‘Ghost hunting’ shows have become an international phenomenon, as it seems all cultures are fascinated by the dead, apparitions, spirits, strange occurrences and unexplainable phenomena.
In the USA in particular there is an overwhelming interest in haunted places – and not only does news travel fast about ghost sightings and urban legends, but local residents are even proud to tell visitors about the most haunted destinations in their communities.
If you are planning a trip to the states and want the best chance to return home with a good story (or non-stop nightmares), here is our list of haunted places to visit.
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This nearly 200 year old prison was closed in 1971, but stories of how prisoners were mentally and physically tortured are still passed down in a vivid fashion. This is now a popular tourist destination that offers public tours, and is easy to visit. The question is – how quickly will you want to leave when you get there? www.easternstate.org
What you can expect: Long dark hallways; sounds of laughter; crying and weeping; sounds of people moving around; shadows; feelings of being touched
Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania gets two entries because it is one of the “oldest” places in the US, and many historically significant events occurred here. One of them was of course the legendary battle during the Civil War in 1863, which took the lives of over 10,000 soldiers. Sightings of people in uniform have been non stop ever since. www.gettysburg.com
What you can expect: Disembodied voices; disembodied screams; apparitions; Interference with cameras / electronic equipment
St. Augustine Light House in St. Augustine Florida
Legend has it that this lighthouse took the lives of seven people since being built in 1874. Today this still-functioning lighthouse is also a museum, and offers tours of its facilities. It’s not widely publicized that it is haunted, but ever since it appeared on America’s ‘Ghost Hunters’ program this is one of the most asked about haunted places to date. www.staugustinelighthouse.com
What you can expect: Claustrophobic confined spaces; vertigo; moving shadowy figures; disembodied male and female voices; sounds of moving objects; laughter
The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California
Would you like a little bit of fear with your beautiful Southern California weather? Then a look at The Queen Mary ship, which made its first voyage in 1936 and has been inactive for decades – that is, if you don’t count the ghosts. There have been plenty of sightings and reports here by visitors. This is also a hotel, so if you have the guts you can stay here overnight. www.queenmary.com
What you can expect: Feelings of being touched; sensation of being watched; footsteps; disembodied voices; faint music; shadows; cries of a baby
Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville Kentucky
Is the last place you would ever want to visit a former hospital where over 6,000 people died of tuberculosis? Then this is the haunted place for you. Built in 1910 to accommodate patients who had this disease that not only ravaged the body but also the mind, this place quickly went out of control – and stories of haunted occurrences have run rampant since the facility was closed in 1962. www.therealwaverlyhills.com
What you can expect: Shadows moving in rooms and hallways; cold spots; apparitions of both adults and children; sounds of doors being opened and closed; sounds of moving objects; voices
United States Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio
It’s not hard to imagine that instruments of war end up attracting ghostly energy once they have served their purpose. Crashed planes, helicopters, bombers are all part of the display – and according to some witnesses so are the ghosts of pilots and soldiers and victims. This definitely serves as a history lesson about the perils of war as well. www.nationalmuseum.af.mil
What to expect: Shadows; mechanical sounds; ghosts in uniform; lights going on and off within planes; a ghost of a child
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Midlothian Illinois
No trip would be complete without a night at a cemetery. This one takes the proverbial cake however, thanks to its countless reports of ghost sightings, strange images appearing in photographs, inexplicable lights, sounds and even unidentified creatures. It has reliably been haunting all visitors since 1844. www.bachelorsgrove.com
What to expect: Anything goes. This is definitely a must-see.
If you got more haunted places in the USA to add to this list tell us in the comments!View Comments