Well, the ghosts factor in obviously, but what is it that really makes some haunted places more popular than others? I’ll give you a hint: it only has two letters. (I’ll reveal the answer later in the post.)
But first, let me explain the catalyst for this post.
…why is it that the Ghost Hunting community is so enamored of a few well-known, heavily investigated sites?
He named most of the biggies as examples:
- Waverly Hills
- Eastern State Penitentiary
- Sloss Furnace
- Lizzie Borden House
- Stanley Hotel
I know a lot of paranormal investigators, haunted places explorers, etc. do seem to go gaga for adding the big haunted hotspots to their “been there” lists. Here’s the comment I initially left on his post:
I know others who feel like you do. To some extent so do I. Sometimes I want to go to the “big” places because, well, they’re big and famous and I want to see them for myself. Also, I figure while I’m there I can check out lesser known areas. One thing I think is beneficial about investigating a place over and over (same groups or different ones) is they can maybe start finding correlations. X happens when Ys going on, etc.
But it does get old after a while when some groups just rehash what’s already been done. TOTALLY agree with you! (Really hate watching it on shows too. Take me somewhere new I haven’t seen before!)
And here was his response:
Well, the subject of different groups actually working together and sharing findings is a whole ‘nuther story, isn’t it? 🙂
I don’t mind seeing any NEW findings from the various “famous” locations, but all to often it’s just more of the same. Plus, so many groups (and TV shows!) are passing up local or lesser-known locations in favor of the “most haunted”, which is really a disservice to the field.
He raises a good point about the disservice aspect, but the more I thought on it, the more I realized why people want to go to the popular haunted places. It’s kind of what I alluded to in my initial comment. People want to see the big places for themselves because they’ve heard about them time and again.
So my two-letter answer for what makes haunted places so popular is: PR.
They got popular because they generated the best PR. And I don’t necessarily mean they hired a PR firm or staff public relations people (although some do). Mostly their hype was generated by people like you and me, the ones most interested in paranormal activity.
Maybe we saw a place on a TV show or read about it in a book (that’s how I found a lot of my Haunt Jaunts, especially in the beginning), then we start chatting with others about them (these days the Internet is invaluable for accomplishing that).
Pair that with any kind of impressive “evidence” (think some of the shadow figures from Waverly Hills or the picture of what might be the ghost of Chloe the slave from Myrtles Plantation) and WHAM! You’ve got yourself a popular haunted place everyone’s curious to see for themselves.
That’s my theory at least. I’d be curious to hear what you think makes some haunted places so popular.