Where to Spot a Ghost in Every State
Prepare yourselves for some spooky sightings across the country.
Boo! 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. Pair these ghost sightings with the spookiest urban legend in every state.
Alabama: Sloss Furnaces
Talk about a bad boss. Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces, which operated between 1882 and 1970, was once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world and therefore made the city a major player in the industrial revolution. But the high demand for steel in the early 1900s came at a steep price. Graveyard shift foreman James “Slag” Wormwood forced his hundred workers to take dangerous risks in hopes of increasing production. Over his tenure, 47 of his subordinates died on site and numerous others were involved in terrible accidents including six who lost their sight in an explosion. Allegedly, the workers, tired of the mistreatment, tossed him into the furnace in October 1906. Since then, workers reported feeling an unnatural presence at the furnaces, being pushed from behind, seeing a burning man yelling to “push more steel,” and being told to “get back to work” by a disembodied voice. Three supervisors were found unconscious and locked in a boiler room. Al.com reports that more than 100 complaints of suspected paranormal activity at these pipes and stoves have been filed with local police. It’s a national historic landmark by day and by night in October, it’s transformed into an immersive fright night experience that heavily references the Slag story. If you’re lucky (or would that be unlucky?), the real fiery foreman phantasm might make an appearance. Just like ghosts, many Americans feel trapped between worlds. See how to become a ghost hunter according to paranormal investigators.
Alaska: Dimond Center Mall
Alaska’s largest indoor mall opened in 1977 amid rumors that it was built on top of an ancient Native American burial ground. The Ghost Watch reports that workers dug up a few graves during construction and continued the project. Ever since those disturbed souls seem to haunt the Anchorage shopping complex. Several customers claim to have seen spirits in traditional garb and wolf apparitions roaming the halls and in the public bathroom. Shoppers have gotten pinched and hissed at in their ear when no one is near. Don’t miss these famous ghost stories with totally logical explanations.
Arizona: Rosson House
With its turrets and wrought iron details, this brick-clad 1895 Victorian house in downtown Phoenix is the kind of place you assume will go bump in the night (maybe because it bears a resemblance to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride). It has been a museum for years but supernatural stories persist including doors locking on their own, heat coming off cold unused fireplaces, and footsteps coming down the stairs. One explanation for the footsteps is that they belong to the home’s caretaker in the 1980s who is rumored to have been shot and killed just outside the manse. One museum visitor recalls his creepy encounter when taking the tour in 2013 on AzHauntedHouses.com: “I was looking down the hall when suddenly a black shadow fled down the servant stairwell. I barely had time to follow it with my eyes before it disappeared; it was so quick. It left me jaw hanging in disbelief.” Here are some of the best haunted houses in America.
Arkansas: 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, perched on the Ozark mountainside above the Victorian village of Eureka Springs, claims on its website that it has almost as many ghosts as it has rooms. There’s Michael the Irish stonemason who fell to his death during construction in 1885 and Morris the Cat. Theodora is a cancer patient constantly looking for her key while a mystery patient in a white nightgown often appears at the foot of luxury suite beds. For a period in the late 1930s, the hotel was run as a hospital and health resort by a fake doctor and amateur mesmerist Norman Baker. He sold people on cures requiring no surgery and minimal testing. He also makes regular appearances in his white suit and lavender shirt. It is he who the staff hopes to contact during the planned Halloween night séance. The hotel also offers a ghost tour to introduce guests to the apparitions that may want to share your bed. Read before you book a room at these haunted hotels in America.
California: Queen Mary
In the heyday of transatlantic steamer travel, the 1930s luxury liner attracted all manners of celebrities from Greta Garbo and Bob Hope to Winston Churchill and Walt Disney with her five dining rooms, libraries, hand-painted murals, swimming pools, and beauty salons. When World War II broke out, it ferried soldiers to the frontlines as the Grey Ghost. Now it is a floating boatel and museum in Long Beach. Unfortunately, not all 1,001 crossings went off without a hitch. In total, there were 49 recorded deaths aboard and now it is suspected that as many as 150 spirits lurk topside and below deck including a crew member crushed to death by a watertight door and a woman in all white who dances solo in a suite, according to the ship’s site. Themed ship walks are offered year-round and in October, the nightly Dark Harbor event plays up the hair-raising reputation that led Time Magazine to declare it one of America’s Top 10 Most Haunted sites. Or make a reservation to stay overnight and you might catch a glimpse of folks in vintage garb, feel a drastic temperature change, or hear slamming doors, screams, and wailing babies. Don’t miss these haunted house mysteries no one can explain.
Turns out the Mile High City has a deep history of hauntings. Light bulbs unscrew themselves and the kitchen door swings open and closed at the Molly Brown House. The elegant Brown Palace Hotel, the second fireproof building in America, delights in telling ghost tour takers of its various dead denizens. And then there’s Cheesman Park, which was converted from the city’s first graveyard into a green space in the late 1800s. The half-hearted attempt to relocate the bodies, and the subsequent visits of restless souls to many of the houses that surround Cheesman, inspired the film Poltergeist, according to the Colorado Tourism Office. The Henry Treat Rogers Mansion was one of the unlucky abodes. It has been demolished but not before author Russell Hunter based The Changeling on creepy events that happened while he was in residence. When Denver became a Gold Rush boomtown and they started to outgrown the cemetery, the city gave loved ones several years to remove remains. Unfortunately, many of the bodies belonged to criminal, vagrants, and paupers so no one came to claim them. The city then hired undertaker E.P. McGovern to deal with the leftovers at $1.90 a head. Unfortunately, he was also a crook who hacked up adults into child-size pieces and threw them in junior coffins to triple his take, according to Denver.org. They were still finding femurs and fragments of fabric into the 1960s. See the spookiest towns to celebrate Halloween.
Connecticut: New London Ledge Lighthouse
Before this New London Harbor lighthouse was automated in 1987, keepers and coastguardsmen tended to the striking three-story building and many of them experienced things that made their skin crawl. There was mysterious knocking, radios and fog horns that would turn on, boats unmooring themselves, closing doors, and moving cups, according to DamnedCT.com. But more disturbing was the regular sighting of a wraith on the water. The tall, bearded man in a slicker AKA “Ernie” is believed to be a keeper from the 1920s or 1930s whose wife ran off with a ferry captain. The legend goes that he was so distraught that he jumped to his death from the lighthouse roof. Project Oceanology runs summer tours out to the Ledge. Check out the real meaning behind common urban legends and omens.
Delaware: Fort Delaware State Park
Originally built to protect the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia, it was likely this Pea Patch Island outpost’s time as a makeshift Union jail during the Civil War that earned it a position on CBS News‘ Most Haunted Places in America list. The site is now a state park where people play lawn games and enjoy picnics, but back in the day conditions were abhorrent and Confederate soldiers fought over rats to avoid starvation. Investigations by Ghost Hunters Academy and Most Haunted concluded that some prisoners are still serving time. Messages on HauntedHouses.com speak of moaning and clanging chains in the dungeon, visions of men in uniform under the ramparts and on parade grounds, and a 1985 photograph that a tourist believes contains a see-through officer in an archway. Oh, and sometimes the phantasms are pirates who have also been held captive here. These are 14 of the most haunted bodies of water.
Florida: Port Salerno, Martin County
The Treasure Coast is so popular with vacationers that it follows that some people might take permanent leave there. Patrick and Patricia A. Mesmer wrote the definitive guide to these Florida frights, Ghosts of The Treasure Coast, and personally lead weekly tours that blend the quaint fishing village’s history and its paranormal activity. It’s a fitting mix as the region’s suspected spirits come from all over the timeline. They include pirates who used to hunt for scores from the many inlets and coves (some swear they peeped Black Ceasar’s ghost ship), ancient tribes who once inhabited the beaches, a wraith widow who keeps watch from a Boston House window, cooks who make a never-ending batches on invisible beef stew at Gilbert’s Bar (now the House of Refuge Museum which does not use the kitchen), and the victims of a murderous cop who linger at Devil’s Tree. Incidentally, this is where he buried the teenagers after sexually assaulting and killing them in 1971 and is now allegedly a popular site for satanic worship. HauntedPlaces.org says the city tried to remove it only to have chainsaws dull or malfunction on site. See these creepy urban legends that turned out to be true.
Georgia: Old Candler Hospital
Abandoned hospitals are always a good candidate for supernatural situations and Thrillist argues that Savannah’s first medical facility does not disappoint from the souls seen hanging from the branches of the giant Oak known as the hanging tree thanks to the racists who used it to spirits trapped in eternal torment in a psych ward where they used to practice primitive shock therapy. There’s also a morgue tunnel that runs between the hospital and Forsyth Park which was used to transport dead bodies infected by yellow fever. During particularly virulent outbreaks, the tunnel would be waist deep in corpses and the carriages would come in the middle of the night to collect them for disposal so as not to cause sheer panic according to Blue Orb Tours.
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. For some fictional spookiness, check out the 35 scariest movies of all time.
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. Hear more creepy stories with these scary podcasts that will keep you up at night.
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. Check for signs your own home could be haunted with these tips from paranormal experts.
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. Don’t miss these other creepy real events that actually happened on Halloween.
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
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. Try these Halloween movies that will scare you senseless.
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.
Massachusetts: Lizzie Borden House
You can spend the night, if you dare, in the Fall River home where Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered with an ax in broad daylight in August 1892. Their youngest daughter Lizzie, whose suite is also available for rent, was famously accused of the crimes, but was acquitted and the case remains unsolved. (Daily tours are also available for non-guests.) Over the years, guests and the staff have complained of loud noises, rogue fire alarms that always occur between 3 and 4 a.m., imprints of a body in a freshly made bed, cold spots, and smoky figures lurking in the bedroom where Abby was killed. Some investigators claim to have conversations with members of the family as well as the maid Maggie Sullivan. Crime scene photos and vintage Ouija boards as décor certainly don’t settle the mind. Check out these real ouija board stories that will give you chills.
Michigan: The Whitney
In 1894, this sprawling Motor City mansion became the home of lumber baron David Whitney who was the richest man in Detroit at the time. When his first wife died, Whitney quickly moved on with and married her sister. These days much of the house is used as a fine dining restaurant and bar (playfully named Ghostbar because of the array of abnormalities who are regulars including Whitney and his angry ex). Ghost Hunters got audio “responses” from spirits in the carriage house and recorded an orb descending the grand staircase in the main house. A researcher also identified a vortex, as in a portal between places or dimensions, near the elevator on the third floor which may act as a supernatural highway for floaters. A bartender quit after consistently seeing customers walk into side rooms but when he followed to take an order, the rooms were empty. The owner himself admits to coming out of his office to find a lit candle when the building was otherwise empty.
Minnesota: Grand View Lodge
Working with family can be hard. Just ask the Cote family. In 1937, Reynolds Frederick Brownlee “Brownie” Cote bought 320 acres of land, a hotel and all of the shoreline around Gull Lake in Nisswa with the plan to provide housing for parents of campers at the girls’ and boys’ camps he ran nearby. Today, his descendants look after the Grand View Lodge spa and golf resort and although Brownie died ages ago, he still hasn’t fully let go of the reins. He “stops by” regularly. Various people have reported hearing footsteps in the upstairs hallway leading to the 12 guest rooms in the historic lodge in the middle of the night and yet no one appears on the security camera footage. The family assumes it is Brownie checking up on them and ensuring they are upholding his high standard of hospitality. Don’t miss these haunted places you can rent on Airbnb.
Mississippi: King’s Tavern
Grab a beer and a ghost story at the oldest standing building in Natchez. According to local legend and Ghost Adventures, workers were renovating the pub’s fireplace in the 1930s when they discovered a hidden space behind the wall that held what was left of three mummified bodies encased in cement. One of the bodies is believed to have been the mistress of King’s original owner, Madeline. The tale goes on to claim that the dagger believed to have been used in those killings was found in a different fireplace. King’s also had rooms for rent upstairs. A pair of bad-news brothers frequented the inn and one night Big Harpe’s mellow was harshed by a fussy infant. He stormed up there, snatched the baby from his mom, and threw it against the brick wall. It died on impact. Guests have since reported seeing images in mirrors and hearing a crying baby on upper floors who is of course not there in the flesh. Staff also claims that Madeline likes to walk across freshly mopped floors and the fireplace where she was found sometimes becomes scalding even though no fire is lit. An angry man in a top hat also throws dishes and photobombs folks taking pictures in front of the hearth.
Missouri: The Elms Hotel & Spa
Maybe this luxury hotel in Excelsior Springs, a small town 30 minutes north of Kansas City, provides service that’s too good. It seems some people never want to leave. Throughout its 130-year history as a resort, speakeasy, and wellness retreat, it has racked up lots of goosebump-inducing lore including sightings of a ghost who appears wearing a housekeeping uniform from the1920s. (If you have to have a visitor from beyond, one that yearns to clean toilets doesn’t seem like a particularly bad option!) Some attribute the ghosts to the fires of 1898 and 1910 that devastated The Elms even though no one died in either. The Gambler stalks the indoor pool, which was the site of a clandestine bar frequented by Al Capone and Bugsy Malone during Prohibition. All of the ghosts have been friendly in nature. Ghost Hunters filmed an episode at The Elms in 2013 and it is a stop on the city’s paranormal trolley tour.
Montana: St. Charles Hall at Carroll College
The oldest building on the Helena campus is suspected to be its most haunted as well. St. Charles Hall is primarily used as a dormitory today. The ghost story that gets the most play is linked to a 1964 student death, according to the Billings Gazette. He blacked out while brushing his teeth, hit his head, and caused a brain hemorrhage in the fourth-floor bathroom. He died a few weeks later. Then strange things started happening. Other undergrads started seeing a guy with a head wound in the mirror when they looked up from brushing their teeth or washing their face. Some said blood came out of the faucet instead of water. After several years of continued complaints, Carroll cut their losses and closed the bathroom. Scraping sounds coming from behind the locked door are still being reported. These are the haunted house mysteries no one can explain.
Nebraska: Museum of Shadows
The self-proclaimed “most haunted museum in the Midwest” is housed in an 1880s building whose tenants have included a pharmacy, a doctor’s office, a dentist, cigar factory, saloon, and brothel and showcases a vast array of cursed artifacts including two dolls named Demus and Ayda. Made in Germany more than a century ago, Ayda was passed down through the generations but ended up with a family who tossed her because she made people uncomfortable. But then according to the museum’s site, she came back after two years in a landfill … without her eyes. She was discovered in their garage without her eyes. The attempted to get rid of her again, but she climbed out of the bag. They donated her to the museum and while in transit, the curators said they heard a deep whisper demand, “I want out,” followed by a child’s cry. When they moved her, the owner got a migraine and felt sick even though he was wearing a Hazmat suit. She lives in a sealed and locked box and the keys are kept off-site to ensure she does not escape. As folks have strolled through the exhibition in Plattsmouth owned by paranormal experts Nate and Kaleigh Raterman, they have seen apparitions, heard strange noises, and been touched by invisible hands.
Nevada: El Cortez Hotel & Casino
Built in 1941, the El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas is one of the oldest casino/hotels still operating in Sin City. As with most properties in a town of a certain age, the hotel was connected. Bugsy Siegel maintained an office in what is now the vintage wing and his bodyguard/aide “Fat Irish” Green was promised a free room for life for holding onto a briefcase full of ill-gotten funds for the mobster and never betraying him, much to the discontent of future owner Jackie Gaughan. The legend goes that Gaughan was told by former owner J. Kell Houssels Sr. that Green was part of the deal. Green lived there until his death in the 1980s and some say he’s still in residence. Hotel management has received several complaints of a supernatural variety from and around room 2258, which is in the retro section and near where Green lived. Gaughan may have also unwittingly created another spirit situation. While he owned the Cortez between 1963 and 2008, he would cover funeral costs for unlucky workers. When there wasn’t next of kin, he’d receive the ashes and would store them in a basement room. To this day, some employees refuse to go down there alone arguing that it’s haunted by dead colleagues. The Las Vegas Review-Journal awarded the El Cortez the title of the city’s Best Ghost Hunting in 2016.
New Hampshire: Tilton Inn
Originally built in 1875 in downtown Tilton, the inn, which has hosted Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, has burnt down three times according to its website, and unfortunately one of those blazes claimed the life of a 12-year-old girl. Laura lived with her family in what is now known as the Sanborn room at the hotel in the 1800s. Numerous encounters have occurred with Laura in rooms upstairs as well as in the downstairs pub. The hotel’s previous owners asked TAPS Rhode Island Investigative to determine if the haunting was the real deal and after running tests, the team concluded their eyes weren’t playing tricks on them. For some real tricks, try solving these scary good Halloween riddles.
New Jersey: Clinton Road
Locals have warned about this sinister stretch of remote road near West Milford since the 1900s. Weird NJ claims it is the most haunted roadway in America as incorporeal dogs, kids, trucks, and deranged hunters have all been spotted along it. The woodsy region is also rumored to attract Satan worshippers and alien visitors. Speaking of curves, the bridge near Dead Man’s Curve is the final un-resting place of a small boy who allegedly returns coins tossed into the water below. These 10 horror movies were inspired by real events.
New Mexico: Hotel Parq Central
It seems converting a former 1920s hospital and psychiatric facility into a hotel might have been asking for trouble. This 74-room boutique hotel in Albuquerque started its life as a hospital for railroad employees. Then it was renamed and the focus changed to mental health services for children and teens, According to the New Mexico Tourism Department, patients swore the hospital was haunted because their bed sheets were torn off while they slept, voices were heard, they suffered unexplained scratches, and the feeling that they were constantly being watched never went away. No one listened, probably chocking it up to paranoia, but now Hotel Parq Central’s guests report the same suspicions of being surveilled by something supernatural. Roadtrippers.com reports that a paranormal investigation performed in 2011 sided with the patients. Playing on the history, the rooftop bar has an apothecary theme.
New York: Old Fort Niagara
The annual Lanterns and Lore Ghost Tours explore the many spirits that call this 18thcentury stronghold in Youngstown home. Old Fort Niagara has been under French, Native American, British and American control and has seen a ton of bloody feuding including a skirmish in the War of 1812 that left 4,000 dead over the course of a few days. The most famous eidolon is a headless one in the French Castle. He’s thought to be French officer Henri Le Clerc who lost his noggin following a sword duel with fellow officer Jean-Claude De Rochefort over a woman named Onita.
North Carolina: Old North State Winery
The owners of Old North Winery in Mount Airy take an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach to their potential paranormal problem. The building that houses their business used to be a mercantile in the 1890s. The feud between rival merchants ended in an explosion that blew off the front of the store. (Guess it’s easy to get a hold of dynamite in a town with the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry!) When the department store that took its place was cleaning up the mess, an arm was discovered in the basement that could never be identified. Since then, odd noises like footsteps on hardwood floors and shuffling feet are emitted in the middle of the night. Doors slam without explanation and shadows dart around. One photo caught the reflection of an old man with a white beard in a window. The vintners have fully embraced the mythology by naming their Malbec blend Restless Soul and designing a label that features a skeletal arm holding glass of red. It’s their best seller, according to Fox 8. The sipping spot is the first stop on the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History’s Historic Downtown Ghost Tour. These are the spookiest things ghost hunters have seen on the job.
North Dakota: Fort Abraham Lincoln
Another state, another ghost of an abandoned wife. This time the suspected specter is that of Libbie Custer who was stationed with her lieutenant colonel husband and the 7th Cavalry he commanded at the fort in Mandan in 1876. The squad was sent to battle the Sioux at Little Big Horn and he nor his 200 soldiers ever returned. His wife is still waiting apparently as a woman wearing black has been seen staring out the second-story window of the Custer House and a shadowy figure stalks the commissary. People have heard pacing in the sergeant’s quarters in the barrack and weeping on the boardwalk. Now a state park, the legends come to life every October at the Haunted Fort event.
Ohio: Spring Grove Cemetery
They say the eyes are windows to the soul. It seems the universe took the adage literally in the case of optometrist Charles C. Breuer of Cincinnati. Some contend that he had his eyes removed at death and placed into the bronze bust he commissioned for his plot. City Beat contends that they are just glass eyes Breuer selected because they most closely resembled his. Either way, everyone agrees that the eyes, which are fixed in the statue, somehow manage to follow people walking by lot 100. He also isn’t the only potential ghost buried in the country’s second largest graveyard according to City Beat. Other victims of unusual or awful demises include a Negro League baseball player killed while sitting on a stoop by a runaway car and a judge trapped in the 1889 Mount Auburn incline disaster. Visitors have heard voices without a source and seen figures that disappear into thin air. A caretaker’s pant leg was mysteriously grabbed as if a skeleton had reached up from a coffin and broke ground in section 53. White wolves, which in some cultures are considered harbingers of death and bad luck, have had regular stare contests with humans in section 87. Check out the oldest cemetery in each state.
Oklahoma: Gilcrease Museum
They say you can’t take it with you. Perhaps that’s why oil magnate Thomas Gilcrease has stayed close to his prize American art collection, now housed in a Tulsa Museum bearing his name, long after his death in 1962. According to TravelOk.com, he wanders the grounds around his original rock house and takes in the gardens he commissioned. The ghosts of Native American children run throughout the same greenery and a young woman appears to be watching a movie that is not playing in the theater.
Oregon: White Eagle Saloon & Old Town Pizza
Eating and drinking in Portland, especially after dark, can be dangerous as several restaurants have haunted histories. McMenamin’s White Eagle Saloon admits to several resident ghosts including a prostitute named Rose and Sam Warrick, a bartender and cook from the pre-prohibition era who is in several of the bar’s historic photos on display. Warrick likes to fling condiments across the kitchen. Old Town Pizza, which sits in what was once the lobby of Old Town’s Merchant Hotel, inherited its phantom from the former establishment when they moved in in 1974 according to their website. Nina (pronounced Nigh-na) was sold into prostitution and worked at the hotel. Traveling missionaries convinced her to share information in exchange for saving her from the life she didn’t choose, but she met her maker at the bottom of a dark hotel elevator shaft before they could help her. Patrons have mentioned feeling a presence behind them, catching a whiff of perfume, and seeing a woman in black watching them gobble down slices. She’s also been spotted wandering the basement and her name was carved into the brick in the shaft which now provides the backdrop to a booth at the pizzeria.
Pennsylvania: Eastern State Penitentiary
In a city where the ghosts of founding fathers like Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton hang out at libraries and banks respectively and Germantown houses like Grumblethorpe are still stained with revolutionary blood, not just any ol’ run-of-the-mill revenant can stand out. But the poltergeists in one of the country’s oldest and most brutal prisons are anything but ordinary. E.S.P. (even its abbreviation is eerie!) has been featured on MTV’s Fear, SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, and Travel Channel’s Most Haunted Live and their paranormal positive findings are corroborated by numerous accounts of inmates, guards, and visitors, which include echoing voices and cackling in cellblock 12, ghostly faces in no. 4, a sudden death grip, shadowy figures along the walls of 6, and a guard’s silhouette in a crumbling tower. Although the prison holds an after-hours haunted attraction annually, they say the real history of what happened inside—things like hanging wet prisoners on a wall in winter until ice formed on their skin or inserting an iron gag that tore their tongues—until E.S.P. was shut down in 1971 is terrifying enough, according to NPR. Find out the 7 signs your house is haunted.
Rhode Island: Providence City Hall
Providence’s Thomas A. Doyle gives new meaning to career politician as he served as mayor for 18 years over three intervals between 1864 and 1886 and it is believed that despite dying in 1886, he never left the office. He is responsible for the steady paranormal activity at City Hall. People who have witnessed chairs moving by themselves, phantom cigar smoke smell, and whispering in empty rooms chock it up to the in-memoriam mayor who was mourned by thousands as he laid in state directly in front of his office. GoProvidence.com suggests it could also be attributed to the 12 men that lost their lives constructing the ornate five-story political palace.
South Carolina: Gervais Street
According to Experience Columbia SC, the Palmetto State is one of the union’s most haunted. A fair share of those entities are found in Columbia and a good number of Columbia’s curiosities live on Gervais Street, including a young girl who thumbs for rides on the old bridge or a man in coveralls who hangs around the mill building which is now the state museum. And that’s not even the only haunted historic mill on the road. According to The State, Adluh Flour has the ghost of Jerome Busbee, a longtime employee of the still operating maker of grits, cornmeal, and flour who was rumored to practice voodoo. After his death, workers tried to move the cart he used to load and unload goods, but it was frozen in place. When a supervisor gave it the old college try, it tipped over but still wouldn’t budge. It still sits haphazardly on its side in the old warehouse. Nearly as spooky as the 13 haunted house mysteries no one can explain.
South Dakota: Hotel Alex Johnson
Ghost sightings and weird visions and noises have become so commonplace at the historic hotel in Rapid City that the front desk staff started a journal to keep track of the details. Everything from water turning on, door knocks, flickering lights, growling noises, unexplained shadows, and creepy figures that look like the hotel’s namesake has been witnessed. Claims of an aggressive spirit who likes to bite and shove enticed SyFy’s Ghost Hunters to plan a trip to the Mount Rushmore State to shoot a segment. Perhaps the bride who either threw herself out the window of room 812 or was pushed to her death on her wedding night might be craving more cake. The Lady in White likes to open windows and pull out dresser drawers. The team also found spooky evidence in rooms 304 and 802 and the rooftop. Upon request, the staff will take you on a tour of sites of spiritual significance.
Tennessee: Union Station Hotel
As the name suggests, this hotel used to be Nashville’s central train station and that past life as a public transportation hub accounts for the current resident ghost, Abigail. Legend has it that Abigail saw her soldier sweetheart off to World War II from the train platform. When she returned to the same platform to welcome him home from fighting in France, she was told he was killed in action. Distraught, she jumped in front of a passing train. Several have reported seeing the lovesick lady in the main terminal (now the lobby) and in room 711, which curiously has a view of the tracks. (Maybe she still hopes her beau will return.) Others have gotten a passing chill, heard phones ringing and furniture being dragged, and seen a silhouette in the mirrors near 701. It is now named after her and unlike other rooms, it is decorated with antique furnishing and artwork inspired by her sorrowful story. They’ve also named a grapefruit cocktail in her honor at Carter’s restaurant. See how places all over the world honor the dead with All Souls’ Day.
Texas: Fort Inge/Uvalde
The river region of Texas Hill Country was a lawless place full of land skirmishes between Mexicans, Americans, and Native Americans, livestock theft, brutal crimes, and hardcore frontier justice in the 1800s. Vidal, a former lieutenant in Santa Ana’s army, a defector, and bandito so infamous he only needed one name, quickly became public enemy numero uno. Horse theft was a capital offense back then and one day he and his gang unwisely grabbed several steeds belonging to Texas Ranger Creed Taylor. Taylor and his co-worker William “Big Foot” Wallace eventually caught up with Vidal and wanted to make an example out of him. Apparently, the normal strategy of chopping someone to pieces or hanging them from trees to rot was deemed unworthy of Vidal. So they beheaded him, sat his headless body in a saddle atop a wild mustang, attached his head, and sent the horse running. The dark rider plagued local cowboys and Native Americans, who attempted to shoot at what was then being labeled El Muerto. It was weeks before ranchers re-captured the horse and laid his mummified body to rest, but sightings of the headless horseman persisted among soldiers at Fort Inge (present-day Uvalde) and near the ranches in the contested border area he frequented. In 1917, a couple traveling by covered wagon near San Diego, Texas, spotted him, as did someone near Freer in 1969. Still today, he has been seen galloping through the countryside of South Texas.
Utah: Dead Horse Point
Not all hauntings are of the human variety. Outside of Moab on the road to the Canyonlands National Park sits Dead Horse Point State Park. Within that preserve is an incredibly scenic peninsula set atop sheer sandstone cliffs above a gooseneck in the Colorado River. Back in the 19thcentury, cowboys used to corral wild mustangs that roamed the mesa below on the point. Then they would pick the best of the herd, release those not chosen, and go on their merry way. But one fateful day for an unknown reason, the riders forgot to free the remaining horses and they all died of thirst with the river cruelly in plain sight. Now campers often report hearing their cries of agony on the wind at night. And over time and through erosion and other geologic and atmospheric forces, an outline of a white horse is clearly visible when you look down from the viewpoint. Bonus for movie fans: This is also where they filmed the final scene of Thelma and Louise. Find out more true ghost stories from the world’s most haunted places.
Vermont: Green Mountain Inn
Ghouls just want to have fun. Well, at least the one who shows up at Stowe’s Green Mountain Inn does. “Boots” Berry can still be heard tap dancing on snowy days atop the very same roof he fell to his death from. The son of the inn’s horseman and chambermaid was born in room 302 and grew up around the lodge, eventually taking over his dad’s equine duties. He was awarded a medal for heroism when he stopped a runaway stagecoach with passengers inside. He let his fame go to his head, started drinking and womanizing, and lost his job. He allegedly traveled the country and learned to tap while in a New Orleans Jail. He made his way back to Stowe around 1902 and redeemed himself with one last act of bravery when he rescued a child who had wandered onto the roof during a heavy snowstorm. Just as he lowered the girl to the ground, he slipped on ice just above room 302.
Virginia: The Winery at La Grange
Stop by the tasting room at this vintner in Haymarket and you might be in for a glass of boo-jolais or Scare-donnay. The wine enthusiasts who converted the old La Grange farm into a winery in the mid-2000s admit a few eternal imbibers have been seen or heard. Most tales involve a young girl in an upstairs room of the manse and Benoni Harrison, the former owner of the property. Several people have heard someone tickling the ivories despite there being no piano in the parlor. Owner research later discovered that the instrument had been willed to Harrison’s nephew upon his death. Just in case Harrison’s real, the staff sets a glass of red on the tasting room mantel every day to keep him happy.
Washington: Kells Irish Restaurant & Bar
Spirits meet spirits at this pub on Post Alley in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Despite the family atmosphere and convivial St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Kells can’t seem to escape its location’s morbid past. The building it inhabits used to be a mortuary and a quite busy one at that thanks to the mining accidents, a diphtheria epidemic, poor sanitation, and violent crime that plagued the city in the early 1900s according to the Daily Mail. Corpses used to come through its front door and get embalmed inside. Bartenders, owners, customers, and even the regular musicians have seen and heard lots of strange stuff over the years that can’t be explained logically like mirrors spontaneously shattering, door handles jiggling, and glasses sliding to the floor. Two of the most commonly seen apparitions include a little girl who waits patiently at the top of the stairs between the morgue/bar and the now-empty chapel and a man in a black coat and hat who shows up for live music. If you’re worried about stepping inside, Kells has plenty to settle your nerves as it boasts Seattle’s largest single malt scotch collection. Find out more of the spookiest ghost stories from each state.
West Virginia: Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that a 160-year-old gothic mental institution is rumored to be haunted. It operated between 1864 and 1994 in Weston. By the 1950s, 10best.com, which voted it the Best Haunted Destination, reports it was “way over capacity with inhumane conditions.” (According to the national historic landmark’s site, that’s even underselling it as it was built to house 250 patients but it peaked at 2,400.) Thousands were committed and many of them died within its walls. More than 2,000 bodies are buried in the cemetery on its grounds. Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy, Ghost Adventures, and the Travel Channel’s Paranormal Challenge have all filmed at the hospital and found visual and audible evidence of ghosts. The ghosts of Civil War-era citizens, children, psychos, and former staff have all been peeped here, some even during the heritage and ghost tours. There’s even an option to stay overnight at the asylum.
Wisconsin: The Rave/Eagles Club
Milwaukee’s Eagles Club was built in 1926 by an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright as the headquarters of a do-good fraternal order. It featured a majestic ballroom, a variety of lounges, an athletic club with a pool, a barbershop, a radio station, and a cafeteria. It’s where Buddy Holly played his last gig before his fatal plane crash. It fell into disrepair in the late ’80s and temporarily housed a men’s shelter with a bullying director. (Negative feels and icy patches are attributed to him.) A new owner took over in the ’90s and turned it into a seven-venue live entertainment complex and the joint is once again jumping, but rumors of manifestations persist. Several bands have reported a presence watching them rehearse and some employees gave chase to a man standing in a VIP box who vanished into thin air. At least two children drowned in the pool before it closed and a little girl occasionally hangs out in the coat check and giggles. Ghastly groups of children have been witnessed playing in the ballroom after closing time. A video from a hunt at the club allegedly captured a voice telling the tour to “get out” of the boiler room where he hangs out. Jack is not a fan of guests in his space. These chilling real ghost stories will make you believe.
Wyoming: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Two men entered, only one would leave the first church building established in Wyoming. In the early 1900s, a couple of Swedish masons were hired to finish the Cheyenne chapel’s bell tower but the men disappeared halfway through the job. Their replacements immediately started hearing tapping, hammering, and whispering coming from within the walls. It was discovered that one of the original laborers slipped and fell to his death and the other, afraid of deportation, entombed his coworker’s body inside the wall and skipped town. According to a YouTube video posted by the KGAB radio station, people have reported the organ playing and bells ringing on their own at St. Mark’s. Next, check out the strangest unsolved mysteries from each state.