Real Local Haunts to Visit this Halloween!
Article Written By Nikki Edds
The falling leaves, cooler temperatures and beginning of October can only mean one thing- it is officially Halloween season. Some may choose to get in the spirit by shopping for costumes or by decorating the house with spider webs and festive bowls filled with mini Reese's. Other may light a pumpkin candle and curl up on the couch to begin their annual rewatch of Hocus Pocus. Still, the bravest of us seek out something a little more adrenaline-pumping in the form of haunted houses.
Only open for one month a year, these haunted attractions accumulate crowds in droves. "Scarers" dress up in shockingly realistic zombie, clown, wolverine, or any other terrifying character our nightmares can conjure up. While these attractions are great, they are often far away and can require hefty ticket prices upon entry.
This Halloween season, I have created a list of real local haunts you can visit in the Lexington area. All of these places are rich in history and have reported numerous counts of paranormal activity on the grounds. Many of the locations have been declared as historical landmarks and are now home to museums or hotels you can visit yourself- if you dare.
201 N Mill St, Lexington, KY 40507
Image courtesy of bluegrasstrust.org
Located in Gratz Park, Hopemont was built in 1814 by millionaire John Wesley Hunt. His great-grandson, Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan, is one of the most notable people who lived in the residence. Dr. Morgan was the first Kentuckian to win the Nobel Prize for his work in genetics.
Hopemont survived threats of demolition in 1955 after the Foundation for the Preservation of Historic Lexington and Fayette County stepped in. The foundation, whose name has since changed to the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, restored the home and made it into an "interpretive museum illustrating the lifestyle and culture of early 19th century Kentucky affluence," according to the Gratz park website. The home is also the site of the Alexander T. Hunt Civil War Museum, containing many artifacts from the time period.
Visitors have reported that John Wesley Hunt still roams the hall of his old home, going about business per usual as he attends to his very unfinished to-do list. Some have also reported that the spirit of Bouviette James can be found in the home. Buried in the family plot, it is said that James was a beloved nanny to the Morgan children and was viewed as part of the family as opposed to a servant. She often appears to sick children in the house and sings to them and strokes their hair while wearing her trademark red shoes.
Forty-five minute guided tours of Historic Hopemont are offered April through October Wednesday through Sunday. For more information click HERE.
209 Castlewood Dr, Lexington, KY 40505
Image courtesy of University of Kentucky Special Collections for lexingtonartleague.org
The Loudoun House, built in 1850, once served as the private residence of both the families of Francis Key Hunt (son of John Wesley Hunt from Hopemont!) and Colonel William Cassius Goodloe. The Loudoun house is one of only five remaining castellated Gothic Revival Villas left in the United States.
Now home to the Lexington Art League, the house is rumored to still be haunted by two women in Victorian style clothing. The spirits are said to have left behind the scent of floral perfume in one of the rooms upstairs while others have reported sounds of old-fashioned music and murmuring voices. While the apparitions have not been identified for sure, some investigators suggest one of them is Julia Hunt, who was forced to sell the house and go live with her daughter.
To experience the home yourself, attend the Halloween Cosplay Party hosted by Loudoun House Studio Artist, Erin Hupman (@cobblepott_oddities), on Friday, Oct. 28. Party-goers are encouraged to dress up as their favorite pop culture character of the season. The event is open to all ages. Music begins at 8pm and admission is free!
1375 S Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504
Image courtesy of thecampbellhouse.com
The Campbell House is a historic hotel that first opened their doors in 1951. The Campbell House is easily identified by the antebellum architecture and horse farm-esque exterior.
The hotel has been newly renovated and now boasts modern style and luxurious amenities such as high class dining, a Bourbon Bar and over 250 rooms and suites.
However, local rumor is that before all the refurbishing, there were two women murdered there. The first one was stabbed on the stairs, leaving blood stains on the carpet that has since been ripped up. The second was shot in one of the rooms on the third floor. Guests have also reported seeing apparitions and doors or objects moving by themselves.
The Campbell House would make the perfect spooky date night this October. To book a room or reserve a table click HERE.
833 W Main St, Lexington, KY 40508
Image courtesy of lexcem.org
Cemeteries are known for their generally spooky feelings, no matter their history. Lexington Cemetery, established in 1848, is rumored to be home to a very haunted mausoleum.
Visitors have reported strange voices, noises, screams and even foul smells coming from the building. There have also been reports of a dark, unidentified figure moving about and filling witnesses will deep feelings of anger.
To experience the cemetery for yourself, grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. While the spooky stories associated with the cemetery are fun, please remember Lexington Cemetery is fully functioning and to please be respectful of other visitors.
251 West Second St., Lexington, KY 40507 (meeting spot)
Graphic courtesy of ghostwalklex.com
For hauntings and history enthusiasts alike, there are few better ways to learn more about the homes and sites listed above than going on The Ghost Walk of Lexington.
Guests will be led by experienced guides handpicked by world-renowned paranormal investigator, Patti Starr. Guests are encouraged to bring their phones, cameras and other recording devices to try and capture any activity they may see along the way.
Tours take place every Saturday in October, starting at 7:30pm and meeting on the front steps of the Carnegie Center. Tickets are available for purchase HERE.