Who doesn’t love a good scare every once in a while? New Jersey offers plenty of frightening fun with our abundance of haunted spots. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, this trip is sure to be a good time. I’ve specifically designed it to provide a weekend of fun for everyone, paranormal lover or not. You’ll enjoy some amazing attractions and will make memories to last a lifetime… or longer! For directions, view the Google map
1. Hotel Macomber, Cape May
This charming shore town is so beautiful, that no one ever wants to leave. Paranormal activity has been documented at a plethora of spots including the Emlen Physick Estate and Cape May Lighthouse. Numerous ghost tours are offered, including a trolley tour hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. Non-believers will enjoy the antiques, art galleries and specialty shops at Washington Street Mall.
End your day of exploring with an overnight stay at Hotel Macomber. This historic (haunted) hotel is home to multiple spirits including a shabbily dressed waitress in the dining and kitchen areas and a former patron in room #10 who often loudly drags her trunk about.
2. Emily's Restaurant at Flanders Hotel, Ocean City
About 40 minutes north of Hotel Macomber, stop for breakfast at Emily's Restaurant. Emily (a young red-haired woman) is the resident ghost of Flanders Hotel, though there are reportedly several others. Guests have spotted a small child and middle-aged man, and have heard disembodied laughter throughout the establishment. Also interesting to know - the hotel allegedly has catacombs which were once used for mob activity.
3. Naval Air Station Lakehurst, Lakehurst
They say tragedy binds souls to a location, and Naval Air Station Lakehurst saw one of the most well-publicized tragedies in the 20th century. A media frenzy surrounded the 1937 fire and subsequent crash of the Hindenburg, which led to 36 deaths. Many say that spirits still linger around the hangar where the airship was scheduled to land.
Visitors can tour the hangar, crash site, and other interesting locations throughout the naval air station, thanks to the volunteers at Navy Lakehurst Historical Society. Tours are offered on select Wednesdays and Saturdays until 1 pm. As it is still an active military station, visitors must provide two weeks advance notice and meet certain security requirements. For more information, call 732-818-7520.
4. Old Tennent Cemetery and Church, Manalapan
The area surrounding this historic cemetery was once the host of a bloody Revolutionary War battle - the Battle of Monmouth. The church acted as a makeshift hospital and both the building and grounds are said to be haunted. According to legend, you can still see blood stains and saw marks (used for amputations) in the wood on some of the pews. The cemetery itself is open 24 hours and has tombstones dating back 280 years.
5. Seabrook-Wilson House, Port Monmouth/Middletown
The Seabrook-Wilson house has been called the "most haunted home in America" by paranormal experts. Multiple ghost sightings have been reported here including a young mother, small child and bearded man. Having been in existence for around 300 years, I wouldn't be surprised if some spirits lingered behind. Visit for yourself and see if you feel a paranormal presence.
Even if you don't, you won't be disappointed. As part of the Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, you can take guided tours of the home which feature displays on ecology and local history. You can also enjoy fishing and free nature lectures.
6. Ringwood Manor, Ringwood
Located on the grounds of beautiful Ringwood State Park, anyone can enjoy this scenic spot... Paranormal lovers will appreciate the haunted history. Legend has it that ghosts include Robert Erskine (George Washington's cartographer), Mrs. Erskine, and Jackson White - a 19th century servant. There are reports of footsteps, doors unlocking, cold spots, and even ghost sightings. You may catch Mr. Erskine wandering the home with a blue lantern.
An architectural gem, the 51-room estate now acts as a museum. It is filled with authentic furniture, firearms, fine arts and additional artifacts from the extensive Hewitt Collection. You can find objects from all over the world, dating back hundreds of years. Tours are available Wednesday - Sunday, with the last tour (available to the living) leaving at 3 pm.
7. Clinton Road, West Milford
No terrifying New Jersey road trip would be complete without driving the state's most haunted stretch. Long and desolate, many eerie legends surround this spot. From covert Klan meetings to Ghost Boy Bridge, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. There may or may not be phantom vehicles and floating headlights, but the road definitely has some dark history. In 1983, a cyclist found a body off the road, supposedly after noticing vultures feeding. The body belonged to a victim of notorious mob hitman, Richard " The Iceman" Kuklinski. To learn more about Clinton Road, click
8. Widow McCrea House, Frenchtown
You'll spend your second night at the lovely Widow McCrea House Bed & Breakfast. It may be so lovely, that guests want to stay forever. There have been several reports of paranormal activity, including a ghostly feline roaming the halls. Some guests have even felt a cat in their bed, only to find nothing there. Amenities at this spot include a candlelit breakfast, complimentary bottle of wine, and lavishly appointed rooms and suites.
9. Red Mill, Clinton
The stunning Red Mill is one of the most photographed buildings in America. It may also be one of the most haunted. A former wood, talc, and gristmill, the Red Mill now serves as a museum. Many visitors have commented about the strange period reenactor on the third floor. What makes this old man so strange? He doesn't speak. Even stranger? Unlike other historic villages in New Jersey, the Red Mill does not employ period reenactors.
If this tale isn't chilling enough for you, you'll surely be spooked when you realize how many men were maimed or died at the mill. It was dangerous work, and in earlier eras, there were few safety measures in place. If you don't sense any spirits here but are looking for scares, head back around Halloween. Their spectacular haunted attraction is one of the museum's biggest (and best!) fundraisers.
I ended this trip in a fairly central location, so as to make the drive home easy enough for everyone. If you have some spare time, consider stopping for a meal at one of New Jersey’s haunted restaurants.
Those of you traveling north will enjoy the Knotty Pine Pub in Wharton. There have been reports of strange whistling noises and a thin, ghostly figure wandering around the dart board. Anyone headed to the shore area should stop at The Shore House Bar & Grill in Point Pleasant. Glasses are said to fall on their own and rumor has it that the former tavern was used as a makeshift hospital after an 1846 shipwreck. Headed down near Burlington, Camden, or Gloucester County? Dine at the Lake House in Newfield. The original owners are believed to haunt the restaurant, along with a ghost named Victor and a woman in black. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, these spots definitely have spirits… of the alcoholic variety!
So, are you brave enough to make this trek? I know there are many more incredible haunted locations throughout New Jersey, but I optimized this road trip for convenience and drive time. If you’re in the Southwest portion of our state, I highly recommend adding the
Burlington County Prison Museum to this spooktacular getaway. Share your thoughts, favorite haunted spots, and paranormal experiences in the comments below!