Of course, it’s well known that many of these haunted places attract tourists, especially in the Halloween season and the summer. Some of these places might have some historical or artistic significance. Some were built to receive tourists from the get go. And others might welcome tourists because it’s a highly profitable enterprise that provides funding to restoration and historical preservation. In fact, a lot of these places that I’ve covered might not be around today if it wasn’t for tourism and highly encourage it. And it so happens that many of them have reputations for being haunted, which provides a unique Halloween opportunity on its own. However, we should remember that not all haunted places are open to visitors and for various reasons. Some may be privately owned and still in use like private residences such as the Sallie House. Some might be abandoned for a very good reason and may not be open to the public due to safety concerns such as some of the mental institutions. And some of them might not be open to the public because the people in the area think all the horror stories surrounding the location are just a big hoax and that visitors are just disturbing the peace. An example of this is the Amityville Horror House I’ll talk about in this post. In this fourth installment, I’ll bring you 10 more haunted places from the land of the free. These consist of a deadly highway in New Mexico, a house in New York that’s been a subject of horror movies and controversy, a mountain known for mysterious lights in North Carolina, a memorial building in North Dakota that’s now home to its state library, a mental institution in Ohio that’s now part of a college, a hotel in Oklahoma, a hotel and bar in Oregon, a famous battlefield in Pennsylvania, a mental institution in Rhode Island, and a old jail in South Carolina. So for your reading pleasure here are some more noteworthy places from haunted America.
31. New Mexico
Most Haunted Place: US Highway 666 (Now 491)
History: A highway that ran from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah and was the only highway to pass through each of the Four Corners States. Started as part of the Old Spanish Trail and was upgraded to 666 with the US highway system. The New Mexico portion of this highway had a reputation for being statistically dangerous since it was a sight for a lot of accidents and fatalities. However, this had more to do with inadequate design for traffic loads at the time than the numbering itself. Still, let’s just say that
Present Use: It’s now a highway but it’s been renamed US 491 due to its designation as “The Devil’s Highway,” a reputation for fatalities, renumbering changes, and persistent sign theft. The Arizona portion has been renamed US 191. Nevertheless, the renumbering drew quite a bit of controversy.
Sightings: Reported incidents include a flaming truck that attempts to run people over, a charging black sedan, a very fast semi driven by a ghost with road rage, two tailgating black cars, a hitchhiking girl in a white gown, spirits of skinwalkers, vicious hellhounds running after cars, and ghosts that show up in the backseats.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: Yes, but more as a place to drive on.
Other Haunts: Boyd’s Sanitarium, Chino Mines Creek, Holy Cross Sanatorium, Albuquerque Insane Asylum, New Mexico Military Institute, KIMO Theatre, Luna Mansion, Hotel Parq Central, Miss Gail’s Inn, Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital, Church Street Café in Old Albuquerque, Albuquerque Arroyo, Rancho de Corrales, San Pedro Library
32. New York
Most Haunted Place: The Amityville Horror House in Amityville, a Long Island Suburb
History: A Dutch Colonial house built in 1927 with original owners being John and Catherine Moynahan. When they died, their daughter moved in with her family and lived there until the 1960. Between 1960 and 1965, it would be owned by the Rileys but they divorced and sold the house to the DeFeos (who lived there for 9 years). It’s best known as the site of the 1974 DeFeo murders when oldest son Ronald Jr. shot and killed his entire family while they slept. After the murders, George and Kathleen Lutz bought the home for $80,000 – a steal in New York real estate. But they lived there for 28 days that they didn’t make payment on the $60,000 mortgage on the house. Their time was when the haunting stuff is said to have happened. Later owners reported no problems while living there, save maybe the price and horror movie fans. The Cromartys who lived in the home after the Lutzes have even sued. Nevertheless, Peter O’Neill lived in the house for 10 years (1987-1997) and would later die on 9/11.
Present Use: Well, it’s still a private residence owned by a retired math teacher and his wife. They bought it in 2010 at $950,000.
Sightings: This is the country’s most infamous haunted house which has inspired books, movies, and documentaries. The Lutz family is said to experience hauntings such as moving objects, attacks, levitation, and demonic apparitions.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: No, and the residents of Amityville are unhappy about the house’s publicity and have declined requests to discuss the matter. In fact, they believe it’s a hoax and so does the Catholic Diocese of Rockville. The Amityville Historical Society even makes no mention of the DeFeo murders or the time the Lutz family lived. Not only that, but the house has been renovated and had its address changed to discourage people from visiting it. Hell, they didn’t even want a film crew in their sleepy community and denied shooting permits. So, Amityville Horror fans, for the love of God, show some courtesy and keep the fuck out of Amityville! Seriously, for Christ’s sake, Amityville doesn’t want you in their town, so leave them alone!
Other Haunts: Big Moose Lake, Cherry Hill Estate, New York State Capitol, Smith-Ely Mansion, Letchworth Village, Durand-Eastman Park, Irvington Church of St. Barnabas, Farnam Mansion, Former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, Sailor’s Snug Harbor, Onondaga County Criminal Courthouse, Brooklyn Most Holy Trinity Church, Raynham Hall, Otesaga Hotel, Rolling Hills Asylum, Utica Lunatic Asylum, Blithewood Mansion, Fiddler’s Bridge, Dewittville Poor House Cemetery, Dupree House, Belhurst Castle, Revelatory Hero’s Cemetery, Loudon Cottage, Marcellus, Old Spook Rock Road, Dakota Apartment Building, One If By Land, Two If By Sea Restaurant, New Amsterdam Thatre
33. North Carolina
Most Haunted Place: Brown Mountain in Burke and Caldwell Counties
History: It’s a low lying mountain range in the Pisgah National Forest within the Appalachians.
Present Use: It’s still a mountain and will remain so.
Sightings: There’s a mysterious illumination known as the Brown Mountain Lights consisting of small balls that appear irregularly all over the mountain, which has appeared for maybe hundreds of years. Residents are said to see them since the 19th century while the Cherokee might’ve been seeing them since the 13th. There are hundreds of eyewitness accounts on this that it’s merited 2 investigations by the United States Geological Society. Said to be seen as far away as Blowing Rock. It’s widely believe these lights are the ghosts of Native Americans.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: Yes.
Other Haunts: Devil’s Tramping Ground, Sandford House, Carolina Theatre, Lydia’s Bridge, Ashe County Hospital, Museum of Ashe County History, Attmore-Oliver House, Harvey Mansion Historical Inn and Restaurant, Tar River, The Bitmore Estate, The Great Dismal Swamp, Orcacoke Island, Paint Rock, French Broad River, Grove Park Inn, Winston-Salem Single Brothers House, Chimney Rock, Teach’s Hole
34. North Dakota
Most Haunted Place: Liberty Memorial Building in Bismarck
History: Completed in 1924, this was originally intended to provide additional office space for state agencies and to mark the end of WWI. It’s the oldest building standing on the capitol grounds.
Present Use: It’s now home to the North Dakota State Library and dedicated to the memory of those in the state who served in WWI.
Sightings: It’s been the reported haunting of the Stack Monster, who apparently calls out the names of employees when no one else is present, has been seen repeatedly, and opens doors at random.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: Yes.
Other Haunts: Apple Creek Country Club, Chateau de Mores, North Dakota State University (which is in Fargo), Old Luger Hotel, Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center, Sage Hill Bed and Breakfast, University of North Dakota, San Haven Sanatorium, Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, Harvey Public Library, Fort Abraham Lincoln Custer House, Williston Old Armory, Totten Trail Historic Inn, Medora Fudge and Ice Cream Depot
Most Haunted Place: The Ridges (Athens Lunatic Asylum) in Athens
History: Operated as a mental institution from 1874-1993 and provided services to a variety of patients including American Civil War veterans, children, and violent criminals suffering from various mental disabilities. It’s said to be Ohio’s largest employer for many years and a large percentage of the work it took to maintain the facility was carried out by the patients. This is because the doctors thought it was not just therapeutic but also free. But it’s infamously well known for the use of lobotomy, hydrotherapy, electroshock therapy, psychotropic drugs, as well as neglect and abuse. Oh, and most of the causes of insanity listed (according to my words based on their mostly outdated medical interpretations) consisted of masturbation, alcoholism, menopause, post-partum depression, PMS, general ill health, self-abuse, tuberculosis and epilepsy. Also housed elderly and rebellious teenagers who were dumped by their families, while homeless people would frequent there for shelter. At its height, it held over 2000 patients. Over 2000 people are said to be buried there.
Present Use: It’s now part of Ohio University and houses the Kennedy Museum of Art, an auditorium, and many offices, classrooms, and storage facilities. However, the TB Ward doesn’t remain because it had to be demolished due to its walls being lined with asbestos and college students breaking into the building.
Sightings: Most well-known reported event is of a woman who died there and left a stain in the outline of her body. The cemetery is said to be haunted as well.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: Yes, and they even have walking tours.
Other Haunts: Ohio University, Cincinnati Music Hall, Spring House Gazebo (or the place in Cincinnati where George Remus killed his wife), Ohio State Reformatory, Twin City Opera House, Old Licking County Jail, Prospect Place, Emmitt House, Franklin Castle, Stately Road, Akron Civic Theater, Dayton Woodlawn Cemetery, Lafayette Hotel, Fudge Road Bridge, Chillicothe Majestic Theatre, Kenyon College, Mudhouse Mansion
Most Haunted Place: Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City
History: Opened in 1911, it’s the city’s oldest hotel. Original owner William Balser “Bill” Skirvin whose daughter was ambassador to Luxembourg under Harry Truman. Said to be a popular speakeasy during Prohibition. Was closed in 1988 and remained abandoned for 19 years until it was renovated and reopened as part of the Hilton chain of hotels in 2007.
Present Use: Well, it’s still a hotel and it’s been used by NBA teams whenever they play the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Sightings: Reported incidents include a female ghost who climbs into bed with male guests, maids’ carts moving down the halls on their own, and a baby crying. NBA players tend to report other hauntings as well. It’s said that an owner had an affair with a maid, knocked her up, locked her into a room, which drove her to the edge even after the baby was born. She was said to commit suicide with the baby in tow.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: Yes, if you can afford it.
Other Haunts: Labadie Mansion, Timberidge Cemetery, Fort Washita, McBride House, Vinita Cry Baby Bridge, Dead Women Crossing, Belvidere Mansion, Blanchard Cemetery, Bird Creek School, Brady Theatre, Blue Belle Saloon, Cherokee Strip Museum, Cushing First Christian Church, Fort Reno, Cain’s Ballroom, Kiamachi Kitchen, Mohawk Park and Golf Course, Langston’s Western Wear, Stone Lion Inn, Veteran’s Lake, Witch’s Grave in Hillside Cemetery, Wheelock Mission
Most Haunted Place: White Eagle Saloon and Hotel in Portland
History: Opened in 1905 which was originally a hub for Polish immigrants but later became popular among sailors. But wasn’t a place with a great reputation since its services included gambling and prostitution. Was known for a lot of incidents such as a prostitute being killed by her jealous lover, drunken patrons being shanghaied through a basement tunnel, fierce and frequent brawls, and other events.
Present Use: It’s still used as a bar and hotel. However, it’s more like a rock n’ roll place with live music shows since the 1970s.
Sightings: It’s been reported that many people feel someone touch them or find it physically impossible to get out of their beds, while others report being shoved down the stairs.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: Yes.
Other Haunts: Bagdad Theater, Pittock Mansion, Roseland Theater, Geiser Grand Hotel, Granite, Hot Lake Hotel, Ashael Bush House, Dammasch State Hospital, Multnomah County Poor Farm, Multnomah Falls, Rhododendron Village, South Eugene High School, Benson Hotel, Cathedral Park, Heathman Hotel, Hollywood Theatre, Lotus Isle, North Portland Library, Oaks Amusement Park, Old Town Pizza, Reed College, Rimsky-Korsakoffee House, Roseland Theater, Portland shanghai tunnels, Tryon Creek, Villa St. Rose, Lithia Park, Southern Oregon University, Wolf Creek Inn, Malheur Butte, Oregon Caves Chateau, Astor Building, Coos Bay Egyptian Theatre, Fort Stevens, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Siletz Bay
Most Haunted Place: Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg
History: Site of the Battle of Gettysburg which lasted from July 1-3, 1863. It was the last attempt at a northern invasion by Confederate General Robert E. Lee but it resulted in a critical Union victory and a turning point in the war. It was the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War as well as on North American soil resulting nearly 50,000 dead. Also the site where President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address.
Present Use: It’s now a National Battlefield, historic landmark, memorial, and military cemetery. It’s one of the most visited national parks each year.
Sightings: It’s one of the most haunted places in the country. Ghosts include phantom soldiers, a headless horseman, a soldier smelling of sulfur, sharpshooters, a ragged soldier from Texas, a woman in white who committed suicide in 1880, and others. Some swear that they still hear babies crying and music.
Anyone Famous?: Well, there’s Confederate Brigadier General William Barksdale who was killed during the battle.
Open to Tourists?: Yes. In fact, I’ve been there twice. Didn’t see any ghosts though. Nevertheless, even if you don’t believe in ghosts, I highly recommend the trip. Seriously, it’s worth it.
Other Haunts: The town of Gettysburg, Saint Vincent College, Mayview, Baleroy Mansion, Bishop White House, Philadelphia City Tavern, Cliveden Manor, Eastern State Penitentiary, First Bank of the United States, Fort Mifflin, Grumblethorpe, Philadelphia Library Hall, Pennsylvania Hospital, Physick Mansion, Powel House, Philadelphia St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, USS Olympia, Philadelphia Washington Square, Welles House, Bolton Mansion, Brandywine River, Brinton Lodge, Albertus L. Meyers Bridge, Dixmont State Hospital, Fairfield Inn, General Warren Inn, General Wayne Inn, Growden Mansion, Harrisburg State Hospital, Hill View Manor, Keith House, Lebanon Valley College, Knickerbocker Hotel, Logan Inn, Mishler Theatre, Pen Ryn Mansion, Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Phillips’ Rangers Monument, Valley Forge, US Route 322, Heilbron Manor
39. Rhode Island
Most Haunted Place: The Dr. Joseph Ladd School in Exeter
History: Operated from 1908-1993 as a state institution constructed to serve the needs of the mentally disabled. 5,000 are said to have lived and died there. Though its official purpose was to train young people with disabilities for farm work and mechanical trades, the ideology behind an institution like this was formulated by a prominent eugenicist named Dr. Walter Fernald whose doctrine was to remove the “feeble-minded” from society in order to cleanse the population of inferior and “defective” genes. That doctor’s protégé, Dr. Joseph Ladd, was the institution’s first superintendent, but he would soon gain a reputation for mistreatment as his students grew and the place would become notorious for overcrowding and terrible living conditions. During its existence under Ladd, it more or less resembled a penal colony detaining people as a means of segregating them from free society either until menopause or natural death (because in Rhode Island, forced sterilization was illegal. However, there were a few women who were though). And during the 1920s-1940s, it wasn’t just the mentally disabled who were confined there, but also women accused of immoral practices like prostitution, sodomy, extramarital sex, or being pregnant out of wedlock as well as other individuals who either committed petty crimes or no crimes at all. In 1947, Ladd discharged a third of the inmates due to money problems and redirected its mission to institutionalizing only those with severe disabilities. But after a long time resident was implicated in a murder of a disabled child in 1955, Ladd resigned. Things were better in its later years but the place would come under more scrutiny. Closed down for good in 1993.
Present Use: As of 2013, most of the place has been demolished. But the grounds are still private and are still being watched.
Sightings: Since its abandonment, many have reported hearing moaning, phantom footsteps or shuffling, voices, and crying. Some have claimed to see doors open, close, and/or lock with no explanation.
Anyone Famous?: No.
Open to Tourists?: No.
Other Haunts: Belcourt Castle, Crescent Park, Rhode Island School of Design, Biltmore Hotel, Conjuring House, Chestnut Hill Cemetery, The Barn at Roger Williams University, Providence City Hall, Block Island, Providence Athenaeum
40. South Carolina
Most Haunted Place: Old Charleston Jail in Charleston
History: A prison that operated from 1802-1939 which housed Charleston’s notorious criminals and served as its county jail. Prisoners include career criminals like John and Lavinia Fisher, unruly slaves like Denmark Vessey (who planned a slave revolt), high sea pirates, and American Civil War POWs. It also held black seamen there while they were in port during the antebellum years. In 1886, part of the complex was badly damaged by an earthquake.
Present Use: Today it’s been owned by the American College of the Building Arts since 2000 who have also helped restore it. Not only that, but it also serves as a laboratory and classroom for students.
Sightings: Said to be haunted by the spirits of the deceased prisoners who died in jail. It’s been reported that apparitions, voices, as well as moving and disappearing objects are the norm.
Anyone Famous?: Well, there’s Lavinia Fisher who might’ve been America’s first female serial killer but we’re not sure if she killed anyone. However, her and her husband were active members of a large gang outside the city and owned an inn that was used as a hiding place. Publicly executed at the jail for highway robbery, which was then a capital offense in 1820.
Open to Tourists?: Yes. They also have walking and ghost tours, too.
Other Haunts: Legare Street House, Pawley’s Island, Redcliffe Plantation, St. Helena Parish Chapel of Ease Ruins, South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, Charelston Naval Base Admiral’s House, Baynard Plantation, Anderson Cry Baby Bridge, Cypress Garden Ruins, Hell’s Gate/Oakwood Cemetery, Abandoned Mansion in Santee, Montrose Cemetery, Smoaks Old Train Building and Trestle, Salem Black River Church, Greenville Tuberculosis Hospital, White Point Gardens, Seven Devil’s Bridge, The Hermitage, Rose Hill Plantation