15 Most Spine-Chilling Destinations Across America

From adrenaline junkies to history buffs, there’s something incredibly enticing about the lure of haunted places. Whether it’s the thrill of the unknown, the twistedly devastating backstories, or the fascinating history, the allure of the macabre and the paranormal is inescapable. 

America has a vast array of spine-tingling spots, from ancient cemeteries to eerie mansions, here’s a look at some of the most haunted places that certainly aren’t for the faint-hearted.

Salem, Massachusetts

The Witch House. Salem Massachusetts USA
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The infamous location of the horrific Salem Witch Trials, which saw the wrongful executions of 19 accused witches in 1692. 

The Massachusetts town continues to attract ghost hunters to the notorious Witch House, Gallows Hill, and Old Burying Point. Many are intrigued by the multiple paranormal sightings, chilling reports of ghostly voices, and the haunting presence of the tortured souls.

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetary, Chicago, Illinois

Bachelors Grove Cemetery at sunrise
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This unassuming abandoned cemetery in the Chicago suburbs has a chilling history. Rumored to be the dumping ground for organized crime gangs in the 1920s, it is said to host hundreds of bodies and their vengeful spirits.

With endless eerie encounters reported in this area, from phantom vehicles and full moon sightings of a wandering spirit and her baby to reports of a mysterious farmhouse that inexplicably shrinks and vanishes, this is one of the most haunted locations in Chicago. 

The Shanghai Tunnels, Portland, Oregon

Portland Oregon sign
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Home to one of the most dangerous ports in the US, Portland was the focal point for human trafficking, referred to then as the illegal practice of Shanghaiing. 

Local lore says that unsuspecting victims were lured into the saloons, where they were captured and forced through a tunnel system connected to trapdoors. It is said that you can still hear the harrowing screams of the victims trapped beneath the city.

The Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio

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This chilling location was closed down in 1990, opening it up to a host of ghosthunters and supernatural enthusiasts who frequently report on spine-chilling shrieks and slamming doors. 

The old solitary confinement wing takes this terror to a whole new level, with sightings of shadowy figures and the lingering presence of a murdered guard, whilst the Renaissance Theatre taunts visitors with the disembodied laughter and creepy music of its supernatural inhabitants.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA

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One of the spookiest cemeteries in the US, it is not a trip for the lighthearted. With reports of grinning stone statues and paranormal encounters, it is believed that if you leave a toy at the young Gracie Watson’s grave, you may get the chance to see her ghost. An unsettling destination, the cemetery houses many restless, lost souls, so beware of stoking any unfriendly spirits.

Frightmare Manor, Talbott, Tennessee

Talbott Tennessee USA
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Once the residence of the notoriously prolific serial killer Jeremiah Lexer, Frightmare Manor continues to house the troubled spirits of his estimated 100 victims. The paranormal presence is said to be so strong that it lead to the closure of a nearby restaurant because of the ghostly attacks.

Currently serving as a seasonal haunted house, thrill seekers are permitted to enter the foreboding manor and experience the chilling atmosphere for themselves.

Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA

A large sign for the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum
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The haunted sight of the gruesome 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, where the sound of cannons, and the smell of gunpowder still lingers. In one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history, 50,000 soldiers were slaughtered over just three days. With many of the fallen never receiving a proper burial, their lost souls can be seen roaming the battlefield in search of their comrades.

St. Augustine, Florida

St Augustine Florida at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument at dusk
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The oldest city in America, St Augustine’s diverse inhabitants don’t all walk amongst the living, with a spooky reputation for its eclectic collection of ghosts and paranormal activity. 

The city’s supernatural tales contribute to its eerie charm, with famous faces amongst the lingering dead, such as the recognizable Spanish soldier often found sitting atop an old fort, the disgruntled figure of Judge John B Stickley outside the cemetery, or the notorious sighting of the old lighthouse keeper who fell to his death whilst painting the tower. 

Old Hospital on College Hill – Williamson, West Virginia

West Virginia Welcome Sign
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The ominous presence of this old abandoned hospital is widespread across the local community. With most of the small town being born there, the looming structure maintains a powerful presence. 

Local lore tells the tales of the “nurse that never clocked out” who died at the hospital and the tortured tale of Mose Blackburn, a local restaurant owner who met a tragic fate, falling to his death from the third-floor window. These disturbed spirits are tied to the eerie reports of shadow apparitions, self-shutting doors, haunting voices, and mysterious sounds of children’s laughter. 

The Stanaley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

Haunted Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado
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The notorious inspiration behind Stephen King’s “The Shining”, legend goes that Mr. and Mrs. Stanley opened the hotel and reportedly never left. According to the staff, Mrs Stanley can sometimes be heard playing her piano in the dead of night, whilst frequent occurrences of unpacked bags, flickering lights, and the echo of children’s laughter haunt the building. 

Regarded as one of the most haunted sites in the US, paranormal experts have labeled it as the most active ghost site in the US.

Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, AR

Crescent Hotel Eureka Springs Aerial View
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The location of a former morgue, the now historic luxury spa deters from its inner secrets. With over 140 years of history, the old inn was the former practice of a fraudulent cancer doctor. Revered for its blood-curdling, chilling atmosphere, the inn is known for its inexplicable paranormal visits from its former inhabitants. No wonder this location earned its name as ‘America’s Most Haunted Hotel.’

Burkittsville, MD

Burkittsville. Maryland USA
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The surrounding woods of this small town in Maryland inspired the ‘90s horror film The Blair Witch Project, earning it the reputation as one of the spookiest locations in America.

Burkittsville is rumored to have been the horrifying place where the search party mysteriously disappeared in search of a young boy who later returned alone. In 1886, following the events, a second search party was sent out, finding the horrific scene of disemboweled bodies on the now-infamous Coffin Rock.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky USA skyline on the river
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This eerie gothic building looks straight out of a horror film, sending shivers down your spine just from seeing it. Built as a sanatorium to treat tuberculosis patients, it’s estimated over 8,000 people died here. Its morbid history continues to haunt visitors, with multiple reports claiming to hear the screams, footsteps, and slamming doors of the dead who continue to haunt this historic site.

Glenwood Cemetary, Yazoo City, Mississippi

Glenwood Cemetery Yazoo City Mississippi USA
Editorial credit: Malachi Jacobs / Shutterstock.com.

The deceptively colorful town is home to a far more unnerving secret that lies within the mysterious Glenwood Cemetary. 

Legend tells of a despicable witch who reveled in torturing the local fisherman and swore to burn the town to the ground within 20 years. True to her promise, 20 years after her death, the town lost over 200 houses in the fire. Most bizarrely, since then, disturbing reports of her gravesite continue to be made.

Aside from the headstone mysteriously falling and splitting into two immediately after installation, the heavy chains surrounding the grave continue to break despite constantly being repaired.

The LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans, Louisiana

eerie long exposure nighttime image of the legendary and historic LaLaurie Mansion
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The opulent mansion of a 19th-century socialite hosted more than just her glamorous guests. Following a response to a fire, the Louisianna socialite was found to have been mutilating enslaved victims in her attic. 

The outrage at this woman’s barbaric behavior led to her fleeing to France, chased by an angry mob. After her disappearance, the phantom cries of her tortured victims are said to have rung out from the house at night. The heinous style of LaLaurie’s sadistic crimes became the inspiration behind the American Horror Story: Coven series in 2014.

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