NEWS - Nestled in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains is the quaint little city of Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville has been a mecca for hikers for generations, many of whom traverse the rugged mountain paths in search of some of the most picturesque views the region has to offer.
The city has also become a notable destination for craft beer enthusiasts, who flock there in droves to sample beers from the more than 30 breweries.
But hiking and craft brewing aren't the only items on tourists' agendas. Asheville has developed quite a reputation among ghost hunters as one of the most haunted cities in Appalachia.
For those who might visit there and hope to catch a glimpse of a ghost, here's our list of the most haunted places Ashville has to offer.
The colorful murals by artist Molly Musk cover the walls of what is said to be the most haunted street in North Carolina. Named for the many chickens that used to be on the property years ago, Chicken Alley is the home of many ghosts, including the late physician Dr. Jamie Smith.
Smith was stabbed to death at a local bar. But his spirit still roams the alleyway. His killer was never caught, lending some credence to the theory that Smith's ghost is wandering the alley in search of the elusive criminal.
The Biltmore Estate is home to one of the grandest mansions in the United States. Built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 19th century, the grounds and buildings now welcome throngs of tourists each year. Tours are available for curiosity seekers, who can also visit a popular winery on the estate.
Some believe that the original owners, George and Edith Vanderbilt, never left their luxurious home. Visitors to the estate have claimed to have heard dear old Edith calling for her husband in different parts of the house. Spectral images of George have been reported to be seen in the library.
One vast staircase in the sprawling mansion has also been reported as a hotbed of ghostly phenomena. Even though the estate is non-smoking, reports of smelling strong cigar smoke here have been thought to be otherworldly. Some have also felt a strong sensation of being watched or followed by things unseen in this part of the home.
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Even the indoor pool isn't free from haunts. It's said that you can sometimes hear pool parties occurring, even when the pool is closed.
Old Battery Park Hotel
It seems as though every city has at least one haunted hotel. The places that host lodgers during vacations and business trips are also sometimes the location of tragic deaths. So it's not surprising that these places tend to have haunted reputations.
The Old Battery Park Hotel earned its reputation for being haunted. In the 1930s, a woman named Helen Clevenger was brutally murdered here. Her ghost is said to roam the building's corridors, perhaps tethered to the property for eternity.
Today, the building no longer functions as a hotel. It has been repurposed as senior housing apartments. But the haunted reputation it developed decades ago lives on, with her spirit still stalking the hallways.
The bridge that leads to the Zealandia Mansion in Ashville has a haunting history. This beautiful structure was built in 1909 and is said to be the location of a horrific tragedy. Years ago, a woman named Helen lived with her young daughter near the mansion. A fire broke out in their home, and the daughter was killed.
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The distraught mother walked to the bridge and took her own life. On dark nights it's said you can hear her cries of despair. Some unlucky folks have also reported seeing the figure of Helen swaying from the bridge where she hung herself.
What could be more spooky than a haunted cemetery? In the northern Ashville vicinity is the Riverside cemetery. Some locals will swear that on certain nights you can hear echoes of a Civil War battle being replayed there.
Other witnesses have reported seeing Confederate soldiers marching through the grounds. Perhaps the spirits of these troops killed in battle are forever searching for the battalion that they served so long ago.
Riverside is also the final resting place of writer Thomas Wolfe.
The Jackson Building
This popular skyscraper in the heart of Asheville's downtown was erected in 1924 by construction magnate Lynwood Jackson. Several years after its completion, it was the spot where several businessmen are said to have leaped to their deaths after the stock market crashed in 1929.
Witnesses over the years have told of how they have caught sight of at least one of these tortured souls. He is said to pace the top floor of the structure, muttering to himself before his spectral figure leaps from a window.
Asheville has remained a popular spot for tourists for generations. But if you venture into this vibrant community, be aware that your visit might include a glimpse of past figures that refuse to let death keep them from being among the living.
And if you survive Asheville's spirits, we urge you to try your nerves in these haunted locations in other cities: