Bathrooms are usually a great source for funny material (they don't call it 'potty humor' for nothing) but, if you think about it, whenever you're in a bathroom, you're usually in a vulnerable state. It'd be the perfect time for, say, a ghost or specter to pop up and scare the... well, scare the poop out of you. Here's our guide to America's haunted, spooky, and downright creepy bathrooms.
This Victorian Bed & Breakfast used to be a girl’s finishing school and legend has it that the headmistress is still looming around, showing up in mirrors (yeah, that’s fun to think about when you wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night). If you’re brave, try staying in Room 410, the Miss Mary Lake Suite.
The folks at the Oatman Hotel claim that the joint is haunted by numerous ghosts, including Clark Gable and his wife Carol Lombard, who were frequent guests after spending their first married night here and a drunk Irish miner named Oatie who likes to play the bagpipes, open windows, yank the sheets off of beds, and flush toilets randomly.
The Hotel Congress has been open since 1919, and it's played host to some nefarious characters. John Dillinger and his gang stayed here, but most gruesome of all, a guest took her own life in Room 242. You can still see the bullet hole in the wall. Naturally, Room 242 is pretty paranormally active; one man reported that, while staying there one night, he was awakened by his dog barking at the bathroom; he looked inside to find a bathtub mysterious filled with water... and that all of his belongings had been shoved into the toilet.
The bathroom at the ladies' spa is one of many paranormal hotspots at the historic and haunted Hotel Galvez. One theory behind why so many people claim to see and hear the spirits of children throughout the hotel is that they are the ghosts of children who perished in the hurricane of 1900. Employees claim to hear the toilet flush repeatedly, followed by the disembodied giggles of children. But don't worry... the spirits here aren't malicious! They're probably just kids being kids.
St. Petersburg's Fort Desoto Park is allegedly quite the haunted hotspot, in addition to being a great beach for relaxing and enjoying some sun, sand, and surf. People report unexplainable voices, footsteps that follow them into the bathrooms, and even apparitions that dissipate into mist before their eyes here.
The thing about wealthy family empires-- when they finally topple, they have a long fall down to rock bottom. Take the Lemps for example. The family of German immigrants grew a small grocery store into the first brewery to distribute their sweet, life-giving elixir across the nation, becoming one of the wealthiest and most influential families in St. Louis in the process. But, Prohibition, divorce, death, and depression soon brought down the Lemps-- and most of the really dark stuff went down in their stately home, Lemp Mansion .
In 1838, John Adam Lemp came to St. Louis from Germany, like many immigrants during his day. He opened a humble grocery store, but soon found that he was selling more of his homemade lager than anything else-- his father had taught him the art of brewing back in Germany, and he aged the beer in a nearby cave. He decided to get out of grocering and open a brewery, which was a good idea...his beer was a huge hit, and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire. His son, William J. Lemp, grew the business even more, taking it across the nation with refrigerated railcars, and then across the world.
Of course, the success couldn't last forever. William Lemp had been grooming his fourth son, Frederick, to take control of the family business, but Frederick died at the tender age of 28 from a mysterious illness. To make matters worse for William, his dear friend, Frederick Pabst (yes, that Pabst) died shortly after. Less than two months later, William was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was found in the family mansion. Things only got worse for the Lemps...two of William Lemp's children, William Jr. and Elsa, also committed suicide, in 1922 and 1920 respectively. Both struggled with deteriorating relationships and the loss of the family business. After Prohibition in 1919, the brewery was shut down, and the brewery building sold for pennies on the dollar.
The final Lemp suicide was William Sr.'s third son, Charles, who continued to live in the house where his father and brother had killed themselves into the 1940's. He never married, and was known for doing sort of strange things. Like the time he mailed a letter to a St. Louis funeral home with weird, specific instructions upon his death: he wanted his remains transported to a crematory by ambulance and cremated immediately-- he requested that his body not be bathed, clothed, or changed. He then wanted his ashes to be placed in a wicker box and buried on the his farm, without any funeral or notice placed in the papers. 8 years later, he shot his dog and then himself, leaving behind only a note saying, "St. Louis Mo/May 9, 1949, In case I am found dead blame it on no one but me. Ch. A. Lemp".
The ghosts of the Lemp family are said to haunt the mansion, which is now a dinner theater restaurant/bed and breakfast. The downstairs women's restroom was once the private bathroom of William Jr, and ladies frequently report seeing his ghost in there-- he supposedly likes to peek over the bathroom stalls.
Everyone who knows about the infamous Chelsea Hotel knows that it's haunted. In particular, Room 100 (now a large suite), where Nancy (of Sid & Nancy) was found under the sink in the bathroom in 1978, dead from a single stab wound to the abdomen. Her sweetie, rockstar Sid Vicious, was arrested and charged, but died from an overdose/suicide while on bail.
The famous little stone house in Portland goes by many names: it's sometimes called the Witch's House, the Trail House, or the Forest House, though usually it's called by its most common name, the Stone House. Built in the mid-1930s, the elaborate little building was actually not a witch's house, but a public trail bathroom... at least, it was, before the building's water line was completely destroyed during the infamous Columbus Day Storm of October 12, 1962.
If you happen to spot some strange people holding blinking devices while you're there, it's probably because Forest Park, where the bathroom lies, is also rumored to be haunted. Ghost hunters have been visiting the woods for years trying to capture the strange lights, disembodied voices, and shadow figures rumored to be lurking in the nearby brush.