The Creepiest Place To Visit In Your State That You Probably Haven’t Heard Of
I don't excel at scary things. My friends have given up on inviting me to see horror movies with them, and I'm not one to hightail it to a ghost tour the minute I touch down in a new city. I even sit Halloween out (I know, I know — it's controversial, but I'm trying to be honest). I know I'm not necessarily in the majority here, though, and that there are plenty of people out there who actually live for the high-adrenaline experience of being in the presence of pure creepiness. For those of you who fall in this camp, you'll be psyched to refer to this list of the creepiest place to visit in your state. That's right — no matter where you live, there's a creepy destination just waiting to spook you, and it might not even be that far away.
The only thing I ask as you begin to make plans for your in-state horror tour is that you don't push too hard on the wimps in your circle. As a proud wimp, I know how awkward it can be to feel like the loser in the room simply because I don't want to tag along on a creepy field trip, when the truth is that the field trip is bound to be way more fun without me. If you're a fan of the creeps, run wild with this list! And please let the anti-horror stay home with a carton of ice cream.
The Lineup calls 19th century Drish House the most haunted site, not only in Alabama, but in the whole country! Original owner John Drish jumped to his death from the home's second floor, and his widow is said to still haunt the building today. Some locals believe that Sarah Drish's ghost was even responsible for a third-story fire, largely because of the folklore around her obsession with the candles that decorated her husband's elaborate funeral, according to StyleBlueprint. The estate is used today for events.
Just looking at this photo of the Igloo City Hotel in Cantwell, AK gives me the creeps. Per Haunted Rooms, this abandoned building is located on an isolated stretch of the Parks Highway, and while it's common knowledge that construction on it stopped in the 1970s, no one really knows why. Naturally, it's now believed to be haunted. Why wouldn't it be?
Your first red flag about the Birdcage Theatre should be that it's located in an Arizona town called Tombstone — but if you need further convincing that it's a little freaky, look no further than its history. According to the Phoenix New Times, this 19th century theater was home to drinking, gambling, prostitution, and 16 deadly gunfights in its prime. Many have claimed to see ghosts there.
Per Only In Your State, Pea Ridge National Military Park is one of several Arkansas Civil War battlegrounds that are now thought to be haunted. Guests have reported a sense of being followed by something they couldn't see.
The Santa Lucia Mountains that run between Avila Beach and Monterey, CA are an undeniably beautiful sight, but they're steeped in bone-chilling history. Legend says that there are Dark Watchers — large, quasi-human phantoms — that lurk inside the mountains, according to Culture Trip. If you're brave enough to try to catch a peek, visit the mountains at twilight and look up!
Denver's Cheesman Park was used as a cemetery in the late 19th century, according to Colorado's 9News.com. Later, the land was claimed as federal property, and families were given a mere 90 days to remove the bodies — and, in the end, a city contractor had to do most of the dirty work because so few people could afford the removal themselves. As you can imagine, things got weird, and thanks to poor planning on the contractor's part, there were body parts and bones all over the park. Just try and tell me that the place isn't haunted.
Per Damned Connecticut, Union Cemetery in Easton, CT has been a hot spot for ghost hunters and thrill seekers for years. It's a must-see for anyone who claims to be a fan of all things paranormal.
Located on Delaware's Pea Patch Island, Fort Delaware was built by the French to protect Delaware from the Confederacy and other enemies. Today, Haunted Rooms says that the site is one of the state's most haunted — especially the dungeons, where prisoners would have been held when the fort was functioning. Reports of the sound of rattling chains and disembodied voices are not uncommon.
St. Augustine, FL is the oldest city in the U.S., so it should come as no surprise that it's home to one of the eeriest locations in the state. While stunningly beautiful, Castillo de San Marcos is a go-to for ghost tours, thanks to its distinction as our country's oldest standing masonry fort, per Only In Your State. Legend says that the site is haunted by a Seminole man and a heartbroken woman in white.
Don't be fooled by the many reviews of Moon River Brewing Company's great beers. It's one of the creepiest places in Georgia! Located in Savannah, the 19th century building hosted a variety of violent fights, lynchings, and shootings, according to StyleBlueprint. Contemporary visitors and staff members share stories of bottles flying in midair and being touched by an unseen being.
In 1938, an elderly widow was murdered and left to die by two escaped convicts in her home, which was near the site that's now known as Morgan's Corner on the island of Oahu, per Hawaii Magazine. It would be five days before her body would be discovered. Stories are told around Hawaii of other gruesome events that took place at the same spot.
Yes, that's right — there is actually a real Bates Motel, and it's located in Coeur d'Alene, ID. According to Haunted Rooms, the infamous location was originally an officers barracks, was converted to a Roadway Inn, and was ultimately sold again to Randy Bates, who gave it its well-known moniker. Motel guests and employees have since reported nearly constant paranormal activity at the location.
It might look pretty innocent, but the Peoria Public Library is actually known as one of the creepiest places in Illinois, according to Mysterious Heartland. Legend says that it's built on cursed ground and is therefore haunted by many ghosts. Sounds like the perfect place to check out some scary books if that's your thing!
The Story Inn has tagged itself "One inconvenient location since 1851," not only because visitors need to travel 20 miles into the wilderness in order to stay there, but also because it's the only building still standing from a now-defunct mining town, per The Indy Channel. That fact alone is a little eerie, but the documented ghostly hauntings really lock up the creepiness factor for the inn, which is still an operating bread and breakfast.
Rumor (well, decades-old legend) has it that anyone who touches the hand of the Black Angel Statue of Fairview Cemetery in Council Bluffs, IA will die, Travel Iowa tells us. Shake hands with her at your own risk.
St. Jacob's Well is a sinkhole formed by centuries of gradually-eroding rock, according to Mysterious Heartland, and while we can now estimate that it's about 18 feet deep, it was once believed to be a literal bottomless pit. Over the years, many visitors have lowered weighted rope into the depths of the well in search of the bottom! There are plenty of other creepy legends associated with this site too — bodies left at the bottom, sightings of spectral cowboys, haunted houses nearby, and more.
Early Kentucky senator John Brown built Liberty Hall as his family home in 1796, and it became the site of many deaths, according to Kentucky For Kentucky. As a result, there are three spirits thought to haunt the grounds to this day — the "Gray Lady," a Spanish opera performer, and a soldier.
The New Orleans French Quarter is chock full of buildings laden with all kinds of history, and the Lalaurie House has an especially storied — and haunted — profile, per Vacations Made Easy. The building is a private residence now, but you can walk by it if you're passing through The Big Easy and get full body chills just looking at it. The Lalaurie House has a sad history of violence toward slaves that's since been portrayed on American Horror Story.
Now under consideration as the site for a new veterans facility, the Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta, ME is widely though to be one of the creepiest spots in all of the Pine Tree state, according to Only In Your State. In the early 20th century, the arsenal was a hospital for the severely medically ill, and many say that you can still hear the cries of the building's former patients.
Shortly after John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, he was taken to the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd in Walford, MD so that his broken leg could be treated. According to Haunted Rooms, Dr. Mudd was tried and convicted as a co-conspirator in the assassination. Today, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd's House is an important historical site, and some people claim that they've seen the doctor's ghost wandering the property or the impression of a body in the bed where Booth slept and recovered.
Per Only In Your State, Dogtown started as a respectable 17th century settlement... but went on to have a very bad reputation. Rumors abounded that the dwindling residents of Dogtown practiced witchcraft, a theory that was only confirmed by the mysterious words carved into rocks throughout the area.
If sleeping with ghosts is your thing, you can stay at Kalamazoo's Henderson Castle to this day! Awesome Mitten notes that the building's original owners, as well as a Spanish-American War veteran, a little girl, and a dog still hang out in their spectral forms around the property. The good news? It sounds like they're all pretty friendly!
King's Tavern is the oldest building in Natchez, MS, according to Visit Mississippi, and it's also been featured in an episodes of Ghost Adventures, which automatically gives it creepy cred. Legend says that a space was found behind the wall holding three dead bodies. As you might expect, haunted happenings followed, including mysterious sightings in mirrors and the disembodied sound of a crying baby.
I can't say that there are any cemeteries out there that I find decidedly un-creepy, but Lorimier Cemetery sounds especially chill-inducing. Lorimier is the home of the "tapping host," according to Only In Your State. Visitors report the sensation of being tapped on the shoulder or of having their hair pulled.
The Montana town of Fort Peck was built in the early 20th century to temporarily house U.S. Army Corps of Engineers workers and their families, and while the town's theater is still functional today, it's also said to be haunted by a male spirit, per the Billings Gazette. Visitors have also reported strange sounds and bizarre apparitions in the dressing rooms.
As you can tell from this tweet begging the host of Ghost Adventures to visit Centennial Hall in Valentine, NE, there's some serious creepiness afoot here. According to Haunted Rooms, a student at this one-time high school building died on campus after her clarinet reed was poisoned, and many have said they believe she still haunts the halls. They report a feeling of being sick when they see her ghost, as well as the sound of music playing from the school's old music room... even though the building has long since been converted to a museum without a working musical instrument to speak of.
Nevada has a reputation for mining communities turned ghost towns, and Goldfield is one of the best-known. Goldfield Hotel and the abandoned Goldfield High School are thought to be particularly creepy, Only In Your State notes, thanks to accounts of ghost sightings.
Mary is a redheaded, green-eyed ghost who is said to appear in the upstairs window of New Hampshire's Ocean-Born Mary House, according to Haunted Rooms. She has also been caught standing on the staircase when people enter the building! And since legend says that Mary found the body of her murdered husband when she was alive and buried him under the kitchen's hearthstone, the whole thing feels extra eerie.
The Devil's Tree stands alone in a field in Bernards Township, NJ, and many locals believe that it's cursed, per NJ.com. Legend says that anyone who cuts down the tree will die an early death, largely because, years ago, a farmer is believed to have hanged himself from its branches after murdering his wife and children.
There's no shortage of creepy sites in New Mexico, but Dawson tops the list from Haunted Rooms. The town was built around a large coal mining operation, but it also became home to two of the most serious mining tragedies in American history! Nearly 400 people were killed in these incidents combined, and ghost stories abound around town. Some have claimed to see miners' helmet lights and other spectral figures walking through the graveyard.
More than 800 thousand people have been buried in Hart Island since the late 19th century. The land is used for unclaimed bodies or for those whose families cannot afford a proper funeral, according to Untapped Cities.
The legend of Blackbeard the Pirate is well-known, but fewer people know about Teach's Hole, a cove located in Ocracoke Island, NC and named after Edward Teach — the man better known as Blackbeard. Upon his capture, Blackbeard was beheaded, and his headless body is said to have been seen swimming in the cove or walking the beach, per Thrillist.
Constructed in 1915, Willston, ND's Old Armory is said to now be the home of freely-moving mannequins and ghostly whispering, according to Haunted Rooms.
A Buzzfeed user shares the legend of Lick Road near Cincinnati, OH: "The ghost, Amy, was killed by her boyfriend on the bridge that crosses over the creek. If you sit in your car and wait, Amy will come and write 'Help Me' in condensation on your windows. If you park facing the path, turn off your car and flash your headlights three times, Amy's ghost will appear." I'm not sure I want to test this one for myself.
Oh, has the name of this one not sufficiently creeped you out? Let me explain. According to Haunted Rooms, Dead Woman's Crossing is a bridge on the road around Deer Creek now haunted by the ghost of Katy DeWitt James. James is said to have mysteriously disappeared in 1905 after riding in a buggy with a prostitute friend into a field near said creek. Her baby was dropped off at a local farm wrapped in a bloody dress.
In 1906, the crew of the Peter Iredale cargo ship was evacuated during a storm on the way to Portland. Since the ship itself was largely undamaged, according to Oregon Live, the crew planned to save it, but it became gradually buried in the sand and could no longer be moved. Today, the tourist destination is a spooky-looking photo op.
As a Pennsylvania native, I can confirm that Eastern State Penitentiary is easily the creepiest place in the Keystone state — so creepy, in fact, that I've never ventured to go. Per Thrillist, the century-old prison — once known especially for its focus on solitary confinement — is now a must-see for ghost hunters. Visitors have reported hearing voices and seeing visions of guards and inmates.
The Seaview Terrace property in Newport, RI is so objectively creepy that it's been used as part of gothic series Dark Shadows, notes Only In Your State. But it's not all hype — ghost sightings have also been reported.
According to Haunted Rooms, seven people were once hanged from Seven Devil's Bridge, and (naturally) the ghosts of those people now haunt the area. It's said that living people cannot cross the bridge at midnight — and theory that seems to have been confirmed by a number of freaky car crashes for those who attempted it.
Come for a performance, stay for a side of the creeps. The Orpheum Theater of Sioux Falls dates back to 1913 and is rumored to have a resident ghost named Larry, per Haunts.com. He's been known to mess up concerts and shows by blowing fuses and dropping sandbags onto actors. Legend has it that, in life, Larry committed suicide after failing to land the part of Romeo in an Orpheum production.
The Shiloh National Military Park makes the list of Tennessee's most creepy. It's full of natural beauty today, but it was also home to the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War, and there are accounts of people seeing a bloodied pond in the area today. Was that the pond where soldiers came to clean their wounds? I guess we'll never know!
You can still grab a drink at the La Carafe wine bar in Houston, but given its creepier elements, I'm not sure you would want to. According to Only In Your State, guests of the first floor establishment (which is the oldest still-operating commercial building in the city) have heard heavy footsteps and the sound of a body being dragged upstairs.
OK, so Rock Canyon is obviously beautiful, but given the fact that it's really only meant for experienced climbers, it's also played host to lots of serious injuries and deaths. Haunted Rooms credits this with the negative energy of the area, from which there have been regular reports of a ghostly man who runs down the canyon's rockier ledges and straight toward the living, vanishing before he can make contact.
According to Only in Your State, West Castleton, VT — though once a hot spot for European immigrants and miners — is now largely abandoned. A well-known local story says that a group of West Castleton friends traveling by rowboat to a pub on the other side of Lake Bomoseen... and never returned. Their empty boat, however, was found floating in the lake. Today, it is believed that a spectral rowboat can be seen on Lake Bomoseen.
Williamsburg, VA is full of opportunities to tap into some centuries-old spirits, but the Peyton Randolph House is widely known as the most haunted, per Colonial Ghosts. Some even call it the most haunted house in the country! Visitors have heard voices, witness objects moving on their own, and felt hands touch or push them (General Marquis de Lafayette himself reported the latter!).
Tacoma Old City Hall was once, of course, the HQ for important city matters, but it's also been the site of many alleged hauntings over the last 40 years. According to Haunted Rooms, police have been called to the scene to check out creepy noises, spontaneous fire alarms, and even burglar alarms. On each occasion, officers found no evidence of an actual human having been inside.
This is the scene that creepy carnival music was made for. Wild, Wonderful West Virginia notes that many believe the land on which Lake Shawnee Amusement Park is built is actually cursed — and for good reason. In the late 18th century, three local children and several Native American warriors were killed on the land before it was even converted to an amusement park, and further deaths were reported later on. The park was abandoned in 1966, and now it's the home of rusted park remains and ghost sightings (a little girl, of course).
This dead end road west of the Wisconsin River is said to be named in honor of Boy Scouts who died there many years ago, according to Mysterious Heartland. There's a lot of mystery around how these deaths occurred on Boy Scout Lane, so if you love an unsolved murder or disappearance, you'll love the creepy vibes of this spot.
Buffalo Bill himself built Cody's Irma Hotel, per Haunted Rooms, and some say that he's stuck around, along with his daughter Irma. Guests have alleged the sound of footsteps, as well as sightings of a ghost missing the bottom half of his body. Irma is said to hang out in a rocking chair in the corner of Room 16, which was her bedroom IRL.