These Are the Most Haunted Places in the US

The United States is known to us as the land of wide skies and seas of amber grain, but it is also the land of ghosts. The most haunted locations in America include hotel hallways, abandoned asylums, Broadway theaters, and even a municipal zoo where ghosts are said to lurk. Many of these locations provide guided tours of the creepiest locations if you want to get up close and personal with the paranormal. Some of these hotels even offer overnight stays in the most haunted rooms. (At least that’s one method to profit from souls trapped on our plane of existence.)Don’t worry if ghosts aren’t your favorite kind of travelers. You can find enough culture, history, amazing architecture, and breathtaking landscapes at many of the locations listed below, as well as the places they are located, to keep you firmly grounded in this world. Just be careful on your travels not to agitate the spirits.

Here are America’s most haunted locations. Happy journeys!

Since it was first published, more information has been added to this gallery. Every listing that appears on Condé Nast Traveler is chosen by our editors on their own. Through our links, you may make a reservation, and we may receive an affiliate commission.

Additional reporting was done by Jenna Scherer and Randy Kalp.

Bodie California

Bodie, California

When gold was discovered in the hills above Mono Lake in the 1870s and 1880s, Bodie had an enormous growth and at one point, had 10,000 residents. Now a State Historic Park, portions of the town’s structures have been kept in a “arrested decay” setting, complete with place settings for tables and eerily filled shops. It should come as no surprise that there are several accounts of paranormal activity in this area, including ghost sightings and music emanating from closed bars. A myth also states that anyone who takes anything from Bodie, not even a rock, will return home afflicted with misfortune and health issues.

Organizing your trip: The California Department of Parks and Recreation states that Bodie has no food stores, gas stations, or other commercial establishments in order to “preserve the ghost town atmosphere.” Make appropriate preparations.

Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia

This cemetery is the same one that appears in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, for those of you who grew up in the nineties. The Savannah cemetery itself has a Southern Gothic feel, much like the book, with weathered Victorian monuments shaded by Spanish moss. Though Gracie Watson is the one who most deserves to be visited, there are many important people buried here, including author Conrad Aiken and performer Johnny Mercer.Her grave is commemorated by a life-size marble statue of her with her hand resting on a tree stump, signifying her life cut short at the age of six. When they visit her cemetery, many people leave toys there, and some people claim to have seen Gracie’s spirit nearby. Other eerie stories about the Bonaventure include statues that start smiling at strangers and making strange noises, like dogs barking or wailing babies.

Arranging your visit: The Bonaventure Historical Society provides guided tours and directions to the appropriate location if you’re looking for a specific gravestone.

Cahawba Alabama

Cahawba, Alabama

The longest river in the state, the Alabama, is the name of the state’s first capital and well-known ghost town, which is located where the Cahaba and Alabama rivers converge. After the Civil War, it was deserted, and today ghost tours and tales of paranormal activity are common at its abandoned buildings, slave burial place, and spooky cemeteries. The most well-known story is about a bright floating orb that materialized in Colonel C.C. Pegues’s former garden maze soon after the colonel was killed in combat. The apparition, which came to be known as “Pegues’s Ghost,” continues to draw inquisitive tourists to the location.

Calcasieu Courthouse Lake Charles Louisiana

Calcasieu Courthouse, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Former prostitute Toni Jo Henry rose to national notoriety in 1940 after killing a man in cold blood. The “charming” Toni Jo was found guilty after three trials, making her the first (and only) woman in Louisiana to be killed by electric chair. Her ghost is rumored to have stayed behind in the courthouse, where staff members are able to smell her burning hair and sense her presence. Many allege she locks doors and tinkers with office supplies in an attempt to make life harder for the staff at the courts.

Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs Arkansas

Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886 and has been used as a luxury resort, a young women’s conservatory, and a junior college. However, when Norman G. Baker became its new owner in 1937, it left the most peculiar impression on its past. Despite without any medical experience, Baker, a billionaire entrepreneur, chose to pretend to be a doctor and transform the hotel into a cancer “cure” facility. Eventually, he was discovered and chased out of town, but rumors have it that his soul returned to the location and attracted other ethereal companions as well. There are at least eight spirits reported to haunt the still-open Crescent Hotel, including a five-year-old girl and a bearded man dressed in Victorian attire.

Dock Street Theatre Charleston South Carolina

Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, South Carolina

This downtown Charleston location, which is among the country’s oldest theaters, has seen a great deal of turmoil and history throughout the years. The Planters Inn was constructed on the site of the original theater after it was destroyed by fire; in the 1930s, it was transformed back into a theater. Nettie Dickerson, the most colorful ghost here, is said to have been hit by lightning while standing on the hotel balcony. There have been reports of her wearing a crimson gown and gliding along the theater’s second level. Junius Brutus Booth, a famous 19th-century actor and the father of Lincoln killer John Wilkes Booth, was also there in an unearthly manner. Booth liked to stay at the inn.

The Driskill

The Driskill, Austin, Texas

Since it opened in 1886, the grand Romanesque Driskill hotel in Europe has attracted wedding parties and travelers with its striking brick front and contemporary rooms. It’s a genuine icon in Austin, and some even say it’s a haunted place. Visitors have reported hearing strange noises coming from the hotel’s elaborate hallways and seeing ghosts of Jesse Driskill, the hotel’s namesake, whose picture is still on display in the lobby. We understand that losing one’s hotel in a high-stakes poker game would be a difficult goodbye, since Driskill is said to have never fully recovered from the loss.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Built in 1829, the castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary redefined the use of solitary confinement. Prisoners ate, exercised, and lived alone. A guard would cover an inmate’s head with a hood when he exited his cell so he couldn’t see or be seen. From 1913 until its closure in 1970, the prison’s overpopulation forced it to give up its solitary system, although the methods of punishment remained harsh (one example is tying an inmate’s tongue to his wrists). Thousands of people visit the site each year, which is among the most haunted locations in America, for its museum and its yearly Halloween celebrations, which include 15 frightening attractions inside the prison walls.

Emily's Bridge Stowe Vermont

Emily’s Bridge, Stowe, Vermont

Beautiful covered bridges can be found throughout New England, however some are more likely to inspire fear than joy. Consider the 50-foot-long Emily’s Bridge in Stowe, which is rumored to have been the scene of a young woman’s suicide in the middle of the 1800s. Emily was scheduled to meet her lover at the bridge so they could elope, but when he never showed up, the rumor goes that Emily hanged herself from the rafters. Emily’s spirit is rumored to vengefully haunt the location still, grabbing at passing cars and even severing pedestrians’ backs until they bleed. There are also a few less frightening spooks, such as pictures of a white ghost and odd footsteps and noises coming from the tunnel.

Gettysburg Battlefield Pennsylvania

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

One of the bloodiest battles in American history, Gettysburg claimed the lives of around 50,000 young men over the course of the three-day engagement. Many others think that the soldiers’ souls are now roaming the battlefield in search of their weapons and fellow combatants because many of them were never given a proper burial following their tragic deaths.

Honolulu Airport

Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii

Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, often known as Honolulu International Airport, has an additional feature that will terrify even the most daring travelers: a resident ghost. As if flight delays and $13 sandwiches aren’t enough to make you fear airports. The ghost, known as “the Lady in Waiting,” appears in airport sections that are off-limits and is described as a blonde woman wearing a white dress. The story goes that the woman fell in love with a man who vowed to marry her, of course, while she was still alive. However, he left her at the gate of an international flight and never returned, and her spirit is said to be waiting for him.

Masonic Temple Detroit Michigan

Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan

One of the most striking features to Detroit’s skyline is the Masonic Temple, with its Gothic exterior, over a thousand rooms, and sixteen stories. Rumor has it that there’s more to it than what first glance reveals, including secret tunnels and staircases. The most well-known urban legend surrounding the Temple, however, concerns George D. Mason, the architect: it is said that Mason went bankrupt trying to finance the building and then committed suicide by jumping over the roof. Although it’s unlikely that there are any facts to support this story, it does assist to explain claims of a ghost ascending the building’s steps to the roof.

San Fernando Cathedral San Antonio Texas

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas

El Mariachi Mass is held on Sundays at the oldest church in Texas, which is a magnificent example of Gothic Revival architecture. But to visit its myth-filled grounds come dusk, you’d have to be something of a daring. Some people claim that the bones, nails, and ragged military uniforms found near the altar when construction workers began restoring the cathedral in 1936 belonged to three Alamo soldiers. Visitors have reported seeing ghosts at the back of the church itself, as well as dark figures and orbs in their photos since the unsettling incident. Among these otherworldly occupants are beings wearing hooded, monastic-style garb and a man clad in black.

Read More