Nebraska October 08, 2016
This Haunted Road Trip Will Lead You To The Scariest Places In Nebraska
As Halloween draws closer, our minds keep drifting to the spooky, the scary, and the delightfully creepy. Nebraska has no shortage of hauntings and ghosts, both friendly and unfriendly. If you want to experience some of the state’s most haunted places, take a weekend and drive this spooky road trip. Bonus: pretty soon the fall foliage will be looking absolutely gorgeous, making your trip even better.
(This trip is a shortened version of our ultimate, three-part, full-state terrifying road trip – you can find the complete chilling journey
here, here, and here.)
Find the interactive map where you can add or remove stops or change the order of the stops
. (Cute ghostie graphics not included.)
1. Fort Sidney Commander's Quarters, Sidney
The ghost haunting this building is the beloved wife of a young officer. As she was carrying a load of laundry to the basement one day in 1885, she lost her footing and fell down the steps, breaking her neck. Visitors report hearing phantom footsteps on the staircase to this day.
2. Alliance Theatre, Alliance
This movie theatre may show current features, but the building itself is old and holds more than a century of history. Employees report seeing a dark figure and a light figure at times, and the books in the manager's office sometimes move by themselves.
3. Fort Robinson, Crawford
This former military camp was the site of the shocking Fort Robinson Massacre in 1879; the event was the endpoint of the Sioux and Cheyenne Wars in Nebraska. Visitors have reported hearing the hoofbeats of running horses and seeing the wandering ghosts of army soldiers and Native Americans all over the grounds.
If you have extra time, take a side trip to see the
Warbonnet Creek battle site
just outside of Harrison, directly north of the Immaculate Conception Church. This historic battlefield is also reportedly haunted.
4. Olde Main Street Inn, Chadron
This Victorian hotel, built in 1890, is a wonderful place to spend the night. If you're lucky, you might have an encounter with the resident ghosts, Jack and Anna. The friendly spirits simply roam the building, but once in a while will harmlessly move objects.
5. Centennial Hall Museum (Valentine Public School), Valentine
No matter which name you know it by, this lovely brick building, constructed in 1897, is the oldest surviving high school in the state. It is now used as a museum. If you stop by this time of year, don't expect to go in to browse the exhibits; their season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. But look in the windows and see if you can spot the spirit of the little girl said to haunt the building...or perhaps hear the clarinet music she still practices.
6. The Historic Argo Hotel, Crofton
The Argo is both one of my favorite buildings in Nebraska and one of my favorite haunting stories. The structure was originally a hotel, but it was later used as a medical clinic for many years. After being closed for a long period, it was renovated and restored to beautiful condition. During the renovation, a bag of bones was found in a wall; they were originally thought to be the bones of an infant, but were later found to be those of an animal. One resident ghost, Alice, wanders the building. Doors open and close on their own, paintings move, and phantom noises are heard by guests.
7. Blackbird Hill, Anderson
The tale of Blackbird Hill is long and sad; the abbreviated version is that a woman wanted to leave her husband for a former lover who had returned for her after she believed he had died. The husband stabbed her in a jealous rage, then ran to the edge of the hill with her in his arms and jumped into the river, killing them both. On October 17th of every year - the anniversary of the grisly event - it is said that you can hear the young woman's screams coming from the river.
Blackbird Hill is actually an important sacred site to the Omaha Tribe because several former leaders are buried there. As such, you can't actually climb to the top of Blackbird Hill, but you can walk to the scenic overlook which gives a perfect view of the Missouri River. If you visit, please respect the site and do not wander into any areas that are not open to the public.
8. Hummel Park, Omaha
There are so many legends surrounding this park in North Omaha that it's hard to know where to begin unraveling them. The park is said to have been the site of many lynchings in Omaha's early days; there was also reportedly an albino colony on the grounds. Debris from Satanic rituals has been found in various parts of the park. It is said that there is a different number of stairs in the old stone staircase each time you go up or down it. Finally, more recently the park has unfortunately been the location where the remains of at least one murder victim were found. It doesn't matter how many of the legends are true and how many are urban legends; the fact is that this place just feels creepy...but to be fair, it's a beautiful park.
9. The Capitol Building, Lincoln
The iconic building has had more than a few ghost stories associated with it over the years. Some tour guides and building employees have denied any supernatural activity, but visitors report hearing the screams of a man who fell to his death many years ago. A spirit has been reported in the Law Library as well. Though there are no reports of these deaths taking place on the capitol building's grounds, many visitors are convinced that there is something supernatural happening there.
10. The Speakeasy, Sacramento (Just outside Holdrege)
We'll end our tour at the nice relaxing Speakeasy, where you can sit down,
order a gourmet meal
, and recount your ghost hunting adventures. Oh, and be on the lookout for Faceless Fred, an unfortunate soul whose wife, tired of his cheating, cut off most of his face and disposed of his body in a well. The restaurant was built on the site of the abandoned well, and Fred moved in. He bangs pots and pans around in the kitchen but is generally seen as a harmless entity.
Whew! That was a LONG trip, but worth it, right? Nebraska’s ghost stories are so much fun to explore over and over.
You may have noticed that none of the state’s many haunted cemeteries are on this trip. That is because several readers have expressed concerns about ghost hunting visitors causing damage to graves, and we would hate to be responsible for anything like that happening. Eagle-eyed readers will also notice that the Norfolk Regional Center, arguably the most haunted place in Nebraska, is missing. The building was finally demolished this summer, so there is no longer a place to visit. We hope the spirits there found peace.
There are, of course, many, many more haunted sites that wouldn’t fit into just one road trip. See our ultimate terrifying road trip:
Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Safe (and spooky) travels, friends!