I am a certifiable wimp and a half, so the first thought I had when reading this list of cities with the most ghost encounters was please not New York, please not New York, PLEASE NOT NEW YORK. I am in no mood to be featured as "dumb girl who gets strangled by ghost after her phone goes off in the basement" in the horror movie of someone else's life. Thankfully, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, New York did not make the top 10 list. So rather than booking the first ticket out of here, I have decided to smugly inform you of which cities are super haunted, and inevitably invoke some ghost's wrath in doing so. (My bad.)
You might be inclined to think that this is just a random list of cities, but the real estate experts at Trulia did actual research to compile their list of most haunted cities. Well, kind of. Experts say that statistically, the most ghost sightings take place in areas that already look ~spooky~. (Shocker.) So they mapped out the cities with the spookiest parts, and compiled them into a list that will surely give any of these city's residents the heebie-jeebies for many Halloweens to come. Here are the cities that might want to have Dean Winchester on speed dial juuuuuust in case:
1. New Orleans
According to Trulia, there are 1.1 spooky places per 50,000 people.
Noteworthy Ghost: Marie Laveau (1794 - 1881) was an infamous Voodoo priestess in the French Quarter of New Orleans. She had a massive and diverse following of people who both feared and respected her power. It was believed that she had the ability to attract you a lover, or to spurn them; she specialized particularly in matters of the heart and in finance. Most details of her life remain a mystery or in dispute, but it is said that she had some 15 children, one of whom was also named Marie, and succeeded her as a practitioner of Voodoo.
Laveau is buried in plot 347 of Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, where her ghost supposedly still haunts the grounds. People believe that she can still lend her abilities to help those in need of them. The grave is marked with X's because visitors believe that writing an X, turning around three times, knocking on the tomb, and shouting their wish will make it come true — only if, of course, they also leave an offering at the grave. It has been dubbed by some as "the most haunted tomb in the world"; people report seeing her wander the graveyard in a turban, uttering Voodoo curses to trespassers. Visitors are no longer allowed in the graveyard without a guide.
According to Trulia, there are 1.0 spooky places per 50,000 people.
Noteworthy Ghost: Alice B. Toklas (1877 - 1967) was the American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde; the day she arrived in Paris in 1907, she met Gertrude Stein. She became Stein's lover, as well as taking care of most of her affairs and acting as her editor and muse. Stein's Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was her bestselling book. Toklas was an avid marijuana activist, author, and art collector. She and Stein were together until Stein's death in 1946; Toklas was buried in Paris when she died at the age of 89.
Although Toklas spent the majority of her life in Paris, she did briefly spend two years studying piano at what is now the University of Washington. She wanted to be a concert pianist at the time, but eventually moved on when she decided she didn't have the talent. It is unclear exactly why she would haunt the Sorrento Hotel, but the rumors persist — specifically the fourth floor, in room 408. When asked to comment, an employee of the Sorrento Hotel said, "Our ghost is very hip." She is described as a "friendly ghost," and has even supposedly been spotted just outside the grounds with a parasol.
3. Kansas City, Missouri
According to Trulia, there are .9 spooky places per 50,000 people.
Noteworthy Ghost: The Union Station ghost, identity unknown. Verne Miller and Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd were two suspects in the Kansas City Massacre of June 1933, a shootout at Union Station railroad that left four law enforcement officers and a fugitive dead. It was a botched attempt to free Frank "Jelly" Nash from prison, and supposedly the plotting for it all took place in a hideout on Edgevale Road. It is rumored that their group returned there after the shootout, and that one of their own died in the attic.
The house now belongs to resident Dennis Cross, who moved there near 25 years ago. He reported to Pitch that upon moving in, he began to notice strange things happening all over the house — most notably, though, in the attic. There was a light in the attic that he would turn off before locking it behind him with a key only he had; when he would come home from night shifts, he would find the attic door open and the lights on, with everything else untouched. He and a friend reportedly once watched the basement door slam shut on its own.
He eventually subleased the house out to two girls one summer, who also reported strange happenings within three days of moving, although he had never mentioned it. He offered to reimburse them in light of it, but instead they brought in a minister to bless the house. No mysterious happenings have been reported since ... which means that ghost is somewhere out there in Kansas City right now, probably looking for some other cozy attic to haunt.
To see if your city made the top 10 haunted cities list, check out Trulia's post here.