When you’re camping on the Blue Ridge Parkway, these ghost stories that originate in the surrounding mountains are perfect tales to be told around the campfire.
Caution: Many places listed here require special permission to visit or investigate. Many are patrolled by authorities and trespassers could be prosecuted.
Martha Washington Inn (Abingdon, VA)
The ghost of a young woman haunts the inn, looking eternally for her lover. Sightings are so common that they at one time charged extra for her “favorite” room. The staff at the inn are very helpful and acknowledge the sightings. No matter how many times they put down new carpet, blood stains reappear from old soldiers who were wounded during the war.
Avenel House (Bedford, VA)
Witnesses report seeing “The White Lady” walking around the property, sometimes accompanied by a gentleman (also in white). An apparition of a black man has been reported to be looking out of an upstairs window.
Southern Virginia College (Buena Vista, VA)
This college is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a young boy who died here. He is said to haunt the fourth floor, which is one of the women’s dormitories. The ghost can sometimes be heard riding his bicycle up and down the hallway. There has also been an unusual death every year since the college was built.
Christiansburg Middle School (Christiansburg, VA)
At this school, there are reports of lights coming on at night and going off before the light switch is touched. Witnesses see shadows of three women, and in the cellar, hear a baby’s cry.
Frederick Avenue (Front Royal, VA)
There have been many sightings of a child walking in the graveyard behind Frederick Avenue. Also, some of the people in these houses on the avenue have claimed to see ghosts within their own premises, especially those of children crying out to them.
Lover’s Leap (Independence, VA)
It is said that anyone who passes over this bridge will see the ghost figure of a young girl crying, saying “I love you,” or a strapping young man jumping off the bridge. The story goes that the two were romantically involved and their families were at odds. The two would rather die than be kept apart so they jumped off the bridge holding hands and whispering, “I love you.”
Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (Lynchburg, VA)
A girl was murdered on campus 25 years ago, and it is said that some nights you can hear her running and screaming. Also, it is said that the Smith Banquet Hall is haunted by the headless ghost of a Washington and Lee University student who was on his way here for a dance and got decapitated in a wreck.
Octagonal House (Marion, VA)
Abijah Thomas built the Octagon house in 1850. Thomas built the house with 8 sides to protect it from wind damage. He kept slaves to help him work the fields. It is said that in an upstairs room you can still see fresh blood dripping and seeping down one of the walls. You can also hear many strange noises throughout the entire premises.
The Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)
Back in 1914, George W. Vanderbilt died from complications from a surgery he had for appendicitis. His wife was devastated, so late at night, in the Library, she would sit in front of the large marble fireplace and talk with George, though he was never really there. Her servants started to think she was losing her mind. To this day, late at night you can still hear her voice talking with George very softly. Also, you can feel George’s presence in the Billiard Room, and the 2nd floor Oak Sitting room, one of his favorite rooms in the mansion. During rainy late nights, George would sit and read. Workers report feelings of being watched, apparitions, voices, laughing, & screams. A headless orange cat has been seen by numerous visitors roaming the area between the Gardens and the Bass pond. The Pool Room is also a focal point of unexplained events. The sound of people swimming echoes throughout the entire lower floor in the dead of night. Insane laughter can be heard coming from the drain at the bottom of the pool. It is said to be haunted by a lady in black. Employees report hearing footsteps on the second floor. It’s $10 for the small tour and $50 for the full tour of the house. But be sure you stay close to the guide.
Chicken Alley (Asheville, NC)
The legendary ghost of Dr. Jamie Smith lived at this infamous Asheville locale known as “Chicken Alley” over a century ago. For decades, countless sightings of his ghost have been reported. Dr. Smith was killed in a bar-room confrontation in 1902 at the old historic “Broadway’s Tavern.” The tavern was destroyed by fire the following year. The close vicinity known as Chicken Alley has been victim to his ghost for over a hundred years.
Erwin High school (Asheville, NC)
In the nineteen seventies when the new Clyde Erwin High school was built just outside Asheville, and the remnants of the Old County Home Graveyard were dug up to make room for the new building. Numerous transients & casualties of sickness who were buried here were moved across the street and planted below unmarked wooden crosses. It’s said that the restless spirits of those buried here still haunt the school, and many janitors who have worked the night shift there refuse to recount the things they’ve experienced while inside. Unmarked graves are said to still lie beneath the potter’s field, overlooking the school.
The Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC)
There is a lady dressed in pink that haunts this Inn. You can see her and hear her late at night. Several guests and employees have had several encounters with her. She is known to tickle toes at night while visitors are attempting to sleep. When you get close to room 545, it seems to get cold. You can usually hear doors slamming, laughter, and talking from rooms that are not used.
Helen’s Bridge (Asheville, NC)
When the Zalandia Castle caught fire, a woman named Helen lost her only child, a daughter. Helen was so crushed by the loss she hung herself from the bridge right down the road from the castle. On Halloween night go to the bridge and try to conjure Helen. If she is successfully called, you car will mess up in some way so that you can’t get down the mountain.
Channel 13 WLOS (Asheville, NC)
People say the building is haunted by a servant from a time when the building was home to Dr. Samuel Westray Battle. The ghost’s name is Alice and reports describe her walking around the building and playing with the TV equipment. Some say Alice is also the Pink Lady, because The Battle Mansion is next to the Grove Park Inn, and she has been seen walking over to the Inn.
Old Battery Park Hotel (Asheville, NC)
It’s said that in a private apartment building in downtown Asheville, which used to be known as the Battery Park Hotel in the early to mid 1900’s, apparitions can be seen very early in the morning. Individuals who worked the morning shift in the pantry refused to go in alone because a man who was murdered there was known to reveal himself in spirit form to employees.
The Green Park Inn Hotel (Blowing Rock, NC)
A room on the 3rd floor of the Hotel is reported to be haunted by a woman who died there years ago.
Glidewells Restaurant (Blowing Rock, NC)
Glidewells Restaurant was active with people for some time before it partially burnt down resulting in the death of a little girl. That part of the restaurant was rebuilt. Rumor has it that visitors who stay in the area that burnt down will sometimes hear the little girl’s voice.
Appalachian State University (Boone, NC)
East Hall is one of the dormitories for the college and is said to be haunted. Student assistants have reported being followed by unknown footsteps when on their rounds after midnight. People have also claimed that the lights will suddenly turn off in halls and you can feel someone brush against you. You can also hear whispering voices in the hallway. The third floor new bathroom is haunted by a male ghost, though it is a girls’ bathroom. Also, assorted residents have reported seeing a girl dressed in white in their rooms and others have had small items in their rooms rearranged daily.
Brown Mountain (Linville, NC)
At two different places on the Blue Ridge parkway you can see the brown mountain lights. There are three stories. 1) It’s said that there was a war between two different Native American tribes. At night when it was safe, the women would go out and look for their husbands with big bright torches, but they were killed too, so now they keep looking forever. 2) It was winter and a little girl had gone missing. Her father looked and looked for her but she died and he died as well. To this day, he continues the search. 3) The spirit of a faithful slave in search of his master who was accidentally wounded while hunting…. Whatever they are, they appear nightly in the gorge, with no set pattern, they weave in and out of the trees until they reach the edge of the river, then they disappear only to reappear in another spot. Scientists have tried to figure out what has been going on for hundreds of years and many people have seen these lights year after year.
Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC)
Harrill Residence Hall – 5th Floor – It is said that a girl died of an asthma attack while her boyfriend was sleeping over. She suffocated in her sleep before she could be saved. It is now said that the 5th floor as well as the elevators are haunted by her ghost. The elevators open at the 5th floor, and then go down to the first floor, opening again. The elevators have been known to randomly open with no one in them on all floors. Strange occurrences and the feeling of being watched have been reported on the 5th floor.
Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC)
Scott Residence Hall – 8th Floor – In the early 1990’s a young student hung herself in the East Wing. For many years the floor was shut off due to many occurrences with sightings of the young lady. Bathroom lights will turn on and off as well as doors opening and shutting. Water will run for no reason.
Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC)
The Moore Building has many rumors around it regarding the haunting. The actual story is this: A young woman, enrolled in the teaching program, was murdered in the mid-sixties by a local resident when she refused his romantic advances. The man was caught and served only a few years at Broughton Hospital in Morganton. The 3rd floor began experiencing a haunting shortly after the girl’s death. It is true that students began refusing to live on the 3rd floor due to the sounds of crying, screaming, and pacing. Moore was converted to classrooms in the 1980’s, yet strange things continued to happen. The man convicted of the girl’s murder died in 1997, and the paranormal activity seems to have stopped, although students on the 3rd floor often report getting “the creeps” or feeling like they are being watched.
East McDowell Jr. High School (Marion, NC)
In the early 1900’s an orphange sat on the lot where East McDowell Jr. High sits now. It burned to the ground and some of the children who lived at the orphanage died in the fire. At night you are supposed to be able to hear the children crying in the back parking lot, and the library is haunted by the supervisor of the orphanage who also died in the fire. You can see her on the upstairs balcony of the library.
Pleasant Gardens Baptist Church (Marion, NC)
This church is haunted by a woman who has been seen dressed in pink. People say that if you leave pink flowers on her grave, you can see her walking down the road with a knife in her hand the following day.
Terror Town (Pisgah, NC)
Located 1 mile past Zooland Campground on Pisgah Covered Bridge Road outside of Asheville (.5 mile past Forest Hills). There is old farmland there with a number of hauntings that have been reported over the years. The farm is made up of about 18 acres with several farmhouses scattered throughout. A little girl’s voice is heard deep in the forest. A boy who hung himself there haunts the upper farm. An old lady and her husband haunt one of the houses. Her brother died in the woods near the house and can now be heard singing at night while he makes moonshine. A shadow of a black horse has been seen running through the woods and then vanishes. There is a company who uses the location now for a haunted attraction called Terror Town so it is very easy to access during hours when they are there working. One of the staff lives at the park so don’t try to visit this one without permission.
Woolsey Heights (Waynesville, NC)
A man killed his wife in their home and then committed suicide. Neighbors say they see her ghost in the windows and her rocking chair rocking. An actual witness who stayed with a neighbor frequently while in school heard and saw things that she can’t explain, even though she does not believe in ghosts.