Where to Spot a Ghost in Every State
Boo woo-hoo! It’s the most wonderful time of year…for ghost hunters and enthusiasts of the eerie and inexplicable. So grab your flashlights, microphones, EMF meters, and a full tank of courage and head out to find glowing orbs, sinister mists, menacing moppets and mobsters, disembodied voices, crying women in white, and frightening footprints at these haunted sites in every state of the union.
Hawaii: ‘Iolani Palace
Some members of the Hawaiian monarchy have found their forever home in their former Honolulu palace. Although officials at the National Historic Landmark won’t confirm or comment on ghost stories, Lopaka Kapanui, owner of Mysteries of Hawai’i, remains open to the possibility of the paranormal and puts ‘Iolani on his Oahu Chicken Skin tours given how many sources have approached him with unexplained phenomenon. Security guards have seen Queen Lili’uokalani roaming the grounds at 5:30 a.m. on more than one occasion. They also report hearing the piano playing in the Blue Room. Customers with royal bloodlines to Kalakaua and Kapi’olani claim to hear Hawaiian music and chanting when they enter the upstairs bedroom where the last queen was imprisoned for almost eight months following her overthrow. Kapanui told Honolulu Magazine he’s even had his own sighting. In 2006, his tour stopped by the King Kamehameha statue across the street and he saw a female silhouette staring from the aforementioned bedroom although he is the first to admit it might have been a trick of the light. Some people believe the towering banyan trees planted by Queen Kapi’olani in the 1880s are the final resting place for the souls of natives who had no family to care for them.
Idaho: Old Idaho Penitentiary
Visit the solitary confinement block nicknamed Siberia, cells and the gallows for possible run-ins with former bad guys who were locked up at this Boise big house. According to the public relations department, it opened in1872 and held some of the West’s worst offenders including Raymond Snowden, who was convicted of murdering Cora Dean in 1956 by slashing her throat, severing her spinal cord, and stabbing her 30 times. He was the last man executed at O.I.P. According to Urban Legends Online, his neck did not snap and thus he gurgled and gasped for 15 minutes. Some swear he can still be heard struggling to find his breath at No. 5 House. Visitors, docents, and investigators have captured strange images on camera like Fox News 12 reporter Dan Hamilton whose photo shows an orb floating above his head, gotten the heebie-jeebies, or heard voices, footsteps, and tapping.
Illinois: The Blackstone
An illegal immigrant has taken up residence in this Chicago hotel that opened in 1910. It is believed that this foreign fright came over with the English Room. Part of an old English castle, it was dismantled, shipped, and rebuilt inside The Blackstone for use as a meeting and event space. He is polite, however, according to hotel staff, he only comes out at night and doesn’t disrupt presentations. There have also been reports that namesake Timothy Blackstone’s wife pops into the administration office and makes herself known by typing on keyboards.
Indiana: Roads Hotel
The 1893 hotel turned boarding house turned speakeasy and brothel in the tiny town of Atlanta claims that “many people have traveled through this area while going from Chicago to Indianapolis; some stopped to spend the night [like bank robber John Dillinger], some never left.” Witnesses have reported weird shadows, apparitions of all ages, source-less voices, doors slamming by themselves, and lights turning on and off by themselves. Although Roads no longer functions as public accommodations, the brave of heart can join a public paranormal investigation or book it for private parties as it is now owned and operated as a fundraising mechanism for the Lost Limbs Foundation. Hold a séance in the very creepy doll room or book an overnight Halloween stay and see how many of your friends make it until morning.
Iowa: Coe College
Helen Roberts’ life was tragically cut short, which might explain why she has stuck around to haunt the Voorhees Hall halls on the Coe campus in Center Rapids. According to a story on station 98.1 KHAK‘s site, the co-ed was only two weeks into her freshman year when the Spanish Flu epidemic swept through the dorms in 1918 and Roberts took ill. She was moved from her second-floor quarters in Voorhees Hall to the infirmary on the third floor of the same building, which is where she met her untimely end. Her parents donated a large grandfather clock to the school in her honor and that is where the Des Moines Register says she is believed to hang out in when she is not pulling covers off beds, appearing in students’ dorm rooms, throwing clothes around, and knocking pictures off walls. The clinic where she died was remodeled into more dorm rooms years ago and the student living in her room in 2017 told the radio station that the aforementioned irregularities have happened to her and that they coincide with the sound of glass shattering on the floor even though the entire level is carpeted.
Kansas: Fort Leavenworth
Established in 1827, Leavenworth is the third-oldest active military installation in America. In that time, the “post that opened the west” has seen quite a bit of paranormal action given that it was at the center of exploration and westward expansion and deadly conflicts with Native American tribes as well as the home of the Buffalo Soldiers, the Army’s senior tactical college, a national cemetery established by President Abraham Lincoln, and a military jail called The Castle. According to HauntedHouses.com, residents of the Rookery, the oldest surviving building on base, have awoken to see of an old woman, a bushy-haired man, and an angry young girl. Father Fred, who burnt to death inside St. Ignatius Chapel, makes occasional appearances inside the fireplace and kitchen of the house built on the church site. Other ghosts peeped at Leavenworth include some who like to hold tea parties in the parlor of the chief of staff’s quarters, a mustachioed man mid-shave, one that plays harmonica, and a few who ride horses through the old barracks.
Kentucky: Bobby Mackey’s Music World
Many unsuspecting party animals hit Bobby Mackey’s Music World in northwestern Kentucky, but have no idea they are dancing and drinking atop land with a very dark past. In 1850, a large slaughterhouse with an overflowing well of blood and guts was constructed. According to the Travel Channel, some researchers believe the site and the well were hotbeds of cult activity and animal sacrifices after the business closed in the 1890s. In 1896, pregnant Pearl Bryan’s headless corpse was found in a field less than two miles away, where it had been dumped by her boyfriend and his roommate after they botched an attempted abortion. Her head was never found. While in the gallows waiting to be executed, his pal threatened to haunt the area forever. Decades later, after the country singer bought the club, his wife claims to have been overcome by the scent of roses, grabbed by the waist, picked up, and pushed down the stairs by a force that resembled the roomie. She now refuses to set foot in there. The slaughterhouse was eventually razed and the new building has been some variation of casino and nightclub ever since. In the 1950s, the daughter of the Latin Quarter’s owner got knocked up and planned to run away with a young singer. After her father forbade the relationship, Johanna, who favored rose perfume, poisoned him and killed herself in the basement. Bobby Mackey, who some speculate was Johanna’s beau, took over in 1978 and turned it into a music hall and tavern. Paranormal phenomena are rampant. One example: a caretaker that lived in the apartment upstairs thought he was possessed by demons and an exorcism was performed there. Another is a patron who felt suffocating heat and a flying trash can in the men’s restroom.
Louisiana: Marie Laveau’s House and Tomb
New Orleans’ most famous voodoo priestess Marie Laveau is potentially still casting curses despite passing away in 1881. She is still spotted wearing her trademark headdress around the site of her adobe cottage at 152 Rue St. Ann and around Bayou St. John when the voodoo holy day St. John’s Eve approaches. The original house was torn down in 1903, but the new home was built on the same foundation thus leading some people to believe her energy seeped into the new structure. Now a vacation rental, the guestbook could be filled with accounts of chanting and drumming, single feathers appearing out of nowhere (that was one of her signature hexes), shadowy entities in corners, and being unable to get out of the bed, according to the National Paranormal Society. Her tomb at St. Louis Cemetery is also said to be paranormally powered and despite being against the law, people still scratch an X into the slabs and ask for her help. During the Depression, a homeless man fell asleep in St. Louis. He awoke to drums and chanting and when he followed the noise, he found himself at her tomb staring at Marie holding her pet snake Zombi as naked male and female ghosts danced around.
Maine: Colonial Pemaquid
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Given that this plot of seaside land in Bristol had been home to Native Americans for at least 1,000 years before the English moved in and made it a site of an early outpost and fishing station. Many believe that kind of displacement could cause spiritual scarring and might explain why visitors and staff have reported seeing what they believe is Chief Taukolexis as a white glow near the front of Fort William Henry. He was hanged to death near the stronghold in 1696 and sometimes appears in the tree according to HauntedPlaces.org. The area also suffered pirate attacks, devastating storms, and some fatal shipwrecks. A burial ground with gravestones that date back to the early 1700s could also contain some answers. These are the kind of tales you’d expect from the home state of gruesome genius Stephen King. These are the 35 scariest movies of all time.
Maryland: The Horse You Came In On Saloon
According to Visit Baltimore, the master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe is still an important man about town despite dying in Charm City back in October 1849. Visit Baltimore reports The Horse You Came In On Saloon, the only Maryland bar to exist before, during, and after prohibition and a favorite watering hole of Poe’s, was the last place he whetted his whistle before shuffling off his mortal coil. He was found on the streets nearby, delirious and wearing an outfit that didn’t belong to him. Bar employees believe that the writer still pops in from time to time and makes the chandelier swing and the cash register drawer pop open. Phantom Poe has also made a house call at his casa, now a museum, and at his grave at Westminster Hall where fans routinely leave flasks of Cognac, coins, and flowers for him.