The creepy season is neigh! Are you trying to have a spooky-filled October with thrills and chills? The mountains of NC are filled with scary lore, tales, and places that will bring goosebumps to your spine!
Below are a few of the local and historical superstitions that have haunted generations. From downtown Boone to Ashe County and beyond, there are many haunting legends in the Mountains of North Carolina.
Haunted Places of the High Country
To prep for Halloween, here are the scariest top 8 haunted places of the High Country.
#1: East Hall, Appalachian State University, Boone
The Legend of App State’s East Hall began in the 1960s, after a tragic suicide by a student in one of the dorm rooms on the ground floor. Although the identity of the student has been lost to the history books, many students to this day have stories of waking or sensing a dark male figure at the end of their dorm beds.
However, back in 2014, freshman psych major Quincy Stanford said, “I think the ghost is nice. It hasn’t messed with me, so if there’s a ghost, then it’s a pretty chill ghost.”
#2: Green Park Inn, Blowing Rock
Named one of the “13 Most Haunted Hotels” by The Washington Post, the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock, NC, is a sought-after tourist destination. The daughter of its creator, Laura Green, found her grave end in room 318 after being left at the altar.
Now, over 130 years later, her cries can be heard echoing the halls of the third floor, while her pale resemblance is sometimes seen wandering the hotel’s lobby.
Lorry Mulhern, former Manager of the Green Park Inn, stated that the company motto is to “Respect the privacy of all our guests, whether or not they’ve ever checked out!”
#3: Old Ashe County Hospital, Jefferson
As if it was a setting for a scary movie, the Old Ashe County Hospital in Jefferson is considered the most haunted place in the county. Built in 1939, this stone building operated as the county’s only hospital until being converted into county offices in 1969.
Due to the lack of advanced medicine, several people died due to illness, accidents, or surgeries. The building was closed completely in the mid-nineties, with all electricity being cut off.
It would become a “right of passage” for teenagers and young adults to break in and see how long they would last inside the creepy walls. With each encounter, terrified faces would come running from the building with accounts of the elevator dinging, figures walking by, and tortured screams echoing down the hallways.
The building was declared a historical landmark before becoming an assisted living facility in 2018. Yes, people currently LIVE at the Historic Ashe County Hospital!
#4: Alleghany Courthouse, Sparta
The Alleghany Courthouse in Sparta, North Carolina, was built in 1933. “The Big Fire of 1932” swept through most of the town the year prior taking the original building down in flames.
The new Alleghany Courthouse was rebuilt in the same place as the original, which proceeded to give the location ‘burial ground” vibes.
For decades, witnesses have heard footsteps distinctly walking from the judge’s pew, down the aisle, and out the doors. There have also been numerous tales of whistling (and not of the windy variety), and as people turn their heads toward the sound, they see a faint “shape” of a figure, waving ‘Hello”.
#5: Brown Mountain, Linville
This tale borders between superstition and science fiction and is quite possibly the oldest! During the day, Linville Gorge is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the NC High Country, with scenic curvy roads, waterfalls, and hiking.
However, at night, a strange light phenomenon can be witnessed across the tree tops from the gorge to Brown Mountain. These dancing orbs have been reported throughout the year but are mostly seen in October-November.
This occurrence has been recorded in Native American history, all the way back to 1200 AD. Their legend states that after a fierce battle between the Cherokee and Catawaba tribes, the lights came from the broken hearts of the maidens who lost their lives in battle.
Currently, though many have tried through countless scientific experiments, there is no actual explanation as to why this phenomenon occurs.
#6: The Demon Dog of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Valle Crucis
This little piece of demonic lore will get your heart pumping! Nestled in the “Valley of the Cross” echoes a tale from 1862.
Known today as Valle Crucis, the cross is a reference to the shape created by the convergence of 3 rivers. Shortly after the erection of St. John’s Episcopal Church, several townspeople’s bodies were found, eviscerated by an animal attack.
The minister, seeing an opportunity, used these bloody deaths in his sermons to quite literally drive the fear of God into his fellowship. In his sermons, he said that Satan had taken the form of a massive demon dog and that all sinners would meet the same fate.
Over the centuries it became a dark warning to children to never stay out past dark, for the demon dog would hunt you down! But fear not- as long as you made it to the “Cross” and got over the bridge- you would be safe from being slain by the Demon Dog of Valle Crucis.
#7: Museum of Ashe County History, Jefferson
Although it is currently the Museum of Ashe County’s History, this building was originally a courthouse. Built in 1904, the Ashe County Courthouse was an expansive old building that saw many cases and would actually have hangings on the adjacent lawn in the front of the building.
The last hanging was in 1907. The gallows stood where “Southern Scoops Ice Cream Shop” currently sits in Jefferson.
In 2011, 3P Paranormal Investigators visited the new Museum after many of the staff reported hearing old phones ringing and footsteps walking across the floor to “answer” them. During their investigation, they recorded several EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) throughout the night.
One was a video in which all the investigators were seated, but you could distinctly hear footsteps. In another recording, you can hear the gavel and a call to order like a judge. Suppose you are looking for a real thrill. In that case, you can listen to these EVPS, along with others in Ashe County’s haunted places, by clicking here to visit 3P’s website.
#8: Devil’s Stairs, Warrensville
A classic urban legend…perhaps more folklore because this particular tale occurs between two towns in the “middle of nowhere” in Ashe County. Along the route of HWY 88 from West Jefferson and Warrensville, there is a peculiar jagged rock formation that was a result of a dynamite blast in 1914.
Highly resembling a staircase down to the pits of heck, this landmark has supposedly created a pathway for spirits to travel back and forth. Several different legends surround the area, but the two most renowned jest that if driving past the Devil’s Stairs at midnight a spirit will “steal” a ride in the back of your car. This spirit is suggested to be either a dynamite blaster that had an accident during the construction of the Virginia Creeper Railroad or that of Mrs. Turner, whose daughter Hopal was run over by the same train decades later.
Haunted Places in the North Carolina Mountains
Your heart will be racing after visiting these 8 Haunted Places in the North Carolina mountains! If you are planning a fall adventure in the Boone, NC area, check out our other articles on how can catch the peak of the Fall Foliage and visit one of our local pumpkin patches for your Jack-o-lanterns.
And remember- if you FALL in love with the NC mountains, 828 Real Estate is here to help you find the best property for you!