13 Asheville ghosts + the buildings they haunt

Grove Park Inn. Photo: @billieswanner

Grove Park Inn. Photo: @billieswanner

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Helen’s Bridge, the Grove Park Inn, the old Craggy Prison: What do all of these spots have in common?

They’re all haunted.

In honor of Halloween tomorrow, we’ve compiled a list of 13 of the most haunted spots in Asheville – and the spooky stories behind the ghosts.

👻 Helen’s Bridge | Beaucatcher Mountain

According to stories, Helen was a young mother who lived on the mountain and lost her daughter in a fire. After their deaths, she was so stricken with grief that she took her own life by hanging herself at this bridge, which was constructed in 1909.

An alternate version of the story tells that she was having an affair with the master of nearby Zealandia Mansion.

Reported: People have reported having car trouble at the spooky site, and some say Helen appears to them and asks the whereabouts of her child. Read more here.

👻 The Grove Park Inn | 290 Macon Ave.

The Pink Lady, an unknown woman who haunts the area around room 545 in the original inn (built in 1917), fell to her death from a balcony inside the hotel sometime in the 1920s. Not much is known about her, but she sometimes appears as a pink mist or a woman wearing a pink gown to guests and visitors.

Reported: Rumor has it that she was at the hotel to have a secret affair. She’s a friendly spirit, but has also been known to play pranks (she especially loves tickling feet). Read more here.

👻 Battery Park Hotel | 1 Battery Park Ave.

It’s an apartment building now, but the former hotel was the site of a grisly murder in 1936 (it opened in 1924). 19-year-old college student Helen Clevinger, who was staying at the hotel with her uncle, was viciously attacked in her room on the night of July 15. An employee of the hotel was convicted and put to death for the crime, but many people believe that he wasn’t the killer and that the confession was beaten out of him (especially because he had an alibi).

Reported: People have reported feeling a presence in the building. Read more here.

👻 Riverside Cemetery | 53 Birch St.

There are over 13,000 graves in Asheville’s historic cemetery, including many of the city’s most famous residents + visitors, but most ghost stories reflect the area’s past as a Civil War battle site. Just down the road, the 1865 Battle of Asheville took place.

Reported: Though there were few casualties, people have seen whole Confederate troops walking past them when they visit the cemetery.

👻 The Jackson Building | 22 S. Pack Square

Asheville was hit hard during the Great Depression, and several people reportedly flung themselves from the top of this building, which was WNC’s first skyscraper when it was built in 1924, after the stock market crashed. DYK: The building was also where Thomas Wolfe’s father, a tombstone-carver, had his shop. Read more here.

Reported: People report seeing a man’s face in a top window of the building, and believe that he was one of the suicides from that time.

👻 Craggy Prison | Riverside Dr., Woodfin

This iconic, creepy site was built in 1924 and used until the new prison opened in 1989. While no official ghosts have ever been reported here, it’s still one of the spookiest abandoned spots in Asheville. Read about its history here.

Reported: Nothing official, it’s just an extra creepy spot.

👻 Building No. 9 at the Old VA Hospital | Riceville Rd.

It’s just reopened as the Hope and Recovery City, but this building, which was closed for 44 years, has long been known to be haunted.

Reported: Visitors report being scratched, yelled at, and even pushed, and some people have seen apparitions. Read more here.

👻 Erwin High School | 60 Lees Creek Rd.

Poltergeist activity is frequently reported at the school, which was built on the site of the County Home Cemetery, a “potter’s field” (or pauper’s graveyard) with over 1,000 graves that was moved to accommodate the new school building (bodies were re-interred behind the elementary school). However, because most of the graves were unmarked, some couldn’t effectively be located. 👀

Reported: Other reports include the elevator moving by itself, objects flying around, floating heads, and slamming doors.

👻 The Biltmore Estate | 1 Lodge St.

America’s largest private home is big enough to fit alll of the ghosts on the property. Some claim to have seen the ghost of George Vanderbilt roving around the estate.

Reported: Other say they hear the sounds of a party, complete with laughter and clinking champagne glasses, as well as Edith calling her husband’s name in the library. People have also reported hearing sounds of swimmers splashing in the (now empty) pool.

👻 Basilica of St. Lawrence | 97 Haywood St.

The architect of this landmark church, Rafael Guastavino, is actually buried inside the building’s walls. Although his wife and child are buried just down the road, it’s said they moved in to be near Rafael.

Reported: Poltergeist activity, like slamming doors, has been reported, as well as strange lights. Some people have seen the ghost of a priest who supposedly died there walking around.

👻 The Forestry Compound | 16 Shady Oak Dr.

This site was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1900s and will soon be the brand-new headquarters of Burial’s new beer bar, which is appropriate since it’s reportedly been haunted for years.

Reported: A woman, allegedly a prostitute who died there, is said to appear to visitors, and one person supposedly saw a toilet on the property fill with blood.

👻 Highland Hospital | Montford

Though the main building is no longer standing, this spot in Montford was where Zelda Fitzgerald and eight other women died in a fire in 1948.

Reported: Some people think she was actually locked in her top-floor room while the building burned.

Have more spooky Asheville stories of your own? Tell us by replying to this email. We’re just dying to see a ghost around town this Halloween.

Looking for a few more places that go bump in the night? Here are some of the most haunted locations in North Carolina + the South. #RoadTrip, anyone?

– Ali

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