Brianna is a full-time writer, blogger, and editor. Her specialty is all things scary. Travel with her to some truly haunting destinations!
The Most Haunted Places in America
Are you a skeptic to all things paranormal? Maybe the supernatural is just not scientific enough for you. Skeptic or not, there's no doubt that some weird events happen out there in the world. Here you will find the most haunted places in the country. Get ready because I fully believe even the worst skeptic out there would not want to get locked down in any of these creepy and unforgettable locations after dark!
Blood. Death. Almost 51,000 casualties. The Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3 1863, had the most casualties in The American Civil War. Fought between the Union and Confederate, it ended General Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North. There is so much history here in Gettysburg, PA, that it is overwhelming yet so extremely fascinating at the same time. After the war, the living population was out numbered by the dead. There was so much blood on the floors of some of the churches that holes were drilled to drain it all. With all that sudden and brutal death, you have to believe that this place is a breeding ground for paranormal activity. Sure enough, this town is just slammed with countless claims of spirit activity, many that have been caught on camera and recording devices. Phantom apparitions have been seen along with battlefield ghosts, and even disembodied screams. The most interesting claim is that visitors from the south spark more paranormal activity in the summer months. Imagine that!
Established in 1804, Ohio University was the first public university of higher learning, and is now the oldest in the state of Ohio. Located in Athens, it has five campus's altogether spread throughout the southwest region of the state. The university consists of 1,700 acres, 210 buildings, and a student to faculty ratio of 17:1. Pretty impressive.
One might ask just how this ancient campus makes it into the Most Haunted List? Well, for one it is said to have been home to extreme poltergeist activity. It is claimed that the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity stole a tombstone back in the day from the famously haunted Simms Cemetery. Immediately, weird poltergeist activity was experienced. The tombstone was returned, and that was the end of that. At the Alpha Omicron Phi Sorority, a slave named Nicodemus haunts their home. Before the house was a sorority, it was a private residence and also a stop along The Underground Railroad. The ghost of Millie Brown, who donated her house to the university, haunts the Brown House and is seen in the window.
The attic of the Jefferson Hall is haunted with a woman dressed in 1950's clothing who likes to flip on lights, unroll toilet paper, and flush the toilets. The Washington Hall has an entire ghostly basketball team from when they were killed in a bus accident years ago. A poltergeist haunts the women's dormitory in the Bush Hall and there is another entity who likes to play pranks by turning water faucets on and off and flicking the lights. In the 1970's, a female student living in the Shively Hall, was experimenting with cult ceremonies at the nearby Hanning Cemetery when she experienced a number of unexplainable events in her dorm room. To date, what happened to her is a still mystery. Countless other halls have had personal hauntings as experienced by students. A chilling story based on facts takes place at the freshman dorm of Crawford Hall. On Easter of 1993, a student named Laura fell to her death from her 4th floor window. After that, lights started flickering, doors would slam open and shut. Then one night, another student was awakened by his door opening and there standing was a silhouette of a girl who said, "I'm sorry, I've woken you," and closed the door.
Whew, this place has got my head spinning from all these ghosts, but we have yet to get to the good part. The most famous haunting of them all takes place at the Wilson Hall and it is also the hall featured on many television shows. It has been said there were many student suicides and various rooms no one will stay in for too long. Shadow figures are spotted in the halls, and the hall is said to have a curse because it supposedly sits dead center in the middle of the five "Pentagram Cemeteries" around Athens. That's right, all of the local cemeteries form an exact pentagram!
Eastern State Penitentiary
This former prison in Philadelphia, PA, was operational from 1829 until 1971. It symbolized reform rather then punishment. The prison is noted for housing many notorious criminals throughout its history such as bank robber Willie Sutton and most famously Al Capone. This enormous estate is currently a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is now open as a museum with public tours. Among the prison’s occupants...ghosts!
Though it was designed to reform its inmates, the system placed them in complete solitude where communication was forbidden, and drove many of the prisoners to complete insanity. They had many harsh punishments, including a water bath and a mad chair. The worst was their Iron Gag which was designed for the inmates that disobeyed the no communication rule. An iron collar was clamped on their tongue, and then it was chained to the inmates wrists which had been strapped behind their backs. If they moved so would their tongue, which resulted in severe bleeding and many inmates bleeding to death. Unexplained sounds are often heard in the prison as well as massive unseen forces overtaking caretakers. Out of body experiences have also been reported, as well faces appearing on cell walls. The television show Ghost Hunterscaught some pretty unbelievable footage in one of the cell blocks. Check it out below!
Ghost caught on camera at Eastern State Penitentiary by Ghost Hunters
Savannah, Georgia will forever be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I was only there for a short time and cannot wait to go back. There are tons of sightseeing you can do, and what is most commonly among them is ghost tours. Some say that a strangeness surrounds Savannah, dating as far back as pirates and Spanish missionaries. The coastal waters of this breathtaking city were once a refuge for pirates and outlaws.
This city is named to be one of the most haunted cities in America, and I feel that is because most of the haunting stories have activity that are based on actual historic facts. What is eerie is that this city is literally built on the dead. In the 1700's, cemeteries were built on the edges of the settlement and as the colony grew, cemeteries were absorbed and buildings were built on top of these formal burial sites. Since then, bodies just seem to keep turning up. Even a mummified body was found in the walls of the Foley House many years ago. This city has seen so much throughout the years, from The Revolutionary War fought bloodily on its grounds, the epidemic of yellow fever, to a mystical occult debate. There are endless tours of all its paranormal and historical mansions because Savannah is a city who is very close to their ghosts and take great pride in their history and city. And I must say, a very beautiful city at that.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Waverly Hills has to be one of the most well known haunted places in America. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, this five-story former hospital was used to house tuberculosis patients. Opened in 1910, it was originally two stories, but the tuberculosis epidemic changed that. They were too many more new patients and just not enough room, so that is when they began an expansion. Also built around the same time was a tunnel, originally used to easily carry supplies needed up and down the floors. It traveled 500 feet from the bottom outside at the dip of a hill to the top of the hospital with motorized carts. But once the tuberculosis hit its peak, deaths were occurring about once every other day. Other patients would see these dead patients being taken away and they would begin to lose hope. This ultimately led to them getting depressed and so therefore, the death rate started going up. Due to these unfortunate events, the tunnel took on another purpose.
Producers have even made a horror movie The Death Tunnel that is inspired by Waverly Hills Sanatorium. With death occurring at such a high rate, the bodies were then placed in these carts and lowered down the tunnel, also know as The Death Tunnel and Body Chute, to an awaiting hearse. The current owners hold ghost tours in the building and you can see much about this hospital on such shows as Scariest Places On Earth, Ghost Adventures, Celebrity Paranormal Project, Ghost Hunters, and Most Haunted. Some of the most well known legends and activity include room 502 where a nurse supposedly was either murdered or committed suicide. It has been said that she found out she was pregnant with out being married, which was very frowned upon during these times, so she hanged herself in that very room. It has also been reported to hear disembodied voices and screaming, apparitions roam the halls, ghostly children playing with balls, rooms lighting up while there is no electricity, a woman who screams "Help Me!, and much, much more. Sounds like a perfect place for a spooky ghost hunt!
Located right off the San Francisco Bay, this famous prison held some of the most notorious criminals in history. Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), George "Machine Gun" Kelly, James "Whitey" Bulger, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda, and many more all served in Alcatraz. Al Capone seems to have a rather odd niche for making it into the worst prisons,(see; Eastern State Penitentiary above). A prison since 1868, it was originally used for military prisoners where it became known as "The Rock."
In 1933, Alcatraz became acquired by the United States Department of Justice to be a Federal Prison, and was in use for another 29 years. The notorious punishments that were ensued included The Strip Cell, which was located on the lower tier of D block. Prisoners who broke the rules were sent to this dark, steel cell, where they would be stripped naked and given bread and water only once a day, and maybe an occasional meal and mattress at night. Their toilet was a hole in the floor, and there was absolutely no communication with others. The hole on D Block was quite similar to The Strip Cell. These "holes" kept prisoners in isolation for up to 19 days and they were only given a toilet, a light bulb, sink, and mattress at night. But it was the fact that the prison is on an island, secluded from and isolated from public view led to tales of the prisoners being tortured and that is where all these spirits come from.
Now the home of an abandoned prison, it is also a National Historic Landmark. The Utility Corridor is said to have the most ghostly activity. It is a corridor where three inmates were shot after a failed attempt to escape. Night guards claimed hearing unexplained clanging sounds from inside. Cell 14D, which is one of the "hole" cells, is reported to have a lot of activity. Visitors often get very cold while inside the cell as well as feelings of "intensity." There is also the infamous tale of a prisoner in 14D who screamed all throughout the night that a creature with glowing eyes was going to kill him. Being ignored, the guards the next day found the inmate strangled to death with no explanation because there was no way he could have done it himself and it was physically impossible for someone else to get into that cell. While doing a head count the next day, the guards counted one too many prisoners, and some guards claim seeing the dead convict in line for a second before vanishing.
You can hear sobbing and moaning coming from inside the prison walls, smells of smoke with no explanation, and many sightings of ghostly prisoners and guards as well as military personnel. One popular story is that of the ghost of Al Capone. Spending the last years of his life there in Alcatraz, he was often given permission to spend his recreational time playing his banjo in the shower room. In recent years visitors, including a park ranger, have heard a banjo being played from inside the prison. The eeriest part is these visitors never knew the story of Al Capone and his banjo!
This is one of America's most haunted houses. Located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, it is a whopping 215 years old! The home was built by General Dave Bradford, also known as Whiskey Dave for his role in the Whiskey Rebellion, in 1796 but has had many previous owners. The house now serves as a full service bed and breakfast as well as ghost and historical tours. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the house is allegedly home to at least 12 ghosts. It is also often rumoured that 10 murders occurred in the home, but historic records only include that of William Winter, who at one time lived at the Myrtles and was shot on the porch. An interesting fact is that in 2002, Unsolved Mysteries filmed a segment about Myrtles and their hauntings and according to host Robert Stack, the production crew experienced many technical difficulties while trying to film. Myrtles Plantation has been featured on many other shows as well.
The most famous ghost is that of "Chloe", a longtime legend as a slave. There are many skeptics to her existence but her legend lives on. Supposedly, Chloe was a slave who in 1817 was owned by Clark Woodruff, a former owner of the home. It has been said that he was having an affair with Chloe, but then grew tired of her and pursued someone new. She was then caught eavesdropping by Woodruff and he ordered her ear to be cut off to make a point. She then wore a green turban around her head. Chloe, fearing of being thrown into the fields with the other slaves, poisoned a birthday cake of Woodruff's daughter in hopes of either nursing them back to health to prove she was worthy, or for sweet revenge! It backfired of course, and Woodruff's wife and two daughters died. Over the decades, her ghost is often claimed to be seen, especially in the famous photograph above.
Though this legend has many holes, not to mention records show she did not even exist, Myrtles still is reputed as the most haunted house. Given the skepticism of all the murders and deaths, there is still no doubt in my mind that this house has some sort of haunting. There is too many experiences and factual history in this house that it is easy to have such extreme paranormal activity. But I guess there is only one way to find out. Road trip anyone?
This famous hotel was built by Freelan O. Stanley, who was the inventor of the Stanley steam engine. Built in 1909 in Estes Park, Colorado, it originally covered only 900 acres, but eventually another 55 acres were added on and it catered to the rich and famous. The breathtaking views all around of the Rocky Mountains make it so serene. I love the story behind this hotel, and for those of you that do not know, I am here to tell! This hotel was made famous by the famous horror writer Stephen King, which led to the famous book and then movie, "The Shining," starring Jack Nicholson. In 1970, Stephen King himself stayed at the hotel in room 217. During his stay in the room, he said to have experienced several paranormal events, thus his idea for writing The Shining. The Stanley Hotel shows the movie in a continuous loop on 42 guest room televisions.
Today, there are many more claims of this hotel being haunted, and it is not just in room 217. Rooms 217, 324, 401, and 418 are reputed to have the most activity. Many paranormal shows have covered the famous hotel, but Ghost Hunters captured the best footage. TAPS founder Jason Hawes himself stayed in room 401, where his footage caught a door opening and then closing on its own, and a glass breaking with no explanation. All of the 3rd and 4th floor hallways are said to be haunted as well. So, just who are all these ghosts giving in to all the media attention? No one seems to know, but sounds of children are heard, the piano in the Piano Room plays by itself, and the Manor House and the Concert Hall are all said to have much paranormal activity. The hotel also has it's own resident psychic.
Other haunting's include the Ballroom, where many of the kitchen staff hear a party going on, only to walk into the Ballroom and nobody is there. Some believe that Freelan O. Stanley’s wife haunts the hotel and could be the phantom piano player, because of the fact she used to be one. In a certain guest room, a visitor claimed he woke up to a man standing over his bed before running into the closet. When looking in the closet, no one was there. This same ghost allegedly steals guests jewelry, luggage, and watches. Lots of guests claim to see ghosts standing in their rooms in the middle of the night before just simply vanishing. This hotel is also listed on The National Registry of Historic Places. A historic place I would love to stay in.
RMS Queen Mary
This retired ocean liner sits docked in Long Beach, California. She has an amazing history of luxury, beauty, a WWII Veteran, and she is a huge attraction among tourists. This beautiful ship was born in the 1920’s and she was intended to provide a weekly service between New York City and South Hampton. On September 26, 1934, the majestic ship was launched in the presence of King George V, and his wife Queen Mary. The Queen then officially permitted her name to the liner. She held first class passengers such as knights, ladies, dignitaries, and famous artists. She included luxury rooms, fine dining, lounges, bars, two chapels, a hospital, nurseries, and several playrooms. But on August 30, 1939, the Queen Mary was leaving France for New York when the Nazi's invaded Poland. In order to invade enemy submarines, the captain was reported to run a zig zagging course back to New York. Four days later, she arrived safely but eventually received orders to sail to Sydney, Australia to commit for war duties. The Queen Mary was eventually nicknamed "The Grey Ghost" for her intense speed that made her enabled to evade enemy ships. Her new role now was a trooper in war, no longer a luxury. No more was there luxurious furniture, instead the furnishings were cleaned out and made way for bunks and small caliber guns. She played the role for five long years and transported over 800,000 troops.
In 1946, she completed her war duties and recommenced her transatlantic duties where she was joined by "sister ship" the Queen Elizabeth. By the 1960’s however, flying became more popular and ships less needed, so she became for sale. Long Beach, California made the best offer for $3,450,000. Her final voyage to Long Beach became a fan filled voyage. Helicopters flew high above to witness her last departure before arriving to her final destination at Long Beach December 9, 1967. She is now a famous hotel and needless to say, "The Grey Ghost" is not the only ghosts that come to mind when speaking of this haunting ship.
These ghosts apparently sailed along with the Queen Mary and it has been said the ship was haunted before she was even docked. There are reports of children crying in the nursery room. Some hear a mysterious splashing noise coming from the first class swimming pool that has long since been drained. There was an incident in 1966, where 18-year-old John Pedder was crushed beneath a watertight door during a fire drill in the engine room and he is reputed to haunt the ship. But the most famous haunt of them all is in Cabin B340, which is now off limits due to extreme paranormal activity! The cabin is believed to be the spot of the murder of and 8-year-old girl. Visitors claim they see women wearing 1930’s style bathing suits in the pool areas. It is also reported that you can hear men screaming a long with the sound of metal crushing against metal.
The Most Haunted Places in America
These are just some of the many most haunted places in America. I hope you enjoyed this tour. Feel free to leave any comments below of what places you would like to read about. Also, if any of you have had the fantastic opportunity to visit any of these marvelous places, please comment and tell us your experience! As always, thank you for reading and sharing!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Brianna W
Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on November 19, 2016:
Super hub. I have had a few experiences over the years. I often wonder
why some people can see or feel the presence of the unexplained and others don't. One very strong presence I felt was when I went to the funeral of my nephew in another city. While my sister and friends left her flat the night after the funeral, I stayed on alone. Although the lights were on in the flat I felt a very strong presence and wanted to put off the light to communicate with him, but was too scared.
harleygirl2015 on October 02, 2015:
I spent the night at Waverly Hills.Nothing happened , no Ghost pictures
Brianna W (author) from East Coast on July 22, 2013:
Thank you all for your feedback and sharing experiences!
lisa on September 23, 2011:
Stayed at the Myrtles last year and loved it! We did not see any ghosts but had a great time hunting for them. Moses the cook made a fabulous breakfast that I am still talking about! Will definitely return!
Amy DeMarco from Chicago on August 19, 2011:
Awesome hub! I love a good ghost story. I've heard of most of these before, but there were some I never knew about. Voted up and interesting.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 17, 2011:
This is a very interesting hub. Congrats on your nomination.
Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on August 15, 2011:
Great hub. I have been to many of these locations, and do believe they are haunted.
Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. Great work.
Brianna W (author) from East Coast on August 13, 2011:
Lol! I do the same thing, then you start hearing weird noises. Gettysburg is amazing, so much history.
Barbara Stickly on August 13, 2011:
Visited Gettysburg a few years ago and the B&B we stayed at had movies about the haunted places there and the stories ab out them. Then we tried to go to sleep....
Brianna W (author) from East Coast on August 12, 2011:
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on August 12, 2011:
Here I am pondering if I would like to visit haunted places tee hee... but if I would love to, I now know where to go! :)
No scary stuff on the Hubnuggets...just pure delight! Come and participate in the Hubnuggets by reading and voting. https://simonesmith.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/G... Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination!
FloraBreenRobison on August 12, 2011:
Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. Your hub was thorough and entertaining. I haven't been to any of these places.
Brianna W (author) from East Coast on August 09, 2011:
Thank you for the feedback!
Lynn S. Murphy on August 06, 2011:
Love your hub. This is as insightful and interesting as haunted history which I LOVE. Putting them on my list of things to do. I did tour the Whaley House. Not a ghost in sight. Sigh.
Husky1970 on August 06, 2011:
This is a very interesting hub and very well researched. I have been to Gettysburg and Savannah and can see why they might be on the list. Haven't been to any of the others but a tour of these locations would be incredibly fascinating. Voted up, awesome, and interesting. Thanks for the information.