1. Argo Hotel, Crofton
The Argo hotel in picturesque Crofton has a long and complex history. It began its life as a hotel, but was later turned into a medical clinic. After the clinic closed, the Argo sat shuttered until 1994, when the building was purchased and restored to its former glory as a hotel. During the renovations, a burlap sack containing the skeleton of an infant was found hidden in the wall.
The best-known spirit wandering the Argo today is Alice, believed to be the mother of the infant whose bones were found in the wall. Patients of the former medical clinic also seem to haunt the hotel. They aren't violent or even very scary; they are just there.
2. Norfolk Regional Center, Norfolk
Before the rather tame moniker it now sports, this facility was known as the Norfolk Insane Asylum. It opened its doors in 1888 and doctors began treating those who were deemed "insane" by the courts. After the facility changed names and focus several times, it became the Norfolk Regional Center in 1962. Now, part of the campus is used to house and rehabilitate sex offenders. Some of the buildings are vacant, and there is a system of underground tunnels connecting the buildings.
There is a cemetery on site where former patients are buried, most without markers of any kind. One of the buildings was once used as low-cost student housing, and residents frequently reported unexplained noises, apparitions, and voices apparently belonging to former patients. This property has No Trespassing signs posted. Please heed the signs and do not wander onto the property for a closer look.
3. Platte County Historical Museum, Columbus
This century-old building houses artifacts and memorabilia from Nebraska's history, and spirits are said to walk the halls. A paranormal investigation team checked out the building in 2012 and had some strange experiences. An unexplained shadow, electromagnetic field disruptions, and recorded voices were all observed by the investigators.
4. St. Patrick's Cemetery, AKA The Glowing Graveyard, Shell Creek (near Columbus)
If you can time your road trip to arrive here after dark on a night with a full moon, we highly recommend it. That's when the gravestones are all said to glow brightly with an otherworldly light. Even at other times, though, the cemetery is thought by some to be haunted. Whether you see any ghosts or not, this is a really beautiful cemetery to visit.
The wooden bridge nearby is said to have been the site of a bus accident in which several children died. Local legend has it that if you stop your car on the bridge, it won't start up again. But if you cover your car in powder before coasting over the bridge with the car in neutral, you'll find small handprints all over it when you reach the other side.
5. Scotus Central Catholic High School, Columbus
This is the third haunted location in Columbus, leading us to believe that maybe the town has an especially high concentration of spirits. Or perhaps the people who live there are just more sensitive to paranormal activity than others.
This school is said to be haunted by a nun and former students. Given the school's very long history, it isn't hard to believe that there may be some residual energy of those who once walked the halls.
6. Grand Theatre, Grand Island
This beautiful theater was built in 1911 and has undergone many changes in the century since. Although no one is sure of the source of the hauntings, volunteers and patrons have reported sightings of a janitor figure. Other incidents include unexplained sounds and voices and the feeling of a ghostly hand on one's shoulder.
7. Hastings Regional Center, Hastings
Like Norfolk Regional Center, Hastings Regional Center has a long history of treating mentally ill patients. This facility also has a cemetery on site where patients are buried, many without grave markers. The spirits of that cemetery are said to be the source of many unexplained haunted phenomena in and around the old buildings.
8. The Speakeasy, Sacramento (near Holdrege)
After all that ghost hunting, you're bound to be a little hungry. Stop in at the Speakeasy for some of the best food in the area. Oh, and did we mention the steakhouse has its very own ghost? Faceless Fred bangs pots and pans together, shuts the freezer door while employees are inside, and generally makes his presence known. If you're a paranormal enthusiast, steak with a side of haunting probably sounds pretty appetizing.
9. North Platte Community Playhouse (old Fox Theatre), North Platte
The North Platte Community Playhouse, also known as the Neville Center for the Performing Arts, houses spirits that make themselves known to employees when no one is around. Although many occurrences have been reported, people who have experienced them have all described the spirits as benevolent...or at least not evil.
10. Arrow Hotel, Broken Bow
Our tour ends at this historic hotel where apparitions are said to wander harmlessly. Staff and guests have reported furniture moving on its own, mysterious voices, and apparitions walking around late at night.
There are a number of interesting side trips you can take while on this trip; haunted bridges, graves, and buildings abound in this part of the state. Know of any particularly great spots? Add them to the trip by leaving a comment! Look out in the coming weeks for the third and final installment of our ultimate terrifying road trip through Nebraska.