The ten most haunted places in all of America

The United States is an enormous country with a deep and lengthy history that goes back centuries and spans entire eras. Within its borders lie countless dark secrets and haunting reminders of a troubled past that surpass those found anywhere else in the world.

Far from being an entirely peaceful, personable land, the history of America is instead also full of wars, murderers, unnervingly empty country roads, and unthinkable encounters.

Brace yourself for a journey through the most haunted places in the country, where ghostly figures of the past still linger, like a thin veil separating our world from theirs. From abandoned insane asylums to historic hotels, misty forests to even an abandoned lighthouse, these sites are shrouded in mystery and bear host to claims of the supernatural.

Even if you label yourself a skeptic and don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural, the haunting stories of these locations and their inexplicable phenomena will surely send a chill down your spine.

1. Eastern State Penitentiary

Nestled in the heart of Philadelphia, the Eastern State Penitentiary is a haunting relic of the past. Built in 1829, this once formidable prison housed some of America’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and Willie Sutton.

However, behind its imposing facade lies a dark history. The penitentiary’s system of solitary confinement and strict discipline drove many inmates to the brink of insanity.

Eastern State Penn. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith – Library of Congress

The yells and pleas that once engulfed the cell blocks are now replaced by the hushed whispers of tourists and visitors that flock there each year. 

Many visitors to Eastern State Penitentiary report chilling encounters while inside these walls. Some report hearing disembodied voices echoing through the corridors. Others claim to have seen shadowy figures lurking in dark corners.

The prison’s crumbling walls seem to hold the spirits of the countless inmates who suffered within its confines.

As the sun sets, Eastern State Penitentiary takes on an even more sinister atmosphere, with flickering lights casting eerie shadows, heightening the sense of unease. Ghostly apparitions are said to wander the cell blocks, their presence leaving a chill in the air.

Altogether, the very essence of the penitentiary seems to stir the supernatural.

2. Trans-Allegheny Asylum

Deep in the rugged mountains of West Virginia, the Trans-Allegheny Asylum stands as a solemn reminder of a bygone era. This massive asylum was constructed in the mid-1800s. It was once intended to provide compassionate care for the mentally ill.

However, the institution’s grand vision soon crumbled under the weight of overcrowding and inadequate resources. It plunged over 2,000 patients into a world of neglect.

Upon entering the Trans-Allegheny Asylum, visitors are greeted by an eerie stillness and an oppressive atmosphere that seems to hang in the air. Many who venture through its corridors report unexplained phenomena. This includes disembodied cries and whispers that echo through the empty rooms.

The Trans-Allegheny Asylum holds a reputation as one of the most haunted places in America. It draws paranormal enthusiasts from far and wide. It’s believed that the tormented spirits of former patients still wander these halls, forever trapped.

The Trans-Allegheny Asylum represents the struggles faced by those afflicted with mental illness in the past. It is a haunting reminder of the complex and often inhumane history of psychiatric care.

3. The Whaley House

The Whaley House was built in 1857 in San Diego, California. It is not only an architectural gem but also a hotbed of paranormal activity. This historic house has witnessed a myriad of events, both joyous and tragic, giving it its haunted reputation today.

The Whaley family lived in the house. They experienced their fair share of misfortune, including the loss of their infant son and the tragic suicide of their daughter, Violet.

Not long after these tragedies, the head of the Whaley household, Thomas Whaley moved the family to another residence. The Whaley house fell into disrepair during this time.

Exterior of the Whaley house. Photo by Joe Mabel.

Then, in the early 1900s, some Whaley members moved back into the residence after it was restored. But more of them would die in it, including Anna, Francis, George, and Corinne Lillian Whaley.

A range of paranormal encounters have since been reported at the house. Examples include hearing disembodied footsteps and witnessing full-bodied apparitions. Some claim to have encountered the spirits of the Whaley family themselves. People have seen their shadowy figures drifting through the rooms.

The Whaley House serves as a poignant reminder that even the most beautiful and seemingly serene places can harbor a darker side.

4. The Amityville Horror House

Few locations in America are as infamous as the Amityville Horror House in Amityville, New York. This suburban home was forever changed in 1974 when the DeFeo family was brutally murdered by their eldest son, Ronald DeFeo Jr.

The subsequent owners, the Lutz family, moved into the residence. But they fled the house after just 28 days. They claimed they were tormented by supernatural forces and voices telling them to leave.

The Amityville Horror House has since become a symbol of paranormal terror. Visitors report strange voices, unexplained phenomena, and a sense of malevolence that permeates its very foundation.

It served as the inspiration for the famous book of the same name. This also then became the basis for a string of successful films.

The Amityville Horror House has sparked countless debates and investigations. It still captivates the imaginations of paranormal enthusiasts and skeptics alike. The mere mention of its name evokes a sense of unease and fascination.

While some dismiss the events as elaborate hoaxes or the product of overactive imaginations, others maintain that the house is haunted by the six members of the DeFeo family. Whether the tales surrounding the Amityville Horror House are truth or fiction, there is no denying the impact they’ve had on popular culture and the allure of the supernatural.

5. The Villisca Axe-Murder House

The peaceful town of Villisca, Iowa, hides a house stained with a gruesome tragedy. In 1912, the Moore family, along with two young overnight guests, were brutally murdered with an axe while they slept.

The Villisca Axe-Murder House, now a museum, stands frozen in time. The eerie atmosphere of that fateful night has been preserved.

As visitors step into the Villisca Axe-Murder House, they are transported back to a haunting moment in history. The house’s well-preserved interior showcases the simplicity and modesty of life in the early 20th century. However, beneath the surface lies an undeniable aura of sorrow and fear.

Reports of paranormal activity in the house are plentiful. Visitors claimed to hear the sounds of children’s laughter and footsteps, as if the spirits of the slain Moore children still roam the halls.

The infamous murders remain unsolved to this day.

6. Pine Barrens, New Jersey

Deep within the dense wilderness of southern New Jersey lies the Pine Barrens. It is a sprawling expanse of pine forests and swamps with some fascinating folklore. This mysterious region has a long history steeped in legends of the supernatural.

Tales of the Jersey Devil, a mythical creature said to haunt the area, have captured the imaginations of locals and visitors alike. Reports of the winged being persisted over centuries. Some accounts even date back to the indigenous Lenape people who originally lived there.

The Pine Barrens exude an eerie, ominous aura. The silence within the towering pines evokes a sense of trepidation and fascination. The vastness of the wilderness, with its winding trails and secluded clearings, provides the perfect backdrop for ghostly encounters.

Some have reported sightings of shadowy figures darting between the trees, unexplained lights flickering in the distance, and a deep sense of unease that permeates the air. 

The Pine Barrens hold secrets and mysteries that continue to captivate and bewilder those who dare to explore its depths. While skeptics dismiss the tales as mere folklore, there is an undeniable sense of the supernatural that seems to linger in the Pine Barrens.

7. Moon River Brewing

The myriad of haunted locations across America spans prisons, asylums, and forests. Surprisingly, restaurants as well.

Located in Savannah, Georgia’s historic downtown district, Moon River Brewing is notorious for being both a beautiful and haunted establishment. It is housed within a building that dates back to the 19th century. 

This brewery has gained a reputation, like the aforementioned places, as one of the most haunted sites in America. The old-world charm of its architecture is complemented by the lingering presence of paranormal entities that seem to inhabit its halls.

Moon River Brewing. Photo by TJ Bliss.

Patrons and staff have long reported a wide range of such experiences. They experience the feeling of being watched, as well as encounters with apparitions and unexplained noises. Bottles have been known to fly off shelves and shatter without any visible cause, leaving behind an air of mystery and the supernatural.

The building’s tumultuous past also adds to its ghostly reputation. It is said that during the Yellow Fever epidemic, the building served as a makeshift hospital, witnessing countless deaths.

Moon River Brewing serves as a reminder that even in something like a brewery, you may encounter spirits that have since departed.

8. Gettysburg Battlefield

The significance of the Gettysburg Battlefield in American history cannot be overstated.

This serene location was the site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War – the Battle of Gettysburg. Over three harrowing days, about 50,000 soldiers died on these grounds, forever etching their memory into this nation’s past.

The echoes of gunshots and agony still resonate through the fields and rolling hills. Those who come to pay their respects often describe an eeriness that permeates the air.

Many visitors report sightings of ghostly soldiers marching in formation. Some even see figures engaging in spectral combat, re-enacting the events that took place that day.

As night falls over Gettysburg, the atmosphere becomes even more haunting. Paranormal enthusiasts flock to the site in search of encounters with the spirits of fallen soldiers. They hope to catch a glimpse of the past that lingers amidst the grassy fields.

Gettysburg Battlefield not only stands as a poignant testament to the war and the legacy of those who fought but also a place of supernatural importance in American history.

9. Hotel Monte Vista

In the town of Flagstaff, Arizona, there is a hotel named Hotel Monte Vista. At first glance, it exudes plenty of charm.

Since its first opening in 1927, the hotel has played host to countless famous guests. Celebrities and notorious outlaws both have roamed the halls.

Alongside its glamorous reputation, Hotel Monte Vista also has a history of being a hotspot of paranormal activity. As guests arrive, they are transported to a bygone era. But it doesn’t take long for them to realize that they may not be alone.

Reports of ghostly encounters abound. Visitors claimed to see apparitions wandering the hallways. Some feel mysterious touches or hear unexplained whispers in their rooms.

Some of the most famous tales involve Room 305. This is where a phantom bellboy is rumored to knock on the door before vanishing.

The hotel’s storied past contributes to its ghostly reputation. Illicit affairs, bootlegging, and even a fatal shooting have left a lasting imprint on the Hotel Monte Vista. The spirits of former guests and employees seem to have found a permanent residence within its walls, creating an intriguing mix of history and the supernatural.

10. St. Augustine Lighthouse

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll find this final haunted destination perched on the coastline of St. Augustine, Florida.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a beacon for passing ships. It was built in the 19th century and has witnessed a long history of shipwrecks, tragedy, and mystique.

Numerous reports describe encounters with ghostly figures. Including the apparition of a young girl in a white dress who they believe fell to her death from the lighthouse. Eerie shadows, unexplained footsteps, and strange orbs of light have also been witnessed by those who explore the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Throughout the years, tragic accidents, including the untimely deaths of keepers and workers, have made the lighthouse a source of intrigue.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse Preservation Association is dedicated to its preservation and maintenance. It acknowledges the existence of these supernatural occurrences, further fueling the fascination.

From the foreboding halls of Eastern State Penitentiary to the ethereal beauty of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and everything in between, these places intertwine history, tragedy, and the inexplicable.

The most haunted places in America encompass a wide range of eerie and captivating locations. Whether you’re a believer in the supernatural or not, these haunted places and their mystique are undoubtable.


Clark, Matthew. Most Haunted Places in America: A Disturbing Journey in the Most Haunted Places in the United States. Self-published, 2020. 

Morton, Caitlin. “The 32 Most Haunted Places in America.” Condé Nast Traveler, October 7, 2021.

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