How Haunted Is Your State?
For the first time ever, Travel Channel has compiled a ranking of how haunted each state is based on how many times our paranormal teams have been called to investigate. Using data from shows like Ghost Adventures, Kindred Spirits, Portals to Hell and more, we have a comprehensive list of where hauntings occur, including America's most haunted city. Can you guess where your state ranks on the list? The findings may surpise you.
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If you live in Delaware, you can sleep sound knowing you’re in the least haunted state in America. But before you get too comfortable, don’t forget that even Delaware has its ghosts … Fort Delaware is easily the state’s most haunted site. Here, captured confederate soldiers were held in gruesome conditions. Some reports claim that imprisoned soldiers even used to fight over rats to eat. These days, footsteps, ghostly voices and gunshots are still heard from all corners of the fort.
In Stowe, Emily’s Bridge is named after Emily, a young girl who was stood up by her boyfriend and hung herself. Motorists regularly see a strange apparition dangling from the rafters. The sounds of tapdancing can be heard at the Green Mountain Inn … even though nobody is there. And even the famed Trapp Family lodge, founded by the Von Trapp family after escaping Europe, is said to have its ghosts.
43. Tie - Maryland
Fort McHenry is where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner, but it’s also where countless solders lost their life. Many visitors still see a man in confederate garb march through the fort and then dissapear into thin air. At the Jericho Covered Bridge in Kingsville, spirits are regularly seen swinging from the rafters, and Baltimore hosts a whole paranomral community of its own.
43. Tie - North Dakota
The San Haven Sanatorium was once used to “treat” tuberculosis. Sadly, around half of all patients at San Haven died. With its remote location it was hard to receive proper care, especially before the advent of antibiotics. When walking through the abandoned structure, many still hear the sounds of children’s voices. Another haunted spot is Fort Abraham Lincoln, and in particular, Custer’s House, which sits on the property. The house is so infamously haunted that they even turn it into a haunted house every October to really give people a good scare.
43. Tie - Hawaii
From the Kawaiahao Church Cemetery, to the burial mound at Iolani Palace, Hawaii has more than just pristine beaches and great surf. Oh, also, never carry pork over the Nuuanu Pali; if you do, you’ll find yourself in trouble.
43. Tie - Rhode Island
Rhode island may be America’s smallest state, but it certainly isn’t its least haunted. In Rhode Island you can find the grave of Mercy L. Brown, who was believed to be a vampire. When they exumed her body, they found no signs of decompostion and there was still blood in her heart. It’s also thought that she was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In a nearby town sits the rural farmhouse where the Perron family fought off an evil spirit with the help of the Warrens. These events served as the basis for The Conjuring.
43. Tie - Maine
Mary Nasson was known to be a witch, and after she was buried, they placed a large stone over her grave to make sure she couldn’t rise up during the night. At the Old Straw House, Hannah Straw was buried underneath the kitchen’s floorboards and her apparition is still seen regularly. The Wadsworth-Longfellow House in the seaside town of Portland is now a museum that offers tours of Maine’s history. And don’t be too shocked if you happen to hear and see some ghosts of the past. The house is one of Maine’s most haunted.
43. Tie - Nebraska
At Antelope Park in Lincoln, shadowy figures linger around the swing set where a man hung himself years ago, and at Concordia University, showers and appliances turn on and off at will. But most notably, in Nebraska sits the ranch of famed cowboy Buffalo Bill. Many have investigated the property and report high levels of activity, some even believe the spirit is that of Buffalo Bill himself.
40. Tie - Mississippi
At the Kings Tavern, three skeletons, two men and one woman, were found buried inside a wall behind the fireplace. One can only imagine what the scenario was, but what is known is that the female skeleton was that of Madeline, the mistress of the tavern’s original owner. Madeline is known for her demonstrative attempts at attention, like suddenly appearing in mirrors to scare the tavern’s patrons. Other haunted spots include the McRaven Home and the Vicksburg National Military Park.
40. Tie - Wyoming
The Wyoming Frontier Prison held some of the state's most dastardly convicts. Annie Bruce once killed her father with a poisoned pie, claiming, “While I was in the act of making the pies, a feeling or a wish came over me to kill someone … and this feeling, I could not resist.” Another inmate, Henry Edmonson, killed his daughter’s lover because he didn’t approve of her choices. These inmates still reside in the prison, making sure to torment all who enter. Aside from the prison, the town of Jackson holds its own ghost stories. While Wyoming may be America’s least populated state, it certainly isn’t the least haunted.
40. Tie - Alaska
At the Alaskan Hotel, vengeful ghosts of the past are still extremely active. A man even threw himself out a window as he was being attacked by an unknown force. Another haunted spot is Circle Hot Springs Resort, where doors are known to swing open, and a strange whistling sound follows guests for long distances. Even Racers in the Iditarod have reported seeing ghostly apparitions on the trails. Alaska is massive, so there’s no telling what could be lurking deep within the forests and mountains.
34. Tie - New Hampshire
In a rural home, a spirit attacks a family and their child. At the Kimball Castle, antique clocks that have been dead for years spontaneously begin counting time again. And let’s not forget the Mount Washington Hotel. Mount Washington is the highest peak in New England, and its climate is infamously erratic. In fact, the Mount hold the world record for fastest winds in the Western Hemisphere, which have clocked in at speeds of 231 mph. Many hikers have never returned from Mount Washington, but their spirits have taken a liking to the warmth of the stately resort.
34. Tie - South Dakota
The Wild West is synonymous with Deadwood. This is where the likes Wild Bill and Calamity Jane made their names legendary. The west was known for being lawless, and with a reputation like that, you can imagine the countless atrocities that happened here. When Deadwood is referred to as a ghost town, it takes on a whole new meaning.
34. Tie - South Carolina
Charleston was once the shining gem of the Antebellum South. Now, It’s full of Southern spirits. The Old Charleston Jail operated from 1802 to 1939. In this period, the jail locked away pirates, civil war prisoners and secrets. Two prisoners, Lavinia and John Fisher, were hotel owners who enjoyed luring lone men to their inn and then poisoning them. Once dead, they would rob the corpse and dispose of the evidence. They’re just a few of the tormented souls who still haunt the historic jail. Other haunted locations include the Blind Tiger Pub and the Dock Street Theatre.
34. Tie - Oklahoma
Zozo is a demon who has harassed countless victims who dared to play with a Ouija board. But one home in Oklahoma City knows this all too well. Stories of the Zozo demon became so numerous that a movie was eventually made of the demonic presence. Another infamously haunted spot in Oklahoma is the Stone Lion Inn.
34. Tie - Wisconsin
Wisconsin was home to Ed Gien, the fiendish killer who inspired The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs, and Psycho. If that isn’t scary enough, the state is also home to the Pfister Hotel. The hotel regularly sees high-profile guests like sports teams and entertainers. Many have reported bizarre events like radios endlessly turning on and off by themselves and furniture being moved throughout the night. The state also seems to be home to malicious lingering spirits...
34. Tie - Minnesota
The Palmer House in Sauk Centre leaves guests with the chills ... literally. They hear the sounds of voices, feel aggressive fluctuations in temperature, and most commonly, the sounds of a bouncing ball fills the corridors, even though no one is there. Other paranormal places include the Wabasha Street Caves and the Redwood County Museum.
28. Tie - Virginia
Williamsburg is one of the nation’s best preserved colonial towns. It’s also home to some of America’s most well-known ghost tales, especially that of Lady Ann Skipwith. The legend states that one night she and her husband had a falling out. She left in a huff, breaking one of her heels in the process. Later that night, she took her own life. Now, visitors of the George Wythe House can hear the sound of one solitary heel climbing the staircase. Also in Williamsburg is the haunted Peyton Williams House, among many others.
28. Tie - Kansas
Kansas is the state of haunted of houses. The Valie Mansion, the Alexander Majors House, the John Wornall House, and most famous, the Sallie House. Once the home and office of a physician, the Sallie House is said to be haunted by a 6-year-old girl who died on the operating table during a botched appendectomy.
28. Tie - Arkansas
The Crescent Hotel has visitors who get lightheaded and some who pass out unexpectedly. This, as well as apparitions, strange sounds, and disembodied voices all happen in a part of the hotel that was once used as a “cancer curing” hospital in the '30s. Bizarre treatments and ailing patients once inhabited what is now a hotel. It’s the perfect storm for intense hauntings. Another of Arkansas’ haunted spots is Fort Chaffee.
28. Tie - Idaho
If you think Idaho is nothing but potatoes, think again. The Idaho State Penitentiary once held serial killers, and lacked plumbing and heating, forcing the prisoners to live in constant misery. Now the site is open for tours as part of the historical society, and both guests and tour guides alike experience strange sensations and feel dark spirits hiding in the cells. Other ghostly spots include the Lava Hot Springs Inn and the Idaho State Reform School.
28. Tie - Alabama
Sloss Furnaces is easily Alabama’s creepiest spot. The old facility produced iron and had a menacing foreman who watched over the men on the graveyard shift. His nickname was ‘Slag’ and he cut every corner possible to get things done quicker. This led to over 40 men dying under his watch and countless others being seriously injured. One night, workers fed up with the abuse pushed slag into the furnace, trapping his soul in the factory forever. Other haunted sites include the Redmont Hotel and the Drish House.
28. Tie - Iowa
The Iowa Caucus might be one of the most famous political events, but true crime fans know Iowa for something else: The Villisca axe murders. In June of 1912, eight people were murdered by an axe in one night. The killer was never fully identified (and many wonder how a single man could kill eight people without anyone escaping) and the case remains open. The victims are said to still haunt the very house they were killed in. The Franklin Hotel and Oakland Cemetery are some of Iowa's other haunted spots.
27. New Jersey
One of New Jersey’s strangest hauntings happened at the Speakeatery, a restaurant that used to be the now-closed Plan B Restaurant in Asbury Park. The owner complained of strange sounds, footsteps, and a cold presence in the basement. Upon investigation, it turned out that there had been a brutal murder back when the location was an antique shop. Another paranormal hotspot is the Pine Barrens, a forest that's home to the Jersey Devil, witches and spirits.
Similar to other Western states, Montana had its fair share of boomtowns, where desperate miners would flock to the hills looking for fortune. With the miners came prostitution and gambling, followed by crime. Now, places like Bannack sit empty, as nothing more than hollow shells of the dreams that died there when the gold disappeared. Other haunted spots include the Twin Bridges Orphanage and the Old Montana State Prison.
Remington was once the largest ammunitions manufacturer in the world. Their factory in Bridgeport was designed for quantity, not quality, and many lives were lost in the extremely unsafe conditions. Throughout its operation, the factory experienced multiple explosions and machine-related incidents that killed numerous workers. The abandoned building is now home to squatters and spirits. Other haunted spots include the Mark Twain House and the Shubert Theater.
22. Tie - Tennessee
There are some very famous haunted spots in Tennessee. A farming community came under attack from an unseen specter. This dark force became known as the Bell Witch, and served as the inspiration for the Blair Witch Project. Another famous paranormal spot in Tennessee is the haunted plantation in Hurricane Mills owned by none other than Loretta Lynn herself.
22. Tie - Oregon
Oregon has numerous haunted sites like the Wolf Creek Inn and the abandoned ghost town of Golden. But most notable are Portland’s nefarious Shanghai tunnels. Beneath the bars and hotels of Portland lies a system of underground tunnels where drunken men would be kidnapped and sold to pirates. The tunnels lead straight to the docks, where men would wake up from their drunken daze onboard a ship, miles offshore. Uncooperative victims would end up murdered in the tunnels, where they remain to this day.
22. Tie - North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is America’s largest home; it’s also one of America’s most haunted. Built by the wealthy Vanderbilt family, the mansion is said to have a headless cat that roams the gardens, and visitors to the mansion regularly hear the voice George Vanderbilt himself as they wander through the study. Another famously haunted location in North Carolina is the Mayo House.
18. Tie - West Virginia
Everyone knows of the West Virginia town Point Pleasant, where the Mothman and the Men in Black were spotted numerous times in the '60s. Also packing a paranormal punch is the Trans-Allegheny Asylum. The asylum housed drug addicts, the mentally ill, and those with disabilities. It was severely overcrowded and the sanitation was unbearably bad. In the '90s the institution was forced to close, but throughout its history, countless souls were lost within its walls. It’s a favorite for ghost hunters because of its high levels of paranormal activity.
18. Tie - New Mexico
The St. James Hotel was at the center of the old west. Jesse James and Buffalo Bill both stayed at the hotel, and one night, gunslinger T.J. Wright won the hotel in a poker game. Immediately after, he was shot in the back. Wright crawled his way into room 18, where he died. The room remains locked to this day, reserved solely for Wright’s ghost who still watches over the hotel. On the other end of the state sits Skinwalker Ranch, where everything from UFOs to bigfoot, shapeshifters, glowing orbs, and apparitions have been seen. It’s recognized as one of the most paranormal places on the entire planet.
18. Tie - Michigan
Michigan hosts a number of haunted sites. From the Whitney Restaurant and Michigan Central Station in the urban metropolis of Detroit, to the lakeside Terrace Inn in Petoskey, and even out to rural a farmhouse in St. Charles that led to some startling revelations during an investigation from the Dead Files team.
18. Tie - Georgia
Savannah is the paranormal hotbed of Georgia, and the city's most notorious crime was the 1909 axe murders of three women in downtown. Making matters worse, racial tension of the time led the white southerners to immediately blame the African American community. Hundreds of African Americans were rounded up and placed in jails to await interrogation. However, one of the women had managed to survive the attack, and just before she died of blood loss, she told the authorities it was in fact her ex-husband who attacked her. The injustice and pain associated with this crime has caused the sensational story to live on forever, just like the spirits of the slain women who still inhabit the Gribble House. Other haunted Savannah spots include the Sorrel Weed House and the infamous Mercer-Williams House, which became the focalpoint of the famous story Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Herb Baumeister was one of Indiana’s most elusive serial killers. He’d find men at bars and lure them back to his farm, only to kill them. Police started to catch on to the crimes and arrived at Baumeister’s door. His wife was shocked at the allegations, but as time went on and police continued piecing the clues together, Herb’s attitude became erratic. So much so that his wife filed for divorce … and a restraining order. While he was out on vacation, a secret investigation of the farm took place, uncovering 11 bodies. Many say those souls haven’t yet crossed over and remain trapped at Fox Hollow Farm. Other haunted spots in Indiana include the Black Moon and Thornhaven manors.
15. Tie - Florida
Completed in 1695, the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine is one of the oldest forts in America. It’s survived numerous wars and has had many people live and work within its walls. One of the most notable was Dolores Martis, wife of Colonel Garcia Martis. Deloris would sneak away at night to meet with her lover, Captain Manuel Abela. Her husband caught on to the affair, and soon after both Dolores and Captain Manuel went missing … until two skeletons were unearthed from one of the fort’s dungeons. It’s said that their ghosts still haunt the grounds and are regularly seen.
15. Tie- Colorado
Everyone knows the Stanley Hotel. Stephen King stayed there the night before it was going to close for the season. He and his wife Tabitha were the only visitors in the entire resort. King wandered the empty halls, feeling a strange and terrifying inspiration. That night he had horrible nightmares of his son being chased through the hotel by something evil. He jolted awake, drenched in sweat, almost falling out of bed. Thus began The Shining.
13. Tie - Kentucky
Bobby Macky’s Music World attracts visitors from around the globe. Built in an old slaughterhouse that was turned into a sleazy roadside motel, the current honky-tonk has inherited the building’s undying legacy. Most notably, that of Pearl Bryan whose body was found nearby. It’s rumored that her murderers were Satanists who put a curse on the grounds surrounding the bar. Another globally known hotspot in Kentucky is the Waverly Hills Sanitorium.
13. Tie - Washington
Everyone in Washington knows the legendary Manresa Castle in the town of Port Townshend. Built over a hundred years ago, the castle was originally a private estate and has since been turned into a hotel. Throughout the century, the hotel has seen dark days. In room 302, a priest once hung himself, and in room 306, a young women once threw herself from a window after learning her fiancé had been lost at sea. It seems the ghosts of the 3rd floor still have a story to tell, seeing as they frequently haunt guests. The St. Ignatius Hospital in Colfax is another of the state's most haunted spots.
11. Tie - Illinois
The abandoned Ashmore Estates, a former almshouse turned psychiatric facility, sat empty for twenty years with squatters and vandalizers being the only ones stepping foot inside. But soon, the squatters wouldn't even enter after many experienced poltergeists, full-body apparitions, and the sounds of endless crying. In Chicago, the former Chicago Historical Society Building was used as a makeshift morgue in the early 1900’s and was later turned into Excalibur, one of Chicago’s most hedonistic clubs, run by an infamous drug lord. What happened inside these walls remain unknown, but what is known are the spirits who remain trapped inside.
11. Tie - Utah
In Utah, St. Ann’s Retreat is infamous for its nefarious history as well as the very true story of a group of teens who snuck into the camp one night hoping to solve the mysterious tales. The teens were captured, tied up, and held captive by the camp’s watchman until police arrived. The question that locals keep asking is, what were they hiding? Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant is another frightening locale considered to be one of the state’s most haunted. Also in Utah is Kay's Cross, which many believe was created by an extremist cult.
The Big Easy, swamps, plantations … is it any wonder that Louisiana would finish off our top ten? Magnolia, a former cotton plantation, had slaves that reportedly used voodoo to torment their captors, and this black magic has caused many souls to become trapped within the home. The LaLaurie Mansion is another haunted house with a legendary history. The stories from within its walls even helped inspire the third season of American Horror Story.
8. Tie - Missouri
There’s a home in Missouri that most people know about, they just don’t know it. In St. Louis sits the house where the young Ronald Doe became victim to demonic possession. The priest called in to investigate kept detailed records of the events, and these later became the basis for the groundbreaking film The Exorcist. In Branson, the Titanic Museum is also home to ghostly activity. The museum is filled with actual relics brought up from the sunken ship. Some of these items have brought attached spirits with them and numerous guests have reported strange encounters in the museum.
8. Tie - Massachusetts
New England is another one of America’s haunted hotspots. Massachusetts is filled with historic (and haunted) locations, like both of Lizzie Borden’s houses in Fall River – the first being where the murders happened, and the second being the house she moved into after her trials and eventually died in. Both houses have high levels of paranormal activity. The town of Salem is also, not surprisingly, haunted. It’s history of witchcraft has attracted many people from around the world who seek dark energy … and some unfortunately find it.
6. Tie - New York
Tragically, New York’s Letchworth Village, a one-time community for the mentally and physically disabled, was filled with rumors of mistreated patients for decades. Now, even though it’s been abandoned, many souls are finding it hard to leave. Even Manhattan has its ghosts. The Morris-Jumel Mansion, located In Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, was once used during the Revolutionary War. It has since been turned into a museum, with many visitors claiming to experience strange phenomenon.
6. Tie - Pennsylvania
The most famous haunted site in Pennsylvania is Gettysburg, where one of the most important Civil War battles took place. In a few short days, thousands of men were killed on this battleground, and now, many haven’t been able to cross over. In fact, Kindred Spirits star Adam Berry credits his ghostly experience at Gettysburg as being what turned him into a paranormal believer. Combine this with the historic and haunted hotspots of Philidelphia, and you end up with one of America's most haunted states.
The Wild West was filled with turmoil, so it’s no wonder that another western state rounds out the top five. The famous town of Tombstone is still home to cowboys who refuse to pass on, the Vulture Mine is harnessing something other than just gold, and to top it all off, there’s the Jerome Grand Hotel. Hospitals and hotels tend to be paranormal hotspots… so what happens when you build a hotel in an abandoned old hospital like the Jerome is? Well, you end up with what some argue to be the most haunted place in the entire state.
The Twin City Opera House has someone, or something, lurking behind the curtains and up on the catwalks. The Sedamsville Rectory leaves visitors with strange scratches on their face and a mysterious smell of Sulphur comes and goes at random. The old Licking County Jail is another prison where it seems a lifetime sentence turned into an afterlife sentence.
Texas comes in at number three with haunted locales brimming in all corners of the Lonestar State. The basement of El Paso’s De Soto Hotel is somewhere you should probably avoid if you’re afraid of a ghostly encounter. Central Unit prison once housed some of the most volatile criminals in Texas, including Blues singer-turned-murderer, Lead Belly. The desolate Yorktown Hospital, which was at one point filled with struggling addicts, has been abandoned by the living, but not the dead.
Much of Nevada’s hauntings are located in Las Vegas. From the Riviera Hotel to Binion’s Casino, Sin City’s reputation has clearly created a space for lost souls. Outside of Vegas, many of Nevada’s boomtowns are also home to lingering spirits, with Yellowjacket Mine, Virginia City, and Goodsprings being especially active.
California is America’s most haunted state. From Alcatraz and the Winchester Mystery House in the Bay Area, to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and all the way out to the Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley, the entire state is crawling with paranormal activity. The results also showed that Los Angeles is America’s most haunted city. With the Manson murders, the Black Dahlia mystery, and the infamous Pico House among many others … it seems the city of angels is also the city of ghosts.