Real-life ghosts are great for haunted houses — they never ask for days off.
This time of year, professional haunted houses scare up a lot of business and provide jobs for part-time ghosts, ghouls and zombies.
But some haunted attractions don’t just stop there. They claim to be located at supposedly haunted sites, and allegedly have full-time spooks that stick around all year long, even after the last group of pimply-faced teenagers skedaddles through a creepy clown corn maze or a zombie-infested school bus Halloween evening.
America Haunts, a group of 28 different haunted attractions across the U.S., has just released a press release claiming at least 25 percent of their spook houses have had some form of paranormal activity.
Frankly, we think there’s more than a ghost of a chance these places are just playing up paranormal claims to scare up publicity. Everyone knows that a haunted attraction that also has real ghosts is better than one that just has community college drama students in makeup yelling at you.
And while science has never proved the existence of ghosts, if they exist, there are certainly benefits for a haunted house owner from a business standpoint: They work for free, never ask for days off, and they never ask for workmen’s comp if a customer bites them on the arm.
But even doubt can be turned into a selling point.
“The supernatural presence and urban historical locations adds to the allure of our haunted attractions,” America Haunts spokeswoman Arnett-Bequeaith said in a release. “We recommend people test their own courage and see for themselves for proof that these attractions are truly haunted.”
13th Gate Necropolis (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
The owner of the 13th Gate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says the site was once home to a slave brick foundry and later a slaughterhouse. In June, 2011, ghost hunters set up an electronic voice phenomenon recording session in the lobby and supposedly captured an eerie voice repeatedly whispering, “Hey, talk to me.”
Sadly, the recorders did not pick up anyone saying, “Not you! I meant that ghost over there!.”
Cutting Edge (Fort Worth, Texas)
The Cutting Edge Haunted House resides in an old abandoned meat packing plant in Fort Worth, Texas dubbed, “Hell’s Half Acre.” A prostitute was reportedly murdered nearby in the 1950s, but her killing was never solved. The business claims paranormal investigators told them they saw a vision of a young woman, still bleeding and crying, inside the building.
Of course, paranormal investigators rarely say, “Sorry. Didn’t see anything. It’s really dark in here.”
The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati)
Legend has it that the Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati houses the souls of dozens of children who went missing, only to be found years later rotting in the school’s basement. Turns out the story is fiction. That bugaboo aside, the owners (the same ones pushing the story about the schoolhouse murders that never happened) claim there have been numerous reports of strange paranormal activity and spirit sightings.
Haunted Hotel (San Diego)
Built inside a 130-year-old building that once served as a hotel, the Haunted Hotel in San Diego is supposedly haunted by an entity that employees believe might be the original caretaker. Considering how grimy the bathrooms look in the photo, we suspect the guy didn’t have the job for very long.
Nightmare on the Bayou (Houston)
Houston’s Nightmare on the Bayou is located near the city’s oldest graveyard. Employees said they’ve been victims of spooky attacks such as being mysteriously pelted by cups, seeing bags of products moving on their own out of thin air and computers being found unplugged every morning. And employees whose jobs depend on attendance would never exaggerate a paranormal experience in order to enhance interest in their place of work.
The Beast (Kansas City, Missouri)
Working at The Beast in Kansas City, Missouri, is supposedly a scarier experience than it is for customers. The place claims it’s just so spooky that some employees don’t come back after their first night. In this business, that’s considered a sign of quality rather than a serious HR issue. Supposedly, one of the employee restrooms is so “haunted” that staffers report feeling a heavy weight on their chest that can make it hard to breathe. Of course, it’s hard to breathe in a lot of workplace bathrooms, so it seems like an issue of plumbing, not the paranormal.
13th Floor (San Antonio, Texas)
The 13th Floor in San Antonio, Texas Is believed to be haunted by a group of school children killed while riding in a school bus that was hit by an oncoming train near the attraction. The spirit of one little girl is said to roam the haunt. Paranormal investigators who checked out the attraction reportedly detected her ghost walking through the walls. Snopes, our favorite buzzkill, couldn’t find any evidence of the accident that supposedly made the place haunted.
This article was originally posted here for the The Huffington Post.