Cold spots in an otherwise warm room. These are the things of nightmares and haunted houses — or are they?
Experience the eerie phenomena for yourself when you book your wedding at one of these haunted venues. Contrary to popular belief, you won’t have to compromise beauty, style, and a great party space just to add a little spook to your affair. All of these locations are spectacular for hosting the wedding of your dreams — from stately Victorian mansions to hotel ballrooms to ornate and beautiful gardens — under any circumstance. But if you and your fiancé have a thing for the supernatural, well, you’re in luck. Each of these locations around the country are also home to plenty of paranormal activity. From iconic celebrities whose souls never left the building to long-dead inn keepers still keeping track of the estates, there are plenty of ghostly guests onsite to attend your nuptials (and you don’t have to throw a Halloween wedding to find them!).
“From iconic celebrities whose souls never left the building to long-dead inn keepers still keeping track of the estates, there are plenty of ghostly guests onsite to attend your nuptials (and you don't have to throw a Halloween wedding to find them!).”
Every spot offers their own stories and legends, so pick your poison: Friendly ghosts like the goofy “Peg Leg Johnny” who teases guest in Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel. Or the poltergeists at a southern plantation in Hollywood, Maryland who has been known to torment the staff. Perhaps you’d like to share your wedding with a bride who met an untimely end and didn’t make it to her own wedding day. Or, like in the case of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, maybe you prefer a goddess’s presence during your vows. Not spooky enough? How about getting married in one of Atlanta’s graveyards, where Civil War soldiers have been heard conducting role call, or worse — seen hanging in trees.
Either way you have it, if you and your spouse-to-be simply adore scary movies, going on ghost tours, or hiding under the covers while things go bump in the night, then these beautiful spots are perfect for your happily ever after. We promise it will be a wedding that leaves your guests with goose bumps!
1. Gainswood Plantation, Demopolis, Alabama
This Greek revival mansion is the perfect setting for your dream wedding with its 480 acres of pristine grounds and exquisite rooms. But this former plantation house, built in 1842, also comes with a bonus feature: mysterious and melodic piano playing. You can thank the ghost of Eliza Robertson for the extra tunes at your nuptials. The young woman moved into the mansion in 1856 to serve as governess but succumbed to an illness shortly after she arrived. Her body was kept briefly in the family's mausoleum until she could be moved to New York — but her spirit stayed behind. If you're looking for evil spirits, go elsewhere — Eliza is well-known as a friendly ghost.
2. Historic Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska
The Historic Anchorage Hotel doesn't hide its haunted history: Its website boasts that it's a place "where ghosts are more than just stories." Here pictures flying off the walls, shower curtains swaying without a breeze, and specters moving through the halls are just a few of the mysterious occurrences that have been reported inside this hotel. So who will be haunting your wedded bliss? Many think it's Anchorage's first chief of police, John J. "Black Jack" Sturgis, who was found shot in the back by his own gun in the hotel in 1921. But don't let his spirit drive you away. The history and stunning details of this hotel will make a beautiful setting for your happily ever after — even if it wasn't one for Chief Sturgis.
3. Big Nose Kate's Saloon, Tombstone, Arizona
Oh how the west was fun. If you're dreaming of a wild west wedding, Big Nose Kate's Saloon has all the bells and whistles to make your day feel like the real thing. Built in the 1800s, the saloon sits in the present-day ghost town of Tombstone, Arizona. Once a popular hotel visited by the likes of Doc Holliday and Ike Clanton, it is now the infamous haunt of miners and cowboys. One such spirit — known as the "Swamper" — is an old miner who hid his silver in the saloon and lurks the hallways and basements to protect it. Cowboy apparitions have also been spotted standing in doorways, knocking over cases of beer, or grabbing a drink at the bar. Many visitors have reported seeing the ghosts in the pictures taken on their visit — so look closely at those wedding photos!
4. 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
You can't find a spot more ghostly than the 1888 Crescent Hotel and Spa, also known as "America's Most Haunted Hotel." A night at this Victorian-style retreat includes the company of famous ghosts like Michael, an Irish stonemason who fell to his death while building the hotel in 1865; Theodora, who died during her stay and may ask you to help her find her room key; and Morris the cat, who may appear at the foot of your bed while you sleep. If mysterious appearances throughout your wedding night aren't enough, schedule one of the hotel's popular — and spooky — ghost tours for your guests.
5. The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
There's nothing like romance at sea, and The Queen Mary — with its stately ballroom, stern-side ceremonies, and onboard hotel rooms — is the ultimate example. Built in the 1930s, this ocean liner spent 30 years at sea with at least 49 reported deaths on board. And plenty of those spirits still lurk the ship, including two crewmen who were crushed to death by Door 13 in the engine room, located 50 feet below sea level and the boat's most haunted room. You might also see women in 1930's-style bathing suits around the first class swimming pool, or hear the giggling of a little girl named Jackie around the second-class pool where she drowned. Other appearances, like that of a tall dark haired man in a suit or a lady in white, along with odd occurrences like doors slamming, high-pitched squeals, and drastic temperature changes will leave no doubt in your mind as to why this vessel was named one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places by Time magazine.
See the rest of The Most Haunted Wedding Venue in Every State on Brides.com
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