While it may be harder to find people who outright admit they are afraid of ghosts, if you took them to an old, creepy, and spacious haunted house, they would eventually lose the facade and admit they are human, too. Haunted hotels, houses, hospitals, and other buildings that have a long history of unsolved mysteries or highly questionable events that can be corroborated with real news stories adds a lot to the scare-factor, but it isn’t always required. The architecture alone can have very intimidating and overwhelming elements that make you feel powerless or lost. These are our picks for the 10 most haunted places in America.
1: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia
Ah, the classic insane asylum, a place that is frightening regardless of age or structure. This infamous mental hospital was home to a number of mental patients who passed away during the Civil War, which adds to imagination of horrifying screams of soldiers who were crying in pain from losing their minds due to the highly torturous methods of curing the mentally disturbed.
Ghosts haunt houses that they cannot leave due to some unresolved or unsolved part of their death. In this instance it’s the murders of an entire family in Iowa. No one knows what happened or why they were murdered, but just the thought of some fiend chopping up a man, his wife, and children with an axe is enough to strike fear into visitor’s hearts.
The name “reformatory” already sounds highly suspect. This is where little boys were sent to be “reformed” or rather punished heavily until they were scared straight, essentially. This creepy castle of horrors feels as though it is covered in a layer of grime that will never be removed and the tales of little ghosts adds to that cold shiver of dread.
Prisons are made to scare you, that’s the entire purpose of the Criminal Punishment system. The thought of going to jail is supposed to be the deterrent of crime, but we know most crimes are undeserved of the type of inhumane conditions found in prisons like Eastern State in Philadelphia. This is one haunted prison that will give you nightmares for weeks.
Address: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130
A luxury hotel, now that sounds like a pleasant place, right? Well, this one was home to Stephen King’s masterfully creepy movie The Shining. Even for those who haven’t seen the movie, its interior and creaky sounds play on the mind enough to prevent you from ever falling asleep. Red rum, anyone?
Address: 333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
This is a bit of an unorthodox haunted house, both in-terms of architecture and backstory. Legend has it that the house is flooded with the ghosts of those who have died under the Winchester family name, including Winchester’s own life. It is also said that the construction workers who helped build the massive property also reside here to prevent anyone else from living there.
Address: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128
Adding to the list of vehemently abusive and bloody prisons, Moundsville was a major contributor to prisoner deaths via torture and murders, as well as the State’s own liberal usage of electric chair executions. If there would be any place that has ghosts roaming the grounds to frighten visitors, it would be in Moundsville.
This eerie home of horrors of the past is a relic of modern medicine’s ugly and downright ignorant history. This building housed tens of thousands of tuberculosis patients, many of them small children, who were trapped in a never-ending torture experiment. Nothing but howling and screaming filled these walls during operation, which adds to the cold whistling of its current empty shell today.
Caves are the perfect home for a wandering spirit. The Bell Witch Cave is home to a haunting resident who once terrified the Bells, who owned a farm nearby. No one knows why this ghost had such a problem with the family, but any tourists who pass through and explore the cave do not last more than a few minutes before the darkness proves too much.
Last, but not least, is a hotel that tops all haunted house lists every year in the United States. This old hotel also suffers from pre-war era hexes and old tales of lost soldiers who wander the halls of the building. The staff that work there are of especially thick skin, but that does not mean they are immune to the eeriness that looms over the hotel, they often witness shapes, sounds, and changes in temperature that keeps them on edge.