With Halloween just around the corner, there’s not a better time to explore which cities in America are the most haunted. Below you’ll find the 10 most haunted cities in the United States. Read only if you dare…
- St. Augustine, FL. Castillo de San Marcos, a star-shaped fort rebuilt in 1672, is known to be haunted because of a love triangle between Colonel Garcia Martis, his wife Delores, and his chief officer Captain Manuel Abela. Colonel Martis found out about the affair when he smelled his wife’s perfume on Captain Abela. Suddenly, both Delores and the Captain disappeared and everyone assumed Delores went back to Mexico and the Captain reassigned to Spain. Years later, ashes and bones that were believed to be those of Delores and the Captain were discovered in a dungeon at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. When you tour the dungeon, you just might feel sudden cold spots and smell the perfume Delores used to wear. There are tours of the fort daily, and the grounds are open from 5:30 a.m. until midnight.
- Salem, MA. Famous for brutal witch trials in 1692, Salem is supposedly haunted by the 19 “witches” who were put to death for allegedly practicing witchcraft. They were executed at Gallows Hills, where some say their spirits still linger. Visitors to the town say they get an eerie feeling, especially when visiting the Joshua Ward House –the former home of Geroge Corwin, the Sherriff during the trials. Corwin put Giles Corey, a local man charged with witchcraft, to death by placing him under a board piled with rocks. Corey was eventually crushed to death. Many claim that both haunt the home.
- San Antonio, TX. As you probably guessed, the city is haunted at the historic site of the Battle of the Alamo. The fort is said to be haunted by those who died during the fight. Visitors claim they can hear moans inside the building. Some visitors say there is a little girl dressed in white who appears in the top window of the building that is now the gift shop. People outside assume she’s looking out from the second story, but then discover there is no second story, only that the window is 20 ft. above the floor.
- Portland, OR. Have you ever heard of Portland’s Shanghai Tunnels? They were used in the 1800s to kidnap people and shuttle them to the harbor to be used as slaves and prostitutes. The tunnels are said to be haunted by the victims. Another haunted place in Portland is Pittock Mansion. It is supposedly haunted by Mr. Pittock, the man who built the house. Visitors say they can hear footsteps coming from empty rooms, doors and windows that open by themselves, and that a portrait of Mr. Pittock moves itself from room to room.
- Chicago, IL. The most famous ghost story in Chicago is that of Resurrection Mary. Mary was a young girl who was hit and killed by a car while leaving a dance hall with her boyfriend. She was buried at Resurrection Cemetery, and some say she can be seen wandering the streets in her white burial dress trying to find her way back home. Another haunted sighting in Chicago is at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, where some say headstones move at will and spirits materialize and walk the grounds at night. The most famous is the ‘White Lady’ who wears a white dress and cradles a baby in her arms.
- San Francisco, CA. San Fran’s Chinatown has countless ghost stories due to the Chinese immigrants that came looking for gold, found none, and died alone in the city. It is suggested to take a Chinatown Ghost Tour at night. The most famous ghost story is about the Queen Anne Hotel, a girl’s school in the 1890s said to be haunted by the former headmistress, Mary Lake. It is said that Miss Mary appears regularly in her old office, room 410.
- Charleston, SC. Charleston is one of the oldest and most haunted cities in the United States. The most famous haunted house is Battery Carriage House Inn. Visitors reported seeing strange light, a ghost of a student who died after leaping off the roof, and a headless torso that appears at guests’ bedsides in the middle of the night. Another haunted place is Dock Street Theater. It is the home of two sprits. The first is Nettie, a prostitute killed near the theater after being struck by lightning. The other is Junius Boothe, an actor who was the father of John Wilkes Boothe, the man who killed Abe Lincoln. Both spirits are said to haunt the theater.
- Gettysburg, PA. Known for the bloodiest battle to ever occur on U.S. soil, Gettysburg has reports of sightings on a near daily basis. It is said the soldiers haunt the battlefields and many people say they saw a reenactment of the battles, then find out there were none scheduled for that day.
- Savannah, GA. The city of Savannah was literally built on its dead. Homes sit atop Native American burial grounds; roads cover once cemeteries of slaves and colonialists. The Pirates’ Jouse, a restaurant that served the area as pub for sailors and buccaneers, is supposedly haunted. Just like in Portland, sailors were shanghaied to the harbor via underground tunnels connected to the pub’s rum cellar. Today, many say the cellar is haunted and that you can hear the sounds of drunken sailors singing.
- New Orleans, LA. Because the city is below sea level, tombs sit above ground in the 42 cemeteries in the city. Residents say you must walk through the St. Louis Cemetery, one of the most haunted cemeteries in America. The most famous haunting figure is Marie Laveau, a Creole woman who was one of the first practitioners of voodoo in the 1800s. She died in 1881, but many say they can see her walking in the French Quarter.
And just because I’m from Arkansas, I wanted to give you a local spin on the most haunted place in my home state, the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. In high school, I toured the hotel with a group of my friends and we were totally creeped out! A man name Michael fell from the hotel’s roof during construction and landed in Room 218. It is said that his spirit bangs on the walls and turns the lights and television on and off. A nurse in a white uniform has said to be seen on the third floor, while a woman in room 419 introduces herself as a cancer patient to guests and housekeepers, then vanishes. The hotel used to be a hospital run by Norman Baker who ran tests on people he thought had cancer. You can watch a video on the haunted hotel here.