Welcome to our Ghost Hunter’s Guide to the U.S. Part 1!
Our 50 states are filled with history, from before the U.S. was established as a country to today. This has ensured that many of our nation’s sites are haunted with all kinds of paranormal spectres. Each state has many different spots known for haunting, so we picked one from every state to tell you about. Here is our Ghost Hunter’s Guide Part 1: the first 17 states.
Alabama: Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham
Sloss Furnace is a historic museum in Birmingham, Alabama. It has been estimated that over 100 reports of paranormal activity at the museum.In 1906, James “Slag” Wormwood died after he fell from the furnace into the melting ore. It’s rumored that his co-workers were driven too far, and ultimately killed him. People have experienced a man screaming “Get Back To Work!” and being shoved by a set of mysterious hands. One man came face to face with a half man/half demon figure and was found covered in intense burns.
Alaska: Red Onion Saloon, Skagway
Formerly a brothel, the Red Onion Saloon opened in 1898. It’s rumored to be haunted by Lydia, a prostitute. People have heard footsteps, smelled her perfume and felt extreme cold spots. It is unknown if she died in the brothel, but some have reported that she has been particularly hostile to men and has been seen as a full apparition and walking around the maid’s quarters.
Arizona: The Calderon Ballroom, Phoenix
In the barrio of Phoenix, Arizona is the Calderon Ballroom; An old dancehall that is known to be haunted. The story goes that a young girl wanted to go to a dance at the ballroom. Her parents told her no, but, in an act of defiance, she went anyway with some friends. She was sitting by herself watching them dance, when she was approached by a tall and very handsome man. He politely asked her to dance with him. She accepted, ignoring the smell of sulfur that trailed behind him. They danced and talked, and then they decided to go outside for a walk.
Soon after, she told him that she should go home. He tried to convince her to stay, but she started walking back towards the dance hall. He grabbed her arm. She felt dread in the pit of her stomach, and turned back to look at him, only to see that his face had changed. The people who found her body said that the skin where he had touched her on her neck and arms were burned. The bouncer at the dance says that the stranger had cloven hooves.
Arkansas: Crosset Lights
Near Crosset, Arizona, spooklights occur on moonless nights. The Crosset light hovers a couple of feet off the ground above former railroad tracks. It is explained as the lantern of a former railroad worker who was decapitated in an accident and is now searching for his lost head. It ranges it color from yellow to pale blue, disappearing when approached, and reappearing a few feet farther away.
California: The Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood
This hotel, built in 1927, is one of California’s most famous hotels because of its association with some of the world’s most famous and glamorous movies stars – some whose ghosts still inhabit the hotel to this very day. Marilyn Monroe still occupies room 12oo, where she lived while during her rise in fame, and has been known to appear behind guests when they look into the mirror. Montgomery Clift is another of the most frequented sightings. He is mostly found in room 928, where he stayed while filming From Here to Eternity. He is known to be a little bit more of a trickster, patting people, brushing up against them, and playing the trumpet. Other ghosts have also been spotted, such as a couple of kids and a man in a tuxedo.
Colorado: The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park
Urban Legend has it that hauntings started as early as 1911 after a housekeeper was electrocuted in a mid-lightening storm. Luckily the housekeeper survived the incident, but room 217 became a trouble spot for paranormal activity. While staying at the hotel, infamous horror writer Stephen King stayed in room 217, which later inspired his novel and eventual movie, The Shining.
Connecticut: Norwich State Hospital
This facility was built in 1904 to treat the mentally troubled and criminally insane. Due to many years of old-fashioned beliefs on how to care for the mentally ill, residents were mistreated and sometimes tortured, including being starved, sexually mistreated, beaten, and packed in ice. These methods ended up in untimely deaths for both patients and hospital workers.
Many ghosts now haunt this abandoned hospital, with powerful additional energy from the patients who were tortured. The most haunted building of the facility is the Salmon building. This was where the criminally insane were housed. There are reports of nurses seeing ghosts of children walking the halls on the second floor, a woman sobbing, the sounds of doors scraping or slamming shut, and screaming. As the years went on, medical practices improved and patients were no longer tortured. Still, the hospital ended up closing its doors in 1994, but the ruined building remains where tourists and ghost hunters still experience the presence of the tortured souls.
Delaware: Fort Delaware, Delaware City
Located on Pea Patch Sea, Fort Delaware is famously known as a prison camp during the Civil War. It is estimated that Fort Delaware held nearly 13,000 confederate prisoners of war. These inmates had no beds, bathing water, and were forced to sleep on stone floors. After it was abandoned in 1944, the former prison camp became a state park in 1951.
Florida: St. Augustine Lighthouse
The oldest lighthouse in the United States is sure to have an eerie history. Notably haunted by two sisters who drowned in the surrounding water, Eliza and Mary, whose laughter can be heard at night. People have seen Eliza around the grounds wearing the same blue dress she is known to have died in; the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a hotspot for paranormal enthusiasts alike.
Georgia: Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah
Bonaventure Cemetery is located in Savannah, Georgia, known for its beautiful landscaping and gothic styled headstones. It is rumored that a six year old girl named Gracie roams the cemetery crying bloody murder while others have heard small children playing and even smiling at them throughout the graveyard.
Hawaii: Nu’uanu Pali Highway, Oahu
Nu’uanuy Pali Lookout on Nu’uanu Pali Highway is home of one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history. In 1795, King Kamehameha was in battle with Kalanikupule, the chief of Maui. Kamehameha’s army surrounded Kalanikupule’s army which culminated in them forcing the Maui army off the cliff. This victory secured King Kamehameha’s position as ruler of the Hawaiian islands, thus uniting them. However, the ghosts of Kalanikupule’s 400 warriors still haunt the Pali.
The highway took seven years to build because the area’s energy and spirits frightened the workers so severely. There is another famous legend that haunts this highway. It is said that the Hawaiian goddess Pele had a bad breakup with demigod Kamapua’a, who was half man half pig. As a result, it is impossible to transfer pork from one side of the highway to the other because it symbolizes transporting Kamapua’a. Anyone who tries to transport any pork products will have their car break down, and then a woman and a dog will appear. To continue on, you must feed the pork to the dog.
Idaho: Old Idaho State Penitentiary, Boise
Built by the prisoners themselves in Boise, Idaho in 1872. It was closed briefly the following year due to inhumane conditions which prompted the prisoners to riot. It’s most notable inmates include Henry “Bob” Meeks, Harry Orchard, and the most well known female inmate, Lyda Southard. Meeks was known for being a member of Butch Cassidy’s gang. While Harry Orchard was known for killing at least 17 people.
Meanwhile, Lyda Southard was convicted of second degree murder for killing her fourth husband by arsenic posioning. Oddly enough, her previous three husbands, brother in law and one of children died in a similar manner of death. She was sentenced to 10 to life, and escaped from Old Idaho Penitentiary after her parole was denied after only serving ten years. A year and a half later, she was found, brought back to jail only to be given a full pardon in October 1941. While Old Idaho Penitentiary is no longer an operating prison, it is a historic landmark, and many paranormal enthusiasts have explored and have heard voices throughout the jail and an overall heaviness in certain cells.
Illinois: Resurrection Cemetery, Justice
In 1939, a man went to a party and quite suddenly saw a beautiful blond haired, blue eyed girl in a white party dress standing in the corner. He asked her to dance, and while they were dancing he noticed how cold her skin was; when he kissed her at the end of the night, her lips were also cold and clammy. He offered to drive her home, so she handed him a slip of paper with her address on it. She asked him to take a certain route, but he saw that it was in the wrong direction. She insisted on going that way anyway, so he did what she asked. As they were approaching Resurrection Cemetery, she asked him to stop so she could go home. He was confused; there were no houses. But she opened the door and ran towards the cemetery, and then disappeared.
The man was terrified, and the next day he went to the address on the slip of paper she had given him the night before. A woman answered the door and when he described the girl to her, she started crying and said that the girl, Mary, had been killed by a car about 10 years previously. Since then, there have been many accounts of people picking up a blond, blue-eyed female hitchhiker in a white party dress who directs them towards the graveyard and then disappears as they approach it. There are also several times where people have hit her with their car, but the body has disappeared when they exit the car.
Indiana: The Story Inn, Nashville
Located in Story, Indiana, The Story Inn was built in 1851 during the Great Depression. It is one of the last remaining structures in Story, a small farm and mining town. The inn was restored in the 1960s, and is still open to this day. Visitors have noticed ghostly encounters, specifically with “The Blue Lady”. It is rumored that “The Blue Lady” is Dr. George Story’s wife, who can be summoned by turning on the blue light near the bed. She is known to roam the halls, leave blue colored gifts behind and have piercing blue eyes. Legend has it, if you smell cherry tobacco, the Blue Lady came and left.
Iowa: Villisca Axe Murderer House, Villisca
On June 10th, 1912, a small home in Villisca, Iowa was site for one of the most gruesome murders in Iowa. Six family members, and two house guests were violently murdered in their sleep by an axe. The home has since been restored to its original state and open to guests and tours. Haunted sightings include the doors opening and closing on their own, being pinched or shoved, and feeling cold areas. If you want to learn more about this tragic story, be sure to check out Bailey Sarian’s retelling.
Kansas: Beaumont Hotel, Beaumont
This hotel was built in the heart of the wild west as a stagecoach shop in 1879, which soon transformed into a brothel. It is said that the innkeeper would provide food and drink for the patrons downstairs while his wife would provide other less-wholesome services upstairs. Unfortunately, the innkeeper’s wife fell in love with one of her regular customers, a cowboy named Zeke, and, in a fit of jealous rage, her husband murdered Zeke. To this day, customers and staff alike have seen the silhouette of a cowboy at the top of the stairs. His jangling spurs have been known to make their way down the hallway, accompanied by loud bangs. He also likes to move furniture to block doors from being opened, set clock radios to go off, usually at two or three in the morning, and to move objects around the rooms.
Don’t forget to check out the other two installments in our ghost hunter’s series:
Ghost Hunter’s Guide to the U.S. Part 2
The next 17 states.
Ghost Hunter’s Guide to the U.S. Part 3
The last 17 states.