Athletes are very superstitious people, whether it’s utilizing the same routine (or pair of socks or underwear) while on a hot streak or drastically altering habits or hairstyles when cold. There is an air of the spiritually unknown when it comes to sports.
So maybe it’s no surprise rumors and sightings of ghosts and apparitions and whispers of curses can be found among stadiums worldwide. In honor of Halloween, we examine a few of those haunting stories and stadia.
Frontier Field (Rochester, N.Y., USA)
Psychic paranormal researchers officially declared Frontier Field, home of the Rochester Red Wings, a minor league baseball team, haunted in 2004.
Rochester Paranormal researcher director Joe Burkhardt and psychic medium Cindy Lee toured the grounds and encountered a variety of ghosts (referred to as ‘Caspers’ in the trade). Lee was greeted by friendly apparitions, while Burkhardt discovered some a little more hostile.
“The ‘Caspers’ were very curious about us,” Burkhardt said. “They literally came out of the woodwork and starting coming toward us.”
A Red Wings employee said bones were discovered when the stadium was being built in 1995. That discovery, coupled with rumors of the stadium being haunted, led to Burkhardt and Lee being summoned to explore the grounds.
“When we walked in you could feel them,” Lee said. “You could feel all the spirits suddenly realizing there were at least two people who could see them, hear them and feel them.”
Estadio Hernando Siles (La Paz, Bolivia)
Was it a ghost? A lighting blunder? An aerial camera? Video editing?
No one knows for sure what shadowy figure glided through the stands during a Copa Libertadores Round of 16 match between The Strongest (Bolivia) and Defensor Sporting (Uruguay) on April 17, 2014.
With Defensor holding a 2-0 advantage in stoppage time, this figure was caught on camera swiftly moving through the lower-level seats.
Maybe it was trying to beat the postgame traffic …
Ghazi Stadium (Kabul, Afghanistan)
During the late 1990s, the stadium was used as a venue for public executions by the Taliban government.
It was said the souls of those who lost their lives inside the stadium still haunt the ground. It has caused some to avoid the ground at all costs at night.
“Now nobody comes here in the evening; even we don’t go inside,” said Nabeel Qari, a security guard. “Everyone believes the place is haunted, that the souls of the dead people are not at rest even now.”
The stadium underwent a major renovation and was re-opened in 2011 transforming the former death and torture venue into one reborn as Afghan sporting hope.
University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind., USA)
Many people are familiar with the famous movie quote, “Win just one for the Gipper,” — ranked No. 89 on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movie Quotes — but not many know its etymology.
George Gipp, the University of Notre Dame football player who was portrayed by Ronald Reagan in Knute Rockne, All American, tragically died at the age of 25 in 1920 after contracting pneumonia. Unable to access his residence hall after a night out Gipp, the school’s first All-American, slept on the steps of Washington Hall one December evening, got sick and later died.
Legend has it shortly after his death students started hearing strange noises in the building, papers would rustle and horns would mysteriously sound late at night.
St. Mary’s Stadium (Southampton, UK)
It is said that spirits from tombs excavated near the grounds haunted this soccer stadium of Southampton F.C. The belief and concern was so strong that a witch was summoned to rid St. Mary’s of evil spirits in 2001.
Cerridwen Dragonoak Connelly, a Pagan witch and archaeologist, sprinkled water from a wooden chalice outside the building, urging any bad influences to be at peace or depart from the ground.
“I performed a ritual there and, because of my upbringings, I did it in Welsh,” she said. “I performed a cleansing of the ground in Celtic tradition but athletes are a very superstitious bunch and I did a blessing for some positive energy and it has obviously worked.”