Some people just like the idea of poking a sleeping bear with a stick to see if it will react – the same kind of people who choose to walk down the dark alley as opposed to walking further to go around it. These are the same kind of people who will pick up a hitch hiker in a hockey mask to “see what happens.” In other words, it is fair to say that there are some people in this world who like walking the razor’s edge. You know, the same kind of people who play with Ouija boards and think the Exorcist is a comedy.
The following list will be written with that exact personality type in mind; for the folks who like dancing near the darkness, for the folks who WANT to hear things bump in the night. As many people know, this season’s American Horror Story is based on an actual hotel where some very twisted things happened (and rather than name that hotel here, it is saved for further down on the list). That felt like the perfect inspiration for a list about actual places you can go visit right now that have supposed haunted histories.
There are two things to be aware of before reading this list. One, we cannot assure you that anything supernatural will happen if you visit any of these places, as ghosts and such seem VERY selective about who see or hear them. Second, go to these places at your own risk. Trust us, you never know what will latch on and come back home with you.
10. Lizzie Borden’s Bed and Breakfast
“Hey honey, where should we stay when we are visiting our friends in the Northeast next month? How about that place where that little girl allegedly axed her father and mother to death and was never sent to prison. How about that house?”
“Sure honey, that sounds awesome!”
Located in nostalgic Fall River, Massachusetts is this lovely bed and breakfast with the storied history of its former owners and the infamous axe poem:
Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks.
When Father saw what she had done, she gave father 41.
Welcome to the list.
9. Alcatraz Island
It would make sense that a place where criminals and mad men were kept would be a place most would NEVER want to visit. But add to that fact that the place was overpopulated and many prisoners were mistreated or killed, and you have a vacation spot most would want to stay clear of.
But you can reserve rides for you and the fam out there right now. Nothing says lazy Sunday with the fam like visiting a place with a violent and blood soaked history. But heck, we are not here to judge.
8. The Myrtles Plantation
Basic intellect will tell you going to a place where people were abused and killed for being of a different color is going to a place that will definitely NOT have good energy. And of all those type of places you could visit, the Myrtles Plantation has to be one of the creepiest.
Put it this way: it is said by many that the plantation is haunted by twelve different ghosts with twelve different personalities. Considering dealing with a family dinner of six people can be intense, one can see where twelve different ghosts could be a tad bit scarring.
7. The Shanghai Tunnels
This next entry is a series of interconnected tunnels underneath the Portland area that used to allegedly be used by “Shanghairs” (people who kidnap people to bring them aboard ships to serve against their wills). Though the tunnels were also used by merchants to avoid street traffic, there is still a very eerie feeling to this place.
Twisting and turning, leading to shadowy corners, many claim to hear noises and screams and sounds that have no origin while they are down there. Go do the tour and see for yourself.
6. Villisca Axe Murder House
It makes sense that a place where a family was butchered by a random axe murderer they never found would make a list like this. Though the house itself looks humble on the outside, you can sense the dread when you even approach it. The air is heavy around this place, and while you might not see a cup fly off the table and smash on the wall next to your head, your hammering heart will tell you something is wrong there nonetheless.
It may just be a random murder house to some, but others claim it is so much more.
5. All of Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts
Truth is, it would be foolhardy to keep Salem itself off a list of haunted places in America you can visit, when the entire town is wrought with such history. Of all the spots you can check out in Salem, try and take a look at the Danvers State Hospital. From lobotomies performed without permission to special needs adults being left to lay alone in their own waste, the place was one of the cruelest mental facilities on Earth until the time it was closed.
Since then, many strange things have happened there and many are convinced it is one of the most evil and haunted places in the country. Mostly burnt down and illegal to enter, you will know just by looking at the outside to stay the hell away.
But the whole town of Salem is well worth it for a scare or three. The place stinks of dead, innocent women burned at the stake. That alone adds to the tension.
4. Fort Mifflin
We have all heard the rumors that many revolutionary war battlegrounds seem to be haunted by what happened there in the past, and Fort Mifflin is no different. Built in 1771, this compound boasts 14 buildings on the site (all of which have been restored) and though it may look sweet to the eyes, the activity reported at this place at night is insane.
From weeping women who are so loud cops have been called multiple times, to the sounds of guns being shot in the dark of the wee hours, this place seems to be teeming with (after)life.
3. St. Augustine Lighthouse
The one thing that sets this haunted lighthouse apart from its brethren on the list is that MANY people walked away from their experience at St. Augustine lighthouse with insane, otherworldly pictures they cannot explain.
It is said tours of this lighthouse can be so jarring to some, some leave the tour early and in tears. Seeing as the whole town is America’s oldest city, it makes sense that there would be some troubled history there.
2. The Cecil Hotel
The Cecil is the inspiration for this season of American Horror Story: Hotel. All one needs to do is gaze a little into its background to see why. How about we talk about all the serial killers who stayed there? People who killed themselves there? Bodies found in strange places there? Nah, how about we focus on ONE story?
The water was beginning to stink at the Cecil. It was coming out black and thick, smelling of death. After about 200 complaints, the staff went up to the roof to check the “locked from the outside” water tanks. Inside, they found the bloated, rotting corpse of a young tourist named Elisa Lam. People had been drinking her dead body for two weeks. This is the last footage ever seen of Elisa Lam alive, shot from inside an elevator at the Cecil. Warning, it is some creepy stuff.
Yeah, good luck sleeping tonight, and God bless you if you ever choose to stay at the Cecil.
1. The Winchester House
Every single thing about this house just screams “haunted.” From the history of the Winchester family (yes, Winchester as in the inventors of guns that ended up taking thousands of lives). The house was built by Sarah Winchester, who claimed she was building the house in a unique way to make up for all the lives her family’s invention had taken. Ridden with guilt, she began overseeing the building of a house that would CONTINUE to be built upon until her death, many years later.
The kicker here is the house itself, which is like something out of a David Lynch movie. You have staircases that lead to nowhere; doors that open to other doors. There are many sections of the house some people think have never been discovered. On top of that, Lady Sarah now haunts the house, overseeing that it never stops being built (because that is what she thinks her debt to the dead is). Deep, scary stuff, but truly one hell of a house.