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1. Shades Plus is the perfect place to buy last-minute Halloween widgets like whiskers, wings and masks guaranteed to obstruct your ability to breathe, see and hear. The other day, as I was intently examining a plaid top hat, a fox mask on the wall turned to look at me. I'm not even kidding.

2. George Street between Hope and Cooke is the only block I have come across near campus where houses tout actual decorations, including a giant black cat perched on a giant pumpkin on a roof. Don't be too noisy or you'll startle the ghosts.

3. Being greeted by a life-sized witch figurine at Abe's bar on Wickenden might not seem scary now, but wait until you've had a few too many and are in a room full of similarly dressed creatures.

4. The Exeter Historical Cemetery is a bit out of the way, but it is too famous to leave out. About a century ago, a girl with supposedly vampiric qualities — also known as symptoms of tuberculosis — was exhumed from this graveyard two months after her death in order to test whether she was really a vampire. The blood dripping from her heart apparently indicated the affirmative. So naturally, the ashes were mailed to Colorado in an attempt to cure her also-ill brother. It didn't work. This gruesome tale may have inspired the novel Dracula and the H.P. Lovecraft short story "The Shunned House." For more information, see "Food for the Dead" by Rhode Island state folklorist Michael Bell in the John Hay Library.

5. Speaking of the Hay — the library, not the rides, though those are fun too — it houses several occult book collections, including the Damon Collection of Occult and Visionary Literature, the Graham Collection of Literature of Psychic Science and the H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana: the bibliophile's equivalent of a haunted house.

6. I'm hesitant to give out the address of the house where H.P. Lovecraft's ghost resides, and there's nothing interesting to be experienced there by the five senses, but if you have that sixth one, you'll know what the prospects are (hint).

7. The graveyard on Benefit and James is the site of many hauntings, according to Professor Emeritus Robert Mathiesen, who told The Herald last October that one of the adjacent houses rarely has long-term residents because of frequent otherworldly encounters. Benefit Street dates back to the founding of Rhode Island, when people buried the dead in their backyards. Though the known bodies were moved to the graveyard when it was established, Mathiesen added, "it is as certain as the sun will rise every morning that they didn't get all the graves when they moved them."

8. The Providence Athenaeum was one of Edgar Allan Poe's hangouts back in the 19th century, and a venue for his poetry readings. Keith Johnson of New England Anomalies Research told The Herald last fall that the East Side is very haunted because it remains largely unchanged since this time period, and warns readers "about the dangers of spirit communication. ... They're not all what they seem."

9. The Annmary Brown Memorial is the subject of classic Brown folklore. It contains the sarcophagi of Annmary Brown, a member of the founding family of the University, and her husband General Rush Hawkins. Though he did not believe in the afterlife, Hawkins maintained that anybody who tampered with his late wife's tomb would regret it, said Mathiesen, who added that one of his students has seen Brown up and about at her memorial.

10. The Boiler room in the Corliss-Brackett House — the admission office — has "an elaborate ghost story written on the wall" behind the boiler, according to former Facilities Management worker Bernie Larrivee. But this mysterious room is probably reserved for those with key access.

11. The Woods-Gerry House, a building now used by the Rhode Island School of Design for art exhibits, once belonged to a family that still haunts the building. But the Woods' hate family portraits and will ensure that your camera turns off if you try to capture them. This may sound like an excuse for lack of proof, but try this for converging evidence: Last October, two sources — Larrivee and Courtney Edge-Mattos of Providence Ghost Tours — told The Herald of mysterious signs of somebody falling down the stairs. Larrivee recalled an experience of hearing something "bouncing down the stairs like a kid" but seeing nothing, and Edge-Mattos said a puddle of blood appears and disappears at the bottom of the staircase periodically. Based on family records, Edge-Mattos hypothesized that the blood is a remnant from the death of a young servant girl. Explain that.

12. The Main Green has so much history, including Revolutionary War soldiers housed and healed, or not healed, in University Hall, the Carrie Tower, whose inscription reads "Love is Strong as Death" — a dark love metaphor compared to usual motifs like flowers or the ocean — and Sayles Hall, which between the Romanesque architecture, the organ music and all the dead guys peering down at you from the wall, is just inherently creepy.

13. The Whiskey Republic, which is creepy for entirely different reasons.


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