By Anna Olvera.
A church is a place of worship, peace, and prayers — ideally. But what would you do if the church you go to every Sunday had a dark past that involved hauntings and supernatural phenomena? Do you stay? Or do you hightail it out of there? People that attend the following churches have to make that choice.
From bloody handprints of a murdered parish clerk to the restless ghost of Woodrow Wilson, here are the most haunted churches in America.
1. Most Holy Trinity Church, Brooklyn, New York
This 1880s building that now sits on a former cemetery has a history of paranormal activity, including reports of footsteps, flickering lights and sightings of spirits lurking. One of the most noted kindred spirits to roam is that of a former parish clerk named George Stelz, who was brutally murdered in 1897. They say that his blood and the murderer’s bloody handprint are still in one of the walls of the bell tower stairway. There’s also the spirits of two former pastors who are buried under the church in a crypt.
2. Church of St. Andrews, Staten Island, New York
Once used as a revolutionary war hospital, the church of St. Andrews is highly haunted with apparitions of those dead soldiers who lost their lives, unexplained knocking, footsteps, wailing sounds, candles flickering and elevating. Even the guys from the TV show “Ghost Hunters” found some activity when they filmed one their episodes here.
3.Washington National Cathedral, Washington D.C.
Several parishioners have reported sightings of ghostly president Woodrow Wilson in the nation’s cathedral with the sounds of his cane echoing against the walls. There was also a tragic fire that broke out in 1946, claiming the lives of several people; now some witnesses claim to have seen some charred specters walking around the lower levels of the building.
4. St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans, Louisiana
Lousiana is one of the country’s most infamous states when it comes to the supernatural. It is one of the oldest churches around and has a breathtaking view. Well-known personalities in history, such as voodoo queen Marie Laveau and french socialite Delphine Lalaurie, are just two of the many devoted people to set foot in here. These women were known for their love for the dark arts and slave torture; they are said to be two of the many entities walking among the living in the cathedral. People have also witnessed the apparitions of 6 men who were executed on the church grounds.
5. Christ Church of Alexandria, Alexandria Virginia
A colonial era church and registered as a national landmark, The Christ Church of Alexandria served famous patrons such as George Washington and Robert E. Lee. The church also houses a cemetery on its grounds, where 34 confederate prisoners of war lost their lives in local prison camps during the American Civil War. Several occurrences have been registered by people claiming to have seen the soldiers roaming around the area and strange banging sounds in the evening. In 2010, a woman who was visiting the church took a snapshot and captured a face on the photograph, some people say it’s proof of real ghosts while others think it’s just a man’s reflection.
6. Adams Grove Presbyterian Church, Dallas County, Alabama
This small, inactive church is made of simple wood columns and doesn’t really resemble a place of worship. Privately owned, the property has been the talk of the small isolated town for years. With the sightings of a former minister and the creepy ghost of a confederate soldier who scares people off the property, warning they to “stay away,” it is often a one-time-only trip for several ghost hunters around the nation due to its creepiness.
7. St. Marks Episcopal Church, Cheyenne, Wyoming
This church has an unbelievable backstory that will give you chills. It is said that two Swedish immigrants once working on the construction of the bell tower simply left one day without any notice and never came back, leaving the tower about halfway completed. After that, several workers came to take on the task, but really never did stick around, as claims of “spooky” stuff kept driving them away.
With all the mishaps going on, someone came up with a crazy idea of giving the “ghost” its own room where he/she could continue with the loud banging, whispers, and humming. Believe it or not, it worked and the tower was finally finished. It is said that years later, one of the two immigrants came back to tell the church pastor that his fellow worker had slipped and fallen to his death. Because of the fear of being deported, he simply kept it a secret and he sealed the body up in a wall and never came back.
8. Chapel of the Cross, Madison, Mississippi
Another church with an adjoined cemetery is the home to several hauntings in the area. There have been claims of shadow figures as well as transparent ones roaming around the cemetery. One of them belongs to a woman who was set and ready to wed in the chapel, only to find out her fiancee would never show up since he died right before the wedding. Now the woman’s spirit walks around weeping for her long lost love.
9. Old Rock Church, St. Olaf, Texas
Located literally in the middle of nowhere and with a silenced and calming atmosphere in which you could hear a pin drop, this small church has reports of singing parishioners in the wind when there’s no one around. Other reports include mysterious organ music and misty figures lurking in the cemetery area. Yet the creepiest part may be that instead of the townspeople being disturbed by the place, they feel a sense of peacefulness and relaxation.
10. St. Pauls Chapel, New York, New York
Among the many visitors this church has had over the years, one of them stands out, actor George Frederick Cooke voluntarily donated his head to science in order to pay some medical bills. Since then, his ghost has been seen wandering around, possibly looking for his missing head which in actuality ended up being used as a “prop” in theater productions rather than being used for science research.
This article was first published on The Ghost Diaries.
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