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Investigating the Unknown

Haunted buildings. Unexplained disappearances. Lost cities. Unsolved crimes. A mystery can make any destination or attraction seem more exciting. Revel in the uncertainty, or don your detective hat and search for some new evidence. You never know what clues you may uncover!

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City Museum in St. Louis
City Museum in St. Louis

City Museum in St. Louis

A cross from Alexian Brothers Hospital on display at the City Museum in St. Louis. The cross was used to perform an exorcism on a boy believed to be possessed by the devil and was later featured in The Exorcist. 960 1280

  

City Museum in St. Louis

City Museum in St. Louis

Inside the City Museum in St. Louis. 960 1280

  

La Belle shipwreck

La Belle shipwreck

At the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, TX, is a barrel that was salvaged from the waters off the Texas coast. But what did it hold and how does it tell the story of the La Belle shipwreck? 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

Artifacts on display at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

City Museum in St. Louis

City Museum in St. Louis

Caves inside the City Museum in St Louis. 960 1280

  

Abita Springs, LA

Abita Springs, LA

The Abita Mystery House and UCM Museum in Abita Springs, LA. 960 1280

  

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

A surveillance camera at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

City Museum in St. Louis

City Museum in St. Louis

Gargoyles at the City Museum in St. Louis. 960 1280

  

Rural swamps near Abita Springs, LA

Rural swamps near Abita Springs, LA

Rural swamps near Abita Springs, LA. 960 1280

  

Sergeant Stubby

Sergeant Stubby

Canine war hero Sergeant Stubby and various objects from World War I on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

The City Museum in St Louis

The City Museum in St Louis

The City Museum in St Louis. 960 1280

  

Honey Island Swamp Monster

Honey Island Swamp Monster

The Abita Mystery House and UCM Museum in Abita Springs, LA, where Don investigates the plaster mold of a giant footprint believed to have been left by the Honey Island Swamp Monster. 960 1280

  

A stained-glass window from the Alexian Brothers Hospital in St Louis. 960 1280

  

Inupiat Heritage Center
Whale Rescue

Whale Rescue

On display outside of the Inupiat Heritage Center in Point Barrow, AK, is the large skull of a gray whale. The skull serves as a reminder of an incredible mission that rescued 2 gray whales trapped under the frozen Beaufort Sea. 960 1280

  

Whale Rescue

Whale Rescue

The Iñupiat Heritage Center has in its collection a machine that was used in a remarkable marine animal rescue mission. This odd, industrial-looking object played a critical role in an international incident that captivated the world. 960 1280

  

Mini-Ball Pregnancy

Mini-Ball Pregnancy

The Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg, MS, displays a bullet that is connected to a shocking tale of a seemingly immaculate conception. 960 1280

  

Mini-Ball Pregnancy

Mini-Ball Pregnancy

This stunning medical mystery baffled scientists and the general public alike in the years following the Civil War -- until one man published a surprising report, proving that Dr. Legrand Caper’s claim that a bullet ricocheting off a man's testicle and into a women's belly could make her pregnant was impossible. 960 1280

  

Bottle-Popping Poltergeist

Bottle-Popping Poltergeist

The Rhine Research Center and Parapsychology Museum in Durham, NC, contains a deck of cards that tells a haunting tale of untold powers and possession that terrorized an innocent family. 960 1280

  

Bottle-Popping Poltergeist

Bottle-Popping Poltergeist

In the winter of 1958, the Herman family of Long Island, NY, believed that their youngest son, Jimmy, was playing tricks on them. After objects began to break and move on their own, Dr. Pratt, a parapsychologist at Duke University, was brought in. But he was unable to determine what the cause of the disturbances were, which remains a mystery to this day. 960 1280

  

Diamond Mine Murder

Diamond Mine Murder

At the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR, the Diamond Discovery Center has a document that speaks to a bitter feud decided by greed, trickery and murder. This simple piece of paper is connected to what remains of one of Arkansas’ most infamous crimes. 960 1280

  

Diamond Mine Murder

Diamond Mine Murder

Diamonds found on this coveted piece of property -- 1 of only 2 diamond craters in the entire United States -- are 10-30% more valuable on the diamond market. To this day, tourists still flock to the Arkansas park in the hopes of finding diamonds for themselves. 960 1280

  

Winton Race

Winton Race

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, displays a weathered vehicle that was part of a revolutionary ride. This car changed the way Americans thought about long-distance travel and automobiles. 960 1280

  

Winton Race

Winton Race

In 1903, Horatio Nelson Jackson attempted to become the first person to successfully drive an automobile across the country. Despite countless setbacks, 63 days after leaving San Francisco, Jackson arrived in New York City, completing the nation's first successful cross-country car journey. 960 1280

  

Oklahoma Territorial Museum
Oklahoma Territorial Museum

Oklahoma Territorial Museum

On display inside the Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library in Guthrie, OK, is an ordinary-looking pistol. Dedicated to preserving the history of Oklahoma, this museum houses a wide array of artifacts from the state’s boom times. 960 1280

  

Oklahoma Territorial Museum

Oklahoma Territorial Museum

This pistol marked the beginning of a dark and outlandish journey spanning 7 decades and thousands of miles, but how is it linked to a macabre funhouse mummy’s real identity? 960 1280

  

San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Among the venerated vessels of flight at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in California is an ordinary lawn chair with milk jugs attached to it with rope and tape. 960 1280

  

Flying lawn chair

Flying lawn chair

This jerry-rigged piece of outdoor furniture was used by an unlikely pilot to soar to unimaginable heights. 960 1280

  

Grover Cleveland Bergdoll's house

Grover Cleveland Bergdoll's house

This former home of Grover Cleveland Bergdoll is where he grew up in the lap of luxury after escaping police custody. 960 1280

  

Model B Flyer

Model B Flyer

This Model B Flyer at the Franklin Institute was once the prized possession of a wealthy scoundrel who led law enforcement on a manhunt and kicked off a frenzied search for hidden gold that continues to this day. 960 1280

  

Museum of Chinese in America

Museum of Chinese in America

Located in New York City’s bustling Chinatown district, the Museum of Chinese in America documents the trials the Chinese undertook to start over in the United States. Its collection includes a small paper sculpture that symbolizes the universal dream for freedom. 960 1280

  

Museum of Chinese in America

Museum of Chinese in America

This small sculpture symbolizes the unbelievable lengths some people took in hopes for a better life. What harrowing circumstances led to this sculpture’s creation? 960 1280

  

Thomas Warne Historical Museum

Thomas Warne Historical Museum

Striving to preserve New Jersey’s rich history, the Thomas Warne Historical Museum in Old Bridge, NJ, has an artifact on display that has been scarred by a violent past, telling a tale of unprecedented devastation. 960 1280

  

Thomas Warne Historical Museum

Thomas Warne Historical Museum

This jagged artillery shell played a role in a terrible tragedy that shook a small American town at the height of World War I. 960 1280

  

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station houses items that commemorate the country’s 41st president. But a helmet on display honors another famous Texan and is linked to a scorching tale of bravery. 960 1280

  

Red Adair

Red Adair

Who wore this helmet, and how did his heroism extinguish a fire some people thought would burn forever? 960 1280

  

Unconditional Surrender
Unconditional Surrender

Unconditional Surrender

The Unconditional Surrender statue commemorates perhaps the most famous public display of affection in history -- the unforgettable moment in 1945, captured in an iconic photograph, when a US Navy sailor kissed a nurse in Times Square to mark the end of World War II in the Pacific. 960 1280

  

USS Midway

USS Midway

The statue is located next to the retired USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego, CA. 960 1280

  

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

At the base of the staircase leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a statue of the fictional movie icon – Rocky Balboa – to commemorate the film Rocky III. The writer, director and star of the movie, Sylvester Stallone, is said to have been inspired by the career of a real life boxer from New Jersey. So who was the real Rocky? 960 1280

  

Angeles National Forest

Angeles National Forest

Outside of Los Angeles is a pristine expanse of mountains, lakes and woodlands known as the Angeles National Forest. This beautiful natural monument is said to be home to a terrifying mythical beast known as the “Devil’s Lake Thunderbird.” Despite attempts by locals to capture and kill the creature, the legend of the Thunderbird continues to haunt the region to this day. 960 1280

Eric Lowenbach  

Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery

In Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, 2 tombstones mark the graves of Dr. Harvey Burdell and his wife Emma Cunningham. Shortly after Dr. Burdell’s brutal murder in 1857, police arrest his widow, Emma, and charge her with his murder. But could this seemingly devoted wife have murdered her husband? 960 1280

  

Hilo Clock Hawaii

Hilo Clock Hawaii

In the coastal town of Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island stands a public clock forever frozen in time, marking the moment at 1:04 a.m. on May 22, 1960, when a massive tsunami hit the island, destroying everything in its path. 960 1280

  

Hawaii Disaster

Hawaii Disaster

Sadly, the story of this disaster reveals a tragedy that could have been avoided. 960 1280

  

At the base of the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch stands “The Captains’ Return” statue, dedicated to the historic voyage of discovery lead by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But few people realize that their voyage owes part of its success to a rather unknown woman. She is said to have saved their lives in a Nez Perce encampment in September 1905, but who was this mysterious woman? 960 1280

  

Honeymoon Island
Florida Three Toes

Florida Three Toes

More than 900,000 visitors cross the causeway each year to reach one of the Gulf Coast’s most relaxing barrier islands -- Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, FL. Here, 4 miles of pristine shoreline lures sunbathers, swimmers and snorkelers alike. In 1948, traces were found here of an animal so unique and mysterious that it defied all scientific explanation and sparked a wave of intrigue that echoed for decades. 960 1280

  

Florida Three Toes

Florida Three Toes

In 1948, 3-toed footprints 14 inches long by 11 inches wide were found stamped deeply into the ground. Scottish cryptozoologist, Ivan Sanderson, was intrigued by the prints and began his own study of their authenticity. He believed the marks could be from a giant penguin 15 feet tall with webbed toes. This idea is later proved to be false by Tony Signorini, who informed the St. Petersburg Times that his friend had made iron casts of the feet. Together, they combed the beach and left the tracks as a playful prank.  960 1280

  

The Reanimator

The Reanimator

This institution was home to Dr. Robert E. Cornish, a fiercely ambitious child prodigy that graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, at the ripe age of 18, and attained his doctorate 4 years later.  960 1280

  

The Reanimator

The Reanimator

A unique look at one of the buildings on the Berkeley campus where Dr. Cornish attempted to bring the dead back to life. His experiments on dead dogs proved that animals can be brought back to life. Though they suffer brain damage and blindness, the dogs were successfully brought back to life through a combination or adrenaline, blood-thinning agents and artificial breathing. Because of the dark nature of his experiments, Cornish was forced out of Berkeley and was publicly shunned by his scientific peers. 960 1280

  

Barefoot Bandit

Barefoot Bandit

Located near the western side of Orcas Island, WA, a sweeping estate known as Turtleback Mountain Preserve consists of nearly 16,000 acres of green forests, wetlands and open meadows. This land also played home to the "Barefoot Bandit," Colton Harris-Moore. Harris-Moore perfected his survival skills within the forests to such an amazing degree that even a massive search party could not locate him. He had intimate knowledge of which forest plants were edible, and was excellent at building fires and shelters. 960 1280

  

Barefoot Bandit

Barefoot Bandit

Colton Harris-Moore managed to stay hidden while a massive search party of FBI, state and federal SWAT teams combed the area for 14 hours. He was suspected of burglarizing numerous houses and stores in the area while barefoot. After 2 years and an international manhunt, Harris-Moore was finally caught in the Bahamas. In that time he stole 11 boats, 14 cars and 5 airplanes. 960 1280

  

Cigar Girl Murder

Cigar Girl Murder

A marble arch that protects a curious man-made arrangement of nature known as Sybil’s Cave in Hoboken, NJ, was once the site of a notorious tourist trap. This rocky patch is best known not for its rugged terrain, but for a horrifying incident that occurred in its shadow. This is the site where Manhattan’s first "it girl" is found after being beaten and drowned. Her death remains a mystery to this day.  960 1280

  

Cigar Girl Murder

Cigar Girl Murder

Mary Roger's body was found by 2 men walking along the shoreline near Sybil’s Cave in Hoboken, NJ. Suspicion was raised about her employer, John Anderson, who owned the shop where she became famous for her beauty. Her fiance, Daniel Payne, was also accused but was backed by a solid alibi. Many believe Anderson murdered her because she rejected his romantic advances. Her story is viewed as one of the first celebrity murders the press ever sensationalized. 960 1280

  

Forgotten Epidemic

Forgotten Epidemic

The New York Academy of Medicine’s beautiful library features one of the world’s largest treasures of medical research, and in the 1920s it was home to an urgent effort to stem the tide of a devastating new epidemic. The work begun by Josephine Neal at the Academy, and continued by Dr. Oliver Sacks in the Bronx, led to a vast improvement for the lives of unlucky encephalitis lethargica victims, and eventually helped ease the suffering for millions of Parkinson’s sufferers throughout the world. 960 1280

  

The Man Who Invented Martians

The Man Who Invented Martians

Sitting atop a hill in Flagstaff, AZ, the giant white dome of the Lowell Observatory appears like a mushroom sprouting from the surrounding evergreens. Day and night, this strange edifice peers into the sky searching for cosmic anomalies. 960 1280

  

The Man Who Invented Martians

The Man Who Invented Martians

In 1894, mathematician and informal astronomer, Percival Lowell, arrived at the largely unpopulated area of Flagstaff, AZ. On a mesa in an opening of the woods, he set up 2 telescopes for nighttime viewing inside a rudimentary observatory. Lowell’s theories on Martians spawned countless books, movies and a culture that has generated billions, if not trillions, of dollars. This observatory also went on to discover the planet Pluto. 960 1280

  

Haunting in Connecticut
Paranormal Museum

Paranormal Museum

Located at the Stratford Point Lighthouse, the John Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal hosts numerous artifacts removed from homes following unexplained phenomena. One of Zaffis' most compelling artifacts is a small statue of the Virgin Mary, her hands melted off during the infamous 1986 haunting of a home in Southington, CT. 960 1280

  

The Virgin Mary

The Virgin Mary

This small statue of the Virgin Mary had its hands melted off during the infamous 1986 haunting of a home in Southington, CT. The statue is one of many compelling items that can be found at the world-famous John Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal. 960 1280

  

The Virginia Historical Society

The Virginia Historical Society

The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond is home to many artifacts, including a worn and rusty sword used in the Civil War during the Battle of the Crater in in 1864. This battle was memorable for all the wrong reasons, namely, a disastrous attempt by the Union to dig a crater and charge at their Confederate foes from below the ground in Petersburg, VA -- only to be trapped within the crater. 960 1280

  

Mangled Sword

Mangled Sword

This sword was used in the Civil War during the Battle of the Crater in in 1864. It is housed at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

Within the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, is a small shortwave radio that played a key role in exposing and capturing a covert Nazi spy ring collecting intelligence from within the US. 960 1280

  

Nazi Spy Radio

Nazi Spy Radio

This shortwave radio at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, was used by a double agent named William Sebold in 1940, and it transmitted approximately 300 messages to German spies that were traced and controlled by the FBI. Using Sebold's faulty transmissions, the FBI was able to successfully snag what J. Edgar Hoover called "the greatest spy roundup in US history." 960 1280

  

National Museum of Naval Aviation

National Museum of Naval Aviation

The National Museum of Naval Aviation, located in Pensacola, FL, is home to hundreds of artifacts from the Navy’s fascinating history. 960 1280

  

Bird Dog

Bird Dog

One artifact hanging from the National Museum of Naval Aviation roof is a 1950-era, 2-seat Cessna O-1 Bird Dog. The metal plane with a 36-foot wingspan was used to locate enemy ground positions. This is the same model that was instrumental in one of the most ingenious and compelling acts of human bravery in all of the Vietnam War. 960 1280

  

Brassiere Brigade

Brassiere Brigade

The St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida is home to an everyday piece of intimate apparel that tells a particularly entertaining story of a salacious plot planned by women at the Southern Bell Phone Company to rob the company coin by coin. 960 1280

  

Salida Museum

Salida Museum

Located in the heart of Salida, CO, is the aptly named Salida Museum where hundreds of objects representing the history of the region are displayed. 960 1280

  

Furry Fishtail

Furry Fishtail

One artifact that graces the walls of the Salida Museum stands apart from the rest. It’s about 7 inches long and colored a silvery gray. It has a brown coat of hair, a wide mouth and a broad scaly tail. This furry river dweller was rumored to live in the waters near here and caused a sensation when its existence was announced. 960 1280

  

Lucy the Elephant
Lucy the Elephant

Lucy the Elephant

Lucy the Elephant is a mammoth structure with a body that is 38 feet long and 80 feet around with 17-foot-long ears and 22-foot-long tusks, and stands 65 feet high. As a ploy to attract land buyers to his site, 25-year-old James V. Lafferty constructed Lucy. The plan failed, but over the years Lucy is used as a summer rental home, a tavern and a boarding house. She is a major tourist attraction and beloved symbol of Margate City, NJ. 960 1280

  

Lucy the Elephant

Lucy the Elephant

Located on Absecon Island on the New Jersey coastline, Margate City is famous for the large mammoth structure known as Lucy the Elephant. 960 1280

  

Capitol Bomber

Capitol Bomber

In July 1915, bomb expert Frank Holt destroyed the Senate Reception Room with a time bomb. He used a specific amount of sulfuric acid that steadily ate its way through a cork and reacted with mercury to detonate the fuse. After the bombing, Holt became the No. 1 public enemy in America. 960 1280

  

Hitler in Hollywood

Hitler in Hollywood

Murphy?s Ranch is an American Nazi bunker that some believe has ties to Hitler. Predicting chaos would ensue in the wake of WWII, its occupants wanted to ensure that they had an appropriate base in North America from which they could begin a fascist government. 960 1280

  

Hitler in Hollywood

Hitler in Hollywood

Home to a dangerous group of Nazi sympathizers called the Silver Shirts, Murphy?s Ranch -- a powerhouse in Los Angeles -- functioned as a self-sufficient community and base for the group?s dreams of a fascist government. 960 1280

  

Bulletproof Handkerchief

Bulletproof Handkerchief

Main Street in Tombstone, AZ, is where a silk handkerchief was found to be impenetrable by bullets. After witnessing many duels outside of the Oriental Saloon, Dr. George Goodfellow began to study the resistance power of silk. In 1893, his research on the matter led to the invention of the first bulletproof vest by Casimir Zeglen. 960 1280

  

Bulletproof Handkerchief

Bulletproof Handkerchief

A sign in the heart of Tombstone, AZ, details 2 duels that occurred outside of the Oriental Saloon. Arguments between gamblers were often settled by duels outside the saloon. 960 1280

  

Elizabeth Van Lew
Elizabeth Van Lew

Elizabeth Van Lew

Despite being a well-to-do Southerner, Elizabeth Van Lew helped secure an important Civil War victory for the North through her extensive spy ring which she operated from her residence in Richmond, VA. 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

One of the most popular museums in Washington, DC, the International Spy Museum is dedicated to the history of espionage and houses many artifacts from some of the most famous spies. 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

This small piece of paper at the International Spy Museum represents one of the scrolls that was secreted across enemy lines under the careful coordination of Elizabeth Van Lew. 960 1280

  

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is one of the world’s largest automotive museums with about 150 vehicles on display. 960 1280

  

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum

One of the vehicles on display there is this uniquely designed yellow car model that was once promised to save a nation in the midst of an unprecedented fuel crisis. 960 1280

  

Bakken Museum

Bakken Museum

On the shores of Lake Calhoun, the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis is the world’s only museum dedicated to medical electricity. 960 1280

  

Bakken Museum

Bakken Museum

On display at the Bakken is a wooden and glass musical instrument, invented by one of America’s founding fathers and known as the glass armonica. Not only did it mesmerize people on both sides of the Atlantic, but it also seemed to perform medical miracles no doctor could explain. 960 1280

  

EBR-I Atomic Museum

EBR-I Atomic Museum

A US National Historic Landmark, the EBR-I Atomic Museum in Arco, ID, is housed in a former nuclear facility. 960 1280

  

EBR-I Atomic Museum

EBR-I Atomic Museum

On display there is this oversized panel with red lights, which speaks to one of the worst nuclear accidents in American history. Was it simply an accident or did deeper tensions cause the disaster? 960 1280

  

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York

At the Museum of the City of New York sits a small hollow figure of a portly man, a caricature of one of the Big Apple’s most influential -- and crooked -- politicians. 960 1280

  

The American Yacht Club

The American Yacht Club

The American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, contains an extensive collection of model ships. 960 1280

  

The American Yacht Club

The American Yacht Club

This model ship showcases an innovative design that was used by a courageous explorer to battle the elements in his attempt to reach one of Earth’s harshest environments. 960 1280

  

Masada

Masada

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Masada

Masada

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Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

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Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

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Dead Sea

Dead Sea

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Church of All Nations

Church of All Nations

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Garden of Gethsemane

Garden of Gethsemane

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Wadi Qelt

Wadi Qelt

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Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

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The Room of the Last Supper

The Room of the Last Supper

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Zedekiah’s Cave

Zedekiah’s Cave

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The Jean Bonnet Tavern
The Jean Bonnet Tavern

The Jean Bonnet Tavern

The Jean Bonnet Tavern is a historic bed and breakfast that hosts many who travel between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In 1791, it became a popular stop for angry whiskey distillers to conspire against the opposition -- the US government. 960 1280

  

Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino

Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino

Today, you won't find gold in Deadwood. But visitors can try to strike it rich at the Mineral Palace Hotel and Casino (formally the Gem Saloon). George Hearst visited Deadwood in the early 1800s, and it’s where he purchased his first gold mine and newspaper belonging to the town of Deadwood. 960 1280

  

Grand Cavern Canyons

Grand Cavern Canyons

Tour the Grand Cavern Canyons, and if you’re strong enough, stay at the elaborate, luxurious and extremely isolated underground hotel suite. 960 1280

  

Summit Inn

Summit Inn

Almost 100 years ago, the Summit Inn sheltered 3 drunken vagabonds during an epic rainstorm. Those 3 men were Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and Thomas Edison who were testing their inventions up and down the mountain upon which Summit Inn is located. 960 1280

  

The Golden Lamb Hotel

The Golden Lamb Hotel

The Golden Lamb Hotel looks much like it did during the murder case of Thomas S. Myers. Clement Vallandigham, lawyer for the accused, accidentally shot himself in the lobby of the hotel while trying to prove a point. 960 1280

  

St. Nicholas Hotel

St. Nicholas Hotel

Illinois’ St. Nicholas Hotel, the location where there was an attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln’s corpse in 1876, still stands today. 960 1280

  

Congress Plaza Hotel

Congress Plaza Hotel

Standing amidst Chicago’s skyscrapers, the historic, 14-story Congress Plaza Hotel is where professional thief Adam Worth exchanged the Duchess of Devonshire painting with famed detective William Pinkerton for $25,000. 960 1280

  

Hyatt at The Bellevue

Hyatt at The Bellevue

Even after its modern updates, the now Hyatt at The Bellevue in Philadelphia is decorated with chandeliers designed by Thomas Edison himself, which offers guests a glimpse of what it was like when it first opened its doors in 1904. 960 1280

  

Hotel Del Sol

Hotel Del Sol

Located in San Francisco’s Marina District, Hotel Del Sol is where the CIA covertly conducted MKULTRA -- an experiment in which American citizens were given large doses of LSD for research purposes in 1957. 960 1280

  

The Pollard

The Pollard

The Pollard Hotel, located near Yellowstone National Park in Montana, was once robbed by The Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch. 960 1280

  

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Today, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is every bit as luxurious as it was in 1928 when Elliot Ness used it as an interrogation headquarters to assist in a case against Dr. Frank Sweeney who was accused of murder. 960 1280

  

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel has been the location of some scandalous affairs, including a bribery that went south between government crony Charles Forbes and private contractors. Forbes was caught and sentenced to 2 years in prison after an unsuccessful escape to Europe. 960 1280

  

InterContinental The Willard Hotel

InterContinental The Willard Hotel

The Occidental Grill inside InterContinental The Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, is where KGB agent Alexander Feklisov and ABC News correspondent John Scali met to strategize on how to breakthrough international political barriers in order to broker a peace agreement between the US and Soviet Union. 960 1280

  

The Engleside Inn

The Engleside Inn

Having set the stage for the bestselling novel and blockbuster film "Jaws," The Engleside Inn’s beachfront property in New Jersey saw its fair share of legs and limbs in 1916. Two bystanders pulled a swimmer missing half his leg onto the shore. In the following days, more swimmers were killed before famed lion tamer Michael Schliesser slayed a rogue great white shark near the town of Matawan. 960 1280

  

Surratt House

Surratt House

It was at Washington, DC's Surratt House where actor John Wilkes Booth, and 3 other people, agreed to simultaneously assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. But when they put their devious plan into action on April 14, 1865, only 1 of the 3 dangerous conspirators succeeded. 960 1280

  

fron of the Kedron Valley Inn

fron of the Kedron Valley Inn

In 1817, the Kedron Valley Inn, located in South Woodstock, VT, was the site of a terrible and mysterious outbreak that panicked the town into paranoia, thinking that vampires were to blame for the numerous deaths. Several years later, scientists discovered that tuberculosis was the cause of the outbreak. 960 1280

  

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel

In 1934, in the beautiful lobby lounge of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, Paula Harmon, girlfriend of the infamous gangster Alvin Karpis, was arrested by the FBI. Paula worked with the FBI to uncover the whereabouts of Karpis’ gang, which led to the arrest of all gang members several months later. 960 1280

  

76 House in Tappan, NY

76 House in Tappan, NY

American General Benedict Arnold was captured and taken to the old 76 House in Tappan, NY, where he was interrogated. General Arnold attempted to reveal classified information regarding West Point in exchange for a high command in the British Army. To this day, guests come from around the country to hang out in one of the nation’s oldest establishments, and to check out the upside down picture of the famous traitor whose plot was exposed. 960 1280

  

Meeker Hotel in Meeker Colorado

Meeker Hotel in Meeker Colorado

In the late 1800s, the Meeker Hotel in Meeker, CO, was the first National Bank Building. During that time, 3 associates of the Wild Bunch gang attempted to rob the bank but their plans were spoiled when the town banded together and put a stop to the robbery. Today, the Meeker Hotel’s lobby is complete with the log burning stove that warmed road-weary travelers for more than a century. 960 1280

  

La Playa Hotel in Carmel California

La Playa Hotel in Carmel California

In 1983, the then smaller tech company known as Apple, held a company retreat at La Playa Hotel in Carmel, CA. The company was celebrating* its newest computer: LISA. At the same time, Steve Jobs was developing his Mac, at another unknown location.
* Apple was banned from La Playa Hotel for 30 years. 960 1280

  

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC

In 1963, the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC, hosted civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. the night before his famous "I Have a Dream Speech." 960 1280

  

Sheraton Sand Key

Sheraton Sand Key

Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, FL, was once the location for one of the hottest scandals in the 1980s. Evidence of an affair between Jessica Hahn and millionaire-televangelist Jim Bakker, led Bakker to pay Hahn a quarter of a million dollars to keep the affair a secret. 960 1280

  

World’s Fair Hotel

World’s Fair Hotel

In the late 1800s, Chicago master swindler H.H. Holmes enticed World's Fair visitors to stay at his aptly named "World’s Fair Hotel." However, Holmes does not intend to let his guests check out. He captures, murders and eliminates his victims' bodies for years before he's arrested and confesses to the gruesome crimes. Holmes is subsequently hanged, and goes down in history as America's first serial killer. 960 1280

  

The Hotel Hershey

The Hotel Hershey

The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA, hosted American spy Amy Elizabeth Pack and her mark, pro-Nazi French diplomat, Charles Brousse in 1942. The two were nearly caught cracking into a safe containing intel that would benefit Allied forces during World War II. 960 1280

  

The Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle is the hotel of choice for rock ‘n’ roll musicians past and present, including The Beatles, Kiss, The Beach Boys, Ray Charles and countless others. 960 1280

  

Century Inn

Century Inn

Just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, is the historic Century Inn. Former President Andrew Jackson, known as "Old Hickory" for being "tough as nails," was a regular guest at the hotel. Visit the hotel today to see their largest collection of historic antiques and have a stay in Andrew Jackson's room. 960 1280

  

The Drake Hotel in Chicago

The Drake Hotel in Chicago

The Drake Hotel in Chicago has hosted many famous socialites. But in 1924 the popular hotel became a refuge for the family of Bobby Franks who was murdered by 2 young socialites -- Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb -- who thought they'd committed the perfect crime until a simple mistake cost them more than 100 years in prison. 960 1280

  

Wolf Creek Tavern Inn

Wolf Creek Tavern Inn

The Wolf Creek Inn was a popular pit stop for stagecoach drivers in the 1800s including the most popular Charley Parkhurst a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver responsible for delivering gold along the Oregon Trail. 960 1280

  

Sitting room of Triangle T Guest Ranch

Sitting room of Triangle T Guest Ranch

Located in Dragoon AZ Triangle T Guest Ranch once housed detained Japanese officials accused of spying on American Navy vessels prior to the December 7 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. 960 1280

  

St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

During a 1916 presidential campaign luncheon for candidate Charles Evans Hughes (who ran and lost against Woodrow Wilson) members of the wait staff from San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel staged a walkout in support of the Union since it was rumored that Hughes was not a Union supporter. The legendary chef Victor Hirtzler of the St. Francis Hotel proceeded with the luncheon for the presidential hopeful -- serving the meal with only the support of his cooks. 960 1280

  

Dining Hall of Palace Hotel

Dining Hall of Palace Hotel

Guests of San Francisco's Palace Hotel can still stay in the Presidential Suite Room 888 where President Warren G. Harding died in 1924. To this day no one is certain of the cause of death. 960 1280

  

Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park

Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park

Visitors traveling to Yosemite National Park can stay at the Wawona Hotel, about 4 miles from the park's south entrance. Walk along the same trail that welcomed President Theodore Roosevelt and author John Muir in 1903. 960 1280

  

The Don Vicente Inn in Ybor City Florida

The Don Vicente Inn in Ybor City Florida

The Don Vicente Inn in Ybor City, FL, was once a medical clinic and the location for a popular gambling game called Bolita, played by many Cuban immigrants to pass the time. After the clinic was shut down, the establishment remained unused for 30 years. 960 1280

Chris Darnell  

Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown Kentucky

Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown Kentucky

It's believed that in 1807 Vice President Aaron Burr conducted secret meetings regarding seceding from the United States at Old Talbott Tavern in Bardstown KY. 960 1280

  

Fairweather Inn in Bannack Montana

Fairweather Inn in Bannack Montana

In the 1860s, during the height of the Montana gold rush, the Fairweather Inn in Bannack, MT, (now located in Virginia City) was a stomping ground for several miners, stage coachmen and "road agents," looking to rob coachmen of their gold. 960 1280

  

Franklin House Hotel

Franklin House Hotel

Constructed in 1836 in Alton, IL, the Franklin House Hotel is where Abraham Lincoln stayed during his last debate with Senator Stephen A. Douglas prior to being elected president in 1860. Today, the hotel is a carefully restored apartment building named the Lincoln Lofts. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Idaho Hotel

Idaho Hotel

Located in Silver City, ID, -- a ghost town that was once a gold and silver mining town -- the Idaho Hotel is the location of the deadly shooting between mining rivals J. Marion Moore and Samuel Lockhart in1868. 960 1280

  

International Palms Resort

International Palms Resort

Nestled along the pristine beaches of Cocoa Beach, FL, is the International Palms Resort, once the Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach, where legendary astronaut John Glenn anxiously awaited a phone call from NASA that nearly started World War III. 960 1280

  

Everglades Historical Bed and Breakfast

Everglades Historical Bed and Breakfast

The Everglades Historical Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City, FL, is where wealthy industrialist Barron Collier started the Everglades Bank and printed his own money. Parts of the old bank, including the vault and adding machines, remain on display in the hotel today. 960 1280

  

General Warren Inne

General Warren Inne

Once owned by John Penn, the General Warren Inne, located in Malvern, PA, is where the 1777 Paoli Massacre was planned and fought during the American Revolutionary War. 960 1280

  

Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel

Thomas "Fatty" Walsh, a notorious New Yorker gangster, was killed at the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, after a gambling dispute. 960 1280

  

The Planter's Inn Hotel

The Planter's Inn Hotel

In 1848, The Planter's Hotel, now The Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, SC, accommodated 2 slaves, Ellen and William Craft, who escaped from slavery in Georgia and headed north via train to the “free states.” A fair-skinned Ellen Craft disguised herself as a man. Her travel partner was her husband, William Craft, who played along as her "slave." 960 1280

  

Grinder's Stand or Inn

Grinder's Stand or Inn

The Grinder's Stand or "inn" is located along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Lewis County, TN. It was the final destination of explorer Meriwether Lewis of the famous Lewis and Clark. The accounts of Lewis’ final days are a mystery. Did he commit suicide or was he murdered at The Grinder's Stand? Evidence speaks to both possible outcomes. 960 1280

  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Jekyll Island Club Hotel

A group of America's wealthiest and most influential men -- senators, secretaries of state, financial brokers and more -- would disguise themselves as duck hunters and meet at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia to discuss major issues that ultimately would affect what’s happening in the world today. 960 1280

  

Pollard Hotel

Pollard Hotel

Pollard Hotel located in Red Lodge, MT, was once the home of Carbon County Bank, a bank that the Sundance Kid (Harry Longbaugh) attempted to rob in 1897. 960 1280

  

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC

Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington DC

The exterior of the beautiful Willard Intercontinental Hotel is where Abraham Lincoln and his family arrived safely, and stayed undetected for weeks before his inauguration, all under the security of John Pinkerton's men -- including the first woman detective, Kate Warne. 960 1280

  

Culver Hotel in Culver City California

Culver Hotel in Culver City California

In 1939, The Culver Hotel in Culver City, CA, was home to hundreds of munchkins during the filming of The Wizard of Oz. 960 1280

  

The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville Kentucky

The Seelbach Hotel in Louisville Kentucky

Between encounters with a local bootlegger by the name of George Remus, who would be the inspiration behind Jay Gatsby, and the extravagant parties held in the hotel's grand ballrooms, The Seelbach Hotel, in Louisville, KY, would eventually inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald to write The Great Gatsby. 960 1280

  

Black and white photo of Hotel Gilpatrick

Black and white photo of Hotel Gilpatrick

On October 14, 1912, President Theodore Roosevelt was leaving Hotel Gilpatrick (now the Hyatt Regency), for the Milwaukee Auditorium to give a campaign speech, when would-be assassin John Schrank pulled a gun on Roosevelt, shooting him in the chest. After realizing the gun wound posed no serious threat to his life, Roosevelt continued on, giving his 80-minute campaign speech. The bullet remained in Roosevelt for the rest of his life. 960 1280

  

Little Bohemia Lodge

Little Bohemia Lodge

Located off of Highway 51 in Manitowish Waters, WI, Little Bohemia Lodge was the location of the famous shootout between the FBI and the Dillinger Gang (known for their bank robberies), with known members John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson. The lodge was also the modern set for the movie Public Enemies, featuring Johnny Depp. 960 1280

  

Mammoth Cave Hotel

Mammoth Cave Hotel

Mammoth Cave Hotel is located adjacent from the entrance to the caves. A sight to behold, Mammoth Cave is a long-standing and popular tourist attraction in Kentucky. Slaves were used as tour guides in the 1800s and often left their distinct marks on the cave walls. 960 1280

Library of Congress  

Crescent Hotel in Arkansas

Crescent Hotel in Arkansas

During the 1930s, Norman Baker claimed to be a doctor and brought a "cure" for cancer to the city of Eureka Springs, AK. Today, at the Crescent Hotel, tourists can hear ghost stories and watch portrayals of the infamous phony. 960 1280

  

Ellis Bed and Breakfast

Ellis Bed and Breakfast

Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid spent 2 years hunting down members of a rival gang to avenge a friend's murder. A 5-day gun battle ensues when Billy is surrounded by authorities at New Mexico's Ellis Store (now a bed and breakfast). 960 1280

  

Galt House Hotel

Galt House Hotel

Civil War icon Gen. William “Bull” Nelson ruled over Louisville, KY, and his troops with an iron fist. In 1862, Nelson dismissed Gen. Jefferson C. Davis for shirking his duties. The 2 men argued in the lobby of The Galt House (now the Galt House Hotel), where Davis shot and killed Nelson. 960 1280

  

Merchants Hotel

Merchants Hotel

During the 1850s, a human-trafficking ring started in the tunnels under the Merchant Hotel in Portland, OR. Sailors drinking at the Hobo's Bar in the hotel lobby would be drugged and tossed aboard cargo vessels headed for Shanghai. Portland Walking Tours offer underground tours starting at Hobo’s Restaurant or The Old Town Pizza Shop, all on the same block as the Merchant building, which is now office space. 960 1280

  

La Fonda Hotel

La Fonda Hotel

The La Fonda Hotel located in Santa Fe is roughly 45 minutes from the nearby town of La Alamos, where scientists crafted the Manhattan Project – a program to create the first atomic bomb. Visitors who come to Santa Fe for its artsy atmosphere, food and restaurants, can also experience top-secret US history. 960 1280

  

Beekman Arms Inn

Beekman Arms Inn

Situated in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley, the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck was the scene of a heated political showdown between former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr, which lead to one of America's most infamous duels. 960 1280

Chris Darnell  

Alaska Building in Seattle

Alaska Building in Seattle

In 1902 Seattle Mayor J. Thomas Humes turned the Alaska Building into a 100-room brothel, officially legalizing prostitution in the city. 960 1280

  

City Center Inn in Bozeman MT

City Center Inn in Bozeman MT

An esteemed art dealer planned to steal a pair of paintings valued at nearly $200,000 until the FBI tracked him down at the secluded City Center Inn in Bozeman, MT. 960 1280

  

Hotel Washington now the W Hotel in DC

Hotel Washington now the W Hotel in DC

A mysterious man by the name of John Burrows first visited Hotel Washington (now the W Hotel) before a scheduled meeting with President Nixon. John Burrows turned out to be an alias for Elvis Presley, who was meeting with Nixon to discuss “hippies” and counterculture in America. Elvis, an avid badge collector, gifted Nixon a Colt 45, and in return, received a federal agent badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The badge can be seen today at Graceland. 960 1280

  

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado

The grand exterior of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, is famous for inspiring one of the greatest books of all time -- "The Shining" by Stephen King. 960 1280

Christian Kober  

The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco

Exterior shot of The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, where Hollywood superstar Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle was accused of murder after a wild hotel room party. 960 1280

  

The Patee House museum in Missouri

The Patee House museum in Missouri

The Patee House Museum, formerly a hotel, is famous for being the first place of refuge that Jesse James' widow turned to immediately following his murder. The museum is located at 1202 Penn St in St. Joseph, MO. 960 1280

Photo by Doug Cornelius through Creative Commons, and it's license, This work has been modified.  

Omni Parker House Hotel

Omni Parker House Hotel

Eight days before assassinating President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth checked into the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Hack House
The House That Sugar Built

The House That Sugar Built

In 1883, a chemist named Henry Friend claims to have invented a process that would forever change the time-consuming and expensive sugar-refining industry, but his whole process is revealed to be a fraud.  When he falls ill and passes away, his wife Olive moves back to their hometown of Milan, IL, and builds a sprawling Victorian mansion.  960 1280

  

The House That Sugar Built

The House That Sugar Built

The home that sugar built, now known as Hack House and listed on the National Historic register, stands as a monument to the huckster’s sweet swindle in Milan, MI.  Two stories tall with a gable roof, this home provided a haven for a family whose success was built on a business deal that was so sweet it was impossible for some to resist. 960 1280

  

The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment

Now a thriving 1,200-acre industrial campus, the Philadelphia Navy Yard once produced some of the US Navy’s greatest battleships.  Some believe this was also the site of a covert government experiment that defied the laws of physics. 960 1280

  

The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment

In 1943, the USS Eldridge is said to have disappeared and reappeared out of thin air.  In an effort to protect their clumsy, slow moving destroyers from Nazi U-boats, the US Navy set up electromagnetic fields around the Eldridge. But when the ship’s generators are flipped on, a mysterious green fog engulfs the Eldridge.  The fantastical details of "The Philadelphia Experiment" continues to be one of the most enduring conspiracy theories of the modern age. 960 1280

  

Kill Dozer

Kill Dozer

In 2004, 52-year-old Marvin Heemeyer outfits a bulldozer with reinforced steel and heavy weaponry.  He rampages through the town of Granby for several hours while police stand by helpless.  Once he’s identified as the driver, it’s revealed that Heemeyer had a long standing resentment against the city government regarding a zoning issue that affected the muffler shop he owned.  960 1280

  

Servant Girl Serial Killer

Servant Girl Serial Killer

After numerous servant girls are found murdered in Austin, TX, the people of the city desperately search for ways to make the city safer.  So in 1895, 31-colossal light towers are constructed, placed around the city and become known as the Moonlight Towers. They cast 6,400 watts of bright light that spreads out over 3,000 feet, enveloping the city in its protective radiance. 960 1280

  

Servant Girl Serial Killer

Servant Girl Serial Killer

Looming above this eclectic metropolis are 17 mysterious yet colossal structures that nearly scrape the skies above.  The Moonlight Towers stand 165 feet tall, weigh about 5,000 pounds and are each topped with 6 mercury-vapor bulbs. According to local legend, the inspiration for these towers came from the darkest era in the city’s history. 960 1280

  

Cherry Mine Disaster

Cherry Mine Disaster

In 1909, Cherry, IL, witnesses one of the worst mining disasters in US history.  A fire in the town’s mine traps 259 men and boys within.  Only 22 men survive the ordeal, led by George Eddy.  After 8 days of darkness and dissipating oxygen, the men break out of the tomb, and they are miraculously met with a rescue party.  960 1280

  

Cherry Mine Disaster

Cherry Mine Disaster

In Cherry’s town cemetery, 2 tall, pyramid-shaped slabs of reddish marble, each etched with row upon row of long-forgotten names, sit on display.  Wedged between both is a gray and black industrial scene capped by the Illinois state and US flags. 960 1280

  

Rocking Chair Riots

Rocking Chair Riots

In 1901, British entrepreneur Oscar Spate presents the idea of using chic wicker-cushioned rocking chairs in Central Park instead of park benches. For 5 cents, the customer would have the right to relax in the chair for as long as they’d like between the hours of 10 am and 10 pm.  But when park-goers are told that they have to pay to sit in the shady area of the park, a full-scale riot occurs.  960 1280

  

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