Unexplained phenomena.

Screams in the dead of night.

Ghostly figures wandering forgotten halls.

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? If you’re like us, then you know that there’s something so delightfully terrifying about exploring haunted sites while listening to spooky tales and legends of the past. Lucky for us, America’s cities are chock-full of haunted landmarks including abandoned asylums, Victorian cemeteries, eerie mansions, and even a zoo! Keep reading to discover some of America’s creepiest destinations, or click here to book a spine-chilling ghost tour now. 

1. SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

SavannahIf you’re looking to experience the paranormal, then this southern city should be at the very top of your list. Often considered one of the most haunted cities in the world, the historic streets of Savannah are filled with dark tales about murder, spirits, demonic possession, and more.

Two of the city’s most infamous apparitions include Alice Riley and Little Gracie Watson. Legend has it that Alice was a new mom when she was sentenced to death by hanging in 1734. Now, Alice roams the square after dark and is frequently spotted following pregnant women.

Keep your eyes peeled for Little Gracie Watson, who died when she was only six, on this Segway tour through Bonaventure Cemetery. Blanketed under layers of eerie Spanish moss, this cemetery has been the backdrop for countless supernatural events including sounds of babies crying late at night, cold spots, and bouts of laughter.

2. WESTON, WEST VIRGINIA

Home to the historic Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, the City of Weston has a chilling past. Originally opened in 1863, the asylum was designed to hold a maximum of 250 patients. However, this capacity was drastically exceeded and peaked in the 1950s when over 2,600 individuals were housed in the facility. 

As the asylum became overcrowded, the once luxurious facilities began to decline. Patients deemed uncontrollable were locked in cages while other tenants were forced to sleep in overcrowded, unsanitary rooms or freezing hallways. The asylum also became a training ground for experimental lobotomies. Using the ‘ice pick’ method, over 4,000 lobotomies were performed here, resulting in several deaths.

It’s no surprise that this historic building is a hotspot for paranormal activity. Experience this asylum firsthand and see if you can feel the presence of those that met their demise in such torturous ways. 

3. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

When asked to think about haunted locations in San Francisco, the first place to enter your mind is likely the isolated island of Alcatraz.

Once a military prison for war criminals, Alcatraz is better known for housing some of the worst felons in history including Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Whitey Bulger. With numerous reports of mysterious voices, cell doors closing unexpectedly, and ghostly figures wandering the halls, it would appear that some of the prison’s inmates are serving more than a life sentence behind these walls. 

While Alcatraz is understandably one of the city’s most well-known haunted landmarks, it certainly isn’t the only one. Walk the streets after dark and immerse yourself in a paranormal investigation with this San Francisco Ghost Hunting Tour. Equipped with your very own EMF detector, you’ll visit some of the city’s most haunted spots including Chinatown, the Jackson Square Historic District, and more.

4. ESTES PARK, COLORADO

Nestled amongst the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, The Stanley Hotel is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend getaway. Stunning views, elegant architecture, beautiful, historic rooms…and several ghosts. 

Most famously known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining, this hotel has captured the imaginations of both believers and skeptics for years. If you’re looking to experience the Stanley’s paranormal forces for yourself, we recommend booking a room on the fourth floor. 

Once a large attic that housed female employees, children, and nannies, the fourth floor is notorious for its ghost stories. Listen for the pitter-patter of children’s feet running through the halls late at night or try to catch a glimpse of the friendly cowboy spirit that resides in Room #428. 

5. NEW YORK, NEW YORK

New York CityDon’t let the glitz and glamour of the Big Apple fool you, no corner of New York City is safe from supernatural occurrences!

From the story of Evelyn McHale who leapt to her death off the Empire State Building to ghostly appearances of John Lennon and Edgar Allan Poe, the City That Never Sleeps is filled with terrifying stories that are sure to keep you up at night. 

Experience New York’s spirits up close and personal with this spooky Broadway Ghost Tour! Go behind the big red curtain and uncover the darker side of the stage. Watch out for deceased Broadway stars, such as Olive Thomas, that still perform their souls out on stage long after the curtains have closed.

6. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

New OrleansVoodoo. Vampires. Haunted mansions. It’s no secret that the streets of New Orleans are full of supernatural legends and lore. 

One of the city’s most well-known stories involves a beautiful neoclassical mansion located near the city’s vibrant French Quarter. The tales surrounding the LaLaurie Mansion have made it one of the most popular, and feared, places in all of New Orleans. Purchased in 1831, it is unknown how many slaves were tortured and murdered here by the owner, Madame LaLaurie.

When a fire broke out in 1834, a team of rescuers broke into the slave’s quarters and discovered a shocking scene: mutilated bodies, emaciated slaves wearing spiked iron collars, and more. A mob of local citizens soon attacked the house and demolished all that they could. Following these horrific events, it is not uncommon to hear phantom footsteps and moaning within the house. You may also feel a negative energy overtake you as soon as you come near. 

7. PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

PhiladelphiaWhile images of America’s founding fathers might be the first thing you think of when asked about Philadelphia, this historic city has plenty of sinister stories. 

Located just northwest of downtown Philadelphia, the Eastern State Penitentiary stands, castle-like, along Fairmount Avenue. This prison originally opened in 1829 and is well-known for its drastic solitary confinement measures. Prisoners lived alone, ate alone, and were hooded anytime they left their cells. The penitentiary also implemented other inhumane punishments including the Iron Gag, the Mad Chair, and the Water Bath. If you’re brave enough to walk inside, be sure to watch your back and listen for disembodied laughter and pacing footsteps. 

Uncover even more gruesome stories with this incredible app-led Ghosts of Philly Nighttime Scavenger Hunt. Explore the city’s creepiest locations, hear eerie stories, and watch out for apparitions! 

8. SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS

Most of you are probably familiar with this coastal city’s dark past. In 1692, 19 individuals were accused of witchcraft and executed by hanging. 

Legend has it that the spirits of those that were falsely accused still walk the streets of Salem. Supernatural events are fairly common at Gallows Hill (the site of their executions), the Howard Street Cemetery, and even Lyceum Bar and Grill. If you’re looking for a truly spooky experience, then consider visiting the House of the Seven Gables.

While most commonly known as the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel, this house is surrounded by tales of paranormal activity. With its dark color and Gothic-inspired cross-gables, this home is the essence of what all haunted houses should look like. Step inside, feel the old floorboards creak beneath your feet, and feel a chill run down your spine as the giggles and laughs of a phantom boy fill your ears. 

9. PORTLAND, OREGON

Rumor has it that underneath the hustle and bustle of Portland lies a labyrinth of tunnels that were once used to transport goods, supplies, and…kidnapped victims?

PortlandKnown as the Shanghai Tunnels, this underground network of secret passageways connected local businesses directly to the Willamette River. Supplies could be easily transported and exchanged through trap doors located above the tunnels. However, goods might not have been the only things being traded below the streets. 

Some say these tunnels led to secret brothels, gambling dens, and underground prisons for captured men and women. According to legend, these prisoners were often sold to sea captains, never to be seen again. Even though most of these tunnels are now collapsed, it is said that the spirits of the kidnapped still frequent the bars above ground. 

10. MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

Milwaukee

Bordering the dark waters of Lake Michigan, the streets of Milwaukee are teeming with bone-chilling ghost stories. 

Embark on a thrilling paranormal journey through the city and uncover chilling historical tales with this Private Milwaukee Ghost Tour. Walk down the historic ‘Bloody Third Ward’ and hear stories of sabotage, revenge, murder, and more.

You’ll also stroll past the iconic Pfister Hotel. Opened in 1893, this Milwaukee hotel was the most revolutionary hotel of its time. Featuring fireproofing, electricity throughout, and even a thermostat in every room, the Pfister Hotel was the epitome of luxury and prestige. It is said that the ghost of Charles Pfister still resides in the hotel and often harasses visiting Major League Baseball players. Players including Bryce Harper, Michael Young, Carlos Gómez, and many others have experienced unexplained phenomena while staying there. Could it be the restless spirit of Pfister himself? 

11. CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

With over 300 years of history, there’s no lack of spooky legends in Charleston. Brothels, murders, suicides, and demonic entities are just some of the dark subjects that riddle this city’s past. 

CharlestonOne of the city’s most iconic haunted destinations is the Dock Street Theatre. Acclaimed to be America’s first theater building designed solely for theatrical performances, this establishment’s past is filled with tragedy. In 1740, the first building burned down in the Charleston Fire. An inn was built in its place, but following the Civil War and a devastating earthquake, the inn was condemned and converted back into a theater. Ghosts have been spotted there ever since. 

The spirit of Nettie Dickerson is most frequently spotted apparition within the Dock Street Theatre. Clad in an expensive red dress, it is said that Nettie met her demise when a bolt of lightning struck her on one of the old hotel’s balconies. To this day, she is often spotted gliding around the theatre’s second story, dressed in her prestigious red gown.  

12. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

On the surface, the Lincoln Park Zoo seems normal. Lions bask majestically in the sun, monkeys swing around on ropes, and river otters swim playfully together. 

ChicagoWhat many visitors may not realize is that this site was once the final resting place for over 35,000 bodies. Due to its close proximity to the city’s water supply, the old cemetery was relocated along with most (but not all!) of the deceased. You don’t have to be a paranormal expert to understand that messing with burial grounds often leads to resentful spirits. For over 150 years, supernatural entities have been spotted roaming the grounds. Even the famous parapsychologist, Ursula Bielski, considered the zoo to be one of the most active sites she’d ever been to.

Embark on your own spooky adventure through the Lincoln Park Zoo and other haunted Chicago landmarks with this interactive Nighttime Scavenger Hunt. Using your phone, you will solve puzzles, unravel riddles, and discover the city’s bone-chilling past. 

13. LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

Often renowned as one of the scariest places on Earth, it is rumored that nearly 50,000 patients lost their lives in Louisville’s Waverly Hills Sanatorium. If any place in the U.S. is truly haunted, Waverly Hills is that place. 

Originally purchased as a school in 1883, the building was repurposed as a sanatorium for patients suffering from tuberculosis. With no idea how to properly cure the infection, patients often underwent gruesome treatments. At the disease’s peak, it is estimated that at least one patient passed away every hour. The bodies of the deceased were disposed of using a 500-foot body chute. 

Step foot into this hair-raising landmark and keep your eyes peeled for the apparitions of a young boy named Timmy, a mysterious man in white, a nurse that hanged herself, and more. 

Want to discover a paranormal tour in your neck of the woods? Click here to browse all of our spooky ghost tours…if you dare!