Whether you're swimming in Florida or getting a history lesson in Pennsylvania, you're bound to run into some, um, uninvited guests in these parts of the United States.
This lighthouse, built in 1824 and originally owned by Dr. Alan Ballard, is associated with . Dr. Ballard was outraged when the government threatened to seize the lighthouse by eminent domain after the Civil War — and refused to leave the property ... for all of eternity. His ghost has been spotted in the tower and on the grounds. Other specters include two teenage girls, who died tragically at the lighthouse. In 1873, Mary and Eliza Pity (the daughters of a man working on the lighthouse), climbed into a boat used to carry their father's supplies from the bay to the lighthouse. But when the boat cords snapped, the sisters slid down the embankment and were thrown into the bay, where they drowned. Apparently, you can still hear their girlish giggles echoing throughout the lighthouse late at night. Mary has also been seen wandering the grounds wearing the blue velvet gown and bow she died in.
Cemeteries practically emanate paranormal activity — but Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia is a bit more active than most. The cemetery has a — about 700 of those buried in Colonial Park lie in a mass grave, the victims of the yellow fever epidemic in 1820. The grounds were also once used for dueling (back when that kind of thing was legal); men used to duke it out to the death to settle their differences. That area is now a children's park (WHY?), but at night you can allegedly see the ghosts of those who fought to their deaths. The cemetery is best known for a single ghost, however, who goes by the name Rene Rondolier. Legend has it that Rondolier murdered two girls in the cemetery and was later lynched. He's often still seen swinging from the "Hanging Tree," where he died, and is considered to be easy to spot — he was nearly seven feet tall in his day.
Chicago is pretty haunted — but Bachelor's Grove Cemetery is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the Chicago area. Most famous for the "Madonna of Bachelor's Grove," a female ghost that has been , the cemetery is the source of over 100 reports of paranormal sightings — including apparitions, inexplicable noises, and glowing balls of light.
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The Baker Hotel opened in 1922 and was declared a national landmark in 1982 — but closed its doors to the public in 1972 and has been crumbling ever since. It's decline, however, wasn't the source of it's haunted tendencies. First discovered in the 1950s/60s, the is the resident ghost at the Baker Hotel. She was the mistress of the hotel manager, but when the stress of her affair became too much, she threw herself off the top of the building. Before the hotel closed, lipstick stains were reported on glasses in rooms without guests and the sounds of clacking heels still resonate through the decrepit hallways to this day. Scorned lady ghosts your thing? You can now .
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Eastern State Penitentiary has long-since been considered one the most haunted places in Philly. The building was the largest American prison at its completion in 1829 and remained operational until 1971, serving as the model for hundreds of prisons in the 19th and 20th centuries. Infamous criminals like Al Cappone and Willie Sutton were inmates here — but the penitentiary is even more famous for it's associations with the occult. It's been featured on countless ghost shows, like Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures, Syfy's Ghost Hunters and MTV's Fear, but even more convincing are the accounts of those who have been inside the prison and unknowingly confirmed each other's accounts. Certain cell blocks are associated with different chilling events, like . It's colloquial acronym, ESP, is also the acronym for extrasensory perception, more commonly referred to as the "sixth sense." Coincidence? We think not. ESP is currently hosting their — enter at your own risk.
Fort Mifflin is one of the only remaining Revolutionary War battlefields — which is probably why it's wrought with ghost sightings. The fort was British-made, but in a battle in November 1777, the British destroyed most of it via cannon fire. The fort was rebuilt 20 years later, and was used as a garrison in the War of 1812 and as a prison during the Civil War. Lots of historical material for restless soldier-spirits to go a-haunting ...which is why the fort is home to , including the Lamplight Man (the old lightkeeper), the Faceless Man (a war criminal who was hanged at the fort), and the Screaming Woman (who wails in regret for disowning her daughter after she ran off with an officer). Fort Mifflin offers ghost tours, and, best of all, .
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This railroad tunnel took over 24 years to complete — and its building from 1851-1875 resulted in the death of two hundred miners by explosions, fires, and drownings. But the tunnel's haunting has . After nitroglycerin (an explosive) was introduced in 1865, three experts were commissioned to use it within the tunnel — two of the three entered the tunnel to set up, but never made it out. It was determined that the third worker had detonated too early. That man, Ringo Kelley, disappeared, but was found a year later in the exact same spot as the nitroglycerin accident, strangled to death. An investigation was carried out, but a suspect never emerged. The workers, of course, came up with their own theories. They believed Kelley was strangled by the ghosts of the two men he accidentally killed — and the chilling sounds that still echo through the tunnel today might mean that those men were onto something.
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Alcatraz Island is home to one of the most haunted prisons in America — located in the San Francisco bay, Alcatraz was built in 1859, but didn't become a federal penitentiary until 1934. Up until 1963, Alcatraz housed many of world's most notorious criminals and was also the site of prison personnel murders, inmate suicides, and escape deaths — which kind of explains why so many people get the heebie-jeebies when inside. The former prison has all the standard signs of paranormal activity. Classic ghosts in chains are reported to make a raucous at night, in addition to standard wailing and moaning; many reports maintain that these noises come from the ghosts of Native American and Civil War prisoners who died on the island and during the war. But perhaps the most chilling account is of , who reported seeing red eyes in his cell. He screamed all night long — and in the morning, was found dead and completely alone, strangled to death. D-block is considered to be the most haunted section of the prison, with one cell that is permanently 20 to 30 degrees colder than any other spot in the building. It makes sense that Senator Robert Kennedy decommissioned Alcatraz in the early 1960s — and honestly? We're really glad he did.
This distillery once played a key roll in bootlegging whiskey during Prohibition — built and named "Frank's Place" in 1927, the speakeasy, nestled into a cliff, smuggled illegal whiskey up from the beach below. Frank's was a spot frequented by silent film stars and politicians alike in the 1920s. But the most famous guest appeared over 70 years ago — and still visits to this day. She's know as the : Always dressed in blue, the married woman originally visited the speakeasy to meet her lover, who many think was the piano player. She was tragically killed one night while walking with her lover on the beach below Frank's. He was wounded, but survived — but the Blue Lady didn't make it. Levitating checkbooks, locked doors, and lost earrings that turn up in one place have all been reported — sounds like the Blue Lady is still hoping to rendezvous with her lover, one last time.
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In just three short days, the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863 proved to be one of the most fatal battles in all of American history. It makes sense that the Pennsylvania battlefield, home to 50,000 violent Civil War deaths, is a "restless" place. Countless reports have been made about paranormal activity over the sprawling field, but most commonly sited are — completely unaware that the battle is a century-and-a-half in the past.
Pine Barrens looks pretty unassuming — an assimilation of streams, roads, and colorful woods, Pine Barrens is a beautifully preserved nature mecca for hikers and campers alike. But the woods also have another attraction: The New Jersey Devil. In the 1700s, Deborah Leeds gave birth to her 13th child. Exasperated with yet another birth, she said "Let it be the devil!" during labor. And so, according to legend, it was. The creature was described as having a kangaroo's body, a horse's face, a dog's head, and wings and a tail. After being born, it allegedly spread its wings and flew to the nearest swamp. Credible figures like councilmen and businessmen have seen the devil, in addition to countless NJ residents over centuries. Others have heard the devil, whose bloodcurdling cries have startled many a hiker. At one point, a $100,000 bounty was posted on the devil's head, dead or alive. Pine Barrens is the New Jersey Devil's stomping ground — which makes these woods one of the most haunted nature spots in America.
Built in 1909, the Stanley Hotel inspired Stephen King's novel The Shining — which sums it up, really. Designed and managed by the genius inventor and his wife, Flora, the hotel was both a symbol of scientific advancement (with electricity and telephones) and a nature-filled retreat for wealthy urbanites from the east. By the 1970s, the Stanley Hotel had faded in splendor and was considered haunted. As it turns out, Freelan and Flora remained active in the running of the hotel — years after their deaths. Freelan has been photographed overseeing the billboard room and Flora's beloved Steinway can be heard playing late at night. Today, the hotel has been restored and is — book a stay if you dare.
Long before the Whaley House was a the land was the place for town hangings. In 1852, Thomas Whaley watched as James "Yankee Jim" Robinson was hanged there for grand larceny, but made an offer on the land anyway. Whaley built a home there, where he and his family reported hearing thudding footsteps throughout the house. The culprit? Yankee Jim — or so they say. But death struck the Whaley house again in 1885 — Whaley's daughter, Violet, tragically committed suicide. It is now believed that the spirits of Whaley and his wife, Anna, are trapped within the house. Many have reported seeing Anna in a filmy white dress, but you can see for yourself during your next visit to San Diego.
The Dakota isn't the only haunted part of New York City, but it still gives any New Yorker a chill down their spine as they pass by — John Lennon lived and died there, and the building also served as the setting for the horror film Rosemary's Baby. Designed by Henry Hardenbergh, the architect responsible for the Plaza Hotel and the Waldorf-Astoria, the Dakota is a critical piece in New York City's history and is also considered to be one of the city's . Its rich history could certainly explain the building's penchant for all things supernatural — which explains why have been discovered there. Lennon's widow Yoko Ono claimed that he reappeared at his apartment's piano after his death; even Lennon himself claimed to have seen (what he called) the Crying Lady Ghost roaming the halls. Other tenants have seen the spirit of a little girl waving at people in the hallways. The reason for all these specters might have originated with the Dakota's first owner Edward Clark, who frequently hosted séances — sounds like old Mr. Clark invited ghost guests to visit for all of eternity.
Maine has just the right amount of blustery weather and deep, dark woods for a perfect ghost tale. And the spooky story of the state's Green Bridge more than suffices. In the 1950s, newlyweds were driving home from their honeymoon when their car swerved off the bridge into a ditch. The groom instructed his wife to sit tight while he went for help — but when he came back, his wife was nowhere to be found. To this day, travelers claim to see a woman dressed in white walking back and forth along the bridge, anxiously awaiting her husband's return. Locals call her the — and she becomes clearer when mist settles over the bridge.
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