NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: A skull and spider webs are part of a Halloween display in front of an Upper East Side home on October 30, 2020 in New York City. Many Halloween events have been canceled or adjusted with additional safety measures due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It’s not even October but a Halloween display has already had to be taken down in one North Carolina town. The display caused quite a controversy online and between residents in Harnett County. A man with a darker complexion was seen hanging from a tree outside of a home that the residents say was depicting a farmer. But when DeAngelo McDougald drove by the display he was disturbed and took a photo of the display to post on Facebook. McDougald told WRAL that upon first glance he thought it was a person hanging from the tree. The post has since been shared over 500 times and has 100s of comments on it. Many comments involve the color of the individual in the Halloween display which several residents and commenters perceive as racist.

Many commenters are horrified by the display, which has since been taken down after police became involved. WRAL reports that the Hispanic family who own the home and put up the display willingly took it down after the controversy was explained to them. It seems that there was no ill intent with the decoration, just a big misunderstanding. The community is happy that the issue was resolved quickly. Halloween displays can be tricky, as the more spooky and lifelike they become, the more they can be mistaken for real people. This isn’t the first time a display has caused drivers passing by to do a double take.

I’m glad this was able to some to a swift resolution with minimal drama. It seems the Halloween display’s racist undertones were unintentional, and the family was more than happy to remove it.

13 Actually Haunted Places You Can Visit In The Carolinas

It’s October and there are tons of options for haunted houses, mazes, theme parks, etc. But if you’re anything like me maybe you prefer your spooky experiences a little more factual.

Whenever I head to a new city I love to go on ghost tours if they have any. Highlights are Savannah and Charleston but most cities have some form of rumored paranormal activity. If these types of things pique your interest then this list is for you. Here are 13 haunted places to visit in the Carolinas. All of them you can go in and many of them you can even check in to for a night.

  • Grove Park Inn (Asheville)

    Why yes this luxury hotel with its picturesque views, world-class restaurants, and a spa  is in fact believed to be haunted. The resident ghost? The Pink Lady. Sightings of her date back nearly a hundred years. It’s believed she is the spirit of a young woman who fell to her death from a balcony on the fifth floor during the 1920s. Guests and employees have reported seeing her most often in the form of a pink mist and on some occasions as a full-fledged apparition of a young woman in a pink ball gown.

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  • The Dock Street Theater (Charleston)

    Like most old southern cities Charleston boasts its fair share of spirits. In fact, we will see another Charleston location later in this list. But for now, we turn our attention to the Dock Street Theater. Located in an old ‘Antebellum’ style hotel dating back to 1809, several ghosts are said to reside at the theater including the father of John Wilkes Booth and a prostitute referred to as Nettie.

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  • Biltmore Hotel (Greensboro)

    Greensboro’s Biltmore Hotel, which was built in 1903 has seen a lot. Throughout its time as a hotel, apartments, office building, and unproved rumours a brothel its been a hot spot for murder and other forms of death. This undoubtedly leads to stories of hauntings. One story involves an accountant who was murdered possibly by having this throat slit. Guests claim to see the man, Philip’s, ghost standing over their beds at night, heard footsteps and the shuffling of papers. And why do they believe its him? The activity takes place in his old room. Another resident often referred to as Lydia is also seen on occasion. She was thrown to her death from the window in room 223.

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  • Teach's Hole (Ocracoke)

    If the name Edward Teach doesn’t ring a bell perhaps Blackbeard will. Teach was killed in a battle with the Royal Navy and beheaded. It’s said his ghost still roams the Outerbanks and Ocracoke. Legend says that Teach can be seen in the form of a full apparition or orbs of light looking for his severed head. 

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  • Westin Poinsett (Greenville, SC)

    What is it with luxury hotels and uninvited guests? This one is the Westin Poinsett in Greenville, NC. Dating back to 1925, the hotel sits on the site of a former hotel that once housed John C. Calhoun. While there is no evidence it’s him reports of an elderly man making brief appearances in some suites before disappearing. A figure also gazes out a window on the third floor of the hotel before removing a black coat.

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    Haunted South Carolina Inns: Rooms with a Boo

    South Carolina inns and hotels offer a wide array of creature comforts - sometimes of the otherworldly kind. If you're looking for a room with an extra guest, there are plenty of spirited options good for delivering a few chills, along with fancy milled soaps and perhaps even nightly turndown service.

  • The Dunhill Hotel (Charlotte)

    Continuing with the theme I present to you another hotel. One way to jump-start spooky stories is the discovery of a skeleton. And that’s exactly what happened during the renovations of the Dunhill Hotel. Originally called Mayfield Manor, the Dunhill is the only historic hotel in the Queen City. Unfortunately, the hotel opened around the time of the Great Depression. The despair and financial ruin of the time led to several people jumping to their death from the hotel’s 10th-floor balcony. That combined with the skeleton found at the bottom on an elevator shaft have led to stories of guests hearing unexplained laughter and footsteps. One woman even claims to have looked out the window and seen a man falling.

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  • The Biltmore House/Estate (Asheville)

    If you visit the Biltmore House you will be told no one currently resides in America’s largest private home. But that may not be 100% accurate. After George Vanderbilt passed away his wife Edith used to sit in his favorite room- the Library. Guests have heard a woman’s voice whispering “George” and believe it to be Edith summoning her husband. Sounds of a celebration such as glasses clinking, laughter, and even music can be heard amongst the halls and splashing has been heard from the drained swimming pool.

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  • The Carolina Inn (Chapel Hill)

    If you find yourself at the Carolina Inn maybe don’t stay in room 256, unless you’re looking for a particularly spooky time. The spirit of long-time resident Dr. William Jacock still calls that room home. He enjoys messing with the guests sometimes locking them in the room and turning on the radio. Guests have also reported seeing an elderly man roaming the halls and wet footprints in the bathroom when they haven’t been in the shower.

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  • North Carolina's State Capitol (Raleigh)

    The Capitol building dates back 160+ years. And while legislators no longer use the capitol on a daily basis it’s thought that some of its former inhabitants do. Many paranormal reports come from a night watchman who tended the property for 15 years. He reported hearing noises such as screaming, doors slamming, keys jingling, breaking glass, and footsteps on the stone floors. He says he also saw the elevator which had to be manually operated, traveling between floors itself.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlqcXIVAQ6w

  • The Old City Jail (Charleston)

    Our second stop in Charleston is the Old City Jail which held some of the worst criminals in its time. Thousands of those died in the jail as well leading to some interesting activity. Ghosts known to still inhabit the jail include a young boy accidentally shot by wardens to another warden who worked at the jail. Reports of paranormal activity include voices, objects moving, and doors slamming. It’s even been visited by professional ghost hunters.

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  • The Devil’s Tramping Ground (Chatham County)

    With a name like that it has to be spooky. This one isn’t ghosts per se but it’s just as scary. You can find the Devil’s Tramping Ground in Chatham County which is west of the Raleigh area. But what is it? It’s a large circular area where nothing is able to grow. Legend has it that the devil himself visits the area and his hooves burn the life from the ground. Soil scientists haven’t even been able to pin down a reason for the lack of vegetation.

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  • The Sandford House (Fayettville)

    Hauntings of the Sandford House date back to the Civil War when a young couple tried to flee the property during an attack. Unfortunately, the tunnel they were using was blown up and their bodies were never recovered. The figure of the woman, known as the Lady In Black, has been reportedly seen on the staircases of the house. The man supposedly enjoys sitting with residents and watching tv, well changing the channel. Indentions on the couch where he likes to sit have even been reported.

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  • Latta Plantation (Huntersville)

    The old cotton plantation turned tourist attraction is home to some spirits as well. It is said that the original owners of the plantation still call it home today. Sounds of children laughing, dark figures lurking in the shadows and moving throughout the house, and door slamming have all been reported.

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