Whether you believe in the legends or not, the most haunted places in America have made believers in the supernatural and occult out of many people who have been witness to multiple strange and harrowing events that seemingly defy logic. Nor is it hard to understand why there’s such a fascination with such places.
Many of us would actually like to believe in such things as ghosts, no matter how scary the concept might be on the surface. Why? Because it raises the possibility of each of us also going on to an afterlife in some capacity, which is a comforting concept for many people, even if it meant doing so in a non-corporeal form, all but unable to communicate with the land of the living.
That’s why real-life tales of hauntings, such as the one famously recounted in The Amityville Horror novel and movie are equal parts horrific and intriguing, with that house on 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island, New York becoming a famous tourist destination. As legendary as it is, that house did not make our list, as there has been no reported paranormal activity within the house since the Lutz family moved out of it after 28 days of terror in 1975.
Whether you believe or not, the most haunted places in America are filled with reportedly true ghost stories passed down through time that are fascinating and frightening, if nothing else. But be aware! From a haunted insane asylum, to horrified cursed battlegrounds, these spooky places are not for the faint of heart. If you just can’t get enough of such tales of terror, be sure to check out the feature we did on The 6 Most Haunted Cities in America, where the hauntings aren’t contained within just one place.
Now then, we present you the list of the most haunted places in America you may visit (or steer clear of). Turn up the lights, and let’s take a trip down scary street.
No. 10: St. Louis Cemetery
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Infamous as one of the most haunted places in America, New Orleans is a city filled with mythological beliefs like witchcraft, werewolves, and vampires. The St. Louis Cemetery is the oldest of many cemeteries that mark this site. This place contains many metaphorical midair tombs and mausoleums, crumbling memorials, and zigzag footpaths. A popular adage is that this place is the dwelling of many phantoms, over which Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans rules as their queen.
No.9: The Winchester Mystery House
Location: San Jose, California
The mysterious Victorian mansion in San Jose consists of 160-rooms with long hallways, staircases to nowhere, doors that open into walls and many unlucky number 13’s featured in the house design, which was built by the wealthy widow of William Wirt Winchester, Sarah Winchester. After losing both her daughter and husband, Sarah was warned by a spiritual advisor that her family had been struck by a terrible curse by ghosts. The only way to placate the dead was to build a house for the lost souls and never stop building. For 38 years, construction on the house continued for 24 hours a day, until Sarah died.
No.8: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Location: Weston, West Virginia
Previously known as Weston State Hospital, this former mental asylum was the largest hand-cut stone building in North America, constructed in 1858 to house up to 250 patients. By its peak in the 1950′s, over 2,000 patients called this place home. The grounds also served as a Civil War military base. Ghosts of Civil War soldiers, and patients who died due to severe mistreatments are said to be walking through the two and a half miles of hallways. Visitors also allege to see things moving or feel the presence of spirits.
No.7: Stepp Cemetery
Location: Benton, Indiana
A story about Stepp Cemetery holds that a mother of a dead infant was so distraught that she went to the cemetery and dug up the child’s body after it was buried. That broken-hearted mother took her own life at that place. Visitors claim to have seen her ghost, dressed in black, howling over her daughter’s grave, near the site of an old stump that has since putrefied away.
No. 6: Moundsville Penitentiary
Location: Moundsville, West Virginia
The Moundsville Penitentiary was one of America’s most violent prisons in its history. About one thousand inmates died while being locked up in this frightening, gothic-style penitentiary. Many men were hung or killed in the electric chair, while others were murdered by other prisoners. The prison closed in 1995, but according to some, many ghosts are said to be lurking in the halls, the most famous being the shadow man.
No. 5: Gettysburg Battlefield
Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg is the site of the bloodiest Civil War battle in American history, where over 50,000 soldiers were killed, and their ghosts are still seen and heard today by tourists at that place. This battlefield has stood the test of time as one of the most haunted places in America. Visitors also claim to hear the thunder of cannons, gunfire, and the screams and moans of the battle’s victims.
No.4: Stanley Hotel
Location: Estes Park, Colorado
Many supernatural occurrences have reportedly happened at this hotel, including luggage mysteriously being unpacked, lights turning on and off, and audible sounds of phantom children laughing and giggling in the halls. Staff members have also heard music emanating from the empty ballroom, and kids running and playing on the floors above them.
No.3: St. Augustine Lighthouse
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Fable has it that the daughters of the supervisor of the lighthouse died nearby and these two girls have continued to haunt the place ever since. Visitors have claimed to see apparitions, dark-shadowy figures, incorporeal voices, and mysterious sounds of those girls.
No. 2: The Myrtles Plantation
Location: St. Francisville, Louisiana
Notorious as one of the most haunted places in America, this majestic plantation was built in 1796. The tale has it that ten deaths have occurred on the site. One of the most eminent involves a slave named Chloe, who was apparently killed by fellow slaves after a wretched attempt to poison another house mistress. Visitors have claimed seeing ghostly children on the veranda, a curly-haired woman who mysteriously appears and disappears, odd hand prints and faces that mysteriously appear in mirrors, strange sounds, footsteps, and spiritual voices.
No. 1: Bell Witch Cave
Location: Adams, Tennessee
Bell Witch Cave, the place where John Bell and his family were besieged by a ghost is now open to the courageous visitors who wish to discover the spiritual world. The legend varies, but it is mostly claimed that Kate Batts, a neighbor of the Bells tortured the entire Bell family, physically abusing the youngest daughter Betsy, and cursing John, after being cheated out of property in a land purchase. Visitors claim that anything taken from the site is cursed. Technology also routinely malfunctions there, like cameras mysteriously not working when users try to capture an image, making this our top choice as the most haunted place in America.