United States is popular as the beautiful land with clear skies, soft breeze and verdant landscape, but every place has a hidden side and so does America. Along with being one of the most beautiful places to visit, it is also a land of thousands and thousands of ghost stories. If you are someone interested in spooky stories and exploring haunted places, plan a complete tour of the country covering the haunted places across the towns and cities. From Abandoned asylums to city zoo to Broadway theatres, we have listed the most haunted places in America for you to explore.
These places doesn’t only boast ghost stories, you can also visit these spots for an idea of American culture, history, architecture and scenic beauty.
Most Haunted Places in America
1. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel in Colorado boasts its Georgian architecture attracting tourists from far off lands. Its world famous whiskey bar is another significant thing that lures visitors to Estes Park. Built in the year 1909, the Stanley Hotel gained recognition after being an inspiration for Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel from The Shining, a fiction. Besides this association with the renowned writer, the hotel is also in talks for the mysterious piano music heard in there and several ghost sightings in and around. Be prepared for some for spooky adventure on your Stanley Hotel night tour!
2. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Built in the year 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary of Philadelphia took solitary confinement to another level as the prisoners lived alone, ate alone and exercised alone. When a prisoner left the cell, his head will be covered with a hood making sure he doesn’t see anything or anyone around. In 1913, the prison had no choice but to abandon the solitary system because of overcrowding until its losing year 1970. However, the punishments here were no less severe – for example, tying a prisoner’s tongue to his wrist with a chain.
Now renowned as one of the most haunted places in the United States, the penitentiary welcomes millions of visitors each year, especially to its Terror Behind the Walls during Halloween. Reportedly, some paranormal happenings are noted in the prison boundaries such as shadowy figures, disembodied laughter and pacing steps. You can also visit the museum for some haunted stories and sights.
3. Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California
This one is considered one among the most disturbing structures in the history of America. The Winchester Mystery House was turned into a macabre dwelling by Sarah Winchester, after she heard the shocking news of the death of her husband and child by the gunshot victims’ ghosts. The beautiful Victorian house was turned into a macabre to keep away the spirits. Some of the many eerie features in the mystery house include doors opening into brick walls, staircases leading directly to the ceiling and windows taking to secret passages. Now, that something terribly frightening!
4. Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, Arizona
Another hotel in the list of haunted places in USA is the Hotel Monte Vista of Arizona. This hotel has served several paranormal guests who have literally overstayed. One of the ghost stories is about the long-term boarder in the hotel who loves hanging raw meat from the chandelier of Room 210. Some others include that of two women who were pushed from the third floor who now suffocate male guests in sleep. If this isn’t scary and thrilling for you, imagine a young infant’s disturbing cries upstairs. Even John Wayne, the Actor has had paranormal sightings during his stay here.
5. St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida
Every year around 225,000 people visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse, most of them for the paranormal activities taking place here. The lighthouse has had several otherworldly visitors leading to tragic events in the historic site. A lighthouse keeper died falling from the tower while painting. Since his death, the keeper’s ghost is spotted watching over the area. Another horrific event was the death of three young girls who drowned in the ocean when their cart broke. Visitors to the lighthouse claim the playing sounds of children in and around the lighthouse.
6. Pine Barrens in New Jersey
Pine Barrens of New Hersey covers over 1 million acres and seven counties of the area which thrived during the Colonial period. It was the host to paper mills, Sawmills and various other industries. Now heavily forested, the Pine Barrens was abandoned by people from surrounding villages after the discovery of coal in Pennsylvania (ion the west), leaving back ghost towns. Some even claim the presence of supernatural wanderers! The most popular resident in the Pine Barrens has to be the Jersey Devil. As per the legends, the devil was born in 1735 with leathery wings, hooves and a head of a goat. It was the thirteenth child of Deborah Leeds. Stories reveal that the creature flew up to the chimneys and fell into the Barrens. It has since been killing livestock and scaring the residents of South Jersey.
7. House of the Seven Gables in Massachusetts
To start with, the house is not named after the classic novel, in fact it has been an inspiration for the novel. In addition to being the site of some popular witch trials, Salem is also the birth place of Nathaniel Hawthorne who sought inspiration from this ancient 17th century house for his novel, The House of Seven Gables, published in 1851. Not only its spooky façade but the paranormal activities occurring around the house are also a reason for thousands of visitors every year. Moreover, you might also sight some ghosts on your tour. Mostly, the occurrences have been claimed by the staff. If you plan your trip in the month of October, you can see the weekly performances of the Spirits of The Gables and The Legacy of The Hanging Judge, two popular plays.
8. Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania
If you have read about American history, you must e aware how bloodiest the Gettysburg Battle was. In the 3-day war, around 50,000 young soldiers died, many of whom didn’t even get served with a proper burial. It is believed that the ghosts of those soldiers still wander in the battlefield looking for their comrades and weapons.
9. Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon
Pittock Mansion is the dream house of two Oregonian pioneers Georgiana and Henry Pittock who built the mansion in 1909 on completing their golden years. It was unfortunate that the couple could only enjoy the house for a few years. Georgiana died in 1918 and Henry the following year, in 1919. Today, the building is a public landmark and one of the most terrifying places in Oregon as several unusual occurrences have been reported – smell of roses in a room where there are no flowers (Georgiana loved roses) and Henry’s childhood painting moving on its own from one place to another in the house. Even death couldn’t part the couple from their dram home!
10. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia
The asylum was open to patients in the year 1864 and in the 19502, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum housed over 2400 patients, which was a peak number as it was built to accommodate only 250 patients. The incessant overcrowding led to inhumane activities in the asylum. Reportedly, some of such activities included the patients starting a fire, attacking staffs and turning highly violent. There was lack of heat and some patients with extreme lunatic conditions were kept in cages. The asylum doors were permanently locked in 1994 but reports say that souls of many patients wander inside its premises. You can go on a night ghost tour to see in what conditions patients lived and died amid those cramped halls.
11. Poinsett Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina
Constructed completely with stone in the year 1820, the Poinsett Bridge is the oldest in South Carolina and recognized as one of the most terrifying places in the area. It is believed a man’s ghost visits the bridge frequently. He died on the bridge in the 1950s. An enslaved person’s ghost is also spotted on the bridge. A few other ghost sightings on the bridge include that of a mason who lost his life during the construction of the bridge. Visitors have also reported disembodied voices, floating lights and orbs.
12. Cahawba in Alabama
The first capital of Alabama, also famous as a ghost town among locals and travelers is named after the longest river in the area, Cahaba. Cahawba is located at the confluence of Alabama and Cahaba. The town was abandoned after the deadly Civil War. Its slave burial ground, empty buildings and eerie cemetery has been turned into a spot form ghost tours and spots of horrific paranormal activities. One of the most famous ghost stories is that of the bright orb floating in the garden maze of the house of Colonel C.C. Pegues. This happened shortly after he was martyred in a battle. The incident was believed to be a deed of Pegues’s ghost and still lures travelers to visiting the site.
13. Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, Louisiana
In the year 1925, there was a writer William Faulkner who rented a few rooms in the French Quarter of New Orleans, considered as the heart of the city at that time. The 27-year old writer’s rooms are turned into Faulkner House Books, a literary landmark and tiny bookstore honoring the Nobel Laureate for his iconic works. Some of his popular works include As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury. The bookstore houses wide collection of books from the first edition classic novels to NOLA city guides. What’s could be spooky in an old bookstore? The most popular spooky claim is that the place is haunted by William Faulkner! People have smelled pipe tobacco and seen an image of the writer sitting at his desk. Want to go on a book tour?
14. Whaley House in San Diego, California
Whaley House in San Diego is a family estate built by Thomas Whaley in the year 1857. It was constructed on the former site of the first public gallows of San Diego. Soon after he moved in the house, he reported encountering the heavy footsteps of a drifter and thief, Kim Robinson ‘Yankee’. Yankee was hanged to death on the site before the house was constructed. The entire Whaley family ended in tragic suicides and deaths, most of them occurred inside the house. It is believed that some of the members of the Whaley family still haunt the site. Smell of heavy perfume and cigar smoke are some of the paranormal activities reported in the house.
15. Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana
Myrtles Plantation was built by General David Bradford in the year 1796 and is considered as one of the most haunted sites in America. It is rumored that the house was constructed on an Indian burial ground and is haunted by 12 ghosts. A horrific tale of a former slave Chloe is very famous; Chloe’s ears were chopped off by her masters for eavesdropping. She took revenge by poisoning the birthday cake and killing two of the daughters of her masters. She was later hung by her fellow staffs. It is reported that Chloe roams around the house wearing a turban to hide her severed ear.
16. Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Alaska
The Crescent Hotel is known serving f or various purposes since its establishment in the year 1886. From a luxury resort to young women conservatory to a junior college, the site has played several roles making several stories. However, the place got its strangest mark on getting a new owner, Norman G. Baker. He was a millionaire who decided to turn into a doctor without any medical training. He made the property a hospital that cures cancer. Eventually, he was caught and ran out. It is believed that his spirit came back and found company of some otherworldly creatures. Now Crescent Hotel is rumored to be haunted by nearly eight ghosts including a 5-year old girl and a bearded man spotted in Victorian clothing.
17. The Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon
In the early 19th century, Portland was among the most dangerous ports of America. It was the center of an illegal maritime practice called Shanghaiing, which is a kind of human trafficking. To believe the stories by the locals, there were swindlers who preyed upon men in the saloons in the local area. The saloons had a trapdoor that led the victims directly into a series of underground tunnels.
These trapped men were held captive, drugged and later transported to the waterfront. AT the waterfront, the swindlers sold these men to ships as laborers (unpaid laborers). Some had to work there for several years before getting their way back home. Locals still believe the tunnels are haunted with the spirits of men who died in there struggling to escape.
18. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts
Andrew and Abby Borden, a couple whose bodies police discovered in their home on August 4, 1892. The prime situation of the gory scene was Lizzie, their youngest daughter. The Borden case is among the first crimes in America that came under the spotlight of media, getting attention from across the nation. Even though police and locals had enough points to allege Lizzie – her financial motives to be one of the prime reasons, the court acquitted her on the basis of insufficient physical evidence.
The Borden home has been turned into a museum and a place for bed-and-breakfast. Guests report of seeing some gruesome images of the crime scenes and sleep in one of the haunted rooms (reportedly).
19. The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana
A Louisiana socialite, Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie hosted ritzy stories in the Creole mansion. The mansion is located in the French Quarter of New Orleans in the Nineteenth century. Guests gorged on delectable food and champagne, without knowing anything of the gory scene unraveling right two floors above.
The time when the local police attended to a kitchen fire in the year 1834, they found several horribly mutilated bodies in the attic. The bodies were of the slaves working there. Knowing about this, a mob stormed into LaLaurie’s house as soon as they came to know about her grotesque secret. She flew to France and after her disappearance, people claimed the presence of spirits of the victims in the house. Reportedly, phantom screams of the victims and spilling from the house in the middle of the night are some of the incidents occurring in the haunted house.
20. Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, South Carolina
The Dock Street Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in the United States of America, located in the downtown Charleston. It has got a great history and tumult over the years of its existence. The Planters Inn was built soon after the original theatre experienced fire. However, again there was a theatre built at the location in the 1930s. Nettie Dickerson is the most flashy ghosts of the area who was struck by lightening while in the balcony of the Inn. As per reports from the lcoals, her shadow glides along the second floor of the theatre building. She is seen dressed in a beautiful red gown.
21. Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada
Inaugrated in the year 1907, Mizpah Hotel is among the first luxury hotels of Nevada. Standing giant with a Victorian-era decor and solid granite walls, the government restored the hotel in 2011. However, the swanky history of the hotel is still as blood-red as the scarlet furnishings in the hotel.
The stories of the past claim that a lady died in the hotel (reportedly on the 5th floor) and her soul still lives in the hotel building. Now known as ‘Lady in Red’, the ghost shows her presence by leaving behind pearls from her broken necklace on the pillows in the rooms and whispering in the ears of men. Surprisingly, the Mizpah capitalizes on this ghost by offering her room as ‘Lady in Red Suite’. They also serve Red Lady Bloody Mary at the restaurant in the hotel.
To sum up
Now that you know about the most haunted places of America, you will understand that there’s so much more to the country than its beautiful cities, modern infrastructure and verdant landscape. So, if you are interested in knowing more about these spooky places, you got to visit it on your next trip to America!