5 Haunted National Parks

October 18, 2018

It’s spooky season. You’re already here because you’re a thrill seeker; why not double down on your next thrilling adventure and celebrate the spooky season in the haunted depths of our National Parks?

Grand Canyon

The “Wailing Woman” or the “Wandering Woman” haunts the Grand Canyon North Rim Trail. She weeps and mourns the loss of her family that she lost in a hiking accident. The woman has been haunting the trail for more than a century.

Legend says the woman cries out for her son and husband, who never returned from their hike along the Transept Trail. The two were said to have lost their footing and fell to their deaths when the weather turned extreme and inclement. The mother and lover searched tirelessly around the canyon; she would scream and wail for her beloved but to no avail. After extreme sorrow and failure, she lost her mind and patience and hung herself in her lodge.

On stormy nights, hikers and campers have reported they’ve heard her cries for her lost family, and many have spotted a woman in a white dress with small blue flowers with a scarf wrapped around her head.

Yosemite

Local native tribe, Miwok Indians, believe in the evil wind spirit known as Po-ho-no.  Locals believe the spirit will knock you off the Bridal Veil Falls. Once the waters swallow you, the soul is held, prisoner. Your soul is held prisoner until another visitor experiences the same tragic fate. The spirit is alive and well near the falls and the Pohono Trail.

Bridal Veil Falls

Mammoth Cave National Park

Entrance to Mammoth Cave

Mammoth Cave National Park is called “the most haunted natural wonder of the world.” There have been well over 150 documented stories of paranormal activity at Mammoth Cave. Mammoth Cave traverses along the Green River Valley in south central Kentucky.  In the 1800s the cave hosted a tuberculosis hospital; visitors claim to hear strange coughs in the depths of the cave. That is freaky, but here’s where things get eerie…

Visitors claim to see “a slightly graceful and handsome mulatto if about 36 years of age, with perfectly chiseled features, a keen dark eye and glossy hair, and mustache.” That person would, most likely, be the ghost of Stephen Bishop.

The park offers lantern-lit tours, and this is where tourists have been documented to have seen Bishop.  Bishop roamed these caves for most of his life; he was taken as a slave when he was only 17. He was the first to explore many areas like the Bottomless Pit.

The River Styx within Mammoth Cave

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful

Tales of the headless bride whisper through the Old Faithful Inn. This bride was the daughter of a wealthy businessman on the east coast. Her father found her a suitor in an arranged marriage, but she refused. She had her love interest set on an older gentleman who worked as a servant at her family’s estate. Her father was displeased and cut her out of the family beneficiaries; but not until after gifting them a large sum of money as a wedding present.

The two newlyweds set out to Yellowstone National Park for their honeymoon; back then, this was considered a lavish honeymoon. It didn’t take much time into the honeymoon before the bride came to regret her decision.

The Old Faithful Inn

After nights of arguing at the Old Faithful Inn, the groom stormed out, never to be spotted again. The servants wanted to give the bride some room and headspace, so they left her undisturbed for a few days. After a few days, the maids found her in the bathtub, headless and in her wedding dress. Since then, guests and staff have heard her cries and have seen a lady in a white dress on the lobby staircase.

Olympic National Park

Lake Crescent

The story about the Lady of the Lake is a sad story. The Lady of the Lake was a corpse whose skin turned into a “soap-like” substance after freezing for three years in Crescent Lake. The Lady of the Lake suffered years of domestic violence before meeting her tragic and brutal death. Hallie Latham Illingworth was a waitress married to a truck driver named Monty Illingworth.

Lake Crescent

Hallie would not hide the abuse and often would show up to work with bruises and sometimes black eyes. People around town considered Monty to be a lady’s man with a short temper. Fights between the couple were a regular occurrence. Hallie went missing a few days before Christmas in 1937. Months passed by, Monty said Hallie ran away with another man, but close friends still didn’t hear from Hallie. Monty moved away to California with another woman.

Fast forward to three years later; two fishermen spotted a body floating on the surface of Lake Crescent. This body became known as The Lady of the Lake and belonged to Hallie Illingworth. The body was so brutally beaten and deteriorated; the nose and the top part of her face were missing. Her neck was bruised, and her chest showed evidence of taking severe blows. The bizarre part of this story is that the cold depths of Crescent Lake, along with the salt and calcium minerals of the lake preserved her body and transitioned her skin into a soap-like substance. After a quick arrest and short trial, the court convicted Monty of second-degree murder. The lake has never released Hallie’s soul.