Courtesy of Lincoln Theater

At these haunted hotels, bars, and asylums, the locals have been around for centuries and things go bump in the night.

Lincoln Square Theatre, Decatur, IL

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When the Lincoln Square Theatre opened in 1916, it was the third building to occupy this site. The previous two—a hotel and another theater—went up in flames. And the ghosts of those killed are believed to haunt the premises. Another story involves the one-armed ghost of a stagehand, Red. Legend has it that he plunged to his death from a catwalk above the stage. In fact, he did die in the theater, though while taking a nap from which he never awoke. Shortly afterward, people began to report seeing seats move on their own, feeling cold spots where there were no drafts, and seeing a one-armed figure roaming the catwalks. The theater still shows movies and offers occasional overnight ghost hunts.

lincolnsquaretheatre.com

America's Most Haunted Places

Lincoln Square Theatre, Decatur, IL

When the Lincoln Square Theatre opened in 1916, it was the third building to occupy this site. The previous two—a hotel and another theater—went up in flames. And the ghosts of those killed are believed to haunt the premises. Another story involves the one-armed ghost of a stagehand, Red. Legend has it that he plunged to his death from a catwalk above the stage. In fact, he did die in the theater, though while taking a nap from which he never awoke. Shortly afterward, people began to report seeing seats move on their own, feeling cold spots where there were no drafts, and seeing a one-armed figure roaming the catwalks. The theater still shows movies and offers occasional overnight ghost hunts.

lincolnsquaretheatre.com

Courtesy of Lincoln Theater

America's Most Haunted Places

Some guests of Savannah’s Kehoe House have dismissed the sound of giggling and running up and down the hallway as typical kid antics—until they learn there’s an adults-only policy.

Young twins who died while playing in a chimney are rumored to haunt the 19th-century Kehoe House, one of many hotels and other sites across America where tales of the supernatural persist. In a New Orleans bar, a long-dead pirate guards the riches of his plundering; a screeching monster in the New Jersey woods has spooked locals for generations; and a one-armed stagehand roams the catwalks above an Illinois theater.

Ghost hunting has become big business, with paranormal experts offering as evidence dark shadows and orbs of light caught on film, recordings of strange noises, and unexplained temperature drops. Most haunted places capitalize on the attention by offering ghost tours. Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, KY, even lets you spend the night. Request room 502 only if you want company: the spirit of a nurse who hanged herself from a lightbulb wire.

But not all ghosts are scary; some just want to have fun. One specter spends her days stealing earrings from female patrons at a historic New York restaurant, while the apparition of a little girl faithfully turns up to watch rehearsals from her favorite seat at a Memphis theater.

Even for skeptics, playing along can be irresistible. So turn out the lights, and get ready to conjure some spirits at these haunted places.

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