Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? This time of year is ripe for scary specters and terrifying tales. Whether you’re looking for a spooky area to explore or you’re just in need of a hair-raising tale to tell, there are more than a few haunted places in Vermont whose eerie histories will send a chill up your spine.
1. The Retreat Tower (Brattleboro, VT)
The Brattleboro Retreat is a 1,000-acre mental health facility, built way back in 1834. Most of its buildings are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but there’s one stone structure that stands out in particular: the Retreat Tower.
The tower was constructed in 1887 by the patients themselves; their doctors believed that physical labor could be a healing activity. The aim was to create a spot for patients to have a scenic lookout, but rumor has it that many patients perished as a result of the tower’s construction.
While it has since been sealed off and remains so today, the tower is just a short hike away along the Retreat Trail. Several reports from onlookers detail sightings of ghostly figures atop the tower — this urban legend makes the tower one of the most haunted places in Vermont.
2. Hogback Mountain Lost Ski Area (Wilmington, VT)
There’s always something creepy about abandoned places, and the lost ski area on Mount Olga in Wilmington is no exception. A once-bustling ski resort, Hogback Mountain was sold in the fall of 1978 with plans to build an enormous snowmaking system. The project was never completed, however, and the resort itself was shut down in the mid 1980’s after a series of financial issues.
The resort is still visible up on the Mount Olga hiking trail, where rusty equipment and dilapidated lodges are the delight of many an adventurous traveller or supernatural aficionado. If you listen very, very carefully, you might be able to hear the echo of the busy crowds that once swarmed the ski lifts and flooded the lodges.
3. Madame Sherri’s Castle (Chesterfield, NH)
Well… it’s almost Vermont! Just across the New Hampshire border lies sweeping, arched staircases of stone and crumbling pillars, resembling what was once Madame Sherri’s Castle: an extravagant mansion that was the site of countless festivities in the mid-1900’s. Owned by the affluent costume designer Madame Sherri, the castle was left to rot after her fortunes ran dry, eventually burning down in a fire on October 18, 1962.
The desolate remains of the once-lavish palace now live on as a prime location for photographers, nature lovers, and plenty of ghost fanatics — some claim to have spotted Madame Sherri herself atop the grand staircase, dubbed the “stairway to heaven.” Others even say they’ve heard the faint, yet joyous, sound of laughter and music, reminiscent of the sumptuous celebrations she once held.
As the temperatures grow colder and the nights get longer, spooky stories become more and more appealing. Add these frightening tales to your collection, and if you’re feeling brave enough, try exploring these haunted places in Vermont for yourself! The Latchis Hotel will proudly serve as home base for your ghost-busting adventures.