Looking for wineries to visit on Halloween? Or how about just an excuse to visit a spooky vineyard to try something different? Unique travel experiences are something we’re always on the lookout for. When the idea came up to explore haunted wineries — especially around Halloween — we jumped at the opportunity.
It turns out that visiting haunted wineries isn’t as difficult as one would think. In fact, there are dozens of ghostly wineries dotted throughout the United States, and likely hundreds of others that simply haven’t been documented.
Incorporating a visit to a haunted winery will undoubtedly make for a more interesting wine tasting and travel experience. As huge fans of the television show Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel, we’re hoping the cast might consider making one of the below wineries the topic for a future episode. Help us share this article to make it happen!
Visit a Haunted Winery in North America
Beringer Winery, Napa Valley, CA
Arguably one of the most popular wine producers in the continental United States, the Beringer Estate — specifically the famed Rhine House — is known amongst Napa Valley locals to be a very haunted location. Designed in an impressive “Chateau style,” reminiscent of what you’d see on the Bordeaux countryside in France, the architecture and detail of the building is impressive in and of itself.
Hauntings have been reported upstairs, particular in Frederick Beringer’s bedroom, where objects are reported to have been thrown. He has also reportedly been seen walking the halls upstairs in the Rhine House.
Even more compelling, employees at Beringer maintain a file where all reported paranormal encounters are logged — and it’s quite large.
Trefethen Family Vineyards & Winery, Napa Valley, CA
A winery often most recognized as a bootleg operation during the 1920s and early 30s, Trefethen was founded as early as 1886.
According to the Napa Valley Register:
“When founded by brothers George and James Goodman in 1886, the winery was known as Eschol – Hebrew for “valley of the grape.” During Prohibition, 1920-1933, the winery was rumored to be a bootleg operation site. One story tells of a young man who broke into the old winery to steal liquor and was caught in the act by bootleggers. According to the tale, the bootleggers lynched the young man, hanging him from one of the interior ceiling beams of the upstairs area of the winery.
It has been reported that some people have sensed and even seen the course of that gruesome event unfold. While others have told of seeing the shadow of a human-like form swinging overhead.”
Bartholomew Park Winery, Sonoma Valley, CA
Perhaps more well known for its hauntings and history than for its wine, Bartholomew throughout its lifetime has served as a morgue, a womens prison and a hospital. Today, it’s an organically farmed winery located not far from Sonoma’s main plaza.
Within what is now the winery’s main building, primarily used for administrative purposes, ghosts have both been heard and seen. The basement of the main building originally had been utilized as a morgue.
The cellars where wine is stored once housed female prisoners, and voices are said to be heard here speaking and singing. Apparently hymns tend to be sung in the afternoon and late into the evening.
Dry Creek Vineyards, Sonoma County, Healdsburg, CA
Though it would be difficult for you to discover on your own as most of the stories are told by word of mouth by employees, Dry Creek Vineyards is said to be haunted by Indians. Even more compelling, it sits on the site of what was once a Pomo Indian Reservation. Numerous arrowheads and other artifacts have been discovered across the property and vineyard.
American Indians have reportedly been seen across the property, and eerie events have also occurred inside the winery building. Cell phones have supposedly gone off in strange, unexplained circumstances, lights have been turned on and off, and doors have even been unlocked and swung open. There must be something to these stories, since The Wine Institute itself has made a point of documenting the occurrences.
New York State
Marjim Manor – Appleton, NY
Margo Sue Bittner owns and operates Marjim Manor Winery in Appleton New York. She spends most of her days both pouring wine and telling ghost stories. Not too bad for a day job huh?
The original Manor itself was built in 1854 by Shubal Merritt, for his wife Sophia who passed away during the construction of the property. On a Thursday afternoon following a hunt that Shubal and his son Lewis had participated in, the father-son team returned home. Shubal is said to have been cleaning his gun in an end room and had closed the set of French doors behind him. Lewis went upstairs and then later returned in a hurry, bursting through the doors.
Startled, Shubal ended up shooting and killing his son at 3:00pm that Thursday in 1865. And that’s just the beginning. Since that time, numerous other deaths have occurred within the home and several spirits are said to haunt the property.
Today, it is said that numerous strange happenings tend to occur around 3:00pm on Thursday in particular.
Wine Tasting at Marjim Manor is also very inexpensive! Visitors can enjoy a tasting of 4 wines for as little as $3.
Miles Wine Cellars – Himrod, NY (Finger Lakes)
Miles Wine Cellars is one of those locations where the owners actually embrace the possible presence of spirits as opposed to attempting to kick them off their property. So much so that their Chardonnay blend is actually named “Ghost” after the spirits that are said to inhabit the property. David Miles and Suzie Hayes operate the winery to this day.
“One day about 10 years ago, Miles was in the office and Hayes was in the nearby kitchen. She walked into the living room just outside the office, and then opened the door to walk up the back stairway to the second floor.
Miles heard the door to the stairway slam, so he went to the stairs to ask her what angered her to the point of slamming the door.
As he stood in the doorway, he heard a footstep in the kitchen. When he looked into the kitchen, which is immediately next to the stairway door, he saw a mist rising from the floor. It formed at a height nearly equal his, then flew through the living room and what is now a retail room and out of the house, slamming sever other doors along the way.
Miles’s father was routinely awoken during the night by someone pressing on his back, and the comforter from his bed was frequently flung across the room. It is still quite often found crumpled at the base of the bedroom door.”
The Biltmore House – Asheville, NC
To this day, the Biltmore House & Winery remains the largest privately owned estate in the continental United States. Constructed in 1886 by George Washington Vanderbilt — heir to the famed “Vanderbilt Industrial Fortune,” it sits on roughly 125,000 acres of land. Today, it’s one of the most popular destinations for tourists to visit in all of North Carolina. While the grandchildren of George Vanderbilt may have since opened the estate to the public for visitation, it doesn’t mean that the original owner has decided to leave!
“During his lifetime, Vanderbilt was particularly proud of his library, and would spend a considerable amount of time there, pouring over some rare edition or other. It was Vanderbilt’s particular habit to retreat into the library when he saw a storm approaching. His ghost may be continuing this habit, as workers and visitors to the estate are said to have seen a shadowy figure in the library, usually when the skies are dark and there is an oncoming storm.”
And that isn’t the only occurrence. Visitors are said to hear splashing coming from the swimming pool on the property which is currently empty. In addition, George’s wife Edith is said to be heard whispering his name calling him to retreat from his library.
Belvoir Winery – Liberty, MO
Yes, they do make wine in Missouri. Built around 1900, Belvoir Winery sits on top of 240 acres of land that formerly belonged to the Order of Odd Fellows. Today, only three of the original buildings still remain on the property. As Belvoir Winery is an active winery, the buildings today are used to house the businesses’ operations. They include an administration building, the “old folks home,” and a hospital. The property also used to serve as an orphanage at one point. There is also a cemetery on the property that may contain as many as 600 bodies.
In terms of hauntings, some of the most common seem to be voices and doors opening and closing without explanation throughout the buildings. Apparitions of orphans and adults are said to be seen frequently. Even the piano in one of the buildings supposedly has been heard playing on its own.
If you’re visiting in October, the winery offers open paranormal investigations on Friday’s. Be sure to get tickets early as this typically sells out. The best part? Wine tasting at Belvoir is free, and the wine is fantastic.
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