At last count, there have been an estimated 24 films made about the Amityville Haunting.
TWENTY-FOUR! From the release of the first movie in 1979 to 2018’s The Amityville Murders, filmmakers have not been able to get enough of the Amityville Haunting.
But you know what? That house in Amityville isn’t the only place that’s reputed to be haunted. There are supposedly haunted locations all across the country that haven’t gotten half the attention of the Amityville Hoax! Here are 6 haunted locations that I think deserve 24 films of their own. I sincerely hope that I’ll get to review some of them for 2021’s horrorthon!
1. The District of Columbia
There are so many places in Washington D.C. that are reputed to be haunted that it’s difficult to narrow them down. Abraham Lincoln is said to wander the hallways of the White House and supposedly, you can sometimes hear Thomas Jefferson playing his violin. The ghost of murdered actor John McCullough is said to haunt the National Theater while literally thousands of dead politicians are said to still be hanging out in the the Capitol. So, instead of narrowing it down to one location, how about one big movie about all the ghosts in D.C? Maybe it could be an installment in the Ghostbusters franchise. Seriously, it’s time to clean up Washington!
2. Cherry Hill (Albany, New York)
This stately farm in New York has a long, distinguished, and sometimes sordid history. In 1827, a resident at the farm — John Whipple — was shot and killed. Accused of his murder was his socially prominent wife, Elsie, and her lover, a drifter-turned-handyman named Jesse Strang. Strang was convicted of the murder and sentenced to hang, though not before the judge called him “a serpent.” In a nationally-watched trial, Elsie was acquitted of being an accomplice. While Jesse was publicly hanged (the last such public hanging in Albany’s history), Elsie returned to Cherry Hill and lived out the rest of her days in peace. The ghosts of Jesse, Elsie, and John are said to still haunt Cherry Hill. To be honest, this one would make a good movie even if you totally left out the ghosts.
3. Burlington County Prison (New Jersey)
Who doesn’t love a good prison haunting? Burlington County Prison operated from 1811 through 1965. At the time that it closed, it was the oldest operating prison in the United States. 154 years is a lot of time to collect a host of spirits. Reportedly, the third floor of Burlington County Prison is full of the ghosts of prisoners. Meanwhile, a ghost of a tall man dressed in a correction officer’s uniform has also been spotted, making his rounds. Just imagine if all those ghosts got free!
4. Dead Women Crossing, Oklahoma
Seriously, that’s the name of the place! This unincorporated community was named after the murder of Kate Dewitt James, a local school teacher who, after having gone missing in 1905, was found dead and decapitated near Deer Creek. When Kate went missing, she was traveling with her 14-month old daughter. Local legend had it that, before her disappearance, Kate had spent the night at the home of a local prostitute named Fannie Norton. A detective later discovered that the baby was being looked after by two of Norton’s acquaintances. When the baby was rescued, she was discovered to be healthy but her clothes were covered in blood. When Norton was questioned by police, she committed suicide. Kate’s murder was never officially solved but it’s said that her ghost can sometimes be seen walking along the Creek, searching for her baby.
5. White House Tavern (Newport,Rode Island)
White House Tavern was constructed before 1673 and is thought to be the oldest operating tavern in the United States. It’s said that, in the 1720s, a well-dressed man checked into the tavern with a companion. The next morning, the man was found dead next to the fireplace and his companion had vanished. Apparently, his ghost still appears near the fireplace, where he’ll often ask the living to help solve the mystery of his death. To me, this sounds like the makings of great mix of crime and horror. Or maybe you could cast Will Ferrell as the ghost and turn it into a comedy. Either way, this is a film waiting to be made.
6. Houston Zoo (Houston, Texas)
The Houston Zoo is said to be haunted by it’s first zookeeper, Hans Nagel. Apparently, he was shot in 1941 while spying on teenagers in a parked car. In life, Hans was a flamboyant cowboy who wowed the crowds by wrestling pythons. In death, it’s said that his spirit still wanders around the zoo. Personally, I think Matthew McConaughey was born to star in this movie.