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The 10 Most Haunted Places in America

If you love a good ghost story and are fascinated by things that go bump in the night, you'll want to add these 10 most haunted places in America to your travel itinerary. They're sure to promise a good scare!

The Bachelor's Grove Cemetery

The Bachelor's Grove Cemetery was empty when this photo was taken (the woman appeared only after the photo was developed).

1. Bachelor's Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, IL

This 1800s-era cemetery has been largely abandoned since 1965, and since then has fallen victim to vandals. Among the toppled tombstones it is said that satanic and occultist groups perform ceremonies, and over 100 reports of strange phenomena have been collected.

Among them, ghost lights, inexplicable lights and voices, apparitions, strange photos, anomalous recordings and sightings of unbelievable creatures. There is also a nearby haunted lagoon, a phantom farmhouse and a stretch of haunted turnpike near Bachelor's Grove.

2. The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, Missouri

Built in the 1860s by the Lemp family (who created "Falstaff" beer), the Lemp Mansion is said to be haunted by the family, which was surrounded by tragedy. William Lemp's son died in 1904, and afterward William committed suicide in the house. In 1920, his daughter also committed suicide, and later so did William Lemp, Jr., and Charles Lemp, leaving the family completely torn apart.

Since then, the house was sold and became a boarding house and later, in 1977, a fine restaurant (which is still open today). Workers and boarding tenants have reported feelings of being watched, vanishing tools, strange sounds, apparitions, glasses flying through the air, a piano playing by itself, voices and other strange occurrences.

3. Villisca Ax Murder House, Villisca, Iowa

In 1912, the J.B. Moore family (the parents and their four children), along with two children who were staying over that night, was murdered in their beds in a shocking crime for this otherwise small, peaceful community. The murders were never solved, but since then many unusual phenomena have been reported in the house. The Moore home was restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and today is open to overnight visitors.

Guests have reported children's voices and laughter, falling lamps, moving objects, and odd sounds, while others have recorded audio, video and photographic evidence of supernatural activities. Psychics who have visited the home have also reportedly communicated with spirits.

4. The Old Slave House (Hickory Hill), Junction, IL

The Hickory Hill mansion was built in 1842 by a wealthy man, John Hart Crenshaw, who owned several salt tracts. Although it was illegal to own slaves in Illinois at this time, it was legal to lease slaves from other states to work in the salt mines.

Crenshaw imprisoned slaves, some of whom were kidnapped, in the attic of the mansion in narrow cells and manacles. He reportedly tortured and beat the slaves for many years, and also "bred" his own slaves, until eventually his cruel practices were discovered and he retired to become a farmer.

In the 1920s, the house was opened as a tourist attraction where slavery existed in Illinois, however tourists began reporting sounds of people crying and moaning coming from the attic, cold chills, and whispers. Things intensified when a ghost hunter named Hickman Whittington went to the attic shortly after it opened and spent a few hours there. Though he was in perfect health at the time, he died a few hours after leaving the mansion.

Reportedly, hundreds of people tried to spend the night in the attic after Whittington's death, but would leave, terrorized, before morning (one man did finally spend the night there in 1978, and reported strange sounds).

Currently, the Hickory Hills mansion is owned by the state of Illinois, and is scheduled to open as a historic site (but has not yet re-opened to visitors).

Winchester Mansion

Stairs to the ceiling in the Winchester Mansion, San Jose, California.

5. The Winchester Mansion, San Jose, California

Sarah Winchester, a wealthy widow, built the 160-room Victorian Winchester mansion in 1884. It was such an unprecedented project that construction workers worked on the home 24 hours a day for 38 years. The home has many bizarre features, built to keep out evil spirits, including false doors, a room built for séances (where Sarah developed building plans that ghosts sent to her) and a stairway that leads to the ceiling, and many supernatural occurrences have happened there.

Sarah Winchester reportedly spoke to spirits nightly at midnight and since then people have reported organ music in the Blue Room where Sarah died, apparitions, cold spots, a smell of chicken soup in the kitchen, red balls of light and more. Today visitors can take tours of the mansion (including special nighttime flashlight tours).

6. Bobby Mackey's Music World, Wilder, Kentucky

Bobby Mackey's Music World is a dance hall that was once (in the 1850s) a slaughterhouse. Devil worshippers reportedly used the slaughterhouse's basement, which collected animal blood, for rituals, including one in which a woman was beheaded.

In the 1920s, the building was a speakeasy and several mob murders reportedly occurred on the site. Since it was converted into a dancehall in 1976, at least 30 people have signed affidavits that supernatural happenings have occurred there, including appearances of ghosts dressed in old-fashioned, cowboy-type clothing.

A customer even claims to have been assaulted by a ghost in the bathroom, which caused him to break his arm. He's suing Bobby Mackey for not ridding the building of spirits.

Myrtles Plantation

Strange images in the mirror at the Myrtles Plantation (photo taken by a guest at the inn).

7. Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana

Now a bed-and-breakfast, the Myrtles Plantation is said to house many ghosts and spirits due to 10 murders and 1 suicide that have occurred there since it was built in 1796. Among them are the ghosts of Cleo, a former slave who was hung for poisoning two little girls, the ghosts of the little girls, and William Winter, a former owner who was shot on the front porch.

Other apparitions seen by visitors include ghosts from the slave graveyard on the property, and a ghost that meets guests at the inn's gate and says the plantation is closed. A psychic who visited the building said visiting the parlor was like walking into a "crowded cocktail party of spirits," while the owner of the bed-and-breakfast said the ghosts have proven to her that there's life after death.

8. John Stone's Inn, Ashland, Massachusetts

Captain John Stone's Inn is a 164-year-old pub, which once served as a hiding place for runaway slaves and was the location of speeches by Daniel Webster. Customers and employees of the pub report the apparition of a 10-year-old girl in a storage room near the kitchen, moving objects and invisible hands that hold their hands under the ice when filling ice buckets. There were two televised séances held here during which the spirits of a little girl, a woman innkeeper and Captain John Stone were reportedly contacted.

9. Devil's Promenade, Hornet, Missouri

There is an unexplained ball of orange light that has been seen every night since 1866 on a two-mile stretch of road known as the Devil's Promenade. Legend suggests the light is the ghost of two Quapaw Indians who were in love and committed suicide together. Another theory is that it is the lantern of a miner's ghost who is looking for his missing wife and children, who were abducted.

The light -- also called the Hornet Ghost Light, the Neosho Spook Light, and the Devil's Jack o' Lantern -- is known to enter cars, dodge people and leave glowing traces and sparks behind as it moves. The Army Corps of Engineers investigated the phenomenon in 1946 and concluded it was "a mysterious light of unknown origin." The light was also investigated by the Ghost Research Society in 1983, which found it was a diamond-shaped light with a hollow center.

10. United States Air Force Museum, Dayton, Ohio

Night guards report moving objects, apparitions and unexplained voices and sounds at this military museum. Among the occurrences:

  • Parts from the "Lady Be Good," a B-24 that crashed in the Libyan Desert in World War II, killing seven crewmembers, move by themselves.

  • Strange lights appear in the "Strawberry Bitch," another B-24.

  • The ghost of the helicopter "Hop-Along's" co-pilot can be seen flipping switches in an attempt to get the craft moving.

  • The "Black Maria," a helicopter, is haunted by its pilot, who was killed in Vietnam.

  • The ghost of a Japanese boy has been seen standing next to "Bockscar," the bomber that dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki.

Recommended Reading

Six of the World's Grimmest Tourist Destinations

The Catacombs of Paris: Unusual & Interesting Tourist Destinations


Paranormal Travel Guide

Associated Content

The Winchester Mystery House

The Myrtles Plantation

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