The United States has a shorter recorded history than many parts of the world. You might not expect America to have the same quantity and quality of haunted locations as Europe, but this is not the case.
America is home to some of the eeriest and most bizarre of cases and luckily for any ghost hunters, most of these locations can be visited today. Get ready to roadtrip, ghost-lovers!
10 Saint Augustine
America's oldest city, established in 1585, is unsurprisingly littered with haunted locations. One such example is St. Augustine Lighthouse Park which has endured numerous tragedies over its 500-year history and has even appeared on the TV show, "Ghost Hunters." Ships have crashed into the rocks on account of the lighthouse, numerous owners have died who now wander the grounds and tragically, two young girls died. The two died while playing on a cart which broke loose and who now can be heard atop the lighthouse laughing.
The old Spanish Military Hospital is another site, high with paranormal activity. Visitors report a feeling of heaviness or sadness while others hear cries of agony and apparitions appearing on the beds. Adding to the locations disturbing history was the discovery that the site was built on a Timucran burial ground.
9 New York
New York City is scattered with haunted locations. On 85 West 3rd Street, a building once occupied by Edgar Allen Poe (and where he wrote most of "The Raven"), people have reported seeing ghosts, maybe even Poe's. Directly across the street, in a former fire station now occupied by Anderson Cooper, there have been a plethora of sightings. It is widely accepted that the ghost is that of Firefighter Schwartz, who worked and hung himself there when the site was a fire station.
St. Paul's Chapel, dating back to 1697, is another notorious location. Sightings here are common but one stands out among the rest. George Frederick Cooke, an actor, lost all of his money to gambling and sold his head to medical research. Today, a headless man is regularly sighted wandering around the local theater and grave of said man.
Baltimore has a long history of death and destruction, making it a high-traffic area for paranormal enthusiasts. Edgar Allen Poe lived and subsequently died under mysterious conditions in Baltimore, and allegedly still wanders the streets. Much of the crew of the U.S.S. Constellation warship, which served from 1854 through World War 2, met miserable ends. Many of the sailors' spirits are reported to remain on the ship. One priest was given a tour of the ship by one of these ghosts, though he assumed at the time that he was with a guide, only later learning the eerie truth.
Not all hauntings are sinister and at Club Charles, this is made clear. The bar is haunted by a friendly ghost, known as Frenchie, who is said to wear a staff uniform and was in life a double agent for the Allies during the Second World War.
7 New Orleans
New Orleans' unique culture and history earn it a spot on this list. The city is home to more than 40 cemeteries, including St. Louis Cemetery, the city's largest. Here, you can visit the grave of, and maybe even encounter the voodoo queen Marie Laveau. LaLaurie Mansion is another highlight, the home of serial killer and slave torturer, Marie Delphine Macarty. Upon the mansion catching fire in 1834, Macarty's heinous treatment and murder of slaves was discovered. Screaming is heard by many who come into proximity of the mansion even today, echoing almost 200 years on.
At Jackson Square, following the 1811 German Coast Uprising, the country's largest-ever slave revolt, over 100 people involved were executed. This only added to the stench of death which occurred here as public executions were commonly held throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
6 San Francisco
Alcatraz alone is creepy enough to put San Francisco on the map. The prison, which is on the site of an ancient burial ground is scattered with paranormal energy. Ghosts roam Alcatraz' halls, a psychic has communed with ex-inmates, and Al Capone's ghost allegedly haunts the bathrooms playing his banjo. Another iconic location is the Neptune Society Columbarium, the final resting place of over 8,000 locals. The now restored building is littered with ghosts, often sighted by security guards and on one occasion, a ghost reached out to touch a visitor and left a visible mark on their shirt.
Filled with almost as many haunted locations as hipsters, Portland has a long history of hauntings, in particular, the Shanghai Tunnels. Between 1850 to 1941 people lived and died in these tunnels. "Shanghaiing" was the act of drugging, kidnapping, and selling those victims into slavery aboard ships. These sailors are said to have had such an emotional impact here that their ghosts still roam the halls.
Another notable spot in Portland is the Roseland Theater, a former church and then music venue. The theater is reportedly haunted by an old club promoter Timothy Moreau who was murdered during a John Lee Hooker gig by his boss. Moreau's boss suspected he might alert the authorities of a counterfeit ticket scam and murdered him to prevent this. To this day, people often see Moreau wandering the theater.
Weston, West Virginia deserves a place on this list for the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. This gothic-style asylum is recognized as one of America's most haunted locations. Nearly 2,500 people were crammed into this building at once, designed for only 250. Operating from 1864-1994, the asylum was bedlam for its inmates and it is no wonder that it is so eerie.
Spirits are aplenty here with many regulars that a visitor might encounter. These include several confederate soldiers, a murdered patient, and the typical spooky little girl. If you encounter light bulbs being switched on and off, that's probably the resident ghost, James.
A city with a long history of fatal disaster, mob-rivalries, and cold cases, Chicago is said to be extremely high in paranormal activity. One notable location is today's James M. Nederlander Theater, formerly known as the Oriental. Nearly 600 people died here in a 1903 fire, 212 of them children. The bodies were stacked in the street outside, colloquially referred to as "Death Alley," where the ghosts remain today.
Chicago is also home to "The Murder Castle", home of the infamous serial killer H.H. Holmes, who killed an unknown number of people there with historians speculating at around 200. The building had stairs that led nowhere and windowless rooms and is now a post office where clerks report a strange feeling of anxiety in the basement and occasional apparitions.
2 San Jose
San Jose is home to the iconic "Winchester Mystery House." After the death of her husband and owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, Sarah Winchester believed she was told by ghosts to continually build the house. She did and the home eventually had 161 rooms, stairs that led nowhere, rooms with no entrance, and other oddities. Today, ghosts are seen pushing wheelbarrows and building forever, many of which have been caught on camera.
Another popular spot is Agnew's Insane Asylum, home to several resident spirits. Doors open autonomously, lights turn on and off, rooms go up in smoke, and the Lady in Yellow begs for help in finding her kids. However, if someone tries to help, she immediately vanishes, repeating the cycle indefinitely.
The quintessential city of horror, Salem needs no introduction. The city has a long history of the peculiarity dating back to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and continuing even today. Spots ghost chasers should visit are plentiful and the city is aware of this, offering numerous tours to haunted locations which are seemingly everywhere, from shops, pubs, and even cinemas.