From indian burial grounds to murder houses, there are no shortage of allegedly haunted locations across America. If you’re looking for a good scare, visit these places... if you dare.
1. Eastern State Penitentiary: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This abandoned prison is believed to be haunted, and for good reason: many, many prisoners were tortured and killed here. Its gloomy high stone walls and crumbling corridors were once home to the “water bath” where inmates were dunked in water before being hung out on a wall in winter until ice formed on their skin. The penitentiary had a “mad chair” to bound inmates so tightly that their circulation was cut off, leading to amputations. There was also "the hole," an underground, lightless cell with with no toilet. It is easy to understand why dead criminals would want to haunt this horrible hell hole. The prison closed in 1971 and is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America. The abandoned penitentiary been featured on the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures and Most Haunted Live, Syfy's Ghost Hunters and MTV's Fear. Paranormal researchers claim it's a hub of otherworldly activity. Guards and inmates have claimed to have witnessed paranormal activity since the 1940s.
2. Myrtles Plantation: St. Francisville, Louisiana
Myrtles Plantation is considered to be one of America's most haunted sites. The house, built in 1796, is rumored to be on top of an Indian burial ground. It is believed to be the home of at least 12 different ghosts. One such ghost is a former slave named Chloe, who had her ear chopped off by her master after she was caught eavesdropping. According to the folklore, she fought back by poisoning a birthday cake, killing her master's two daughters. She was hung as a punishment. It is believed that Chloe now wanders the plantation, wearing a turban to conceal her missing ear.
3. Amityville Horror House: Amityville, New York
In November 1974, a family was found brutally murdered in their own home, killed by a relative. Ronald and Louise DeFeo and four of their five children, aged 9 to 18, were found dead in their bedrooms. They were shot and killed while they slept by their son and sibling Ronald DeFeo, Jr. The house, a large Dutch Colonial house located in a suburban Long Island neighborhood was purchased by George and Kathy Lutz and their three children a year later. After 28 days in the house, the Lutzes fled, claiming to have been haunted and terrorized by paranormal phenomena. The hauntings that the Lutzes experienced has inspired a book and over a dozen movies. In 1976, the house was investigated by a demonologist husband and wife team and a television news crew. They allegedly took an infrared time-lapse photograph that showed a "demonic boy" with glowing eyes.
4. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum: Weston, West Virginia
This asylum as the home to thousands of patients from 1864 to 1994. It was eventually shutdown due to its mistreatment of the mentally ill. In the 1950s, the facility housed more than 2,400 patients at once—even though it was designed to hold just 250. The overcrowding allegedly led to inhumane conditions, including caging patients. There was retaliation from the patients: some started fires and others attacked the staff members. Ghost tours are available for those who want to see the horrible history of the asylum. It is believed that many of the patients still lurk inside the hallways of this once cramped and inhumane ward. As if the location needed to be even creepier, the asylum is placed on a 666-acre plot of land. It has been featured on Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and Forgotten Planet.
5. Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California
The Winchester Mystery House is scary for several reasons. Heiress Sarah Winchester (wife of the rifle-maker's son) was told by a seer that her family was killed by the ghosts of those who died from her family's guns. So, to ward off the vengeful gun-shot ghosts, she created a monstrosity of a mansion. The Victorian 160-room home has staircases that lead directly into the ceiling, doors that open onto brick walls, and secret passages. It is believed by many to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles. Tours of the mansion are available to the public.
6. Stanley Hotel: Estes, Colorado
The hotel, which opened in 1909, was the original inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining. By the 1970s, the hotel had gained a reputation for being haunted. After just one night in the hotel, King was inspired to write the best-selling novel. According to the hotel’s own website, the Stanley Hotel has become renowned by paranormal investigation specialists and experts as one of the nation’s most active sites. The hotel claims that its former owners continue to run their business as though they were still alive. Staff and guests have reported hearing parties in the empty ballroom. People have also claimed to hear someone playing the piano, thought to be the former owner’s wife.
7. Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast: Fall River, Massachusetts
This doesn’t sound like the most relaxing bed and breakfast. The bed and breakfast is former crime scene of Lizzie Borden murders. Borden killed her father and stepmother with a hatchet in 1892, but was acquitted of the murders. Visitors can tour the house or spend the night. Guest can even stay in the room where Abby Borden was killed. Guests and employees alike have reported strange activity in the house: weeping, muffled conversations coming from empty rooms, footstep sounds, and an apparition in Victorian-era clothing.
[All images from the Public Domain]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.