MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN THE USA
1.Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania
The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest in American history, with somewhere around 50,000 young men dying in the three-day conflict. Many of the soldiers never received a proper burial after their untimely deaths, and many believe the souls of these men now wander the field to look for their weapons and comrades.
2. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel's stately Georgian architecture and world-renowned whiskey bar have lured travelers to Estes Park since the hotel opened in 1909. But the Stanley reached new levels of fame after inspiring Stephen King's fictional Overlook Hotel from The Shining. That eerie association aside, many other ghost sightings and mysterious piano music have been connected to the hotel. The Stanley Hotel leans into its reputation quite cleverly, offering nightly ghost tours and psychic consultations from the in-house Madame Vera.
3. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary took solitary confinement to new levels when it was built in 1829. Prisoners lived alone, exercised alone, and ate alone; when an inmate left his cell, a guard would cover his head with a hood so he couldn't see or be seen. The prison had to abandon its solitary system due to overcrowding from 1913 until it closed in 1970, although the forms of punishment did not get any less severe (chaining an inmate's tongue to his wrists is one example). The site—one of the most haunted places in America—now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, both for its museum and annual "Terror Behind the Walls" celebration, which features six haunted attractions within the prison walls for Halloween. Reported paranormal happenings have included disembodied laughter, shadowy figures, and pacing footsteps.
4. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
The Winchester Mystery House might be one the most disturbing construction projects in history. Following the death of her husband and child, Sarah Winchester (the wife of a rifle-maker's son) was informed by a seer that her family was killed by the ghosts of gunshot victims. To keep away the vengeful spirits, she commissioned the Victorian fun house-turned-macabre dwelling that you see today. Some of the creepier features include staircases that lead directly into the ceiling, doors that open onto brick walls, and windows that can take you to secret passages.
5. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum opened its doors to patients in 1864, and in the 1950s, the West Virginia facility reached its peak, housing more than 2,400 patients—even though it was designed to hold only 250. The severe overcrowding led to inhumane conditions (like lack of heat and convalescents kept in cages), and patients started acting increasingly violent, from starting fires to attacking staff members. The asylum finally closed in 1994, but the souls of some patients are said to linger. Ghost tours are available for those wishing to see how some patients lived—and died—within the cramped halls.
6. Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon
Oregonian pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock decided to build their dream house when they reached their golden years, in 1909, spurring the innovative design and construction of the Pittock Mansion. Unfortunately, the couple only got to enjoy their home for a few years before passing away—Georgiana in 1918 and Henry in 1919. The building is now a public landmark where some strange occurrences have been reported, such as the smell of roses (Georgiana's favorite bloom) filling a room with no flowers in it, and a childhood painting of Henry moving, on its own, from spot to spot within the house. Clearly, death was not enough of a reason for the Pittocks to vacate their beloved home.
7. AMITYVILLE HORROR HOUSE, AMITYVILLE, LONG ISLAND
Five people were murdered at the Long Island residence in 1974 and frightening tales about the home continue to spook.
Thirty miles outside of New York City, nestled in the Long Island town of Amityville, stands the house forever linked to the Amityville Horror phenomenon. On November 13, 1974, the estate was the scene of mass murder. Using a .35 Marlin rifle, 23-year-old Ronald J. DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family while they were asleep, which included his parents and four siblings.
Thirteen months later, the Lutz family purchased the home at a drastically reduced price of $80,000 (due to the murders) but only lasted 28 days before leaving it. Their spine-tingling tales of paranormal activity are what propelled the legend of the Amityville Horror and spawned a torrent of books, documentaries and films.
8. BOBBY MACKEY'S MUSIC WORLD, WILDER, KY
Over the years, Bobby Mackey’s Music World has played host to countless real-life horror stories and a string of criminal activity. The site has been the location of death and destruction since the nineteenth century, including illegal lynchings and a bridge collapse killing forty-one men. Illegal gambling and liquor abounded when it later served as the Bluegrass Inn. In more recent years, mafia bosses turned it into a nightclub known as the Latin Quarter.
Beginning with the caretaker who fell under a demonic possession to more recent encounters between patrons and the paranormal, author Dan Smith revives the chilling stories that make it the most haunted nightclub in America.
9. Poinsett Bridge, Greenville, South Carolina
Built entirely out of stone in 1820, the oldest bridge in South Carolina is also one of the state's most haunted spots. The Poinsett Bridge is believed to be frequented by the ghost of a man who died in a car accident there in the 1950s, as well as the ghost of an enslaved person. Another eerie legend tells of a mason who died during the construction and is now entombed inside. Visitors to the site have allegedly experienced everything from floating orbs and lights to disembodied voices.
10. Whaley House, San Diego, California
Thomas Whaley built this family estate in 1857 in San Diego, on the former site of the city's first public gallows. Shortly after he moved in, he reported hearing the heavy footsteps of "Yankee" Jim Robinson, a drifter and thief who was hanged on the site four years before the house was built. Whaley's family history ended up being filled with tragic deaths and suicides, many of which occurred inside the home itself. Some of the family members reportedly still haunt the landmark, often accompanied by cigar smoke and the smell of heavy perfume.