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17 Haunted U.S. Destinations to Visit If You Dare!

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haunted u.s. destinations

For years people have reported hauntings and strange events that cannot be explained. Although many say that ghosts and hauntings aren’t true, there is an army of others that will beg to differ. While many people are afraid of even the thought of a ghost there are others that find seeking them to be thrilling. There are those that want to prove that ghosts really do exist and dedicate years in the research of this unexplained phenomena.

So what causes hauntings? Many will claim that it’s unfinished business. Others say it’s the strong connection to a certain place. Some also state that not only ghosts stand in our presence, but evil spirits and demons as well. What causes this? What can prevent it? These are the burning questions that paranormal investigators and other researchers try to answer every day.

Throughout the years there has been documented evidence of hauntings at homes, businesses, cemeteries, hospitals, and even prisons. Today thousands of people tour and visit these sites in hope to catch a glimpse of the unknown for themselves and for the pure adventure alone.

Here are 17 stories of some haunted destinations in the U.S. The tales will leave you baffled with the facts and have you just dying to go and see for yourself.

So let’s not delay anymore. Let’s dig right in if you aren’t scared and if you dare!

Haunted U.S. Destinations

1 – The Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, Louisiana

If you are ever in Louisiana then you must take a tour and stay at the Myrtles Plantation built in 1794 and located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Photo via Myrtle Plantation

This 650 acre plantation holds many tales of murders, mayhem, and tragedy. There are many stories that surround the house itself. The plantation was first owned by David Bradford, a very successful man. The home had many owners in fact, but anyone who lived there was struck by tragedy.

Many claim to be awoken by a black woman standing by their beds. Often children can be heard playing. Many occurrences have taken place as well as fingerprints on the mirrors that can be wiped away only to return minutes later.

There are also reports of a small girl in a long dress peeking into the windows of the house. One gate guard was reported to have quit his job there after seeing a woman walk past him and proceed to the house where she vanished at the door.

Other stories claim you can hear footsteps on the side porch. There have also been stories of soldiers being killed in the house as they looted, but none of them hold any evidence of being true.

Whatever the case may be, this is one place in the U.S. that is well worth the visit and stay as now the Myrtle Plantation offers a bed and breakfast tour. Many people touring this place have left with remarkable pictures and video evidence.

Make a plan to go and stay at the Myrtle’s Plantation if you dare…who knows you may see more than you bargained for!

2 – The Chestnut Hill Cemetery – Exeter, Rhode Island

The small town of Exeter, Rhode Island holds a tale of superstition and desecration to the departed. Stories were made up about a young girl named Mercy, to try and make sense of the horrible illness tuberculosis.

Photo via Matt/Flickr

Mercy died of tuberculosis. Soon after her death the people in the town of Exeter began to say they witnessed Mercy leaving her grave at night and leaping from building to building and feeding on the flesh of humans. The town’s people wanted something done so Mercy’s father, along with her brother and many of the town’s people, went to the graveyard and exhumed her body.

After taking her out of the grave they discovered Mercy’s body had not decayed and when you poked her skin she bled. The people of the town were shocked and said she was an evil presence and a vampire. They cut open her chest and took out her heart and burned it on a rock in the cemetery.

Many people say they see blue lights glowing from the cemetery at night. Others have stated they see a likeness of Mercy. 

It is thought that she is protecting the cemetery to make sure none of the other graves are desecrated. Many others claim that she visits the ill and ailing people in the town and offers comfort to them. 

Go pay a visit to the graveyard and you just might get to see the ghost of Mercy Brown!

3 – Waverly Hills Sanatarium – Louisville, Kentucky

In 1900 the city of Louisville, Kentucky was one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. There was one plague that troubled the city though and held the record for the most deaths due to tuberculosis.

Photo via GoToLouisville.com

Years later in March of 1924, the construction of the Waverly Hills Sanatarium began to house those who were infected with tuberculosis. In October of 1926 Waverly Hills opened its doors. At one point the sanatarium started using a railway tunnel (what is now known as the body chute) to transport out all the dead bodies so that the ailing patients wouldn’t see.

By the middle of the 1950’s the disease had been practically wiped out of the Louisville area. As a result there was no need for the sanatorium which led to them closing their doors in 1961.

The building did not stay vacant for long. Its doors reopened the following year in 1962 as the Woodhaven Geriatric Sanitarium. Around 1980 the Sanitarium was court ordered to shut its doors due to improper care to patients. There were stories of patients left in filthy conditions, horrible bed sores, cruel treatment, and very unorthodox and strange experiments.

The building was auctioned off and sat empty for quite some time. In the late 1990’s a man living in Louisville bought the property and in 1998 he began tearing down the buildings. He had plans to erect a 150 foot tall statue of Jesus and build a Christian Meditation Center. He had torn down all of the buildings except for the main hospital and laundry room when his demolition was halted by an injunction because the hospital was on the National Historic Register’s endangered list.

So the man’s plan was to let it rot until it was condemned. He left the gates and doors unlocked and open so vandals could come and go as they pleased. They destroyed doors, and stole the heating radiators, and covered the place in graffiti.

At one point the man became so furious and determined to get it condemned he started digging a hole under the foundation in hopes it would crack, causing the building to become unsafe. But the building was solid concrete and fireproof. The building would not give in. Evidence still points to where the man dug to this day. He dug as far as 30 feet.

The man then decided in 1999 to start a haunted hospital called “The Awakening of Waverly Manor.” He finally called it quits and sold the place to the present owners in 2001. In the same year Fox television’s hit series “Scariest Places on Earth” decided to do a documentary on the place with the help of the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society as guides. They started a restoration to revive the place to its original condition. 

Many witnesses state they have seen apparitions, shadow people, voices, whispers, footsteps, the smell of food, people being touched, tripped, and even pushed! People also report seeing orbs and even objects falling on them. It is said that room 502 is a very haunted area. It is rumored that 2 nurses committed suicide here. 

This Sanatarium has also been the set for the movie “Death Tunnel” and the feature of the documentary “Spooked”.

This is truly a place to send chills up your back. If you are interested in visiting Waverly Hills, simply contact the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society for a scheduled day. Many people go here each year and walk out changed forever.

If you really want to experience the ghost roaming the halls of the sanatarium, hoping to be released one day to go back home, then make an appointment if you dare. Just hope they don’t want to leave and go back home with you!

4 – The Stranahan House – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Stranahan House began as a trading post for the Seminole Indians and early pioneers in 1901. It is the oldest building in the area and was used for many other things including a community center, a post office, and a town hall.

Photo via StranahanHouse.org

Frank Stranahan decided to get the place because of its location and having the ferry barge right across the river. Frank became a wealthy businessman, banker, and Fort Lauderdale’s first Post Master. He met and married Ivy Julia Cromartie in 1900, who was Fort Lauderdale’s first teacher.

Soon after marrying, Ivy immediately lost her teaching license due to the fact that teachers were not allowed to be married in those times. She continued to teach anyway giving many Seminole and African American children a good education in the home. Ivy occupied the home until the age of 90, when she peacefully passed away in her sleep.

As for Frank, things took a dark turn for him during the Great Depression. His bank failed and he couldn’t repay all the people he owed. This was just too much in Frank’s eyes so he took his life by tying a rope and weight around his waist and jumping into the river which is right beside the house.

Ivy continued living there, staying in the top section of the house and renting out the bottom to people, and at one point the bottom also operated as a restaurant.

In 1973 the Stranahan House was placed on the National Historic Society Register and in 1979 they took over the care and upkeep of the place. The home now acts as a museum and a tourist attraction, bringing tons of people each year to experience this remarkable place.

Many strange and unusual things have occurred over the years at this mysterious home. Some have claimed to have spoken to Ivy and burglar alarms have gone off, and when the police arrive no one will be there.

There have been several occurrences where employees quit because of the strange things going on inside the home. Once an entire group on a tour witnessed an apparition of a woman sitting in a rocking chair. This is thought to be the ghost of Ivy.

There is also a tale of a death in the home besides Ivy. It is said that a young Seminole girl fell dead at the front door of the home. Her cause of death is unknown. It is said she still visits the house regularly.

The most troubling events are the residual hauntings of Frank Stranahan. Many have said they have witnessed Frank standing at the river and jumping into the river over and over again claiming his life time and time again.

Is the ghost of Frank Stranahan angry with his decision and wishes to return home to Ivy? Is the little girl caught in between worlds? Does Ivy roam the place to make sure it is taken care of and safe as she always did in life? Or is she waiting on Frank to return so they can reunite? One thing is for sure the Stranahan House is one of the most haunted places in the U.S.

Different types of tours are available to the public and if you are in Fort Lauderdale you would be crazy not to go there. Or would you be crazy to go? You just might get to talk with Ivy or the little girl, or maybe even encounter Frank in his creepy residual haunting of his horrible ending in life.

Take a tour of the Stranahan House and I’m sure you’ll agree this is one of the most haunted destinations in the U.S.!

5 – Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery – Chicago, Illinois

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery lies in a suburb of Chicago and was first established in the early 1800’s. The name Bachelors actually came from the name of the Germans that first settled in this area and not because of the legend that only bachelors were buried here.

This cemetery has been run down and abandoned for many years. What used to be a resting place for the departed has grown to an infestation of restless spirits who roam the cemetery and the woods of Bachelor’s Grove.

Samuel Everden, the Postmaster, owned the property and donated it for burials. The last recorded burials in this cemetery took place in 1965 when Laura M. McGhee was laid to rest and in 1989 Robert E. Shields was cremated and buried in the family plot. Ever since the place has been almost forgotten. Its headstones are strewn about, graffiti, weeds grown up that engulf gravesites, and even grave robberies.

The disrespect and desecration that has been done has definitely left a bad impression about the ones buried there. There has been well over 100 reported cases of suspicious and paranormal activity.

By the 1960’s Bachelor’s Cemetery started to show it signs of wear and tear and isolation when a nearby road leading to it was done away with. Now there is just a pathway leading off the road that you can walk into by foot.

There have been many reports of graves being robbed and bones would be found on the ground all around the cemetery where vandals would dig up the coffins in hope of finding jewelry on the bodies. No wonder the disrupted souls haunt this area so much.

Even more disturbing stories have the cemetery  home to black magic and occult rituals. Small animals and even chickens have been found bloodied and sacrificed on the grounds of the cemetery. Mysterious scribbling and signs have also been found.

On one particular night in the late 1970’s two Cook County Preservation Officers reported an incident. They both witnessed the apparition of a horse and an older gentleman riding a plow attached to it. They stated that it came directly out of the pond! Soon after the officers were told that in 1870 a farmer was plowing a nearby field when something spooked his horse causing the horse to go into a raging panic. Unable to control the plow and horse, the man became entangled in the reins and was drug into the pond resulting in both of them drowning. This same ghost has been seen by many people.

There have also been reports for decades about a phantom car that rides the roads near the cemetery. Many witnesses state the car will be there one minute, and then it’s gone! There has also been the legend of the disappearing house. People coming to the graveyard will see an old farm house along the trail, but when they approach the house it vanishes. There is no record of a house in this area, but some say a foundation is hidden somewhere in the woods.

There also has been several reports about the ghost of a lady. She is known by many as “Mrs. Fulton”, “White Lady”, and “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove”. She is said to be holding an infant wrapped in a blanket. There is a gravestone in the cemetery with the last name “Fulton” on it. Directly behind her headstone is a small gravestone with the word “INFANT” on it. Just maybe this is Mrs. Fulton and her baby that so many claim to see. Did she die while giving birth? Who knows? 

The spirits of children and men and women alike can be found nightly at the restless and run down Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. It does have a no trespassing sign so enter at your own risk.

6 – Northern State Mental Hospital – Sedro Woolley, Washington

The Northern State Mental Hospital is located near Seattle, Washington in Sedro Woolley. 600 acres were purchased in 1909, building began, and in 1912 the hospital began to take in its first 200 patients. At the time the hospital provided the patients with many skill traits including farming, dairy, greenhouse work, and printing. The hospital was known to take good care of the patients.

Photo PreerveWA.org

 

That would change when Dr. Charles H. Jones took over in 1950. Dr. Jones had been negatively known for his unusual and outrageous treatments of mental patients and he would continue his sick and twisted experiments at the Northern State Mental Hospital. He had the assistance of Dr. Walter Freeman during these procedures. He was even known to perform trans-orbital lobotomies.

According to documents Dr. Jones reported that the hospital was taking in about 650 new patients each year while only around 400 were released per year. The others died within the walls of the mental hospital. 

It is unclear exactly how many deaths actually occurred at the hospital, but it is said to have well over 1,000 unmarked graves behind the gymnasium building. 

One of the most well known ghosts that haunt the hospital is referred to as “Fred”. He is known to be quite a prankster. Often he will toss sheets around the room and other objects. Another spirit that is claimed to roam the halls is the ghost of a little girl playing with her ball. Many cold spots have also been reported throughout the hospital. Another spine chilling tale is the ghost of a man desperately searching for the little girl with the red ball.

Others state they have seen bodies hanging in the windows of the nurse’s station. The hospital also has several underground tunnels that are said to be extremely haunted.

One report says that witnesses report a man standing at the end of the hall staring at them and when they approached the man he vanished into midair. Other accounts speak of doors slamming and even unembodied voices screaming at them. The ghost known to many as “the man in black” is said to be found in a long hallway leading to a silo.

Visiting Northern State Mental Hospital may be a daunting task when trying to gain access though. It is now owned by Job Corps and the area is off limits to trespassers.

7 – Robert the Doll – Key West, Florida

In this popular haunted destination you will never look at dolls the same way again! Robert the Doll was named as the most haunted doll in the world… and for good reason! Robert the Doll has become a Key West legend.

Stuffed with straw, buttons for his eyes, dressed in a sailor’s outfit equipped with a sailor’s hat, holding his favorite pet lion and standing an astonishing 3 ft. tall. Robert the Doll on first glance looks to be a harmless child’s doll, however as history is told… he is not your average doll… by no means!

Photo via TripAdvisor.com

The story begins with Robert the Doll in the late 1800’s with the Otto family. Thomas Otto and his family lived in a lavish mansion on the corner of Eaton and Simonton Street in what is now called the Artist House.

Thomas Otto had servants and was said to be very stern and mean to them sparking much hate towards the family. One servant in particular, that catered and cared for the couple’s young son, practiced black magic and voodoo and was filled with hate towards the family. It is said that Mrs. Otto fired her after encountering her performing black magic in their backyard.

Before the servant left however, she made the Otto’s son, Robert Eugene Otto, a life like doll. It is said that because of the strong hate that the servant had for the family, she cursed it and vowed that the Otto’s would be tortured when the doll was present. Robert Otto then gave the doll a name, “Robert”, named after him. Robert did not go anywhere without Robert the Doll and in a sense it became his childhood companion.

One day Robert declared he wanted to be referred to as Gene… instead of Robert, like his doll companion. No one knew why.

Gene’s parents soon began hearing him have conversations with himself in his room. It wasn’t long after that they started hearing another voice talking back. At first the Otto’s believed it was Gene changing his voice, however they soon learned that it was the doll itself talking to Gene.

There were episodes where Gene would became very angered and worry both his mother and servants.  Many times his mother would walk into his room only to find Gene in the corner and Robert the Doll in a chair giving an evil glare towards Gene. 

Neighbors would tell the Otto’s about Robert the Doll moving from window to window while the family was out. Neighbors claimed that the doll would most notably be found in the families turret room window, staring and mimicking those who passed by.

The Otto’s began hearing giggling and sounds of running through the house. They didn’t want to believe it was a doll, however suspicions started rising about the true nature of the doll. One late evening Gene began screaming and when his parents came to his room to check on him they found furniture tossed about the room and Gene crying in the bed, all while Robert the Doll sits at the foot of Gene’s bed with a glaring stare.

When they asked Gene what happened in the room, his reply was, “Robert did it.” Gene began to complain of physically being harmed by the doll and received many punishments for what Gene says, “Robert did.” The family started growing very weary of what seemed like an evil doll and decided to box Robert the Doll up and place him in the attic.

It wasn’t until Gene’s father passed away that Robert the Doll would resurface from the attic. Gene and his wife decided to move into his childhood home and it wasn’t long after that he rediscovered Robert the Doll in the attic.

From the beginning, Gene’s wife claimed that you could tell that Gene began to be very agitated and a bit unsettled. His wife went on to say that you could tell that the doll had some kind of influence on Gene. One day she decided that she was tired of receiving Robert’s evil glares and placed him in the attic once again. When Gene arrived home to find that Robert was stuffed back in the attic, he was very angry and demanded that the doll come back down and be placed in the turret room. He told his wife that Robert wanted a room of his own and one that had a window.

The whole town feared Robert the Doll and his tales of torture made people scared to even pass the house for fear of Robert glaring at them through the window. Gene even claimed to have walked into the turret room on several occasions only to find a displeased Robert the Doll rocking in a rocking chair, looking out the window and gripping about his current accommodations.

Finally after to many occurrences, Gene could not bear it anymore and was tired of the control Robert the Doll had on him for so many years. Gene once again boxed Robert the Doll and placed him in the attic.

However, that didn’t stop Robert from showing his presence in the house. Many visitors to the home would hear evil giggling coming from the attic as well as constant footsteps walking back and forth from the attic. Robert the Doll was never again taken out of the attic by Gene and would not surface again until the death of Gene in 1972. Gene’s wife sold the property to another family and left behind Robert the Doll in his attic home. Robert sat in the attic watching and waiting for his next discovery.

It wasn’t long after that the new family that moved in found the doll in the attic. The couple that moved in had a 10 year old daughter and they gave the doll to her to play with. Robert the Doll became her companion and she would talk to Robert and claims that he talked back to her. As their friendship began to bloom, the well-known evil traits of Robert the Doll began again.

Odd things would happen around the house, objects moved, footsteps running through the house, the sounds of evil giggling could be heard throughout the house, and neighbors claiming that the doll would move from window to window glaring at the people and mimicking them as they passed by. The girl would scream and cry in horror claiming that the doll would move about the room and hop onto her bed and physically attack her.

Her parents would come into the room to find furniture and toys tossed about their daughters’ room, all while Robert the Doll lay at her feet. The girl began to blame everything on Robert and due to strange occurrences her family began to believe her. They also decided to box Robert the Doll up and place him in the attic until they moved and he was given to a local museum. Thirty years later, the girl still claims that “the doll was alive and wanted to kill her.”

Robert the Doll now has a new home, Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. Here he is kept in a guarded glass box perched on a rocking chair with his trusted lion by his side. It is said that if you go to visit Robert at the museum and want to take a picture of him that you need to ask him first if you can take his picture. If he disapproves he will tilt his head to one side. If you take the picture without Robert’s approval, it is said that both you and your family will be tormented with bad occurrences for the rest of your time!

Why didn’t they simply throw the doll away?

8 – The Old Slave House – Hickory Hills, Illinois

The Old Slave House, also known as the Crenshaw house, was noted as being one of the most haunted houses in the U.S. and has been visited by many people throughout its history. The Old Slave House was built in 1833 and was not completed until 1836 by John Crenshaw. The house sits on a hill overlooking the great Saline River.

The Old Slave House is an astounding three stories tall with a total of 18 rooms within the first and second floor. The third floor is the attic and although not known at the time of construction what the purposes of the attic would be, through the years many people found out the true horrors of what the attic holds in the Old Slave House.

There were also some very unusual additions made to the house that were not able to be seen by people such as a tunnel that leads from the Saline River to the home, which is said to have been used to transport slaves in confinement from the outside world. 

Though John Crenshaw kept his secret hidden from the outside world due to his wealthy popularity in the community as a salt miner, it was soon discovered exactly what type of plans he had and the horrors that took place on the attic floor of the Old Slave House.

There was only one stairway that led to the dark and cold 13 cubicle roomed attic and it is said to have been the home to many slaves owned by John Crenshaw. The attic did have some windows which were the only light and ventilation source to the attic and the tiny cubicle rooms appear to look like small cells. 

It is here that Crenshaw kept slaves chained to the floors of their confined cells. To this day you can still see the marks and scrapings that the chains caused on the floors of the attic and cells. Mr. Crenshaw was very mean to the slaves and tortured them daily with beatings that even an animal shouldn’t endure.

It wasn’t until 1842, when Mr. Crenshaw was indicted for the kidnapping of a black slave and her children that rumors started to rise over his in-house slave trade business. It wasn’t long after that one of Mr. Crenshaw’s sawmills was burned down and his salt business and revenue deteriorated.

It is said that Mr. Crenshaw also lost a leg due to a slave. Crenshaw was beating a women slave in the fields and in anger and disapproval one of the men slaves grabbed an axe nearby and severed Crenshaw’s leg leaving him to have his leg amputated. Not long after that, Crenshaw sold off all of the slaves and his salt mining days where dwindling before him.

Mr. and Mrs. Crenshaw decided to move and sold the Old Slave House and moved to another farm house nearby. In 1906 the Old Slave House was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Sisk who were a close descendent of the Crenshaw’s.

At the time the Old Slave House was locally known and the Sisk’s started having visitors of all hours of the night wanting to tour the famous Old Slave House. Many people where interested in the tales of old slaves being heard in the attic screaming and crying for release from the cruel cells. 

In 1930, the home became so popular to locals, tourists, and paranormal investigators that the Sisk’s started charging admission for tours.

Tourists claim to hear the rattling of chains, a feeling of sadness upon entering the home, and crying and weeping could be heard throughout the attic floor. Many visitors also wanted to stay overnight in the attic floor to see if they themselves could capture any paranormal activity. This became very popular due to the fact that everyone was told that there was no way anyone could spend an entire night in the attic floor. It is said that no one was able to spend an entire night in the attic without fleeing in the middle of night from the home scared out of their wits.

Mr. Sisk however shortly ended the practice of being able to spend the night in the attic due to a small fire being started by a lantern. Not long after his decision to end the nightly stays in the attic, he declined invitations from others who wanted to tour the well-known haunted house until 1978.

In 1978 he allowed a reporter to stay in the attic for a Halloween stunt for television purposes. During the reporter’s stay, he heard noises throughout the night that were unexplained and later listened to recordings that would host voices that he could not hear himself. The Old Slave House from then on has been a top destination for many ghost hunters and paranormal investigators.

In 1996 the Old Slave House was shut down due to the declining health of both Mr. and Mrs. Sisk. Although for years it appeared that the Old Slave House would never re-open, the state of Illinois later purchased the property and it was registered in the state of Illinois as an historical landmark. 

9 – Moon River Brewing Company – Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is one of the most haunted cities in America and is home to one of the most haunted pubs also. The Moon River Brewing Company was built in 1821 by Elazer Early and was the first hotel in Savannah, The City Hotel. 

The Moon River Brewing Company is now a popular brewing pub that sits on the bottom floor of the four story building and locals, staff, as well as the many people that tour the pub each year, have experienced many paranormal phenomena as well as poltergeist activity present in the building.

Through the years many paranormal investigators and ghost enthusiasts have investigated the Moon River Brewing Company and have significant evidence that the old building truly is haunted.

Photo via Moon River Brewing

In the mid-1800’s many hotels were turned into hospital wards due to yellow fever. At one point the hotel became a hospital ward for yellow fever and many children as well as older individuals are said to of died and presently haunt the building. Some of the most well-known ghosts in the Moon River Brewing Company are a lady dressed in white, a black figure that is most commonly called “Toby”, and the presence and sounds of the spirits of children.

Many staff members have reported seeing a lady in white walking down the stairways of the building. On many occasions, it has also been said that she has physically pushed people down the stairs. Two eyewitnesses claimed to have seen the lady in white walk down the stairway in broad daylight and walk to the bar as if she were ordering a drink.

It is also said that during an attempt to renovate one of the floors that the foreman’s wife was bringing him lunch and upon walking up the stairs she was pushed down and plummeted to the floor. Many times owners have tried to renovate the floors of the old building and the spirits within show their disapproval and act out on anyone trying to remodel the building.

It is said that a black figure, Toby, walks about the rooms of the pub particularly the billiard room. Reports of the pool table cue balls moving as if the game was being played have been noted by many employees. 

The Moon River Brewing Company is also said to be haunted by many children and laughter as well as small voices that can be heard on the 3rd floor of the building. The children that haunt the building are said to be the victims of yellow fever and the building was their final resting place. Many of the staff members will not even attempt to go to the upper floors.

Still don’t believe in ghosts? You can become a believer to the supernatural world through guided tours through the now active brewing pub and grab some good food while you are there.

The next time you are visiting Savannah, Georgia, make sure that you stop in to the Moon River Brewing Company and find out the haunting history that the building holds.

10 – Villisca Axe Murder House – Villisca, Iowa

The Villisca Axe Murder House has become very popular among paranormal investigators and is proven to be truly haunted.

Villisca, Iowa is a very close-knit small town where everyone knows everyone. However, Villisca locals changed their lifestyles and trust for one another within the blink of an eye after one of the world’s most horrific unsolved crimes was unleashed in early 1912.

Photo via atlasobscura.com

On the night of Sunday, June 9, 1912 at approximately 8:00 p.m. Josiah B. Moore “J.B.”, his wife Sarah Moore, and their four children Herman, Katherine, Boyd and Paul, attended a Children’s Program at their local Presbyterian Church. Lena Stillinger and Ina Stillinger were also in attendance and participated in the Children’s Program. They were close friends with the Moore children. That night Katherine Moore asked both Lena and Ina to spend the night at the Moore home.

The Children’s Program ended at approx. 9:30 p.m. and both the Moore family and the Stillinger sisters walked home, arriving at the Moore residence between 9:45 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The next morning on June 10, 1912 a neighbor saw there was no activity going on at the Moore house. The neighbor began to worry so knocked on the door a couple of times with no answer. It wasn’t long after that she notified Mr. Moore’s brother, Ross Moore, to let him know about the non-activity surrounding the house.

When Ross Moore showed up, he knocked. He tried to peek in a bedroom window. Everything was still. He went in to check the home and at first he saw nothing out of place. However, a couple steps ahead he found a horrible scene.

In a downstairs bedroom, lay the two murdered Stillinger sister’s with blood stained bedding all around their bodies. Ross Moore immediately yelled for the neighbor to notify authorities.

When the police arrived they found the 8 slaughtered bodies of J.B. Moore, his wife, the Moore’s four children, and the Stillinger sisters. All of the victims had been brutally murdered by an axe. The axe was found in the bedroom with the Stillinger sisters. The axe that was used for the heinous murders belonged to J.B. Moore himself and must have been picked up by the murderer in the backyard.

All of the bodies were covered in bed sheets. There was also a bowl of bloody water on the kitchen table, as well as an uneaten plate of food. All of the doors and windows where locked… from the inside.

The town of Villisca, Iowa would never be the same again. The town obviously feared an axe murderer on the loose and bought extra locks for their doors, kept their family members close, and looked at each other like they really didn’t know each other at all. The case went cold and is unsolved to this day.

The Villisca Axe Murder House has since housed 13 different families and is now owned by Darwin Linn who has made this a popular and interesting tourist attraction full of excitement and creepiness.

The current Villisca Axe Murder House has been newly renovated and is an exact replica of the house from when the murders occurred. Locals and Linn both believe that the renovation has stirred up the sleeping spirits of not only the Moore’s and Stillinger’s, but the never caught axe murderer also.

When you ask Darwin Linn about the supernatural occurrences in the house he will let you know right off the bat that he does not believe in ghosts, however, he does believe there is something in the house and he too has experienced episodes of the supernatural. He has also had many tourists, family members, and friends that have encountered strange activity in this well-known haunted house.

Objects move across the room, children’s voices and laughter fill the air around, one closet in particular in the children’s room will open and close on its own. There have been countless paranormal investigators as well as psychics that have toured the home and have collected evidence that there is definitely paranormal activity in the home.

A loud scream from a male voice has also been heard in J.B. and Sarah’s room thought to be the barreling scream from J.B. himself.  The Linn’s offer 3 different tours, the Villisca Cemetery Tour which takes you to J.B. and Sarah Moore’s, and their four children’s grave site, as well as the grave sites of Lena and Ina Stillinger, a daylight tour from the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and an unbelievable overnight tour.

The overnight tours are described as a paranormal investigators dream come true and can be yours also if you have the nerve.

11 – The Haunted Mortuary – New Orleans, Louisiana

The Haunted Mortuary is one of the most haunted houses in the U.S. Originally built in 1872 by Mary Slatterly, this was a lavish Victorian style mansion, and is home to many spirits. The mansion was originally built to hold as an heirloom for Mary’s  family and was supposed to be passed down from generation to generation. However, the property was sold a few times and in 1928 was purchased to turn the lavish mansion into a grand funeral home.

It is said that the funeral home hosted more than 20,000 funerals from the time it first opened until the it’s 1985 to the Security Industrial Funeral Home. The property changed hands several times since the upkeep alone for a more than 130 year old building took its toll on the businesses.

Photo via TheMortuary.net

In 2004 the Neil Corporation purchased the home with the idea to turn the mansion into a Day Spa. They gutted the entire building to nothing but plaster. However, when the CEO of Neil Corporation passed away mysteriously they eliminated the project and left it vacant and untouched for many years.

In 2007, the present owner, Jeff Borne, bought the property in hopes of making it an attraction as a haunted mansion. His initial idea was to have the attraction available for Halloween festivities. However, little did he know the true horror the mansion held.

When Borne and his crew of construction workers walked in to the Haunted Mortuary they saw gang graffiti throughout the entire place and holes in the flooring. In the process of remodeling the facility, a group of paranormal investigators approached Mr. Borne and asked if they could investigate the well-known mortuary.

Stories of a ghostly woman in a white dress that walks the halls crying and weeping for her long gone husband, two young children filling the mortuary with laughter and giggling running up and down the mortuary halls, and even a former mortician come to life finishing his work in the embalming room. Many claim to hear footsteps and whispers throughout the mortuary supposedly from the undead where they spent their final days on earth in the mortuary. This was the first Mr. Borne had heard such stories and allowed the investigators to perform an investigation in the Haunted Mortuary.

During their investigation they found a ton of supernatural activity. Mr. Borne has since made the Haunted Mortuary a breeding ground for paranormal investigators hunting for a case packed with real ghost occurrences. There have been several paranormal investigations since he has bought the facility and all of the crews leave happy with the findings of the paranormal throughout the mansion.

The Haunted Mortuary also offers ghost tours to those who dare as well as ghost hunts for those that are intrigued in the paranormal world. In the tour you are taken through the history of the mortuary and are also shown the findings that have been found in the mortuary since investigations have started.

The Haunted Mortuary is now equipped with over 30 cameras throughout to capture any paranormal activity and through the tours you are taken inside and shown the evidence where you yourself can be the judge! However, you will have to make reservations ahead of time due to the popularity of the attraction.

12 – Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Weston, West Virginia

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was constructed between the years of 1858 and 1881. Originally the asylum was built to hold 250 patients; however at its peak it housed more than 2,500 patients. The asylum was kept in poor condition. The Trans- Allegheny Lunatic Asylum closed its doors in 1994 due to the changes in the treatment of mental illnesses and building deterioration.

The Civil War wing of the asylum was the first fully constructed portion of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. This wing is said to be the most haunted wings in the asylum. Many paranormal investigators have investigated this wing and found that there are a few wandering spirits still lurking in the halls.

Photo via LA Times

The two main ghosts that have been seen in the Civil War Wing are Ruthie and Jack. Jack is said to be haunting the kitchen area. It is claimed that Jack can be heard throwing objects across the room and if you’re lucky he will even communicate with you. Ruthie is also a very popular spirit that still roams the halls of the Civil War Wing. Ruthie was a patient at the asylum and stayed in the Civil War Wing.

She was a very combative patient and had to be tied down for feedings. Staff members claimed that she would yell and scream at them and then try to physically attack them. The staff also claims that Ruthie was not very fond of men and that she likes haunting male visitors.

Many people claim that you can hear Ruthie in the tied chair banging on it waiting for her food. Ruthie has also been said to scream and yell and many have witnessed actual voice contact with Ruthie. Ruthie can also be found in Ward I where she was transferred that was classified mainly for violent women… which Ruthie very much was!

It is uncertain exactly how many spirits lurk the halls of the civil war wing, however, many paranormal investigators have found many mad and angry male voices.

Lilly is another well-known ghost in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum and can be found in her mother’s, Gladys Ravensfield, old room. The story of Lilly begins with her mother, Gladys. Not long after soldiers raped and tormented Gladys, she suffered a great depression and ended up in the asylum. Gladys vowed to kill the soldiers that gave her such sadness. It wasn’t long after her admission to the asylum that they found Gladys to be pregnant by one of the soldiers that raped her.

Gladys gave birth to Lilly in the asylum and within a few hours the newborn died. Although it sounds odd that the ghost of an infant would appear as the ghost of a 3 years old, many believe that she has grown as a spirit and now manifests herself as what appears to be a small girl. Visitors and paranormal investigators have found that Lilly haunts the room of Gladys, located in the Civil War Wing, as well as the halls that surround it.

Many people claim that she will roll a ball on the floor with you playing and also has a sweet tooth. Many visitors have had candy bars stolen. Giggles and laughter of a child can be heard throughout the halls that surround her mother’s room and many have even caught true apparitions of the small girl.

Ward 2 of the asylum is also said to haunted by two hanging victims as well as a homicidal stabbing. It is said that the two hanging victims were found hanging from some pipes in room 408. If you go into room 408, you will hear cries and screams supposedly from the 2 hanging victims. Many people have also encountered objects being tossed about into the room. As for the stabbing homicide, an enraged patient attacked another patient in the men’s bathroom and was reportedly stabbed to death 17 times. 

Many people have claimed to hear the crowds of people laughing and music playing from the 3rd floor ballroom. 

Ward C is one of the most dangerous halls to venture down… even back in the day. Ward C was used for some of the most violent and combative women in the asylum.

Guards, before entering Ward C, would have to first check the little windows in the door to make sure that there were not any women patients lurking in the corners waiting to attack them. The violent women of Ward C were also bathed in this area. It is said that the patients would be tied from pipes in the bathing room and hosed down during cleaning sessions. Many guests claim that when you enter Ward C you can hear women screaming and some have even claimed to have their hair pulled. 

Ward F is said to be the location of many murder plots among the patients, as recent as 1987. It is said that in 1987 two patients plotted to kill another patient by hanging the patient by the pipes of their room. However, when this didn’t work, the two patients took the male patient down and proceeded to crush his skull under a bedpost. Also, one of the two patients that were involved in the bedpost murder, snuck out of their room during the night and beat another patient to death in one Ward F hallway.

It is claimed by many visitors that they have felt touching on their shoulder as well as witnessed sounds of gurneys rolling across the floors. Many have also claimed to hear a male voice whispering in their ear.

It is claimed by many visitors and tour guides that the door to room 688 slowly opens and closes by itself. However, tour guides also claim that they can shut every door on the 4th floor finding only an hour later that all the doors have been opened. Tour guides have also claimed to be chased out of the 4th floor by running footsteps right behind them. 

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum hosts both daily and nightly ghost tours to anyone that dares to step through the doors of one of the most haunted asylums in the world! The nightly paranormal tours are held for 2 hours between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

During the nightly paranormal tour 40 lucky souls will be divided into groups of 10 and assigned to a tour guide to roam the dark halls of the asylum. They encourage you to bring your cameras and any other paranormal tools where you can do your very own investigation. However, keep in mind that the nightly paranormal tours require a reservation in advance.

If you are looking for a more family friendly paranormal experience, they also offer paranormal ghost tours during the day. Here you can tour the halls of the asylum between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

13 – The Orpheum Theater – Memphis, Tennessee

The Orpheum Theater is a very famous theater that is one of the few “movie palaces” still left from the 1920’s. The Orpheum Theater still hosts live musical events as well as Broadway plays. Many paranormal experts have investigated this theater and have found one strong spirit that has been named as one of the mascots for The Orpheum Theater, however paranormal investigators also believe that there are at least 6 other spirits in theater.

Photo via GhostlyWorld.com

The most notable ghost in The Orpheum Theater, and a ghost that has made The Orpheum Theater one of the top haunted places in the U.S., is a little girl by the name of “Mary.” Although it is unclear exactly why Mary haunts The Orpheum Theater, several people have come up with many different scenarios of how she died as well as why she chooses The Orpheum Theater as her permanent home.

It is said that Mary was killed in an automobile accident outside of The Orpheum Theater, while others claim that she died during a high fall near The Orpheum Theater. Another theory is that Mary was run over right in the front of The Orpheum Theater and that people took her battered lifeless body into theater until ambulances arrived pronouncing her dead on arrival.

Another popular theory among Orpheum Theater buffs is that Mary was watching a production in The Orpheum Theater and during the performance she fell from the balcony to her death. In any event, Mary has chosen The Orpheum as her home and makes her presence known to employees, stage crew, and actors as well as many guests.

It is said that her favorite seat to sit in in The Orpheum Theater is C-5. Witnesses have claimed to see the small child in the seat watching performances and then after the production, a blood stained seat is the only reminisce left in seat C-5. It is said that if you sit in that seat that you will experience cold chills and witnesses have claimed that Mary has tried to get them out of her seat while they are sitting there.

Although she has never interfered with any of the plays or productions, she has been known to play tricks on the stage crew and actors. Many witnesses also say that you can hear her laughing and giggling in the back stage. Witnesses have claimed that Mary usually appears in a white dress with dark brown hair braided in pigtails. Mary has also been spotted in bathrooms, running up and down the halls of The Orpheum, and moving objects and then replacing the objects minutes later. They have found Mary to be quite the trickster and The Orpheum Theater actually welcomes her presence.

Another activity that Mary likes to partake in is playing the pipe organ. Witnesses have claimed to see Mary sitting at the organ playing it, while others have claimed to hear the pipe organ start playing on its own and then when an employee or guest enters the room it will stop playing.

There was one incident where the pipe organ needed repair and simply wasn’t working right. The theater had a pianist repairman come in to take a look at the organ. While fixing the pipe organ he claimed to hear a small child’s laughter and giggling and he claimed it was a female child’s voice that he heard. He and his crew tried for hours to fix the pipe organ with no avail.

After getting frustrated, the crew stepped away from the pipe organ to take a breather for a few minutes. When they returned to the pipe organ…the pipe organ was mysteriously fixed. Many believe that because this is one of Mary’s favorite activities to do, that Mary herself fixed the pipe organ so that she would not lose her most exciting activity!

Although there is not an actual ghost tour available at The Orpheum Theater there are various ghost tours available in the city of Memphis that will take you to the Orpheum Theater and give you all the details about the ghost of Mary and her activity.

You can also just simply find a play you have wanted to see or a show available at The Orpheum Theater and experience it sitting in the very seat Mary claims “C-5.” 

14 – The Pensacola Lighthouse – Pensacola, Florida

The Pensacola Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses still present in Pensacola and was completely constructed and put to use in 1824. The first lighthouse post keeper was Jeremiah Ingraham and after managing the post by himself for 2 years he married Michaela Penalber who was originally from Pensacola. Together both Jeremiah and Michaela managed the lighthouse and eventually had three children together in this time.

It is said that Michaela was very jealous over Jeremiah and followed him everywhere he went. This was the start of the many tales that would be linked to the Pensacola Lighthouse. Jeremiah Ingraham passed away in 1840 and Michaela was then appointed lighthouse keeper, where she remained the keeper until her own death in 1855. Although records show that Jeremiah was ill and died many people believe that Michaela is the fault to his death.

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Many believe that Michaela brutally stabbed Jeremiah in the keeper’s quarters of the lighthouse during a heated argument. After Michaela’s death in 1855 her son in law, Joseph Palms, took on the duties as the new lighthouse keeper.

In 1859, it was decided to remodel the old lighthouse due to poor construction, although many believe that this did not settle well with the spirit of Michaela. Ever since the remodel the lighthouse has become haunted by who many believe to be a disgruntle Michaela… mad that they would even tamper with her beloved lighthouse.

Some years later, they also remodeled the inside of the keeper’s quarters as well as many of the other rooms throughout the lighthouse post. It is said that even after remodeling the keeper’s quarters that there is a spot on the floor that appears blood stained, and even after scrubbing numerous upon numerous times, the blood stain is said to still be present.

Many believe that this is the bloodshed from Jeremiah when Michaela supposedly stabbed her husband to death. Many of the past keepers of the lighthouse also claim that they have tried scrubbing the floor vigorously only to find that the stains will not disappear and are still present to this day!

Many people have also claimed to have objects thrown at them throughout the keeper’s post while visiting the Pensacola Lighthouse and many feel that it is the angered ghost of Michaela mad at the fact of the newly constructed lighthouse. Many eyewitnesses have also claimed to have seen Michaela at the top of the tower waiting to shine her lights across the shore.

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On one occasion a family was visiting the lighthouse and the son was so excited to see the lighthouse and repeatedly asked his father, “When are we going to see the ghost?” His father, making light of the question, informed his son that there was not a ghost and that the lighthouse was very historical.

As the family ventured up the tower the boy claimed that he could see the ghost and that the ghost even whispered his name, “Alex,” in his ear. There have also been numerous occasions of guests saying that they have seen the lady in white… which Michaela is commonly referred to as.

Although many believe that Michaela is not the only ghost that haunts the historical lighthouse. Many believe that other previous lighthouse keepers also haunt the lighthouse as well as two of a previous lighthouse keeper’s children. It is said that the children died due to drowning and now haunt the halls of the keepers post and can be heard laughing and playing and being quite the tricksters while guests visit and tour the lighthouse.

The Pensacola Lighthouse is now a very popular tourist attraction that includes tours, a museum, and tons of historical collections and memorabilia. The tours that are provided here give you detailed information on the historical aspect of the lighthouse as well as the grounds that surround it.

In a guided Ghost Tour, you will hear tales and legends that the lighthouse holds as well as what staff, previous visitors, and locals have claimed to have seen, felt, and experienced while touring or visiting the Pensacola Lighthouse.

15 – The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado

This magnificent 138 room hotel is most famous for its inspiration to world renowned author Stephen King’s The Shinning. 

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Photo via Haunted Rooms America

Some of the main ghosts that are said to haunt the Stanley Hotel is the ghost of the creator of the Stanley Hotel – F.O. Stanley. He has been seen mostly in the billiard room, lobby, and bar of the hotel. Stanley’s wife Flora has also been seen playing the piano in the ballroom.

Flora was the pianist for the hotel and keys can be seen playing as well as a woman’s silhouette sitting at the piano. Several employees have also claimed to hear a party going on in the ballroom equipped with guest laughter and a piano playing and then when they go to see what is going on in the room…there will be not a soul in sight.

One of the most notable events is the haunting of room 418, where witnesses claim to hear and see several children playing outside the door in the hallway. Many guests have called the lobby complaining about children playing loudly in the hallway and when employees go up they find nothing of the sort.

In room 407, witnesses have claimed to have their room lights turn on and off by themselves. Witnesses have also claimed to see a face in this particular room in one of the windows. This face is supposed to be seen from both inside and outside of this room. The fourth floor of the hotel is said to be the most haunted floor of the Stanley Hotel and has reports of footsteps walking up and down the hall at all hours of the night as well as various apparitions… presumably from former faithful guests that just can’t leave.

As for the beliefs of room 217 being haunted, the very room Stephen King and his wife stayed in during their visit to The Stanley Hotel, there have also been witnesses to say that they have seen a woman in the room walking back and forth as well as different child ghosts.

The children’s ghosts have been classified as two of the grounds keepers’ children who stayed at the hotel and contracted cabin fever, where they later passed away inside The Stanley Hotel. As for the woman ghost figure, historians claim that this was a lady that used to work for The Stanley Hotel as a chambermaid. One evening she went to turn on a lamp in room 217 and the entire room ignited. Although it did not kill the woman she did suffer injuries as well as a broken ankle. Witnesses believe that her ghost still haunts The Stanley Hotel because of this traumatic experience.

The Stanley Hotel Ghost tours are a very popular attraction among tourists and reservations are recommended because the tours fill up quickly throughout the summer months.

16 – Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

By 1790 the Walnut Street Jail had seen its fair share of overcrowding. The Quaker’s of Philadelphia decided to organize a new way to rehabilitate the inmates. They believed that since monks manifested peace with God through solitary confinement and isolation, then so would the prisoners. In 1822, the construction began for the Eastern State Penitentiary.

Opening its doors in 1829, the prison first housed 250 people. Records indicate that Charles Williams was the first inmate signed in. He served two years for the crime of burglary. As for Charles and thousands of others who were kept or died there, the sign in procedure was normal. Each inmate was assigned a number on their coat as means of identification and never referred to by their name again. Each one was weighted and measurements of the body were taken.

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They got all the features of the inmates such as hair and eye color and gave them a pair of pants, one coat, two pairs of socks, one pair of shoes, and two handkerchiefs. Little did they know that this was the beginning of a pure nightmare from hell where many men would fall victim to outright insanity.

Right after sign in, a mask was placed over the prisoner’s head and he was taken to his cell. Any time the inmate was taken anywhere the mask was used. This was to keep the prisoner unfamiliar with his surroundings in the event he tried to escape. The prison held a strict order for every inmate to remain in entire isolation for his entire sentence. 

Inmates remained in their cells 23 hours a day, and for recreational time each prisoner had a blocked off small area to spend one hour a day, alone. Contact even with the guards was minimal.

The only thing the 8×12 cell consisted of was a cot, a sink, a toilet, and a skylight window so they could communicate and feel close to God. It was known as “The Eye of God”. They weren’t allowed to have anything other than a Bible.

To further the isolation, each cell had not only a steel cage door, but a sliding wood door as well so the inmates couldn’t see the guards, other inmates, and not even the halls.

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To help keep total silence in the facility it is said that the guards wore socks on their feet to damper their footsteps. Although the prison officials would never admit it, instead of helping the inmates this only drove them insane. Many men took their lives while incarcerated behind the walls of Eastern State.

Talking, singing, humming, and whistling were not allowed at the prison and breaking the rules was not tolerated and dealt with in outrageous and horrible ways. Three of the most common forms of punishment at the prison were The Mad Chair, The Water Bath, and The Iron Gag.

Many of the prisoners knew that talking was not allowed, but many attempted it anyway. They would take them to The Mad Chair where their arms and legs would be restrained so tightly that circulation would be cut off turning their skin black. This chair was commonly used in mental hospitals, but this was the first at a prison. They would be left for hours and sometimes for even a few days. 

Sometimes they would give them The Water Bath. They would strip the inmate of all of his clothing and drench them in cold water and chain them to a wall overnight. This was especially cruel and horrible punishment during the winter months because the water would freeze a layer of ice over the naked inmate during the night with the rigid temperature.

The Iron Gag was also used to punish the prisoners. They would restrain the inmate’s hands behind his back and then place the gag on his head. This device connected to the tongue and had a chain that connected from the gag to the hands. Any movement at all would result in terrible pain to the mouth and tongue. After being freed from the gag many inmates would have bloody tongues and mouths.

For more severe punishment the inmates would be carried to the hole which was a small room with no windows or lights and only a hole in the floor for using the restroom. All the clothes were taken from the prisoner and they were only allowed one small ration of bread and water per day. Sometimes they would be left here for days or even a week.

By 1913 the number of inmates grew to 1,700.  By 1970 the prison was in need of so many repairs and the cost in fixing all of the things would cost more than just building a new prison. The governor decided to build 4 new prisons to aid to the problem and in 1971 Eastern State Penitentiary closed its doors.

Some of the first reports of strange occurrences dates back to the early 1900’s. Many inmates and guards reported hearing laughing when no one is there. Others told tales of hearing sobbing and moaning, but once again no one would be there. Eerie screams echo through the halls of the now vacant building without any explanation.

It seems that every square inch of this place is haunted to the max. One can only expect for souls to be stuck here and causing havoc for all the pain they suffered and the torture they endured which lead to insanity for almost every inmate who was there.

There are also many reports of the ghost of a guard standing in the watch tower. He is said to pace back and forth. Another strange tale of this haunted prison is the hauntings Al Capone suffered while incarcerated on a gun charge where he was sentenced to eight months.

The guards could hear him screaming in fear and begging for “Jimmy” to go away and leave him alone. Capone claimed it was the ghost of James Clark. He was the brother-in-law of Bugs Moran, Capone and Bugs were bitter rivals and James was killed by Capone in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Even after he was released he claimed to still be haunted by Jimmy. 

Anyone who steps foot in the prison states that you can feel the presence of something bad. Still to this day the sounds of insane inmates can be heard as they pace in their cells. Tours are available to the public. so plan a trip to this place. You can go in and strap yourself to The Mad Chair and see what happens! 

17 – Franklin Castle – Cleveland, Ohio

The Franklin Castle is said to be one of Ohio’s most haunted houses. The castle home was built in the mid 1800’s by Hans Tiedemann and is said to have 21 different rooms inside, along with hidden passageways and stairways. The entire 4th floor holds a ballroom that is only accessible by its own set of stairs.

The Franklin Castle was completely built of stone and designed to imitate a true king’s castle with a turret and completely surrounded by a 6ft. wrought iron fence. The town of Cleveland found it to be a magnificently designed construction and new addition to the neighborhood. Little did they know what was to come of the stone walled castle and what some say still haunt the castle today!

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Hans Tiedemann was a German immigrant who found gold in the barrel making business as well as the banking industry. It is said that Tiedemann and his wife had a total of 5 children.

Although Tiedemann was popular and well liked throughout the town, many believed he was a tyrant towards both his wife and children. It is said that Tiedemann’s daughter, Karen, 13, was hung in the rafters to imitate a suicide after an accidental death during an altercation between Karen’s boyfriend, Tiedemann, and Karen.

Many people claim to see the ghost of Karen in the 3rd floor room most commonly referred to as “the cold room” due to it always being the coldest room in the castle, at least 10 degrees lower than any other room. Many people in the neighborhood claim that they will see Karen looking out of the windows to the watch the people passing. Karen is one of the most commonly seen ghosts in the enormous castle.

A few weeks after Karen’s death, Tiedemann’s mother, Wiebeka, who also lived in the castle, passed away mysteriously. Between the years of 1886 and 1888 the Tiedemann’s lost another 3 children and it is said that they were held in a specific room that could only be accessed through a hidden passageway.

Many say  you can hear children and babies crying within the walls of the castle and they feel it is the tormented Tiedemann children and babies that were born in the castle but put to death immediately to hide from the public. There were also baby skeletons found in one particular room that could only be accessed through its own passage way. Although Tiedemann was never charged with the deaths of his children many believe that their deaths were due to Tiedemann.

Within that time Tiedemann started expanding the castle with numerous passageways, hidden rooms, and a ballroom. Within the years before Tiedemann’s wife’s death in 1895, it is also said that Tiedemann murdered a young servant girl by the name of Rachel with an axe in a jealous rage in one of the castle bedrooms. It is said that Rachel was also one of Tiedemann’s many mistresses. Many people claim that they see Rachel’s ghost in the top turret window of the castle and it is believed to be the bedroom that Rachel was murdered in.

haunted u.s. destinationsAlong with the death of Rachel, it is also said that Tiedemann also murdered his niece and then hung her body from the rafters of a hidden tunnel in the castle, which is said to be a tunnel that leads all the way to Lake Eerie. Although many people that have lived in the castle claim that the tunnel does not go all the way to Lake Eerie but just a few miles away from it.

Many people have told the tale of Tiedemann also strangling one of his other mistresses within one of the secret rooms. Although his wife Louise was said to of died of liver disease many believe that Tiedemann also had a part in her death. 

By the end of 1895, after the death of his wife, Tiedemann sold the Franklin Castle to the Mullhauser family who then sold The Franklin Castle to the German Socialist Party in 1913. Not much is known of what truly went on within the castle walls in the 55 years that the German Socialist Party owned The Franklin Castle, although it is said that the party would hold secret meetings and also engage in espionage.

It is also said that a 20 man assassination went on during the reign of the German Socialist Party in the Franklin Castle. It is also said that the party later rented the rooms out to boarders, one which was believed to be a doctor that engaged in many weird experiments using real human bodies.

In 1968, the Franklin Castle was sold to the Romano family. The Romano family owned the castle for 8 years and in that time their children claimed to be visited by a young ghost girl and actually interacted with the family. The Romano’s finally decided to move from the Franklin Castle due to a one of the spirits telling the Romano’s that if they didn’t leave that there would be a future death in the family.

In May of 1976 the Romano’s sold The Franklin Castle to Rev. Sam Muscatello and Rev. Tim Swope for a reported $34,300. Rev. Muscatello’s and Rev. Swope’s plan was to make the 2nd floor dining hall into a church. They planned to make the 1st and 3rd floor a food bank for the homeless and less fortunate families. Many found this odd, due to the tales of the haunted Franklin Castle being transformed into a church.

Before their plans could be made final they would need money to fund the project. They began charging $1.50 to tour the haunted castle and $15 for an overnight stay. Rev. Swope stayed in the castle for 10 weeks by himself and he describes the time as a very haunting experience. He is said to have kept his radio blaring to numb out the many sounds the castle held. Rev. Muscatello also claimed to have found a skeleton body within a hidden panel in the tower room. 

Their plans fell through and they eventually had to sell the Franklin Castle to Maryon Ruchelman for a reported $38,000 in the same year they bought the remarkable castle. Through the years the Franklin castle has been home to many doctors’ offices, apartments, bootlegger’s home, and even a party house.

The Franklin Castle is now owned by a social club by the name of The Franklin Castle Club. Many believe that the Franklin Castle is home to many ghosts and ghouls and fear even walking by the massive structure.

For now you can only drive by the property in hopes of seeing Rachel, Karen, or one of the many other ghosts claimed to be home to the Franklin Castle waving as you pass by. Have Fun!

 

Conclusion

Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, haunted destinations can be a fun and exciting experience for all. The thrill alone of possibly visiting a site where the unknown are said to still be present can create a memorable and spooky activity.

There are many places in the U.S. that claim to be haunted. Many believe that the supernatural are spirits that have unfinished business or have a significant reason for staying at the same place. Whether it was their childhood home that they had a connection with, or where they spent their last days on earth, or even just a significant spot that their spirit was close with. 

You be your own paranormal judge… that is if you dare…and visit one of these haunted destinations today!

Read all about the night I spent in The Crescent Hotel one of America’s most haunted!

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