We all love hearing ghost stories and urban legends. They are alluring when relayed to us via word-of-mouth, but somehow even more alluring when you can go experience these strange and haunted places yourself. Here are some of haunted places in Pennsylvania with the most terrifying legacies.
Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia
Numerous ghosts are known to haunt Fort Mifflin, the island fortress that was captured by the British during the Revolutionary War. Some of the most common sightings include "The Screaming Woman," who is heard but never seen, "The Faceless Man", "The Tour Guide," who has been known to give tours to unsuspecting guests, and a Revolutionary-era ship that is sometimes spotted docked near Fort Mifflin.
The Seven Gates of Hell, York
Legend has it that an asylum once stood in a desolate area in York, Pennsylvania. One day the asylum burnt down and because firefighters could not reach the location in time, many patients perished in the flames. Seven gates were erected to help capture the remaining, escaped patients. As the myth goes, anyone who passes through all seven gates goes straight to Hell. Whether or not there is any validity to these tales, they are undeniably creepy.
Dixmont State Hospital, Pittsburgh
Dixmont State Hospital was built in 1862, long enough for a few ghoulish spirits to make their home until it was shut down in 1984. The most commonly reported ghost was a man who would guard the hospital's morgue.
Devil's Den, Gettysburg
Many ghosts have been reported at Devil's Den, a rocky area on the Gettysburg battlefield. The most common is a Texan wearing a floppy hat who always points toward Plum Run and tells visitors, "What you're looking for is over there."
The Slaughter Pen, Gettysburg
The Slaughter Pen is an area of Gettysburg's battlefield that reportedly was entirely covered with the dead and wounded after the battle. It is common for visitors here to see apparitions of soldiers, hear the sounds of battle, and even to be overcome with despair once they enter the area.
A raging mine fire burning underneath the city, Centralia is so terrifying that a movie was based on it (Silent Hill). For more on Centralia, check out
the video here
King George II Inn, Bristol
Opened in the late 1600s, the King George II Inn is the longest continuously running inn in the country. It is then no surprise that ghostly encounters of the most traditional type are commonly experienced here-- silverware moves on its own, doors open and close on their own, paintings fly off the walls, and a mysterious man in a top hat and tails occasionally appears in the hallways.
Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Spring City
Pennhurst was a state hospital that operated for about fifty years during the first half of the 20th century. Cut off from the outside world, the hospital quickly grew overcrowded and out of control. There are numerous horror stories that circulate about the brutal mistreatment of patients here, and it was the subject of numerous documentaries and news reports before it was legally shut down. Today, the abandoned campus is the site of numerous hauntings of patients and employees alike.
Black Horse Inn, Northampton
In the 1920s, a mobster was shot in the hall of the Black Horse Inn. He fell down the stairs and died a gruesome death once he reached the landing. Today, visitors to the inn often report a feeling of being watched and other strange activities.
The Philadelphia Jewish Foster Home and Orphan Asylum
There are no rumored atrocities or hauntings that have occurred here; however, any castle-like structure with the phrase "orphan asylum" in its name that has been standing vacant since 1975 counts as creepy in our book.
Mishler Theater, Altoona
The ghost of the man who opened the theater, Mr. Isaac Mishler, is sometimes seen prowling on the catwalk of the theater during productions, smoking a cigar and smirking at the actors.
Hansell Road, Buckingham
Anyone who drives down Hansell Road after dark might spot mysterious lights in the forest-- either white lanterns, green mist, or even two red lights that burn like watchful eyes. This phenomenon is unexplained by science, and creepy enough that we won't be travelling there anytime soon.
Hershey Park, Hershey
Most people know Hershey for its scrumptious chocolate or extravagant amusement park, but fewer are aware of the ghostly happenings that employees experience at the park after-hours. In the park's earlier days, two grisly deaths occurred on the roller coasters-- they are rumored to be haunted. Sometimes, the carousel turns on by itself in the earliest morning hours. Imagine... the carnivalesque tinkling sound of carousel music filling the still, dark air...
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Just passing by this penitentiary in Philadelphia will send chills down your spine. It's been abandoned for many years, but it's more terrifying today than when it had inmates.
US Hotel, Hollidaysburg
After hearing numerous rumors about hauntings at this historic hotel, a team of paranormal investigators spent the night. Not the type of person you'd imagine to be easily spooked, employees of the hotel were surprised to hear one of the investigators run screaming from their room in the middle of the night. The cause of their panic? An apparition of a young girl with red hair was laying across the bed, holding her head in pain... And seconds later a male ghost appeared, holding an axe.
We hope you aren’t too shaken up after reading through some of the scariest places close to home. What are the most terrifying places in Pennsylvania that you’ve visited? (Your mother-in-law’s house doesn’t count.)