USA March 29, 2016
These 15 Bone-Chilling Places Are Right Here In The USA… And They’re Terrifying
What is it about scary stories that we love so much? Is it the feeling of goosebumps creeping up our arms? The way they convince us to take a second look under the bed? Do we just love feeling like danger might be lurking nearby? Our beautiful country is filled wth history, but not all of it is pleasant. Whatever your particular brand of fear, there’s a spot on this list that will have you sleeping with the lights on tonight.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama
Beginning in 1882, hundreds of workers toiled in these furnaces to produce pig iron and steel. Many labored under the brutal treatment of a foreman known as “Slag”, who was known to abuse and torment his men. The furnaces claimed the lives of countless workers. One individual was pulled into the moving greats of a large flywheel and slowly crushed to death. Another fell into the furnace’s molten steel and was incinerated. Visitors report seeing dark figures flickering in and out of sight within the maze-like tunnels, hearing tortured screams, and even experiencing physical attacks perpetrated by the uneasy spirits of the long-dead workers.
Check out more terrifying Alabama haunted places here.
2. Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa.
In 1912, an entire family was murdered in their sleep by unknown individual wielding an axe. The six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found bludgeoned in the Moore residence. All eight victims, including six children, had severe head wounds from an axe. Two spent cigarettes in the attic suggested that the killer had patiently waited in the attic until the Moore family and their guests were asleep. The murderer was never discovered. Today, the property is available for lockdowns if any brave paranormal investigator is willing to spend the night.
Check out more terrifying West Virginia haunted places here.
3. The McRaven Home in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Built in 1797, this home originally belonged to notorious murderer Andrew Glass. After being shot, Glass had his wife “finish him off” so that he would not be captured by law enforcement. His was the first grisly death in the home’s storied history. In 1836, the wife of new resident Sheriff Steven Howard, Mary Elizabeth, died in childbirth in one of the home’s bedrooms. McRaven was later transformed into a makeshift hospital during the Siege of Vicksburg. According to local legend, resident John H. Bobb caught some Union soldiers tampering with his crops, became enraged, and threw a brick at one of them. The soldiers returned in the night and murdered Bobb. In 1984, Leyland French purchased the home and became the first to liven the house in over two decades. He reported being chased through the halls by apparitions, being pushed to the ground by a dark force and requiring stitches from the fall, and even having a drawer mysteriously slam shut on his thumbs, breaking both digits. After the last incident, French packed his bags and left. The photo above shows what is purported to be the captured image of a spectral woman (right) standing in one of the rooms of McRaven.
Learn more about the McRaven Home here.
4. The Amityville House in Amityville, New York
“Amity” played little part in the violent events that unfolded in this nondescript little New York home. On the otherwise quiet evening of November 13, 1974, 23-year-old Ronald Defeo Jr. burst into a local bar and raved that his parents had been shot. When the police searched the home, they found the entire family (including Defeo’s four younger siblings) butchered execution-style in their beds. Ronald Defeo eventually confessed to the killings, stating that “it all happened so fast”. Only one year after the gruesome murders, George and Kathy Lutz, along with their three children, moved into the house and promptly began to experience unusual events. They reported green slime oozing from the walls, unexplained smells, and even the levitation of several family members. Several high-profile films and books have been released detailing the apparent hauntings, including Jay Anson’s 1977 book, “The Amityville Haunting”.
Learn more about the Amityville House here.
5. The Bridgewater Triangle in Southeastern Massachusetts
Also called "The Cursed Forest of Massachusetts," this 200-mile space appears to be a nexus of horrific and bizarre paranormal activity. It’s more a question of what doesn’t happen here, rather than what does. Unidentified human-like figures, poltergeists, floating orbs of light, and gatherings of witches are frequently reported sightings. Many of the incidents center on Hockomock Swamp, a 16,550-acre wetland located in the Freetown Fall River State Forest. Pterodactyl-like flying creatures with wingspans 8–12 feet have reportedly been seen in Hockomock Swamp and neighboring Taunton, including a report by Norton Police Sergeant Thomas Downy. Two specific incidents of animal mutilation in 1998 were reported and investigated by local police. In one case, an adult cow was found chopped into many pieces and left in the woods; in another, a group of mutilated calves were discovered in a clearing, arranged as if part of a sacrificial offering. The Bridgewater Triangle area is also a common dumping ground for murder victims and there have been an inordinate amount of documented suicides in these woods. Eerily, the native word “Hockomock” translates to “the place where spirits dwell.”
Check out more terrifying Massachusetts haunted places here.
6. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia
This is not the kind of hospital you want to visit for a check-up. In the 18th and 19th century, those who were deemed mentally ill or otherwise “unfit” for normal society were locked away behind the walls of lunatic asylums such as Trans-Allegheny. Here, murders and rapists were housed alongside individuals merely suffering from depression or alcoholism. Overcrowding, unethical experimentation, and blatant abuse plagued this hospital. After the institution finally closed its doors in 1994, reports of horrifying encounters with the mutilated and angry ghosts of former patients began to surface. One partially spirit is mentioned repeatedly: the apparition of a little girl who seeks to lead visitors deeper into the asylum, as if playing an unsettling game of tag. Who knows what happens when the little girl decides to be “it”.
Check out more terrifying West Virginia haunted places here.
7. The Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island.
This imposing structure served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel “Overlook Hotel”, as well as Robert Bloch’s “Bates Motel”. The hotel was opened in 1918 by businessman and reported satanist Johan Leisse Weisskopf. He planned to use the hotel to introduce the city of Providence to his peculiar religious persuasion. The hotel included a roof-top chicken coop in which to keep birds for sacrifices; hot baths in the basement intended for purification rituals; and the notorious Bacchante Girls, who waitressed completely nude in the Bacchante Dining Room. During the Prohibition period, at least 11 documented murders occurred within the walls of the Biltmore (including one 11 year-old prostitute drowned in a bathtub by a Catholic bishop), and countless other deaths almost surely went unrecorded; many staff members reported some guests would check in and never check out. Today, all guests are welcome.
Check out more terrifying Rhode Island haunted places here.
8. The Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tennessee
You can look, but don’t you dare touch. The Bell Witch Cave is one consistently rated one of America’s most terrifying locales, and with good reason. In the 19th century, the local Bell family was reportedly tormented by an entity known as The Bell Witch. It was said that she inhabited a small cave near the Bell family farm, and that she has not yet moved away. Visitors report hearing eerie disembodied voices and high-pitched whining; strange convoluted shadows that seem to rise up off of the surfaces; and spectral apparitions. Local legend warns against taking anything from the cave – if a visitor removes even something as small as a single pebble, they are said to be cursed.
Learn more about the Bell Witch Cave here.
9. Norwich State Hospital for the Insane in Norwich, Connecticut
This horrifying institution opened its doors in 1904 and remained operation until 1996. Originally meant to house the mentally ill alongside those found guilt of crimes by insanity, the hospital eventually housed over 700 of the most violent and criminally insane inmates in the state. Deaths in the hospital were not uncommon. In 1918, Rachel Brooks was killed by her husband Solomon Brooks, who had escaped the hospital and come to find her. Local sheriff Michael Carroll was killed with a shotgun in 1934 by Leonard Gosselin, who was about to be committed. One doctor claimed that many inmates were shacked to chairs in the tunnels, abused by aides, burned by cigarettes, and were secretly experimented on by doctors at the institution. The majority of buildings were connected by a series of underground passageways used to transport patients and goods between structures. Visitors to the asylum claim to have encountered the ghosts of patients in these tunnels, and to hear the sound of pursuing footsteps echoing around corners, just out of sight.
Check out more terrifying Connecticut haunted places here.
10. Nu’uanu Pali Lookout on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii
This terrifying spot is totally unlike the dusty old haunted houses of the contiguous United States. Legend has it that when Hawaiian King Kamehameha I triumphed over against Maui chief Kalanikupule in the 1795 battle of Kawela, he then drove the defeated chief and his 400 soldiers off the side of the cliff to their deaths. Hikers and travelers report hearing moans, screams, and terrified voices emanating from below.
Check out more terrifying West Virginia haunted places here.
11. Annie Cook’s Poor Farm in Lincoln County, Nebraska.
If you couldn’t pay for your food and lodging in 19th century Nebraska, your only option may have been Annie Cook’s Poor Farm. In exchange for labor, the destitute were granted housing. The cost may have been higher for some, however. It was rumored that Annie Cook literally worked her tenants to death and that she may have taken pleasure in torturing those who could not keep up. These days, there have been numerous reports of the figure of Annie Cook patrolling the woods near the old farmhouse.
Check out more terrifying Nebraska haunted places here.
12. Lafayette Cemetery in Lafayette, Oregon.
This old cemetery is said to be haunted by a local woman who was executed for witchcraft. Before her death, she cursed the town and proclaimed that it would burn down three times. Since her hanging, the town has indeed burned down twice. People have glimpsed her spirit roaming the grounds of the cemetery, following visitors, and screaming with what many describe as an incredibly low and terrifying voice. There have even been accounts of visitors leaving the cemetery and later discovering scratches and bruises on their body that they cannot explain or remember receiving.
Check out more terrifying Oregon haunted places here.
13. The Forepaugh Restaurant in St. Paul, Minnesota
This place was once the private manor home of Joseph Forepaugh and his family. The story goes that Joseph and his maid, Molly, were having an affair that eventually drove Joseph mad with guilt. He shot himself in the head and his bereft paramour hanged herself on the property only days later. Joseph is said to linger on the grounds of the restaurant, but seems to be relatively harmless. It is Molly, his abandoned lover, who stirs up the most terror; guests report exploding glasses, horrific banging that seems to come from inside the walls, and her figure has even been (reportedly) photographed amongst guests at the Forepaugh’s many social functions.
Check out more terrifying Minnesota haunted places here.
14. Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio
This place is frequently cited as one of the spookiest spots in the country. Though it may look like more of a luxury hotel than an old state prison, the “reformatory” harbored some truly violent criminals. The total isolation of inmates often led to their eventual insanity and suicide, and overcrowding resulted in horrifically unsanitary conditions. Visitors claim that the ghosts of rioting inmates haunt the old isolation cells of the jail and can be heard singing unintelligibly at night.
Check out more terrifying Ohio haunted places here.
15. Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia
A cemetery is a likely place for a haunting, and this one definitely lives up to the task. Visitors here report a high amount of unusual paranormal activity, including a pack f ghostly dogs that growl, bowl, and chase unlucky individuals. The ghost of Grace Williams, a nine year-old girl who died of pneumonia, is said to occasionally be seen running through the cemetery and shyly watch visitors from a distance.
Check out more terrifying Georgia haunted places here.
Obviously, there are plenty more incredibly spooky places across America. Do you believe in ghosts? Would you be willing to explore any of these places?