Looking for Architectural Ghosts

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate holiday, I thought I’d share some of my favorite types of ghosts: architectural ghosts! I love picking out ghost signs on old buildings (I previously wrote about resurrecting ghost signs, here). But ghost signs aren’t the only ghosts in the built environment. Often, especially on old brick buildings, you can see places were windows, doors, and even staircases once were. And, I would add to the group those places you spot old tiled floors–from the old tile entryways to sidewalk elements like street names.

The ghost of a floor spotted in Bisbee, Arizona.

Spotting the ghosts of long-gone architectural elements is one of my favorite things to do when exploring old buildings and neighborhoods. Old walls can hold so many stories. This Halloween, don’t just keep your eye out for the supernatural. Look around and see if you can’t catch some architectural ghosts, too.

Happy Halloween (and Nevada Day)!

A few of the many amazing ghost signs in Chicago.

Additional notes: the top photo is from Coupville, Whidbey Island. Also, if you missed it last year, check out my blog on the best costume party in architectural history (costume inspiration, anyone?). Also totally loving these costumes spotted on the Rust Belt Young Preservationists Instagram.

The siding on this Vermont barn tells a lot of stories about how the building has changed.


This lonely steel column is the ghost of a Sacramento that once was. It reminds passers-by that the streets of Sacramento are today higher than the original grade.

6 thoughts on “Looking for Architectural Ghosts

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