Top 10 Haunted Places in America

September 12, 2019

Mysterious apparitions, gruesome hotel murders, and seemingly possessed penitentiaries. It seems like around every corner of the United States lies a haunted city or ghost town. From ghastly ghost stories worthy of a Stephen King novel to Southern Gothic cemeteries crawling with spirits, paranormal activity is on the rise in the U.S.A.

Follow along to discover the top 10 Haunted Places in America.

Get your fill of bloodthirsty gangsters and ghosts in the Windy City. Or head south to explore the lingering spirits and Voodoo magic of the Big Easy.

Travel to the Lonestar state and attempt to make contact with the lingering spirits of the Alamo and Midget Mansion. Or head back east to take part in any number of presidential ghost tours in our Nation’s capital.

Whether you wish to dive into the underbelly of 1920s crime or commune with the undead aboard a luxury liner, Haunted America is overflowing with hair-raising adventures. 

Ready to go ghost hunters? Let’s check out the top haunted places in America!

Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America

Haunted Places Salem, MA

Double double toil and trouble, come spooky season, it’s only fitting to head to the birthplace of the Salem Witch Trials. Thanks to its troubling history of histrionics and burning witches at the stake, haunted places in Salem, MA abound.

From houses used during the witch trials to Victorian homes of literary fame, Salem is prime territory for ghost hunting:

  • House of Seven Gables - this gothic-inspired house was the home of the well-to-do Hawthorne family. John Hawthorne served as a judge at the infamous witch trials. Later his great-great-grandson would go on to write the Scarlet Letter. 
  • The Witch House - As the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin, the Witch House is the only still-standing establishment that has a connection to the Salem Witch Trials. Corwin would ultimately send 19 poor souls to the gallows. 
  • Burying Point Cemetery - boasting the honor of being the 2nd oldest cemetery in the entire country, Burying Point has seen its fair share of supernatural experiences. Many visitors report hearing voices among the tombstones or spotted apparitions of a Lady in White. Given that so many victims of the trials are buried here, the number of ghostly sightings is unsurprising. 
Ground shot a the Salem Witch Museum and a statue that sits across from it on a Sunny in Salem Massachusetts

photo credit: Salem Witch Museum via Facebook

Need to find some boo-free accommodations in Beantown? Check out our vast array of Boston hotels.

Did you know there are haunted restaurants in Salem, MA? Make a date for dinner with some devilish surprises when you visit one of the many haunted restaurants in Salem, MA. From Rockafellas to Turner’s Seafood, nothing quite pairs with a poltergeist sighting like clam chowder or crab cakes.

Is Salem part of your even bigger Haunted House tour of Boston? Dive into Beantown’s spine-tingling history of stranglings, haunted hotels, serial killers, and more when you book a Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Tour.

Pro tip: For an extra special serving of macabre, make sure to visit this quaint New England city during Halloween.

Need a break from the most haunted places in the US? For some slightly less fearsome fun, check out our fall Boston favorites.

photo credit: Downtown Salem via Facebook

San Antonio Haunted Places 

Execution arenas, wayward cathedral spirits, and strange mansion happenings come together to create a perfect storm of spookiness in San Antonio, Texas. This epicenter of Spanish Colonialism and the cry of the Alamo boasts some downright terrifying sights. In between tons of Texas BBQ, be sure to sneak in the following stops:

  • San Fernando Cathedral - this stunning Gothic Revival church is well worth a visit for the architecture alone. But, history and horror fiends will flip over sightings of otherworldly inhabitants. Many people believe these orbs are former Alamo soldiers. Since construction workers unearthed skeletons in military uniforms during the 1936 renovation of the building. 
  • The Spanish Governor’s Palace - one of the oldest buildings in this city, this 18th-century palace has many haunted areas including the ‘hanging tree.’ It was here where over 35 criminals met their grim fate. 
  • Midget Mansion - also known as Gillespie Mansion, this San Antonio supernatural staple is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the murdered ‘Midget’ family. Many visitors report hearing moans or cries and spotting fresh scratch marks on the walls. 

Breakout your ghost-busting gear, because you’re bound to spot some spooky specters on your San Antonio Historical Ghost Tour. Let the expert ghost guides take you through downtown San Antonio's top haunted hotels and hot spots, including the San Fernando Cathedral and the Aztec theater on this 2-hour walking tour. 

Pennsylvania

Think all is kosher in the Quaker State? While Pennsylvania may not immediately conjure images of restless spirits and wizened skeletons, everywhere from Philly to Gettysburg has reported happenings from the undead:

  • Sachs Covered Bridge - preserved for 200 years this haunted bridge is said to be the location of countless mysterious orbs and soldier ghosts. Legend has it this is where traitors were hung after many Civil War battles.
  • Eastern State Penitentiary - known for its brutal torture methods and penal punishments, this PA penitentiary is now considered one of the most haunted locales in the U.S. The severity of past prisoner abuse has led many people to spot shadowy visions and other inexplicable sounds and visions here. 
  • Gettysburg Battlefield - the savage Civil War nearly tore our nation apart. Gettysburg, PA witnessed much of this violence. Today, many visitors to this historic sight and National Park report sounds of cannon fire, screams from soldiers, and other disturbing noises.

Christchurch Burial Grounds, Independence Hall, and Jeweler's Row. Not all PA history needs to come with a side of paranormal. Uncover the history, architecture, and culture of the Birthplace of Liberty when you reserve a Philadelphia Walking Tour with Travel Curious. 

long dark corridor tunnel inside the Eastern State Penitentiary ESP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Image Courtesy of Getty Images

Florida Haunted Places

Sparkling beaches, palm trees, and plenty of theme parks may be what draws millions of visitors to the Sunshine State. However, behind this tropical facade lies heaps of spooky legends and haunted landmarks. In fact, the enchanting Spanish colonial city of St. Augustine is home to some of the most intriguing happenings on our list of haunted places in America.

  • St Augustine Lighthouse - the tragic deaths of two young girls have led visitors of the lighthouse to believe they hear sounds of children playing. In addition, the lighthouse's former keeper fell to a horrible death while painting the tower.
  • Castillo de San Marcos - bad romance, anyone? The oldest masonry fort in the U.S. is also the location of a love triangle gone horribly wrong.
  • The Old Jail - prison is never a happy place, but the Old Jail’s brutal care of inmates and inhuman conditions has led many visitors to report sightings and sounds of unhappy spirits.

Can’t get enough of St. Augustine's charming cobblestones, colonial history, and pirate’s lore? Cover every inch of America’s oldest city and hit up highlights such as Flagler College, Castillo de San Marcos, and the Lightner Museum with a St Augustine Day Trip.

evening view of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument with blue and purple skiesNew Orleans Haunted Places

From the French Quarter to the Garden District, it seems as if every square block of NOLA is crawling with spirits and Bayou magic. The Big Easy may be known for Jazz and delicious Creole flavor. But, its unyielding history of hauntings makes it an ideal stop for lovers of the occult:

  • Hotel Monteleone - Everyone knows ghosts love hanging around an old hotel. The Monteleone is known for mysteriously misbehaving elevator lifts, curious chilly winds, and ghostly children playing. 
  • St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 - The oldest cemetery in the Crescent City is also the final resting place of the infamous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. 
  • Lalaurie Mansion - made popular by the hit show American Horror Story, this mansion’s past is so horrifying Hollywood couldn't even resist it. 

Need even more voodoo, vampires, and witches in your life? For an extra helping of horror, check out our complete array of Paranormal Tours in New Orleans

above ground grave vaults in the lafayette cemetery no 1 garden district of new orleans, louisiana, USACalifornia Haunted Places

The land of celebrities and surfers also holds some sinister secrets. Abandoned mining towns, a haunted ocean liner, and estates built on gallows all make for a spooky good time in the Golden State:

  • Queen Mary - once a luxury liner for wealthy transatlantic passengers, the Queen Mary now entertains visitors as a floating haunted hotel. Thanks to a sailor’s tragic passing and children drowning in a pool, there have been multiple occurrences of decreased activity. 
  • The Whaley House - built in 1857 this family estate sits on the location of what was once former gallows for the city of San Diego. The Whaley family would go on to be plagued by countless inexplicable deaths and suicides. This has lead many experts to believe the house is cursed.
  • Bodie California - in the 1870s Bodie was a booming gold rush town flush with cash and upright citizens. Today, as a State Historic Park much of the town is preserved in a state of arrested decay. Rumor has it that visitors that take even a pebble from this historic site will be cursed by the undead. 

Ghosts aren’t the only things that go bump in the night in San Diego! Learn all about ladies of the night and sample delicious drinks and treats on a Brothels, Bites, and Booze Food Tour

exterior view of the whaley house museum in old town in San Diego, California, USA

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Colorado

Snow-capped Rocky Mountains, ski runs, and unparalleled hiking may draw many travelers to Colorado. But, besides boatloads of natural alpine beauty, Colorado is crawling with malignant spirits, specters, and spooks:

  • Cheesman Park - constructed on top of what was once the Mount Prospect Graveyard, this lush Denver park is rife with apparitions and mysterious lights. Many ghost lovers claim these are the souls of the human skeletons that workers stumbled upon while building an irrigation system in 2010.
  • Stanley Hotel - served as the real-life inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. In fact, this sprawling hotel is considered so haunted, the ghosts even have names, and creepy children’s laughter is often heard emanating from an empty ballroom. 

Looking for more Denver things to do? Fill out your schedule of Rocky Mountain fun with theme parks, SeaQuest, and more. 

Washington D.C. Haunted Places

Presidential poltergeists, demonic cats, and an unidentified spirit known as the ‘Thing.’ Our Nation’s fair capital is a beacon for plenty of restless spirits including many former presidents. Take in the Lincoln Memorial and the Mall by day, and after dusk soak in the supernatural:

  • White House - has a long history of otherworldly sightings, including those of Abraham Lincoln in the Yellow Oval Bedroom, Andrew Jackson in the Rose Room, and an unnamed British soldier who roams the White House’s grounds with a torch.
  • The U.S. Capitol Building - is considered by many obsessed occultists to be one of the most haunted buildings in the world. Capitol lore is complete with curses, a demonic black cat, and the spirit of John Quincy Adams.

What’s more mesmerizing than witnessing the monuments by moonlight? Press pause on the spooky stuff when you reserve a Washington D.C. Night Tour.

US Capital Building Washington DC

Chicago

A thoroughly possessed Zoo and lots of 1920s bloodshed intermingle in Illinois. The Windy City boasts a nefarious past of fast-talking gangsters, machine gun massacres, and more. Make time for its thoroughly haunted history when you stop by any of the following hotbeds of ghostly activity:

  • Lincoln Park Zoo - lions, tigers, and spooks oh my! The Lincoln Park Zoo may be an animal oasis. But, this family-friendly attraction also lets a number of spirits here rest rent-free. Built atop a former mass grave site, the Zoo’s undead activity is apparently off the charts. 
  • Congress Plaza Hotel - once the headquarters of the legendary Al Capone. This over centuries-old hotel has been declared one of the most haunted locales in the state. Guests from all over have reported seeing old Scarface near his former suite on the 8th floor. In addition, a hobo ghost is known to play tricks on guests, including flickering lights and malfunctioning electronics. 

Can’t get enough of the Second City’s criminals? Dive into the murky and murderous history of the Untouchables, the Valentine’s Day Massacre, and more when you take part in a Chicago Crime Tour. 

Georgia Haunted Places

Savannah delights might make your mouth water, but prime yourself for an otherworldly chill when you tackle the cemeteries and theaters of this Georgia city. From wandering Civil War soldiers to Southern Gothic architecture there’s much to uncover in the Hostess City:

  • Bonaventure Cemetery - draping Spanish moss, solemn statues, and a creepy antebellum atmosphere make Bonaventure a must-stop on any ghost tour. Featured in the famous novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this cemetery is best known for spooky accounts of ghost Gracie Watson.
  • The Savannah Theatre - Built in 1818, this historic theater is one of the oldest in the country. However, this charming art deco structure has endured numerous fires, hurricanes, and occult encounters leading many to believe it's cursed. 

Whether you go by trolley or foot, there’s never a bad time to get more intimately acquainted with the creepy cobblestone streets of Savannah. From the Andrew Low House to Perkin’s & Sons Ship Chandlery, Savannah Ghost Tours provides you with your passport to the paranormal.

Whispering gallows, unearthed burial sites, and Civil War battlefields soaked in the blood of soldiers past.

From our Nation’s rugged mountain ranges to the more metropolitan cities, every inch of America is overflowing with paranormal history and hauntings.

Explore restless spirits and rhinoceros at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Or give yourself the ultimate scare at the very hotel that inspired Jack Nicholson’s breakdown in the Shining.

Pay your respects to the willful witches who burned at the stake in Salem. Or observe the serene views from a seemingly cursed lighthouse in Florida.

Whether your ghost hunting takes you to a prison, a plush hotel room, or a tranquil park, there are unlimited thrills to be had at the most haunted places in America.

Tell us, Where Else Are the Most Haunted Places in America?

How many of the most haunted places in America have you visited?

Leave us a comment below!


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Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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