Pot-ergeists: 5 Famous Haunted Toilets

The following is an article from Uncle John's OLD FAITHFUL 30th Anniversary edition.

(Image credit: Flickr user Jim Reynolds)

These bathroom poltergeists remind us of Moaning Myrtle, the ghost who haunts the girls’ bathroom at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter book series. Are bathroom ghosts for real? Who knows— but they make for some great bathroom reading.

1. Haunted Bathroom: A first-floor restroom in the Galvez, a century-old historic beachfront hotel on Galveston Island in Texas.

Haunted By: A ghost wearing heavy boots.

Boo! The many ghosts that are said to haunt the Galvez are one of the hotel’s selling points. Guests book rooms in the hopes of seeing the “Ghost Bride” who hanged herself in one of the turrets on the roof; the little girl bouncing a ball in the lobby; and Sister Katherine, a nun who is said to have drowned in the 1900 hurricane and who may have been buried on the land where the hotel was later built. The ghost that haunts the restroom on the first floor near the music hall is one of the hotel’s creepier spirits, and he apparently likes to have the bathroom to himself. Once, when a guest popped into the restroom late at night after using the hot tubs, the lights suddenly went out and the woman could hear boot steps approaching her. Then the sound of loud breathing, and a man’s voice that ordered, “Get out!”

2. Haunted Bathroom: The women’s restroom in the White Lion pub, in the town of Yateley, in southern England.

Haunted By: A ghostly female figure wearing a white hood.

Boo! When the pub’s burglar alarm went off mysteriously in October 2015, the pub keeper, Andy Froker, reviewed the security camera footage to see if he could identify what had set off the alarm. At one point in the video, a wispy apparition materializes at the entrance to the ladies’ room at the top of the stairs. It loiters there briefly before dropping out of the image. Regulars at the pub say the mysterious image is the hooded figure of a woman who has been seen— and felt— around the White Lion “quite often."

I live in the building and so I can feel it when I pass the ghost,

the pub’s manager, Kate Staniszewska, told the London Daily Mail in 2015. “I’ve lived here six months and it’s happened a few times, but this is the only place I’ve seen it.” (Care to make that a double? The White Lion has a second spirit- that of former owner James Rogers, now deceased. Rogers’s favorite tankard still sits in a special place in the bar, and regulars say he has been known to set off the burglar alarm if anyone moves the tankard from its proper spot.)

3. Haunted Bathroom: The one on the tour bus that Scott Weiland, lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots, was riding in when he died from a drug overdose in 2015.

Haunted By: The ghost of Scott Weiland.

(Image credit: Flickr user Ed Vill)

Boo! Former Creed lead vocalist Scott Stapp has battled his own demons over the years. They seemed to have caught up with him when he rented the same tour bus that Weiland died on, and had what he describes as a “crazy, mystical experience”— Scott Weiland speaking to him from beyond the grave. “I remember being in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, on the bus, and really feeling like I could hear him saying, ‘Dude, this could have been you. And this could be you if you continue that path. Don’t do what I did. Don’t go down that road,’  ” Stapp recounted to GQ magazine in 2017. At the time, he was fighting a losing battle to stay sober, but the experience in the bus bathroom caused Stapp to “further my commitment to my recovery,” he says. “It was definitely one of those God moments. I get goose bumps right now just talking about it. It was a God moment.”

4. Haunted Bathroom: The women’s restroom on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City.

Haunted By: A female ghost, said to be that of a woman who committed suicide by jumping off the building after World War II.

Boo! According to one version of the story, in the mid-1980s a tourist visiting the 86th-floor observation deck saw a distraught woman dressed in 1940s clothing. When she tried to comfort the woman, the woman explained that her husband had died in the war and she couldn’t live without him. Then she removed her coat and passed through the suicide barrier as if it wasn’t there, and jumped off the building.

Shocked by what she’d just seen, the tourist ran into the women’s restroom and splashed some water on her face. Then when she looked up, she saw the suicidal woman standing at the next sink touching up her makeup as she looked into the mirror. After she finished, the woman went out onto the observation deck and jumped off again. More than one person has reporting seeing a jumping female ghost that repeats the act over and over after materializing in the ladies’ room, but the ghost doesn’t always tell the story about her husband dying in the war. This has led some believers to suspect that the ghost is actually that of Evelyn McHale, a single 23-year-old woman who leapt to her death in 1947. (Her fiancé, a college student named Barry Rhodes, survived her.) Or maybe observation deck regulars have made up the ghost-in-the-bathroom story to keep the lines in the ladies’ room from getting too long.

5. Haunted Bathrooms: The ones in Dumfries House, East Ayrshire, Scotland. Technically, the bathrooms aren’t any more haunted than the rest of the house, but the place is said to be haunted by a ghost who smells like he didn’t get to the bathroom in time.

Haunted By: One of the Earls of Dumfries (which one is unclear).

Boo! The 18th-century mansion was a private home until 2007, when it was purchased by a charitable trust headed by Prince Charles. That’s when the trouble started: During private tours of the residence, a stink described by head curator Charlotte Rostek as “the smell of incontinence” would suddenly appear out of nowhere, “usually in very inconvenient situations. Suddenly people would get a bit shifty and look around them, and there was this very, very unpleasant smell,” she told Glasgow’s Herald newspaper.

More than $3 million was spent renovating the house to open it to the public in 2008, and Rostek hoped the repairs would solve the problem. No such luck: “I did smell it the other day. I just got a whiff of it,” she told the paper in 2016. Visitors to the house have also reported seeing the stinky earl entering one of the bedrooms where two members of the Dumfries family are known to have died.


The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's OLD FAITHFUL 30th Anniversary edition. Every year for the past three decades, Uncle John and his team of tireless researchers have delivered an epic tome packed with thousands of fascinating factoids. And now this extra-special 30th anniversary edition has everything you've come to expect from the BRI, and more! It's stuffed with 512 pages of all-new articles sure to please everyone.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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Galveston has other haunted restrooms, the most famous of which was in a Mediterranean restaurant on the Strand that featured a male ghost that liked to follow women into the Ladies room. Hurricane Ike ended its reign of terror in 2008.
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