With Halloween right around the corner, thoughts are of where to go to get into the right mood, right? Joseph Spencer, author of the occult crime thriller, Wrage, is here with us to tell us!
Field of Screams: Haunts for Halloween Fanatics
Since I write occult fiction and often set up shop at horror conventions, many friends, family and readers alike often ask me where I like to go to get my share of thrills and chills. If you’re looking to get into the spirit this Halloween season, I’ve compiled a list of America’s greatest attractions for you and your best ghoul to check out.
There are so many attractions here which pay tribute to the town’s colorful past. Some of the fan favorites include Count Orlock’s Nightmare Gallery & Monster Museum, Cry Innocent – a live reenactment of the witchcraft examination of Bridget Bishop, Frankenstein’s Castle Wax Museum, Gallows Hill Theater, Salem Witch Hunt reenactment, Salem Witch Museum and Salem Witch Village. For more information, visit www.salem.org.
Pennhurst Asylum – Spring City, Pennsylvania
One of America’s most notorious mental health facilities originally opened as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded & Epileptic in 1908 was closed down by the government for patient abuse in 1987. In 2010, the administration building was reopened as a haunted house. For more information , visit www.pennhurstasylum.com.
Moundsville Penitentiary – Moundsville, West Virginia
During its more than 100 years in operation, the Moundsville Penitentiary in West Virginia was one of America’s most violent correctional facilities and the final stop for almost 1,000 criminals. Many men were hung or killed in the electric chair, while others were murdered by other prisoners. The prison closed in 1995, but according to some, the tortured spirits are still behind bars and in the bowels of the prison and may be seen or heard on a tour. To set up a tour, visit www.wvpentours.com.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Reston, West Virginia
Once known as the Weston State Hospital, this asylum was home to thousands of people with mental illness, starting in 1864. Hundreds of people died here before the facility closed in 1994. Spirits are said to haunt the building and grounds today, dating back to the Civil War era when the asylum’s grounds served as a military post. Paranormal tours of the facility feature 2-hour visits to the asylum’s 4 main hot spots. For more information, visit www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com.
French Quarter Phantoms – New Orleans, Louisiana
Master storytellers who have studied New Orleans’ colorful history lead you on an amazing tour of one of the area’s most popular hot spots. You can pick from five different tours, which include the Ghost and Vampire Tour, Cemetary Tour, Treme Tour, True Crime Tour and Saints and Sinners Tour, or customize one for yourself. For information, visit www.frenchquarterphantoms.com.
Lincoln’s Ghost Walk – Springfield, Illinois
This is in my backyard in central Illinois and one of my favorite attractions in our great state’s capitol. Over the course of 12 city blocks and 90 minutes, you’ll learn a side of President Abraham Lincoln that you can’t find anywhere in the history books. For information, visit www.springfieldwalks.com.
Lemp Mansion – St. Louis, Missouri
Over the years, the mansion was transformed from the stately home of millionaires, to office space, decaying into a run-down boarding house, and finally restored to its current state as a fine dinner theatre, restaurant and bed and breakfast. The scene of triumph and tragedy, with a background of intrigue, scandal and suicide, visitors have reported a wide range of phenomena at the Mansion. For information, visit www.lempmansion.com.
Moore Home – Villisca, Iowa
One the morning of June 10, 1912, the small mid-western community of Villisca, Iowa awoke to find eight of their own had been brutally murdered by an axe during the middle of the night. The walls of this old home today continue to protect the identity of the vicious murderer who bludgeoned to death the entire family of Josiah Moore and two overnight guests. Open for tours today, the old house is said to be the site of a number of paranormal activities. For information, visit www.villiscaiowa.com.
Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
This old hotel was built in the early 1900’s by F.O. Stanley, who created the Stanley Steam Engine — a steam powered horseless carriage. The majestic Georgian style hotel opened in 1909, catering to the rich and famous. In addition to its regular guests, the hotel is also said to play host to a number of other worldly visitors. The most notable is F.O. Stanley himself who is most often seen in the lobby and the Billiard Room, which was his favorite room when he was still alive. For information, visit www.stanleyhotel.com/tours.
The Queen Mary – Long Beach, California
Resting in Long Beach Harbor is the HMS Queen Mary, a colossal ship that was bigger, faster and more powerful than the Titanic. The 1,000-foot ship began her life when the first keel plate was laid in 1930 at the John Brown shipyard in Clyde, Scotland. The depression held up her construction between 1931 and 1934, but she was finally completed, making her maiden voyage on May 27, 1936. After 1,001 successful Atlantic crossings, she was permanently docked and soon became the luxury hotel that she is today. Today, the museum-hotel ocean liner is said to be called home to a number of ghosts including ghostly children playing by the pool and the spirit of a seventeen-year-old sailor killed while escaping a fire. For information, visit www.queenmary.com.
ABOUT JOSEPH SPENCER
As a boy, Joseph Spencer immersed himself in the deductive logic of Sherlock Holmes, the heroic crime fighting of Batman and Spider-Man, and a taste for the tragic with dramas from poets like Shakespeare and Homer.
Before Joseph took to spinning his own tales, he pursued a career in print sports journalism, graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He covered such events as NASCAR’s Subway 500 race in Martinsville, the NBA Draft Camp in Chicago, the Junior College World Series, and Minor League Baseball’s Midwest League All-Star Game during a ten-year career throughout the Midwest. Now, he works as an emergency telecommunications specialist with an Illinois police department. The combination of years of writing experience with a background working with law enforcement professionals gave rise to his writing aspirations.
Joseph was married to Dr. Amy (Waggoner) Spencer, an accomplished veterinary doctor, on March 14, 2012. He received word his debut novel was accepted by his publisher, Damnation Books, the next day. Joseph is hard at work on the rest of the series. Book 2 – Wrage – was released June 1, 2013. The Spencer family enjoys reading Charlaine Harris, George R.R. Martin, Mary Janice Davidson, and most paranormal stories. The Spencers also enjoy quoting movie lines from “The Princess Bride”, “Rain Man”, “Bridesmaids”, and “Office Space.”
Visit his website at www.JosephBSpencer.com.
Sometimes the toughest fight lies within yourself.
As more dark secrets come to light, the battle for souls pushes Prairieville to the brink of war in the living and supernatural realms.
Jeff Wrage swears a blood oath to Abaddon, the supernatural avenger of murder victims, to hunt the crooked cop who butchered his wife. Jeff wonders whether he can be the executioner Abaddon requires. Their pact throws the supernatural realm in chaos and threatens to trigger an apocalyptic fight for control of the afterlife between the Sons of Darkness and Sons of Light foretold in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Orlando Marino sees the death of Cyrus Black as his opportunity to restore the Marino family’s stronghold in Prairieville’s organized crime scene and become a mob kingpin. He unleashes a plague, turning its victims into mindless followers. Cyrus’ heir is busy rooting out a traitor and is unable to stop the coming turf war in the realm of man.
The fate of all rests with Homicide Detective Anna Duke, who steps into the shoes of her mentor while coming to terms with unrequited love. As she tries to clear the fallen hero’s name, she takes on a case where corpses go missing. Her new partner is reported dead. She learns the truth about her true identity and uncovers a trail of secrets questioning her tragic past. She journeys to avert the destruction of all creation.
Purchase your copy at AMAZON.