America may be some people's ideal place for a vacation, but just like any other country, it is also full of creepy ghost towns, abandoned buildings, and haunted forests. In fact, there is a haunted spot waiting to be found in every state.
So, calling out to all thrill and horror junkies: This is not a drill. If you are planning to visit the US soon, then you should definitely check out five of the most haunted places in America. From hotels to former prisons, all of them are notorious for their paranormal activities.
|The Eastern State Penitentiary / Photo by: Adam Jones, Ph.D. via Wikimedia Commons|
1. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
In its prime, the Eastern State Penitentiary was considered as one of the most expensive and well-known prisons all over the world. Built in 1829, it housed some of the biggest names in the world of crime, such as Al Capone and bank robber "Slick Willie."
Before overcrowding became its main problem in 1913, the Eastern State Penitentiary was the first prison in the country to ever implement the solitary confinement policy. Inmates were stuck in their cells with no human contact and were required to have a hood placed over their heads anytime they were moved—in other words, they couldn't see anything and they couldn't be seen.
Today, the ruins of the former prison offer ghost tours and a museum, with strange shadowy figures, laughter, and footsteps that may or may not be part of the tour.
|Stanley Hotel in Colorado / Photo by: Amy Aletheia Cahill via Wikimedia Commons|
2. The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
Rumor has it that The Stanley Hotel served as the inspiration for horror novelist Stephen King's work, "The Shining" that director Stanley Kubrick turned into a box-office hit and a cult-favorite horror movie. Experts agree that the Colorado-based hotel is one of America's most active ghost sites.
Opened by Freelan Oscar Stanley and Flora Stanley on July 4, 1909, it is believed that the owners’ ghosts still roam around the hotel. Witnesses say you can hear Mrs. Stanley playing the piano in the music room at night. Reports also have it that other supernatural activities happen there including flickering lights, faint sounds of children's laughter, and several bags being mysteriously unpacked.
For the full "The Shining" experience, guests are allowed to book "spirited rooms" in the hotel, which contain the highest amount of paranormal activities.
|RMS Queen Mary / Photo by: Ian Abbott via Flickr|
3. RMS Queen Mary, California
The RMS Queen Mary sailed the Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. Apart from carrying Hollywood celebrities with big names like Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, it also carried notable people like General Dwight Eisenhower. By 1939, the RMS Queen Mary lost its amenities and lived its second life as "The Grey Ghost," a World War II troopship.
But by 1947, the ship went back to being a passenger ship for at least two more decades until permanently docking in Long Beach, California on Halloween in 1967. Since then, the ship was reportedly haunted by the ghost of a young sailor who was crushed to death by a door in the engine room and a crew member who had been murdered in cabin B340.
|One of the entrances to the Shanghai tunnels in Oregon / Photo by: Bex Walton via Flickr|
4. The Shanghai Tunnels, Oregon
Reports say that the Shanghai Tunnels got its name because it was the central point of one of the most illicit maritime practices known as "shanghaiing," where men were kidnapped and sold off as workers in East Asia.
Local lore tells that the tunnels are haunted by the ghosts of victims who were drugged and trafficked in the early 19th century. Legend has it that local saloons contained entrances to tunnels, which allowed swindlers to kidnap and drug oblivious patrons and proceeded to ship them off across the sea before they could even realize what was happening.
|La Laurie Mansion in Louisiana / Photo by: Reading Tom via Wikimedia Commons|
5. LaLaurie Mansion, Louisiana
The house was named after its owner, Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a Louisiana socialite known for hosting lavish parties. After getting divorced by her third husband, Madame LaLaurie was said to go insane and started torturing the slaves who lived and worked for her. These claims had enough support since the first incident to ever raise concern happened in 1833 when a female slave fell from a window and died.
A year later, another accident happened, when fire from the mansion prompted the police to investigate. They eventually came across the mutilated bodies of several slaves in the attic and found out that Madame LaLaurie had been torturing them in the most grotesque way, from drilling holes into their heads to breaking their bones and removing their intestines.
After escaping to France, LaLaurie was never held responsible for the crime. Perhaps that is the reason that until now, the ghosts of her victims still linger inside the mansion, their screams filling the house, as visitors claimed to hear.