16 Scary American Locations with Bone-Chilling Histories

America may have amusement parks that provide good thrills, but places like Alcatraz and the Whaley House will evoke a different type of fear. If you’re looking for a paranormal vacation spot, these 16 locations with bone-chilling histories will never disappoint.

Ohio State Reformatory, Ohio

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The Ohio State Reformatory has a fiery history—one that saw 320 inmates dead. This was partly due to, as the New York Times remembers, how prisoners were experimented on with cancer cell injections in 1956. Today, tour guides claim the location to be haunted, with some visitors saying they’ve been pushed by paranormal entities.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania

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The Eastern State Penitentiary was a popular, expensive prison that now stands dilapidated and supposedly haunted today. It’s a prison known for the brutal treatment of inmates, which included isolation, iced water baths, and worse. Today, some of its cell blocks are known for echoing voices, shadowy figures, and ghostly faces.

Stanley Hotel, Colorado

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With eerie laughter, flickering lights, and a haunted piano, the Stanley Hotel features as many ghosts as it has rooms. Its story goes back to a 1911 explosion that destroyed parts of it, with room 401 being to be the creepiest room. This terrifying hotel eventually inspired Stephen King’s famous horror novel, “The Shining.”

Rio Grande Railroad Depot, Utah

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Many ghosts haunt the Rio Grande Railroad Depot, but none is as popular as The Purple Lady. This distraught female ghost apparently wears a purple dress and lurks in the ladies’ bathrooms, having been killed by a train after her fiancé threw her engagement ring onto the tracks.

The Lizzie Borden House, Massachusetts

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Now a bed and breakfast spot, the Lizzie Borden House was the scene of a gruesome murder allegedly committed by Lizzie Borden herself, with her parents being found beaten to death by an ax in 1892. Shockingly, workers claim to regularly hear footsteps, see a ghost in Victorian clothing, and hear Lizzie’s conversations from empty rooms.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

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It may have a great heritage as Florida’s first lighthouse, but the St. Augustine Lighthouse also has an equally bone-chilling history. From a keeper, Joseph Andreu, who fell while painting the tower, to the two sisters who drowned playing close to it, there’s no shortage of scary backstories about this seemingly innocent lighthouse.

Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana

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In 2008, National Geographic deemed the Myrtles Plantation to be “the South’s spookiest house.” A servant once fell in love with the homeowner and devised a plan to live there forever. This plan backfired and killed many people, including Chloe, but her ghostly figure would suggest that her plan was successful!

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

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The Battle of Gettysburg is one of the bloodiest in American history, perfectly representing the degeneracy that was the American Civil War. Between July 1 and July 3, 1863, over 7,000 soldiers died. Today, people claim to still hear the sounds of musketeers marching close to the site’s graveyard.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia

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This 26-acre asylum opened in 1864 for only 250 patients but ended up housing six times its capacity. Within these crowded walls, doctors famously performed horrifyingly ethical lobotomies that left patients soulless. Visit at your own peril, as eight ghosts are said to still haunt the asylum today!

The LaLaurie Mansion, Louisiana

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A woman named Madame LaLaurie once owned this mansion, but becoming manic from her husband leaving her, she began tormenting her slaves to the point of death. It wasn’t until many years later that the police discovered her atrocities, and supposedly, her servants’ screams can still be heard to this day.

Alcatraz, California

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Alcatraz housed some of America’s most ruthless criminals, many of whom lost their lives there. Prisoners faced brutal punishment, like being chained without food and beaten in total darkness. Given this horror, it’s unsurprising that CBS tells of tourists reportedly seeing a ghostly figure in Alcatraz.

RMS Queen Mary, California

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This World War II stealth ship didn’t just help fight enemies; it also turned towards its inhabitants, with 16 crew members and 41 passengers dying of “natural causes.” Children drowned in its pools, a mechanical engine crushed a sailor, and a murder took place in one of its cabins.

The Whaley House, California

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Perhaps the worst mistake the Whaley family made was building their home over the grounds where horsethief Yankee Jim Robinson was hanged for his crimes. He tormented them daily, making eerily loud noises, leaving footprints, and even killing five family members. We wouldn’t dare step foot in there now!

Dock Street Theatre, South Carolina

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Now haunted by the Lady in Red, the Dock Street Theatre once stood as America’s first theater. Unfortunately, a woman named Nettie Dickerson was rumored to have been struck by lightning on one of its balconies in the 1800s, and guests say they still see her running around in her red dress today.

Hotel Monte Vista, Arizona

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There are countless bone-chilling stories associated with Hotel Monte Vista, from the screaming infant in the basement to a phantom room service boy. However, the most popular is that of an old woman who sat in a rocking chair beside the window for hours, who many claim can still be seen to this day.

Poinsett Bridge, South Carolina

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The Library of Congress describes the Poinsett Bridge as “a significant technological and engineering achievement,” especially considering it was erected in 1820. However, it doesn’t mention that it’s now notorious for paranormal activities, famously being haunted by workers who died building the bridge and didn’t live to see its glory.

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