Asheville’s Haunted Architecture
Well on account of it being Hallow’s Eve, our gift to you is some scary stories set in some of the most famous architectural sites in Asheville to get you in the Halloween spirit.
Basilica of St. Lawrence, Asheville
Built in 1905 by Architect Rafael Guastavino, this Spanish Renaissance style Roman Catholic Church is said to have the largest free standing elliptical dome in North America. Rafael, also credited with designing Ellis Island’s Great Hall, Grand Central Station, and Carnegie Hall, painstakingly placed placed each brick tile of the roof by hand using an ancient method he has revived. The church was completed in 1909, sadly Guastavino did not live to see its completion. However, while on his deathbed, Guastavino conveyed his last wish to his son: That he be buried within the walls of St. Lawrence with room enough for his wife and daughter to be buried upon passing. Upon completion, Guastavino was placed in the tomb, but some years later the City of Asheville passed a law stating that no one can be buried on public or private property causing Guastavino’s wife and child to be buried a half a mile down the road. To this day, many believe that the spirits of Guastavino’s wife and daughter have moved to the church to be with their beloved family member. Staff members report unusual cold patches, flickering lights, and doors opening and shutting for no particular reason.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
Completed in 1913, The Gove Park Inn is known for its burnt orange tiled roof as well as its enormous fireplaces flanking the entry way. The resort was designed by the “Father of Modern Asheville” Edwin Wiley Grove who personally accumulated the land and funds for this grand hotel, believing the North Carolina air would cure his extreme hiccups. The hotel’s captivating beauty would make anyone never want to leave, and according to legend, one guest never did. The Pink Lady, named for her pink misty appearance, is rumored to have roamed the Grove’s halls for over a hundred years. The legend goes that this young lady fell, jumped, or was pushed to her death out of the window from room 545. Whatever her origin, The Pink Lady seems to be a kind and mischievous ghost which is evident by her love for children and playful pranks.
Battery Park Hotel
Built in 1886, the original Battery Park Hotel was the first hotel from the south to have an electric elevator and lighting. Many families, such as the Vanderbilts, visited the scenic hotel to alleviate illnesses such as Tuberculosis or purely to enjoy the views. This version was later torn down and the one you see today was built in its place thanks to architect Edwin W. Grove in 1924. The hotel, which is now apartments, is rumored to be haunted by Helen Clevenger. It is told that her uncle, W.L. Clevenger, found her body brutally beaten and murdered on July 17, 1936 in room 224. The hall boy Martin Moore was later arrested for the murder. Helen is rumored to make quick appearances on the anniversary of her murder by appearing in a red mist.
Need more? Check out this book to read all about the haunted places here in Asheville!