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Haunted Places in the USA you Need to Visit

Updated: Mar 4

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Haunted house

Reports of paranormal activity almost always occur in places with a tragic background. These hauntings don't necessarily happen every time someone dies; another common factor is how they died. It might be chilling to think about, but it's safe to assume that years of famine, disease, and war have resulted in some pretty unhappy spirits.

There are places in the United States that can turn the biggest doubters into avid believers. Some people (me included) find thrill in seeking out these frightening locations. If you're one of them, consider checking out these haunted places in the USA you need to visit - if you dare.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary

Located in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opened in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary was the first prison to hold jailers in solitude, even covering their heads on the way to the courtyard. It once housed famous criminals such as Al Capone and Willie Sutton. In fact, Sutton once tried escaping the jail, but was captured minutes later. Today, the penitentiary is a hub for paranormal activity, and it's open year-round for tours.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine lighthouse

Located in: St. Augustine, Florida

Several ghost sightings have been reported at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. One of the most popular tale is of two sisters, Eliza and Mary, who died on the property after sliding on a cart into the bay. Another ghostly figure is of one the lighthouse's first keepers, Peter Rasmussen. He was a heavy cigar smoker, and some visitors report smelling cigars on their tour. Others have claimed they've come in contact with the man himself.

Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House

Located in: San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House is one of the strangest, yet most enthralling pieces of architecture ever built. It all started when Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, widow to William Wirt Winchester of the firearms fame, lost both her daughter and her husband in a short period. She moved into an eight-room farmhouse in California and begun renovations immediately, which didn't end until the day she died. Costing an estimated $71 million in today's money, the mansion has 160 rooms, 10,000 windows, and 2,000 doors, some leading to absolutely nowhere. It's said Sarah did this because a medium told her she must continuously build a home out west to appease the spirits of those who died from Winchester rifles. Today, people visit for both the oddity and the ghosts that are said to roam the house.

R.M.S. Queen Mary

RMS Queen Mary

Located in: Long Beach, California

The Queen Mary operated in the North Atlantic Ocean until its retirement in 1967. In 1971, it docked in Long Beach and opened as a tourist attraction. Since then, it has been frequently reported as one of the most haunted places in America. Some of the ghosts include an engineer who died on board and several children running about the ship. Stateroom B340 is notoriously haunted and has been featured on several TV shows, including "Ghost Hunters."

Trans-Allegheny Asylum

Inside an asylum

Located in: Weston, West Virginia

Only designed to hold 250, the Trans-Allegheny Asylum housed 2,400 people in the 1950s. It started as a well-intentioned mental heath facility, but overcrowding and lack of food supply led to the malnourishment of patients. As costs continued to rise, employees began to lose control of the business. Eventually, the asylum couldn't afford to purchase furniture and additional beds. That's when they tried performing lobotomies as a last-ditch effort to cure patients. Many procedures weren't successful, resulting in numerous deaths. Today, the hospital, which sits on an eerie 666 acres, is a popular spot for ghost hunters.

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion

Located in: Portland, Oregon

Pittock Mansion was built by Henry Pittock, a newspaper owner who met his wife Georgiana after moving to Portland. Unfortunately, they didn't get to spend much time in the house; Georgiana died just four years after its completion, and Henry followed a year later. To continue their undead lives in their dream home, the couple's spirits returned to haunt the mansion.

Kehoe House

Located in: Savannah, Georgia

If you're a fan or horror or history, you may be aware that Savannah is one of the USA's most haunted places. It's been rumored that two of the Kehoe families' children died in the house, and though it's said to be untrue, some guests report hearing the sounds of children playing. To add another layer of creepiness, the building once operated as a funeral home. The Kehoe House is now a bed and breakfast, with many claiming to have smelt old perfume or felt somebody touching them.

The LaLaurie Mansion

Located in: New Orleans, Louisiana

Further popularized by "American Horror Story: Coven," the LaLaurie Mansion is where Delphine LaLaurie owned and tortured numerous slaves after her third failed marriage sent her into a downward spiral. The horrible slave conditions weren't revealed until the mansion caught fire in 1834. Today, it's said to be haunted by the once-enslaved residents.

The Stanley Hotel

Located in: Estes Park, Colorado

Made famous by Stephen King's "The Shining," The Stanley Hotel has a number of bookable haunted rooms. The rooms 401, 407, and 428 have been highlighted on "Ghost Hunters," and the famed room from the movie, 217, can be reserved by request. Its paranormal history began when Elizabeth Wilson was carrying a lit gas lamp while tending to the rooms. When she entered room 217, the gas lamp connected with the flame, causing an explosion. Elizabeth survived this attack, but it is said that she, and several other ghosts, are currently haunting his hotel.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Located in: Louisville, Kentucky

In the 1900s, Kentucky suffered the highest rate of tuberculosis deaths in America. That's why Waverly Hills was constructed — as a place to house those with the disease. There was no cure, and many of the treatments were intense. Some patients had balloons placed in their lungs and pumped with air to expand them. Others had their chest cut open and their ribs removed. Ultimately, many succumbed to death and were tossed down a chute that exited the building. The high death toll is able to explain why paranormal activity is commonly reported here.

As you can see, haunted houses can be found in any corner of the United States. If you've been brave enough to visit, share your story in the comments' section. If you plan to visit in the near future, enter at your own risk.

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