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Real Haunted Places

America's top 20 real haunted places you can actually visit!

  • 18
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Created by Roadtrippers - June 14th 2016

Sure, ghost stories around the campfire, horror movies, and haunted house attractions can provide a good scare or two... but they can never compare to the unforgettable, bone-chilling, spine-tingling terror that you feel when you encounter an actual ghost. If you're looking to get really and truly scared, we've compiled a list of the scariest haunted places that you can actually visit. Don't say we didn't warn you about the spooks and the spirits you might encounter... and remember to bring a flashlight!

4.5

San Francisco, CA

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As one of the most notorious former federal penitentiaries in the country, housing some of the most violent criminals, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Alcatraz is haunted. Native Americans believed the island was cursed long before the prison was put in place, and inmates and guards alike had unexplainable encounters when it was operational.

Cold spots, mysterious whispers, unseen hands touching people, floating lights, eerie moans from unoccupied cells, and the spirits of Native Americans and Civil War soldiers were all reported, but the most terrifying encounter had to be that of the inmate who, after seeing a pair of glowing red eyes in his cell, screamed for hours and hours. The next morning, he was found dead, his face purple, his eyes bulging, and his throat covered with unidentifiable strangle marks.

Officially, the NPS (who operates tours to the island) denies that Alcatraz is haunted, but guides and visitors frequently report the sounds of footsteps, chains, and even banjo and harmonica music. Keep your ears peeled at the cell of the Birdman of Alcatraz... you might be able to hear his canaries tweeting away.

Between the years of 1882 to 1971 Sloss Furnace, and its employees, were tasked with turning coal and ore into steel. That steel went on to shape the industrial revolution, from New York skyscrapers, to bridges in the south, Sloss Furnace had a hand in it all... But the cost of all of this was immense.

Sloss was known as an inhumanly terrible place to work, and the worst of the worst was the Graveyard Shift foreman, James “Slag” Wormwood. In an attempt to impress his superiors, he drove his employees to work faster, take fewer breaks, and speed up production to a dangerous degree. More workers died under his watch than any other: 47 souls lost to preventable accidents, three times more than any other foreman. Even more suffered injuries that put them out of work for good.

But, some would say that Slag got what was comin' to him. In October 1906, Slag fell from the top of the largest furnace (Big Alice), and fell into a giant pool of melting ore. Needless to say his body dissolved into nothing in half a second flat. According to the legend, the workers may have been driven too far, and for revenge “fed him to the furnace.”

Since then the ghost of Slag has continued to torment from beyond the grave. There have been many stories from past employees about being shoved from behind by invisible hands, or hearing the sound of a man screaming “get back to work” when there should be no one there at all. The scariest report involves a man claiming to see the face of pure evil: half man, half demon.

Today the furnace is a historic monument, with day and nighttime tours of the building and grounds. If you’re looking for something truly terrifying, Sloss Furnace and the ghost of Slag will not disappoint. Only the bravest need visit!

4.2

Louisville, KY

Originally built to care for patients suffering from tuberculosis, the sanatorium is considered one of the world’s most haunted places. The new owners recently applied for a permit to turn the abandoned hospital into a haunted hotel, considering it’s world-renowned status as one of the most haunted buildings in the world.

When the Sanatorium opened it was so large it had its own zip code. Tuberculosis was an extremely scary and very contagious disease at the time. Ironically, sanatoriums like Waverly helped spread TB by allowing patients visitation from friends and family, before they knew TB was an airborne disease. There were many attempts to treat tuberculosis, and quite a few were brutal and extremely painful. The experimental treatments that occurred at Waverly Hills “left the patient with horrific scars and often times, disfigurement.” It’s believed the ghosts of patients still roam the halls.

Other than the spirits of the thousands of patients who died here haunting the halls, there's a particularly disturbing legend regarding room 502. As the story goes, a young nurse found herself pregnant by the married owner of the sanatorium, and to make matters worse, she found out that she had come down with TB herself. She was found outside room 502 after hanging herself with lightbulb wire.

They offer tours, private investigations, and even the chance to stay the night at an onsite building after a late-night ghost hunt... if you dare!

3.5

Portland, OR

From 1850 to around 1941 “Shanghaiing” was a common practice on the coast, particularly in Portland. The idea behind Shanghaiing was to drug and kidnap unsuspecting men and women to use as slaves on ships, many of which were headed to Shanghai, China. A common method for kidnapping victims was to drop them through trapdoors into tunnels, where they were forced into cells and held until they were put on a ship.

For obvious reasons, people have spent years telling stories about the dark tunnels that run under a majority of the city. One of the most famous stories is about the ghost of a prostitute named, Nina. According to the legend, Nina was drugged and dropped down an elevator shaft, the fall killing her. Today people still smell her perfume, or catch glimpses of her wandering the darkened halls alone.

Tours of the tunnels are offered, and provide an in-depth look into the haunted tunnels and at the horrors of human trafficking.

3.8

San Diego, CA

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This humble, two-story brick building has been called "America's Most Haunted House", has been featured on countless TV shows and lists about the most paranormal places in the country, and has played host to ghostly guests since the 19th century-- San Diego's infamous Whaley House. Even Regis Philbin, who visited in the 1960's, claims to have encountered a spirit here... and if Reg says it's haunted, it must be. Right?

Given the Whaley House's colorful past, it's not really a surprise that it's so dang haunted. Before the house was built, the town gallows were on the property. Then the building, meant to be the nicest house in San Diego at the time, was put up-- not only did the prominent Whaley family live in there, but it also housed "a granary, the County Court House, San Diego's first commercial theater, various businesses including Thomas Whaley's own general store, a ballroom, a billiard hall, school, and polling place".

The Whaley House has been known to be haunted since the Whaley family lived there-- the ghost of Yankee Jim, a man hanged for attempted grand larceny and who was almost too tall for the gallows, terrified little Lilian Whaley, the youngest child, and intrigued neighborhood children. Anna Whaley, the family matriarch, would often scare kids peeking in her window, hoping to catch a glimpse of Yankee Jim-- and then invite them inside for a cookie.

The hauntings didn't stop when the Whaley family moved out either-- one of the Whaley children, Violet, committed suicide in the house 1885, and one of the kids' playmates allegedly broke their neck and died after running into a low-hanging clothing line. Their spirits still roam the halls of the house, along with the ghosts of Thomas and Anna Whaley themselves. Former tenants of the house and even family pets have been seen haunting the property as well.

Since then, it's been turned into a museum, but they're very accommodating to the spirits who still live in the house-- just ask any of the docents when you visit; they're almost guaranteed to have a good story about an eerie occurrence. If you're looking for some paranormal action yourself, they offer night tours between 5 and 9:30 pm on weekends, and during October they offer paranormal investigation tours, "scary story Sundays", extended evening hours, and tons more.

3.3

Santa Fe, NM

Ghost Ranch Living Museum definitely lives up to its spooky name. It has an incredibly storied past: Native Americans lived here, America's OG environmentalist owned the ranch for awhile, and then sold a piece to famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe, scientists who worked at Los Alamos building bombs took retreats here, and other famous guests have included Charles Lindbergh, Ansel Adams and John Wayne.

But, even though the name is actually based in fiction (cattle rustlers who used the canyons to hide stolen livestock spread rumors that the land was cursed. In Spanish, it's known as "Rancho de los Brujos": the Ranch of the Witches) there are still some dark parts in its past that cause mysterious happenings.

Native American tribes fought each other, and later, the government, for control of the land in the region, and some, including children, even lost their lives in such disputes. Could the curse be real? The only way to find out is to book a stay for one of their retreats and visit for yourself.

Moundsville West Virginia Penitentiary opened in 1876 and was built to hold 480 prisoners. Unfortunately, by the 30s, the building was holding upwards of 2,400 inmates, with three men assigned to a 5x5 cell. To say that it was a nightmare would be putting it lightly.

Every WV execution that happened in the late 1800s happened at West Virginia State Penitentiary. Over 94 men were sentenced to death by hanging and electrocution, but that's nowhere near the actual number of deaths that took place behind the massive stone walls. It was a common occurrence at the West Virginia State Penitentiary.

Murder, suicide, and even physical punishments from guards was just part of a prisoners daily life. By 1886 much of the torture inflicted by the prison guards on the inmates was exposed in a tell-all interview. A prominent superintendent resigned from his position at the jail and went straight to The Enquirer with stories about the horrible atrocities happening inside, including torture and regular whippings. Needless to say, there are a countless number of reasons why West Virginia State Penitentiary could be one of the most haunted places in the world.

More often than not people report seeing the infamous “Shadow Man,” a particular spirit who lurks in the dark, quietly watching from the corners. Little is known about the “Shadow Man,” who has appeared for years in photos and videos as a solid black mass. Some say he’s the sprit of a guard still keeping watch, others believe he’s more of a sinister character, waiting quietly for groups to pass him unnoticed.

The prison holds tours of the grounds and buildings on a daily basis, and during the month of October there are tons of tours and events that are guaranteed to terrify.

4.5

St. Augustine, FL

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St. Augustine is one of the oldest cities in the country, so it's rampant with ghosts, hauntings, spooky tales, and legends. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum has been the subject of more than a few of these alleged hauntings. Lighthouses have been located on this property since 1824, but the one you see today was built in 1871, and it's seen a lot in its time protecting the Florida coast.

Some claim they smell the smoke from a phantom cigar; an old 19th century keeper was reportedly fond of taking an evening smoke. Others hear footsteps on the staircase, or see a shadowy figure at the top of the light, reportedly the spirit of a painter who fell while touching up the building. You can also hear the laughter of the two young daughters of a lighthouse keeper, both of whom drowned when a cart they were playing in rolled into the ocean. There are also rumors that executed pirates have been buried on the grounds as well.

4.4

San Jose, CA

In the history of great ideas, the latest from California's Winchester Mystery House might be the best ever. The Mystery House, one of the most haunted buildings in America, has been approved to let guests stay overnight and drink booze anywhere on premises. Sounds like the start of an excellent horror flick. Built in the 1800s by Winchester Rifle heiress Sarah Winchenster, the Mystery House is a winding maze of staircases to nowhere, tiny hallways, and trap doors.

According to legend, Sarah came to believe she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester Rifles, and for 40 years until her death, she worked under the guidance of spirit mediums to turn her personal residence into a kind of "spirit trap" created to confuse the ghosts that stalked her. The result is a 160 room mansion built without blueprints and makes absolutely no sense. Eerily enough, the ghost you're most likely to encounter is the guilt-ridden spirit of Sarah Winchester herself.

If the booze and ghosts aren't enough to lure you in for a visit, what about the chance to discover a secret room? The preservation team at the house occasionally finds previously undiscovered rooms in the house, including, most recently, an attic that had been boarded up since Sarah Winchester's death in 1922. It's an attic room that she had sealed off after the 1906 SF earthquake, as she was convinced that evil spirits caused the quake to trap her in the attic.

Employees found all kinds of turn-of-the-century goodies inside, including a sewing machine, an organ, a couch, a dress form, and some paintings. Creepy. All together, that means the house has (at least) 161 rooms, including 9 kitchens, 13 bathrooms, 40 staircases, 47 fireplaces, 2000 doors, and 10,000 windows.

3.4

St. Louis, MO

The thing about wealthy family empires-- when they finally topple, they have a long fall down to rock bottom. Take the Lemps for example. The family of German immigrants grew a small grocery store into the first brewery to distribute their sweet, life-giving elixir across the nation, becoming one of the wealthiest and most influential families in St. Louis in the process. But, Prohibition, divorce, death, and depression soon brought down the Lemps-- and most of the really dark stuff went down in their stately home, Lemp Mansion .

In 1838, John Adam Lemp came to St. Louis from Germany, like many immigrants during his day. He opened a humble grocery store, but soon found that he was selling more of his homemade lager than anything else-- his father had taught him the art of brewing back in Germany, and he aged the beer in a nearby cave. He decided to get out of grocering and open a brewery, which was a good idea...his beer was a huge hit, and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire. His son, William J. Lemp, grew the business even more, taking it across the nation with refrigerated railcars, and then across the world.

Of course, the success couldn't last forever. William Lemp had been grooming his fourth son, Frederick, to take control of the family business, but Frederick died at the tender age of 28 from a mysterious illness. To make matters worse for William, his dear friend, Frederick Pabst (yes, that Pabst) died shortly after. Less than two months later, William was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His body was found in the family mansion. Things only got worse for the Lemps...two of William Lemp's children, William Jr. and Elsa, also committed suicide, in 1922 and 1920 respectively. Both struggled with deteriorating relationships and the loss of the family business. After Prohibition in 1919, the brewery was shut down, and the brewery building sold for pennies on the dollar.

The final Lemp suicide was William Sr.'s third son, Charles, who continued to live in the house where his father and brother had killed themselves into the 1940's. He never married, and was known for doing sort of strange things... like the time he mailed a letter to a St. Louis funeral home with weird, specific instructions upon his death: He wanted his remains transported to a crematory by ambulance and cremated immediately-- he requested that his body not be bathed, clothed, or changed. He then wanted his ashes to be placed in a wicker box and buried on the his farm, without any funeral or notice placed in the papers. 8 years later, he shot his dog and then himself, leaving behind only a note saying, "St. Louis Mo/May 9, 1949, In case I am found dead blame it on no one but me. Ch. A. Lemp".

The ghosts of the Lemp family are said to haunt the mansion, which is now a dinner theater restaurant/bed and breakfast. The attic is supposedly haunted by an illigitimate child of William Jr's, a son born with Down's Syndrome. The downstairs women's restroom was once the private bathroom of William Jr, and ladies frequently report seeing his ghost in there-- he supposedly likes to peek over the bathroom stalls. Guests also claim to have seen a spirit running up the stairs and have heard a banging noise on the door to William Sr's room: William Jr ran up the stairs and kicked down the door to get to his father after he shot himself. Others hear horses outside and find items mysteriously moving across the room. There's also the doorway in the basement that leads to the caves where the beer was stored-- staff refer to it as "The Gates of Hell". If all that doesn't weird you out, there may be something off about you, but you can book a stay in the mansion and see if you can meet any of the doomed Lemps in person. Okay, not technically in "person"... but you know what I mean.

According to many, Myrtles is home to over 12 different ghosts, each with its own fantastic yarn, though none quite as recognizable as the slave Chloe.

Originally built in 1796 by General David Bradford, the Myrtles Plantation used to be known as Laurel Grove. The mansion was passed along to many families until 1817, when it came to Clark Woodruff and his wife Sara Mathilda Woodruff. This is where things start getting good (or really bad, actually).

According to the legend, Mr. Woodruff had a promiscuous streak and began an affair with a house servant, a girl named Chloe. Chloe knew that if she didn't give in to Woodruff's demands she would end up working in the fields, so she surrendered and the affair began behind Sara's back.

Eventually Woodruff grew tired of Chloe, and since she feared being removed from the house she began eavesdropping on the family's personal affairs. Chloe was, of course, caught, and in payment for the offense she committed, she had one of her ears cut off. Afterwards, she was only ever spotted wearing a green turban that hid the horrible scar Woodruff left behind.

Here's where the story gets a little fuzzy. Some say Chloe began slowly poisoning Clark Woodruff's wife Sara and her children, so that she could nurse them back to heath and win herself a place in the house. According to others, however, Chloe's motivations were purely revenge. For the Woodruff's oldest daughter's birthday, Chloe baked a cake with a handful of very poisonous oleander flowers. Both daughters and Sara had a slice of cake and all died within a matter of hours. Clark Woodruff was spared.

Frightened that they would be blamed for the deaths, the other slaves dragged Chloe into the court yard and hanged her from the huge front tree. Her body was weighted down with rocks and tossed into a nearby river. Woodruff barricaded many of the rooms inside the plantation, the ones that reminded him of his children, and a few short years afterwards was murdered himself.

Since her death, Chloe has been spotted more times than can be counted. She is often seen at night, wandering the grounds in her green turban, surrounded by the cries of little children. Guests report being awoken in the middle of the night to see Chloe staring at them from the side of the bed.

Chloe is, of course, not the only ghost reported to be haunting the The Myrtles Plantation. Others spooks include William Drew Winder, an attorney who was shot in 1871 and died on the 17th step as he attempted to climb the stairs. There's also a famous mirror inside the plantation that's rumored to hold the spirits of Sara and her two murdered children. Often times people will see them reflecting back, or will find handprints on the glass when no one's around to leave them.

Today, America's most haunted plantation house is a bed and breakfast for those brave enough to spend the night in Chloe's turf. If you're too chicken to catch some Z's, you can always take one of Myrtles Plantation's many guided tours that take guests on an exploration through the grounds and house. Just… you know, maybe don't eat the cake.

3.5

Goldfield, NV

The Goldfield Hotel might be located in a tiny desert in Nevada, but that certainly hasn't stopped the ghosts from checking in... and sticking around.

In 1902 gold was discovered in the middle of nowhere, Nevada, and the town of Goldfield was officially founded. Within a few short years it became the biggest city in Nevada, and had a population of over 35,000 people, and was home to three newspapers, five banks, and a whole bunch of saloons and hotels.

The Goldfield Hotel was built in 1908 to give the overflowing population of Goldfield an amazingly opulent place to accommodate the newly wealthy. All of the 150 rooms were decorated with the best, most expensive furnishings, the kitchens had the most delicious food, and the hotel was known for having the best staff around. According to legend, champagne was said to have, "flowed down the front steps (during) the opening ceremony," and that the guests spent their days in the lap of luxury.

Not everyone had a wonderful time during their stay at the hotel. The most famous ghost (still) residing at the Goldfield is a spirit known only as Elizabeth. The young woman was prostitute who became pregnant with hotel owner George Wingfield's child. After learning about her condition, Wingfield flew into a fit of rage and chained Elizabeth to the radiator inside room 109. Months passed, and when Elizabeth finally gave birth, Wingfield tossed the newborn baby down a mineshaft in the basements of the hotel. Elizabeth disappeared without a trace shortly afterwards. Her spirit has been heard, wailing in agony inside room 109, where she was rumored to have died. Others have seen strange shadows, heard unexplainable sounds, and have experienced temperature drops, especially inside room 109. It's considered by many to be one of the most haunted buildings in the world.

The town's fate hasn't been much happier: By 1920, much of the gold was gone, and Goldfield had diminished from a town of 35,00 to 1,500 residence. In 2003 the Goldfield was sold to Red Roberts, who hopes to renovate the hotel back to its glory days. Unfortunately that has yet to happen.

Today the town is home to roughly 500 people, and though the hotel changes a little more every year, the ghosts of the Goldfield still remain. If you're interested in visiting the Goldfield Hotel, many ghost hunting tours visit to the crumbling building for paranormal investigations and overnight stays. The hotel is considered private property so contact the owners for permission before visiting.

4.6

Mansfield, OH

Ohio State Reformatory is legendary. If you're a history fan you know it. If you're a movie dork you know it. And if you're the kind of person who likes to poke around in the dark looking for ghosts, you absolutely know it. In fact, there's a pretty good chance you've probably seen it featured on one of many ghost hunting TV shows.

Built in 1886, OSR opened its doors on September 15, 1896 and took in 150 inmates who arrived at their new home by train. During its 94 years as a working jail, the reformatory also took in nearly 155,000 inmates, and according to the legends, many of their spirits are hanging around. Today, the Ohio State Reformatory is prisoner free and open to the public for tours, paranormal investigations, and events.

Many inmates met their untimely end at the reformatory, quite a few of them in the bowels of the building where there were no eyes around see, and no one around to protect them. This place was called "local control" or the "hole", and for quite a few men it was the end of the line. When you descend into the winding darkness, it's easy to imagine why the lower levels witnessed so much death and violence. Many report strange, glowing eyes here. Other areas of interest include the chapel, which originally served as the execution area, and was the site of many deaths by hanging, and the admissions area, which is plagued with strange cold spots and the unexplained smell of roses.

The place that everyone will want to see, though, is the East Cell Block, which is by far the most jaw-droppingly epic section of the intimidating building. This is where many of men spent their days and nights, confined to a cell barely bigger than a closet while they did their time. The catwalk that once led prisoners to their cells now leads guests along the top level, giving you an amazing view of the block. Just watch out for doors slamming, ghostly hands that shove, pull, and scratch, electronic equipment failure, and other strange happenings.

If you like staying in offbeat hotels, you're not going to get any better than the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, an infamous little B&B in the heart of Fall River, Massachusetts. It's not every day that you get to spend the night at the site of a massively famous murder site-turned hotel… heck, they even offer tours of the crime scene.

On August 4, 1892, thirty-two year old Lizzie Borden "supposedly" murdered her father and step-mother by hacking them to death with a hand-held hatchet in their bedrooms.

It was well known that there had been mounting tension in the house due to a gift of real estate Lizzie's father Andrew had given to members of his new wife's family. The fateful morning began when Lizzie found her father dead. He had been struck 11 times, many of which were about the face and neck, and according to the police he had probably been sleeping when he was attacked. Shortly afterwards the Borden's maid and neighbor found the body of Abby Borden, facedown on the floor of her bedroom, dead from 19 stab wounds to the back and head.

Police were called to the scene, and Lizzie's story changed several times. The official police report also claimed that the interviewing officers found her to be far too "calm and poised" for someone who had just found their family members dead bodies. The officers also found the murder weapon in the basement, and Lizzie was caught by a maid burning a dress that she claimed had been ruined by "wet paint".

She was arrested and charged with the crime, but the jury acquitted her. According to the jury there was not enough evidence to suggest that Lizzie had been the actual killer, and that the case against the woman was only circumstantial. No one has ever been charged with the murders of Abby and Andrew Borden.

Today the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum where the murders took place is a full-fledged bed and breakfast where you can spend the night in either murder suites. The B&B also serves as a museum that offers 50-minute long guided tours of all the grizzliest places for only $15 a whack (see what I did there).

The house has been kept in perfect condition and has been decked out in period-appropriate furniture. Sleeping at the scene of the crime will set you back anywhere between $200 to $250 a night, and yes, the most chilling rooms in the house are open to booking. If you're looking for a completely unique, bizarre summer adventure, the Lizzie Borden House is probably one of the weirdest places to visit and stay in the city. You'll have a scream!

3.5

Wilder, KY

Ah, Bobby Mackey's. It's Wilder, Kentucky's local dive bar. Every town has one. Bobby Mackey's is smokey and shady, and features a mechanical bull, line dancing floor, and a portal to hell. Don't worry, the portal doesn't charge a cover.

Every good ghost story comes with its own origin, and Bobby Mackey’s Music World is no different. In 1850 the land that now belongs to Mackey’s was home to a huge slaughterhouse that supplied most of northwestern Kentucky and Cincinnati with beef. Back in those days things weren’t really on the up and up, so instead of dispensing of the blood, guts, bones, and cartilage properly, they dumped them into a well in the basement. In other words, it was the most epic sacrificial pit on the planet.

In the 1890’s the slaughterhouse closed (for unknown reasons) and that’s when locals say Satanic cult moved in. If you know anything about Satanists, you know that there was a good probability that some babies, virgins, and/or animals were sacrificed to the dark lord. Probably. Maybe.

The next part of the legend is a little less speculative and a lot more tragic. In 1896, 22-year-old Pearl Bryan’s body was found decapitated in a field on the property. Pearl had been pregnant at the time of her death. Her boyfriend, a dentistry student named Scott Jackson, and his fellow classmate Alonzo Walling had attempted to conduct an abortion on their own. The procedure went very wrong, and after Pearl died, they removed her head with the hopes of throwing the police off the chase. Both men were executed for their crime, and Alonzo vowed to haunt the land indefinitely before he died.

The property housed a speakeasy called The Primrose during the 1920s, and by the 1950s the building had yet again become another bar called the Latin Quarter. A dance hall girl working at the bar named Johanna fell in love and became pregnant with the child of a singer named Robert Randall. When her father discovered what had happened he had Randall killed. Johanna avenged Robert's death by poisoning him and taking her own life beside the well.

By 1978 the building has been witness to every form of death imaginable on a constant basis. So when Bobby Mackey bought the building and turned it into a music hall, it was no surprise that strange things began to happen.

There's been sightings of full bodied apparitions, including the headless ghost of Pearl Bryan. It is impossible not to experience touches, the movement of furniture, banging, screaming, jukeboxes that turn on and off by themselves, and an uncountable number of paranormal events.

Much of the activity occurs around the well, or the portal which many people believe has transformed over the years into a gateway to hell. Often people will hear the sound of deep growling coming from the depths of the well. Most people refuse to even be in the area of the well because it has such a strange effect on people.

If all of this hasn’t scared you away yet, you’re in luck. Bobby Mackey’s offers nightly tours of the the most haunted hot spots in the building, including the gateway. My advice is to visit when there isn’t a huge crowd upstairs to cut down on the creeps. If you’re looking for something truly terrifying, this is a perfect piece of creepy American history with an epic legend to boot.

3.2

Midlothian, IL

There are only 82 plots at Bachelors Grove Cemetery, but that certainly hasn't stopped it from becoming one of the most notorious graveyards in the country. Established in 1840, the small area surrounding the cemetery was soon abandoned by the English homesteaders who relocated from Chicago to New England, leaving the graves behind. Many of those 82 plots are actually empty.

But, during the 1920s and 1930s, Bachelor's Grove was rumored to have been the infamous dumping ground for victims of Chicago's gangsters. It was the isolated lagoon near the back of the abandoned cemetery that supposedly drew the mob's attention. According to the legends it soon became the perfect place to fit hitmen, snitches, and people who owed money with a pair of permanent concrete shoes, if you know what I mean.

Bachelor's Grove is most famous for the ghost stories that surround the strange plot of land at the end of the long gravel road. One of the most famous images of a supposed ghost was captured at the graveyard. The "White Lady" or "Madonna of Bachelor's Grove" is rumored to be the spirit of a woman who was buried next to her child. Often times she's seen wandering the cemetery during the full moon, holding the body of a baby in her arms.

The white lady is, of course, just one of many strange ghostly things eyewitnesses have seen while braving Bachelor's Grove Cemetery. More than once, groups of people have come across a phantom farmhouse while making the gravel road hike late at night. The house appears as a picturesque white farmhouse in perfect condition, before disappearing completely before your eyes. Or, if you run into the spirit of a farmer plowing the land near the lagoon, know that it's the ghost of a man who drowned while plowing too close to the water in the 1870s.

Many of the paranormal experiences at Bachelor's Grove Cemetery peaked in the 70s and 80s, like the rash of people who 1984 reported seeing the ghostly figure of a monk walking slowly across the cemetery towards the road. People still claim to see orbs of light, strange shadows, and the sounds of arguing voices coming from the lagoon.

Visiting the cemetery during the day is totally fine, but at night expect a police presence, so don't trespass. If you want to visit at night, fear not: There are loads of ghost hunts and investigation tours that bring groups out to explore the cemetery at night.

3.2

Villisca, IA

On the night of June 9, 1912, eight people were bludgeoned to death inside the Moore residence in the small Iowa town of Villisca. To date, the crime has never been solved. Little is known about what happened during the early morning hours of June 9, but the details are grisly.

Before the sun came up, someone broke into Moore family house and slaughtered eight people in their beds, including six children, before disappearing without a trace. The bodies of the Moore family were discovered the next morning, when their neighbor, Mary Peckham, noticed that no one had risen to begin the day's chores. The list of killers was thin, and thanks to some shoddy police work, so was the evidence. Over 100 years later, we still have no answers as to what happened to the Moore family on that terrible summer night.

In recent years the Axe Murder House has become a favorite stop amongst paranormal investigators, and countless groups have spent the night trying to contact the ghosts of the Moore family. You can tour the house or even spend the night, but be prepared for what you might experience... Cold spots, lights turning on and off, objects randomly falling or moving across the room, banging noises, the sounds of children laughing, and strange EVPs have been reported.

Dumas Brothel was Americas longest running cathouse, partly because of its inventive high-class/low-class system, which made it possible for the rich and poor to spend very different evenings with Butte’s ladies of the night. The brothel ran for an astonishing 92 years, from 1890 to 1982 and was nicknamed one of the classiest around. Limited tours of the building are still offered, and since the underground & alley rooms were sealed off between 1943 and the 1990s, it's a literal time capsule. Many claim that the spirit of prostitute Elinore Knott remains in her old room, so keep your eyes peeled.

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