Visit even the smallest of towns in the U.S. and you’re likely to hear some local ghost stories and discover a few haunted houses. But some American cities have gained the reputation for being particularly ghost-ridden thanks to their rich and often bizarre historical backgrounds. The following are ten of the most haunted cities to steer away from—or toward, if you dare—this Halloween.
10. San Francisco, California
San Francisco’s rich cultural makeup, large immigrant population, and a history of natural disasters like earthquakes have helped it develop a reputation as a Mecca of all things haunted. Chinatown alone is home to countless ghost tours and creepy folklore, but the city also boasts a wealth of haunted hotels, mansions, and army bases. Of these, one of the most famous is the Queen Anne Hotel, which served as a school for girls in the 1890s and is said to be haunted by the ghost of its former headmistress, Mary Lake. There are also a number of stories concerning Mary Anne Pleasant, the so-called “Voodoo Queen of San Francisco,” who was a former slave and abolitionist who used a knowledge of the black arts to gain wealth and influence among the city’s elite. Even the trendy San Francisco Art Institute, which is rumored to have been built on top of a graveyard that housed victims of the 1906 earthquake, is said to be the home of several ghosts who have frequently been seen climbing the stairs to a tower that overlooks the ancient cemetery.
Most Haunted Place: Alcatraz
Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, but the former maximum-security prison is also home to some of the city’s weirdest ghost stories. Visitors to the island often claim to see apparitions walking the cellblocks, and sometimes hear voices emanating from what was once the cafeteria.
9. Key West, Florida
Sunny Key West might not seem like the most probable setting for haunted houses, but this small beach community is home to some of the oldest—and downright creepiest—of all ghost stories. The city’s rich history of buccaneers and rumrunners provides the backdrop for a lot of these ghosts, like those that are said haunt Captain Tony’s Saloon. Before it was a bar, Captain Tony’s was supposedly the location of the island’s morgue, and the tree that grows through the building’s center is said to have been a major site for lynching pirates and other criminals, and many are said to still haunt the premises today. Other local ghost stories concern the writer Ernest Hemingway, who kept a home on Key West for some thirty years. Hemingway’s house, now a museum dedicated to his life and work, is said to house the novelist’s ghost. Some visitors and workers claim to see him walking the grounds, while others have heard the clicking of his typewriter coming from inside the main house.
Most Haunted: Robert the Doll
The island’s art and historical museum isn’t haunted, but it does contain one of the creepiest artifacts of Key West’s history in the form of Robert, a large doll that many claim is possessed. The doll was given to painter Gene Otto in the early 1900s, and the young boy soon became deathly afraid of it, as he said it would often threaten him and wake him in the night by throwing furniture around the room. The boy’s parents would often swear they saw the doll moving, and neighbors claimed they often spotted Robert pacing in front of the windows of the house when the family was away.
8. Athens, Ohio
Athens, Ohio is a small town that is home to the Ohio University as well as some downright strange ghost stories. This small, otherwise peaceful community has inspired stories of hauntings that include everything from a headless train conductor to pagan cults and the violent murders of livestock. Many claim that when plotted on a map, the city’s five major graveyards form the symbol of a pentagram, and strange rituals are at the center of many of Athens’ most famous ghost tales. A lot of these stories date back over a hundred years, when the town became associated with the Spiritualist movement of the 1800s. The most famous tells of Jonathan Koons, a poor farmer who was instructed by ghosts to build a “spirit room” in which apparitions would then manifest and communicate with him from beyond the grave.
Most Haunted Place: Athens Lunatic Asylum
There’s nothing creepier than a good old-fashioned insane asylum, and Athens has one of the most famous in the form of the Athens Lunatic Asylum, which operated from 1874 until 1993. The hospital held many violent patients, and is notorious for being the site of hundreds of lobotomies. Since closing, the hospital has been the at the center of numerous ghost stories, most of which are kept alive by the students at the university, which now owns the asylum grounds. The most famous of these concerns Margaret, a deaf-mute patient who supposedly escaped from her room, accidentally became trapped in an abandoned ward, and eventually died of exposure. Her decomposing body was found weeks later, and supposedly the stain that was left on the floor of the ward can still be seen today.
7. Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon has developed a reputation as the most haunted city of the Pacific Northwest thanks to its bizarre history and high number of ghost sightings. One of the city’s most famous haunted houses is Pittock Mansion, an ornate house that was built in 1914 by a wealthy businessman and his wife, both of whom died shortly thereafter. Visitors have claimed to have seen apparitions and heard footsteps coming from empty rooms, and doors and windows will sometimes open by themselves. Weirdest of all, a portrait of Mr. Pittock, the man who built the house, will inexplicably be found in different parts of the house, as though it can move itself from room to room. In addition to the Pittock house, other Portland haunted places include the Bagdad theater, a movie theater built during the roaring 20s that supposedly houses a number of spirits, and the Willamette river, where in recent years a phantom rowboat has been spotted by several people.
Most Haunted Place: Shanghai Tunnels
Portland’s coastal location established it as a shipping hub and port of call for sailors during the 1800s. This eventually led to the rise of a practice known as shanghaiing, wherein unsuspecting men and women were kidnapped from bars or hotels, shipped to the Orient, and impressed into slave labor or prostitution. Portland was notorious for this practice thanks to a series of labyrinthine underground tunnels that run beneath the city streets, which were used by the Shanghaiiers as a safe way to capture and transfer victims to the harbor without being seen. Today, the tunnels are said to be haunted by the ghosts of the people who were kidnapped, many of whom were never seen or heard from again.
6. Charleston, South Carolina
Known as the “Holy City” for the church spires that dot its skyline, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., and also one of the most haunted. Victorian mansions line the downtown area known as the Battery, which was a protective artillery installation during the Civil War, and it is here that many of the city’s most haunted houses can be found. Perhaps the most famous is the Battery Carriage House Inn, a hotel where people have reported seeing everything from strange lights, to the gentlemanly ghost of a student who died after leaping off the roof, to a headless torso that appears at guests’ bedsides in the middle of the night. Charleston is also known for a number of ghost stories that originated with the Gullah, a West African culture that populates parts of South Carolina and Georgia. The most famous Gullah horror stories usually center on Boo Hags, a type of blood-red vampire that wears human skin as a mask and feeds on its victim’s energy while they sleep.
Most Haunted Place: the Dock Street Theater
Charleston is full of buildings with a checkered past, and one of the most well known is surely the Dock Street Theater. Built in 1809, the theater is said to be the home of two spirits. The first is Nettie, a poor prostitute who was killed near the theater after being struck by lightning. The other is the ghost of Junius Brutus Booth, an actor who is more famous today for being the father of John Wilkes Boothe, the man who killed Abraham Lincoln. Both spirits are said to wander the backstage area of the theater, and many workers and performers claim to have spotted them.
5. Salem, Massachusetts
In 1692, Salem, Mass. became the sight of a series of infamous trials after three local women were accused of using witchcraft to terrorize a trio of young girls. The trials soon escalated into mass hysteria, with townspeople vehemently accusing neighbors and acquaintances, almost all of them unmarried women, of being witches. Over 150 people were arrested and charged, and as may as 19 were eventually executed by hanging. Today, the town of Salem encourages its reputation as “Witch City, USA” and has one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in the country. Alongside the tourist shops and museums, though, stand several infamous ghost stories related to the witch trials. One in particular concerns Gallows Hill, the site of several hangings, which is said to be haunted by the spirits of the 19 people lynched for being witches.
Most Haunted Place: Joshua Ward House
Known as one of the most haunted houses in America, Joshua Ward House is built on the foundation of the home of George Corwin, the man who served as Sheriff during the Salem witch trials. Corwin is infamous for his role in the death of Giles Corey, a local man who was charged with witchcraft. When Corey refused to enter a plea in court, Corwin used an old English legal precedent and placed him under a board piled with rocks in order to coerce him into talking. Corey never relented, and was eventually crushed to death under the massive weight. To this day, many claim that Corey and Corwin, who is rumored to be buried beneath the foundation of his old home, haunt the Joshua Ward House.
4. Chicago, Illinois
Thanks to its famous great fire and history of gangsters and underworld criminals like Al Capone, Chicago has developed quite a reputation for being haunted. The city has a number of well known ghost stories that are whispered among the locals each Halloween, and perhaps none is more famous that the story of Resurrection Mary. As the story goes, Mary was a young girl who was hit and killed by a car while leaving a dance hall with her boyfriend. She was buried in nearby Resurrection Cemetery, and ever since she can be periodically seen wandering the streets in her white burial dress, still trying to find her way back home. Another famous story concerns what has come to be known as the “Devil Baby of Hull House,” a child born with scaly skin and a pointed tail who supposedly haunts the house once owned by famed activist Jane Addams.
Most Haunted Place: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery
Rumored to be one of the prohibition-era gangsters’ favorite places to dump bodies, Bachelor’s Grove is an old and decaying burial ground that has been the site of countless stories about ghosts, spirits, and devil worship. Several headstones in the cemetery seem to move at will, and many claim that the spirits of the dead often materialize and walk the grounds at night. The most famous of these is the “White Lady,” the ghost of a young woman who is always seen in a white dress, often cradling a baby in her arms. Photo: http://www.bachelors-grove.com/
3. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
In July of 1863, the small college town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the site of the biggest military clash of the Civil War, which to this day remains the bloodiest event to ever occur on American soil. Over 150,000 total soldiers converged on the scene, and when the battle was over as many as 50,000 were killed, wounded, or missing. The shadow of the battle still stands over the town today, and many claim the ghosts of dead soldiers haunt the battlefields. What’s unique about Gettysburg is the sheer amount and frequency of its ghost sightings. Some places in the town, like the home of Jenny Wade, a woman who was killed by a stray bullet from the battle, supposedly experience paranormal activity on a daily basis. Elsewhere, there have even been reports of lone visitors to the battlefield park stumbling across what they assume to be a battle reenactment, only to later learn that none took place that day.
Most Haunted Place: The Devil’s Den
The Devil’s Den is a rocky outcropping of boulders and shrubs that was the site of one of the clashes of the second day of the battle. The spot is famous for being the location of a small skirmish that took place when a Union artillery unit returned fire on a Confederate sharpshooter who was taking shots at them from behind the rocks. They later found a body, and photographer Alexander Gardner took a photo of it that has since become one of the most iconic images of the battle. But recent evidence suggests that the body in the photo was not the man responsible, and some even claim that Gardner dragged the corpse of another man to the spot in order to stage the picture. Supposedly, this man’s ghost now haunts the Devil’s Den, and to this day visitors to the park often have a great deal of trouble trying to take photos anywhere near the site. Pictures often come out blurry and unusable, and cameras have a strange way of suddenly dying whenever they are turned on in the area.
2. Savannah, Georgia
With its many cemeteries, gothic mansions, and trees covered in hanging Spanish moss, Savannah, GA fits the bill of a haunted city about as well as any town in America. It was one of only a few places that escaped being burned during Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea” during the Civil War, and so it still contains a good deal of antebellum architecture that serves as a perfect breeding ground for ghost stories. One example is the Pirates’ House, a restaurant that in the late 1700s served as a pub for a notoriously rough clientele of sailors and buccaneers. As in Portland, shanghaiing was a common practice, and unsuspecting or drunk patrons were often waylaid and then dragged to the harbor via a series of underground tunnels connected to the bar’s rum cellar. To this day, many consider the cellar to be haunted, and it is said that at night the sounds of drunken sailors singing can still be heard.
Most Haunted Place: The Hampton Lillibridge House
The Hampton Lillibridge house is an assuming three-story building that was built in 1796 and originally served as a boarding house. It was purchased in the 1960s by a builder who hoped to restore it, and it was then that strange phenomena began to occur. At one point during construction, a portion of the roof collapsed, killing one of the workers. Other builders claimed they would hear voices and footsteps whenever they were alone, and that pieces of construction equipment would often be thrown across the room. Even creepier, they said they often spotted a man in a black suit staring at them from inside the house. Countless exorcisms and investigations have taken place at the house since, and it has gone through several owners, but the presence that haunts it is said to still remain there today.
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
All southern port towns have their share of ghost stories, but none more so than New Orleans, which has truly embraced its reputation as a center of all things paranormal. All of the criteria that tend to produce ghost legends—a coastal location, a checkered past, a rich cultural history, and a potent mix of old and new world religion— can be found here. The city is full of haunted mansions, taverns, and graveyards, and you can’t go far without hearing stories of cursed pirate ships, Civil War-era spirits, and voodoo hexes. In this realm, one of the most famous figures is undoubtedly Marie Laveau, a Creole woman who gained a massive following during the 1800s as one of the first practitioners of voodoo. She died in 1881, but for years after many people claimed to see her walking throughout the French Quarter, and more than 120 years later many ghostly legends about the “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans” still persist.
Most Haunted Place: LaLaurie House
In the heart of the French Quarter lies an ornate mansion that in the 1800s belonged to physician Louis LaLaurie and his socialite wife Delphine. As the story goes, it was rumored at the time that the couple treated their slaves viciously, and there was evidence Lady LaLaurie was responsible for the murder of a 12-year-old girl. The rumors were validated when one night a fire broke out in the mansion’s kitchen. Firemen raced to the scene, and when they kicked down a door to the slave quarters they were astonished to find several slaves chained to the wall in a kind of makeshift dungeon. Many have since claimed that the LaLaurie’s were performing grotesque surgical experiments on the slaves, but modern evidence suggests that this is probably an exaggeration. Either way, the sadistic couple is said to have soon fled the city, and Lady LaLaurie eventually disappeared. The mansion where the horrors took place still stands today, and several ghosts have been sighted, among them the spirits of both Delphine LaLaurie and the young slave girl she is said to have murdered.
Places For Exploring And Experiencing Real Paranormal Activity
1. Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Over ten thousand men died in the battle of Gettysburg.
Located in Pennsylvania, the battlefield is now a national historical site. And reportedly one of the most haunted in New England. It also has one of the most haunted cemeteries next to New Orleans.
Annual visitors report many strange and astonishing ghost sighitings, ghost phtos and of course the scariest of all paranormal encounters. Many believe they meet Civil War re-enactors, only to find out later that no such groups are at the park. For more visitor information, the Gettysburg website includes general park information.
2. New Orleans Lousiana, The Most Haunted city in the south and possibly America. Haunted Mardi Gras floats, voodoo hoodoo dolls the most haunted house in America and the ghosts and Zombies of the worlds's famous Bourbon Street.
New Orleans plays home to real Vampire, ghosts, Werewolf, Devil Baby, the el chupacabra like - Grunch and many many more.
3. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado - Stephen King wrote The Shining while staying at the Stanley, The Atlantic Paranormal Society caught amazing evidence during two episodes of Ghost Hunters, and dozens of staff and guests report everything from apparitions of children to objects moving by themselves.
4. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky - Prepare for shadow people, ghostly nurses and disembodied voices singing in the attic at this former tuberculosis hospital in Kentucky. Be sure to bring your camera, since most visitors catch just simple orb photos when touring the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
5. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Investigated by many paranormal groups and included in numerous television documentaries, Eastern State is often called the "haunted prison". An online, virtual reality tour is available.
6. Saint Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida - Many walk away from this haunting in awe!
7.The Tomb Of Marie Laveau, St. Louis Cemetery Number 1. New Orleans Lousiana.
In the cemetery many often report the voodoo hoodoo death touch of Marie Laveau's Ghost. Many locals will only say if you are going to die soon, the old Voodoo Hoodoo Queen's ghosts will touch or tap you on the shoulder 3 times.
If you are a woman who secretly cheats on her husband and visits the tomb they say her vengefull ghosts will kick you in the butt very hard. So hard you will cry in pain so all will know your shame.
8. The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California - This haunted ocean liner contains numerous ghosts, including ghostly children playing by the pool and the spirit of a seventeen-year-old sailor killed while escaping a fire.
9. The Lincoln Theater, Decatur, Illinois - The grand old Lincoln Theater provides visitors with many classic examples of paranormal activity. Troy Taylor hosts many haunted happeings here each year.
10. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois - Over one hundred documented reports of ghost sightings make Bachelor's Grove Cemetery one of the most haunted cemeteries in the country.
11. Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana
Now a bed-and-breakfast, the Myrtles Plantation is said to house many ghosts and spirits due to supoosedly 10 murders and 1 suicide that have occurred there since it was built in 1796. Among them are the ghosts of Clothilde, a former slave who was hung for poisoning two little girls, the ghosts of the little girls, and William Winter, a former owner who was shot on the front porch.
Other apparitions seen by visitors include ghosts from the slave graveyard on the property, and a ghost that meets guests at the inn's gate and says the plantation is closed. A psychic who visited the building said visiting the parlor was like walking into a "crowded cocktail party of spirits," while the owner of the bed-and-breakfast said the ghosts have proven to her that there's life after death.
12. Devil's Promenade, Hornet, Missouri
There is an unexplained ball of orange light that has been seen every night since 1866 on a two-mile stretch of road known as the Devil's Promenade. Legend suggests the light is the ghost of two Quapaw Indians who were in love and committed suicide together. Another theory is that it is the lantern of a miner's ghost who is looking for his missing wife and children, who were abducted.
The light -- also called the Hornet Ghost Light, the Neosho Spook Light, and the Devil's Jack o' Lantern -- is known to enter cars, dodge people and leave glowing traces and sparks behind as it moves. The Army Corps of Engineers investigated the phenomenon in 1946 and concluded it was "a mysterious light of unknown origin." The light was also investigated by the Ghost Research Society in 1983, which found it was a diamond-shaped light with a hollow center.
13. Bobby Mackey's Music World, Wilder, Kentucky
Bobby Mackey's Music World is a dance hall that was once (in the 1850s) a slaughterhouse. Devil worshippers reportedly used the slaughterhouse's basement, which collected animal blood, for rituals, including one in which a woman was beheaded.
In the 1920s, the building was a speakeasy and several mob murders reportedly occurred on the site. Since it was converted into a dancehall in 1976, at least 30 people have signed affidavits that supernatural happenings have occurred there, including appearances of ghosts dressed in old-fashioned, cowboy-type clothing.
A customer even claims to have been assaulted by a ghost in the bathroom, which caused him to break his arm. He's suing Bobby Mackey for not ridding the building of spirits.
14. Villisca Ax Murder House, Villisca, Iowa
In 1912, the J.B. Moore family (the parents and their four children), along with two children who were staying over that night, was murdered in their beds in a shocking crime for this otherwise small, peaceful community. The murders were never solved, but since then many unusual phenomena have been reported in the house. The Moore home was restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and today is open to overnight visitors.
Guests have reported children's voices and laughter, falling lamps, moving objects, and odd sounds, while others have recorded audio, video and photographic evidence of supernatural activities. Psychics who have visited the home have also reportedly communicated with spirits
15. The Winchester Mansion, San Jose, California
Sarah Winchester, a wealthy widow, built the 160-room Victorian Winchester mansion in 1884. It was such an unprecedented project that construction workers worked on the home 24 hours a day for 38 years. The home has many bizarre features, built to keep out evil spirits, including false doors, a room built for séances (where Sarah developed building plans that ghosts sent to her) and a stairway that leads to the ceiling, and many supernatural occurrences have happened there.
Sarah Winchester reportedly spoke to spirits nightly at midnight and since then people have reported organ music in the Blue Room where Sarah died, apparitions, cold spots, a smell of chicken soup in the kitchen, red balls of light and more. Today visitors can take tours of the mansion (including special nighttime flashlight tours)
16. The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, Missouri
Built in the 1860s by the Lemp family (who created "Falstaff" beer), the Lemp Mansion is said to be haunted by the family, which was surrounded by tragedy. William Lemp's son died in 1904, and afterward William committed suicide in the house. In 1920, his daughter also committed suicide, and later so did William Lemp, Jr., and Charles Lemp, leaving the family completely torn apart.
Since then, the house was sold and became a boarding house and later, in 1977, a fine restaurant (which is still open today). Workers and boarding tenants have reported feelings of being watched, vanishing tools, strange sounds, apparitions, glasses flying through the air, a piano playing by itself, voices and other strange occurrences.
17. Alcatraz Located in the San Francisco, California - The subject of many full blown haunted paranormal investigations. documention of this haunted prison known as the Rock is always making headlines in the paranormal news. Haunted San Francisco has many a said haunted location from buildings to cemeteries and the most famous hot spot of mystery Alcatraz Prison. The now closed prison ghost are not so quiet, sounds of ghostly footsteps and the real sounds of cell doors opening and closing also echo throughout the empty haunted corridors. Visitors, Tour guides, and paranormal investigators and workers have all reported feeling many localized "cold haunted ghost spots" in certain common areas, and the feeling that they are not alone. EVP"S, ghost photos and ghostly encounters abound.
The prison on Alcatraz Island, a lonely outcropping in the middle of San Francisco Bay, was opened in 1933 as a maximum-security facility for America's most dangerous criminals. Among its most celebrated internees were Chicago crime boss Al Capone and Robert "Birdman" Stroud. Life on Alcatraz was hard: Inmates were lucky to spend one hour a day outside their cells, and those so favored usually spent the time breaking rocks. Violating prison rules could mean months of solitary confinement, sometimes in the Hole, a tiny cell with no light. The prison was shut down in 1963, and Alcatraz Island became a national park site. But the building still stands, and some of the poor souls that served time and died there seem to be locked forever behind its dank walls.
18. Haunted chicagoland when in Chicago, Illinois, you may want to avoid picking up female hitchhikers wearing white party dresses and dancing shoes. Many men have been fooled by this beautiful blond lady that requests a ride home only to be led to Resurrection cemetery where she simply vanishes. The young woman is believed to be the ghost of Mary Brgovy and she has been seen by dozens of passersby traveling on the lonely road that Mary frequently haunts. Allerton Park houses a haunted mansion with beautiful gardens and a permanent houseguest. A woman in white haunts the house and the grounds. She is often seen walking in the garden and visitors claim to hear footsteps in the mansion of what appears to be a lady pacing. Chicago has many haunted cemeteries and some are neglected and forgotten. The Bachelor’s Grove cemetery is considered amongst one of Chicago’s most haunted spots. It is likely to see a ghost car or one of the many apparitions that have made this cemetery their home. Chicago has many haunted mansions and famous documented haunting locations for tourists to enjoy.
19. CASSADAGA, FLORIDA ~A town where all the residents are mediums or psychics. The main "business" in this quaint hamlet, is communicating with the dead and healing the sick. It is a beautiful town, very peaceful, with a Gothic look that invites visitors to stroll the narrow streets. Almost every home in the town has a hanging sign announcing the services of a medium. This is not just a business, it is the combined religious beliefs of Spiritualism. The residents and practioners, invite visitors to their town, but frown on the curiosity seekers. UNX-researchers frequently conduct psychic studies with certain Spiritualists in Cassadaga, in addition, one of our UNX-parapsychologists is a long time resident of Cassadaga. This unusual village was founded in 1895, by George Colby, who was guided to the spot by an Indian Spirit, who directed Colby to build a Spiritual Center on the site. Cassadaga is located between Orlando and Daytona Beach, in Volusia county, just east of Interstate-four.
20. Rosedale, Mississippi ~ Highway 8 intersects with Highway 1. Robert Johnson and his infamous crossroads deal with the devil – in which he traded his immortal soul for musical genius – is deeply ingrained in the mythology and legend of the rural South and is one of the best-known tales of American folklore.
21. Sloss Furnace ~ April 18, 1882, Sloss Furnaces began producing iron and did not stop until ninety years later. Over the decades, Sloss Furnaces gave rise to the city of Birmingham and served as a battleground for economic, employment and social reform. Now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Sloss Furnaces is open to the public as a museum of industry which speaks to the contributions of the working men who labored there. With its massive furnaces, web of pipes, and tall smokestacks, it offers us a glimpse into the great industrial past of the South and our nation.
Shut down in 1970 when it was no longer profitable for parent company U. S. Pipe, the property was donated to the City and is maintained as a museum, and a monument to Birmingham's iron industry. Sloss Furnace today is a fascinating place to visit, and a great way to gain an understanding of the making of iron that was such a key element in the development of the Magic City.
22. Amityville, Long Island, New York ~ 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island, New York, is reputedly haunted due to a mass murder (the DeFeo family) that took place in the house on the evening of November 13, 1974. The Lutz family moved into the house thirteen months later, but fled 28 days later claiming that the house was haunted. Families have continuously lived in the house since the Lutz family fled and have reported no supernatural disturbances. Several people (notably the attorney for the man who murdered the DeFeo family) have come forward to say that the story was concocted as a money making scheme and an appeals strategy over many bottles of wine. Though both George and Kathy Lutz disputed that until Kathy's death in 2005, the Amityville Horror book and film franchise has been a huge money-maker for over 25 years.
23. Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas ~ One of the most famous hotels in the state of Texas, and long a gathering place for the state's political players, it is said to be haunted by at least half a dozen ghosts, including the spirit of a young girl heard bouncing a ball down the main stairs; the ghost of founder Jesse Driskill himself; and a "suicide bride" who killed herself in room 427 in 1989.
The hotel enjoyed a grand opening on December 20, 1886, and was featured in a special edition of the Austin Daily Statesman. In January 1887, Governor Sul Ross held his inaugural ball in its ballroom, beginning a tradition for every Texas governor since.
Driskill unfortunately did not have the clientele to match the splendor of his four-star hotel. At a time when other hotels were 50 cents to one dollar per night, Driskill charged $2.50 to $5.00 (including meals), an exorbitant sum at what was then still relatively a Wild West town. Following the loss of a great fortune in cattle drives, Driskill was forced to close the hotel in May 1887, less than a year after it opened. According to legend, he lost the entire hotel in a game of poker to his brother-in-law, Jim "Doc" Day, who became its second owner.
The hotel changed hands several times through the turn of the century, and went through boom and bust cycles along with the city of Austin. The original building was expanded in 1929 with a thirteen-story tower.
The Driskill was threatened with demolition in 1969, and most of its furnishings sold, but was saved from the wrecking ball at almost the last minute when a non-profit organization called the Driskill Hotel Corporation raised $500,000. The hotel re-opened in 1971, under management of the Braniff Airways corporation and has remained successful since.
Throughout its history, the Driskill has become a centerpiece for Austin's high society, and especially in its early years, a common meeting place for Texas state congressmen, where many "backroom deals" were said to go down.
The Driskill was where future president Lyndon B. Johnson took his wife, Lady Bird Johnson on their first date. It became his campaign headquarters during his congressional career, and became his home base on return trips to Austin as President. He watched the results of the 1964 Presidential Election from its presidential suite and addressed supporters from its ballroom after his victory.
Today the Driskill remains one of the premier hotels in Texas, featuring lavish bridal suites, two restaurants, and a grand ballroom. It is also well-known for being one of the most haunted hotels in the United States, featuring as many as half a dozen ghosts throughout the building.
The hotel is located at 601 Brazos Street. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.
According to Austin Ghost Tours, Driskill makes his presence known by the smell of cigar smoke. He is believed to turn bathroom lights on and off in several guest rooms on the top floors of the hotel.Another apparition is the four-year-old daughter of a US Senator. She haunts the grand staircase leading from the mezzanine down to the lobby. The little girl was playing unattended with a ball when she slipped and fell to the marble floor at the bottom of the stairs and was killed. The front desk staff has heard the child bouncing the ball down the steps and giggling.
A Houston woman in the early 1990s took a trip to the Driskill to try and recuperate from a marriage that her fiancé called off at the last minute . Staying in Room 29 she decided the way to help herself recoup, would be to go on a week long shopping spree with her fiancé’s credit cards. She was last seen coming out of the elevator on the fourth floor with her arms filled with numerous bags and packages. Her body was discovered three days later when the housekeepers became concerned that she hadn’t left the room to eat. She was found lying in the bathtub. She had shot herself in the stomach muffling the sound with a pillow. The Austin Police Department crime scene photographer reported it was a sad scene to see such a young women commit suicide when she could have had a long, happy life ahead of her.
25. Cresent Hotel~ A number of rooms are haunted in this historic hotel. Room 218 is the spot where Michael, an Irish stonemason, landed when he fell from the hotel's roof during construction. His ghost is said to bang on the walls and turn the lights and television on and off. Rooms 202 and 424 are also said to be haunted. Outside of the Recreation Room, the ghost of Dr. Norman Baker often appears, looking a bit confused. He ran a controversial hospital and health resort in the building during the 1930s. A nurse, dressed in a white uniform, has been seen on the third floor. A woman in Room 419 introduces herself as a cancer patient to guests and housekeepers, then vanishes. Also roaming the grounds is a gentleman in Victorian clothing who haunts the lobby, the confused ghost of Doctor Baker (who ran the facility in the 1930s when it was a hospital/health spa), and the ghost of a nurse dressed in white who wanders the entire hotel.
Guests have reported sightings and other odd happenings in a number of guest rooms, the lobby, dining room and the grounds of this great historic hotel in Haunted Eureka Springs.
You don't need to stay in a haunted room to see a real ghost at the Crescent Hotel. Outside of the Recreation Room, the ghost of Dr. Norman Baker often appears, looking a bit confused. He ran a controversial hospital and health resort in the building during the 1930s. Many people believe honestly that the spring water that flows underneath the hotel is high in energy and it attracts ghostly apparitions. Is this just a publicity gimmick to help a failing hotel? It could be, but actually the hotel was starting to do well before the ghosts were sighted.
The Crystal Dining Room of the Crescent Hotel is particularly active, and many spirits in Victorian garb hve been spotted there at the tables or in the mirrors. Once, at Christmastime, the staff reported leaving a Christmas tree and presents at one end of the locked and empty Crystal Dining Room. Upon their return, the staff found the tree and presents moved to the other end of the room, and chairs facing the tree in a semi-circle.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa has a rich and fascinating history. Read about some of the earliest accounts from these stories taken from the Eureka Springs Times Echo, one of Eureka Springs' early newspapers which is still in existence today and some fascinating information on Dr. Norman Baker, one time owner of the Crescent Hotel who ran a "Cancer Hospital" in his "Castle in the Air".
The hotel was designed by the architect Isaac L. Taylor in 1886.It was used as a hotel for several years before it could no longer sustain itself financially.
In 1908, the hotel was opened as the Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women. Soon it couldn't afford to stay open as a school either.The school closed in 1924 and then reopened from 1930 to 1934 as a junior college.
The Crescent was leased as a summer hotel after the school closed. In 1937, it got a new owner.Norman Baker turned the place into a hospital and health resort. Baker was an inventor and had made millions of dollars by 1934. Baker wasn't happy just inventing things because he thought of himself as a doctor (even though he had no medical training). He claimed to have discovered a number of "cures" for various ailments, including cancer.He was sure that organized medicine was conspiring against him. He had recently been ran out of Iowa for practicing medicine without a license.
Baker moved his cancer patients to Arkansas and he advertised the health resort.The "cure" was basically drinking the natural spring water. No one was really harmed by this, but it wasn't really the advertised "miracle cure". Federal charges were filed against him for mail fraud and he spent four years in prison. The Crescent Hotel was left ownerless.
The hotel stayed closed until 1946 when new investors took it over and began trying to restore this odd and historical piece of Ozark history.
26. Willard Library ~The oldest public library in the state of Indiana, established in 1885 in Evansville Indiana. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.The library opened in 1885 and apparently the ghost, whoever she is, dates from that time period because her clothing matches costume of that era. Despite visits from psychics and ghost researchers, no one has been able to learn the identity of the spirit who haunts the building.
27. Haunted Salem, Massachusetts ~ Salem, Massachusetts is home to a world of haunting's! Walk the narrow streets What it has been branded “ The Haunted Witch City” with haunted shops, strange haunted museums,and very many haunted house and building. In a Salem haunted cemetery read the epitaphs of history on one their many colonial haunted graves. Meet real Salem Witches who are waiting to guide you through our city’s mysteries haunted streets on a Haunted Witch or Haunted ghost tours.. Shop mystical emporiums that will entice you with treasures found nowhere else.
28. Savannah, Georgia is considered by many the most haunted city in America. It was named so by Fox Television's Scariest Places on Earth television series and there is enough history and legend permeating the old town to fill hundreds of books. Its colorful and legend-filled past enthralls visitors to this day; its streets are filled with the shadows and ghosts of bygone days, perhaps still waiting to greet the inquisitive traveler. "Savannah was built on its dead," pays homage to its grave beginnings.
29. Hull House ~ Many a tale of horror is associated with that of Jane Addam's Hull House, One of America's most famous haunted houses. Founded by Jane Addams in 1889 on Chicago's Near haunted West side, this now world famous social settlement has become a museum dedicated to Jane Addams and her many works. The house is in a community where, long ago, immigrants fought in the streets to find their place in Chicago. Hull House is rumored to be the most haunted place in the area... Some hear footsteps, voices are often heard, and a cold touch or bump by an unseen specter. The stories told time and again by both staff and visitors. home of the Devil baby.
30. Stull Cemetery - Kansas ~ It's infamous nicknames are The Seven Lost Gates of Hell, The Cemetery of The Damned, Satan's Burial Ground and most notably The Seventh Gate to Hell. Stull cemetery is often said to be where Satan the Devil himself holds court with his lost worshippers.
Of course there are more haunted locations across America where ghosts are said to rome but these are what many consider the best and most haunted locations to experience a real ghost sighting and encounter.