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Haunted Places in the U.S.

Haunted Places in the U.S.

When you’re planning your vacation, you might not be looking for a relaxing park near the ocean. You might want something a little different, something that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and leave you filled with adrenaline. If you don’t want to leave your area, you could find a haunted house. If you’re looking to travel a bit, though, you can visit some of the most haunted places in the US for your trip. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the stories behind the locations can be just as frightening and even more so than what they claim to be now. Whether you’re looking for a quick hour tour or a longer stay, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Howard Street Cemetery, Salem Massachusetts

The Salem witch hunts are a famous example of mass hysteria and are often cited as one of the more haunting events of the early 1690s. In one of history’s most infamous witch hunts, a group of young women claiming to be possessed by the devil accused and condemned a large score of men and women to the gallows. One of the more notable victims of these months was Giles Corey. This 80-year-old publicly questioned the motives of the group of young women and was subsequently accused of being a warlock. He spent several months in prison and refused to stand trial, leading to his death by heavy stones in September 1692. He was buried in Howard Street Cemetery and people say that his ghost still roams Salem.

R.M.S. Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

In the beginning, the Queen Mary was a famous luxury ocean liner that held passengers such as Elizabeth Taylor, Aubrey Hepburn, and General Dwight Eisenhower. In 1939, however, these luxuries were stripped and it became the Grey Ghost, a WWII troopship. At the end of the war, it once more became a luxury ocean liner and she cruised the sea for another two decades. On Halloween 1967, it left on its last cruise before docking in Long Beach, California, where it still sits to this day. Currently, it exists as a floating hotel and restaurant and offers tours as well as overnight stays, however, the ship is reported to be haunted by those who died aboard, whether in a natural or tragic circumstance. If you are feeling extra brave, you can wait until Halloween to visit, when the Queen Mary transforms into Dark Harbor, a floating haunted house.

The LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans, Louisiana

In the early 19th century, the LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans was home to a Louisiana socialite named Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie. She was known for hosting rich parties in her extravagant mansion in the French Quarter. In 1834, local police responded to a kitchen fire, which led to the discovery of several bodies in the attic. When this news was released to the public, a mob stormed the house, forcing her to flee to France. Soon after she had left New Orleans, people began reporting phantom screams from the house in the middle of the night. While you cannot enter the mansion today, there are day and night tours where guides can point out this tragic place.

Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast, Fall River, Massachusetts

The deaths of Andrew and Abby Borden shocked the nation during the August of 1892. Being one of the first crimes to unfold under the eye of the media, people all over the US were watching the case progress. The prime suspect to the murders was Lizzie Borden, the youngest daughter of the couple. Despite the eye of the public and allegations of financial motives, Lizzie was eventually acquitted due to lack of physical evidence. No one was ever charged for the Borden murders, in the end. The Borden home has since been converted into a bed and breakfast and museum. If you were to stay here, you would be able to view photos of the crime scene as well as spend the night among the ghosts that reportedly stay there as well.

The Shanghai Tunnels, Portland, Oregon

When it came to water-based crime in the early 19th century, Portland, Oregon was a hotspot. One of the most dangerous ports in the United States during this time, it was the center of an illicit maritime practice known as shanghaiing, a form of human trafficking (named so because the end destination was often East Asia). According to stories, men who visited the local saloons would sometimes not make it out, falling through trap doors in the floor which led to a network of tunnels underneath the ground. Once in the tunnels, these men were supposedly drugged and held captive, eventually being transported to the port, where they were sold as unpaid laborers to ships. These underground tunnels are said to be haunted by the spirits of those men who died. If being underground isn’t your idea of a good time, then this tour might not be for you. Don’t worry, though; they provide flashlights.

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

If you’re a fan of The Shining, then this next pick will be just for you. Serving as the inspiration for that famous novel turned movie, The Stanley Hotel has its fair share of stories. It was opened in 1909 by F.O. and Flora Stanley, a couple who apparently never left. According to the staff, you can hear Flora playing her Steinway piano at night and can catch Mr. Stanley showing up in photographs, as well as lights and sounds acting up on their own. You can book a night in this famous hotel or you can sign up for a tour, whether in the day or night. You can even attend special events such as the RedRum Mystery Dinner or the Shining Ball.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

This Gothic-style prison opened in Philadelphia in 1829 and became the first US prison to use solitary confinement. At the time, this was a controversial practice, as it involved prisoners sitting alone in a dark cell with no human contact, with hoods placed over their heads anytime they were moved out of the cell. Some people believed that solitude would lead people to penitence and rehabilitation. Others believed that it would create emotional pain comparable to physical torture. While the prison closed in 1971, visitors claim to still see the ghosts of the inmates wandering the halls and whispering in the cells. While this location does have tours, it also becomes one of the top haunted houses in the country in the fall for those who are extra brave.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia

Operating from 1864 to 1994, this asylum was known for crowded conditions. Designed to house about 250 people, it housed 2,400 patients, with afflictions ranging from alcoholism to epilepsy. Physically restrained and often given inhumane treatments, such as electroshock therapy and lobotomies. In the end, it closed due to reforms in mental health treatment and deterioration of the building. During the building’s operation, hundreds of patients died and many people have reported seeing their ghosts roaming the halls since. While it offers historical day tours, you can visit the asylum during October for ghost hunts, paranormal tours, flashlight tours, or to attend the annual Asylum Ball.

Jul 10th 2020 Ashley Baughman

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