7 Famously Haunted Places Around the US

WATCH: The Haunted History of Halloween

You might think being haunted would be a bad thing, but for many places in the United States it can be a tourist attraction. Ghost stories appeal to believers and skeptics alike throughout the year, and especially during Halloween.

Often these ghost stories are based on people who died in unfortunate circumstances, such as an old man falsely accused of witchcraft or a president assassinated in his second term. Many involve verifiable historical events, rumors that test credulity, or a combination of both. Below are seven places in the United States that have a reputation for being haunted.

WATCH: Evil Places on The UnXplained on HISTORY Vault

1. Howard Street Cemetery (Salem, Massachusetts)

Salem, Massachusetts is best known for being the site of the famous witch trials in 1692 and 1693. Over 200 people were accused of witchcraft and 19 were put to death by hanging. Additionally, there was a man, Giles Corey, 81, who was pressed to death with weights.

Corey’s death is believed to have taken place in what is now Howard Street Cemetery, and the brutal manner in which he died sparked rumors that his ghost haunted the premises. Salem’s seventh mayor, Charles Wentworth Upham, mentioned this “popular superstition” in his 1867 two-volume book Salem Witchcraftalthough he himself does not appear to believe in superstition.

2. RMS Queen Mary (Long Beach, California)

General views of the Queen Mary on November 07, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

General views of the Queen Mary on November 07, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

The RMS queen mary is a retired British ship which sailed between 1936 and 1967. She was primarily a passenger ship, except for a period in World War II when she transported Allied troops and s earned the nickname “The Gray Ghost”.

Since 1967, the retired ship has been permanently docked in Long Beach, California, where it serves as a hotel and haunted tourist attraction. The Queen Mary Hotel claims to house spirits such as a deceased engineer in the engine room, a girl who drowned in the first class swimming pool and a “lady in white” – a type of specter that often appears in other ghost stories.

3. New Jersey Pinewoods (New Jersey)

Trees growing from a pool of marshy water at the Pine Barrens in New Jersey.

Trees growing from a pool of marshy water at the Pine Barrens in New Jersey.

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The New Jersey Pine Barrens is a national preserve that spans seven of the state’s counties and is the supposed home of the Jersey Devil. According to legend, in the early 18th century, a woman named Leeds gave birth to a demon-like creature that terrorized the surrounding area and has lived there ever since. But the reason this legend spread was probably due to a rivalry between Benjamin Franklin and an almanac publisher.

The American AlmanacThe first editor of, Daniel Leeds, had the reputation of being the “omen of Satan” among his fellow Quakers. When Dianel’s son, Titan, took over the publication of The American AlmanacFranklin used his Poor Richard’s Almanac to help spread supernatural rumors about Titan. These various accusations eventually turned into a legend about the Leeds Devil or the Jersey Devil.

4. The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)


The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was the inspiration for Steven King’s novel The Shining.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is best known for inspiring the haunted Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s 1977 novel the brilliant. Although the actual hotel has been open since 1909, it wasn’t until King’s book was published and the 1980 film adaptation was released that rumors of ghosts began to swirl around the Stanley Hotel. The hotel actively promotes the idea that it is haunted, offering visitors a “lively night tour” of the location.

5. The Whaley House (San Diego, CA)

The Whaley House in San Diego, California, circa 1965.

The Whaley House in San Diego, California, circa 1965.

In the 1850s, a man named Thomas Whaley decided to build a house for his family in San Diego, California. Supposedly, the place he chose for his home was the site of an execution that had happened a few years before. Since then, legend has it that the executed man, James “Yankee Jim” Robinson, has haunted the house.

The museum that now owns and operates the house says other spirits have since made their presence known in the residence. These spirits include Thomas himself, his wife Anna, and their infant son.

6. Fort Mifflin (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Aerial view of Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Aerial view of Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Fort Mifflin – located on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – served as a Continental Army fort during the American Revolution and then as a Union prison during the Civil War. Decommissioned in 1962, the fort is now a National Historic Landmark. The site offers candle-lit ghost tours, a “sleep with the ghosts” program, and public paranormal investigation events.

7. The White House (Washington, DC)

Ghosts at the White House

The White House.

People have long claimed to have spotted various presidential ghosts in the White House, but the Commander-in-Chief that people claim to see most often is Abraham Lincoln. One of the first people to claim to have seen Lincoln’s ghost in the White House may be Jeremiah “Jerry” Smith, who worked there between the late 1860s and early 1900s. In addition to Lincoln, Smith claimed to have seen the ghosts of Ulysses S. Grant and William McKinley, whose assassination Smith was present in 1901.

Since then, many other people have claimed to have seen Lincoln’s ghost, including British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Apparently, Churchill saw Lincoln’s ghost after stepping out of a bath at the White House.

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