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Spooky Haunts Around the Southwest System

SydLeonard Employee


Check out these spooky homes and attractions located throughout the Southwest System … if you dare!

Eastern State Penitentiary
 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL)—Haunted house expert Steve Kopelman picked Terror Behind the Walls Haunted House at Eastern State Penitentiary as one the Best Haunted Houses in America. Built as a haunted house inside an actual state prison, this lost world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers stands behind the Eastern State Penitentiary’s massive 30-foot walls. Many people believe that Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted because, as early as the 1940s, officers and inmates had reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences in the ancient prison.

52496302_l (1).jpgPrison cell in Eastern State Penitentiary, also known as ESP, is a former American prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


 Lafayette Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY)—This one applies since, technically, a cemetery is a home to the dead! In its rich history, New Orleans has been home to plague victims, civil war soldiers, and many other victims of catastrophes, resulting in the need for a large amount of burial space. Since New Orleans is mostly below sea level, the need for burying bodies above ground became clear. Lafayette Cemetery, officially established in 1833, has been said to be haunted, and people state they have seen ghosts roaming about the tombs. Some of the more distinctive monuments in the cemetery include those of the Brunies family, of jazz fame,  and the “Secret Garden,” a square of four tombs built by friends who wished to be buried together.

47659538_l.jpgNew Orleans Lafayette Cemetery


Stranahan House of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)—Built in 1901, the Stranahan House is the oldest standing building in Fort Lauderdale. Built by Frank Stranahan, who was Fort Lauderdale’s first postmaster, the home has long been known for its creepy, haunted vibe. It’s now run as a museum. Reports of Frank’s ghost haunting the home surfaced after his death. One report says a clock that had not worked began ticking and chiming on its own a week after his death. It is in a beautiful part of town—visit if you dare! 

60277005_l.jpgStranahan House, the oldest building in Fort Lauderdale, originally built as a trading post



Thrillvania of Terrell, Texas (DAL)—Located just 20 minutes from Southwest’s home base of Love Field is Thrillvania, one of the most decorated haunted attractions in the world. Spread out over 50 acres featuring eight attractions, Thrillvania frightens more than 20,000 visitors a year. The cornerstone of this fear farm is Verdun Manor, a two-story haunted house originally designed by Disney Imagineers and said to boast more props per square foot than any other haunted house in the country.


5.jpgThrillvania Haunted House Park.


Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky (SDF)—Waverly Hills Sanatorium is said to be one of the most haunted places on earth. Waverly Hills began as a small tuberculosis hospital in the early 1900s. In 1926, a larger hospital was built to accommodate all of the affected. It’s rumored that over 63,000 patients died there, many as result of experimental procedures and mistreatment. Waverly Hills has been featured on shows like Most Haunted, Ghost Adventures, and Ghost Hunters. There are vast amounts of reported apparitions, shadows, random voices, and sudden cold spots. Public tours are offered on the weekends.

13303225_l.jpgOld Room


Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago, Illinois (MDW)—As one of the largest hotels in the Windy City, the Congress Plaza Hotel has always been sure to have a few stories to tell. The hotel was constructed in 1893 for the World’s Fair held in Chicago that year. The grandeur of the building has lured all kinds of characters to the its lobby and rooms, including Dr. H. H. Holmes—reportedly, America’s first serial killer—and Al Capone. Some say that room 441 is the most haunted room in the building, and there are no restrictions on spending the night, if you like. But, according to legend, there’s an even more haunted room on the twelfth floor that is so frightening that its door has been permanently sealed behind wall paper. If you’re looking for a creepy night in a grand but ghoulish hotel, Congress Plaza is sure to have you terrified!


48115374_l.jpgChicago - September 6, 2015: The Congress Plaza Hotel, located on South Michigan Avenue across from Grant Park in Chicago at 520 South Michigan Avenue.



Share your favorite haunted hangouts in the comments. And remember to have a safe and fun Halloween!

Employee Contributors:

Sydney Leonard, Editorial Communication Specialist, Communication & Outreach
Kiely Donovan, Team Leader, Customer Relations/Rapid Rewards

Ally Harrington, CSA Supervisor, Ground Ops

Tiffanie Abbott, Editorial Intern, Communication & Outreach


photo credits:

 Copyright: legacy1995 / 123RF Stock Photo

Copyright: cpaulfell / 123RF Stock Photo

Copyright: anankkml / 123RF Stock Photo

Copyright: demerzel21 / 123RF Stock Photo


New Arrival

Monterey, CA.  Haunted house, Galletines Restaurant.  Although the name of the restaurant has changed several times, the ghost still lives upstairs.  I have seen her.

New Arrival

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose (SJC) should also be included on the list.

New Arrival

The Oxford Hotel in Denver is rumored to be haunted.