Winston Salem’s history first began in 1766, when Salem was established. The Old Salem area is now one of the oldest settlements in the U.S.
Miraculously, several of the historic buildings in Winston-Salem and particularly Old Salem, are still currently standing. But the structures themselves are not the only things that have remained…
Today, these historic buildings and gardens have been meticulously preserved and converted into a museum. Tours and events take place multiple times a day, providing the public with the opportunity to learn about the city’s rich history.
Many staff members have come forward to admit that Winston-Salem is, undoubtedly, haunted. Several ghosts still remain, and it seems that none of them are afraid to make themselves known to the living.
Here are the five most haunted places in Winston-Salem, NC.
1. Salem College
Established in 1772, Salem College is the oldest female educational establishment in the United States. Any location with such a long and colorful history dating back a quarter of a millennium is bound to have a ghost or two hiding within.
In 1907 two girls died of electrocution in the Gramley Building. According to reports, the girls’ full-bodied apparitions have been seen in the building. Terrifyingly, if you meet their gaze, they scream.
In the attic of the Gramley dorms, a student is believed to have hung himself. His spirit is said to be behind the dragging sounds and scratching coming from the attic late at night.
In Clewell’s dormitory, you may come across the ghost of a young girl, who apparently fell to her death down the elevator shaft.
2. The Single Brothers' House
This particular house in Old Salem contains several workshops for woodworkers. Several years ago, an employee by the name of Brian Coe was at his workshop, talking with two co-workers. The trio was in the middle of a conversation when they suddenly heard the organ down the hall begin to play.
The organ had been designed in a way that it would play by way of a mechanical switch. The three employees wondered how it was possible that none of them had noticed that somebody had come into the house, and had pushed the switch to make the organ play. They walked down the hall, only to discover that nobody was there. The organ had somehow managed to play by itself.
Andreas Kremser was a part of the Salem community during the 1780s. Mr. Kremser was an extremely short man, and he struggled to find a suitable occupation for many years. In 1786, his luck changed, however, when he took on shoemaking.
In March of that year, fellow locals began excavation work on the Single Brothers House, where Mr. Kremser worked and lived. Unfortunately, a portion of the house caved in on top of him. The community rallied together to rescue him from the wreckage, but Mr. Kremser was severely injured and died a few hours later.
Not long after his death, people began seeing glimpses of a small-statured apparition in, and around the house. They could often hear the distinct sounds of a hammer hitting leather, as well. This supernatural activity relating to Mr. Kremser was first recorded in 1899, and it continues to this day.
3. J. Blum House
Multiple employees have reported feeling nothing short of dread while working in the Blum House, especially on, and around the staircase. Said employees have admitted that they have not seen any apparitions near the stairs, nor have they heard any unusual sounds.
Nevertheless, the feeling can become so intense, that they refuse to go up the stairs altogether.
But that’s not all that happens in the Blum House. Phantom sounds are a common occurrence, even in the middle of the day.
Coe was in the house one sunny afternoon, hanging flags up for an upcoming event. He began hearing someone typing on the computer in the office next door. Once he finished arranging the flags, he walked over to say hello to his co-worker.
Nobody was there, and nobody could have gotten into the office without first walking by Coe.
The Blum house got its name from John Christian Blum, a printer who lived in the house during the early 1800s. One fateful night, Mr. Blum was running behind schedule. Hastening to close his printing business down, Mr. Blum failed to blow out a candle before leaving for the evening.
Unfortunately, Mr. Blum had a stack of $10,000 dollars placed near the candle. The money burned up, and Mr. Blum suddenly found himself in an incredible amount of debt.
The only way to keep afloat was to mortgage both his house, and his business to the church. Mr. Blum eventually passed away in 1854.
Fast forward to 1995, when renovations began on the Blum House. Old Salem staff decided to return Mr. Blum’s printing press to the house as part of a permanent exhibit. Once they did, paranormal activity quickly began.
Staff began noticing that the doors in the house would mysteriously open, and close by themselves. Other times, the doors would be difficult to open, as if someone were on the other side, attempting to keep them shut.
Over time, employees also began reporting hearing the sounds of a man, and a woman conversing softly in the house. But every time they would go to look around, nobody else could ever be found.
4. The Tavern in Old Salem
In the winter of 1831, a strange stumbled into the Salem Tavern, in need of a place to sleep for the night. It was quite evident that the man was severely ill, and the local doctor was called to examine him.
By morning his symptoms had gotten much worse, and the man slipped into a coma, then died. The doctor, and the tavern-keeper realized with dismay that they never learned the man’s name.
They buried the man, but kept his belongings at the tavern, in the hopes that one day his family would want to claim them.
A few days later, tavern staff began complaining about strange things happening in the tavern’s basement. They reported feeling an icy, unsettling presence, as well as strange noises, seemingly without a source.
Not long after, the tavern keeper was by himself one evening, when an apparition manifested before his eyes. The specter was clearly the man they had buried.
He told the tavern keeper his name and asked that he write to his family, and inform them of what happened to him. The tavern keeper obliged, and within a few weeks received a reply.
The dead man’s family confirmed his identity and requested the keeper to send the man’s belongings back to Texas.
Oddly enough, when the tavern keeper fulfilled this request, all paranormal activity at Salem Tavern suddenly ceased.
5. The Historic Brookstown Inn
Located just a stone’s throw from Old Salem, the Historic Brookstown Inn has been here since 1837.
Originally a cotton mill, known for its harsh working conditions and child labor, there have been several deaths reported.
With such a long-troubled history, it’s unsurprising that people regard Brookstown Inn as one of if not the most haunted location in Winston-Salem.
The most paranormal activity is reported on the hotel’s fourth floor, where the infamous spirit of Sally is said to roam.
After a disagreement with a fellow employee in the 1800s, Sally was pushed down the elevator shaft to her death. In room 401 her ghost is most active, as this would have been the area where the dormitory was for the cotton mill workers.
A number of child spirits call the hotel home too. Their disembodied footsteps are often heard in the hallways, and sounds of laughter are also experienced.
Another ghost said to haunt the hotel is Eddie. His heavy stomping can be heard in otherwise empty rooms. [BOOK A ROOM]