(Please note: actual pictures could not be located for all of the places mentioned, so generic images have been substituted in a few cases. Thanks for understanding.)
1. Annie Cook's Poor Farm, Hershey
(Please note: The picture above is not the actual poor farm house.) Poor farms, where destitute people were allowed to live in exchange for their labor, were fairly common in Nebraska in the 19th century into the mid-20th century. Most were reputable and safe, but the Lincoln County Poor Farm was another story. Under Annie Cook's watch, the farm was headquarters to a bootlegging operation and a prostitution ring. She treated her residents as indentured servants and worked them to death - sometimes literally. Many of the residents turned up dead from various "accidents," all of which Annie explained away with her superb conning skills or with force or threats. Annie was never tried or punished for her crimes, and it is said that her ghost roams the grounds of the old farm along with the souls of those she tortured.
2. Mystery Manor, Omaha
Although it operates as a seasonal haunted house attraction, Mystery Manor has a legitimately creepy backstory. The home was built in 1887 as the residence of William and Greta Hall. In 1929, William and his fortune were devastated by the stock market crash. William is said to have gone mad and chopped his beloved wife to pieces with an axe. He buried her in the front yard of their home, but he would not go without punishment. Greta's brother murdered William with the same axe and buried the body right next to Greta's. The next night, the brother's body was found next to the grave with the same axe buried in his skull. Many believe that the final murder was committed by William's ghost, and to this day William is reported to wander the halls of his graceful home every October, tormenting anyone who comes inside.
3. Spring Ranch Bridge, Spring Ranch
In the teeny-tiny township of Spring Ranch, a ghostly history lingers. In 1885, a property battle began between the widow Elizabeth Taylor and her neighbors. Elizabeth and her brother, Tom Jones, felt threatened by the neighbors and bought a shotgun to protect themselves and their property. When Elizabeth saw men cutting down trees on her property, she shot and killed one. Soon after, a lynch mob came for the brother and sister. Townspeople hung the duo from the Spring Creek Bridge, where it is said that ghostly voices, screams, and gunshots can still be heard today.
4. Joslyn Castle, Omaha
This Omaha landmark was built in 1903 and occupied by George and Sarah Joslyn. They loved their opulent home so much that they and their daughter Violet are thought to dwell there still. The castle is open for tours and events, and many visitors have reported hearing George and Sarah deep in conversation. Some have even seen ghostly figures wandering around the house and the grounds.
5. Fort Omaha, Omaha
This old military base dates back to 1868 - most of the former base is now used as a campus of Metropolitan Community College. Several ghostly figures have been seen staring out of the windows of the historic buildings, and reports are common of items disappearing and reappearing. Staff and students hear odd noises and feel cold spots, though this doesn't seem completely unexpected in such old buildings.
6. MJ's Ranch House, Crawford
This steak house is a popular place to eat, and some people say it's a popular place for ghosts to hang out. A particular ghost is said to cause mischief around the kitchen, clanging pots and pans and breaking plates and cups.
7. Central High School, Omaha
The ghost of an old janitor is thought to walk the halls of this high school which was built way back in 1859. Students and staff have reported the sound of a broom sweeping and wheels rolling on the school's wood floors when no one is around.
8. Hannah's Grave, Plattsmouth/Murray area
As is the case with many hauntings, the story of Hannah's grave is a sad one. Hannah was a teenaged unwed mother in the 19th century with very strict parents. When she gave birth to her little girl, her parents whisked the infant away and drowned it, telling Hannah that her baby had been stillborn. The story goes that Hannah died of heartbreak, though it's more likely she would have died of complications related to giving birth. Her ghost is said to walk the field in which her body was buried, calling for her lost infant.
9. Brother Sebastian's Steak House, Omaha
A regular customer named Bill Walden continues to patronize this popular restaurant even after his death. Bill ate at the restaurant almost every night, and when he passed away following an illness, he didn't break his habit. Customers and staff alike have reported strange occurrences like candles going out or being re-lit, cold spots, and doors opening on their own. Some even claim to have seen Bill's ghost sitting there in his favorite tweed jacket.
What do you think about these supposed hauntings? Have you ever experienced spooky things at any of these places? Tell us about it in the comments!
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