If haunted happenings, dark tourism and paranormal activities are your idea of a great vacation, then you’ve come to the right place!
You don’t have to wait for Spooky Season as the most haunted towns in America. On a recent roadtrip to 28 states across the US, I visited a lot of the haunted places I’ve listed here. The good news is that they are open year around so you can visit them at any time. I traveled to each of these places and have had the hairs on my arms stand up and shivers up my spine.
We will start off with a few mild ghost stories and lead up to full-fledged haunted horrors. I’ll save the most popular haunted story last. Read on!
Let’s start on the West Coast.
Haunted Towns to Visit in the US
Carson Mansion: Eureka
This is the most photographed Victorian Mansion in the US. Think Disney Haunted Mansion. Rumors have it that on dark nights, you can see a woman in 1800’s garb here. This mansion has seemingly innocuous hauntings.
Winchester Mystery House: San Jose
If you’ve seen the movie with Helen Mirren, then you can skip ahead.
If you haven’t… “Spoiler Alert”. This is the home of Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester Gun fortune. She was absolutely convinced that all of the ghosts from those that died by gunfire had continued to make Winchester House their home. In fact, she was so afraid of these spirits that she continued construction 24/7 from 1886 – 1922 for years in an effort to confuse the spirits.
I’ve visited this site twice, once on Halloween and I can say that it is creepy.. and slightly confusing. Some stairsb lead to nowhere. There are also doors on the 3rd floor that lead outside to nothing.
Hotel del Coronado: Coronado Island, San Diego
This beautiful hotel is home of the woman formerly known as Kate Morgan, now a ghost who roams the halls. There have been countless sightings and paranormal events noted by guests and staff alike for decades.
Unlike some haunted hotels, who make every attempt to dissuade the notion of spirits, Hotel Del Coronado welcomes the stories and their ghostly permanent resident. Room 3327 has a history of floating objects, and her ghost is often seen not only in the hotel, but on the beach as well.
Hotel Winnemucca: Winnemucca
While the hotel no longer stands, over 100 people died in this hotel. A bar affectionally and accurately known as “The Bar of Many Murders” was adjacent and had a storied history during the 113 years it was a watering hole in this area.
Martin Hotel, is another haunted hotel that’s been in operating as a Basque Restaurant since 1900’s (and has AMAZING food). It’s definitely haunted.
After being given a personal tour by the owner, I learned of the many possibilities for haunted happenings. Over the years, ghosts have roamed the property and have been seen by guests and staff alike. Some guests have even experienced doors being locked, water turning on and off, lights flickering, even seeing the spirits themselves.
In addition to the wild west fights and bawdy behavior of the past, there are suspected to be Indian Burial grounds on the property.
Skirvin Hotel: Oklahoma City
The Beautiful Hotel Skirvin hosts one of my favorite hotel lobby bars, The Red Piano with the lovely piano being played nightly.
After asking about the haunted happenings at the hotel, I was told that staff are directed to brush off the ghostly tales… which I thought was interesting since that’s what makes them famous.
This is the real scoop… Mr. Skirvin, an elite financier who opened this 14 floor 500+ room property, had an illicit affair with a maid. Ultimately, the poor thing had a child and after being literally locked in a room to avoid scandal and shock, she grew insane and took her and the child’s life by leaping out of the top floor window. Her spirit can still be heard with the sounds of a child crying.
The logical person in me asks, but couldn’t that be the next-door guest’s baby? Theoretically yes, but who’s to say that it isn’t? Besides, if we entertained every rational thought that entered our minds, maybe dark tourism would cease to exist altogether and this blog wouldn’t be any fun. I’ll leave the logic to the geniuses of this world and continue to tell my ghost stories.
The Occidental Hotel: Buffalo
“The Grand Ole Lady”, as she is affectionately known, has certainly seen a thing or two in its time. Guests have ranged from Presidents to Outlaws to yours truly, haha.
While you’d think that the most infamous ghost would be that of President Teddy Roosevelt, I have stayed across from his room (which was customized to fit his large frame) and I can tell you that it’s not. However, a ghost that does indeed haunt this hotel is Little Emily, a young mischievous spirit who tugs on peoples’ hair and runs through the halls. I even got to see a room in the hotel which has acted as somewhat of a shrine to honor her spirit, with many kid fans handwritten letters on display.
Built in 1879, this Frontier Hotel still has gun holes in its saloon from the likes of Butch Cassidy, Buffalo Bill and Calamity Jane, all who have all been said to have roamed these halls. After listening to some awesome live music, I got to meet the musician himself who revealed himself later as David Stewart, a chart topping bluesgrass singer and songwriter to stars like Tanya Tucker. He’s also Occidental’s owner.
When I asked if his guests’ ghost rumors are true, he sharply replied, “the spirits they see are based on the spirits they drank”. No true ghost fan would accept that answer and so, I continued on. If you are a genuine ghost fanatic, room 307 is the room you want to stay in. It’s said to be especially active in the paranormal realm.
Milwaukee Ghost Tour
This is a very haunted city. Where to start?
After being personally invited on a tour by ghost tour company, American Ghost Walks, I came along with the enthusiasm of someone who has seen a ghost before and welcomed the idea of seeing one again. So, I did what any scaredy cat does and grabbed her lil sis for a night of spooky ghost stories.
I don’t know which haunted place in Milwaukee deserves a spot on this list more. Is it Pfister Hotel who has chased visiting Major League Baseball teams out of their hotel rooms? You read that right. There have been more than a few occasions where players ran out of the shower and into the hotel lobby naked after a ghost had spoken to them, their ipod had moved without being touched, even seeing a body floating in mid-air which led baseball players to band together and sleep in the same room. One player ditched the swanky hotel altogether for Motel 6 down the street.
Or does the most haunted spot in Milwaukee go to Sunset Playhouse which has been a spot for hauntings since a former actor, Mr. Schultz died of a heart attack there as he was exiting the stage. Many actors and employees all share stories of his sightings.
St. Albans Sanatorium: Radford
This is one of the creepiest places I’ve been. It was originally a Lutheran Boys Home with stories of children being abused and neglected. It was then turned into a sanatorium which later received a negative reputation for experimental treatments which tragically resulted in torture and even death to countless patients. As you can imagine, their spirits are pretty pissed off and have not gone peacefully.
The more time we spent there, the more time we noticed strange things. In the next 2 photos, look closely. We saw a creepy Voldemort looking ghost dude in the reflection of this photo. It was super creepy!! And then he just disappeared into the next dimension or something.
Another haunted place in the Radford area is Ingles Castle which is no doubt haunted, but not in the traditional sense. The poor ghost is trapped in a mirror. Although the story of Mary Ingles is one of survival, as she and her two sons were taken captive by Shawnee Indians during the French and Indian War, she later escaped and returned without her sons.
Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta
This is arguably one of the most haunted places in the South with famed permanent residents like Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American Mayor, Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind and Country Music Legend, Kenny Rogers.
On his tomb, someone had left a coin in his honor and I was singing, “The Gambler”, one of my favorite songs.
The cemetery is also home to 7,000 Confederate Soldiers, many who have people have reportedly heard doing roll call like they did when they were alive.
The New Jersey Devil, Pine Barren
Local legend has it that a woman during the 1700’s had enough of childbirth on the birth of her 13th child and shouted, “Let it be the devil”. In true heathen fashion, it became a devil with the head of a dog and wings and has forever haunted this nature preserve.
Devils Tree, Bernards Township
This place literally gave me chills. Just a short walk off the road is a tree that will stand forever…. But, why? Because anyone who trys to cut it down will find themselves with numbered days.
They say that this possessed tree has caused people to kill their entire family. An unaccounted number of murders and suicides have taken place at the base of this very tree. What makes it all the spookier is that even during the freezing months, the tree and ground around it are unaffected by the weather conditions and remains warm.
Lizzy Borden House, Fall River
Lizzy Borden took an axe
And gave her mother 40 whacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father 41
Who has not heard of the children’s scary nursery rhyme?
Whether you believe this or not, someone certainly murdered her mother and father in a gruesome fashion in this home. As chilling as this sounds, you can now stay the night in this bed and breakfast that is refurbished to its original form. Guest have insisted that they have witnessed paranormal activity here.
That’s a Wrap!
I hope you enjoyed my dark tourism blog about the most haunted towns in America and check them out!
Have you ever encountered spirits or haunted places? Or, refused to visit a place again after seeing spirits? Comment below!
Thank you so much for being apart of this journey with me! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.
Until next time… keep it real.
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