The Most Haunted Place in Every U.S. State
Whether you believe in spirits from beyond or not, the stories of America’s most haunted places are sure to give you goosebumps.
In Maryland, the ghosts of fallen soldiers can be seen roaming a historic battlefield. In Hawaii, a supernatural band of performers pounds drums through the night. And in Colorado, a historic hotel is filled with so many spirits, it inspired Stephen King's "The Shining."
Every U.S. state has a handful of destinations where dark histories have given way to paranormal activity. From east to west, north to south and everywhere in between, America is no stranger to the occult.
Continue reading to learn about the most haunted place in every U.S. state. If you dare.
Alabama - Sloss Furnaces
Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces is beloved by history buffs and ghost hunters alike — a National Historic Landmark that's also the most haunted place in the state.
For nearly a century after the plant was opened in 1882, it transformed coal and mineral ores into steel. Conditions for workers in the early days were abysmal and often harshly enforced by the foreman James “Slag” Wormwood.
In 1906, Wormwood lost his footing at the top of the tallest blast furnace and fell into the melted ore. Ever since, workers have reported encountering his angry spirit and being yelled at or shoved from behind.
Alaska - Red Onion Saloon
Built in 1897, the historic Red Onion Saloon in Skagway was once one of the area’s most notorious bordellos.
Today, it’s said to be haunted by Lydia, the ghost of one of the bordello’s mistresses. She occasionally waters the saloon’s plants and can be observed wandering the upper floors. But be warned: Lydia is sometimes known to be hostile toward men.
Arizona - Yuma Territorial Prison
While the Yuma Territorial Prison was only operational for 33 years, that was enough time to develop a ghoulish legacy. Opened in 1876, the prison housed 3,069 prisoners — 111 of whom died.
While no prisoners were executed on the site, the dark energy of prisoners kept in solitary confinement is said to linger, causing guests to feel cold or uneasy.
Arkansas - Crescent Hotel
Built in 1886, the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs is the self-proclaimed “most haunted hotel in America.”
While the property is said to be home to a variety of spirits who checked in and never left, the most-sighted is a red-haired man named Michael. Thought to be one of the masons who helped build the hotel, his spirit is known to be mischievous, as he often plays tricks with lights, doors and TVs.
California - The Queen Mary
Previously called the “Grey Ghost,” The Queen Mary in Long Beach is both spooky and stately. As many as 150 spirits are said to call this historic ocean-liner home.
From a crew member killed by the pressure of a watertight door to a woman dressed in white who appears in one of the luxury suites, this 1930s ship is full of ghosts and apparitions you can spend a night at sea with.
Colorado - Stanley Hotel
It’s no surprise that the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining.” The picturesque hotel, which dates back to 1909, has a long history of hauntings.
Some of the hotel’s spirits are thought to be benevolent, including Elizabeth Wilson, the former head chambermaid. Wilson haunts Room 217, and helps guests at the Stanley Hotel find exactly what they need to enjoy their stay. Now that’s service!
Connecticut - Union Cemetery
Cemeteries are always popular with the undead, and Easton’s Union Cemetery, dating back to the 1700s, also has centuries of history on its side.
The cemetery’s most infamous ghost is the White Lady, the apparition of a woman who, as the story goes, was slain after she murdered her husband. She is known to stand in the middle of the local highway, causing drivers to "hit" her, only to discover she's disappeared once they've gotten out of their car.
Delaware - Fort Delaware
Fort Delaware has been inactive since the 1940s, but remains full of paranormal activity. The land surrounding the fort is a state park where visitors often report seeing dark figures and hearing disembodied voices.
In the dark bowels of the dungeon area, guests have reported the faint sound of rattling chains.
Florida - St. Augustine Lighthouse
St. Augustine Lighthouse opened in 1874 on the site of Florida’s first, circa-1820s lighthouse.
While the coastal landmark is still operational and welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year, it is also home to some spooky specters. Reminders of the lighthouse’s tragic past still linger in the form of ghostly apparitions, including those of a lighthouse keeper who fell to his death while painting the tower and three little girls who perished in a tragic accident on a nearby cliff.
Georgia - Moon River Brewery
Considered one of the most haunted destinations in the state, Savannah’s Moon River Brewery is known for more than its craft brews. The brewery building was first a hotel, which opened in 1821, before serving as a hospital for victims of yellow fever during the Civil War. The restless spirits of guests and patients past still lurk here, and patrons report being touched, pushed or even slapped by invisible forces.
Hawaii - Waipio Valley
Waipio Valley offers one of the most scenic overlooks on the island of Oahu. But if you visit, know that you may not be alone as the sun sets.
The area is said to be haunted by a ghostly band of performers sometimes called the “Night Marchers.” Locals and tourists alike report hearing chanting and the pounding of drums echoing in the night even though there is no one else around.
Idaho - Shoshone Ice Caves
It may be a natural phenomenon that keeps Idaho’s Shoshone Ice Caves frozen year-round. But the 1,000-foot lava tube is also home to the paranormal.
Legend has it that the Shoshone Princess Edahow is buried in the ice caves, waiting for her time to reemerge. Staff and visitors have heard unexplained footsteps and disembodied voices while exploring the caves.
Illinois - Lincoln Theater
While it is currently closed to the public, the Lincoln Theater in Decatur has gained a reputation as one of the most haunted theaters around. Opened in 1916, it is said to be built on top of ancient burial grounds, as well as the remains of two former hotels.
From a former stagehand whose spirit still lingers, to a woman in a long, flowing dress who has been spotted on the balcony, this theater plays host to a variety of apparitions.
Indiana - Story Inn
The historic Story Inn in Nashville (Indiana, not Tennessee) is a hair-raiser. One of the inn’s most commonly seen ghostly guests is the Blue Lady, who is believed to be the wife of the town’s founder, Dr. George Story. Legend says that she will appear if you leave a blue light on, and she is known to occasionally leave behind a blue object as well. Guests have also reported smelling the cherry tobacco she smoked when she was alive.
Iowa - Villisca Ax Murder House
In 1912, eight people, including six children, were murdered as they slept at a family home in the small town of Villisca. Despite an exhaustive search, their killer was never found.
That house is now the Villisca Ax Murder House, a haunted attraction where brave visitors can spend the night amongst the home’s restless spirits.
Kansas - Sallie House
While it may look like every other house on the block, the Sallie House in Atchison is as creepy a haunted house as you’ll ever find.
When Tony and Debra Pickman moved into the home in 1993, they were almost immediately terrorized by malevolent spirits that scratched, burned and pushed them down stairs. Lights and the TV set turned on and off at will, and toys in the room of the couple’s son were often rearranged.
It is believed that the spirit of a little girl named Sallie, who died of a botched appendectomy in the home, targets men who visit.
Kentucky - Waverly Hills Sanatorium
While it may be disputed, some claim that Waverly Hills Sanatorium is the most haunted destination on earth. Opened in 1910, the sanatorium largely treated patients afflicted by the outbreak of tuberculosis. Waverly Hills became its own self-contained community and even had its own zip code.
Researchers believe it is likely that thousands of people died in this hospital during the height of the tuberculosis epidemic. So it’s no surprise that the historic building is filled with restless spirits, who enjoy causing trouble and scaring visitors.
Louisiana - LaLaurie Mansion
New Orleans is no stranger to the occult, and the LaLaurie Mansion is one of the city's spookiest spots. Owned by Madame Delphine LaLaurie in the 1830s, this luxurious home was the site of some truly heinous crimes. It’s claimed that Madame LaLaurie mistreated and tortured her slaves and a number even perished in her home.
Today, it’s common for visitors to report hearing moans and phantom footsteps in the rooms where LaLaurie’s slaves stayed and were tragically abused.
Maine - Kennebec Arsenal
Located in Augusta, the historic Kennebec Arsenal was built following the War of 1812. But for nearly 100 years of its history, the building served as the Maine State Hospital, later renamed the Augusta Mental Health Institute, remaining operational until 2004. During its time as a hospital, more than 11,600 people died there, though there are no detailed reports of where their bodies were buried.
While the hospital has since closed, passerbys still report seeing apparitions of patients and hearing disembodied cries from behind the building's walls.
Maryland - Antietam National Battlefield
In 1862, more than 23,000 soldiers were killed or wounded at this battlefield during the single bloodiest day of the Civil War. Today, visitors often report seeing ghosts of fallen soldiers wandering the fields or hearing the phantom sounds of gunfire.
History-buffs not particularly interested in the supernatural will also find much to marvel at here; the Battle of Antietam is what prompted Abraham Lincoln to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
Massachusetts - Old Burying Point
With its history of witchcraft, it should come as no surprise that Salem is home to the most haunted destination in Massachusetts.
The city’s Old Burying Point is the oldest cemetery in Salem, founded in 1637. Although none of the suspected witches from the infamous trials are buried here, you will find a memorial to those killed for suspected witchcraft. Visitors have claimed seeing ghostly spirits or mist hovering over the memorial.
Michigan - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
South Manitou Island, part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, was once home to bustling logging and farming industries. These days it’s home to ghost towns where the voices of those former, long-gone inhabitants can still be heard.
Located 16 miles off the shore of the Leelanau Peninsula, the island has also been the site of shipwrecks that some blame for the island’s restless spirits. According to legend, when one ship’s passengers were stricken with cholera, they were buried on this island – in some cases, while they were still alive.
Minnesota - Wabasha Street Caves
The ghoulish lore of Saint Paul’s Wabasha Street Caves dates back to Prohibition. During that time, the former mining caves were turned into a speakeasy, becoming a hotspot for some of the most notable gangsters of the day. More than a few hits reportedly took place at the site during its stint as a mob hangout; one of the fireplaces even still has the bullet holes from a murder that happened there.
These days, many claim the spirits of fallen mobsters haunt the caves' echoing tunnels.
Mississippi - King’s Tavern
Built sometime before 1789, King’s Tavern is the oldest and most storied building in Natchez. Over the centuries, it has played host to travelers along the Natchez Trail, as well as more unsavory characters.
But it wasn’t until the 1930s, when the building’s owners were renovating, that they made a spooky discovery. In the building’s basement they found three mummified corpses, including a female believed to be the mistress of the tavern’s original owner.
Reportedly, the ghost of this woman is responsible for much paranormal mischief, including knocking jars off shelves, tracking mud on freshly mopped floors, and opening or closing doors at will.
Missouri - House at 8435 Roanoke Drive
The modest brick home at 8435 Roanoke Drive in a quiet neighborhood of St. Louis may not look like much from the outside. But the events that inspired the iconic film “The Exorcist” took place inside it.
According to local lore, the son of the family that lived in the home was possessed by a demon while playing with a Ouija board. When priests arrived to the house, they found the boy’s bed shaking, and witnessed scrapes and welts spontaneously appearing on his skin, sometimes forming letters and words. An infamous exorcism, which actually took place at a local university, followed.
Montana - Grand Union Hotel
Built in 1882, the Grand Union Hotel is located in Fort Benton, one of the oldest towns in Montana. In the hotel’s early days in the Wild West, legend has it that an outlaw rode his horse into the hotel and up the main staircase. The hotel bar manager shot the intruder dead; today, guests report hearing the stomping hoofbeats of a phantom horse.
Nebraska - Centennial Hall
While Centennial Hall in Valentine is the state’s oldest standing school, it’s also home to some truly tragic events. In 1944 a female student was reportedly killed by a poisoned clarinet reed. The school has since been converted into a museum, but many — especially teachers — report feeling uneasy in the space, and the sounds of the clarinet can sometimes be heard coming from the music room, even though there are no longer any instruments in the building.
Nevada - Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino
The Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino brings a whole new meaning to “viva Las Vegas.” Especially since it seems that Elvis has not entirely left the building.
Many have reported seeing the King himself wandering the upper halls of this hotel since his death in 1977. It’s also believed he spends time backstage, keeping an eye on the performers.
New Hampshire - Mount Washington
While the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods is a relaxing wooded getaway, it’s also home to some seemingly benevolent spirits.
Guests and staff have reported seeing an elegantly-dressed woman wandering the hotel in the off season, and even captured her once in a summer staff photo. Lights also commonly turn on and off by themselves.
The sightings and supernatural events are attributed to the ghosts of the original owners of the hotel, who seem to enjoy keeping watch over their beloved property.
New Jersey - Pine Barrens
Spanning across one million acres and seven counties, Pine Barrens is a wide expanse of wilderness where natural beauty abounds.
While it was once home to Colonial sawmills and paper mills, its industry and the surrounding towns have since been abandoned. These ghost towns have left behind their fair share of restless spirits, including the Jersey Devil. As the spooky story goes, this winged creature with hooves and the head of a goat was born in 1735 as the thirteenth child of Deborah Leeds, and has spent centuries killing livestock and terrorizing those who live near the Pine Barrens.
New Mexico - Kimo Theater
There’s more going on behind the scenes at Albuquerque’s Kimo Theater than meets the eye. It’s said that the historic theater is haunted by a little boy named Bobby, who tragically died in the theater in 1951 when a water heater in the lobby exploded.
Performers and the theater’s staff sometimes leave small toys and presents to distract Bobby and keep him from disrupting the show. When he’s not amused, Bobby has been known to cause technical difficulties.
New York - House at 108 Ocean Avenue
One year after Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed six of his family members in their Long Island home, a new family moved in and was terrorized by the demonic spirits that lingered there. The real-life haunted house at 108 Ocean Avenue in Amityville later become the inspiration for the movie “Amityville Horror.”
The infamous home has had a number of owners since the events in 1975 and was most recently purchased by a (brave) anonymous buyer in 2016.
North Carolina - Biltmore Estate
As it turns out, the largest private residence in the country — the former vacation home of George Washington Vanderbilt II — is also home to a few ghosts.
Spread out across a sprawling 135,280 square feet, this palatial home has plenty of room for the unexplained. The ghosts of both George and his wife Edith have been seen roaming the halls, and Edith can sometimes be heard calling George’s name.
Meanwhile, a headless orange cat enjoys exploring the gardens.
North Dakota - Chateau de Mores
Built in the 1880s, the luxurious 26-room Chateau de Mores in Medora is rumored to be visited by more than tourists.
French nobleman Marquis de Mores built this palatial home for, and named the city of Medora after, his beloved wife. While the property is now owned by the state, some believe that Medora’s spirit has never left. Tour guides often find an impression in her side of the couple’s bed, and her silver brush set is frequently found rearranged on the vanity.
Ohio - Ohio State Reformatory
Built in 1886, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield was intended to be a prison focused on reform and rehabilitation. Instead, it’s left behind a legacy of abuse, torture and murder.
If the castle-like facade of the prison looks familiar, it’s likely because it stood in for the Shawshank State Penitentiary in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Shawshank Redemption.”
While the prison was officially closed in 1990, it is still occasionally opened for tours. Visitors report feelings of unease and have even been touched, scratched or had their hair pulled.
Oklahoma - Gilcrease Museum
Based in Tulsa, the Gilcrease Museum highlights the art collection of oil baron Thomas Gilcrease. Gilcrease was immensely proud of his collection and it seems he didn’t want to part with it, even in death.
Visitors and nighttime security staff alike have reported seeing apparitions of Gilcrease wandering in his garden, near where his remains are entombed in a mausoleum.
Oregon - Pittock Mansion
When newspaper owner Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana, retired, the pair wanted to enjoy their old age in style. So they built the Pittock Mansion in Portland. Unfortunately, less than five years after moving in, both Pittocks passed away. But some claim the couple never truly left.
Visitors to the home, which is now owned by the city and open to the public, often report strange occurrences, like smelling roses — Georgiana’s favorite flower — in rooms with no greenery, or noticing a childhood portrait of Henry relocating itself on its own.
Pennsylvania - Eastern State Penitentiary
One of the most well-known prisons in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary’s reputation precedes its haunted history. Built in 1829, the prison quickly became known for its barbaric prisoner-reform techniques, which included, but were not limited to, keeping prisoners in the dark and total isolation for weeks on end.
Today, those who visit the prison often report hearing footsteps, screams and moans, among other unexplained noises.
Rhode Island - Providence City Hall
More than municipal business takes place at Providence’s historic City Hall. Staff have reported seeing chairs move on their own and hearing whispers in empty rooms.
It’s believed that this activity is caused by the ghost of the city’s former mayor, Thomas Doyle, who was buried in the building.
South Carolina - Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston has been owned by the same family since 1680. All sorts of unexplained occurrences take place here; when no one is around, people have heard mysterious music, the sounds of a child laughing, and distant coughs and growls.
Paranormal investigators haven’t been able to pinpoint who exactly is behind the paranormal activity, or what happened to cause restless spirits to possess the site. Which, of course, only adds to the intrigue.
South Dakota - Bullock Hotel
Named for, and allegedly haunted by, Deadwood’s first sheriff, Seth Bullock, this historic South Dakota property keeps the spirit of the Wild West alive.
Guests and staff have seen Bullock continuing to play host to visitors of the hotel. There are even reports of glasses and dishes being thrown around, and of the hotel’s piano playing on its own.
Tennessee - Bell Witch Cave
Legend has it that in the 1800s, the Bell Witch tormented the family of John Bell near the town of Adams. For years the family heard rattling chains and heavy knocking on walls, which culminated with John Bell dying under mysterious circumstances.
It’s said that the malevolent spirit lived in a neighboring cave, which became known as Bell Witch Cave. Today you can explore the cave for yourself to see if you, too, will be visited by the Bell Witch.
Texas - USS Lexington
During WWII, this impressive vessel spent 21 months in combat. No fewer than four times, the Japanese reported that the blue ship had sunk, only to find her reappear again. Her nickname became, appropriately, “the Blue Ghost.”
Today, the ship is a museum known for its historic exhibits and supernatural activity. Over the years many guests have met Charlie, a tour guide who wears a traditional naval uniform. The ship has never actually employed a tour guide named Charlie; the helpful spirit is thought to be the ghost of a sailor.
Utah - Moon Lake
When avid campers visit Moon Lake in High Uintas for picturesque views of the clear alpine lake, they sometimes get more than they bargained for.
Over the years, campers have reported seeing the apparition of a little girl who drowned in the lake in broad daylight. Many identify her as having bright blue lips and clothes dripping with water as she approaches them.
Vermont - Gold Brook Bridge (Emily’s Bridge)
Though its true name is Gold Brook Bridge, this historic covered bridge in Stowe has long been known as Emily’s Bridge. It’s believed that a broken-hearted woman named Emily perished on the bridge, though accounts differ as to how.
What is consistent, though, is the eerie experience passersby have shared when crossing the bridge. Many report finding long scratches on their car or even feel they’ve been scratched themselves.
Virginia - Bacon’s Castle
If you’re looking for the ultimate haunted house, look no further than Surry’s Bacon’s Castle. Built in 1665, the castle is the oldest brick home in the country. So it should come as no surprise that paranormal investigators are drawn to the property by all sorts of otherwordly phenomena.
There are many theories about what causes these ghostly experiences — which often include spectral fireballs, floating heads and disembodied voices — but there have been no definitive links established to people who once resided on the property.
Washington - Kells Irish Pub
It’s not hard to believe that a bar housed in a former mortuary might have a hint of paranormal activity. In Seattle, that bar is Kells Irish Pub.
The bar has two regular ghosts who make themselves known to patrons. A little girl with red hair is said to enjoy playing pranks on adults and playing with kids who visit with their parents. The other ghost is a man named Charlie, who wears a long black coat and often appears in the bar’s Guinness mirror on nights when a live band plays.
West Virginia - Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Beginning in the 1600s, West Virginia’s Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum served as a home for the severely mentally ill. Thousands were committed to the hospital over the years, and it’s believed that hundreds died there.
Today, reports of apparitions, unexplained voices and eerie sounds draw paranormal investigators from all over the country to this historic building.
Wisconsin - Pfister Hotel
Opened in 1893, the Pfister Hotel is a luxurious landmark in downtown Milwaukee. The historic property is said to be haunted by Charles Pfister, the tannery magnate, newspaper publisher and financier who owned the hotel.
Pfister, ever loyal to his former home, has been known to spook rival MLB players in town to face off against the Milwaukee Brewers. Rival players across the league have reported everything from flickering lights to inexplicably locked doors and random pounding on walls.
Wyoming - Fort Laramie
Built in the 1830s, Fort Laramie was constructed when Wyoming was still rugged and wild. The fort became an outpost for fur trappers and others making their way west.
While she’s not the only spirit who haunts this historic fort, the Lady in Green is one of the most iconic. Believed to be the daughter of a trapper who visited the fort, legend goes that one day the strong-willed little girl rode her horse away from the fort and was never seen again. Every seven years she is said to retrace her route around the historic site in her signature green riding attire and feathered hat.