istockphoto / Slavica
These 13 houses might legitimately be haunted, but there are homes, hotels, restaurants, and cemeteries in every single state in the U.S. that definitely are. Of course, there are a few issues when determining which locations are the most haunted. First of all, many people don’t believe in ghosts. If you’re one of them, then consider this a list of the places that are often reported as haunted by visitors, employees, and/or ghost hunters. Whether or not you actually buy into it all, some of these tales are truly creepy.
Second, what does most haunted even mean? To many, it would be akin to asking something such as, “Which creature is most magical: unicorns, fairies, or leprechauns?” For us, as journalists, it basically comes down to the place with the most reports of spooky situations and unexplained happenings. Having a freaky backstory helps, too.
In the end, it’s all about the experience. If you don’t subscribe to the spirit world, you’ll likely still be entertained by the stories of all the scaredy-cats. If you’re looking to contact Casper, these locations are a good place to start.
Please note: Not all of these haunted places are legally accessible to the general public. They may be for private use, or have been closed, or are not safe to enter. We do not encourage any sort of illegal or unsafe activity. So without further ado, here is the most haunted place in every state.
Story by Matt Sulem, Lily Rose, and Taylor Rock.
Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark — the only blast furnace ever turned into a museum — and it’s pretty damn haunted. The 50-acre industrial plant operated from 1882 until 1970, and was notorious for its high number of worker deaths via steam explosions, burns, and falls in underground tunnels. One specific ghost known to haunt the premises is that of James “Slag” Wormwood, a cruel and unpleasant graveyard shift foreman from the early 1900s, who was in charge when a total of 47 crew members lost their lives.
In 1906, Wormwood plummeted into a pool of melted iron ore and died. From that point on, workers felt a strange presence at Sloss, and in 1926, a night watchman was mysteriously pushed from behind and injured. In 1947, three supervisors were found unconscious in a locked boiler room. According to the men, a badly burned worker had approached them just prior to the incident and told them to get back to work. On the night before the plant’s closure in 1971, security guard Samuel Blumenthal was taking one last look around the premises when he stumbled upon a “half man, half demon.” The creature forced him up a set of stairs before beating him. He was found covered in severe burns and died from his injuries.
Several investigative teams have investigated the site in recent years, including Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters,” who brought along classic rocker Meat Loaf. All claim it’s still a hot spot for paranormal activity, and while many might think it’s all an elaborate prank, others are certain it’s the ghost of Wormwood.
The Kiksaadi Club used to be a popular watering hole in southeast Alaska. However, one night, an intoxicated woman was struck and killed on a blind corner outside the bar. It’s not just the fact that she died that makes this haunting especially spooky, but the manner in which it happened. She apparently wandered into traffic, was critically injured after being hit by a truck (driven by a drunken young man), but got up and continued stumbling around, staggering into the road, and screaming and moaning until she finally died from traumatic injuries.
“The Kik” is now a sports bar called Rookies Pub, where patrons have repeatedly reported seeing a ghostly figure in the roads at night, prompting many to pull over and call a cab. She may be spooky, but at least she’s scaring people out of driving drunk. Sometimes in the wee hours of morning, moaning and crying can be heard from the bushes lining the corner where she was struck.
Red Garter Inn/Yelp
The site now occupied by the Red Garter Inn has been host to a number of businesses throughout its existence, including a saloon, a general store, an opium den, and a brothel. Though no murders have been proved to have taken place at the inn, it’s rumored that someone was slaughtered in the stairway. The sheriff was often called to investigate crimes here, only to discover nothing out of the ordinary once he showed up. After a while, the tales became so frequent that the local garbage collector was hired to inspect the property for bodies. He found nothing.
Today, many guests claim to have seen a young girl standing at the top of the stairs. Another suspected ghost, who is described as a Hispanic woman with long dark hair named Eve, can be seen in old photos. In one, she stands in front of a mirror, but she doesn’t seem to have a reflection. Perhaps Eve is to blame for the mysterious slamming of doors and clunking footsteps guests have heard when no one is in sight. Some have even felt their beds shake or someone touching their arms.
Not only is Eureka Springs’ Crescent Hotel a haunted hotel, but an entire website is devoted to it being “America’s Most Haunted Hotel.” It was once a hospital where patients would rarely leave alive due to faulty medical practices, and some of their spirits still linger around the property. Cue “Hotel California”: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!
Common ghost sightings include that of a worker who fell to his death during the initial construction in 1885, a cancer patient who needs help finding his room key, a man in a white suit, a patient in a white nightgown, and even a cat named Morris. The hotel’s ghost tours are so popular that late-night theater performances were suspended during October in favor of additional “Late, Late Ghost Tours.”
Once the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, this Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion was plagued with spirits from the very beginning. As soon as construction commenced in 1884, the property and mansion were claimed by many (including Sarah Winchester herself) to be haunted by the ghosts of her deceased family (both her husband and daughter experienced untimely deaths due to tuberculosis) and those killed with Winchester rifles.
Legend has it that a spirit medium advised Winchester, a Connecticut native, to move west and continuously build a house to appease the angry spirits — directions she followed. The result was a seven-story mansion that workers labored over day and night, haphazardly adding expansions wherever she pleased. There are now 160 rooms (including 40 bedrooms), two ballrooms, 47 fireplaces, more than 10,000 panes of glass, two basements, and three elevators. It is currently open for tours, with tickets starting at $26 per person.
Peggy S. / Yelp
The stately Strater Hotel has been a fixture in Durango, Colorado, since 1893. According to the hotel’s website, the grand brick hotel was a favorite of Western author Louis L’Amour, who said the honky-tonk music from the Diamond Belle Saloon helped him write about the Old West. Other visitors have had different reactions, reporting having seen shadowy apparitions, as well as a transparent lady in white and an old railway engineer wandering through the lobby.
Blogger Lanee Lee, whose Voyage Vixens site named it one of "America’s Most Haunted Hotels," adds that "when we stayed there last winter, I took a picture of my room, and there was a ghostly, blue orb that appeared on the bed’s wooden headboard – and I did NOT have the flash on! Spooky, indeed.” As the Strater's president and CEO, Rod Barker, told a newspaper back in 1999, "We're 112 years old — I guess we're entitled to a few ghost stories."
Ed and Lorraine Warren were real-life paranormal investigators whose experiences inspired the films “The Amityville Horror,” “The Haunted,” “The Haunting in Connecticut,” “The Conjuring,” “The Conjuring 2,” and “Annabelle.” They explored thousands of places, including Union Cemetery in Easton, about which they wrote in the 1992 book “Graveyard: True Hauntings From an Old New England Cemetery.”
Although numerous apparitions have been spotted in this 400-year-old resting place, the most popular is the “White Lady,” who is described as wearing a “diaphanous white nightgown or a wedding dress.” Ed claimed to not only have personally seen the ghost, but also to have filmed it. Rumor has it she likes to appear in the middle of Route 59 and be hit by a car, only for the driver to stop and find no one.
Not only does Fort Delaware have year-round ghost tours — it’s so haunted that people on these tours routinely claim to see ghosts, and a few have even been captured in tourists’ photos. Apparently, most of the spirits belong to dead Confederate soldiers who were once imprisoned at the fort, and who now spend their time creating cold spots, cannon explosion sounds, and disembodied voices.
SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters” once filmed an episode at Fort Delaware, where they caught a thermal image of a person peeking around the corner to look at them. One expert even felt someone tug on his jacket. Many say the dungeons are the most haunted quarters on the premises, but others argue it’s actually the kitchen. It’s alleged that a dead cook has shown up in several Polaroid pictures, but she’s not menacing. She just wants to be noticed.
After the owner of Stranahan House, Frank Stranahan, drowned himself in the river outside his home during the Great Depression, people claimed to see his ghost wandering around the property. Years later, the sister of Frank’s widow also passed away in the house due to bleeding from prematurely giving birth to a stillborn baby.
Six entities are said to haunt the house, including a man named Albert, who passed away in the Stranahan House six months after he caught TB from a prostitute. Now open for public tours, this home gives unique insight into the history and culture of the early 1900s, as well as the chance to spot one of the ghosts, which are often seen moving about, randomly changing temperatures of the rooms, and rearranging objects and furniture.
Savannah, Georgia, is arguably the most haunted town in America, so it’s no surprise that it's home to numerous spooky houses. The Foley House Inn bed and breakfast stands on the very spot where a home was destroyed by the Great Savannah Fire of 1889 and a new one was built in 1896. Legend has it that one night a suspicious boarder attempted to strangle Ms. Foley. Unable to scream, she beat the attacker over the head with a candlestick and inadvertently killed him. In exchange for free rent, a guest disposed of the body.
Years later, Foley confessed to the killing on her deathbed, but never revealed the location of the body, and most people dismissed the claim. However, during a renovation in 1989, human skeletal remains were discovered in the walls and, ever since, guests have reported seeing a man wearing a top hat in the garden at night, hearing strange noises, and feeling sudden rushes of air. Locals refer to the entity as “Wally,” pun intended.
Not only is Hawaii’s Plantation Village apparently legitimately haunted, but each October more than five dozen workers go all out for Halloween by putting on a seriously scary haunted house. The property is so spooky that haunted house actors aren’t even allowed to work by themselves. They must be in pairs.
Even in the off-season, employees and visitors alike have reported apparition sightings, curtains moving and doors unlocking on their own, and the eerie sounds of pots and pans banging. A woman in 1930s clothing has also been seen wandering around the old sugar farm.
Also known as “Old Pen,” this former jail — which operated from 1872 to 1973 — is now the home of numerous entities (likely former inmates) stirring up all kinds of trouble. More than 13,000 felons were locked up here during the century in which it was open., including Raymond Allen Snowden, also known as Idaho’s Jack the Ripper. In October 1956, the convicted murderer was sentenced to death and hanged.
Visitors have reported feeling touches, sudden emotions of dread or despair, hearing whispers in the hallways, and seeing unexplainable flashing lights. The Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures” team investigated Old Pen a few years ago, and not only did they hear mysterious bangs and voices, but they also photographed what appeared to be a male apparition. Many attest its identity is Snowden, who has haunted the grounds ever since that fateful fall day.
Hull House was made famous by Jane Addams, who opened it as a settlement house for European immigrants arriving to the U.S. Many ghosts are said to haunt the house, including that of Charles Hull’s wife and the numerous people who died there throughout the years. The most fantastical legend told is that of a father who said he would rather have Satan in his house than a picture of the Virgin Mary. Shortly after, his child was born with pointed ears, horns, scaly skin, and a tail. The baby's mother dropped him at Hull House where Addams tried to baptize him before ultimately locking him in the attic.
Addams herself spoke of one of the front bedrooms being haunted, saying she and a friend once saw a “woman in white” there, an entity that was later seen by a group of girls using the room as a dressing room for the adjacent theater.
The story of the “Blue Lady” precedes even the Story Inn's current owner. Accounts of seeing the ghost in the former Garden Room (now the Blue Lady Room) have been written in guest books for years, noting that if the room's blue light is turned on, a woman (thought to be Dr. George Story's wife) will appear with hypnotic blue eyes. If you smell cherry tobacco, she's already come and gone. The Inn is now a bed and breakfast, so don’t just take our word for it — go see for yourself.
On the evening of June 9, 1912, six members of the Moore family and two houseguests were brutally bludgeoned to death with an ax at the Moore residence in southwestern Iowa. A lengthy investigation yielded numerous suspects, but no one was ever convicted of the crimes. Since there was no closure, the ghosts of the eight victims still reportedly haunt the grounds.
Don’t believe it? Visit the house yourself and see. As the website states, “For history buffs, the faint-of-heart, schools, or clubs, the Villisca Axe Murder House is open for daytime tours.” However, to truly experience it, guests are invited to bring their sleeping bags and pillows and spend the night inside.
Not only is Stull Cemetery supposedly haunted, but some say it’s actually a gateway to hell. It was allegedly the site of numerous witch and occult meetings and ceremonies, and Satan himself reportedly visits the location on occasion, causing buildings to mysteriously catch fire and noises to appear on tape recorders, among other incidents.
The cemetery is so notorious that numerous movie plots have been based on its legends, including “Sin-Jin Smyth,” “Nothing Left to Fear,” and “Turbulence 3.” It was also the setting for an episode of “Supernatural.” Because of all the attention, the remote burial site requires round-the-clock observation, and after numerous headstones were tipped over (hopefully accidentally) by ghost-hunting guests, the local police have imposed a $1,000 fine on unauthorized visitors.
When a haunted location has been featured on “Ghost Hunters,” “Scariest Places on Earth,” “Fact or Fakes,” “Celebrity Paranormal Project,” “Creepy,” “Most Haunted,” “Paranormal Challenge,” “Supernatural,” and “Ghost Adventures,” you know there’s something special there. Plus, it’s practically a rule of nature that old abandoned hospitals need to be haunted — especially when thousands of people were said to have died there (including at least 152 in a single year).
That would certainly explain the flickering lights, shadowy forms, and other odd incidents. The sanatorium — which opened in 1910 to combat the tuberculosis epidemic — even has a so-called Death Tunnel that was used to transport all the deceased patients, doctors, nurses, and staff members.
This antebellum plantation was established around 1796, and was apparently built on an ancient Tunica Indian burial ground. Numerous mysterious illnesses, poisonings, and murders have reportedly occurred at the house — including that of William Drew Winter, an attorney who lived at the house from 1865 to 1871. After he was shot by a stranger, he staggered into the house and died trying to climb the stairs. Visitors and employees say they often hear his dying footsteps.
Another of its most famous legends concerns “Chloe,” a slave girl from the early 19th century whose image was “captured” in a photograph in 1992. Additionally, guests have woken up completely tucked into their beds, furniture has moved on its own, a grand piano has played by itself, and handprints have inexplicably appeared in various places.
In the 1950s, a newly married couple veered off the road near the green bridge on Route 11/Brownville Road in Millinocket, similar to the one pictured, and their car went down an embankment. The man went for help and when he returned, his wife was nowhere to be found. She has since been spotted in ghostly form walking along the road, and has been dubbed the “White Lady.”
Some claim to have seen her standing in the middle of the bridge, and she’s even reportedly shown up in people’s passenger seats. Others who have exited their vehicles to explore the wreck site say they found handprints all over the windshield upon return. The White Lady’s physical remains have never been found.
Hundreds of visitors to this historic battlefield have reported seeing both Union and Confederate soldiers, in uniform, wandering the grounds as if they are lost. Sure, they could simply be Civil War re-enactors who stayed out at the local tavern for too long and forgot the way home, or they could be the ghosts of the more than 23,000 casualties at this site back in 1862.
The spookiest part of the property is called Bloody Lane, where approximately 5,500 men were killed or wounded, then stacked on top of one another in a sunken road. Here, visitors also report hearing distant cannons, gunfire, and chants of “fa-la-la-la-la,” as in “Deck the Halls.” If you plan to visit, past ghost hunters have recommended dawn and dusk as the prime times.
“Lizzie Borden took an ax / And gave her mother forty whacks / And when she saw what she had done / She gave her father forty-one.” You probably know the story, but did you know you can actually stay in Lizzie’s house, and sleep in the room where her parents were murdered? (Don’t worry, the sheets have been washed.) The B&B can be rented by the room, by the floor, or even the entire house. Oh, and by the way, there have been numerous reports of apparition sightings, cold spots, and even screams, cries, and the sound of Lizzie laughing — so sleep tight.
Mackinac Island should basically be called “Ghost Island,” because the whole place is apparently crawling with apparitions, cold spots, and strange events. Specific locations known to be haunted include the Grand Hotel (which was built upon an old military cemetery and has seen countless unexplainable incidents), Mission Point Resort (formerly Mackinac College, which was only open for four years and was allegedly the site of a suicide by a heartbroken lover), Fort Mackinac (once visited by Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters”), and the so-called Drowning Pool.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll be interested to know that U.S. Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Ford, [George H.W.] Bush, and Clinton have all stayed at the Grand Hotel, which was also the location of Thomas Edison’s first public phonograph demonstration.
The Palmer House Hotel is so haunted that not only did the building receive a visit from the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures,” but the owner actually advises guests to be kind to all others on the premises — living or dead.
Among the spiritual sightings, guests in Room 17 have been haunted by a prostitute named Lucy who worked in the Sauk Centre House brothel before it burned down in 1990, and she is especially agitated around men. During a recent stay, a Chicago ghost-hunting group allegedly recorded a temperature of -1 degree Fahrenheit in the room. Another common complaint involves the noise coming from people renting rooms on the floor above some guests. Oddly, this issue is only raised by those staying on the top floor.
King’s Tavern has existed in its current form since 1789, when Richard King bought the building only two decades after it was first constructed. Shortly after, he hired a 16-year-old girl named Madeline to be a server, and he had an affair with her. When Mrs. King found out about her husband’s infidelities, she had the young girl killed. The story is sometimes dismissed as fiction, but how else can you explain the three mummified bodies discovered in the main room’s chimney/fireplace in the 1930s?
Perhaps they were victims of the Harpe brothers, America’s first serial killers, who often drank at the tavern and supposedly killed between 39 and 50 people — possibly including some at the tavern itself! These events may have sparked the hauntings, which are responsible for shadowy forms, heat emitting from the fireplace when no flame was lit, mysterious footprints appearing inside, randomly slamming doors (sometimes when Madeline is mentioned), crying baby noises, and countless other mysterious happenings.
After the untimely death of his son, Frederick, due to heart failure in 1901, and the passing of his best friend (also named Frederick, and the owner of the Pabst Brewing Company) in 1904, the namesake of the William J. Lemp Brewing Co. shot himself to death in his home on February 13, 1904. In the next few decades, three of his children would die in the same way. Daughter Elsa killed herself in her own home in 1920, and William J. Lemp Jr. (in 1922) and Charles Lemp (in 1949) both did so inside the house.
According to local legend, the mansion is still haunted to this day and was even featured in a Life magazine list of America’s most haunted houses way back in 1980. One spirit, nicknamed “the monkey-faced boy,” is said to be the ghost of William’s illegitimate son, Zeke, who was born with Down syndrome and hidden away in the attic. Today, the house is a restaurant, mystery dinner theater, bar, inn, gift shop, and museum.
A ghost town full of ghosts? Makes sense to us, especially when the original town (founded in 1863) was infamous for a lack of law enforcement or a justice system, and consequently had a high rate of robberies and murders along the region’s trails.
Around town, numerous entities are said to hang at the local saloon, a little girl ghost is known to sit on the steps of a costume shop, a piano-playing apparition haunts the opera house, and the Bonanza Inn (once a hospital) is home to the spirit of a nun. If you want to learn more about hauntings and history, take the local ghost tour.
Just your typical haunted cemetery here. You know the deal: the ghost of a tall male who walks around in the middle of the night attacking and strangling visitors, unexplainable bruises appearing randomly after visits, the faint voice of a woman followed by maniacal laughter, strange ectoplasm mists appearing in photographs, and headstones tipping over and rising back up on their own.
Adding to the frights, the very-much-alive, shotgun-toting next-door neighbors guard the cemetery at night, so you might want to pass on visiting this one without permission.
While some hotel owners embrace their ghost stories, the Goldfield Hotel tries to persuade guests not to believe them. The most famous tale involves a pregnant woman who was chained to a radiator in Room 109 by the child’s father until it was born. As the legend goes, both mother and daughter were killed after the birth. This tale has generally been dismissed, but there’s at least one confirmed suicide that took place on the property (porter J.B. Findly in 1915) and one stabbing that was blamed on a local ghost.
Among others, the hotel has been featured on “The World’s Scariest Places,” “Ghost Hunters,” “Dead Famous,” “The Scariest Places on Earth,” and “Ghost Adventures,” which has visited at least four times.
Omni Mount Washington Resort/Yelp
Omni Mount Washington Resort hosts the ghost of Caroline Foster, the wife of railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney, the resort’s builder. The elegant woman in Victorian dress is often spotted in the hallways of the hotel, but perhaps the most common sighting of the beloved Caroline is in Room 314, where guests report seeing the vision of the woman sitting at the edge of the bed. Don’t believe all the hype?
According to this Trip Advisor review from a guest who stayed in Room 314, the fireplace turned on by itself, the lamp flickered often, and her daughter’s plush monkey went missing only to show up in the center of the floor later in the day. After the housekeeper tidied the room the next morning — brought new towels, put away the ironing board, and made the bed — the guest noticed an imprint in the sheets and cover as if someone had lain down to take a nap.
Originally opened as the New Jersey State Lunatic Asylum at Morris Plains in 1877, the 1,000-acre property once held more than 7,000 patients and has been known as one of the most haunted places in the state for quite a while. The alleged torture, maltreatment, and abuse inflicted upon former patients has been avenged via countless ghostly apparition sightings (including that of a young girl in a pink dress), a greenish light for which the source could not be identified, and all kinds of other eerie occurrences that have repeatedly made visitors’ skin crawl.
The hospital even inspired a 2012 horror film, “Greystone Park.” After existing for almost 140 years, it was demolished, and a new facility has been built on the property. However, as any good ghost hunter knows (and some have already confirmed), this won’t get rid of any of the entities within.
La Posada de Santa Fe, A Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa/Yelp
La Posada de Santa Fe resort dates to 1882, when a Santa Fe Trail merchant, Abraham Staab, built it as a three-story Victorian mansion for his family. Staab and his wife, Julia, had six children. A seventh died soon after his birth. This sent Julia into a deep depression, and after several other unsuccessful pregnancies, she confined herself to her room until she ultimately died in 1896 at the age of 52. Her presence continued to live on in the property.
Today, the Staab House at La Posada de Santa Fe retains its original structure and is home to a cozy bar and Suite 100, which used to be Julia’s bedroom. To honor her, the hotel staff makes sure to invite her to parties held in the house and greet her when they enter her bedroom.
Ever see “The Amityville Horror”? If so, then you’re probably familiar with the fact that the film’s story was based on a real haunted house in Long Island, New York. (Well, actually it’s based on a book by the same name — but that is based on the actual house.) On Nov. 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six members of his family in their Ocean Avenue home. A year later, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the house and claimed to have been terrorized by paranormal phenomena the entire time they lived there.
A priest heard “Get out!” when he arrived to bless the house (he later allegedly experienced a fever and stigmata on his hands); the house was constantly plagued with flies even though it was wintertime; a mysterious red room was discovered behind shelving in the basement; cold spots and odors appeared where no wind drafts or piping existed; green slime oozed from the walls; a crucifix revolved on the wall until it turned upside-down; there were numerous sightings of demonic pigs and other figures; George saw Kathy suddenly transform into an old woman of 90; and all sorts of door slams, banging noises, windows opening and closing, and mysterious music from unknown sources terrorized the Lutz family. They lasted 28 days before moving out.
The Grove Park Inn has had a ghost roaming its halls for more than half a century, and she is referred to as the Pink Lady because of the flowing pink gown she wears. It is believed that this young woman was a guest in Room 545 in the 1920s and that she either jumped or was pushed to her death in the Main Inn’s Palm Court, five floors below. She is reportedly still seen on the property, especially by young children. Some say they just see a pink mist, others a full apparition of a young, long-haired beauty in a pink gown.
CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson/Yelp
Before it was CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson, the hospital was St. Joseph's Hospital. We’re wondering if the workers at St. Joseph’s are fazed by the morgue’s elevator operating on its own, the disembodied voices and moaning heard in the cafeteria, the call buttons going off in unoccupied rooms, and the sounds of running footsteps in the basement.
One former employee tells the tale of a 75-year-old farmer who checked into the hospital with a serious illness. After his third night there, he emerged from his room and told the nurse he had enough and was leaving. She said goodbye and let him walk out the door. About 10 minutes later, a different nurse who had been making rounds announced that the farmer had just died — in his hospital bed.
From its conception in 1886, this place had a bad reputation — and not just because it housed criminals. Several violent occurrences took place here, including the execution-style murders of the prison’s superintendent and his family by two former inmates, and the death of two guards during escape attempts. In all, more than 200 people died at the reformatory before it closed in 1990. The ghosts of Warden Glattke and his wife (who died on the grounds from natural and accidental causes, respectively), a 14-year-old former inmate who was beaten to death, and other various inmates and employees still haunt the location.
In addition to being the famous setting for films such as “The Shawshank Redemption” and numerous music videos, the Ohio State Reformatory was also featured on “Scariest Stories on Earth,” “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Hunters Academy,” and “Ghost Asylum” for its alleged hauntings.
The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City/Yelp
Like many hauntings, this one also started with a scandal. William Balser Skirvin, the original owner, impregnated his maid mistress (named Effie) sometime in the early 1930s, and kept her on the top floor of the building to hide her pregnancy. Even after the baby was born, both were imprisoned on the top floor and never allowed to leave.
According to the legend, Effie became so distraught and stir-crazy that she leapt from the highest point of the hotel with the baby in her arms. Guests and employees alike have since heard the phantom cries of a baby and seen a nude female apparition in the hotel, with the former being so loud that some guests report losing sleep.
The popular legend surrounding this cemetery states that a witch was hanged here in the 1800s and she placed a curse on the town before her execution — saying it shall burn to the ground three times. Thankfully, there’s no record of this witch, but a man was hanged around the same time for murder. According to one story, his mother was a gypsy, and she apparently was the one who cursed the town. The curse couldn’t have been too legitimate, as the town has reportedly only burned down twice.
Still, so many people have claimed to see the old woman’s ghost throughout the years that the story continues to live on — especially when numerous people say they were physically attacked while being chased. Some of these folks even emerged with razor-like scratches on their backs. The stories became so prevalent that the cemetery was eventually closed for good, and a no-trespassing sign was added. However, it appears ghosts can’t read…
Established in 1810, this bed and breakfast is steeped in Civil War history. When it housed Confederate soldiers during the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, one of them accidentally shot Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade, a 20-year-old civilian, whose spirit is now said to haunt the place.
Take advantage of ghost stories in the cellar, ghost walks in the cemetery, and even a ghost hunt with professional equipment in order to see if the stories are true. The inn also offers an outdoor beer garden for guests — probably to help them forget their fears and get some sleep at night.
The most unique aspect of this ghost story is that the scares have existed for almost 125 years, and the biggest panic took place all the way back in 1892. The tale began with the Brown family, which suffered numerous losses due to tuberculosis. The first to die was the mother, Mary, then the eldest daughter, Mary Olive, followed by another daughter, Mercy. The son, Edwin, got sick shortly afterward as well. Since there were so many deaths in a single family (and a whole lot of medical misinformation at the time), the town was thrown into a state of hysteria, believing one of the dead members was a vampire.
The bodies of the deceased Browns were then exhumed and found to be decomposing at the expected rate — except for that of Mercy, whose body was still in a relatively unchanged condition. Mercy’s heart was removed and her body was burned, with some ashes mixed with water and given to the ill Edwin to drink in an attempt to save his life via wacky superstition. Not only did he die two months later, but the ghost of the desecrated Mercy has haunted the Chestnut Hill cemetery ever since. Countless visitors have reported hearing crying and seeing odd lights around Mercy’s grave, and many have felt a presence nearby, in addition to a host of other unexplainable phenomena.
The cemetery is open to the public from dawn to dusk, but that doesn’t mean we’d recommend visiting the young girl’s grave, knocking on it three times, and asking, “Mercy L. Brown, are you a vampire?”
Infamous Southern plantations and Civil War battlefields contribute to a lot of Charleston’s history and help explain why it’s considered one of America’s most haunted cities, and the old Charleston jail is one of the most haunted locations in the area. It’s been featured on “Ghost Adventures” and numerous other TV shows and is along the route of most ghost tours.
One of its supposed resident ghosts is Lavinia Fisher, who was executed in 1820 after being charged with highway robbery. Fisher claimed she would haunt the area, and people still attribute paranormal phenomena in the area to her.
The Hotel Alex Johnson has had much more than its fair share of ghost sightings in its 88 years. Employees and guests alike have reported furniture moving on its own, flickering lights, and the apparition of a lady in white, and one worker even claims a chair was thrown down the stairwell at him from the eighth floor when no one was up there. No one except for the ghost of a woman who leapt (or was pushed) to her death from the top floor in the 1930s, that is. The occurrences have been so strange and scary that several employees have reportedly quit as a result.
Fun fact: The hotel (formerly known as the Sheraton-Johnson Hotel) was mentioned numerous times in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest,” and the director, Cary Grant, and Eva Marie Saint briefly stayed there during filming.
With all the death and tragedy that has occurred at the Wheatland Plantation, we’d be surprised if it wasn’t haunted. The home that currently stands in Servierville, Tennessee, is the second structure to be built on the site, as the first burned to the ground just after Christmas in 1825 with four young children inside.
There’s also a burial ground underneath the property, which allegedly holds the bones of 28 Cherokees, at least 68 African slaves, and two Revolutionary War soldiers. That might explain the chanting and singing that ghost hunters often report and have even recorded. That, along with the blood smears still visible on the walls (from one of 70 murders to take place in the house), should make for a frightening visit.
Originally built in 1929, the Baker Hotel has been the setting for numerous deaths, hauntings, and even a 2012 episode of “Ghost Adventures.” Legend has it that the joint is haunted by the ghost of a bellboy who was sliced in half by the basement elevator, as well as the mistress of the hotel’s founder, who supposedly jumped from the top floor to her death.
The existence of these supposedly real people has yet to be confirmed, but here’s one true story that marred the history of the hotel. Earl Baker (nephew of the original owner) vowed to shutter the struggling hotel in 1963 and fulfilled his promise. However, it was reopened by local investors in 1965. The spirits must have disagreed with Baker’s decision to lease the property, as he died of a sudden heart attack in 1967 in the hotel’s Baker Suite. The building closed in 1972. Ghost hunters might be in luck, however, as there are currently plans to reopen the long-shuttered Baker soon.
Although this former depot of the Denver Rio Grande and Western Railroad no longer serves its former function, it has been restored in order to house the state history offices, the Utah Research Center, the Rio Gallery, the Rio Grande Café, and the same ghosts that have been there for decades.
One apparently belongs to a beautiful, dark-haired woman who was run over by a train while attempting to rescue a wedding ring her husband threw onto the tracks. She is often seen in the ladies’ room and in the aforementioned café. Most of the action takes place at night, though, when security guards have heard loud noises, disembodied footsteps, and heavy breathing, and have seen flashing lights and shadowy apparitions in the cellar and on the first floor.
The Eddy House is located on a small, rural farm outside Chittendon, Vermont, a town surrounding the serene Chittendon Reservoir. Ghostly apparitions have been seen here since it was first built back in 1874, originally as the home of Zepaniah Eddy. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the two of Eddy’s three young children (brothers William and Horatio) claimed to be mediums from an early age, as they were descended from a long line of psychics. After a traumatic childhood, during which the brothers were beaten by their father and suffered abuse on the sideshow circuit, the duo returned home and converted their old house into the Green Tavern and Inn, where they held séances.
Despite the attempts of attorney Henry Steel Olcott to debunk the claims and events that took place there, some of which he actually witnessed, he had no luck. Eventually, Olcott wrote “People From Other Worlds” to authenticate the Eddys. Although some people have since claimed to have figured out some of the brothers’ tricks, many people still believe the Eddy house is scary enough to make Eddie Munster shiver.
Built in 1766, The Homestead is one of the oldest resorts in America. As the story goes, in the early 1900s, a woman was set to be married there — but on the day of her wedding, her husband-to-be ran out and never returned. The bride became so distraught that she took her own life. Now her spirit supposedly roams the 14th floor of the resort asking guests and staff for the time, with hopes that her groom will return.
Built in 1900, this saloon (and possible former bordello) has been haunted nearly the entire time by the ghost of a policeman named Henry who was stabbed to death there while trying to break up a fight. He’s reportedly fond of the ladies, creepily hanging out in the restroom or on the basement stairs waiting to pinch passing women. Upstairs (now offices), an apparition of a man in a bowler hat and two females (thought to be Kathleen and Amelia, a former bordello owner and worker, respectively) are often seen here, not surprising considering Amelia was mysteriously found dead in an upstairs closet a long time ago.
The Washington State Ghost Society has been investigating this location intermittently for the last decade and has encountered all sorts of frightening disembodied voices and ghostly figures, some of which were even recorded on audio tapes and captured in photos.
The Octagon House is one of the oldest buildings in the country’s capital, and it’s also one of the most haunted. It was built between 1798 and 1800 by Virginia’s richest plantation owner, John Tayloe, at the suggestion of George Washington. President Madison and his wife, Dolley, used it as his temporary quarters after the White House burned in the War of 1812. It’s where he signed the Treaty of Ghent.
In 1855, after Mrs. Tayloe died, the mansion became a school for girls. Then, in 1899, it was made into a historical museum. Shortly after, curators began to experience the unexplainable: doors wide open after they’d just been locked, lights on after they’d been switched off, footsteps, and voices. Other recorded incidents include a carpet flinging itself backward, chandeliers swinging, pounding on the walls, and the jangling of servants’ bells. People often feel as if someone is standing behind them when there’s no one around.
Hospitals, asylums, and important war sites are all hotbeds for haunted happenings, so it’s no surprise that this former mental hospital and Union soldier camp has had its share of scary situations. The institution closed in 1994, but people’s curiosity about the tales of mysterious slamming doors, shadowy figures, and bloodcurdling screams have kept it open year-round thanks to a large demand for haunted tours.
The spirits allegedly belong to the former patients, who were likely ticked off about being committed for ridiculous reasons such as laziness, religious enthusiasm, women trouble, superstition, and birth control.
We’ve mentioned a few famous folks who have visited some of the haunted spots on this list, but we don’t actually have any accounts from celebrities… until now. The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee is known to haunt a certain type of star: MLB players. Numerous names in baseball have reported happenings at this hotel, including Bryce Harper (whose table moved while he was sleeping), Adrian Beltre (who reported knocking and pounding noises and a TV and AC that randomly turned on and off), Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval (who both left the hotel after ghost encounters), Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez, Josh Johnson, Dan Meyers, Chris Volstad, Brendan Ryan, Mike Cameron, Ji-Man Choi, and Michael Young.
Not that it matters to these guys, but apparently the ghost belongs to former owner Charles Pfister, who’s probably mad that Texas Rangers pitcher Doug Fister spells his name without a “P.”
This former saloon, hotel, and bordello dates back to the 1800s and is haunted by the daughter of a prostitute who passed away on the inn’s top floor. She taps shoulders and moves furniture, and has been described as having long dark hair and wearing a white dress. Strange lights, odd voices, and ghostly laughter have also been reported by guests.
If you’ve never heard of these under-the-radar spooky sites before, you’ll be surprised to find out some of the most frightening places have been right in front of you this entire time. We bet you didn’t know these famous places are haunted.
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