Some of the Top Haunted Places in America

With Halloween just around the corner, why not start it off with a little listicle of all the places you should get your Ouija on? Or, if you’re not the confronting type, all the places that you should definitely avoid this month… or ever.


1. Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum: Weston, West Virginia

Opening to patients in 1864, the asylum was believed to serve as a healing environment with bright windows to maximize sunlight and fresh air. By the 1950s, 2400 people were cramped in to a space originally meant for 250 and of which were treated with inhumane practices like electroshock therapy and lobotomies. It was closed in 1994. Hundreds of patients remain on the grounds as shadowy figures.


2. The Stanley Hotel: Estes Park, Colorado

The hotel based off of Stephen King’s best-selling novel turned horror film, The Shining, is actually one of the most terrifying places in America. The resort opened in 1909 by F.O and Flora Stanley who never seemed to leave. Mr. Stanley’s appearance in photographs is not uncommon, nor is hearing children’s laughter through the halls, lights turning on and off, and Mrs. Stanley playing the piano in the middle of the night.


3. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast: Fall River, Massachusetts

August 4, 1892- the bodies of Andrew and Abby Borden were found unrecognizable in their home. Their prime suspect is their youngest daughter, Lizzie. Through numerous trials and scrutiny, she was acquitted due to lack of physical evidence and no one was ever charged for the murders. The home is now a bed and breakfast where guests can stay in the haunted rooms overnight. Maybe sing the age-old rhyme and she’ll come see you. Lizzie Borden took an axe…


4. The Shanghai Tunnels: Portland, Oregon

During the nineteenth century, Portland was one of the most dangerous ports in the United States and was the center of shanghaiing, a form of human trafficking. Swindlers would prey upon men in saloons that had trapdoors built into them to deposit victims into the network of underground tunnels. The men were held captive, drugged, and sold to ships as unpaid laborers. These laborers continue to haunt the underground shafts.


5. The Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California

Built by Sarah Winchester, daughter-in-law of the man who founded the Winchester Rifle Company, was so convinced that she was being haunted by those killed by Winchester rifles, she continually built onto her house to confuse the spirits and keep them at bay. There are staircases that lead straight into ceilings, doors open to a second-floor drop, and the odd reoccurrence of the number 13 throughout the house.


6. The Ridges: Athens, Ohio

This one is very near and dear to me as it is so close to me and I have visited! Housed near Ohio University, The Ridges asylum is often mistook as a beautiful Victorian clock tower rather than asylum. Its doors were opened on January 9, 1874 due to the number of Civil War veterans suffering from PTSD. Individualized care increased as the hospital became more popular. Treatments such as water treatments, shock therapy, and lobotomies. This was on top of the other torture methods put on them like patients being retrained and living in groups in a room intended for one person. Patients would carve messages on the sandstone windowsills in their room. One of my favorites, “I was never crazy.”

If you end up visiting any or all of these places, remember to be mindful of the spirits who are there. They were there first and you are a mere guest passing through their living quarters. A few of these buildings have been made into very nice museums that you can visit while others are abandoned, or partially abandoned. Take caution when visiting the latter. Or just don’t go at all! You can just as easily scare the bejeezus out of you by watching Buzzfeed Unsolved. Sleep tight!