The Most Haunted Places in America to Visit Before Halloween

Updated: Jan 12

In places where tragedies occur, it's not uncommon for restless souls to lurk the land for years to come. A lot of times places are haunted not only because someone died there, but because of how they died there as well. It might be chilling to think about, but when you consider years of famine, disease, and war, it's pretty safe to assume that the spirits that were taken from this world before they were ready to weren't very happy about it.


Whether you believe in paranormal activity or not, there are some places in America that will shake even the biggest doubter to their core. As scary as it may be, there are some people (like me) who actually seek out these frightening locations. Because of this, I decided to compile a list featuring some of the most haunted places in America just ahead of Halloween. If you visit any of them, please leave a comment about your experience!


1. Eastern State Penitentiary

Located in: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opening in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary had strict rules to confine prisoners in solitude, meaning they couldn't have any human contact. This was the first prison in America to implement this, even going to the extremes of having guards cover the prisoner's heads as they made their 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 said to be extremely haunted, and is open year-round for tours.

Where to Stay:

Luxury: Four Seasons. This beautiful 5-star hotel has 2 restaurants and 2 bars. It also has a babysitting service for those too young to visit the penitentiary.

Mid-Range: The Logan Philadelphia. This extremely fancy hotel is offered at a lower cost than the former and is located right in the city center.

Economy: Days Inn. This simple hotel is close enough to the main attraction, clean, and affordable.


2. St. Augustine Lighthouse

Located in: St. Augustine, Florida

Several ghost sightings have been reported at the lighthouse. One of the most popular is of two sisters, Eliza and Mary, who died on the property when they slid from a cart into the bay. Another ghost is one of the lighthouses first keepers, Peter Rasmussen, who loved smoking cigars. Some visitors report smelling cigars at the lighthouse and coming in contact with the man himself.

Where to Stay:

Luxury: Casa Monica Resort and Spa. This resort is located right on the beach and only 1.5 miles away from the lighthouse.

Mid-Range: Edgewater Inn. It is small, but it feels like you're visiting a cozy beach house.

Economy: The Budget Inn. It literally has budget in the title, so you know you can afford it. It's also clean and has great reviews.


3. Winchester Mystery House

Located in: San Jose, California

This house is one of the strangest, yet most enthralling pieces of construction ever built. It all started when Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, widow to William Wirt Winchester of the firearms fame, lost both her daughter and husband in a short period of time. She moved into an 8-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 is said that Sarah did this because she visited a medium after her husband died, who told her that she must build a home out west continuously to appease the spirits of those who had died from the gunshots of Winchester rifles. Today, people visit for both the oddity and the ghosts that are said to roam the house.

Where to Stay:

Luxury: Hotel Valencia. This hotel is within walking distance to the Winchester House and even features a rooftop terrace.

Mid-Range: The Row Hotel. With a very modern vibe, this hotel has a bar and a fitness center.

Economy: Larkspur Landing Campbell. With a nice exterior and clean interior, this hotel is exactly what you'd expect, and has 3.5 stars to prove it.


4. R.M.S. Queen Mary

Located in: Long Beach, California

This ocean liner operated in the North Atlantic Ocean until its retirement in 1967. It docked in Long Beach and opened as a tourist attraction in 1971. Since then, it has been frequently reported as haunted, and became one of the top attractions in America to find paranormal activity. Some of the ghosts include an engineer who died on board in the engine room and several children running about the ship. Stateroom B340 is notoriously haunted and has been featured on several TV shows, including Ghost Hunters.

Places to Stay:

Luxury: Hyatt Regency. Incredibly upscale, very close to the beach, and less than a mile from the ship.

Mid-Range: The Queen Mary. The best place to stay is on the ship itself.

Economy: Travelodge. A bit outdated but a good price for the location.


5. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Located in: Weston, West Virginia

Only designed to hold 250 people, this asylum became majorly overcrowded, holding 2,400 people in the 1950's. It started as a well-intentioned mental heath facility, but when the overcrowding began, the demand for food grew higher, and many patients became malnourished. Employees began to lose control of the patients, and costs continued to rise. Eventually, the asylum couldn't afford furniture and additional beds. When the hospital began performing lobotomies to try "curing" mental illness, several people died. Today, the hospital, which sits on an eerie 666 acres, is a popular spot for ghost hunters.

Places to Stay Luxury: Hampton Inn. This is the nicest hotel close to the asylum, and it features a pool and a terrace with a fireplace.

Mid-Range: Holiday Inn. Its a classic, clean hotel.

Economy: Quality Inn. Its minimal, nice, and does the job.


6. Pittock Mansion

Located in: Portland, Oregon

This house was built by Henry Pittock, a newspaper owner who met his wife Georgiana when moving to Portland. Georgiana died just 4 years after the house was complete, and Henry died only a year later. It is said that the couple have since returned to haunt their dream mansion, and none of the haunting reporting have been negative. It is likely that the couple is happy to have returned to spend the rest of their undead lives together.

Places to Stay:

Luxury: Mark Spencer Hotel. This nice urban hotel is less than 2 miles from the mansion.

Mid-Range: Holiday Inn. A cozy space with great reviews.

Economy: Park Lane Suites. The closest of the 3, this hotel has beautiful scenery.


7. Kehoe House

Located in: Savannah, Georgia

If you're a huge horror or history fan, you may know that Savannah was basically built on top of a mass grave. This house, specifically, was a funeral home in the past, and rumor has it, two of the Kehoe family's children died in the house. Guests of the now bed and breakfast report hearing children playing and a smell of an old perfume. Some people even report feeling someone touch them while they sleep.

Places to Stay:

Luxury: The Marshall House is haunted too, so you're in luck.

Mid-Range: To get the full haunted experience, you want to stay at the Kehoe House itself.

Economy: Iris Garden Inn. It has the best rates, but it's a little over 3 miles away from the house.


8. The LaLaurie Mansion

Located in: New Orleans, Louisiana

Popularized further by American Horror Story: Coven, this house is where Delphine LaLaurie owned and tortured numerous slaves after her failed third marriage sent her into a downward spiral. When the mansion caught fire in 1834, some of the horrible living conditions of the slaves were revealed. Although the TV show dramatized the true events that occurred here, it is true that Delphine didn't treat the slaves fairly, and the slaves who died in the fire are said to be the spirits haunting this home.

Places to Stay:

Luxury: Le Richelien. With all the French influence that makes New Orleans special.

Mid-Range: Haunted Hotel. Yes, that's literally what it's called, and it looks quite creepy too.

Economy: Inn on St. Ann. A nice little hotel with interesting scenery.


9. The Stanley Hotel

Located in: Estes Park, Colorado

Made famous by Stephen King's The Shining, this hotel has a number of haunted rooms that can be booked. The rooms 401, 407, and 428 have been highlighted on Ghost Hunters, and the famed room from the movie, 217, can also be requested. Interestingly enough, the paranormal activity began when Elizabeth Wilson was tending to the rooms while carrying a lit gas lamp. 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, have been haunting the hotel ever since.

Places to Stay:

Luxury: Don't be afraid the stay at The Stanley Hotel itself, and request a haunted room.

Mid-Range: Blue Door Inn. The view from this hotel is wonderful.

Economy: Nicky's Resort. You won't believe how stunning this hotel is for the price.


10. Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Located in: Louisville, Kentucky

In the 1900's, Kentucky suffered the highest rate of death in America from tuberculosis. That is why Waverly Hills was constructed—as a place to separate those with the disease from the outside world. There was no cure for the disease, and some of the treatments were intense. Some patients had balloons placed in their lungs, and pumped with air after implanted to expand them. Other patients had their ribs removed from their chest. Ultimately, many people died, and had to be sent down a chute for transportation out of the hotel. With all the death that occurred here, many unhappy spirits lurk the halls daily.

Places to Stay:

Luxury: Crowne Plaza. Clean rooms, good food, and an airport shuttle. Oh my.

Mid-Range: Tru. This Hilton-owned hotel is very modern and cool.

Economy: Days Inn. A simplistic, close hotel.


I hope these haunted locations inspire you to get out an explore this Halloween. You may even find a few list-worthy places, or convince your skeptical friend to believe.


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