By Jessica Ferri (original article)
From California to the New York Island, the United States is a big country. And you know what that means: ghosts. Lots of them.
Here are the 50 most haunted places in America, one spooky destination for every state. This summer might call for an epic road trip. Just make sure to pack the spirit cleansing sage.
In 1867, John Drish, a reported alcoholic, jumped to his death from the second floor balcony of his estate. His widow, Sarah, is said to still haunt the house, illuminating its tower with a phantom fire hundreds of years after her death.
Historic Anchorage Hotel
The Historic Anchorage Hotel may advertise “warm standard rooms and free breakfast” but most guests get more than they bargained for, including the chilling sight of a ghost child smiling up at them from the closet in their room. Others report whispering, the laughter of children, and flickering lights.
Bird Cage Theater
This theater in the appropriately named town of Tombstone, was once home to a bawdy saloon and brothel. Evidence of the theater’s raucous past can be found in its walls, which are riddled with over 140 bullet holes. The former patrons of the saloon aren’t done partying yet, as visitors report yelling, laughter, and loud music even after the theater has closed its doors for the evening.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The Crescent Hotel
The Crescent Hotel was originally built as a resort for the rich and famous in 1886, and was revamped into a treatment center for cancer patients in 1937. With eight (!) identified ghosts, including a staff doctor who haunts the halls in his coat and tails, it’s easy to see why many consider this to be America’s most haunted hotel.
San Jose, California
Winchester Mystery House
Most people view the labyrinthine halls of the Winchester Mystery House as the work of a paranoid woman. But if you believe Sarah Winchester’s story, you may think differently. Sarah claimed she was haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by Winchester weapons, her husband’s family business. So she built stairwells that led to nowhere and doors that opened to a 40-foot-drop to confuse any vengeful spirits that came a knocking.
Estes Park, Colorado
This massive Colorado hotel served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. King and other guests have reported their belongings being packed and unpacked, the sounds of children laughing, and the noise of what sounds like a party going on in the ballroom when it’s completely empty. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, right?
Locals say that the spirit of a “White Lady” haunts Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut, so called because of her long, diaphanous white dress. Some claim she’s the mother of a boy buried in the cemetery, others say she’s the ghost of a young woman who was run over and killed while walking near the grounds.
The Governor’s Mansion
People have reported ghostly encounters in this historic home since 1815. Moans and screams are heard from a hole in a large tree near the house … some claim the hole may have been a hiding place when the house served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
West Palm Beach, Florida
The Riddle House
Nothing good can ever come from a house that used to be a funeral home, right? How about one that’s haunted by the restless spirits of a nearby cemetery? One caretaker reportedly hung himself from the Riddle House’s attic rafters. While this haunted abode was slated for demolition in 1995, a descendant of the original owner stepped in and turned it into a creepy museum. Yay. Great?
Built in 1753, this Savannah restaurant is actually one of the state’s oldest standing structures. It’s still in operation today, but don’t go overboard at the Pirates’ House. Otherwise you may find yourself at the mercy of the same pirates who once took advantage of young, drunk sailors, and sold them into slavery on their ships, never to be seen from again.
‘Iolani Palace was once the seat of Hawaii’s royal family—and apparently some of them, including Queen Lili’uokalani, have never left. The Queen was imprisoned in this palace for eight months after trying to overthrow the government. Visitors today report seeing her ghostly figure gliding across the grounds, and her silhouette in the windows of the now unoccupied palace.
Old Idaho Penitentiary
This old state prison built in 1870 was once home to 13,000 prisoners. One of its most infamous inmates was Raymond Allen Snowden, also known as “Idaho’s Jack the Ripper.” Visitors report strange sounds and a feeling of dread while visiting the site of his 1957 execution.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
Home to one of the most famous ghosts ever captured on camera, the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is a hotbed of paranormal activity thanks to its storied past. Apparently gangsters once used the cemetery as a dumping ground for bodies. As Bachelor’s Grove slipped into neglect, Satanists were rumored to conduct rituals of animal sacrifice on its grounds.
The now neglected Stepp Cemetery in Benton, Indiana is home to the ghost of a grieving woman in black. As the story goes, the woman was so distraught over her infant’s death, she went to the cemetery and dug up its body, then ended her own life.
Villisca Axe Murder House
In 1912, eight people, including six children, were bludgeoned to death in this Iowa home. But the scariest part to the story is that we still don’t know who did it. The scene of the crime now functions as a museum and is available for overnight rentals. Can you solve the mystery yourself?
The Sallie House
The Sallie House came into paranormal prominence in the 1990s when owners Debra and Tony Pickman claimed they had suffered violent attacks and strange phenomena. Tony claimed that one night he dreamt a little girl pulled him out of bed. Soon thereafter, he found child-sized fingerprints burned onto his wrist.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
One of the country’s most well known abandoned sanatoriums, Waverly Hills is remembered for the sheer number of patients who entered its doors and never left. Apparently so many died while at Waverly Hills that employees had to install a “body chute,” a long tunnel made for disposing corpses so as not to upset the other patients.
St. Francisville, Louisiana
Decisions, decisions…With so many paranormal hotspots in Louisiana—especially in New Orleans—how do you choose just one? In the end, we went with St. Francisville’s Myrtles Planation. The ghost of a young girl was captured on camera at this haunted destination in rural Louisiana, but she’s not the only specter roaming the property. Others have seen the ghost of a slave named Chloe who was apparently murdered on the grounds. Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast, so if you feel like looking for Chloe yourself, be our guest.
Captain Lord Mansion
Captain Nathaniel Lord built this house in 1812. Unfortunately, he died before he could move in. The home was then used as a convalescent home for elderly women before its conversion into a bed and breakfast in 1972. One woman never left, however. Guests report late-night sightings of an elderly woman dressed in a nightgown, wandering the halls.
Antietam was the bloodiest day in American military history, with over 22,000 casualties perishing in the Civil War battle. Visitors today report strange activity, including the ghostly sounds of battle along Bloody Lane, a site where more than 5,000 soldiers lost their lives.
Fall River, Massachusetts
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast
Lizzie Borden may have been tried for and acquitted of the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother, but that doesn’t mean that the scene of the crime is free of restless energy. Now a bed and breakfast, guests have reported strange activity, including the sensation that they aren’t alone … look out behind you!
Now a concert venue, Detroit’s Masonic Temple is supposedly honeycombed with hidden passageways. It’s also the home to the ghost of its builder, George D. Mason, who went bankrupt from construction costs and leapt off the Temple’s roof after his wife left him.
St. Paul, Minnesota
This upscale restaurant was once home to businessman Joseph Forepaugh, who shot himself inside the house in 1892 after his affair with one of his maids was revealed. The restaurant’s staff and patrons have reported seeing the spectral figures of Joseph and his mistress walking through the house. At least they’re together in the afterlife!
The ghost of a slave who was beaten to death on the property is said to haunt this dilapidated mansion in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Visitors have reported strange noises coming from the upstairs floor of the house. An angry spirit has also slapped one employee and pushed another.
St. Louis, Missouri
Lemp Family Mansion
The Lemp Family suffered tragedy after tragedy. By 1950, four of the family’s descendants had committed suicide, with three of the self-inflicted deaths occurring in their family’s St. Louis mansion. Now a restaurant and inn, guests report eerie midnight encounters with the spirits of the Lemp family, troubled even in death.
Deer Lodge, Montana
The Old Montana Territorial Prison
At this ruined old state prison in Deer Lodge, Montana, visitors have reported terrifying paranormal activity including the sensation of being choked by some unseen force. In the former site of the women’s prison, people have been pushed down corridors, overwhelmed by feelings of dread and anxiety, and emerged with scratches covering their bodies.
Nebraska City, Nebraska
Seven Sisters Road
The legend of the seven sisters is well known in Nebraska City. The story goes that a man hung each of his seven daughters (or in some accounts, sisters) on the trees that line this dirt road. Commuters today claim to hear the sounds of female screams and have had their cars break down unexpectedly.
The Lady in Red haunts the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, Nevada. She is said to be the ghost of a prostitute who frequented the hotel during its red light days, and was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend or husband. Today she haunts the halls, terrifying guests.
Dover, New Hampshire
Pine Hill Cemetery
One of the country’s oldest cemeteries, Pine Hill, in New Hampshire, is the resting place of Abel Blood, whose tombstone bears a hand pointing to heaven. Visitors have reported that the hand glows at night, and instead of the finger pointing above to heaven, it points below, to hell.
West Milford, New Jersey
Dubbed the most haunted road in America, Clinton Road, in West Milford, New Jersey, has been terrifying commuters for decades. Phantom headlights, Satan worshippers, and the ghosts of animals from a ruined zoo have all been reported on Clinton Road. Most terrifying, however, is the spirit of a boy who drowned in nearby Clinton Brook. It’s said if you toss a coin into the brook, he’ll toss it back up to you.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The ghost of another young boy named Bobby Darnall reportedly haunts the KiMo Theater. He died when a boiler exploded on site. Cast and crew claim Bobby will pull a variety of tricks to sabotage their performances. They have taken to leaving doughnuts to appease him before shows.
Oneida, New York
This beautiful 19th-century mansion in Oneida, New York proves that looks can be deceiving. The paranormal activity was so intense that its owners contacted paranormal researchers known as the Shadow Chasers. Inside the house they heard disembodied voices and unexplained footsteps, and encountered a shadowy figure.
Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate
The gigantic 250-room Biltmore Estate near Asheville, North Carolina, is one of the most famous and frequently visited homes in the United States. Visitors have reported hearing the sounds of George Vanderbilt [ed] and his wife talking quietly in the library, despite the fact that George died of appendicitis in 1914. Others have caught sight of a headless cat roaming the property, and the echoes of conversation in the empty indoor swimming pool.
Fargo, North Dakota
The Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm
This children’s museum is housed in a haunted farmhouse from 1876. The ghost of Elizabeth Yunker, for which the house is named, has been seen upstairs, and the museum’s elevator operates on its own. Visitors have also seen the ghost of a young boy standing by the well in which he apparently drowned.
Athens Mental Hospital
Notorious for its brutal medical procedures, this decaying mental hospital is teeming with paranormal activity. One particularly haunting story tells of a patient who literally became lost inside the maze-like hospital. Her naked body was found a year later, with her clothes folded neatly beside her. Visitors today say you can still see the stain of her body on the floor.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
St. Vincent’s Home
A paranormal investigator visited St. Vincent’s Home in Oklahoma City and recorded what he believes is a voice repeatedly saying, “don’t ignore me.” In the audio file, it sounds like the voice is no further than three feet away from the recorder, though the researcher claims he was more than 15 feet away from his colleagues at the time.
Henry and Georgiana Pittock built their dream home in Portland, but sadly passed away just a few years after moving in. Visitors claim they still haunt the mansion, with Henry’s picture constantly moving places on the walls, and the smell of roses (Georgiana’s favorite flower) wafting through rooms despite there being no flowers present.
Eastern State Penitentiary
When Eastern State Penitentiary was built it was only meant to hold 250 prisoners. Somehow, the capacity swelled to over 1,700 inmates. Known for its sadistic guards, who reportedly doused prisoners in cold water and forced them to stand outside in freezing temperatures, the now decrepit halls of Eastern State still send shivers down the spine.
Exeter, Rhode Island
The Ladd School
Built in 1908 as a home for the “feeble-minded,” the Ladd School is now reportedly haunted by the spirit of a young boy who was strangled to death by a mentally ill patient. A team of researchers and the founder of the Ladd School Historical Society once visited the building where the supposed murder took place. Upon entering, all their filming equipment stopped at the exact same time.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Hell’s Gate/Oakwood Cemetery
It’s never a good sign when your local cemetery is commonly known as “Hell’s Gate.” Visitors have reported strange activity while visiting this burial ground, including cell phone batteries being drained of power, the sound of laughing children, floating orbs, and a thick white mist.
Deadwood, South Dakota
This Historic Hotel in Deadwood, South Dakota is said to be haunted by its namesake Seth Bullock, the first sheriff of Deadwood. Guests report the smell of his cigar, the sound of his boots in the hallway, even his reflection in the mirrors. The staff claims a ragtime song is frequently heard coming from an empty piano, and glasses and flatware have been known to fly through the air.
Bell Witch Cave
Locals say the spirit of Kate Batts, a woman who believed the Bell clan cheated her out of her property, still haunts the cave near the Bell family land. Any object taken from the cave is said to be cursed. Electrical equipment reportedly malfunctions near the cave and paranormal investigators have encountered violent forces at the site.
Built around 1861, this Greek revival in Jefferson, Texas, is home to several ghosts, most notably the Lady in White, who was first spotted by the owner of the house in the 1990s. A staff member later reported the sensation of being watched, and sure enough, when she turned to look, she saw a woman dressed in white heading down the hallway.
Salt Lake City, Utah
A bride and groom had just been married at Gunston Memorial Chapel, near where Westminster College stands today. They were set to leave for their honeymoon when a drunk driver smashed into their car, killing the newlyweds. The bride, unable to leave the site of her wedding, apparently still roams Converse Hall, dressed in bridal white.
This beautiful covered bridge in Stowe, Vermont is reportedly home to the ghost of a girl named Emily, who planned to meet her lover one night under the bridge. When her lover never materialized, she hanged herself from the bridge rafters. Commuters crossing the bridge report strange noises, such as the sound of rope tightening. When their vehicles emerge from the other side, they are often covered in scratches.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Ferry Plantation House
Dating back to 1642, the Ferry Plantation House in Virginia Beach is home to 11 ghosts. Among the resident spirits is a former slave named Sally, a Lady in White who perished by falling down the stairs, and the victims of an 1810 shipwreck. The ghost of artist Thomas Williamson also haunts the property; he has been seen at the top of the stairs, painting.
Thornewood Castle Inn
This beautiful castle in Lakewood, Washington, was the location for Stephen King’s TV miniseries Rose Red. Built by Chester Thorne as a gift for his bride Anna, both Mr. and Mrs. Thorne are said to haunt the property that spans 27,000 square feet. Visitors also report seeing a ghostly young boy who reportedly drowned on the property standing on the shore of the lake.
Moundsville, West Virginia
Moundsville State Penitentiary
In this Gothic style state prison, visitors are most haunted by the Shadow Man, the ghost of a maintenance man who was allegedly stabbed to death by inmates for reporting activity to the guards. Interested in meeting this shadowy figure? You’re in luck. Tours at Moundsville begin at sundown for maximum freak-out effect.
Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin
Summerwind was built in 1916—and has driven its residents away with terrifying activity ever since. The apparition of a man reportedly attacked the mansion’s original owners. As for the second set of owners? After allegedly discovering human remains buried in a crawlspace, the family fled, abandoning the house entirely. The mansion burned down in 1988, yet remnants of the spooky structure remain.
Known as the most haunted place in Wyoming, the Occidental Hotel is haunted by the ghost of a prostitute’s daughter who lived on the top floor. Wearing a white dress with long, flowing black hair, her unnerving presence has been known to drive guests screaming from their rooms.