Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America

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Haunted houseDotted throughout the United States are numerous locations that have become particularly famous in certain circles and for others these locations may hold no special significance at all…that is until they learn the stories behind them. Despite the fact that many people who visit some of these locations with the mind of a skeptic it doesn’t take long for many of them to have ghostly encounters of their own and walk away with a whole new view on the afterlife. Whether or not you believe in the afterlife or the existence of the paranormal isn’t so much of a question when visiting the United States most haunted places, what is more appropriate to ask is whether you think you will make it home in one piece! While there are certainly hundreds of well known spirit infested locations around the United States that have made it in to the books of ghost hunters worldwide the ten that follow are undoubtedly some of the most spiritually active spots according to believers.

  1. Myrtles Plantation
  2. Alcatraz Prison
  3. Bobby Mackey’s Music World
  4. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast
  5. Athens Lunatic Asylum
  6. Joshua Ward House
  7. Bachelors Grove Cemetery
  8. The Winchester Mystery House
  9. The White House
  10. Waverly Hills Sanatorium

1. Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana

The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana is knows as one of the country’s most famous haunted homes. The plantation was built in 1806 by General David Bradford who lived there alone for a few years before moving his wife and five children to live with him years later. The plantation would later be run by Bradford’s daughter Sara and her husband Clark Woodruff after Bradford’s death. The plantation changed hands a few times before ending up in the hands of Sarah and William Winter who lived there with their six children, one of which died at age three from typhoid. Kate, the child who passed away, was not the only one to see the end of their life on the plantation, however, years later her father, William would be shot to death on the front porch years later. The plantation continued to change hands over the years and eventually would fall in to the hands of John and Teeta Moss who currently run the plantation as a bed and breakfast hotel.

The Myrtles Plantation is known for a variety of ghost spirits; however, the most famous ghost who, stories claim has even been caught on camera, is Chloe. Chloe was a slave that was owned by Clark and Sara Woodruff during their ownership of the plantation. Legend tells that Chloe had hard feelings towards the Woodruffs, although various stories exist as to why, some tell of her being forced in to being Mr. Woodruff’s mistress and others tell of her having her ear cut off for listening at the keyholes of the plantation. However it occurred, Chloe took her revenge by baking oleander leaves in to a birthday cake; however, when only Sara and the children ate the cake and died, Clark ensured that Chloe met her fate by hanging her from an old tree on the plantation.

Other ghostly apparitions at the plantation include sightings of Sara Woodruff and her two children that were poisoned by Chloe; they are believed to be trapped within a mirror within the plantation. William Winter’s spirit is also believed to have been sighted roaming the home, usually crawling up the stairs as he is believed to have done after being shot on the front porch of the plantation!

2. Alcatraz Prison, San Francisco, California

Alcatraz prisonAlcatraz prison in San Francisco, California is a widely known tourist attraction on the west coast, however, what many of the tourists don’t know when they step on to Alcatraz is that the island is reportedly haunted by the spirits of those who died there years ago. As one of the largest and most notorious maximum-security prisons of the time, Alcatraz served as the home to some of the nation’s most vicious criminals of the time. Enclosed within the walls of Alcatraz during the peak of its era were some of the more unsavory characters of society including mass murderers, gangsters, kidnappers, and bank robbers. While many of these characters died during their time within the walls of Alcatraz, apparently no one informed their spirits that their time had been served because tourists of the island commonly experience the spirits of those inmates long since departed. Among spiritual encounters that have been experienced by tourists of the island are disembodied voices from within cell walls, ghostly figures walking through cellblocks and rowdy echoes of voices within the old cafeteria.

3. Bobby Mackey’s Music World, Wilder, Kentucky

Bobby Mackey’s Music World in Wilder Kentucky currently stands as a dance hall but once upon a time in the 1850’s Bobby Mackey’s was a slaughterhouse. As legend tells the basement of the slaughterhouse was commonly used by devil worshippers who used animal blood in their rituals and called forth evil spirits. Story tells of one ritual in which a woman named Pearl Bryan was actually beheaded and according to recent sightings Pearl still walks the halls of Bobby Mackey’s.

In addition to the ritualistic murder of Pearl Bryan, Bobby Mackey’s was also the site of numerous mob murders according to its history as a speakeasy that was frequented by mobsters of the 1920’s. The spirits of those who found their end in Bobby Mackey’s are known to be some of the more rambunctious spirits in any haunted building within the country and some have even been told to have physically assaulted patrons of the dance hall that inhabits the building at this time.

4. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, Fall River, Massachusetts

The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts wasn’t always a bed and breakfast, at one point it was the home to Lizzie Borden and the Borden family. The legend of Lizzie Borden is generally well known but for those who are unfamiliar with the tale it goes something like this:

In 1892 Lizzie Borden lived in her family home with both her father and her mother but on August 4th of that same year Lizzie’s parents were murdered by an axe wielding murderer. Many believe that it was Lizzie herself that murdered both of her parents by repeatedly hacking at them with an axe, yet when she was tried for the murder she was acquitted of the murder charges. The amount of evidence produced by the prosecution in the Lizzie Borden trial was plentiful and yet after an hour and a half of deliberation the jury acquitted Borden. To date the identity of the murderer who took the lives of Lizzie’s parents is unknown although many believe that it was Lizzie herself despite the court findings in her trial. Lizzie Borden would live until 1927 when she died of pneumonia.

Today the Borden house stands as a bed and breakfast where guests frequent the house in addition to ghost hunters who still seek to find answers to the murder of the parents of Lizzie Borden. Among sighted ghosts in the home is Lizzie’s mother who has reportedly been seen tucking guests of the house in to their beds.

5. Athens Lunatic Asylum, Athens, Ohio

The Athens Lunatic Asylum in Athens, Ohio served as a home to hundreds of mentally ill patients from 1874 to 1993 and during its time as an asylum Athens was the site of hundreds of lobotomies. At the early time of its existence the doctors of the asylum believed that a lobotomy was a medically advanced method of relieving mental disorder and illness. As it happened many of the lobotomy’s that were performed drove patients absolutely crazy and that is only in those that survived the devastating surgical procedure. Athens did not only serve as a home to the mentally compromised, however, it often served as a holding place for violent criminals who were believed to be mentally disabled although this often time included alcoholics and drug addicts who exhibited symptoms of mental illness through their addiction.

During its time as an asylum, Athens saw many deaths and many of those deaths were due to violent or neglectful situations and many believers in the spiritual will explain that this often leads to prime haunting conditions. Among spiritual sightings at the Athens Lunatic Asylum are disembodied screams, ghostly apparitions that walk the halls and a ghostly blood stain on the floor of an abandoned ward where a patient reportedly became trapped and died due to exposure.

6. Joshua Ward House, Salem, Massachusetts

The Joshua Ward House in Salem, Massachusetts is another one of the United States most haunted houses. The house itself was built on top of the foundation of what was once the home of George Corwin. George Corwin was the sheriff of Salem during the witch trials which brought a devastating end to many innocent lives. Among all of those put to death during Corwin’s time, perhaps the most notable is that of Giles Corey. Giles Corey was a Salem local who was accused of practicing witchcraft; however, when he was arrested and charged with witchcraft Giles Corey would not enter a plea. Sheriff Corwin then tortured Corey in an effort to make him admit to his witchcraft practice by placing a board on top of him and placing a large pile of rocks on top. Despite the torture Giles Corey refused to speak and under the weight of the rocks that were continuously added on to the board Giles Corey was eventually crushed to death. According to the legend after his own death George Corwin was buried under the foundation of his own home and local ghost hunters have attested to seeing both Corwin and Corey’s spirits haunting the Joshua Ward House that stands on the old Corwin house foundation.

7. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois I perhaps most famous for being the dumping ground of bodies for the famed Chicago gangsters. The cemetery itself has a large lagoon that runs through it and this lagoon served as a notorious dumping location for bodies of those who met their end at the wrong end of a gangster’s gun. No one knows just how many individuals’ bodies came to rest in the bottom of that lagoon but various tourists and ghost hunters will attest to the sheer number of spirits that still believe that they are free to walk through the cemetery unaware of their life in the afterlife. One of the most common occurrences in the Bachelor Grove Cemetery is the complete failing of electrical equipment for any ghost hunting crews who endeavor to capture paranormal activity on camera. Ghost hunting crews aren’t the only ones who have witnessed the spirits of the cemetery though, other visitors have come in to contact with unexplainable lights, disembodied noises and voices, ghostly apparitions, ghostly appearances in photographs taken in the cemetery and ghostly hitchhikers on nearby roads.

8. The Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

Winchester Mystery HouseThe Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is perhaps one of the most recognized haunted locations in the United States. This kooky house is most well known for its sheer size as well as the peculiarity of the numerous doors and staircases within the home that lead to nowhere. The Winchester House began as the home of Sarah. After Sarah lost both her daughter and her husband she sought the advice of a medium to help her to cope with her grief; however, the medium informed Sarah that she believed the family was cursed due to the destruction that the Winchester gun had caused in so many lives. The psychic convinced Sarah that the ghosts of those who had died at the hands of the Winchester gun would all seek their vengeance on Sarah. The medium told Sarah that if she were to escape the wrath of the angered spirits she must build a new home for herself as well as the spirits and continue to build this new home for as long as she lived, and for as long as she continued building she would continue living.

The prophecy of continued life was not true; however, Sarah Winchester gave it her best effort and continued to build on to the home for some thirty eight years. Before part of the home was lost to the 1906 earthquake it stood some seven stories tall and at one point the property stood on 162 acres. The house is well known for the trick doorways that sometimes open up to the outside of the home and could lead to a nasty fall as well as stairways that lead to nowhere but the ceiling of the room. This kooky house is not just characterized by these strange oddities; however, many people have claimed that the ghost of Sarah still walks throughout her mystery house in an attempt to continue her lifelong work of building her mansion to escape the spirits that plagued her.

9. The White House, Washington, D.C

The White House in Washington, D.D is perhaps not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of haunted locations in the United States; however, it is actually known for being a hub of paranormal activity. During its lifetime the White House has served as the home to a wide variety of leading men of the country and many of those men suffered great tragedy in their lives. It is believed that due to the fact that the White House served as a home to some of the nations most important figures it is the favored haunt of the spirits of many of these great men, particularly those who met untimely and violent ends. Stories that contribute to the haunting of the White House generally bring up the fact that Lincoln’s widow who had ties with the occult, performed séances within the White House in an attempt to contact her husband. Mary Todd’s husband isn’t the only presidential figure that has been noted as haunting the halls of the White House, however, also noted as making a ghostly appearance are Andrew Jackson, Abigail Addams and Dolley Madison.

10. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky

Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky has perhaps become most famous for ghostly haunting as a result of the numerous paranormal investigations that have taken place there after its closing. During its time the Waverly Hills Sanatorium stood as one of the most advanced institutions for treating those with tuberculosis; however, many of the treatments that took place within the institution only served to speed up the deaths of those who did not succumb to tuberculosis naturally. The sanatorium underwent various construction projects which added wards and further beds on to the hospital so that more patients could undergo treatment as the number of those affected by tuberculosis continued to increase.

One of the most publicized features of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium is the “death tunnel” which was built on to the sanatorium in order to hide the dead that were wheeled out of the hospital on gurneys. Physicians at the sanatorium at the time believed that if the patients did not see the dead leaving the hospital they would have more hope for recovery and so the death tunnel was used to transport dead bodies to awaiting hearses. This death tunnel is now rumored to be one of the most haunted locations in the sanatorium and one in which many tourists and ghost hunters alike absolutely refuse to step foot. The death tunnel isn’t the only haunted place within the hospital though, guests who have walked through the abandoned halls of the institution claim to see shadow figures walking the halls, disembodied voices calling for nurses, singing voices emanating from nowhere, shadow creatures zipping from one wall to another across the ceiling and clothing being tugged and pulled.

Additional Haunted Places Throughout the United States

When it comes to haunted places throughout the United States there are plenty more to visit! If you have already worked through the ten most haunted places in the United States why not try one of these other ghostly locales!

Ashe County Hospital in Jefferson, North Carolina

Ashe County hospital in Jefferson, North Carolina was first built in 1930 but construction was not completed until 1942. While the hospital was modern for the time it would only serve as a modern facility for a short time until a newer hospital was constructed in 1968. During its peak the Ashe County hospital had 50 patient rooms and an operating room. The construction of the new hospital left the old Ashe County hospital empty. For a short period the abandoned hospital was used as an office building for county businesses but currently it stands empty once again.

A number of paranormal investigators have examined the Ashe County hospital and found evidence of paranormal activity. Among the activity noted in various areas of the hospital are the sound of disembodied footsteps, smoke-like figures and masses passing through areas of a room, sounds of children playing, sounds of women whining, voices beckoning guests to join them, intelligent answering of questions, cameras being moved and various light anomalies. It is believed that many of these voices and spirits are those of patients who passed away during their time in the hospital.

Ashmore Estates in Ashmore, Illinois

The Ashmore Estates located in Ashmore, Illinois was once an almshouse and part of the Coles County Poor Farm. The building was built in 1916 and was utilized as an almshouse until 1959 when it was bought by Ashmore Estates, Inc. Ashmore Estates utilized the building as a private psychiatric facility until 1987, after which it stood empty until 2006. After 2006 the building was opened as a commercialized haunted house.

Throughout its career, Ashmore Estates saw the death of many of its residents, particularly from the house’s time as a poorhouse. The grounds of the house hold a cemetery that many of those who died at the poorhouse were buried in. Records of Joshua Ricketts (the superintendent of the county farm) show that approximately 32 once residents of the poor house are buried in the cemetery on the property. According to further records, the almshouse was visited by the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities in 1902. This visit claimed that the heat supplied by the stove was sufficient for the house and while there was no ventilation in the house, fresh air was “easily obtained.” Additionally, the house had no fire protection and no plumbing. Despite being passed for inspection in 1902, by 1911 the house was shut down and condemned by the Auxiliary Committee of the State Board of Charities. At the time of it being condemned, the house had small windows, vermin infestations, improper ventilation and rough floors.

Currently the Ashmore Estates is open as a haunted house and many have performed supernatural investigations there. Among the spirits sighted by tourists and ghost hunters are black mists and full bodied apparitions. Many report that they feel they have been attacked by the spirits that still live in the haunted building. Professional ghost hunting crews that have visited the Estates have also recorded paranormal activity including scratches, shocks, the feeling of being grabbed, sighting of a shadow figure and numerous disembodied threatening voices.

Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tennessee

The Bell Witch Cave sits where the Bell Farm once was, a farm owned by a family haunted by the witch for some four years. It is said that from 1817 to 1821 the Bell family was haunted by the Bell witch and now that the farm is gone the neighboring cave is inhabited by the witch herself. So well known is the story of the witch that General Andrew Jackson sought out the witch himself upon a visit to the area. It is not only the witch who is said to haunt the caves however, the area had long been associated with pioneers and Native Americans, many of whom are said to have had homelands that lay in the area of the farmlands. Visitors to the caves not only claim to experience the antics of the Bell Witch but many of them also experience apparitions and voices within the cave. Some even believe that one who takes anything from the cave will be cursed with bad luck until they return the item that they took. The Bell Witch cave is still available for touring along with the former farm, both are now privately owned.

Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle can be found on Highway 9W in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The castle with 20 rooms was originally built by railroad bigwig Samuel Taylor Suit in 1885. Suit gifted the castle to his new bride Rosa; however three years later he died. After his death, Rosa spent all of her husband’s fortune entertaining big name guests and holding large parties and finally she was forced to sell the castle in 1913. Among the ghostly apparitions that have been sighted in the castle is that of Rosa Suit who apparently found it difficult to leave the material wealth of this world when she passed on in to the next.

Big Bay Point Light in Big Bay, Michigan

The Big Bay Point Light is a lighthouse that stands over a rocky point near Big Bay, Michigan. The Big Bay Point Light was first recommended to the Lighthouse Board in 1882 since the point in question was equidistant to Granite Island and Huron Island. The lighthouse was built and first lit in 1896; it would become automated in 1941 and would be deactivated in 1961. In 1979, Dan Hitchens of Traverse City would purchase the lighthouse and fix it up to serve as a bed and breakfast. Four years after he began to fix up the lighthouse however, Hitchens would sell the house to an investment group who finalized the bed and breakfast plans and opened in 1986. To date the Big Bay Point Light is the only operational lighthouse with a bed and breakfast.

The Big Bay Point Light has been the sites of at least two notable deaths in its time, both of these deaths have lead many visitors to believe that the site is haunted. The first of the spirits noted as haunting the lighthouse is that of William Prior. Prior was the first keeper of the lighthouse who was found hanging a year and a half after his disappearance from the lighthouse. It is believed that Prior committed suicide after his son died from a leg injury. Prior’s body was found hanging a mile from his lighthouse home. Many claim that they have seen his red haired ghost in mirrors at the bed and breakfast and have also heard him banging around in the night. The second spirit seen at Big Bay Point Light is that of a local tavern owner. In 1952 the tavern owner was murdered by an army officer who was stationed at the assistant’s house on the lighthouse property. The presence of the officer was to train an anti-aircraft battalion but he certainly left an impact on the house if ghostly sightings are to be believed. The story behind the tavern owner’s death led to the novel “Anatomy of a Murder.”

Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona

The Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona opened in 1881 through to 1889 during the height of the silver boom in the area. The theater had multiple uses and aside from acting as a theater it also served as a salon, brothel and gambling parlor. The term “birdcage” came from the fourteen cages that were on the two balconies around the theater. Each of these cages had drapes that could be drawn when prostitutes wanted to entertain their clients. While in operation, the Birdcage Theater was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and its reputation was that of the wildest locale around for nighttime entertainment. Since closing its doors in 1889, the theater remained closed up until 1934 when the building was purchased and reopened as a tourist attraction. Upon opening the doors to the Birdcage Theater, the new owners were surprised to find that everything was exactly how it had been left in 1889. As a tourist attraction the theater is open daily from 8am to 6pm. The theater has been noted as a haunted location by many and has even been featured on a number of paranormal television shows including Ghost Hunters, Ghost Lab and Ghost Adventures. It is said that some 26 people in total were killed in the theater, many of whom don’t seem to have left. Among the ghosts seen at the theater are those of former prostitutes and men in cowboy hats. Some have also seen a man in black wearing a visor walking across the stage.

Black Moon Manor in Greenfield, Indiana

The Black Moon Manor was the first home to be built in Hancock County, Indiana in the city of Greenfield. At one point during its history the home was used as a hospital where victims of a local smallpox outbreak were housed. A number of the smallpox victims that were treated in the home died as a result of the disease. The family that owned the manor, the Eastes family is all noted as having died bizarre deaths and are buried alongside the smallpox victims at the back of the home in a makeshift cemetery. In this cemetery there are approximately 200 resting places. Many ghostly entities have been heard and experienced in the Black Moon Manor and for a while a group of individuals were leasing the property to utilize it as an investigation “hot spot” and haunted attraction. Unfortunately after a number of televised “ghost hunting” episodes, the actual owner of the Black Moon Manor decided to destroy the building based on the reputation it had garnered from media attention.

Brown Grand Theater in Concordia, Kansas

The Brown Grand Theater in Concordia, Kansas is a historical community based theater located in North Central Kansas. The theater was planned in 1905 by Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte Brown and was designed by Carl Boller. The theater official grand opening took place on September 17.1907 with the play “The Vanderbilt Cup.” The theater would be successful in productions until 1910 when Brown died. Four months following Brown’s death his son, Earl, also died very suddenly while on an ocean liner returning from Europe. After these deaths, the theater would fall in to multiple hands. As legend tells however, Earl never left the theater and continues to haunt the building. Most often, Earl is reported as being sighted on opening nights, seated in the theater balcony dressed in his finest. In addition to Earl being sighted in the theater, the water fountain in the hallway has been seen to run continuously and nails have been found randomly sticking out of walls in the theater as well.

Today the Brown Grand Theater is open to self guided and guided tours; however, not all of the theater is accessible to the public.

Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida

The Castillo de San Marcos is a masonry fort in Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, Florida and is the oldest masonry fort in the country. Construction on the fort began in 1672 when Florida was still part of the Spanish Empire. In 1763 Florida came under the control of the British and Castillo de San Marcos was renamed For St. Mark. In 1783 the fort was once again put in the hands of the Spanish until 1819 when Spain ceded Florida to the United States. Following this in 1821 the fort was renamed Fort Marion after Francis Marion, Revolutionary War hero. An act of congress in 1942 reinstated the name Castillo de San Marcos and in 1924 the fort was declared a national monument. The Castillo de San Marcos was deactivated in 1933 and control was handed over to the National Park Service.

Throughout its history, Castillo de San Marcos was besieged twice, once by James Moore and the Carolina Colony and then by Governor James Oglethorpe, Georgia governor. Although all changing hands of the fort were done peacefully, the fort most certainly saw its fair share of death. One of the most significant sources of “bad spirits” among the grounds now is said to be from spirits of Native Americans who were incarcerated at the fort when it was under American control. In addition to the spirits of these Native Americans it is said that many who were executed on Execution Wall reappear on the wall at night by the gun towers. Execution wall is a wall of the fort that looks out on the ocean and was the place of death of many Red Coats as well as Spanish turncoats.

Some of the ghostly occurrences at the Castillo de San Marcos that have been reported include: battle echoes around the walls including cannon fire, the apparition of a young soldier who stands on the wall overlooking the ocean as the sun goes down and the ghosts of a couple who were chained in the dungeon after the colonel’s wife was caught cheating on him with another man. The colonel’s wife and the other man were both left chained in the dungeon until they perished.

Clinton Road in West Milford, New Jersey

Clinton Road is located in West Milford in New Jersey and begins at Route 23 and ending at Upper Greenwood Lake. The road itself runs for 10 miles and is surrounded by legends of paranormal activity and urban myths. Among the stories surrounding the area, Clinton Road is said to be a gathering place of witches, Satanists and of the KKK in addition to being the disposal point of bodies for professional killers. How much truth is in these stories it is difficult to say but they continue to be told.

One story that cannot be contested however is that the area was used as a dumping ground for at least one body left by professional hit man Richard Kuklinski AKA the Iceman. Kuklinski was arrested and put to death for five murders that he committed but the spirit of the body that was recovered in the area may likely be among those who still call Clinton Road home.

Among the spirits said to haunt Clinton Road are a ghost boy at the bridge over Clinton Brook. The child is said to have either drowned while swimming or fallen from the bridge to his death while sitting on the edge. Other popular ghosts told to frequent the area include a ghost Camaro driven by a girl who was killed when she crashed her car in 1988 and the ghosts of two park rangers who died while working in 1939. The area is also the sighting point of many other phantom vehicles, strange creatures such as hellhounds and hybrid animals and silent ghostly figures dressed in strange clothing. Many people have been known to avoid the road all together or to turn back after a feeling of dread becomes so strong that they cannot continue.

Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida

The Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida was built in 1926 by John McEntee Bowman and George Merrick. The hotel was built as part of the Biltmore hotel chain but has served multiple purposes throughout its life. During its time the building has been a hospital during World War II, as a VA hospital and as a campus of the University of Miami medical school in 1968. Many who visited the hotel throughout its life have claimed paranormal activity, most commonly the appearance of the spirit of Thomas Walsh. Thomas “Fatty” Walsh was a New York mobster and associated with Dutch Schultz and Lucky Luciano. Walsh was killed during a gambling argument at the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel on March 4, 1929. There are two areas of the hotel that are most well known for Walsh’s spirit apparition, the 13th floor where he met his end as well as the hotel elevator. Those who have experienced the ghost of Thomas Walsh have stated that the hotel elevator has lights that blink on and off repeatedly and doors that open and close without cause.

Despite the claims of ghostly activity, the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel, it is currently the home of the well known GableStage Theater and owned by Joseph Adler.

Croke Patterson Mansion

The Croke Patterson Mansion is located at 420 – 428 East 11th Avenue in Denver, Colorado and was built in 1892. The home was built as a residence; however, legend tells that after stepping foot in to the home once he was too terrified to return and the house was sold two years later. Other owners of the home apparently felt just as uncomfortable as it passed from owner to owner before it was taken over as a commercial property. Builders were not immune to the evil that was the Mansion however; as they labored to turn the space in to offices they would return to work to find the previous day’s work completely undone. This mischief was the tip of the iceberg however and one day, after leaving a pair of Doberman’s to guard the property overnight, the workers returned to find them both lying dead after falling from the third story window. According to stories, the dogs had been thrown or persuaded to jump by the evil entity that saturates the property. After the offices were finally completed, workers in the space would go on to report mysterious growling noises as well as office machinery that worked without anyone touching them. Some believe that the body of a young girl is buried beneath the home after a séance told of her fate, but to date, no body has been found.

Dead Children’s Playground

Known as Dead Children’s Playground this child’s playground can be found at 1351 McClung Avenue in Southeast Huntsville, Alabama. Why is this playground so odd? Well, to begin with it’s located in the middle of Maple Hill Cemetery. Maple Hill Cemetery is known as the largest and the oldest cemetery in the state of Alabama. Covering more than one hundred acres the Maple Hill Cemetery was founded in 1822 but has since become known for much more than its size or age. Frequently visitors to the cemetery have noted the sounds of children playing on the playground that is surrounded by the cemetery. Some say that a number of these child spirits are actually children who were abducted during the 1960’s and whose bodies were found in the area of the playground. In addition to hearing giggles of ghostly children playing on the playground equipment, people have also cited seeing swings swinging without anyone having used them. Some even state that they have seen dust being scuffed up below the swings as though a child had just stopped swinging and jumped off. Visitors to the cemetery also note that they have captured mysterious orbs of light in photographs that they managed to snap at the cemetery. Paranormal researchers have since captured a multitude of evidence that suggests that visitors to the cemetery are certainly not alone including photographs with ghostly apparitions.

Dudleytown in Cornwall, Connecticut

Dudleytown is located in Cornwall, Connecticut and is often believed to be a ghost town. The town was founded as a settlement in the mid 1740’s by Thomas Griffis. After Griffis settled the area he was soon followed by Gideon Dudley in 1753 who was then followed by his family. Families continued to come to the area where they worked as farmers despite the fact that the land was not ideal. As inhabitants found more fertile land to the west, Dudleytown became increasingly deserted. The Dark Entry Forest Association took over the land and planted many trees in the area which is now thick. Many people claim to have sighted ghosts in the land that once made up the town; however, it should be noted that the town that is now considered “ruins” is under private ownership and trespassers have been arrested for stepping on to the land to investigate the ruins for themselves. Some say that the spirits of Dudleytown are nothing more than the imagination of those visiting the area that is hauntingly quiet. There are many, however, who believe that Dudleytown is a ghostly home to many ghosts that revel in the abandoned ruins.

The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Eastern State PenitentiaryFrom 1829 to 1971 the Eastern State Penitentiary operated as a prison in which the first separate confinement policy was put in to place. The basic premise of the new system was designed to help prisoners to become reformed rather than to be punished but the system was not entirely effective. While prisoners experienced separate confinement they also experienced twenty three hour lock downs in their cells. It was not only the lack of communication that was allowed between prisoners that led to uprisings but also the harsh punishments doled out to inmates who dared to break the rules. So torturous were many of the punishments used in the Eastern State Penitentiary that often inmates would die before their torture period was finished. These days the penitentiary is no longer a torture chamber for the living, rather it is said to hold the spirits of many of the tortured prisoners who once breathed within its walls. These days the penitentiary has been declared to be a U.S. historic landmark and is open as a museum which offers tours. Among the sounds heard by visitors within the penitentiary are crying, whispering and laughing and once in a while those sounds will be accompanied by a ghostly face within one of the cells.

The Battlefield of Gettysburg

There is little wonder why the battlefield of Gettysburg makes the list of America’s most haunted locations. The battle of Gettysburg took the lives of almost 50,000 people and with so many lives lost suddenly and violently it’s no surprise at all that many visitors have seen ghostly apparitions walking in the fields. Soldier’s spirits are among the most commonly seen apparitions in the area. Around Gettysburg there are a number of areas that are most recognized for their ghostly apparitions including the Little Round Top, Gettysburg College, Farnsworth House and Devils Den. So haunted is the Gettysburg battlefield that Haunted Gettysburg tours are given on a regular basis.

Hot Lake Hotel in La Grande, Oregon

The Hot Lake Hotel is located in Oregon close to La Grande. The hotel was originally built in 1864 and shortly afterwards it became known as a popular vacation spot due to its hot springs. In 1917 however the once grand hotel was purchased by Dr. W. T. Phy who worked to create a medical facility which included a surgery room and hospital which featured radiation and x-ray facilities which were rare at the time. From 1917 to 1934 the facility served as both a hotel resort and a hospital 1934 when a fire ravaged the property and destroyed most of the original building. What was left of the building after the fire then served as a nursing home, an asylum and a restaurant. In 1991 the building began to fall in to disrepair and was abandoned. In 2007 the property was sold and turned in to a bed and breakfast, museum and spa which opened in 2010.

According to many who have visited Hot Lake Hotel’s property, the area is a hotbed of paranormal activity. The most commonly noted incident that occurred on the property is the story of a gardener who committed suicide on the hotel’s grounds. As story has it he killed himself either by throwing himself off the building or by hanging himself in the grand ballroom of the hotel. However he found his end, the ghostly gardener is frequently seen wandering the grounds with his shovel in his hand. Another popular ghost is that of a young boy who is always seen and heard running around the top floor of the hotel. Those who have seen the boy say that he has horrific burns on one half of his face and is said to frequent guests rooms and take their snacks and can be heard laughing.

Houghton Mansion

The Houghton Mansion is located at 172 Church Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. The home which is now being used as a Masonic temple was originally home to A.C. Houghton, the first mayor of North Adams. Houghton had a particularly tragic life after his family driver accidentally drove off the road and killed Houghton’s daughter, Mary, and her friend. The grief of the accident as well as his alleged feelings for Mary are said to have caused the driver to take his own life the following day. The fatal self inflicted gunshot wound was inflicted on the mansion grounds. Just nine days following the driver’s death, A.C. Houghton himself died. All of this considerable tragedy and the violent nature of the deaths is said to contribute to the turbulent goings on at the Houghton mansion. Haunted tours of the mansion are still held each fall for those interested in spotting the restless spirits themselves.

King Opera House in Van Buren, Arkansas

King Opera House in Van Buren, Arkansas was built in the late 19th century and is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The opera house was restored in 1979 before reopening but despite being “made over” the house itself is still said to hold the spirit of one young man in particular.

The ghost that is frequently seen in the King Opera House is that of a young actor. The young man fell in love with the local doctor’s daughter and planned to run away with her on the local train. Unfortunately some of the doctor’s friends saw the two at the train station and told the doctor who went to the station to pick up his daughter. As legend tells though the doctor whipped the young man to death and his daughter ran in to the night never to be seen again. When he is seen by actors and visitors to the opera house, the boy is said to be dressed in a long cape and a Victorian coat with a top hat.

Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri

The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri very often makes it on to the list of the most haunted locations within the United States. Over the years the once prestigious building has played host to a number of roles but most all of them have involved tragedy. The Lemp Mansion was built by the father of William Lemp in 1868 and over the years the Lemp family would be stricken by tragedy on a number of levels including: the death of William’s favorite son, the death of William’s best friend and the eventual suicide of William Lemp himself. The Lemp family continued to be plagued by tragedy and scandal, much of which can still be seen today as apparitions have been noted to appear in the mansion reminiscing over their unlucky past fortune. Included among the apparitions that have been noted in the Lemp Mansion by visitors is the illegitimate son of William Lemp Jr. who was born with down syndrome. In the days of the Lemp family it was an embarrassment to a family to have a special needs child and as such he was hidden away only to show his face again in the afterlife as he seeks the attentions of visitors to the mansion. What is the mansion now? Well it stands as a fine restaurant and bed and breakfast, however, ask anyone who has spent any time there and they will tell you that it also serves as host to a number of spiritual apparitions!

Loretta Lynn’s Plantation House in Hurrican Mills, Tennessee

Loretta Lynn’s plantation home is located in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The fourteen room plantation home sits on a 3500 acre ranch and has long been noted as being a haunted home. The plantation itself was built as a tribute to her childhood home and her parents Ted and Clara Webb. The plantation home is currently open for tours where many amateur ghost hunters visit hoping to experience their own ghostly encounters.

Of the ghosts that have been seen in Loretta Lynn’s plantation home, the lady in white is perhaps the most commonly seen. The woman is believed to be the spirit of Beula Anderson who is said to have given birth to a stillborn child and then died twelve days following. Another member of the Anderson family is also said to haunt the home, the original owner of the home who is affectionately referred to as “Old Man Anderson.” These two ghosts are not the only ones noted passing through the home, many visitors to the home have also noted the sounds of chains and footsteps emanating from underneath the porch where the home once had a “slave pit”. During the period the slave pit held many slaves who were held in the pit and sometimes even chained to the walls.

Magnolia Plantation in Derry, Louisiana

The Magnolia Plantation is located in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana and was built between 1830 and 1840. The plantation as it stands today has 21 buildings remaining and a number of pieces of older farm technology as well including two cotton gins and cotton picker tractors. For a long period of time the Magnolia plantation served as a hub of employment for the African American population. According to current records a portion of the Magnolia plantation is owned by the National Park Service and the remaining portion (the actual plantation home and the farming land) is owned by descendents of the former owners.

Many who have visited the plantation state that the buildings are haunted by various spirits including those who formerly ran the plantation as well as spirits of former slaves. It is believed that many of the former slaves on the plantation would practice voodoo and a number of potentially voodoo-oriented artifacts have been located on the grounds. Many believe that a history of murder, death and cruelty combined with the slave’s practice of voodoo have created a breeding ground for spiritual activity. It is also said that during the Civil War Confederate prisoners were held in the slave’s quarters and many of them died and were buried in the grounds surrounding the housing unit. In addition to the grounds and slave quarters of the plantation being haunted, it is also said that the main house of the plantation is also haunted. Ghosts that are said to haunt the main house are those of slaves who perished in addition to the plantation overseer, Mr. Miller’s ghost. Miller was murdered by Union soldiers.

Manteno State Hospital in Manteno, Illinois

The Manteno State Hospital in Manteno, Illinois was a psychiatric hospital that opened a patient population in 1930. By 1954 the hospital population peaked at 8,195 patients. The hospital was closed on December 31, 1985 after allegations of mistreatment of patients and unsanitary living conditions. A little under a year after its closure, the hospital was made in to the Illinois Veterans home and it still operates using a portion of the original building. Other buildings on the campus have been demolished and various parts of the grounds are now utilized for multiple purposes including a municipal golf course and a state hospital cemetery.

Many believe that the grounds and the remaining buildings are haunted by many of the patients that once lived at the Manteno State Hospital. Some say that these patients who were once tortured at the hospital through experimental medical procedures. At one time, the hospital’s doctors conducted electroshock therapy, hydro therapy and lobotomies at the hospital. As if those procedures weren’t enough to contribute to haunting activity, there was also an outbreak of typhoid fever in 1939 which resulted in 54 to 60 individuals dying.

One of the many spirits that has been reported to haunt what was once the Manteno Hospital is that of Gennie, Gennie was 25 when she was committed to the hospital by her parents in 1944. As story tells, Gennie had suffered depression but had wanted to move away from her hometown when her parents took objection and tried to stop her by committing her to the hospital. Gennie would stay at the hospital for 30 years during which time she underwent multiple experimental procedures and in 1955 she underwent a lobotomy which rendered her both deaf and mute. Gennie would move to a retirement home after the hospital was closed and passed away in September of 1998. Many visitors to the Hospital feel that they have experienced the spirit of Gennie who has returned to the hospital as a place that she knew and also a place where she suffered greatly.

Octagon House in Washington, D.C.

The Octagon House is also referred to as the Colonel John Taylor III House and was built between 1798 and 1800 in Washington, D.C. The house was built for owner of the Mount Airy Plantation, Colonel John Taylor III who was believed to be the richest plantation owner at the time. Throughout its former life, the Octagon house served many government officials including President James Madison and also serves as the French Embassy during the war of 1812. In 1855 the Tayloe family sold the house and during the civil war it would go on to serve as a hospital while afterwards it would become an apartment building.

The house took on many different lives but today, as a National Historic Landmark, the house serves as home to many spirits from each of its lifetimes. Apparitions have been spotted by visitors to the home on the second and third floor landings as well as on the spiral staircase and in the third floor bedroom. Two of Colonel Tayloe’s daughters are among those said to still haunt the building, both of which fell to their deaths on the staircases of the home. Many other spirits are said to haunt the home and make themselves known with moans, footsteps and occasionally screams.

Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee is located on South Main Street and was built in 1928. When it was originally built the theater was named The Grand Opera House but would be renamed in 1907 after the theater became a part of the Orpheum Vaudeville circuit. The theater experienced a number of bankruptcies as well as a fire and has continued as one of the best performing arts centers in the Mid-South. At the time of its construction the theater was noted as being the “classiest theater outside of New York City.” The theater burned to the ground in 1923 and was rebuilt in 1928.

There are believed to be two ghosts that frequent the theater. The first of these is a masked figure who is said to be frequently sighted in the air ducts over the house. Many have stated that they have seen the ghost waving at them from the ducts during performances. The second ghost is said to be that of a young girl whose name is Mary who is aged 9. Mary wears a white dress and has pigtail, she is frequently blamed for door slamming and lights flickering in the theater. Mary is also said to prefer sitting on a particular seat in the theater, seat C-5 that is supposedly stained with blood. No blood has ever been seen on the seat however. Unlike many ghostly apparitions, Mary is said to be a very friendly spirit.

Pittock Mansion

The Pittock Mansion is located at 3229 NW Pittock Drive in Portland, Oregon and has twenty two individual rooms. The French chateau was built in 1922 and since 1965 it has been open to the public in addition to being used as the setting for a number of horror movies. In 1982 the film “Unhinged” was filmed at the mansion and in 1993 “Body of Evidence” was also filmed there. It’s not only ghostly horror movies that this mansion is known for though, since being opened to the public, the Pittock mansion has been the site of many ghostly sightings. Some of the reported sightings are boots that walk by themselves, windows that open and close of their own accord, portraits moving on their own and older female specters that navigate the hallways. Only two deaths are known to have taken place in the mansion, the death of Georgiana (age 72) and Henry (age 84) the Pittock’s and original inhabitants of the home. Ghost hunters believe a lot more has happened at the chateau though due to the amount of supernatural activity that has been noted there.

Remington Arms Factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut

The Remington Arms factory in Bridgeport, Connecticut was responsible for the production of ammunition for Remington arms. The factory in Bridgeport was closed in 1986 after a new facility was opened in Lonoke, Arkansas. The old ammunitions factory however, became the subject of many ghostly investigations before it was purchased by Peter DiNardo Enterprises Inc. and scheduled for demolition. In its prime the Remington Arms Factory was one of the largest munitions factories in the entire world with over seventeen thousand workers! Throughout its life as a munitions factory the building saw many fatal accidents. One such accident was an explosion that resulted in seven deaths and eighty injuries. On two other occasions employees were killed when they fell in to a pot of molten metal. Those who have visited the factory in search of spirits have noted seeing mysterious mists in the hallways, black shadows, disembodied screams and overall feelings of dread have also been reported.

The Remington Arms Factory was demolished completely in 2012.

Rispin Mansion

The Rispin Mansion is located at 2000 – 20005 Wharf Road in Capitola, California. The mansion was originally built during the prohibition era as a show property for real estate investor, Henry Rispin. The show property was intended to encourage consumer interest in neighboring resorts; however, this plan did not come to fruition. During the Depression the home fell in to disrepair and became a convent before it was abandoned and taken over by squatters in the 1960’s. A number of spirits have been said to cause mischief in and around the mansion but those hoping to spot one of their own will have to wait, a recent fire has left the structure in a questionable state.

Saint Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida

The Saint Augustine lighthouse on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, Florida was built in 1824 and was the first lighthouse in Florida. The lighthouse was owned by Dr. Alan Ballard who was being pushed by the government to sell it to them. Ballard was reluctant to sell and made it clear that he would never leave the lighthouse. Some believe that Ballard stuck by his word and has never left the lighthouse even in death. Another common psychic experience that many have at the lighthouse is the smell of cigar smoke. The one time lighthouse keeper, Peter Rasmussen, was always known for his cigar smoking and these days many people walking around the lighthouse have caught the scent of cigar smoke even when no one has been smoking in the area. Others have attributed the smell of cigar smoke to Joseph Andreu, another lighthouse keeper who met his end when he fell from the lighthouse tower while painting in the 1850’s. Andreu is also said to be heard walking up and down the tower stairs and some have even seen his spirit standing at the top of the lighthouse.

The most well known spirits of the St. Augustine lighthouse are those of the two young daughters of Hezekiah Pity. Pity had been hired to renovate the lighthouse in the late 1800’s and brought along two young daughters, Eliza aged 13 and Mary aged 15. The girl’s father had warned them about playing around the grounds of the lighthouse because it wasn’t safe but they proceeded to climb in to a cart that had been used to carry building materials. The cart soon broke loose and the girls were thrown in to the bay where they drowned. To this day many people say that they can still hear two girls laughing in the lighthouse tower at night. Some have even stated that they have seen Mary Pity in her blue velvet dress – the very same dress that she died in.

Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon

The Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon were named after the practice of “Shanghaiing” people. Between the years of 1850 and 1941 Portland was referred to as the Shanghai Capital of the World and had a vast number of ships that left port to go to Shanghai, China. Slaves were required to work on these ships and often times they were forced to do this against their will. The Shanghai tunnels were actually an area of bars and restaurants where supplies would come up to the establishment from the waters. Eventually trapdoor systems were developed where unsuspecting victims would be drugged and passed down through the trapdoors where they would be put on to ships bound for Shanghai. These victims would very often not wake up until it was too late and they were already bound for Shanghai. In some cases however, these unwilling slaves would end up dying or being murdered and it is said that they still haunt the Shanghai tunnels today.

Among those spirits that are said to be haunting the tunnels is that of a woman named Nina. Nina is most often spotted near to Old Town Pizza. Eyewitnesses claim to smell her perfume and get their clothing tugged by Nina who is believed to have been a prostitute in the area who fell through one of the trapdoors to her death. In addition to Nina, other visitors to the tunnels claim to have heard moaning, screaming, crying and even talking of the spirits trapped within the tunnels.

The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona

The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona is known as the longest continuously operated hotel in the state of Arizona. Built in 1898, construction continued until 1902 and when completed the hotel was intended to serve as a lodging place to both dignitaries and investors in Bisbee to visit the copper mine. As with many mining towns, Bisbee saw its fair share of death and injury.

During the 1920’s and 1930’s when the third floor of the Copper was home to a prostitute named Julia Lowell. Lowell fell in love with one of her clients and hoping to have him marry her and make her a respectable woman, she professed her love to him. The man, who did enjoy his “business” relationship with her, did not share her romantic feelings and told her so. Lowell is said to have killed herself in despair and is believed to still walk the halls of the hotel. Common signs of Lowell include female apparitions that appear only to men, a female voice that whispers in the ear of men, a wispy white smoke, and an apparition that dances a striptease in room 315 for any men in the room.

Another popular spirit in the Copper Queen Hotel is that of a young boy, the son of one of the workers of the hotel’s dining room. The child often played on the third floor of the hotel however, it is said that he drowned while swimming in a neighborhood pond and has returned to the hotel in which he used to play. The boy is said to hide items that belong to guests, cry when they run the bath tub, appear under dining tables in the dining room and appear wrapped in a towel as if he had just come in from swimming.

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary was used for decades both as a luxury ocean liner and as a mode of transporting sailors during wartime. In 1967 the liner was decommissioned and made in to a luxury hotel; however, the hotel would soon become the place of demise for many who still haunt the ship. The most reportedly haunted section of the ship is the engine room where mysterious lights are seen to turn on and off and pipes can be heard being tapped. In addition to these mysterious happenings however, the apparition of a young man can frequently be seen. It is believed that this ghostly being is seventeen year old John Henry who duped ship management in to believing he was old enough to work on board. When a fire broke out in the engine room of the ship, Henry was crushed to death.

John Henry is not alone in his ghostly wanderings however and multiple other ghostly spirits have been noted walking the ship. Included in these apparitions are a young girl who broke her neck on the waterslide of the pool, two women who died in the pool area, a mysterious murdered woman and the souls of three hundred sailors who were left to their demise when the Queen Mary collided with another ship. Visitors to the Queen Mary often speak of hearing these lost sailors banging on the ships sides.

The Moore Home Ax Murder House in Villisca, Iowa

The Moore home, also known as the ax murder house in Villisca, Iowa is a home that sends chills down the spine of anyone who hears its story. On June 19, 1912 the small Iowa town of Villisca was shaken to its core when eight people were found murdered in their home. It is said that the owner of the home, Josiah Moore were at church one afternoon when an intruder crept in to their home and sought shelter in the attic just waiting for the family to return. Later that afternoon the family of six along with two of the neighboring children did return and went straight to bed only to be hacked to death by the mysterious axe wielding stranger who had been hiding in their attic. The brutal murders were never solved although many suspects were fingered in the murders. Today the home stands in place and tours are offered for those brave enough to step through its doors. Many paranormal sightings have been connected with the Moore home, most often these sightings center on young children talking and laughing. In addition to the mysterious childlike voices the house is said to host a poltergeist which not only moves objects around the home but also bangs within the home. Paranormal investigators have come out of the Moore home with a wealth of photographic and audio evidence which points to the vacated Moore house still teaming with paranormal life. With eight unsolved murders it’s no wonder that the Moore home is screaming out for attention, take a look around if you dare.

The Riddle House in Royal Palm Beach, Florida

The Riddle House is located in Royal Palm Beach in Florida and was built in 1905. The house was originally built in West Palm Beach but was later dismantled and moved to the South Florida Fairgrounds in Royal Palm Beach. After being built, the house served as a funeral parlor until it was purchased by Karl Riddle in the 1920’s. After spending part of its life as a funeral parlor there is little surprise that the Riddle House is reported to be haunted. One of the most prominent specters however, is not from the house’s days as a funeral parlor, but rather from an employee of Karl Riddle. The young man, named Joseph, is said to have hung himself in the house’s attic. There are two theories behind why Joseph hung himself, the first of which states that he was accused of committing an offense against his employer which he did not do. The second theory says that Joseph was going through some financial difficulties that also caused a strain on his domestic life. A good number of paranormal sightings have been made in the attic where Joseph is said to have hung himself. Visitors to the house have said that they have experienced things being thrown at them. Male visitors have particularly become targeted by the spirit believed to be Joseph.

In addition to the ghost of Joseph, visitors to the house have also noted the appearance of a female in a white dress who always appears accompanied by a white afghan dog. The woman is usually seen walking around the building and then disappearing in to thin air. Another ghostly appearance seen at the Riddle house is that of a young couple dressed in Victorian era costumes. When first seen they were believed to simply be people in costume however, it was soon discovered that they were the exact couple seen in an old photograph and the young couple couldn’t be found anywhere in the town.

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel is most recalled for the part it played in inspiring author Stephen King to write his popular novel “The Shining.” According to many, it is the haunting experiences that King had at the hotel that prompted him to write the psychological thriller.

Built in the early 1900’s by the creator of the Stanley Steam Engine, Freeland Oscar Stanley, the hotel has a long and active spiritual history. Perhaps the most recognized spirit of the hotel is Stanley himself who has been seen to wander the Billiard room and the hotel lobby. Stanley is not alone in his afterlife adventures however and his wife has frequently been spotted playing the piano in the ballroom. In addition to these haunted common areas, there are a few rooms of the hotel that are known for significant paranormal activity. Room 407 is the most notably haunted room in which guests have noted lights turning on and off on their own as well as faces peering from the room window.

The Village of Bara-Hack in Pomfret, Connecticut

The village of Bara-Hack in Pomfret in Connecticut is believed to have been founded by two Welsh settlers sometime between 1780 and 1790. The two men, Obadiah Higginbotham and John Randall settled in the village with their families and named it for the Welsh term for “breaking bread.” Just one hundred years after it was founded, Bara-Hack was abandoned. The village foundations and walls from the old buildings are still standing. There is also a cemetery on the village land which is said to be the most haunted of all of Bara-Hack’s sites. Visitors to the area have noted laughing, singing, animal type noises and the sounds of ghostly wagon wheels on the roads. Among the spirits most often sighted in Bara-Hack are those of a young child and a bearded man.

The ghost village of Bara-Hack is not currently open as a ghost town as it sits on privately owned land. Permission must be sought of the land owners before visiting the village site.

The Whaley House in San Diego, California

The Whaley House is often referred to as the number one most haunted house in San Diego, California. The house was built in 1857 and at that time served as the home of Thomas Whaley and his family in addition to serving as the local general store. The house would also serve as the county courthouse and the first commercial theater. Currently however, the home serves as a museum where it is maintained by the Save Our Heritage Organization and classified as a California Historical Landmark.

Oddly, the area where the house stands was claimed to be haunted even before it was built. The first ghost of note to be reported in the area is that of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson. A man who was hanged in 1852 on gallows that stood where the Whaley House now stands. In addition to Robinson, the house is also said to be frequented by spirits of Whaley’s who died while in the home. Four members of the Whaley family in total died in the home. One of the most frequently spotted of the family is Anna Whaley who is reported to haunt the garden of the home and the downstairs rooms as well. Additionally and somewhat unusually, there is said to be a spirit of the Whaley family dog, Dolly, who passed from old age while living in the home. The spirit of the dog is said to lick people’s legs and feet but it is most often spotted by children rather than adults.

Rather than shun their haunted history, the Whaley House offers paranormal investigation tours of the home on the last weekend of every month.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was a Kirkbridge psychiatric hospital in Weston, West Virginia. The asylum opened its doors in 1864 and closed then in 1994. During its time of operation, the hospital was operated by the state of West Virginia. The first patients to the hospital were admitted in October of 1864 but at that point construction of the hospital had not yet been completed and would not be completed until 1881. When it was built, the hospital was intended to be self sufficient meaning that it had its own cemetery, waterworks, dairy and a farm. In total, the hospital reached 666 acres. When it was originally built, the hospital was designed to house just 250 patients but by 1880 it housed 717. At its peak in the 1950’s the hospital housed 2.600. Throughout its history the hospital had many different names but regardless of its name, history has it that the hospital was an awful building that had poor sanitation, poor heating, poor lighting and not enough furniture. At times patients in the hospital were locked in cages leaving it no surprise that the location is now considered to be haunted.

Many reports of ghostly encounters in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum have been noted including faces peering out of windows, footsteps following visitors and disembodied screams have been heard as well. Haunted tours are a regular occurrence at the asylum buildings and few make it through the tours without a paranormal experience of their own.

Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut

The Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut dates back to the 1700’s and is known for being one of the most haunted cemeteries in the entire United States. Among the spirits commonly seen at the graveyard is the “White Lady,” a spirit described as wearing a long white nightgown with a matching white bonnet and long dark hair. The White Lady is frequently seen along Route 59 and many people have felt that they have “hit her” with their car although when they go to investigate the damage she is not there. On story tells of a man who hit the White Lady with his truck and even had an indentation on the front of his truck from the impact but she was nowhere to be found. This spirit is said to travel between both the Union Cemetery and Stepney Cemetery in Monroe, Connecticut.

Another apparition that has been noted at the Union Cemetery is the “Red eyes” apparition. Frequenters to the graveyard often say that they see a pair of red eyes peeking at them through the bushes. Some say that the red eyes are also accompanied by footsteps. According to some locals the red eyes belong to Earle Kellog a man who died on the street opposite the cemetery when he was set on fire.

Vulture Mine in Wickenburg, Arizona

The Vulture Mine in Maricopa County, Arizona began in 1862 and soon became the most productive gold mine in the history of the state. In total the mine produced 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver from 1863 to 1942! These days Vulture Mine is privately owned but tours to remaining buildings are offered by the current owners.

As with many hot beds of mining action, the Vulture Mine saw thousands of prospectors all hungry for gold and all willing to do whatever it took to succeed. This led to a considerable amount of corruption and violence that led to many deaths in addition to the accidental deaths caused while mining. Many of the spirits that are said to still haunt the mine are those of greedy prospectors who are still looking for gold. It is said that they can easily be lured in with a gold coin or two. The Vulture City that was built around the mine is also said to be filled with the ghosts of those prospectors long departed.

Walker House

Walker House is located at 1 Water St. in Mineral Point, Wisconsin and was built in 1836. The house served as an inn and pub for local residents and as a meeting point for businessmen. In 1842 a public hanging was held outside the house and a man named William Caffee was to be hanged for shooting a man after an argument. According to legend, Caffee was driven to his funeral seated on his own coffin, this event got even more unfortunate when Caffee was accidentally beheaded during his hanging. This untimely and rather gruesome end is perhaps the reason why Caffee is spotted at the Walker House to this day.

After the public house ceased serving in 1957, it would stand empty for seven years before Ted Landon would purchase it with the intent of restoration. The restoration process was long and the haunting spirits and mysterious noises that were heard during the process should have served as a warning. Still, Landon reopened the tavern but just four years later financial difficulties drove him to have to sell the tavern to Walker Calvert. Calvert had no idea what he was getting in to when he took over the inn, he would repeatedly be visited by the resident spirits including a beheaded man who came and went as he pleased.

West Virginia State Penitentiary

West Virginia State Penitentiary is a former prison that is considered by many paranormal experts to be the most haunted prison in the United States. The prison opened in 1876 and throughout the years it became known for overcrowding, terrible living conditions and riots in addition to routine executions. At many times throughout its career the penitentiary had as many as three inmates in a single cell which not only led to rapid spread of illness but it also contributed to rioting.

Most commonly visitors to West Virginia State Penitentiary have reported being touched or watched by spirits some of whom make “regular” appearances. Among the more popularly spotted apparitions in the prison is a maintenance man who used to spy on inmates. This man was another inmate but when word got out that he was reporting to the guards on other inmate’s behavior he was savagely beaten and killed in the bathroom. Another popular apparition is that of Robert the inmate. Robert was killed at the hands of prison guards who had a reputation for beating inmates within an inch of their life. According to legend, Robert’s remains are said to be buried behind one of the walls of the prison. Finally is Avril Adkins, a former inmate whose hanging execution went terribly wrong. It wasn’t until the second hanging attempt that Adkins died and his spirit is frequently noted to be walking around the gallows area where he eventually died.

While the West Virginia State Penitentiary is no longer functioning as a prison, it is still being operated as a tourist attraction.

Whispers Estate in Mitchell, Indiana

Whispers Estate is a home based in Mitchell, Indiana and has frequently been listed as one of the most haunted locations in America. The home is a 3,700 square foot Victorian home that is noted for quite a number of paranormal occurrences. It is believed that the home was built around 1894 or possibly earlier by Dr. George and Sarah White. At some point between 1899 and 1901 the home was purchased by Dr. John and Jessie Gibbons. The Gibbons adopted children and one of these children, a 10 year old girl named Rachel, is said to have started a fire in the front parlor. Rachel was very badly burned in the fire and two days later she died in her bedroom upstairs. The ghostly apparition of Rachel is said to be among the ghostly visitors of the home. Additionally, a 10 month old infant named Elizabeth is said to have died in the master bedroom of the house. Elizabeth is said to make her presence known from the smell of baby powder and the occasional cry. Mrs. Gibbons is also said to have died in the master bedroom after succumbing to double pneumonia. Mrs. Gibbons too is said to make her presence known to guests in the house by presenting them with labored breathing or by jiggling the door handle to the room. It is also believed that the home saw many of Dr. Gibbons patients pass away due to illness which only contributed to stories of the supernatural.

Among other supernatural experiences of visitors to the Whispers Estate are the smell of baby powder, cigar smoke, antiseptics, rotting flesh and rotten cabbage, the appearance of ghostly children and a large black human-like figure, the sound of disembodied voices, doors opening and closing of their own volition and objects that move on their own (particularly down the stairs.) The home also has four graves and a pit in the backyard which are said to contribute greatly to its haunted atmosphere. So intense are paranormal experiences in the home that those with health conditions and pregnant women are advised to avoid visiting for fear of aggravation of their conditions.

Ghostly Locations Aren’t Just for Those Who Believe in the Paranormal!

Of all of the haunted locations in the United States the ten listed above are considered to be some of the largest hubs of paranormal activity by people from all walks of life. Even those individuals who went in to these locations with doubt in their mind sometimes find that they have their opinions changed by a haunting voice that whispers in their ear or a ghostly child that tugs on their arm. Whether you believe in these spiritual manifestations or not these top ten most haunted places in America are worth the visit regardless if even for a few lessons in American history.

More Spooky Spots

The Travel Channel also has a pretty good list of 10 haunted places and Buzz Feed shared this video that will creep you out!

About The Author:

Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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Anonymous
I agree that Alcatraz should be on this list! I visited there a few years ago and was totally spooked out. Now, there is a new show on TV about it too that stars the guy who used to play Hurley on my favorite show, Lost. It is so creepy that I have actually decided to take a break but it is certainly interesting and keeps the true haunting nature of Alcatraz alive! Great article and makes me want to explore more haunted places and do more ghost tours on vacations. Thanks!