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Ghostly Getaways: Haunted Hotels, Creepy Castles, Mysterious Mansions, Bewitching Bed And Breakfasts, And More!

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Hauntedhouse

Many hotels, inns, and even castles offer spooky weekend retreats.  Why not have some fun and book a stay at one of the haunted places listed below:

17-Hundred-90 Restaurant & Inn - Savannah, GA

The History: This inn was actually built in 1820, not 1790. First a boarding house and later an inn, this home has had many owners and guests. One of these guests was Anne Powell. The legend says she was unhappily married at 16 years to an Englishman. She fell in love with a German sailor who left her "in the family way." She watched his boat sail away and then committed suicide by jumping from a window, landing on the brick pavement below.

The Haunting: Anne Powell, the most famous ghost at this inn, is believed to haunt guest room #204 from where it is said she jumped to her death. She isn't a menacing spirit: she sits beside the fire, lays out guests' clothes or plays pranks on guests waking them up in the wee hours of the morning by setting off the alarm. Another ghost in the basement kitchen and restaurant doesn't like women very much and shoves them, but he’s countered by the ghost of a merchant marine who helps the staff turn the lights off at closing.

See It: Savannah ghost tours stops for a drink, but you can go for a bite to eat at the restaurant yourself. Or if you really dare, ask for room #204 and spend the night!

Brumder Mansion - Milwaukee, WI

The History: George Brumder had the home built in 1910 for his son, George Jr. After they sold the home, the house was everything from a boarding house to a Lutheran church activity center. They used the home for office space, a theater, and later a coffee house with a live music venue. The current owners purchased the home in 1997 and opened the renovated space as a B&B in 1998.

The Haunting: The Gold Room was once the room of a Brumder daughter who never married after being spurned in love early in life. She is said to still stay in the room; in fact, she was quite appalled and upset when the current owner spent the night in this room with her dogs!

See It: It's a Bed & Breakfast, so you can request the Gold Room and spend the night! You can even join a ghost hunting seminar or enjoy a haunted history dinner!

The Carolina Inn - Chapel Hill, NC

The History: Owned by UNC, this inn was built by a UNC graduate in 1924. Throughout its history, it has been used by the campus to host conferences, guests, and alumni. Today the proceeds from the inn are given to the university library.

The Haunting: Professor William Jacocks haunts room #252. Although guests claim to have encounters with the professor, the hotel staff say he has never frightened anyone to the point of packing their bags and running. Instead, he’s a friendly ghost who plays pranks such as holding doorknobs so doors won't open, rustling papers, and making the occasional noise. Some claim there are additional ghosts walking the halls and looming over their shoulder, but more curious than menacing.

See It: Spend the night in this historic hotel, and receive a jovial welcoming from the resident impish ghost!

Crescent Hotel - Eureka Springs, AR

The History: Founded in 1886, the Crescent Hotel started its career as an elegant hideaway for the Victorian wealthy. However, not able to stay afloat, the hotel closed. It was reopened in 1908 as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women, but closed in 1924. In 1937, it was opened as a hospital and health resort. Norman Baker claimed to have a cure for cancer but was met with scrutiny as it came to light that he had no medical education. He was later imprisoned on mail fraud. The hotel was reestablished in 1946.

The Haunting: The fresh spring water under the hotel must attract spirits thirsting for human interaction! There are many different haunted areas from guest rooms, to the lobby, to the grounds. Guests have seen a woman in the hall, a tall man knocking on doors, and former cancer patients and nurses. The hotel's website posts a long list of guest experiences.

See It: The hotel offers history tours for groups of 10 or more. Ghost tours are available by Eureka Springs Ghost Tours.

Driskill Hotel - Austin, TX

The History: Jesse Lincoln Driskill opened the hotel in 1886. It was grand and luxurious, funded by his success as a cattle baron. In 1888, the family lost its fortune due to drought and a cold winter that killed most of the cattle. The hotel then changed from owner to owner with the most recent change of hands in 1995.

The Haunting: Driskill is claimed to wander the hotel, puffing cigar smoke while he turns lights on and off. There is also the ghost of a small girl bouncing a ball, said to be the daughter of a Senator, who was left unattended playing with her ball and fell to her death.

See It: The hotel is open to guests and offers all kinds of pampering.

The Feathers Hotel - Ludlow, Shropshire, UK

The History: The original building was built as a private residence in 1619 but has been modified. After the English Civil War, in 1670, it was changed to an inn and remained one for 200 years! In 1863, it was changed to a hotel and the owners started to acquire more land and expand. Why the name feathers? There are faded motifs of ostrich feathers on the hotel’s outer woodwork, which were a symbol of the Prince of Wales and "en vogue" at the time of construction, and the town of Ludlow was royalist even during the English Civil War.

The Haunting: There is a female "guest" in room #211 who is known to bother women, pulling their hair and letting them know they are not welcome. There are a couple gentlemen ghosts roaming about, including one who is accompanied by his ghost dog!

See It: You can go on a ghost hunting adventure with Eerie Evenings or Haunted Breaks. Or you may opt to spend the night and enjoy the historic surroundings.

Heceta House - Yachats, OR

The History: Built in 1894, this house accompanies a lighthouse on the Oregon coast. The complex also includes a post office and school. Only the keeper's house has tales of hauntings. Many believe the keeper was the mother of a child who fell off the cliffs at the turn of the century.

The Haunting: A ghost named Rue is said to be an extra caretaker. She makes it known if she’s displeased with any activity in the house, such as the humorous account of her screaming in the middle of a card game!

See It: Now a bed and breakfast, offering guided tours from its interpretive center. Although the owners don't play up the ghost, guests have reported strange encounters.

Hotel Del Coronado - San Diego, CA

The History: Babcock and Story built the resort to be the "talk of the Western world" in 1888. Since then it has been visited by presidents, foreign dignitaries, celebrities, and heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Thomas Edison. The hotel was famous as a backdrop for "Some Like It Hot" starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

The Haunting: Tales of ghosts started with the untimely death of Kate Morgan, a guest, in November 1892. She came to meet her estranged husband who never showed. Kate was found dead on the hotel steps leading to the ocean. She died of a gunshot wound to the head, which was officially deemed a suicide, but is speculated to be a case of murder. She likes to slam doors and randomly turn on the TV, and some have seen indentations in the sheets as if someone was sleeping on the bed. There are other ghosts in the hotel who love to flicker the lights, provide cold spots, and make some random noises.

See It: Stay at this stunning resort and enjoy the spa, golf course, pool or take surfing lessons. Kate's room has been #312, #3312, and is now #3327 - verify with staff.

Hotel El Convento - Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

The History: This former Carmelite convent named The Monastery of Our Lady Carmne of San Jose was founded in 1651. The nuns left this convent in 1903 and the site fell into ruin, until 1962 when Robert Woolworth purchased it to make it into a resort.

The Haunting: Dona Ana was a noblewoman who lost her husband in the war with the Dutch and then turned to her faith. She donated the land for the Carmelite convent. It is said her spirit and those of nuns can be seen about the grounds and gliding through the halls.

See It: Enjoy a luxurious stay with these faithful spirits.

Jerome Grand Hotel - Jerome, AZ

The History: Built in 1926, this building was originally the United Verde Hospital. The hospital was built to be fireproof and withstand blasts from the dynamite mining nearby. One of the best hospitals in the west, it unfortunately was phased out when the mining in the area began to slow down and closed by 1950. The building stood empty until 1994; it had been a time capsule having been unchanged for 44 years. It is now being restored as a hotel with many of the rooms already completed and open for guests.

The Haunting: Being a hospital, there were many patients that perished within its walls. However, there were deaths of two orderlies that many believed to have been murder. There is also one recorded suicide. When the building lay dormant for 44 years, locals claimed they would still see lights burning in the vacant building. Since being reopened, more paranormal activity has been noticed. The most common is for guests to feel temperature drops and hear coughing or labored breathing in empty rooms or corners of their own guestroom. One ghost is said to be a woman who died in childbirth. She is upset that her child was buried in an unmarked grave and prowls the ground looking for the babe.

See It: Being the highest point in the Verde Valley, the hotel offers some great views and, if you're lucky, maybe a ghost or two!

Kehoe House - Savannah, GA

The History: This home was built in 1892 for William Kehoe and his family. The large family (they had 10 children!) kept the home until 1930. After that the home became a boarding house, funeral parlor, and a private residence. In 1992, the home opened as a B&B; it changed ownership in 2003, but remains an inn with a B&B atmosphere.

The Haunting: The main tragedy of the house, that we know of, was the death of the Kehoe twins who died when playing around the chimney. Children can be heard running the halls and some guests have even had children check in on them in their rooms. But if you don't see the children, their mother Annie is reputed to still wander the rooms, making sure to tuck in all the guests at night!

See It: Ask for rooms #201 or #203 and spend the night!

Kewaunee Inn - Kewaunee, WI

The History: Built in 1912 by William Karsten, this inn is still commonly known as the Hotel Karsten. Father and son managed this hotel until William Karsten Jr.'s death in 1964. The hotel then changed hands and received various facelifts. The most recent owners renamed the hotel to the Kewaunee Inn at Hamachek Village in May 2008.

The Haunting: The ghosts at the Kewaunee Inn didn't start to bug the living until after renovations started in 1966. The inn website mentions that the triad of ghosts include William Karsten, Sr., Billy Karsten III (who died at 5 years of age, shortly after his grandfather), and Agatha the housekeeper. Agatha seems to be the most active, floating about the halls and popping up behind you when you look in the mirror! She doesn't seem to like men much - so any male guests be on your guard! William likes to have a drink at the bar now and then, and Billy still runs up and down the hall playing.

See It: If you’re brave enough, spend the night!

Lemp Mansion - St. Louis, MO

The History: This house was purchased by William Lemp around 1864 to use as a residence and office for the family brewery. William's father had used a family recipe/method to create a lager beer. This beer quickly became popular and William's father abandoned his grocery store to become a full-time brewer. The beer continued to be made by the family until 1922, when family mishap and prohibition forced them to shut down for good and sell. The mansion itself has a sorrowful history with one brother dying under mysterious circumstances, and three other men of the family committing suicide inside.

The Haunting: With three suicides, one can easily guess where the idea of ghosts haunting the mansion started. However, the family’s odd history also adds fuel to the imagination. There is the rumor that William Lemp had an illegitimate son with down syndrome who was kept hidden in the mansion attic his whole life. He is now said to be seen haunting the mansion. Tales of haunting first started after 1949 when the mansion was sold and turned into a boarding house. Strange knocking and footsteps throughout the mansion scared the tenants away so the house started to run into disrepair. In 1975, the mansion was saved and renovated and turned into a restaurant and inn. All types of sights and sounds have continued and are still reported today.

See It: The mansion is a bed and breakfast, which offers tours and a restaurant for those who don't want to spend the night. They also host a Halloween Party and Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.

Lizzy Borden House - Fall River, MA

The History: As with so many haunted homes, this story begins with a murder. On the morning of August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered by ax in their home. Their eldest daughter, Lizzy, was tried and later acquitted of the murders. However, she was ostracized from the community for the rest of her life. Some consider that she had a split personality, even those close to her recall erratic and violent behavior. And of course, there was the creation of the rhyme: “Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her mother forty whacks; when she saw what she had done, gave her father forty-one!”

The Haunting: There is a strange woman who tucks guests into bed, and perhaps the same woman can be heard weeping in the night. Objects move on their own and electrical equipment, such as lights and cameras, have some interference. Many claim the most active room is Lizzy's old bedroom, which you can stay in if you want...

See It: The home is now a bed and breakfast. You may spend the night, take a tour, or even spend a weekend at Ghost Hunter University!

Magnolia Mansion - New Orleans, LA

The History: This home was built in 1857 by Alexander Harris. After Alexander died of yellow fever, his widow remarried and sold the home to the Maginnis family. John Maginnis owned a cotton mill and, it was rumored he was struck by lightning because of the cruel way he treated his employees. In 1939, John's daughter inherited the home and willed it to the Red Cross. The Red Cross used the home to train nurses for WWII and the Korean War. In 1954, the home was again sold into private ownership. Magnolia Mansion was renovated in 2001 and opened as a B&B in 2002.

The Haunting: When renovating the home, the crew had to stop as an oily substance appeared over the walls. The owner then verbalized her plans for the place so the ghosts would know exactly what she was up to with the house. She told them she was improving the home and the ghosts would not be able to scare the guests away. This appeased them for a while, however, ghosts are still reputed to slam doors and snuggle into bed with guests on occasion. Many guests have photos of orbs and a few extra faces from their visits as well.

See It: This adult catering B&B offers a great escape to any non-smoker over 21 years of age. Specializing in romance with Elopement and Wedding packages, the B&B also has fun with their ghosts offering a romantic Ghostly Getaway package, which includes a room, treats, and ghost walking tours.

Mason House Inn - Bentonsport, IA

The History: This hotel was built in 1846 for steamboat travelers along the Des Moines River. Later, the Mason House was used as a 'holding hospital' during the Civil War for soldiers being transferred to Keokuk. It also served as a 'station' along the underground railroad. The Mason House keeps its name from the Mason family who owned the property for 99 years.

The Haunting: Three of the owners died in the building, and there was also a murder in one of the guest rooms. In 1860, poor Mr. Knapp had been drinking and accidentally went to the wrong room. The occupant thought he was being robbed and stabbed Mr. Knapp in self-defense. The home had also been a 'holding hospital' in the Civil War and some patients may have died in the home. Also, a doctor renting a room in the 1940s died in the building. All in all, a great hangout for ghosts. The ghosts come in many forms. There are wisps of fog and cold spots to actual figures who appear and disappear from sight. There is a boy who plays tricks; he likes to rustle sheets and tug at guests as they sleep. There are footsteps, thuds, and a woman in white. An abundance of ghosts and paranormal events for all!

See It: Request to stay in the B&B’s main house on the 2nd floor, rooms #5 & #7, for the best chance of paranormal dreams! Or stay in the restored caboose! Ghost Hunting 101 and 102 classes are available twice a year, and a Halloween Ghost Walk thrills in October.

McCune Mansion - Salt Lake City, UT

The History: This mansion was built in 1900 by a railroad tycoon named Alfred W. McCune. After leaving for California in 1920, the McCune’s donated the mansion to the Latter-day Saints Church. It was then turned into the McCune School of Music. It later became a Brigham Young University Salt Lake Center, and Virginia Tanner Modern Dance School. In 1999, it was purchased by Phil McCarthy who worked to restore the mansion and open it as a hotel.

The Haunting: Music is said to still haunt the McCune halls. A small room under the stairs was used by the McCune's as a stage for hired musicians. The whole house would be filled with music, but their guests did not know from where it came. It is said this music still fills the air. Other happenings include doors locking that are not fitted with locks, doors opening on their own, and lights going on and off on their own.

See It: Schedule a tour of the mansion through the Utah Heritage Foundation.

Myrtles Plantation - St. Francisville, LA

The History: This home was built by David Bradford in 1794, but stories of hauntings did not start until the 1950's. The house had a long history with many different owners. There is only one recorded murder, of William Winter, in 1871. However, there are many tales that are told about the home to justify the hauntings. Most of these seem to be fabricated tales, but many say that’s just because the house is so haunted, people needed some kind of explanation.

The Haunting: Among the haunting activity is the ghost of a woman in a green turban who some believe to be the ghost of a slave killed for poisoning the head mistress and her two daughters. Others claim this ghost is not a young slave but an older, unknown woman. There is also a little girl who has appeared as well as a frustrated piano player who continuously practices the same cord over and over on the old piano.

See It: Dine in the restaurant, take a tour or spend the night. The choice is yours.

The Queen Mary - Long Beach, CA

The History: Her maiden voyage was May 27, 1936, but with the coming of WWII, she was refitted and used as a troop ship housing 5,500 souls by May 5, 1940. By the end of the war, it was used to transport as many as 12,886 war brides and children from Europe to the U.S. and Canada on six voyages in four months. More war bride voyages would follow. It became a cruise ship in 1963 but, by 1967, it was purchased for Long Beach, CA to act as restaurant and museum with the first hotel rooms opening in 1972.

The Haunting: The ship’s first-class swimming pool has some of the most recorded ghost sightings and noises. Many women dressed in 1930 swimsuits have been sighted. But the spirits like to wander and have been seen in many parts of the ship - especially the engine room where two men were crushed to death by the heavy "Door 13." Those who take the self-guided walking tour of the ship have been spooked more than once!

See It: Brave enough? Spend the night or take a tour with Ghost and Legends of the Queen Mary group. The tour is technically enhanced to make certain you get a few jumps and spooks. The hotel also hosts a 'Terrorfest' of haunted mazes on Halloween.

Ross Castle - Ross, County Meath, Ireland

The History: This area shows record of settlement since the Iron Age. The castle tower was completed in 1537 by Richard Nugent, 12th Baron of Delvin. A family loyal to the English crown for their title and rank hoped to receive the extra boon of £10 given as encouragement for each fortification built in Ireland. In time, the Nugents began to marry the once rival Celtic nobles, especially the O'Reillys. In 1644, the castle was pulverized by Cromwellian soldiers in retribution for Myles O'Reilly's defiance. Restoration was begun by the family in the 19th century and the castle was later modernized with plumbing and electricity.

The Haunting: The castle's founder, Richard Nugent, was also known as the Black Baron and, you guessed it, he had a reputation for being quite unpleasant. The Black Baron had a beautiful daughter named Sabina who had the unfortunate luck to fall in love with Orwin O'Reilly, at this time still an enemy. Moved by love to give up their home, family and wealth, they decided to elope. However, as they made their escape by boat, a storm came up and it capsized. Orwin died but Sabina lived. Crushed with heartache, she pined away in Ross Castle tower until she finally gave up the ghost, which in turn walks the halls to this day. She is said to sometimes be heard screaming! The Black Baron is also rumored to haunt the grounds, as unpleasant as ever!

See It: Besides ghost hunting, you can go fishing, golfing, horseback riding, sailing, boating, hiking, cycling, watching the races or taking flying lessons! Plenty to do in a romantic setting.

Ruthin Castle - Ruthin, North Wales, UK

The History: Legend has it that the original castle was a wooden fort lorded by Huail. He fought King Arthur and wounded him in the knee. A truce was called but Huail later mocked King Arthur and was beheaded. The first stone structure was put up by King Edward I in 1277, and the castle was owned by the crown off and on until sold by Charles I in 1632. The modern stone structure was built in 1826. However, some of the older walls, dungeons, and tunnels are still standing today.

The Haunting: This castle comes with its own Grey Lady. Dating back to the time of Edward I, this ghost was sentenced to death for killing the lover of her husband. Soldiers are said to still march around the grounds, and prisoners, long dead, are still heard moaning in agony.

See It: Besides ghost hunting and random spooks, this castle offers medieval banquets (one with a murder mystery theme!), golf, and romantic getaway packages.

The Sagamore - Bolton Landing, NY

The History: This hotel was originally built in 1883 to provide a getaway on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. This historic building suffered two fires but was reconstructed in 1930. The resort was meant to be a retreat for the wealthy and is still neighbored by palatial mansions across the lake.

The Haunting: This hotel has many ghosts including a little boy on the golf course! This boy chased balls and sold them when alive. He died in a tragic accident when he was hit by a car running after a ball. Now his shadowy form can be seen running after golf balls on the course. He likes to steal balls and laugh at golfers as they look for them. When they give up, he tosses the ball at them, again laughing. Other ghosts include the guests who come down from the second floor for dinner every night and wait patiently in the reception area before they literally vanish. Then there is the portly cigar smoker in the elevator who may not appreciate the no-smoking policy these days.

See It: Stay in the hotel, vacation lodges or a castle (if you have the cash). Themed getaways are available, including a Murder Mystery Weekend.

The Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, CO

The History: Six miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, this hotel has famous views and offers a serene escape. F.O. Stanley created this hotel after moving to the west when forced to by poor health. Besides the hotel, he helped to create the sewer, power, and water supply for the area. A recent claim to fame is that a stay in this hotel inspired Stephen King's ‘The Shining.’

The Haunting: Both F.O. and his wife Flora haunt the hotel. They are amicable ghosts that enjoy hanging about the rooms they loved so much, such as the Billiard room and Ballroom. Rooms 407 and 418 have reputed activity of lights going on and off, noises, and, of course, rascally kids playing in the nearby hallway. One story relates some guests checked out early as the kids playing in the hall kept them up all night. When the hotel staff looked at the register, there weren’t any kids as guests - at least not any live ones!

See It: Spend the night and go on an Historic Ghost Tour, which explains the history that created a haunted playground. The hotel even hosts a ‘Shining’ themed Ball.

The Stone Lion Inn - Guthrie, OK

The History: F.E. Houghton built this mansion in 1907. It served most of its years as a residence and later was turned into a funeral home. The only person to die in the home seems to be a young girl who died of whooping cough after receiving the wrong medicine.

The Haunting: After turning this mansion into an inn, the new owners woke up at night to the sounds of footsteps and doors opening and closing. They called the police, but no intruder was found. Soon after, they realized they had experienced their first "guest," who may be a small girl as she likes to take out the toys at night to play.

See It: Stay at the inn for a night or two, and enjoy!

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Is Probate The Same Thing As A Will?

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Is probate same as will

No.  A will is a written instrument to outline property distribution upon death. Probate is the procedure whereby wealth, or title to each specific asset held in the name of the decedent, is transferred into the names of the beneficiaries named in the Will or to the heirs in the case where there is no Will.  First, a Will must qualify for admission to probate.  Generally, a testator must be of a certain age, usually 18; must not execute a Will as a result of undue influence or fraud; and must be mentally competent to make a Will.  If the decedent had a valid Will, it is admitted to probate upon application by a proposed executor or administrator.  If the decedent had no Will, the estate is still subject to estate administration; however, title is transferred to the heirs as set forth by state law.  Certain assets, such as property owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, insurance proceeds and retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, and revocable trusts are called non-probate assets and do not go through estate administration.

 

Probate is a court supervised process and state law sets forth the exact procedure to be followed.  The executor generally files an inventory with the court listing the fair market value of assets and debts.  Notice to creditors is part of every probate, in order to notify them of the death so they may file a claim for unpaid amounts owed to them.  Once all claims, debts and taxes have been paid, the estate can be closed after the executor has filed an accounting and final report with the court.  Distribution to beneficiaries can now be made, although in many cases a partial distribution can be made before the estate is closed.  Many states provide simplified procedures for small estates or estates where the assets pass entirely to family members and all beneficiaries consent to the simplified administration.

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What Does It Mean If A Property Is In Foreclosure?

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Foreclosure is the legal or equitable enforcement of a mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien through legal proceedings or pursuant to a power of sale clause in a mortgage.  Discussed here is a foreclosure of a mortgage or deed of trust.  Foreclosure typically occurs when the mortgagor, or debtor, has defaulted or failed to perform an obligation imposed by the instrument such as a mortgage.  The ability to foreclose a mortgage often is limited by state law.  In Iowa, for example, a mortgagee may foreclose a mortgage by judicial proceedings or non-judicial voluntary foreclosure.  Foreclosure terminates the rights of the debtor/mortgagor in the real estate except for such statutory rights as redemption, mandatory mediation or other rights allowed by law.  Once foreclosure has been accomplished and all the rights of the debtor/mortgagor in the real estate are extinguished, the mortgagee holds title free and clear of any claims by the mortgagor.

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