December 15, 2023 | Sammy Tran

America's Eeriest Haunts: 15 Spots to Encounter the Paranormal

15 Spots to Encounter the Paranormal

Inexplicable experiencesPexels

The United States is full of historic sites—many with tales of mysteries, tragedies, and hauntings.

From creepy asylums to ancient hotels, these places promise an otherworldly experience.

For the brave people who love true ghost stories, here’s a list of 15 places where the dead reportedly still roam.

The Stanley Hotel – Colorado

Staircase of The Stanley Hotel - ColoradoKit Leong, Shutterstock

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park was famously inspired by Stephen King’s “The Shining”.

People who have stayed there reported eerie piano music, creepy children’s laughter, and sudden cool breezes.

If you’re up for an overnight stay, try Room 217—the most haunted of them all.

Eastern State Penitentiary – Pennsylvania

Haunted PrisonMISHELLA, Shutterstock

The Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous prison in the world. Currently, it’s abandoned halls tell creepy tales.

Tourists report seeing shadowy figures, and hearing cackling laughter and empty footsteps in the darkness.

If you like this sort of thing, they hold nightly tours to explore its dark past—but its advised that you stick close to the group.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Kentucky

Haunted Waverly Hills SanatoriumRoyasfoto73, Wikimedia Commons

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was originally build to house tuberculosis patients—many of whom succumbed to the illness. It is now a hot spot for paranormal enthusiasts.

Tourists report seeing spirits of nurses, flickering lights, and hearing echoing voices down dark hallways.

If you dare—take an overnight ghost hunting tour and document your findings.

Alcatraz Island – California

Haunted prison in Californiathomaslabriekl, Shutterstock

Alcatraz Island is home to a widely known prison in California. It housed America’s most notorious criminals, such as: Al Capone, Rufe Persful, and the OG Machine Gun Kelly.

Visitors have reported feeling sudden cold spots, hearing ghostly weeping, and even seeing spirits lurking the cells.

The night tours are a favorite among crime enthusiasts.

The Queen Mary – California

Queen Mary Ocean Liner HallwayRuss Allison Loar, Wikimedia Commons

The Queen Mary is an oceanliner turned hotel, docked in Long Beach. It has its fair share of ghost stories.

Guests report seeing ghosts dressed in 1930s attire, hearing knocks on the doors, and hearing crying at night.

The ship’s engine room is apparently a hotspot for activity, considering the 50 reported deaths that happened there.

Gettysburg Battlefield – Pennsylvania

Gettysburg Battlefield - Pennsylvaniarusty426, Shutterstock

The Gettysburg Battlefield is one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. And many people report that the spirits of fallen soldiers still haunt the grounds.

Specific reports include hearing phantom gunfire and cries of pain.

Many of the guided tours give deep dives into the tragic history.

Villisca Axe Murder House – Iowa

Haunted house in IowaVillisca Axe Murder House

Back in 1912, eight people brutally lost their lives in the house in Iowa. To this day, the crime remains unsolved.

Visitors report hearing children’s voices, moving furniture, and shadowy figures.

If you think you can make it, they offer overnight stays—but few actually can.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast – Massachusetts

Haunted houseEQRoy, Shutterstock

This bed and breakfast in Massachusetts is known for the infamous Borden family murders. It now operates as a B&B, offering nightly seances to anyone who dares take part.

Guests have reported seeing the spirit of Lizzie and her slain family, hearing phantom footsteps, and feeling random cold spots.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – West Virginia

Haunted AsylumMalachi Jacobs, Shutterstock

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was originally designed to house 250 mentally unwell patients. However, at its peak, it held over 2,400 patients in inhumane conditions.

Since then, people report the spirits of former patients lingering the halls, hearing screams, and seeing shadow figures. Some have even reported violent encounters.

Night tours are available for anyone brave enough for an intense experience.

LaLaurie Mansion – Louisiana

Haunted mansionJustPixs, Shutterstock

The LaLaurie Mansion is one of New Orleans’ most sinister tales. It had previously been the site of unspeakable torture inflicted upon slaves by Madame LaLaurie.

Tourists often recount hearing chains and screams, and seeing spirits of tortured souls.

The mansion is privately owned, but they still offer tours in the French Quarter, telling tales of its grim history.

St. Augustine Lighthouse – Florida

Haunted lighthouseSandi Cullifer, Shutterstock

Aside from its beauty, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is the site of tragedy. The former keeper’s daughter tragically drowned there. Since then, visitors report hearing mysterious laughter, seeing shadowy figures in the long stairwell, and even seeing the young daughter herself.

Night tours are a favorite among tourists.

Myrtles Plantation – Louisiana

Haunted houseWikimedia Commons

The Myrtles Plantation is labeled as one of America’s most haunted homes. Legend has it that vengeful spirits surround the entire property, including children, a pianist, and a former slaved named Chloe.

The plantation offers both day and night tours.

Hotel Monte Vista – Arizona

Hotel Monte Vista - ArizonaFotoluminate LLC, Shutterstock

The Monte Vista Hotel is reportedly filled with spirits, including a bank robber who passed away in the lobby. Visitors report also seeing bellboys knocking on doors, and hearing conversations in empty rooms.

If you’re brave enough to book a stay, ask for the most haunted room.

Winchester Mystery House – California

Haunted houseDreamArt123, Shutterstock

The Winchester Mystery House was built by Sarah Winchester to appease the spirits she believed haunted her. The mansion has doors leading to nowhere and staircases that end in ceilings.

People report hearing phantom footsteps, voices, and seeing moving doorknobs.

Guided tours are available.

Whaley House – California

Haunted houseConchi Martinez, Shutterstock

The Whaley House has been declared as the most haunted house in America by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Guests have reported encounters with the Whaley family’s spirits, the spirit of a dog, and even the spirit of a man who was hanged on the property.

Ghost hunting tours are said to be fairly promising.

Final Thoughts

Creepy StoriesShutterstock

The U.S. is full of rich history—including a ghostly past.

When visiting these haunted hot-spots it is important to remain respectful and follow the guidelines for an experience that is out of this world.


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