Spooky season is almost here, and with it might come the desire to go somewhere a little creepy. There is no shortage of haunted places to visit in the US in the lead-up to Halloween, whether you want to just hear about paranormal activity or maybe see a ghost yourself. Our list of haunted places spans the US, from Hawaii to the East Coast, and includes hotels, jails, battlefields and entire towns. Start planning now, and see how many of these haunted places you can see before Halloween!
- San Antonio, TX
- Lincoln Park Zoo, IL
- Eastern State Penitentiary, PA
- Gettysburg, PA
- Honolulu International Airport, HI
- Queen Mary, CA
- Ohio State Reformatory
- Grand Hotel, MI
- Williamsburg, VA
- Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, MA
- Bodie, CA
San Antonio, TX
One of the most-visited attractions in San Antonio, Texas, The Alamo, is full of history, and by some accounts full of ghosts. But the city itself is older than the United States, and with that age comes plenty of reports of ghosts and paranormal activity. There are several ghost tours offered in San Antonio, but you can also visit spots by yourself. At the Alamo, there have been reported sightings of a little boy, a Mexican soldier and a guard on the roof, along with other incidents like people hearing talking and laughter when no one else is nearby.
Elsewhere in the city, you can go ghost hunting at the Spanish Governor’s Palace, the San Fernando Cathedral, the San Antonio State Hospital, the Cadillac Bar or the Majestic Theatre. This is only a short list of places where people reported ghostly sightings or occurrences in San Antonio.
Lincoln Park Zoo, IL
Yes, a zoo made the list of haunted places! But it’s not because there are ghosts of animals wandering the grounds. The area of Chicago where the zoo now sits was once the Chicago City Cemetery where more than 30,000 people were buried. While some graves were relocated when the zoo was built, it’s thought that more than 10,000 bodies are still buried there. There have been reports of people in old-fashioned clothing walking around the zoo property, as well as the ghost of a woman walking by the Lion House. Other paranormal occurrences like flickering lights and doors slamming are also said to have happened.
Eastern State Penitentiary, PA
This prison was built in the early 1800s in Philadelphia and was in use until 1970. In the beginning, the prisoners were all in solitary confinement and the prison was always known for its severe forms of punishment. Perhaps because of this, the penitentiary is considered one of the most haunted places in the US, with reports of footsteps, laughter and ghost sightings. If you’ll be in the area they embrace the history with Halloween Nights from the end of September until mid-November.
The site of the Battle of Gettysburg, outside the Pennsylvania town of the same name, is also said to be home to some spirits stuck there long after the fighting ended. This was the deadliest battle of the Civil War, with more than 50,000 killed. Residents and visitors have reported seeing ghosts of soldiers in their uniforms with weapons. The hauntings are not restricted to the battlefield though. The building that was once the Gettysburg Orphanage, and another building that was used as a hospital during the war are other places where people have seen or interacted with both the spirits of soldiers unable to move on and children who lived in the orphanage and are said to have been tortured. The Farnsworth House Inn in town is also a site of a lot of paranormal activity, and the building is full of bullet holes from the battle.
Honolulu International Airport, HI
You may be surprised to know that multiple airports in the US are said to be haunted. One of them is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu. Among the events that have been reported are sightings of a woman in a white dress standing at windows looking at the runway at night, as well as toilets slamming shut in the bathrooms, and toilet paper rolls unrolling when no one is around. If you’re flying in or out of the airport, be on the lookout for paranormal activity!
Queen Mary, CA
This fabled ship is now a hotel docked at Long Beach in California. And while its rooms are historic, it’s also one of the most haunted hotels in the US. You can take a ghost tour, or just book a room and see if you come in contact with any spirits on board. Among the haunted occurrences reported are people being woken up in the middle of the night to see a ghost at the end of the bed, knocking on doors, water running from taps in unoccupied rooms, as well as ghosts of women and children seen near where the first-class swimming pool used to be.
Ohio State Reformatory
Much like the Eastern State Penitentiary that’s also on our list, the Ohio State Reformatory outside of Mansfield, Ohio, is a prison where brutal punishment was given out. It opened at the end of the 1800s as a place to reform juvenile offenders, turned into an adult prison, and closed after less than a century due to its reputation; now it’s reportedly one of the most haunted places in the US. You can tour this stately structure designed by an Ohio architect, and if it looks familiar, it’s because it was the setting of the film “The Shawshank Redemption”. But what about the hauntings? This is a popular spot for ghost hunters because of the amount of paranormal activity found in the cell blocks and solitary confinement area, some say because of the punishment and conditions in the prison.
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, MI
This hotel is famous both for its porch (the longest in the US), as well as its haunted history. Opened in the 1880s, the hotel on Mackinac Island was built on a Native American burial ground and some remains were moved or disturbed, which may account for some of the paranormal activity reported there. Guests have said they felt like they were being watched by someone when no one else was around, seeing people dressed in Victorian clothing and hearing sounds in empty hotel rooms.
This city was founded in 1638 and was the capital of the original Virginia Colony, so it has a lot of history. With that history comes some ghosts and other paranormal activity that you can learn about on a ghost tour of Colonial Williamsburg. There are also several ghost hunting conventions held in Williamsburg because of the amount of spirits found here. Among the most haunted buildings here are the Ludwell-Paradise House, the former Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, The Peyton Randolph House and Edgewood Plantation. Reported incidents include bloody floorboards that return even after being replaced, attempts at pushing people down the stairs and hearing water running when no one else is in the building.
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, MA
This house in Fall River, Massachusetts, is where Lizzie Borden was accused in 1892 of killing her father and stepmother with an ax (she was acquitted after a trial). It’s now a bed and breakfast that also offers tours and ghost tours. Visitors have reported hearing and seeing doors close on their own, smelling a floral scent, seeing a face on a basement wall and hearing laughter.
This former Gold Rush town sits east of Yosemite National Park, not far from the Nevada border. While Bodie was home to more than 10,000 people in the late 1800s, it’s now a ghost town that has been semi-preserved as a state historic park. While there are no residents, there have been reports of ghost sightings and creepy occurrences like music playing in the deserted buildings.