Gothic, Horror, and Haunted Houses, Part 2: Psycho (1960), The Innocents (1961), The Haunting (1963), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Legend of Hell House (1973), Suspiria (1977), The Sentinel (1977), The Changeling (1980).
Our town (in rural Ohio, USA) is very tiny, but we have a lot of legends. One that has always amused me is the story that if you drive down a certain road at midnight, two people will fly at your car windshield and chase you, levitating. Sometimes you can apparently hear screaming or talking in the woods on either side. It was never clear to me if they were supposed to be ghosts or not, and if so, who they were the ghosts of. I’ve done the “dare” for this one, and the road IS really creepy, but nothing happened.
There’s another story about our local university that I actually researched, hoping I could use it for my history capstone project. The university dates back to the 1850s, and supposedly one of the buildings on campus was used as a Civil War hospital, or as a convalescent home for Civil War veterans. The ghost of an officer is said to wander the upper floors at night, one room in particular. I know several people who have had strange experiences there, hearing boot steps, voices, and slamming doors. A former security guard told me something followed her through the building one night, opening the doors she had just closed.
Whoever the ghost is, though, (if they exist,) they aren’t a Civil War officer. The university has excellent records I was able to dig through, and I could find no connection whatsoever between the campus and the War. In fact, if I read the records correctly, the “haunted room” didn’t even exist at that time. There wasn’t even enough information for me to use for my project.
One last thing: we had a local legend called “Hell House”, which was a home that a man built for his family, who died in a train accident before it could be finished. The man supposedly hanged himself on the tree out front, and you could still see his ghost swinging from it on certain nights. This story was apparently well known enough to make it into a nationally published book on Ohio oddities, but the tree from the story was cut down a few years ago, and the house has been completely restored to a non-spooky state.