It’s not difficult to discover real-life haunted attractions for those who like Halloween and horror films. All throughout the world, it is possible to visit frightful spots that will send a shudder down your spine when you are least expecting it. From an ancient sanitarium to a very well-preserved lighthouse to an American Civil War battlefield, the United States is a treasure trove of haunted sites that are sure to give you goosebumps. Here at Viraltrendzs, we’ve compiled a list of 11 of the most haunted attractions to visit in the state. Take a look at this timeline of the most haunted attractions in the United States. Be prepared to believe in ghosts if this list of America’s most haunted locations convinces you of their existence.
#1 WAVERLY HILLS SANATORIUM
This ominous, bat-winged building may be a terrifying mental health facility. The first hospital on this hill outside of Louisville, Kentucky, was erected in 1910. They created it in reaction to the “white plague,” or massive TB outbreak.
The sickness was fatal and had no treatment. Doctors explored many new methods to ease the pain. Many individuals began talking about “illegal” medical testing, where the treatment was as awful as the ailment. Many people died in the sanatorium. The hospital’s statistics show almost 60,000 deaths. Researchers think the true number was closer to 8,000, with 1945 being the worst year on record with 152 fatalities.
Waverly Hills was a geriatric facility from 1960 until 1980. The eerie old hospital rumors are also based on patient abuse complaints from that time period. It mentions harsh treatments like electroshock therapy.
As soon as the Waverly Hills building closed, people have said that the doors have slammed and other things have been making noises. Others heard footsteps and scream in unoccupied rooms. People have seen ghosts and shadowy figures lurking in the dark corridors. Some people say that they heard “ghostly footsteps and whispering” when they were in the “death tube” or “body chute”. People who are deceased may be carried out of the hospital using an underground tunnel that is hidden from the view of the living.
Several storylines focus on the hospital’s fifth floor. There are reports that patients with tuberculosis were treated there. Special mention goes to Room 502, where two nurses allegedly committed suicide. Both were claimed to be haunted, one by hanging and the other by leaping to her death. Some visitors experienced mysterious shapes creeping through windows or voices telling them to “go out.”
#2 NEW JERSEY’S PINE BARRENS
It was during the colonial era that the vast woodland area now known as the New Jersey Pine Barrens was in plenty. Many sawmills and paper mills operated in the region, as well as villages for their employees. However, when coal was found in neighbouring Pennsylvania and people migrated there instead. As a result, the town’s income and the population fell. Many “ghost towns” and spooky legends may still be discovered lurking in the shadows. There is a legend in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, that the ghost of Captain William Kidd has been seen there. People have reported seeing ghostly black dogs near the shore and in nearby woods.
One of the most well-known Pine Barrens ghost stories is that of the Jersey Devil. The creature was Deborah Leeds’s thirteenth child, according to records kept by the State of New Jersey. It turns out that she was married to a man who competed with Benjamin Franklin in the same field. She was supposedly a witch, according to folklore. Some versions of the story claim that the child’s father was a demon himself. According to mythology, the child was born with a goat’s head and feet. Some say it flew up the chimney at its birthplace, in the room where it was born. Since then, it has been responsible for several cow deaths around the region.
This legend was common in southern New Jersey by the late 1700s. It was a local tale in the 19th century. Joseph Bonaparte is said to have witnessed it. He is Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother and the former King of Spain, who erected a palace in the Pine Barrens following his banishment in 1813. As early as the 1840s, reports of the monster attacking cattle and causing cries of fear spread across the region. Thus, it became increasingly common. The year 1909 was the year with the greatest number of sightings. There were reports of seeing the “Jersey Devil” in South Jersey and Philadelphia. Schools and businesses in the Delaware Valley shuttered due to widespread media attention, while vigilante groups searched for the beast.
#3 SAVANNAH, GEORGIA
As United States’s Most Haunted City, Savannah has several notable haunted homes and ghost sightings. Since so many individuals provide ghost tours there. They often begin at the city’s historic Bonaventure Cemetery, a labyrinth of stone tombs, terrifying statues, and eerie trees wrapped in Spanish moss. Gracie Watson, a six-year-old who died of pneumonia in 1889, is a graveyard ghost. The life-size statue of her that stands above her grave is supposed to be haunted by her spirit. Several other tombstone sculptures in the cemetery have similar issues. Children’s laughter or sobbing may sometimes be heard nearby.
In 1797, the Hampton Lillibridge House in Savannah was built. Despite the discovery of a mysterious tomb under the new location, it was relocated a few years later. Since then, 26 families that resided in the home have reported ghostly occurrences that led them to leave. Things like furniture shifting and doors locking themselves were among the unusual occurrences.
Robert Zemeckis’ 1994 film “Forrest Gump” included the Sorrel-Weed Home as the most renowned haunted house in Savannah. The furious ghosts of Francis Sorrel’s wife and opposing lover are said to haunt the Sorrel-Weed mansion. Matilda Sorrel, Francis’ wife, supposedly leaped to her death upon learning of his adultery. However, historians remind out that the Sorrel family had relocated to another residence next door by the time she allegedly committed herself.
#4 THE WHITE HOUSE
In Washington, D.C., 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a popular spot for ghosts. According to History.com, the soul of Abigail Adams has been seen moving through walls and hanging garments to dry. The ghost of the third president has been heard playing the violin in the Yellow Oval Room. Many individuals, including former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, have heard the “guttural laugh” of Andrew Jackson’s spirit as it sits on his old bed. William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, is claimed to haunt the White House attic. The Blue Room is supposed to be haunted by the 10th president, John Tyler.
Abraham Lincoln figures prominently in several of the reported ghostly occurrences. This president’s ghost has been seen countless times. Many people have heard the term “Lincoln’s ghost.” Some of the most notable is Winston Churchill’s several encounters in 1940. That was while he was staying in the Lincoln Bedroom for the night. After a bath, Churchill believed he saw Lincoln’s spirit resting on the mantle above the fireplace. Those were the findings of a post on the National Constitution Center’s blog. It seemed as if Churchill had spoken to the ghost saying “Good evening, Mr. President; you seem to have me at a disadvantage,” before the ghost grinned and left.
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands witnessed Abraham Lincoln’s ghost dressed in a top hat and frock coat during a visit to the White House in 1942. When she saw it, she almost fainted. There have been more than a dozen reports of people at the White House reporting seeing or hearing what they believe to be Abraham Lincoln’s spiritual presence.
#5 WHALEY HOUSE
According to Life Magazine, San Diego’s Whaley House is “America’s most haunted.” The house was erected in 1857 on an old cemetery and hanging site. It’s been a family home, a grain store, a courtroom, the city’s first commercial theater, a ballroom, a billiard hall, and a school throughout the years. In 1960, it was reopened as a museum.
Former prisoner “Yankee Jim” Robinson is said to be the first ghost at Whaley Mansion. Before the house was built in 1852, he is said to have been hanging from a gallows on the land. According to a newspaper story, Yankee Jim dangled like a pendulum beneath the gallows for as long as he could before being slowly strangled to death.
Despite seeing Yankee Jim’s death, settler and businessman Thomas Whaley bought the site and built a home there a few years later. The Whaleys reported hearing heavy footsteps a few weeks after moving into their new house. It was like a gigantic man’s boots shaped them.
For almost a century, people have been reporting hearing footsteps and other strange noises. Until 1953, the residence was occupied by the family’s youngest daughter. She believed it was haunted by Yankee Jim’s spirit. Phantom walking sounds were also claimed by visitors to the museum throughout the 1960s.
Others claim to have seen the Whaley spirits. They’ve seen a lady in a long skirt ghost in the old county courthouse. One parapsychologist witnessed a ghost fox terrier dog running around inside the home. In fact, the Whaleys had a dog of this kind in their house.
#6 BACHELOR’S GROVE CEMETERY
This modest cemetery in woodland in the suburbs of Chicago has acquired the title of America’s most haunted graveyard. Over a hundred reports of ghosts, odd lights, and other paranormal occurrences have been compiled as proof of this claim.
In the 1950s, a wave of vandalism occurred in the isolated location. Numerous others saw a ghost farmhouse glowing over the graves, which disappeared as they approached. According to eyewitnesses, they’ve seen the ghosts of an old farmer and his dead plow horse, who were drowned in the adjacent pond.
The ghost of a 1940s “gangster” automobile has been seen by several drivers passing by the cemetery late at night. It emerges on the roadway in front of them, then disappears. Others said they hit the ghost automobile on a hard turn. However, there was no damage and no other vehicle once the incident faded.
In 1991, the Chicago Sun-Times published a famous image shot by a cemetery visitor. It portrayed a lady in an old-fashioned outfit seated on a tombstone. It was shot by a paranormal investigation team and the photographer claims the lady was not visible. Since then, she’s been dubbed the “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove”. It’s also possible that it has anything to do with the “White Lady” tale. She is the ghost of a mother who was buried with her infant son. On full moon evenings, she is reported to carry the newborn through the cemetery in her arms.
#7 COLORADO’S STANLEY HOTEL
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, was the lonely alpine Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining.” A snowfall there allegedly inspired the Stephen King story that became the movie.
The hotel was built in 1909 by Massachusetts engineer F.O. Stanley. Flora Stanley was a gifted pianist, and her soul is reported to play the piano late at night. The film’s closing segment was inspired by an old photograph of F.O. Stanley. Hotel employees allege that they can hear children’s ghostly laughter in the corridors, in addition to unloading visitors’ baggage and turning on and off lights.
There is a ghost story surrounding Room 217, which occurs in both the book and the film, of a maid who was thrown out of the window in a 1911 gas explosion but survived. According to King’s subsequent statements, that’s where he and his wife rested. It’s impossible to know if the tragedies described in the book and film are true.
Other lodgings, including Room 217 at the Stanley Hotel, may now be reserved. Every night, one of the hotel’s television channels plays a ghost tour and “The Shining.” It’s reported that Room 428 is haunted by a cowboy spirit, as seen by hotel staff in the building’s old underground tunnels.
#8 NEW ENGLAND’S COVERED BRIDGES
New England’s historic covered bridges are rife with legends of the supernatural. Emily’s Bridge is located near Stowe, Vermont, about 30 miles east of Burlington. In the mid-1800s, a young girl hung herself from the creepy-covered bridge. She had hoped to depart with a lover, but he never showed up. Emily’s spirit is claimed to haunt the bridge today, according to Atlas Obscura. By scratching people’s backs and grabbing passing cars’ sides. Strange noises have been reported, including a woman’s scream. Emily’s Bridge is now a frightening tourist attraction in Vermont. The town of Stowe has enacted an ordinance prohibiting nighttime use of the bridge. In accordance with the website Obscure Vermont, it is possible that Emily’s story is not true.
Also in Greenfield, Massachusetts, there is the Eunice Williams Covered Bridge, which is said to be haunted. An English colony at Deerfield was raided by French and Native American troops in 1704, killing 47 inhabitants and forcing the survivors to march approximately 300 miles (480 kilometers). It was only a few days until Williams, a local clergyman’s wife gave birth. By the Green River, she fainted and was slain by a tomahawk stroke. Her spirit has been observed near the river beneath the bridge, mistaking strangers for family members.
#9 NEW ORLEANS
When it comes to paranormal activity, New Orleans and Savannah are in a head-to-head competition. The LaLaurie Mansion in the French Quarter is a renowned haunted mansion. Madame LaLaurie, a rich widow and notable socialite, lived here. After a fire in April 1834, rescuers discovered tied slaves who had been tormented for a long time in a hidden torture room in the attic. When the mansion was attacked by an enraged crowd, Madame LaLaurie left the city. According to later residents, the building is still haunted by the spirits of her victims.
The dead don’t remain in their graves at New Orleans’ St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Marie Laveau, known as the “Queen of Voodoo,” is just one of them. She died in 1851, but her spirit is claimed to appear on St. John’s Eve.
The Myrtles Plantation in New Orleans is said to be constructed atop a Tunica Indian burial place. The plantation’s grounds and buildings are reported to be haunted by 12 spirits. Among them is Chloe, a slave suspected of poisoning the plantation owner’s family. Some say her victims’ spirits are imprisoned in a mirror in the main mansion.
William Winter, a subsequent owner, is rumored to haunt the plantation’s main stairway. Winter was killed in 1871 by a stranger who visited the residence. Winter stumbled inside and up to the 17th step, dying in his wife’s arms. His ghostly footsteps had been heard on the stairs, rising to the 17th step before halting.
The battle of Gettysburg was the greatest and bloodiest of the American Civil War. Many ghost tales have been attributed to events and individuals on the battlefield since Gettysburg’s deadly fight. Pseudo-cannon fire and ghostly soldier cries or yells have been recorded by visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park
High up on the battlefield, there’s a spot called the Devil’s Den that’s full of rocks and cliffs. Many tourists have reported hearing drum rolls and gunshots on the second day of the war (July 2, 1836). Another rumored ghost is that of a soldier dressed in buckskin, who wears a huge hat and no shoes, and seems to be pleasant and communicative.
A neighboring hill, Little Round Top, has also been plagued by spirits. On July 2, 1863, Union forces repulsed a Confederate flank assault. This is often regarded as a milestone in the battle by historians. A guy in a ragged Union Army costume allegedly handed several gun rounds to some Civil War actors working on the 1993 film “Gettysburg,” a depiction of the fight. But it turned out to be perfect Civil War rounds.
Three Confederate troops were supposedly hung at Sach’s Bridge, a covered bridge a few hundred yards west of Gettysburg. It’s unclear whether the troops were hung as deserters or spies. Some claim to have heard loud gunshots and galloping horses, while others have seen odd moving mists and unexplainable lights. Smells of cigarette smoke and cigar smoke have been recorded close after Gen. Robert E. Lee’s beaten Army of Northern Virginia won Gettysburg.
#11 ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE
The St. Augustine Light Station is one of the most well-known lighthouses in the United States. The first permanent lighthouse on Anastasia Island was built in 1824, and the current tower in 1874. That year, tragedy struck when Hezekiah Pity’s teenage daughters were playing near a work cart. Both girls were drowned when the cart slid and fell down the hill. The girls’ laughter is said to be heard at night surrounding the tower. The elder girl’s spirit has been spotted wearing her blue dress and blue hair ribbon when she died.
There’s a ghostly presence in the yard near the St. Augustine Light Station. According to the St. Augustine Light Station & Maritime Museum, he began roaming in rage following a land dispute with the local authority. The spirits of two past lighthouse keepers are claimed to haunt the tower’s stairs and gantries late at night. It is reported that Joseph Andreu, a lighthouse keeper who perished in a fall from the tower in the 1850s, leaves a cigar-smoking trail behind him.
Thirteen pirates who were buried around the tower are said to be haunting the island, according to local folklore. A crew from the St. Augustine Light Station uncovered many old shipwrecks and other nautical relics nearby, but no pirate tombs. They featured the wooden watchtower that was Florida’s first lighthouse.