16 Creepiest American Places With Haunting Pasts

The United States is known for its natural beauty, busy cities, and vast culture. But there are also several terrifying places with haunting histories that true crime fanatics, history buffs, and ghost hunters will all be eager to explore. We’ve compiled 19 of the creepiest American places you’ll get a chill from just reading about.

The Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts

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Currently operating as a bed and breakfast, the Lizzie Borden House in Massachusetts is home to a haunting past. In 1892, its owners, Andrew and Abby Borden, were axed to death, with Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, tried and later acquitted of the crime. Nowadays, true crime fanatics eagerly flock to the house to stay in the rooms where the murders happened.

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay

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Due to its isolated state, this island was deemed the perfect location for a maximum security prison, perhaps the most famous prison in the world: Alcatraz. Though it only operated as a prison between 1934 and 1963, Alcatraz gained a terrifying reputation as a brutal prison with cruel punishments for inmates. It’s now a museum that you can visit.

Emily’s Bridge, Stowe, Vermont

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Built in 1844, this single-lane bridge in Vermont has a tragic history. A broken-hearted young woman named Emily, who planned to elope with her lover, hanged herself from its rafters when he did not arrive. According to Stowe Country Homes, natives believe that Emily’s ghost now haunts the bridge, with passersby claiming to have seen her scratching at their cars.

The House of Death, Greenwich Village, New York

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This unassuming brownstone in Greenwich Village looks harmless, but don’t let that fool you. Known as the ‘House of Death,’ thanks to the twenty-two people who died inside it, the building is believed to be haunted by spirits that never left. Some residents claim to have seen the ghost of writer Mark Twain, who once lived there for a year.

Hudson River State Hospital, Poughkeepsie, New York

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This now-abandoned psychiatric hospital operated between 1871 and 2003, offering ‘treatments’ including lobotomies and electroshock therapy. Some patients checked in willingly, some were forced, and some never left. You can no longer enter the site due to its disrepair, but chilling photos of the abandoned rooms, including some of the therapy chairs, can be found online.

Six Flags, New Orleans, Louisiana

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Twenty-seven Six Flags theme parks are currently operating, but one has been entirely abandoned. Six Flags New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and though plans were initially made to renovate it, they were abandoned. The desolate park now sits empty, with remains including a Ferris wheel keeping it frozen in time.

Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff, Arizona

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If you’re looking for a paranormal encounter, Hotel Monte Vista in Arizona is still open for business. Room 306 is reportedly haunted by the ghosts of two women thrown from the window back in the 1940s; guests report a bellboy knocking on the door of room 210, and staff describe hearing a phantom baby cry in the basement.

Proctor’s Ledge Memorial, Salem, Massachusetts

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The Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693 are the most famous witch hunts in history. Two hundred people were accused, thirty were found guilty, and nineteen were hanged. It took hundreds of years for these executions to be memorialized. The Salem Witch Museum reports that the memorial was finally erected in 2016 at Proctor’s Ledge, which you can now visit.

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

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Combining Victorian and Gothic architecture, the Winchester Mystery House belonged to Sarah Winchester, who bought it in 1886 and continued to renovate it until she died in 1922. People are fascinated by Sarah’s mysterious reason for the non-stop renovations (she holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous house construction), and some claim her ghost still resides there.

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, Illinois

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Called ‘the most haunted cemetery in Illinois,’ Bachelor’s Grove has certainly earned that title. It’s believed that Chicago gangsters used the site to dispose of bodies in the 1920s, and the 60s saw a spike in grave robbing. Several ghosts have been reported, including a woman in a white dress carrying an infant and a caretaker carrying a shotgun.

The Pine Barrens, New Jersey

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This stretch of woodland is haunted by creepy folklore from the 1900s. People believe that a legendary beast, the Jersey Devil, inhabits the Pine Barrens, having been born as the cursed thirteenth child of a woman called ‘Mother Leeds.’ Those who dare venture in can search for this mythical creature, which is said to have wings and a blood-curdling scream.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky

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This former Tuberculosis Sanatorium has one of the creepiest haunted histories in the world. Opened in 1926, the hospital quickly filled up. According to the New York Post, it had a death toll of 63,000 and a body chute, which was used to send out corpses. Ghost hunters now regularly visit, hoping to glimpse phantoms roaming the abandoned corridors.

Bodie, California

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Once a mining town, now a ghost town, Bodie is a relic of the Wild West. Its last residents moved out in 1932, but the buildings remain frozen in time. The homes still contain furniture, shops are still stocked with goods, and cars sit abandoned in the area. Bodie is a recognized National Historic Landmark, offering guided tours to the public.

Bell Witch Cave, Adams, Tennessee

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The Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee is another great place for aspiring ghost hunters. According to legend, a man named John Bell and his family were tormented by a ghost known as the Bell Witch. Items found within the cave nowadays are said to be cursed, with visitors warned not to remove them for fear of angering the Bell Witch.

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

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You can’t get much creepier than an abandoned lighthouse, especially one believed to be haunted by spirits. The story goes that, in 1872, lighthouse superintendent Hezekiah Pittee’s two young daughters and a third child drowned after falling from the pier. Apparently, visitors can still hear the sounds of young laughter echoing around the lighthouse now.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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This creepy building revolutionized the American prison system when it opened in 1829. Designed to confine prisoners and inspire true repentance for their crimes, it once even held legendary gangster Al Capone. Now, it is a deserted fortress of cells and guard towers that history buffs eagerly explore all year round.

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