Top 10 Most Haunted and Ghost States in the US
|Haunted states in the US. Photo: KnowInsiders|
We took into account several different factors before ranking the top 10 most haunted and ghost states in the U.S.
These factors included a spook score, which includes the number of haunted places and cemeteries by population, date of oldest town or city and the age of oldest cemetery; a creep score which includes the number of unsolved murders by population and abandoned buildings; and a boo score which includes the number of ghost towns and reported ghost sightings by population.
Which Are The 10 Most Haunted And Ghost States in the US?
1. New Mexico
3. West Virginia
List of 10 most Haunted States in the US
1. New Mexico
|Photo: Haunted Rooms America|
New Mexico is the spookiest state in the nation. Home to places such as the Acoma Pueblo, which is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited region in the entire Western Hemisphere, this southwestern state is the ideal location to commune with spirits of the distant past.
The most haunted state in America, New Mexico has been home to human beings since 9200 BCE. Between abandoned adobe cities made by Ancestral Puebloans to the time of the colonial Wild West, New Mexico has plenty of fodder for spooky stories.
Tip of Terror: The Acoma Pueblo, 70 miles west of Albuquerque, may be the oldest continuously occupied site in the Western Hemisphere. Acoma Indians lived in a village atop this sprawling mesa as early as 600 CE, and Spanish missionaries arrived at the end of the 16th century. With thousands of years of history, including a brutal massacre of 800 Acoma Indians, the 2000 sq ft graveyard located literally in the shadow of the mesa is among the most uniquely spooky places in the United States.
|Photo: Pure Michigan|
From Detroit’s Michigan Central Station (a truly haunted building that hosts an annual spooktacular event) to a number of haunted lighthouses, Michigan has its share of creepy tales, earning it a high spot on the list.
Spooky Spot: Part of an island chain in Lake Michigan, South Manitou Island has beautiful dunes and legends of dead sailors who were buried alive and still haunt the place.
Most Haunted Hotel: Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel is known for its front porch—the world’s longest—and its ghostly guests. Keep an eye out for a man in a top hat who likes to play the piano in the bar or a woman in Victorian clothing who sometimes climbs into people’s beds.
3. West Virginia
|Photo: Past Chronicles|
West Virginia may be known among outsiders for its coal mining industry, but to local horror enthusiasts, this Appalachian state is home to an exceptionally high rate of cemeteries. This small state with fewer than 2 million residents has over 18,534 cemeteries, and each is seemingly the scene of a spooky tale. The Hatfield Cemetery in Logan County, for instance, is where many members of the Hatfield family (famous for their feud with the McCoy’s) are buried.
Tip of Terror: One of America’s most monstrous creatures has roots in West Virginia. The glaring red eyes of the Mothman were first spotted in 1967 near the abandoned WWII bunkers in Point Pleasant. Since then, the Mothman has evolved into the town’s most feared and beloved urban legend. Point Pleasant is now home to a 12-foot steel statue and an entire museum dedicated to this humanoid creature.
|West Virginia’s abundance of cemeteries (18,534) helped to increase its “spook score.” The oldest cemetery is the Morgan Chapel and Graveyard in Bunker Hill, Berkeley County, founded in 1741. |
One notably spooky cemetery is the Hatfield Cemetery in Logan County, where members of the Hatfield family (famous for their feud with the McCoy’s) are buried.
The study also notes that West Virginia hosts 25 ghost towns around the state, including Brink in Marion County, Jerryville in Webster County, and Exchange in Braxton County.
West Virginia is also famous for being the root of the legendary red-eyed “Mothman,” who was first sighted in 1967 near abandoned WWII bunkers in Point Pleasant. Today, Point Pleasant is home to a 12-foot steel statue and an entire museum dedicated to the humanoid creature.
|Photo: Westgate Resorts|
A tropical paradise, Florida is often associated with sunny skies, great beaches and world famous attractions, but there’s another side to the sunshine state that paranormal enthusiasts love to investigate. With centuries of war, pirates and shipwrecks in its past, it’s not surprising that Florida is known for its lingering spirits, ghostly encounters and inexplicable occurrences.
Castillo de San Marcos (St. Augustine)
If we’re talking haunted or creepy destinations in Florida, of course, St. Augustine is going to top most lists.
Let’s talk about Castillo de San Marcos, a former military fortress that’s infamous for some of its battles. Some say the spirits of Spanish soldiers still defend the 17th century fort. Others say a light shines from a fixture in one of the watchtowers that has no electricity running to it. The spooky accounts also include one Spanish soldier in particular who stands at the edge of the fort, looking out to sea just when the sun is about to rise or set. And then there’s the dungeon, where many people have reported the feeling of cold hands touching them. Others say they just felt cold in general while walking through, according to a website called ghostsandgraves.com. Visitors to the fort say they’ve shot videos and photos of glowing orbs, misty shapes and even some shapes resembling bodies. Enthusiasts of the paranormal and supernatural definitely flock to Castillo de San Marcos for a number of reasons -- all of which will make your skin crawl.
Old Lighthouse, St. Augustine
Built in 1874, this historic lighthouse rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps leading to the magnificent tower where a Fresnel lens serves as a beacon of light to incoming ships. But this lovely lighthouse, while still serving the city, is also a hotbed of paranormal activity, illuminating its tragic past in the form of ghostly occurrences. Many reports of eerie encounters, strange sensations and inexplicable sights and sounds have been told. It is believed that there are more than a few ghosts lingering here, from Joseph Andreu, the lighthouse keeper of the original lighthouse who fell to his death while painting the tower, to the two young daughters of Hezekiah Pity, who drowned when a building cart they were playing in broke loose and slid down a hill into the bay. Guests have reported hearing the sounds of the girl’s laughter and some have seen the eldest daughter wearing the same blue velvet dress she wore when she was last seen alive. The aroma of cigar smoke can be detected when no one is smoking, footsteps are often heard on the stairs long after the lighthouse is closed to guests and the figure of Joseph Andreu has been seen at the top of the lighthouse. Take a tour, climb the steps and discover the haunted spirits of this historic lighthouse.
Flagler College (St. Augustine)
Phew -- there’s a lot going on at Flagler College (if you believe in this sort of thing, of course).
For starters, Ponce de Leon Hall is supposedly home to three spirits: Henry Flagler; Flagler's second wife, Ida Alicia; and Flagler's mistress, who is only described as "a woman in black." And for reference, the original Ponce de Leon Hotel, known now as Ponce de Leon Hall, is the centerpiece of Flagler College. Here's what hauntedhouses.com says, in a nutshell: Henry Flagler loved his hotel. He died in January 1913 in Palm Beach after falling inside his home. Flagler's body was laid in state at the hotel's rotunda. When it came time for him to be carried out, all the doors slammed shut. Although his body was buried at a nearby mausoleum, many believe Flagler's spirit remained at Ponce de Leon. Another version of this story claims that Flagler was trapped in the rotunda. It's not uncommon for hotel owners or founders to "stay" or visit their cherished properties, perhaps to keep an eye on things. So maybe it all makes sense. As for Ida Alicia, people say she may have been manic, or that she possibly struggled with bipolar disorder. "(Sometimes), people with (mental health problems) sometimes have a hard time letting go of this earth and passing through the light to the other side," hauntedhouses.com says.
And finally, according to folklore, Flagler was having an affair with a woman who often stayed at the hotel. She always wore black. When Ida Alicia came to stay at the property, Flagler kept the woman wearing black far away from his wife, and didn't allow her to leave a certain set of rooms, as the story goes. It's been said that she went crazy and hung herself. Now, remember: This is just a small snippet of one building at Flagler College. So who knows? The haunted stories can only expand from here.
|Photo: Penn Live|
You might want to call it “Paranormal Pennsylvania.” This state has lots of terrifying tales, from Eastern State Penitentiary—which celebrates its checkered past with tours by day or (for the really daring) by night—to the Hell’s Hollow Wildlife Adventure Trail, which is as scary as its name would suggest.
Spooky Spot: During a deadly Civil War battle, more than 50,000 men perished at Gettysburg—so it’s no wonder this is one of the most haunted spots in the state, if not America. Hear stories about the spirits who still lurk here on one of the Ghostly Images of Gettysburg Ghost Tours. Or stay at the Gettysburg Hotel, where a Confederate nurse walks the hallways.
Most Haunted Hotel: In the charming town of New Hope, the Logan Inn has been creeping out its guests since 1722. The spookiest room is Number 6, where you can often smell the lavender perfume worn by the mother of a former owner and hear crying at night.
Alaska is a paradise for both nature and winter sports lovers. While there are a lot of places to experience awe inspiring heavenly natural sights, Alaska also has a lot of places where you can go to have some thrilling experiences. Among a lot of unique things that you can find in this place, one thing that struck us are old buildings or villas which are beset by unusual paranormal activities.
From haunted hotels to eerie ghost towns, Alaska is full of dark things in the woods that make your spine tingle. It’s likely that some spooky local legend is whispered about a place just minutes away from where you live. Break up that cabin fever and look for some spooky places to explore. These are horribly creepy things you probably didn’t know you could do in Alaska.
Haunted places in Alaska: the ghost at Moocher's Bar, Nenana; the Pedro Dredge in Chicken, Hotel Captain Cook, the Val Gilder Hotel, Seward.
TERRIFY - The Weather in Alaska
If you’re a big fan of hot climates, then it’s safe to say that you probably aren’t going to be on board with Alaska’s way of doing things.
As an example, it is currently the middle of July over in Alaska, and you’ll be lucky if you break 65 degrees throughout the time you’re there.
In the wintertime, it’s considered to be outright dangerous to make a journey over to Alaska because there’s a very good chance that you could sustain some serious injuries if you aren’t used to that kind of cold.
|Photo: Travel Oklahoma|
If it is ghost towns that get your adrenaline pumping, then look no further than the plains of Oklahoma. With fewer than 4 million residents, the Sooner State has 290 ghost towns to explore, and plenty of ghost stories to match. Many of these abandoned communities were oil boom or lumber mill towns that met their demise during the Great Depression. Others were flattened by tornadoes.
Tip of Terror: Located in between Stillwater and Yale, the town of Ingalls, Oklahoma looks like something out of a classic western movie. This ghost town, now home to just 150 people, was once a growing and thriving oil and coal mining town. But to the detriment of the town’s promising future, it was also a hide-away used by outlaws, including the infamous Doolin-Dalton Gang in the early 1980s. When the U.S. Marshals learned that many members of the gang were convening at a local saloon, they sent 27 deputies and the Indian police to Ingalls. The ensuing gunfight resulted in the death of three deputies and two local bystanders and is memorialized on a plaque near the boarded-up Old West town’s center.
The Hoosier state is known for corn, basketball—and hauntings.
Spooky Spot: Don’t like ghosts? You might want to avoid Indiana University in Bloomington. The campus is crawling with paranormal activity, from the Career Center, where babies are sometimes heard crying, to the Indiana Memorial Union, which is haunted by a ghostly dog.
Most Haunted Hotel: Spas, golf courses...and ghosts? French Lick Springs Hotel is a resort getaway that is haunted by its founder, Thomas Taggart, who still enjoys soaking in the property’s onsite mineral springs and likes to hold parties in an empty ballroom. Housekeepers also find blood in a bathtub where a jilted bride took her life.
|Photo: Houston Chronicle|
Texas was ranked the ninth most haunted state – just in time for Halloween weekend! Texas scored a 5.8 on the spook scale, a 7.6 on the creep scale, and 6.5 on the boo scale — adding up to a final score of 8.60. Texas was tied with Indiana in the final score, ranked ahead of Missouri, and fell behind states like Pennsylvania, Alaska, and Oklahoma.
After all, this is the home of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and locations like Marfa. Way out west in the middle of nowhere, this tumbleweed town has a reputation for its cool art scene and the mysterious Marfa Lights. People started spotting these unexplained colorful glowing orbs back in the 19th century.
Spooky Spot: Remember the Alamo? Seems that ghosts do, too. Many people say San Antonio is the most haunted city in Texas—which is no surprise, since it was the setting for one of the deadliest battles in America. Explore the city on foot with Ghost City Tours or stay at the Emily Morgan Hotel, where you’ll find spirits roaming the halls. The property once housed a morgue and a psychiatric ward and is now known for its paranormal activity.
Most Haunted Hotel: The man who built Austin’s Driskill hotel loved the place so much he never wanted to leave: He still haunts the grounds, along with the ghost of a Texas senator’s 4-year-old daughter who fell to her untimely death on the hotel’s grand staircase.
Missouri has a ghostly past. From St. Louis to Kansas City, there are many haunted hang-outs for you and your friends to explore. You can stay at a haunted hotel or dine at an eerie restaurant.
Missouri State Penitentiary
By day, take a history tour at the Missouri State Penitentiary, the oldest continuously operating prison west of the Mississippi. The facility, located in Jefferson City, housed inmates for 168 years until it was decommissioned in 2004. By night, experience the otherworldly side of the prison during a two-hour ghost tour, a three-hour ghost hunt or an overnight paranormal investigation. Explore the grounds and dungeon cells and hear about inmates who some say still roam the prison halls.
Built in the late 1860s, the Lemp Masion in St. Louis claims to be the most haunted place in the city. Life magazine once called it one of the 10 most haunted places in America. Learn about the Lemp family's chilling history during a ghost tour or hunt for paranormal activity with an infrared camera on three floors of the darkened mansion during The Lemp Experience.
Missouri State Penitentiary
The penitentiary housed inmates for 168 years, and some say (the spirits of) prisoners still roam the halls of the state penitentiary, was decommissioned in 2004. See for yourself during one of the many tours that are offered. Depending on your interest level, there's a two-hour ghost tour—or an overnight paranormal investigation that lasts five or eight hours.
Glore Psychiatric Museum
While it might not be haunted, this museum will still make your hair stand on end. The museum's considered one of the more unusual in the country, with exhibits of surgical tools, patient artwork, nurse uniforms, and even items removed from a patient’s stomach. The museum chronicles 145 years of a state hospital that dates back to 1874 and once sat on the same grounds.
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