If you’re anything like me, you’re a lover of all things spooky and creepy, especially when it comes to the paranormal. Maybe it’s an interest in the topic in general or perhaps it’s a fear of the unknown, but either way, I just can’t get enough of exploring and learning about haunted places. The U.S. is filled with tons of notoriously haunted places, so much so that I could write a whole book on the subject. But, if you’re looking for some solid places to research more about or even visit yourself, check out this list of haunted places that will surely give you the chills.
1. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Weston, West Virginia
First on our list of haunted places to check out in the U.S. is a well known historical landmark in Weston, West Virginia. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was built in the 1800s and was home to patients who were mentally ill. But, due to changes in the treatment of mental illness and deterioration of the building, this asylum was closed in 1994. Hundreds of people died throughout the building’s history, making it a hot spot for paranormal activity. The enormous building is open today for tours, so check out this place if you dare!
2. Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Next on our list of haunted places is Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When this landmark was built over 180 years ago, it was an architectural marvel. While this prison revolutionized the idea of reform over punishment, it doesn’t erase any horrors that took place behind these walls. This penitentiary also housed the notorious Al “Scarface” Capone and you can even tour the very cell he lived in.
3. Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, California
You know there’s bound to be something spooky about a place if it has “mystery” in the name. This is definitely true when it comes to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. This history of this house is a strange one, but ultimately is the result of the work of Sarah Winchester. After being haunted by the spirits killed by the rifle that her late husband invented, Sarah Winchester was told by a psychic that the only way to evade the spirits was to never stop building the house. This resulted in staircases that lead to nowhere and hundreds of random rooms, all coming together to create one truly odd haunted house. I actually visited this house when I was about eight years old and I remember being a little creeped out.
4. Waverly Hills Sanitorium – Louisville, Kentucky
There is a truly haunting history when it comes to Waverly Hills Sanitorium. If you’re a fan of ghost hunting tv shows, you’ve probably heard of this place because it’s very well known for its paranormal activities. Opened in 1910, this sanitorium was built to house about 40-50 tuberculosis patients, a very prominent disease at the time. But over time, this sanitorium became home to over 400 patients, many of whom succumbed to the horrible disease before a cure was found. Waverly Hills is definitely high on my list of haunted places to visit.
5. RMS Queen Mary – Long Beach, California
This is another haunted location that I’ve actually experienced myself, so I know for a fact that it’s a super cool one. There probably aren’t too many haunted ships that exist in the country today and it’s truly what makes this haunted place so unique. The RMS Queen Mary is a retired ship currently docked in Long Beach but sailed from 1936 to 1967. While it currently stands as a hotel and tourist attraction, the Queen Mary is also known for her spooky history. There are hundreds of stories of paranormal experiences from people who visited this ship, and while I can’t say I experienced one myself, I do distinctly remember walking down the very long and skinny hallways and being very creeped out.
6. The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
Horror movie fans have probably heard of this next haunted place, most likely because it was the inspiration behind the book and the movie The Shining. Author Stephen King spent the night in what’s said to be one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel, room 217, and his experiences lead him to a brilliant new idea for a book. I could go on forever about the numerous stories and experiences people have had at this hotel, perhaps because of just how haunted it is. The hotel first opened in 1910 and has a long history of the paranormal, so much so that the staff of the hotel can’t even deny it.
7. The Orpheum Theatre – Memphis, Tennessee
You can experience something paranormal anywhere you go in the world, including the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. Home to ballets, broadway productions, concerts, and much more, this theater is notorious for lots of paranormal activity, but perhaps the most well known is a twelve-year-old girl named Mary. No one is exactly sure how Mary came to haunt the theater, but she’s been seen dozens of times, usually watching a performance from the balcony. Whether you’d like to see a theater production or a concert, just remember that you’ll never be truly alone when you come to the Orpheum Theatre.
8. Forest Haven Asylum – Laurel, Maryland
The next haunted place is a favorite of mine, partly because I visited myself and partly because it’s just so fascinating. When the Forest Haven Asylum first opened in 1925, it was essentially a refuge for the mentally ill, a place where they could thrive outside of the hardships of the real world. But after some time, the asylum was no longer a refuge, but rather a place where “troubled” people could be disposed of. What’s even worse, is that many patients were not even mentally ill, but suffered from other ailments like deafness, blindness, or epilepsy. After the countless abuse patients faced and the hundreds of deaths the occurred on the property, the asylum was closed in 1991. I could feel the years and years and sadness built up when I visited, and I’ll never forget it.
9. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast – Fall River, Massachusetts
If you haven’t heard the story of Lizzie Borden, I highly recommend looking into it. Before it became a bed and breakfast, it was home to Lizzie Borden and her family from 1874 to 1927. It is said that Lizzie is responsible for the deaths of her father and stepmother, Andrew and Abby Borden, axing them to the head several times. While Lizzie claimed an intruder entered their home and killed them, Lizzie was acquitted for their murders and lived in the house until she died in 1927. Either way, this house holds a lot of horrors, and only a few are brave enough to stay there.
10. The Sallie House – Atchison, Kansas
Some of the most haunted places in the U.S. are in the middle of normal neighborhoods, with no outside clues of any paranormal happenings inside. This is the case with the Sallie House, a home on a quiet residential street that used to be home to a physician. When a frantic mother brought her daughter Sallie to an emergency visit one afternoon, no one would have guessed the horrors that house would see from that day forward. Sallie died on the operating table, and from that day forward, this house has only ever known terror. Over the years, the house has been rented by several families that all have moved out after a short period, due to the mysterious happenings that no one can explain.