Leaves are falling, the wind is getting crisper, and the nights are getting longer. As Autumn falls over the country, we start reflecting on those long nights with ghost stories and spooky tales.
That’s when you know Halloween is almost here. Every year, thousands of Americans take it a step further, becoming part of the stories by visiting some of the most haunted spots in the United States.
We did our research and picked out some of the spookiest spots around the country! Grab your sleeping bag, your camera, and get ready to for the experience of a lifetime.
One of the oldest parts of the United States, it’s no surprise that New England has so many ghost stories. When so much history has occurred in one area, things tend to stick around. And, if we’re talking about history, how could we ignore…
How could the town that was the epicenter of the witch hysteria of the 1690s not be haunted? After all, 19 innocent people were executed and over 150 thrown in jail for being witches during the Salem Witch Trials.
How could the epicenter of the witch hysteria of the 1690s not be haunted?
The most famous haunted location in Salem is the House of the Seven Gables, the inspiration for the Nathanial Hawthorne story of the same title. When stopping in, don’t miss the Witch House, the home of a key judge from the Witch Trials.
The Omni Parker House, Boston, MA
As if you needed an excuse to stay at one of the most beautiful hotels in Boston, the Omni Parker House is one of the most haunted places in the city. Built in 1855, the Omni Parker House was a favorite haunt of legendary authors like Dickens and Thoreau.
You may even meet actress Charlotte Cushman or Charles Dickens at the Omni Parker House.
The third floor is reportedly especially active. You may even meet the spirits of actress Charlotte Cushman or Charles Dickens. There’s also an unnamed businessman who never quite checked out.
Emily’s Bridge, Stowe, VT
Maybe this is one bridge you don’t want to cross.
As you drive through Vermont, you may stumble upon a lone bridge in Stowe. If it’s nighttime, keep driving. Emily’s Bridge is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a jilted young woman left waiting to elope with her love.
People brave enough to cross have reported claw-like scratches along their car or strange noises echoing around the covered bridge. Some may even feel like they’ve been scratched by an unseen force. While historical research hasn’t been able to back up this story, people are certainly experiencing something on that bridge. Maybe this is one bridge you don’t want to cross.
Moving south, we enter an equally historic and reportedly haunted region. As the center of the 13 colonies with some of its largest cities, the Mid-Atlantic region has its share of ghost stories.
Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg, PA
The site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Gettysburg is often called the “America’s most haunted town.” Ghostly locations are scattered around the battlefield and in town. The small town in Pennsylvania even has its own episode on History Channel’s Haunted History series.
Gettysburg is often called the “Most Haunted Place in America,” for good reason.
With such a connection to history, it’s no surprise that ghost tours are a popular service in the area. It’s impossible to cover all the ghosts of Gettysburg (there’s just too many!), but sightings of phantom soldiers or Jennie Wade are common.
Pine Barrens of New Jersey
New Jersey’s Pine Barrens stretches over 1.1 million acres of forest; hiding more than a few haunting tales. Any mention of the Pine Barrens would be incomplete without the Jersey Devil, a creature that’s lurking in the woods as far back as the 1700s.
This isn’t the only story told around campfires in the Barrens, though. Scary stories have circled the Pine Barrens for centuries, ranging from the ghost of a young boy haunting the road he died on, to the all-too-real abandoned towns and buildings.
As concrete jungles give way to antebellum plantations and Southern Gothic settings, we enter the haunted South. A history of tragedy and spiritualism create the perfect atmosphere for ghost stories.
Muriel’s Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA
Beyond Mardi Gras, the two things New Orleans is known for is its food and ghosts. One restaurant tucked away in the French Quarter allows you to pair the two beautifully. You can find Muriel’s in the picturesque Jackson Square. The building is well known for its ghosts.
If you’re lucky, Mr. Jourdan may still join you for dinner.
In fact, it’s a frequent stop on ghost tours around the city. Most stop to allow you to snap a photo of the ghost table, where staff place a dinner to appease the ghost of a former owner. This gesture quieted the spirit, according to staff (though strange happenings are still reported). If you’re lucky, though, Mr. Jourdan may still appear in your photo of his table.
Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, LA
Known as “One of America’s Most Haunted Homes,” the Myrtles Plantation is home to several ghosts, notably a slave named Chloe. As the legend goes, she was a mistress of her master. One day, she was caught eavesdropping and punished by having her ear cut off.
As revenge, she poisoned the birthday cake of her master’s child, killing his wife and two children. To this day, she is spotted around the grounds, along with the spirits of children and former owners of the plantation.
Middle of America
The center of this nation has its own scary stories, often tied to rugged terrain and the even more rugged men and women who settled it. Here, you’ll find stories of seclusion, tragedy, and things lurking in the shadows of the woods.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO
One night was all it took for the Stanley Hotel to inspire Stephen King to The Shining. While the hotel maintains that there are no evil spirits haunting their halls, they’ve made it clear that something’s there. From stories that we’ve read, if you want to find a place that’ll prove to you that spirits exist, it’s the Stanley.
If you’re a Stephen King fan, stay in Room 217… if you dare.
If you’re a Stephen King fan, a stay in Room 217 is a must. If you want something more… otherworldly, try the 4th floor. There, children are often heard running up and down the halls and many of the rooms have stories.
Search for the Bray Road or the Michigan Dogman
Want to hunt a real-life wolfman? Or are you worried it might hunt you?
Moving away from hauntings for a bit, who’s in the mood to hunt a real-life wolfman? If you’re in Wisconsin or Michigan, you may get your chance. The Dogman’s story starts in 1987, when Steve Cook played a joke song called “Legend of the Dogman” over the radio. Immediately, people started calling in, saying “That’s not a joke, I’ve seen it.”
Across state lines, the Beast of Bray Road came to the forefront in the 1990s, when a flurry of sightings were reported. Both are still seen to this day, but you may want to steer clear.
Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, MO
The Lemp Mansion is drenched in tragedy. The family was an early titan of the beer industry, but suicide and tragic events were constant companions. With a story as sad as the Lemp’s, is it any wonder their home, now a restaurant and inn, is reputed to be haunted? The staff seem pretty confident, at least.
All four members of the family that died in the house (patriarch William, sons Billy and Charles, and Billy’s unnamed, physically and mentally disabled son) are around to scare patrons and visitors.
The West Coast may not as old as the East Coast, but it’s got ghost stories of its own. Stories of deceased movie stars visiting their favorite places, soldiers lost at sea, and the most famous monster in the world - the West Coast has it all.
RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA
A ship as luxurious as the Titanic, with over 150 ghosts that refused to leave.
This list has featured hotels and forests, but how about a haunted ship? The Queen Mary is as luxurious as the Titanic and more unsinkable, mostly because it’s permanently docked in Long Beach, CA. What it also has that the Titanic probably doesn’t is a reputation for being packed with ghosts.
Some counts have the number of spirits on the ship as high as 150. Whether it’s the ghost of a previous patron or the soul of a soldier from its World War 2 days, the Queen Mary is happy to oblige curious guests with either a tour or private investigations.
Bigfoot Hunting in the Pacific Northwest
Are you in the mood for something outdoorsy, but less ghost-y? If you’re a fan of Bigfoot and out in the Pacific Northwest, you could try a Bigfoot-themed hike. Bigfoot has been a craze since the 1920s, but Native Americans have told stories of man-like apes since time immemorial.
The Pacific Northwest is one of the centers of Bigfoot sightings, making a guided hike where the big ape’s been spotted all the more interesting.
Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles, CA
Want a close encounter with some Hollywood legends?
Our final entry on this list is a double-whammy for film fans. Not only is the Hollywood Roosevelt reportedly haunted, it’s an icon of cinema. It was a favorite hangout for Hollywood legends and hosted the first Academy Awards.
The most famous person haunting the halls of the Roosevelt is none other than Marilyn Monroe. Sometimes, you can even spot her in a mirror near the elevators in the lobby. From Here to Eternity star Montgomery Clift haunts Room 928, pranking guests and practicing his lines. Other ghosts include a headless phantom in Room 213.
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Visiting some of the creepiest places in the United States is more than a cheap way to get some thrills. If anything, it’s an excuse to visit some of the most historic and beautiful places in the country.
You may even have an unforgettable experience when you have a meet a soldier still fighting to preserve the Union or a hotel guest who loved their room so much, they never left. Happy Halloween!