10 of the Scariest Haunted Houses in America

Even the YouTube clips are terrifying.

preview for The Ten Scariest Haunted House Movies Ever Made

Thankfully, for those thrill-seekers, just about every state across the country—from Pennsylvania and New York to Louisiana and Texas—has a place that'll freak them out. Some are located in massive fields and centuries-old farms (do not miss Lancaster County's aptly named Field of Screams), and others take place in abandoned buildings (think a deteriorating meat-packing plant, a historic manor, and a former schoolhouse). Some involve a guided tour of one heart-pounding attraction, while others allow you explore a variety of bone-chilling scenes, sets, and scenarios on your own. But no matter what you choose, all of these haunted houses are packed with spine-tingling sights (expect vicious vampires , killer reptiles, mysterious monsters, and, yes, lots of blood) that'll have you spooked days, even weeks, later.

Ahead, we've compiled a list of 10 of the scariest haunted houses in the United States—and, for that matter, in the world. While none are so extreme that they require you to sign a 40-page waiver , we promise they'll shake you to your very core.

The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

Location: Glen Mills, PA

Dates: September 25 to October 31

General admission price: $40-75, with $30 group rates

The Bates Motel and Bates Psycho Path (GET IT?) have been dazzling visitors for 30 years with a particularly slick experience featuring animatronic props actors, and digital FX. The third attraction, the monster-filled Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail, features walk-through sets and over 30 actors in creepy costume. In 2021, though, those actors won't be touching anyone—masks are also required, and there's a temperature check at the door.

Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses

Location: Ulster Park, NY

Dates: September 25 to October 31 (Friday through Sunday only)

General admission price: $39.95 to $47.95 + fees

Fans flock to Ulster Park, NY, every year for the theatrical Headless Horseman Hayride, corn maze, and several haunted house experiences on the grounds of a gorgeous, historic 18th-century manor. In 2020, the hayride was be replaced by a drive-through experience titled "The Horseman's Trail," but details regarding the 2021 season have yet to be released. Keep in mind, though: The website promises it's "returning bigger and better" this year.

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Field of Screams

Location: Mountville, PA

Dates: September 10 to November 6 (Friday through Sunday, mostly)

General admission price: $16 per attraction, $35 for all 4

Lancaster County's Field of Screams offers four themed attractions: The Frightmare Asylum, Den of Darkness, Nocturnal Wasteland, and the Haunted Hayride—which sounds less scary, but looks absolutely TERRIFYING in this video trailer .

The Dent Schoolhouse

Location: Cincinnati, OH

General admission price: $20-25

Taken with a grain of salt, the allegedly-true Dent Schoolhouse storyline is a fun one: The attraction's website claims it was once an actual public school, but it closed in the 1950s after a janitor known as Charlie was suspected of foul play after kids started going missing. These days, brave visitors roam the schoolhouse halls and the outdoor Queen City Slaughter Yard to find horrors around every corner.

The attraction—which has been frightening guests for 25 years—opens September 17, and true thrill-seekers can experience the Dent Schoolhouse *in complete darkness* on November 5 and 6.

The 13th Floor

Location: Denver, CO

Dates: September 11 to November 13 (select nights)

General admission price: $19.99-32.99, date depending

What terrors await on the cursed 13th Floor? Actors in exquisitely ghoulish costume, for one, plus high-tech animations, and rooms that may move to shake your sense of reality. While details about the 2021 attractions will be released in the coming weeks, there were three in 2020: Dead End District, an abandoned "town" with lingering residents you don't want to run into, a Creature Feature starring silver screen vampires, mummies, and werewolves, and Deadly Reflections (LOVE a good haunted mirror).

Haunted house aficionados should also check out the 13th Floor's YouTube channel , which offers "Behind the Screams" videos highlighting the artistry that goes into creating these annual experiences.

Cutting Edge Haunted House

Location: Fort Worth, TX

General admission price: Not listed

So named for its location in a former meatpacking plant, Cutting Edge has made the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest walk-through haunted attraction (everything really IS bigger in Texas). It'll take you about an hour to get through, and expect hanging butchered bodies, maniacs with chainsaws, and—well, we'll let their site say it: "Beware: You’ll receive ELECTRICAL SHOCKS. The floors are uneven; the slides are fast and dark; you WILL be enveloped by creeping fog and vapors." Did we mention there's a ghostly drum corps ?

Kersey Valley Spookywoods

Location: Archdale, NC

Dates: October 1 to November 6 (Friday through Sunday only)

General admission price: $30-35, $60 for VIP

Look, it's right there in the name: This is haunted ground. "From the moment you arrive on Kersey Valley property, you are fair game to each and every haunted creature residing here," the site warns. The tour offers a veritable small town of hair-raising sets, and actors in admirably-detailed costumes .

The 13th Gate

Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Dates: October 1 to November 13 (Friday through Sunday, mostly)

General admission price: $30, $60 for VIP

Louisiana's known for its bayous, and 13th Gate is known for its swampy pools full of actual snakes. The 40,000 square feet of ultra-realistic sets and scenarios include an outdoor graveyard full of zombies, and an abandoned asylum. Looking for something even scarier? You can also purchase tickets for one of the two Flashlight Fright Nights (November 5 and 6), in which visitors can explore the completely dark passages of the 13th Gate...with just a few dimly-lit LED finger lights. Oh, and don't miss Carnevil across the street, a festive celebration full of costumed characters, fire artists, and more revelry.

Haunted Overload

Location: Lee, NH

Dates: October 8 to 31 (Friday through Sunday, mostly)

General admission price: $28, $8 in the daytime

New England is famous for its eldritch history, with its real-life witch trials and 19th century " vampire hunters ." New Hampshire's Haunted Overload channels that mood at the DeMerritt Hill Farm each year, transforming it into an immersive experience that's more spooky than gory—but always chillingly done. For those seeking a more family-friendly experience, bring kids before dark for the Day Haunt where there won't be any monsters.

Netherworld Haunted House

Location: Stone Mountain, GA

Georgia's Netherworld has been consistently ranked as a top scary Halloween attraction. The main theme of last year, " Halloween Nightmares ," centered around a centuries-old feud between two rural Georgia clans, but as the website promises, the themes change dramatically each year, so so expect new effects, costumes, sets and scares.

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Samantha Vincenty is the former senior staff writer at Oprah Daily. 

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Winchester Mystery House

The best haunted houses in the U.S. to give you the creeps

Get ready for ghost stories and ghoul sightings at these super-scary haunted houses in the U.S.

Lights flickering, floorboards  creaking , doors slamming shut, shadowy figures passing by—are all eerie and inexplicable occurrences people have claimed to witness within historic homes over the years. In these abodes, they believe spirits, ghosts or supernatural entities still linger within the walls.

The idea of a haunted house spans cultures and centuries. In the tapestry of American folklore, certain homes have become famous for the tales of the restless spirits within their walls, and each has a spine-chilling story to tell.

From the LaLaurie House in  New Orleans , where real-life socialite and serial killer enslaved people, to the Joshua Ward House in   Salem , MA, where a prominent figure in the Salem Witch Trials resided, to many spooky homes in between, America's most infamous haunted houses continue to intrigue and attract visitors. If you're looking for more spooky properties, try an overnight stay in a  haunted Airbnb  or  haunted hotel .

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Most haunted houses in the U.S.

LaLaurie House | New Orleans, LA

1.  LaLaurie House | New Orleans, LA

American Horror Story: Coven reignited interest in this famous French Quarter haunt. In the series, Kathy Bates plays Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a real-life socialite and serial killer who orchestrated a torture chamber for enslaved people at the Royal Street mansion in the early 1830s (before responders to a fire uncovered her dark secret). LaLaurie's victims are said to haunt the property to this day—from the street, pedestrians have heard shouts, moans, and weeping, while some even claim to have seen ghostly faces in the upstairs windows. Even still, the house's ghastly history hasn't stopped wealthy buyers. Before losing the home to foreclosure in 2009, actor Nicolas Cage owned it, and today, a wealthy oil tycoon is said to hold the deed.

The Castle | Beaufort, SC

2.  The Castle | Beaufort, SC

Beaufort's most recognizable antebellum mansion is also one of South Carolina's most haunted. Though construction began in the 1850s, the house was only partially finished when it was commandeered in 1861 as a Civil War military hospital. An outbuilding behind the house served as the hospital's morgue, and bodies are rumored to be interred on the home's extensive grounds. After the house finished construction following the war's end, supernatural sightings began; among the spirits occupying the property is Gauche, a French dwarf jester who came to the area in the 16th century. In the past, he reportedly joined a young girl who lived in the home for tea parties and wandered the grounds in full sight of gardeners and visitors. The castle is privately owned but occasionally opens for tours and events if you want to see it for yourself.

Lizzie Borden House | Fall River, MA

3.  Lizzie Borden House | Fall River, MA

Some say a ghostly face appears in the cellar over the sink where bloody clothing may have been washed right after the 1892 hatchet murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. The possible perp? Andrew's daughter, Lizzie, who was acquitted at the trial of the century, perhaps by the jury's error. She, Andrew and her stepmother Abby are said to linger in the house, along with children who roll marbles on the attic floor, victims of a drowning by their mother in the basement well next door. Aim for the anniversary reenactments every August if you’re dying to see the Lizzie Borden House.

4.  House of Death | New York, NY

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The city that never sleeps is probably just too afraid to close its eyes—the House of Death, a famous brownstone off Fifth Avenue, is reportedly terrorized by a whopping 22 ghosts. Are any of them paying rent? Unlikely. In any case, the most famous ghoul among them is none other than Mark Twain, who lived here 1900-1901, while the most heartbreaking is the ghost of a six-year-old girl who was beaten to death in 1987 by her father, criminal prosecutor Joel Steinberg. In addition to sightings of Twain and the young girl, residents claim to have seen visions of a lady in white and a gray cat.

Molly Brown House | Denver, CO

5.  Molly Brown House | Denver, CO

Margaret Brown championed workers' rights, fought for suffrage and won the French Legion of Honor award for her help in France during WWI. But she is best remembered for surviving the Titanic's sinking, dubbed posthumously the "Unsinkable Molly Brown." It's said that she (along with her husband and mother) still haunts her prized Victorian home, now a museum. Visitors say they’ve seen apparitions in the dining room, smelled mysterious pipe smoke from Margaret's husband, and noticed rearranged furniture and unscrewed lightbulbs. (How many ghosts does it take to...?)

The Sallie House | Atchison, KS

6.  The Sallie House | Atchison, KS

At one of the most haunted houses in America, the bad energy allegedly stems from a botched appendectomy—the six-year-old girl who haunts the house died during a desperate procedure without anesthesia at the turn of the century. In the 1990s, a family who lived in the Sallie House documented their experience on the TV show Sightings , which spoke of flying objects, frequent apparitions, and a mix of scratching, gouging, and shoving (all mainly directed at the male owner). The home is now vacant, but a popular pick for paranormal researchers, and even regular folks can book the house to stay the night for about $100 per person.

Bell Witch Farm | Adams, TN

7.  Bell Witch Farm | Adams, TN

It's the age-old tale of neighbors at war: Kate Batts believed her neighbor, John Bell, cheated her out of some land. Lying on her deathbed in the early 19th century, she swore she would haunt him forever. The result was mayhem for the Bell family, who said they experienced physical attacks and heard chains dragged across floors and noises in the walls. They even saw odd-looking animals on their farm, like a dog with a rabbit's head. You can now tour the Bell Witch Cave and the replica of John Bell's log cabin from May through October. 

8.  Snedeker House | Southington, CT

When the Snedeker family lived here in the 1980s, the drama they experienced in this haunted house (and former funeral home) was so crazy that it inspired a popular horror flick called The Haunting in Connecticut . During a two-year span, the Snedeker parents claimed to have been physically assaulted and sodomized by demonic spirits and said a creepy man with long black hair often visited their son Philip.

Lemp Mansion | St. Louis, MO

9.  Lemp Mansion | St. Louis, MO

All the beer in the world won't lead to happiness. So is the case with the Lemp family, purveyors of Lemp Brewing Company, a stalwart in St. Louis before Prohibition hit. Four family members killed themselves between 1904 and 1949, three inside the 33-room Victorian mansion where they allegedly still reside and haunt guests. It has since been turned into a restaurant and inn where you can explore the Gothic arched underground tunnels and even partake in a ghost tour—just go a little easy on the beer during your stay, okay?

10.  Joshua Ward House | Salem, MA

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This brick mansion, built in 1784 for prominent merchant Joshua Ward, sits where High Sheriff George Corwin (a significant figure in the Salem Witch Trials) once lived. Corwin was the man who used his cane to poke back in the tongue of a dying Giles Corey, one of the 'witches' executed by piling stones upon his body. Three ghosts are now associated with the house: Giles Corey himself, "the strangler" who chokes visitors and "the witch," who was famously captured in all her disheveled glory by a realtor taking photos at a Christmas party at the property. Is it Photoshop, or is it Poltergeist? We’ll let you decide.

Winchester Mystery House | San Jose, CA

11.  Winchester Mystery House | San Jose, CA

Sarah Winchester's husband developed the "gun that won the West," a decision that would come back to haunt her: literally. After losing her husband and young daughter, the widow consulted a spiritualist who alleged the family was haunted by Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, and others killed by her husband’s famous Winchester rifle. She was recommended to use her $20 million inheritance to build a home to appease the spirits. What began as an eight-room farmhouse was added onto for 26 years between 1886 and 1922, becoming a 160-room mansion with 2,000 doors, all to confuse pursuing spirits. If you take a tour, bring your compass.

Ferry Plantation | Virginia Beach, VA

12.  Ferry Plantation | Virginia Beach, VA

Built on Native American hunting grounds, this home's got a raft of ghosts, from passengers of a shipwrecked ferry to a boy who fell from a window. Docents have watched the ghost of an enslaved man walk across the room and tend a long-boarded-up fireplace. Another paranormal presence is Grace Sherwood, accused of witchcraft in the 1700s and found guilty by 'ducking' (a process in which she was bound and dropped in deep water; drowning would mean she was innocent). Thankfully, after seven years in prison, she was released, and in 2006 she was officially exonerated. Book a $20 tour or stay overnight.

13.  Farnsworth House Inn | Gettysburg, PA

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The waiters at this inn won't be the only ones dressed up in Civil War-era clothes—keep an eye out for long-dead Confederate soldiers clad in similar outfits. During the Battle of Gettysburg, many of the South's soldiers died while hiding in this home, which explains the one-hundred-plus bullet pocks in the brick walls. After the fighting in the area was over, the house became a hospital for soldiers. You can learn about the weird supernatural occurrences that continue to take place on the property by booking a ghost tour or an overnight stay.

Villisca Ax Murder House | Villisca, IA

14.  Villisca Ax Murder House | Villisca, IA

On June 10, 1912, Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two visiting children, were murdered by ax in their beds inside this Iowa home. The crime remains unsolved. The home has been stripped of plumbing and electricity to give a more realistic experience to visitors who pay $428 to book the house overnight. But stay at your own risk: In 2014, a paranormal investigator stabbed himself (non-fatally) by morning. He still won't talk about what happened.

15.  Franklin Castle | Cleveland, OH

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This mansion was built 1881-83 by German immigrant Hannes Tiedemann, who tragically lost his four children. It was later called Eintracht Hall, and used for German culture clubs. It wasn't until the 1960s that the then-owners began to say it was haunted by Hannes's wife (and one daughter who died before the house was even built!) and declared it 'evil.' There are hidden rooms and ugly rumors about Hannes as a murderer, crying babies, organ music, ghosts who snatch blankets off you at night and more. One owner of this  "most haunted house in Ohio" was Judy Garland's last husband. 

The Conjuring House | Harrisville, RI

16.  The Conjuring House | Harrisville, RI

Paranormal experts say this colonial-era property is haunted to the gills. In the 1970s, the Perron parents and five daughters experienced a demon or poltergeist that physically harmed the family in a plethora of ways, including a scythe falling from a barn beam to nearly decapitate the mother. Ed and Lorraine Warren showed up to tackle the malevolence—events loosely portrayed in the movie The Conjuring . Today, you can book a day tour or an overnight stay.

17.  Amityville Horror House | Amityville, NY

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This house is the site of a grim murder where in 1974 a son killed his parents and four siblings by gun. The next tenants, the Lutz Family, stayed 28 days before fleeing. These events—including the chilling utterance of the words ‘get out’—were immortalized in the book and movie franchise, The Amityville Horror . The home with its distinctive quarter-moon windows (since replaced) in the attic has long been said to be haunted, including by a pig with red glowing eyes who would stare into the windows. The home sold to a private owner in 2017 for $605k.

Lynnewood Hall | Elkins Park, PA

18.  Lynnewood Hall | Elkins Park, PA

A Gilded Age manor with a Titanic connection? That looks like a state capitol meets Jane Austen’s boyfriend’s house? Check and check. At 70,000 square feet, this home has a lot of floor space for ghosts to ramble (its ballroom can hold 1,000 people). Although the house is abandoned, it’s in fairly intact shape, despite peeling paint, thanks to a caretaker and guard dogs. So who haunts this ‘last American Versailles’ which once held literal furniture from the Parisian palace? Apparently, tycoon Peter A. B. Widener, who built it, and his son and grandson, who sank with the famous ship.

19.  High Life Ski Club | Chittenden, VT

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This ski club exists in a farmhouse that hosted some of the turn of the century’s most convincing Spiritualist happenings. In 1874, siblings Horatio, William and Mary Eddy (descendants of a Salem ‘witch’) saw so many supernatural beings that Chittenden earned the nickname ‘Spirit Capital of the Universe.’ Mysterious poundings, children vanishing from their cribs and a giant Native American ghost were just some of the phenomena (more tragic is hearing how the family abused its young trance-prone sons). A convinced skeptic wrote ‘People from the Other World,’ a book about the 400 beings witnessed there during séances.

Boldt Castle | Alexandria Bay, NY

20.  Boldt Castle | Alexandria Bay, NY

Do you love 1,000 Island salad dressing? If so, you will love Boldt Castle on its heart-shaped island in St. Lawrence Seaway’s 1,000 Islands. Underway as a summer home for a millionaire’s wife, the castle’s construction was not yet complete in 1904 when she died of heart failure. The heartbroken Mr. Boldt walked away and the castle was abandoned until its 1977 rescue. Strange lights are said to come on in the castle, and some have even seen Mrs. Boldt haunting the home that death robbed from her. (Bonus for salad lovers? Mr. Boldt was the proprietor of New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where Waldorf salad was invented).

The House of the Seven Gables | Salem, MA

21.  The House of the Seven Gables | Salem, MA

Immortalized in the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his surname from Hathorne to avoid connection to his ancestor who had served as a Salem witch trials judge), this 1668 seaside house was built for a hat and shoe merchant. Check out the bonus eighth gable and the secret staircase replete with stair-climbing ghosts, the giggling ghost boy in the attic and a woman who peers out the windows, said to be Hawthorne’s cousin Susannah.

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12 Real Haunted Houses In the United States

From the Whaley House in California to Lizzie Borden's home in Massachusetts, these houses are as spooky as they come.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

While there's no shortage of kitschy haunted house attractions across the country, some people want to experience real ghosts around Halloween. Lucky for all you thrill seekers out there, the United States is full of historical homes with interesting (and spooky) stories attached to them, and it's not too hard to find "real" haunted houses if you know where to look.

Anyone who is a fan of ghost-hunting or paranormal-investigation shows can tell you where you might run into some of the country's scariest real-life ghosts. Famous homes like the Whaley House, the Winchester Mystery House, and Lizzie Borden's Fall River home all have well-known reputations for scaring visitors out of their wits.

If you're one of those travelers who longs for adventures filled with ghost stories and goosebumps, consider adding one of the most haunted houses in America to your travel list — some of them even let guests spend the night.

The Whaley House Museum, California

Back in 1852, James "Yankee Jim" Robinson was hung by his neck for the crime of grand larceny. A few years later, Thomas and Anna Whaley built a house on the spot where Robinson died, and soon enough, Yankee Jim's ghost showed up to haunt the site. It's said that his footsteps can be heard stomping around the house.

Yankee Jim isn't the only specter, though — both Mr. and Mrs. Whaley, a young girl, and even the family dog have been known to make appearances from beyond the grave. The San Diego house is so thoroughly spooky, the U.S. Commerce Department officially classified it as haunted in the 1960s. See the Whaley House Museum for yourself via a tour with Ghosts and Gravestones , which now also offers night tours of the house for those really looking for a thrill.

House of Death, New York

Sara Krulwich, The New York Times / Redux

New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood has some of the most desirable real estate in the world — save for one brownstone on West 10th Street. Known as the " House of Death ," the townhouse is said to be haunted by the ghosts of 22 people who lived or died within its walls, including that of a six-year-old girl who was killed by her adoptive father. This is New York City, however, so the house has a celebrity pedigree, too. Author Mark Twain stayed in the house back in 1900, and his spirit reportedly returns for the occasional visit.

The home's haunted history is documented in author Jan Bryant Bartell's " Spindrift: Spray from a Psychic Sea ," which recounts her experiences living in the House of Death's top-floor apartment. The building still contains private apartments, so you won't be able to tour the interior, but this street is a popular stop on New York City ghost tours like the ones provided by New York Ghosts , which swings by on its city-wide tour.

Winchester Mystery House, California

This rambling Victorian mansion sits on a busy street in San Jose, California, and according to legend, it's haunted by the ghosts of everyone ever killed by a Winchester rifle. That's undoubtedly a lot of spirits. In order to appease them, the house's owner, Sarah Winchester, the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune (and the founder's widow), kept adding on rooms to the house to make more space for the dead.

She didn't simply add rooms, though. She created a labyrinth filled with halls that lead to dead ends, cut-off staircases, sloping floors, and a rabbit warren of chambers. According to an article by ABC News , the house has "10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms, and nine kitchens."

The home has hosted tours for those willing to walk among the Winchester ghosts ever since Sarah passed away in 1992. If you're looking for a less spooky reason behind the house's mysterious design, the podcast "99% Invisible" posited the theory that she simply loved architecture and had more and more rooms added without tearing others down first.

Villisca Ax Murder House, Iowa

Jennifer Kirkland / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

The small Iowa town of Villisca (population of around 1,118) doesn't have much to offer tourists — except for a night of terror at the Villisca Ax Murder House . Back in 1912, the white wooden house was the site of a horrifying crime that left an entire family, including four children and their two young friends, dead by an ax-wielding murderer.

There were several suspects, including an Iowa state senator, but no one was ever charged with the bloody crime. More than a century later, the ghosts of the victims are said to remain in the house, yearning for justice. Visitors eager for a taste of the supernatural can book tours of the site, while the bravest can spend the night and see what goes bump.

Lizzie Borden House, Massachusetts

Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

Back in 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were found dead — killed by an ax-wielding psychopath. The police's No. 1 suspect was Andrew's daughter, Lizzie. Though she stood trial for the crimes and was ultimately acquitted, Lizzie spent the rest of her life under the shadow of guilt.

She is now said to haunt the Fall River, Massachusetts, home where her father and stepmother were murdered, and her ghost can be heard laughing at the top of the stairs. The house now serves as a museum and bed-and-breakfast (outfitted with ghost cams), where stalwart guests can spend the night listening for Lizzie's ghost, those of her murdered parents, or the echoes of the maid's screams after she found the Bordens dead in their beds.

The home is open for in-person tours, and anyone who can't make the journey can try one of its equally spooky virtual tour options via "Ghostflix."

Bell Witch Cave, Tennessee

Smile, Darling Photography / Courtesy of Bell Witch Fall Festival

In the early 1800s, John Bell bought a tract of farmland along Tennessee's Red River near a mysterious landmark now known as the Bell Witch Cave. He and his family thrived on the farm until they started to see strange looking animals around the property, most notably a dog with a rabbit's head.

From that point on, the family was ambushed by unseen forces, largely targeted at John and his daughter, Betsy. They experienced physical attacks, heard unexplained noises, and even spoke with the "entity" — in at least one account, the spirit identified herself as the Bells' former neighbor, Kate Batts, who was exacting revenge from beyond the grave for some unknown slight.

The entity is rumored to have prevented Betsy's marriage to a local boy and is believed to have killed John. According to one Bell Witch website , the haunting is backed by plenty of evidence, including "eyewitness accounts, affidavits, and manuscripts penned by those who experienced the haunting first hand."

Feeling gutsy? Check out the Bell Witch Cave and John Bell Cabin in person — tours of the site in Adams, Tennessee, are available Wednesday through Sunday from May to October — and see if you encounter anything strange yourself.

The White House, Washington, D.C.

The White House may be home to the U.S. president, but it's also rumored to house many illustrious ghosts within its storied walls. President Ronald Reagan allegedly entertained dinner party guests with stories about his dog barking at invisible specters and his daughter, Maureen, waking to a transparent figure looking out the window of the Lincoln Bedroom — it may have been President Lincoln himself, returning to his former home in the hopes of reuniting with his wife and son. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill reportedly encountered Lincoln's ghost as well , while he was stepping out of the bathtub.

The White House Historical Association claims that President William Henry Harrison (the first president to die in the White House) continues to keep up residence. The spirit of President Andrew Jackson has also been spotted loitering in his former bedroom. It's not just former presidents who haunt the halls of the highest office in the U.S., however — Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, is said to visit the gardens she helped plant, and Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, is known to do her laundry in the East Room.

The White House is open for public tours , free of charge, though you must follow the procedure for requesting a visit through your state's senator or representative and undergo multiple security checks to enter. Alternatively, you can always view the outside from Lafayette Square or the Ellipse.

The Sallie House, Kansas

Courtesy of Sallie House

If you're into ghost-hunting shows, you probably already know about this famous haunted house . The unassuming home in Atchison, Kansas, is rumored to be the dark lair for a demon who takes on the form of a little girl, stemming from a family's bizarre experiences there.

In the early '90s, new renters Debra and Tony Pickman claimed they saw strange occurrences in the house, including flickering lights, apparitions, possessions, unexplained voices, and strange scratches, marks, and burns on their bodies. These occurrences seem to have been the work of the ghost of a young girl named Sallie. Former renters Bobby and Colleen Humbard, along with their daughter, Heather, also claimed to have seen or heard Sallie — whom Heather said was her imaginary friend.

Apparently, Sallie isn't just some harmless ghost. Theories around her malevolent presence in the house, as well as some evidence of satanic rituals in the basement, suggest that she is, in fact, a demon disguised as a young girl.

The house offers both self-guided tours and special overnight visits.

Franklin Castle, Ohio

Nick Amoscato / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

This imposing Victorian home is considered to be the most haunted house in Ohio, and it's easy to see why — it was, after all, built in the 1800s by Hannes Tiedemann, who was known around Cleveland for being cruel and abusive. When a string of mysterious deaths in Tiedemann's family happened in the house, those rumors crystallized.

Among the many people who suddenly lost their lives in the house was Emma, Tiedemann's daughter, who died because of complications with diabetes. Then, his mother and three more of his children died. Tiedemann's wife, Louise, also passed away, apparently due to liver failure, but rumors swirled that Tiedemann was actually responsible. It's also said that he murdered other members of his family, including his niece, a possible illegitimate daughter, and his mistress. Tiedemann moved away from the house shortly after his wife's death.

Since the tragedies, the house has passed from owner to owner, including one who was a member of the German Socialist Party and remained there for 55 years, which led to rumors of the house being a den for Nazi spies . More recent investigations have found troubling evidence of foul play, including human bones within the walls.

Franklin Castle is a private residence, so you can't tour it, but some ghost tours pass by the home to tell its spooky story. You can also catch the house on an episode of Travel Channel's " Ghost Adventures ."

Biltmore, North Carolina

George Rose / Getty Images

George Washington Vanderbilt II built this stately Asheville vacation home in the 1800s. Since then, it has gained a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in North Carolina as well as the entire country. While nothing completely nefarious has happened on the estate, its former owners do seem to remain very active in the afterlife. Once Vanderbilt died in 1914, his estate passed on to his children, who decided to open it to the public. That's when the paranormal activity apparently began.

Visitors have claimed to hear a woman's voice, possibly Vanderbilt's wife, Edith, calling his name, and some say they've spotted ghostly apparitions. The mansion also features a number of hidden doors and passageways , adding to its overall spook factor.

Today, anyone can tour the estate either on their own or with a guide. There are also winery tours and places to stay nearby if you're hoping to get a nice, long trip out of it.

The Conjuring House, Rhode Island

Courtesy of The Conjuring House

The Conjuring House , formerly known as the Old Arnold Estate, has been famous for its paranormal activity since it was built in 1736. Most notably, in the 1970s, the owners' family began hearing unexplained voices and footsteps, and seeing strange lights and apparitions. Their daughter, Andrea Perron, later wrote a three-volume manuscript entitled "House of Darkness: House of Light," which inspired the movie, "The Conjuring."

Eerie occurrences at the site in Burrillville, Rhode Island, include extraterrestrial orbs and lights, the sounds of ghostly children playing, and phantom animals roaming the pet cemetery, among others. Inside the house, Abigail, a friendly ghost of another era, cautions people to leave the basement whenever there's a bad spirit nearby. Another spirit, Mathew, seems just as interested in today's guests and their strange new technology as they are in him (he died in 1888).

Visitors can take a guided tour that covers the property's intriguing history and dispels misconceptions about what happened in the film versus in real life. Another tour includes an intro to ghost hunting, with a focus on the technology that's used to communicate with spirits. If you're feeling brave, join a five-hour paranormal investigation held inside the house (or outside within the grounds), or spend the night checking things out with an "experienced investigator." Outdoor enthusiasts can also opt for a ghostly glamping session (seasonally from June through October).

The House of the Seven Gables, Massachusetts

Courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables

In Salem, The House of the Seven Gables is one of the city's oldest homes, built in 1668 and immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1851 novel of the same name. It's also one of the most haunted.

Formerly known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, the site is reportedly occupied by the spirit of a man who has been seen climbing a secret staircase inside the house and by a young boy who still plays in the attic. Another ghost reputed to be there is that of Susannah Ingersoll, Hawthorne's cousin.

While daytime tours of the mansion and grounds tend to focus more on the site's literary history, it's a stop on many Salem ghost tours if you want to hear more about its resident spirits.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Top Haunted Houses in the U.S., Ranked by Yelp Reviews

100 best haunted attractions in the u.s., ranked by yelp reviews.

Dark Hour Haunted House

"Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrorize y'all's neighborhood."

If you are into "Thrillers," you have been counting down the days until haunted houses, mazes and attractions reopen in time for the Halloween season.

Some haunts are better than others, so we've turned to Yelp reviewers who love jump-scares to tell us which haunted attractions are the best in the U.S. These are places given between 3.5 and 5 stars and come with warnings to leave little kids at home. Based on their star rankings and number of reviews, we've ranked them leading you to the scariest haunted house in the country.

Ready to scream? These attractions are guaranteed to give you a fright.

96. Talon Falls Screampark

Talon Falls Screampark

Location:  Melber, Kentucky

"The best haunted house I've ever been to. Worth driving a hundred miles for. Tip: It's a dry county, so bring your own pint of Fireball." — Carlos B. , Marion, Arkansas

Get tickets here .

95. Folklore Haunted House

Folklore Haunted House

Location:  Acworth, Georgia

"We came from Louisville, Kentucky, on our way to Gainesville. Upon Googling "best haunted house in Georgia," we were recommended to Folklore Haunted House, and man ... we are glad we came! [It was] $27 for three haunts and worth every penny. The detail that went into decorating each area, the craftsmanship in creating a unique environment for each character, and a group of actors who really give their all ... this was a great decision! The owner, upon learning we had come down from Waverly Hills, where we work, even came by to say hey. A great crew makes a good haunt unforgettable, and Folklore was certainly that!" — Jay R. , Louisville, Kentucky

94. The Fear Complex Haunted House

Haunted Mines Colorado

Location:  Colorado Springs, Colorado

"This was an awesome haunted house! You definitely get your money's worth out of the whole experience that lasted about 45 minutes. The costumes were fabulous; the special effects were truly haunting. The makeup on the characters was eerie. At one point, we had to dawn 3-D glasses!!!! Whoever created this haunted house definitely had some really cool nightmares; take your family, take your friends!" — Lona T. , Colorado Springs, Colorado

93. Creepy Hollow Haunted House

Creepy Hollow Haunted House

Location:  Rosaron, Texas

"WOW! I literally just made a Yelp account to write this review. I was blown away, not only by the amazing effects and actors but by the amazing staff! They made the experience so much more fun. We came pretty late and they didn't at all rush us to leave, and we shared a lot of laughs.

"I've been to my fair share of haunted houses, and this one exceeded my expectations. Probably the best in Houston! I 100,000 percent recommend going. Prices are super fair, and the scares are unbeatable. I peed my pants, and I have absolutely no regrets. If you can only visit one haunt this year, please please please go here! Also, it's a huge bonus that they donate a lot to charity." — Addison D. , Richmond, Texas

92. Rise Haunted House

RISE Hounted House

Located:  Tickfaw, Louisiana

"I think I just went to the best haunted house(s) of my life!! #hauntedhayride #asylum — we did it all!! It's an hour from New Orleans, North of Mandeville — which makes it scary enough (LOL) — but it was amazing and worth the drive. Definitely do all three options if you can (Haunted House, Asylum and the Haunted Hayride)." — Amita R. , New Orleans, Louisiana

91. Fear Factory

Fear Factory Utah

Location:  Salt Lake City, Utah

"Super fun times with options for all! This is a huge closed-down factory turned into a haunted house. Pretty amazing. There were like four to five flights of stairs that anyone with difficulties might want to consider. Quite a few different themes throughout. Really enjoyed the smoky and lighting effects (epileptics beware). At one point, you're around five stories up on some grates with seethrough floors. Good fun all around." — Scott H. , Salt Lake City, Utah

90. HellsGate Haunted House

HellsGate Haunted House

Location:  Lockport, Illinois

"Loved this place! I went here with a group of friends, and we had a blast. It was very cool walking through the forest to the haunted house. Actors interacted with us and made funny comments. You can tell so much work was put into the facility. I have had many poor haunted house experiences, but HellsGate definitely wasn't one of them. The detail put into the mansion was unbelievable! The different rooms were very cool and spooky. In my past haunted house experiences, I haven't gotten scared, but the actors at HellsGate scared me quite a few times. The staff was very friendly and polite to us. I completely recommend HellsGate!" — Vincent F. , Illinois

89. Factory of Terror

Factory of Terror Ohio

Location: Canton, Ohio

"Awesome! Excellent actors and special effects! So many surprises here! Very well organized. Highly recommend buying your tics online so you won't have to wait in line at the ticket window. We bought online and were glad we did. In my opinion, it's the best haunted attraction in the area. Loved the mechanical creatures, theatrical performances of actors and special effects. If you don't have a lot of time, buy the fast pass. You will be able to get through in just over an hour on a Sunday night." — Lisa C ., Akron, Ohio

Get tickets here . 

88. A Petrified Forest

A Petrified Forest Florida

Location:  Altamore Springs, Florida

"Come here every year, and the haunted houses are just so amazing. I've been to Halloween Horror Nights so many times, and A Petrified Forest totally beats all of those attractions (in my opinion). The haunted houses are long (five to seven minutes inside), the actors are REALLY good, the special effects are top-notch, and the layout of the houses is just unbeatable. I always end up losing my voice from the amount of screaming I do!" — Jenna L. , Orlando, Florida

87. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

Location: San Diego, California

"I would 100 percent do this again or recommend to anyone looking for some Halloween fun. It's scary, won't lie. I screamed until I lost my voice. It's about a mile long so it's about 20 to 30 minutes of going through rooms with different themes, one of which was a real school bus, which I thought was super clever!

The characters don't touch you but they get pretty close; they can accidentally bump you, but they never touched a single one of us from our group. They send you out through the trail in groups of 20 or so, but it gets bunched up at times; makes sense when people are stopping cause they're scared." — Salina A. , El Cajon, California

86. Woods of Terror

Woods of Terror in North Carolina

Location:  Greensboro, North Carolina

"Once you get on the trail, it takes about an hour to walk through! By far the longest haunted trail I have ever been to. There are about six haunted houses, two pitch black mazes and the corn maze. Let me tell you the detail that goes into this thing is pretty extraordinary. The best way to describe it is the Disney World of horror places. They really think of everything. My favorites were the 3-D circus, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre house and the multi-horror movie area. The Pirate Ship was pretty awesome as well." — Holly K. , Raleigh, North Carolina

85. Hobb's Grove Halloween Haunt

Hobb's Grove Halloween Haunt

Location:  Sanger, California

"It's the Disneyland of haunts as far as quality. But it's seemingly a low-budget transformation. You drive way into the middle of nowhere and park in a dark lot. There's no grand archway entrance. Just the overall scary environment. They never copy movie stuff. You'll see no Freddy  Kruger here. The line waits are super long on busy nights, but they have characters working the lines. The actors never come out of character so you're transformed into another place. Not all line characters are scary — a few are hilarious!" — Stephen M. , Fresno, California

84. Pennhurst Asylum

Pennhurst Asylum

Location:  Spring City, Pennsylvania

"We just survived Pennhurst! My heart is still racing! The owners, operators, staff and actors are amazing, (Especially Frank!) The entire production was completely redone for 2022. If you thought you were scared in years past, you'll definitely wanna come back this year. It was by far better than I could have ever imagined. I recommend doing all three attractions." — Christina S. , San Francisco, California

83. Howl-O-Scream

Howl-O-Scream in Busch Gardens

Location:  Tampa, Florida

"There was barely any line traffic, and the staff did a great job with splitting groups so everyone can get the scares. There is no line traffic at all and theme-wise it's pretty good! The scare zones are also AMAZING, so interactive and the actors did a really good job. Food and drinks were great, not very hard liquor, but I prefer it that way for theme parks. As for shows, the show with the host of Howl-O-Scream was pretty cheesy and didn't put much effort into special effects. The best shows to watch are cirque x scream and the rolling bones! And there is a bar with food at the Rolling Bones show! Definitely planning on coming next year!" — Juliet D. , Miami, Florida

82. Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights It character

Location:  Orlando, Florida

"Halloween Horror Nights is clearly the world-class Halloween theme park event worldwide. Universal Studios has access to classic IP horror properties such as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Universal Monsters and so much more that rotate every year — the houses for these are extremely detailed and are like you're walking into the movie/tv sets themselves." — Frank L. , Mount Prospect, Illinois

81. Warehouse 31

Warehouse 31

Location: Pelham, Alabama

"If you like haunted houses, Warehouse 31 is a must see! This thing is huge, elaborate and has amazing actors! From the creepy guy that greets you as you enter, the little girl with the Raggedy Ann dolls, the crazy nurse and finally the freak jumping out when you are in the mine, this place was full of jump scares and overall weirdness! They also have cool 3D effects, karaoke, a bar, food trucks, an escape room and more! This is haunted house perfection!" — April R. , Homewood, Alabama

80. The Darkness

The Darkness

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri

"Is it possible to be addicted to a haunted house?? I think yes! I go here every year, sometimes multiple times. They change it up each year, so it never gets dull. They have fantastic actors that you see from the time you enter the parking lot as well as very high-tech animatronics. Scary Gary and Steve are by far the best. I get a picture with them every year. They also have escape rooms and a little museum and gift shop." — Gabrielle J. , Breckenridge Hills, Missouri

79. Nashville Nightmare

Nashville Nightmare

Location: Madison, Tennessee 

"YOU GUYS!! This was hands down the best haunted attraction experience I have ever had! YukYuk the clown was especially friendly and helpful while simultaneously being scary  The music, lights, and actors kept us entertained while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive My bf and an alien were "communicating" at one point. It was hilarious...There were a variety of themed walk-throughs that were actually scary and excellently decorated." — Beth-Leah S. , Tennessee

78. Bennett's Curse

Bennett's Curse

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

"Our sixth year coming to Bennett's Curse (except the year that Baltimore City dropped the ball) and this was the best yet. There were more actors than ever and the new laser/smoke room is awesome.  The actors in the sanitarium were outstanding and really scared the h*ll out of my wife.  Great time was had by all and we will be back next year." — Robert E. , Severna, Maryland

77. The Haunted Mortuary

The Haunted Mortuary

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

"This was the best Laser Tag Haunted House ever! You heard me right. Laser tag in a haunted house. The mortuary converted an old asylum into a haunted house for both Halloween and Christmas... We went to the Christmas one to shoot evil elves and Krampus. Soooo much fun!!... Well worth the money for a new adventure." — Dacia Z. , Wilmington, North Carolina

76. Barrett's Haunted Mansion

Barrett's Haunted Mansion

Location: Abington, Massachusetts 

"First time being here and it was awesome. We waited in line for an hour each, but the time flew because there were so many actors trying to scare us throughout the line. Excellent! Also the attractions were phenomenal and very detail oriented. They put so much effort into this and made my night. Definitely recommend best haunted house ever!!!" — Alexis J. , Massachusetts

75. The Devils Attic

The Devils Attic

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

"This is probably one of the best and well-thought-out haunted houses I've been to. From the moment you step out of the car, you begin to be immersed into cinematic horror. While you wait in line, some scare actors are present, getting you into the mood for this haunted attraction. Also, they are projecting some old horror movie clips, as well as some weird unusual clips. This house rolls with the punches one after the other, putting you right in the middle of some of the best and most iconic horror films of all time." — Abbey B. , Lexington, Kentucky

74. Sanctum of Horror

Sanctum of Horror

Location: Mesa, Arizona

"Have gone to Sanctum two years in a row — definitely my favorite haunted house in the area. Attention to detail with their makeup, props, special effects, etc., is fantastic. It was great last year, and they've improved quite a few things that made it even better this year." — Michelle M. , Jackson, Mississippi

73. The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel

Location: Estes Park, Colorado

"I highly recommend this tour for anyone who is into the paranormal. Our tour guide, Ian, was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the hotel, as well as its ghoulish friends. He was entertaining and friendly, and provided a one of kind experience. The tour takes you through all of the common areas, and you even get to test if the spirits are with you (we had an encounter, and it was wild)." —Linsey M.

72. Into the Dark Terror Vault

Into the dark

Location: San Francisco, California

"Hands-down, no contest the best haunted house I have ever been to. I've been here 3 years in a row, and the changes they make every year truly justify coming again and again. The performers all put so much work into their various crafts, you're always treated with respect, and you really can tell how invested everyone here is in ensuring you have an amazing time. You can opt for a glow necklace that tells performers they're allowed to touch you — they may grab you or jostle you gently, smell you, even spank you or paint your skin! You can of course opt out, and they'll always be respectful of that, too. Tickets could cost twice as much as they do, and I'd still jump to buy them every year." — Kyle W. , Fremont, California

71. Milburn's Haunted Manor

Milburn's Haunted Manor

Location: Hubbard, Oregon

"The BEST, most terrifying haunted house that I have been to. Brilliantly conceived with two distinctly different haunts, this experience is well worth the trip from Portland. The drive there set the stage with the site being a very dark, isolated area. As you drive there, you pass a nearby cemetary and, then, you see the parking lot lights...and hear screams." — Jerald B. , Tualatin, Oregon

70. Haunted Overload

Haunted Overload

Location: Lee, New Hampshire

"One of the best Halloween experiences of my life. I am a bit of an enthusiast for these types of things. The art and creativity of Haunted Overload is second to none. From the otherworldly light displays, breathtaking designs, and of course the tremendous characters and costumes, it really is a haunted labyrinth experience like no other." — Livingston S. , Keene, New Hampshire

69. Reign of Terror Haunted House

Reign of Terror Haunted House

Location: Thousand Oaks, California

"I am SO glad I made it to Reign of Terror. I was thoroughly blown away. The detail and uniqueness in all of the 130+ rooms (Yes, 130+ rooms!) was phenomenal. The maze has left a lasting impression on me like a reoccurring nightmare that shakes you to the core. Another review stated that Universal Horror Nights should take notes and agree 100 percent." — Joey S. , West Hollywood, California

68. Haunted Mansions of Albion

Haunted Mansions of Albion

Location: Albion, Idaho

"I come here every year for Halloween! I love it! It's so spooky and exciting. Really puts you in the Halloween mood! It takes a while to go through all four houses so it's worth the drive and money. Would recommend everyone to try it at least once." — Stephanie L. , Heyburn, Idaho

67. Haunted Forest at Panic Point

Haunted Forest at Panic Point

Location: Youngsville, North Carolina

"You guys gotta check this place out if you love being scared. I've never been to a haunted forest or trail ever, and I can now proudly say Panic Point was everything I dreamed and more! Looking forward to come back and check out the haunted corns!!" — Alexis G. , Washington, D.C.

66. Rotten Manor

Rotten Manor haunted house

Location: Holly, Michigan

"My fiancée and I went in Oct '18 and haven't forgotten about it since. This place was top-notch, and I've been haunting in the Detroit area since I was a little tot in the '90s.

First, we were floored by the design of the building—done in Gothic style Victorian with the classic tapered Mansard roof. The rickety wood siding gave the house a classic haunted look...Second, the location... The eerie, quaint setting is unsettling on an October night.

Third, the acting is Tony award tier. All the talent inside had a story, accent, or some nuance that really elevated the sense of dread throughout the haunt. There are no cheap thrills here, everything had purpose and built up to a scare." — William F. , Tacoma, Washington

65. Hellscream Haunted House and Escape Rooms

Hellscream Haunted House and Escape Rooms

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

"I have done a lot of escape room over the years and this place is the REAL DEAL. The rooms are exciting, challenging, creative, very unique, and 100 percent worth the money. I would also highly recommend choosing the scary option! The actors are awesome and might even help you out on your adventure ;)

The staff are professional, funny, and friendly. They provided me with one of the most positive escape room experiences I've had to date." — Brandt M. , Las Vegas, Nevada

64. The Beast

Beast Haunted House

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

"This was absolutely one of the scariest haunted house experiences that I have ever encountered. Carolina haunted houses have nothing on the Kansas City thriller ... The Beast! I was very happy to find out that [Missourians] enjoy a nice scare. First and foremost, I certainly advise you buy your tickets before arriving. The line to get in is incredibly long, and it is very much so worth a few extra bucks to skip all this waiting. I really liked the fact that there were food vendors around on the corners of the streets (food trucks). This helps with the annoying wait time. But once you get inside, everything changes for the better. The actors working at the haunted house do an excellent job at keeping all of us on edge but without scaring us too badly. I was certainly glad to experience such a wonderfully terrifying experience. The art installations were phenomenal, and designs were very authentic. I would certainly go back next Halloween season!" — Zyven S. , San Francisco, California

63. Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park

Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park

Location: Smithville, Texas

"I hate scary things, scary movies, etc. but this was SO much fun.  We went with some friends who enjoy this stuff and we got there right at 7 (during daylight because I'm a wimp) and checked out the amazing museum. It's a $9 admit fee but well worth it. I got some great photos in there and the collection is impressive x1000." — Andria H. , Austin, Texas

62. Asylum and Hotel Fear

Asylum and Hotel Fear haunted house

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

"This experience was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! Asylum was the best, the characters were extremely talented and the theme from every room has you screaming until your hoarse. My heart is still pumping from the thrill of it. It was definitely worth the money! Lines are long so I recommend the VIP experience to skip the lines." —Tracy T., Spring Valley, Nevada

61. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium haunted attraction

"By far one of the coolest/creepiest places I have been to. I'm not a huge fan of ghost story stuff, but this place was cool. The night tour is a really cool feature. Things happened on the tour that I cannot explain. It was creepy and fascinating all at the same time." — Jimmy K. , Dallas, Texas

60. The 17th Door Haunt Experience

The 17th Door Haunt Experience

Location: Fullerton, California

"This place is no joke. From beginning to end, you are touched, grabbed, enclosed in small spaces, lifted and dropped into complete darkness, terrorized with live cockroaches, shocked, and if you're brave enough to push through every room, you'll leave completely drenched. (I don't recommend bringing your phones inside because of this last part.)" — McKenna A. , Huntington Beach, California

59. Insanitarium Haunted Attraction

Insanitarium Haunted Attraction

Location: Pinson, Alabama

"I screamed a lot! I've done a lot of big production stuff with the expensive animatronics and this was as good or better...The group of adults we were with chickened out and asked for an exit.

One of the performers said "are you serious." We ducked ahead and just kept screaming/peeing." — Nikki C. , Trussville, Alabama

61. Macabre Cinema Haunted House

Macabre Cinema Haunted House

"One of the best haunts ever, and I've seen many! Came out from CA, grew up in KS. This was by far, the best of the trio offered in KC. Very dark, dank, just enough actors, decent props, decrepit old building perfect for a haunt! Can't believe these haunts are so long. If you scare easily, you may not make it through. This haunt was impressive, and I'm picky and not easily scared at all. Loved it! Great time!!!!!" — Jo N. , San Jose, California

57. Haunted Labyrinth

Haunted Labyrinth

Location: Cranston, Rhode Island

"This is a pretty fun haunted house. This was our second year in a row coming here!  Each year it's a different theme so it's completely unpredictable and fun! You just don't know who or what will be lurking behind a curtain or door. You might not even know which door to open to escape a certain room. 

Strobe lights are flashing, things are slamming, noises are blasting, creatures are creeping and some are even sitting on the throne!! You seriously don't know what to expect!" — Jennifer M. , Tiverton, Rhode Island

56. Fearlandia

Fearlandia haunted house

Location: Portland, Oregon

"This is an impressive haunted house! It's hard to strike that balance between adult-entertaining and (older) kid-friendly, but they did it! Lots of jump-scares and super cool optical illusions. Enthusiastic actors and staff and lots of creative touches. Easy options to exit if it gets to be too much. Special shout out to the Swamp Thing that entertained us as part of the pre-show. You are a riot!" — Molly N. , Portland, Oregon

55. DementedFX Haunted House

DementedFX Haunted House

Location: Holyoke, Massachusetts 

"Great haunted house!!! They go all out and clearly are passionate about what they do. Great effects and great actors. Couldn't have had a better experience! They have TVs and a bar so that you're entertained in line and the haunted house is very much worth it!" — Sydney G. , Ellington, Connecticut

54. The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction

The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

"By far, this is the best haunted attraction I've been to in Indiana, and I have been to just about all of them. Themed, for the most part, not random from room to room with the typical characters.  Top-notch costumes and props.  All of the makeup actors were cleverly face masked to not ruin the vibe. From entrance to exit was just over 30 minutes. I recommend the fast pass for an extra $5 and buying the timed tickets the day before, or early the same day you are going." — Joe M. , Indianapolis, Indiana

53. Mysterious Mansion

Mysterious Mansion Haunted House

Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee

"I absolutely LOVED this experience! I love haunted houses and getting a good jump-scare, and that's exactly what this place provides. It's just off the main strip in downtown Gatlinburg, and in a perfect, creepy location. The appearance of the house and the props were excellent.

The actors working inside the house were amazing and scared me over and over again! Not recommended for small children who don't like jump-scares. If you happen to get pushed to the front of the group you are with, be prepared to scream a lot." — Rachel S. , Greensboro, North Carolina

52. Exiled – Trail of Tears

Exiled – Trail of Tears

Location: Bonner Springs, Kansas

"Very fun alternative to the traditional haunted 'house"' format. Loved the entertainment throughout the waiting line, made the time pass much quicker! I really enjoyed the 'school bus' portion of the attraction! Make sure to wear warm/comfortable shoes! The owner Jeff spoke with us after we completed the course and was very nice and engaged with the entire experience. I will be back! Definitely recommend!!" — Alexandra S. , Overland Park, Kansas

51. The Bisbee Seance Room

The Bisbee Seance Room haunted attraction

Location: Bisbee, Arizona

"So crazy and real. My son said his brain hurts. We are all still trying to figure out what happened. This was the best part of our 14-day trip across the West Coast. I loved it and would give him 10 stars if I could." — Nina B. , Temecula, California

50. Blood Manor

Blood Manor

Location: New York City

"Bear in mind that their attraction is relatively short, only 20 minutes, but you spend that time in motion going from scene to scene and dozens of different scares. The actors when we were there were very enthusiastic, and they were smart enough to realize my cousin was a scaredy-cat. They had fun honing in on her, much to everyone else's enjoyment." — Dennie C. , Englewood, New Jersey

49. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses

Headless Horseman Hayrides

Location: Ulster County, New York

"It starts with a hayride through the Forest. Along the trail, you see zombies and monsters alike. There is a 'Walker' on board that gives the history of the headless horseman. Following the hayride, you walk through a motel with lots of different scenarios. Next is a corn maze. It leads to more attractions and more scenarios. The monsters and zombies will pop up out of nowhere, but they do not touch. They follow and will scare." — Lili "Lisa" R. , Nassau County, New York

48. Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory

Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory

Location: Akron, Ohio

"Even though their sets are detailed immaculately, it still has a very old-school haunted house vibe, which I love. Some of the high-tech haunts nowadays go so over the top that it just doesn't feel authentic anymore. The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory nails that authenticity. Old school haunted housing at it's finest!" — Brian J. , Traverse City, Michigan

47. Dread Hollow

Dread Hollow

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

"The VIP room is worth it as it's an experience in and of itself! Not only do you get front-of-the-line access, but you have your own lounge, and best of all, you get to control some of the scares in the haunt!" — Emily M. , New York City

46. Nightmare Haunted House

Nightmare Haunted House

Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

"Went back last week so my mom and sister could experience it. They made it in ... and ran right back out! The staff was nice enough to let them retry it, and they made it in and right back out again. My mom said the first few steps had her terrified." — Shakeria J. , Jacksonville, Florida

45. Asylum 49

Asylum 49

Location: Tooele, Utah

"My girlfriend and I managed to make it all the way through the first time together. Right when we got out, they RIPPED our hands apart and sent us right back in separate." — Jaden N. , Tyler, Texas

44. Scary Acres

Scary Acres

Location: Hope, Rhode Island

"We make it a point to go to Scary Acres every year. They put on a great show. Good scares, great props and wonderful costumes and makeup. Be sure to spend the little bit more for the speed pass. " — Kristen R. , Walpole, Massachusetts

43. Frightmare Compound

Frightmare Compound

Location: Denver, Colorado

"The visual experience alone was way more impressive than I was expecting, and this is definitely one of the better haunted houses I've ever been to. Scary enough to make me jump a number of times but also tame enough for my daughter to come with and still be able to sleep through the night, haha!" — Kenneth M. , Bradenton, Florida

42. Georgetown Morgue

Georgetown Morgue

Location: Seattle

"Seriously, what the hell did I get sprayed with? Spoiler alert: The clown has a REAL chainsaw." — Alyson L. , Burien, Washington

41. The Slaughterhouse

The Slaughterhouse

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

"Are you wanting to jump out of your skin? Wanting shivers down your spine? All of your fears coming true? Well, you're in the right place! This Haunted House is the best house in the Des Moines region! All of the cast is into their character. As soon as you step in the gate, you have people in your face, and the terror starts." — Kyle M. , Des Moines, Iowa

40. The Catacombs of St. Pascal's


Location: Chicago

"I waited 26 years before I ever went to a haunted house, and with this being my second year of going, I've got to say St. Pascal's had the perfect blend of the jump-out-at-you goblins and overall creepy vibe." — Bridget S. , Chicago

39. The Terrorfied Forest and Manor

Terrorfied Forest and Manor

Location: Pinckney, Michigan

"Was super scared about haunted anything. Braved it anyway. This place was a blast... worth it to buy the pack for house and forest. The monsters are a riot! Would definitely come back." — Tanya M. , Redford, Michigan

38. Niles Scream Park

Niles Scream Park

Location: Niles, Michigan

"This was my first visit to a haunted house, and it did not disappoint! There were twists and turns that kept me on my toes and, more importantly, kept me entertained." — Kaylee B. , Benton Harbor, Michigan 

37. Wisconsin Fear Grounds

Wisconsin Fear Grounds

Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin

"I love this place,  you're entertained by ghouls and goblins and monsters while you're waiting in line to go into the place. Great place to take your love and hold her tight when the ghosts come running right at you all." — Smeet T. , Milwaukee

36. Trail of Terror

Trail of Terror

Location: Wallingford, Connecticut

"This was by far the best Halloween trail we've ever been on! A lot of thought and effort was put in each scene... different rooms had different things happening to you unexpectedly... What an AWESOME experience! I laughed... I jumped and screamed, all the actors did a fantastic job." — Quanieshia D. , East Hartford, Connecticut 

35. Reaper's Revenge

Reaper's Revenge

Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania

"I had a great time last weekend at Reaper's. Quality scares!!!! The cast is truly in character all the time. Even when you're not scared, they make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. " — Anthony G. , Paramus, New Jersey 

34. 13th Gate

13th Gate

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

"The best word to describe it: 'WOW!' The attention to detail is insane!!! LIVE rodents and snakes... are you kidding me!?!? Amazing!!! The actors are great. The sets are better than Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights, and that's a freaking movie studio! The 13th Gate is simply mind-blowing." — Christine L. , Los Angeles

33. The Haunted World

The Haunted World

Location: Nampa, Idaho

"I love going to this place every year! They really put a lot of thought and detail into the attraction, and it's always really fun to get scared and to see what they change every year." — Bryce F. , Boise, Idaho

32. Kersey Valley Spookywoods


Location: Archdale, North Carolina

"No longer just a haunted house, this is now a premier haunted attraction that's been featured on the Travel Channel. The makeup artists are incredible, as they make the actors look fantastic!" — Michael S. , Las Vegas

31. USS Nightmare

USS Nightmare

Location: Newport, Kentucky

"There are three different shows: lights up, for scaredy-cats; the regular show; and the special Extreme nights. If you decide halfway through that you can't handle it, there are exits throughout the house." — Adrianna B. , Cincinnati, Ohio

30. Hotel of Horror

Hotel of Horror

Location: Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

"It is downright scary, and you will love it. The rooms are all decorated with expert detail to inspire nightmares. The actors are very scary and truly do their job very well. We have kids who love to be scared, but if your kids are ambivalent, proceed with caution, as this is for older kids and younger ones only who really like to be scared. We screamed the entire time during both tours." — Marisa C. , Collingswood, New Jersey

29. The Dent Schoolhouse

Dent Schoolhouse

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

"You have no idea how good a haunted house can be until you go to Dent. The makeup is amazing. The props are authentic, and it's difficult to tell what is real and what is not real." — John H. , Cincinnati

28. Darkside Haunted House

Darkside Haunted House

Location: Wading River, New York

"Really cool haunted house. A must go to. Worth the trip. Can't talk about details cause it would ruin the suspense. It is about 20 minutes long of just constant sheer terror... Scares the heck out of you!" — RICHARD P. , Westbury, New York

27. Fright Factory Haunted House

Fright Factory Haunted House

Location: Buckley, Washington

"Such a fun, horrifying time! Great job, Fright Factory. Reluctantly, I will be back next year." — Meghan B. , Snoqualmie, Washington

26. Scream Hollow Wicked Hallow

Scream Hollow Wicked Hallow

"This place is amazing. If twisted and spooky is your thing, this is a MUST if you live remotely in the area." — Keshante A. , Austin, Texas

25. Fright Kingdom

Fright Kingdom

Location: Nashua, New Hampshire

"The grim haunted house was terrifying, as you couldn't see in front of your face and the walls shocked you. Half of the time, I couldn't tell what was real and what was fake throughout the haunts, which added to the suspense." — Olivia A. , Bedford, New Hampshire

24. Nightmare on 13th

Nightmare on 13th

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

"Nightmare on 13th was pretty freaking legit. It was so well done! The whole thing was just clever and creative, and I really appreciated it. It didn't seem cheap and tacky at all! The theming is cool, and the scares didn't seem to get repetitive to me at all. Also, the scares here are all in good fun, which I really liked. I never felt unsafe or that things went too far. It was just enough that I was screaming and laughing my way through the entire thing." — Courtney K. , Provo, Utah

23. Shocktoberfest


Location: Leesburg, Virginia

"I am pretty sure I lost my voice because of all the screaming I did. Yes, I was that girl that was freaking out." — Melissa N. , Key West, Florida 

22. Frightland


Location: Middletown, Delaware

"I love this place! What a great, but scary time. My fave is the barn. The hayride is great, too. It is just long enough and very high energy from all the monsters and things in the entire place." — Tom Z. , Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland 

21. Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse

Gateway's Haunted Playhouse

Location: Bellport, New York

"Peek-a-boo!!! I promise you won't hear that unless it's coming from the undead and followed by a scream." — Jude J. , Nassau County, New York 

20. Paranoia Horror Maze

Paranoia Horror Maze

Location: Several locations

"This was really fun and scary! It's completely dark inside, and the only thing you have to go off of is a red light. I almost chickened out, but I survived." — Erica C. , Oakland Park, Florida 

19. The Dead End Hayride

Dead End

Location: Wyoming, Minnesota

"The scale of this huge production is off the charts. There were so many different facets and moving parts, and during our time going through it, everything was flawless as far as I could see. The props went off at the exact times, and actors jumped out and interacted with our group right on cue. The costumed actors were great; they had tons of energy, and it made for a great experience." — Scott S. , Minneapolis, Minnesota

18. Hundred Acres Manor

Hundred Acres Manor

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"You are very immersed in this haunted house for 45 minutes, both physically and mentally... Even the brave will be caught off guard and find themselves jumping in fright." — Jenna W. , Pittsburgh

17. Erebus Haunted House

Erebus Haunted House

Location: Pontiac, Michigan

"This place is legit! The actors were on point from the door. It's a three- or four-story in the dark, jump-scare experience." — Ericka B. , Detroit

16. Basement of the Dead

Basement of the Dead

Location: Aurora, Illinois

"I enjoy a haunted house that preys on all of your senses, and Basement of the Dead is just that. There are smells, there are sights, there are weird sensations under your feet, blasting music or silence, depending on where you are in the house. Thankfully, no taste involved, but I wouldn't be surprised if they find a way to do it, eventually." — Amy R. , Naperville, Ilinois 

15. Dungeon of Doom

Dungeon of Doom

Location: Zion, Illinois

"This is definitely not a haunt for the family! If you are looking to experience fear, look no further. This haunt has a ton of jump scares and is 60 minutes of sheer terror! Great experience for the money! Totally recommend this house!" — Dan D. , Oconomowoc, Wisconsin 

14. Field of Screams

Field of Screams

Location: Mountville, Pennsylvania

"Wow, this made me sweat. I'm a huge horror fan, haunted house season is my fave time of year. I went into this not knowing what to expect (due to mixed reviews), and this blew my mind. If you have a phobia, this place will cover it and make sure they rub it in deep. The full contact made this place so scary, and the haunted hayride... wow just wow." — Kerri B. , West Babylon, New York 

13. Scream-A-Geddon


Location: Dade City, Florida

"Great night of fear and fun. The characters/cast are phenomenal. The haunts are very good. Being part of the action by wearing a participation glow necklace makes the experience so much more." — Marlene V. , Bradenton, Florida

12. Dark Hour Haunted House

Dark Hour Haunted House

Location: Plano, Texas

"The best haunted house I've ever been to, and I've been to several. They are professionals at what they do here. You'll get a good scare! Very artistic; they make your environment feel as if you're in another world; great experience!" — S L. , Dallas, Texas

11. Haunted Plantation

Haunted Plantation

Location: Waipahu, Hawaii

"I thought it was scary and fun! My boyfriend definitely had a good laugh (at me screaming). They have a lot of actors and a lot of attendants that lead you through the houses." — Jo C. , Honolulu, Hawaii

10. Laurels House of Horror

Laurels House of Horror

Location: Laurel, Maryland

"We have been to this haunt every year since it opened, and it just keeps getting bigger and better every year! The scare actors really get into their parts and are quite creepy sometimes. The sets are elaborate and very detailed. There are many confusing and disorienting parts in the mazes of rooms. Definitely worth the trip even if you've already been before!" — Jason S. , Glen Burnie, Maryland 

9. The Bates Motel

The Bates Motel

Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania

"Bates Motel is one of the better haunted attractions in the surrounding Pennsylvania area. The prices are fair, actors stay in character, and many of the props are very cool. During this visit, we did the hayride, maze and motel... The motel was the best attraction here." — Theresa R. , Lansdale, Pennsylvania 

8. The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel

"I was so terrified I closed my eyes the majority of the time. I also cried and wanted to throw up. Haha. With that said, they did a great job, but it was too scary for me. 5/5 stars for the actors and each scary room!" — Ashley C. , San Diego

7. Cutting Edge Haunted House

Cutting Edge Haunted House

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

"Very spooky haunted house. Pleasantly surprised with how long it was. Highly recommend going here if you're looking for a solid fright." — Garrett A. , College Station, Texas 

6. House of Torment

House of Torment

Location: Austin, Texas

"Other than being scared out of my guts and being told I collectively screamed more than the three kids combined, I was beyond amazed by the creativity put in this place — a moving subway train compartment splattered in blood and radioactive props, a whole clown room with trippy lights, to name a few." — Chanpreet K. , Chicago, Illinois

5. Brighton Asylum

Brighton Asylum

Location: Passaic, New Jersey

"I, a haunted house fanatic, have experienced my fair share of doomed dwellings. This asylum experience ranks among the best." — Grant E. , New York

4. Savage House

Savage House

"Best haunted house I've been to. Ever. You guys [outdid] yourselves this year! I was thrilled last year when I gave this place a chance — never thought a Target parking lot could make me almost p**s my pants. But man, y'all nailed it this year." —  Sarah C. , San Diego

3. Netherworld Haunted House


Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia

"So scary! Screamed the whole time I was in there. So much so that some of the characters felt bad for me and gave me a fist bump at the end of the haunted house." — Ameila B. , Smoke Rise, Georgia 

2. Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"The mazes or rooms (whatever you want to call them) were terrifying! The props are top-notch, and everyone is really into character. I had so much fun, will definitely do this again!" — Rare R. , Linden, New Jersey 

1. 13th Floor Haunted House

13th Floor Haunted House

"I love how the scarers come from anywhere here. Beside you, above you, below you, you just don't know. They also don't send too many people in one group, so you can really enjoy personalized scares for your group." — Laila R. , Burbank, California

North America Chevron

United States Chevron

These Are the Most Haunted Places in the US

By Caitlin Morton and Matt Ortile

The 32 Most Haunted Places in America

We know the United States as the land of spacious skies and amber waves of grain, but it's also the land of ghosts. In the most haunted places in America, lingering spirits roam through the halls of hotels , abandoned asylums, Broadway theaters, and even a city zoo. If you want to get up close and personal with the paranormal, many of these sites offer guided tours through the spookiest of spaces—as well as overnight stays in the most haunted rooms in some of these hotels. (That's one way to capitalize on spirits stuck on our plane of existence, at least.)

If ghosts aren't your go-to travel buddies, fear not. Many of the below sites and the destinations where they are found offer enough culture, history, architectural wonders, and beautiful scenery to keep you firmly planted in this realm. Just be sure not to provoke the spirits as you go about your journeys.

Below, 32 of the most haunted places in America. Happy travels…

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date. All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Additional reporting by Randy Kalp and Jenna Scherer.

Bodie California

Bodie, California

In the 1870s and '80s, Bodie boomed when gold was found in the hills surrounding Mono Lake —at one point, it was home to 10,000 people. It's now a State Historic Park , with some parts of the town preserved in a state of "arrested decay"—think tables with place settings, and shops eerily stocked with supplies. It's not surprising that there are many reports of supernatural activity here, including ghost sightings and music playing from shuttered bars. There is also a legend that any visitor who takes anything from Bodie—even a rock—will be cursed with bad luck and health problems upon leaving.

Planning your visit: There are no food shops, gas stations, or other commercial facilities at Bodie in order to, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation , “preserve the ghost town atmosphere.” Prepare accordingly.

Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia

Those of you who remember the '90s will recognize this cemetery as the one featured in the novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil . Like the book, the Savannah cemetery itself has a Southern Gothic atmosphere, with Spanish moss giving shade to time-worn Victorian monuments. There are many notable figures buried here, like singer Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken, but it's Gracie Watson who most deserves a visit. Having died at just six years old, her grave is marked by a life-size marble statue with her hand resting on a tree stump, symbolizing her life cut short. Many visitors place toys at her grave when they visit, and some have reported seeing the ghost of Gracie near the site. Other spooky accounts of the Bonaventure include inexplicable sounds, like crying babies and barking dogs, and statues suddenly smiling as people approach them.

Planning your visit: The Bonaventure Historical Society offers guided tours and, if you're looking for a particular gravesite, instructions that will point you where you need to go.

Cahawba Alabama

Cahawba, Alabama

Alabama's first capital and famous ghost town takes its name from the state's longest river, situated at the confluence of the Cahaba and the Alabama. It was abandoned after the Civil War, and its empty buildings, slave burial ground, and eerie cemeteries are now popular settings for ghost tours and stories of paranormal activity. The most famous tale is that of a luminous floating orb appearing in the former garden maze of Colonel C.C. Pegues’s house, shortly after the colonel had been killed in battle. The phenomenon became known as "Pegues’s Ghost," and still attracts curious visitors to the site today.

Planning your visit: Since Cahawba is a ghost town, you'll want to make your base elsewhere—driving from nearby Selma takes just 20 minutes, and the nearest airport is Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM), about an hour away.

Calcasieu Courthouse Lake Charles Louisiana

Calcasieu Courthouse, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Toni Jo Henry was a former sex worker who reached national levels of infamy when she killed a man in cold blood in 1940. It took three trials for a jury to convict the "charming" Toni Jo, but she eventually became the first (and only) woman in Louisiana to be executed in the electric chair. However, her spirit is said to have remained in the courthouse, where workers can feel her presence and even smell her burning hair. Many claim she meddles with everyday life at the courthouse to make life more difficult for the employees, locking doors and fiddling with office equipment.

Planning your visit: For your travel companions too creeped our to visit the courthouse? Send them to Lake Charles, North Beach, a naturally occurring inland stretch of white sand that's perfect for picnics, swimming, and, well, long walks on the beach.

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Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Since its construction in 1886, the Crescent Hotel has served several purposes: luxury resort, conservatory for young women, junior college. But the strangest mark on its history came in 1937 when it got a new owner, Norman G. Baker. Baker was a millionaire inventor who decided to pose as a doctor (despite having no medical training) and turn the hotel into a hospital that could "cure" cancer. He was eventually exposed and run out of town, though reports say that his spirit found its way back to the site—and gained some otherworldly company, too. The now-operating Crescent Hotel is said to be haunted by at least eight ghosts , ranging from a five-year-old girl to a bearded man wearing Victorian clothing.

Planning your visit: If you really want a spirited night at the Crescent Hotel , you can book Room 218, a.k.a. Michael's Room, the most paranormally active address on the property—and, according to the hotel website, the one most frequently requested by bold and brave guests. (If you need a buddy, the room sleeps two, for what it's worth.)

Dock Street Theatre Charleston South Carolina

Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, South Carolina

One of the oldest theaters in America, this site in downtown Charleston has racked up a lot of tumult and history over the years. After a fire burned down the original theater, the Planters Inn was built on the spot; it was converted back to a theater in the 1930s. The most flamboyant ghost here is Nettie Dickerson, who, legend has it, was struck by lightning while standing on the balcony of the hotel. Her shadow has been reported gliding along the second floor of the theater, dressed in a red gown. Also in otherworldly attendance: Junius Brutus Booth, a renowned 19th-century actor (and the father of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth) who used to frequent the inn.

Planning your visit: The Dock Street Theatre is right in the middle of the French Quarter, in Charleston's original walled city. You'll have your pick of restaurants and hotels in the area after catching a show (or a ghost sighting); the elegantly timeless French Quarter Inn is a Readers' Choice Awards favorite.

The Driskill

The Driskill, Austin, Texas

The Driskill is a majestic Romanesque hotel with modern rooms and an iconic brick facade, drawing European tourists and wedding parties since 1886. It's a true Austin landmark—and according to some, a true hot-spot for ghosts. Travelers have noted eerily abnormal sounds through its ornate corridors, as well as phantom sightings of the hotel’s namesake, Jesse Driskill, whose portrait still hangs in the lobby. They say Driskill never recovered from the heartbreak of losing his hotel in a high-stakes poker game, and honestly, we get it: This spot would be a hard one to say goodbye to.

Planning your visit: The Driskill is a stone's throw away from the Colorado River bisecting the city: Just walk down Congress Avenue and you'll hit the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail , which offers fantastic views of both the water and the city.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary took solitary confinement to new levels when it was built in 1829. Prisoners lived alone, exercised alone, and ate alone; when an inmate left his cell, a guard would cover his head with a hood so he couldn't see or be seen. The prison had to abandon its solitary system due to overcrowding from 1913 until it closed in 1970, although the forms of punishment did not get any less severe (chaining an inmate's tongue to his wrists is one example). The site—one of the most haunted places in America—now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, both for its museum and annual Halloween celebrations, which feature 15 haunted attractions within the prison walls. Reported paranormal happenings have included disembodied laughter, shadowy figures, and pacing footsteps.

Planning your visit: The Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc., the nonprofit organization that keeps the Penitentiary open as a tourist site, goes all in on Halloween. If you're visiting in October, be sure to review all the need-to-knows on their site.

Emily's Bridge Stowe Vermont

Emily's Bridge, Stowe, Vermont

New England is known for its lovely covered bridges, but some are more likely to elicit dread than delight. Take Emily's Bridge in Stowe , for example, a 50-foot-long bridge that is said to be the site of a young woman's death by suicide in the mid-1800s. According to legend, the woman (Emily) was supposed to meet her lover at the bridge to elope, but ended up hanging herself from the rafters when he never showed up. Today, Emily's ghost is said to maliciously haunt the site, clawing at passing cars and even scratching the backs of pedestrians until they bleed. There are slightly less menacing spooks as well, like images of a white apparition and strange voices and footsteps coming from the tunnel.

Planning your visit: If you drive up to the bridge and can't bear to go in? Re-route. In the fall, Stowe is a fantastic place to go leaf peeping , and in the winter, it's one of New England's bona fide ski capitals; the Austrian-inspired Trapp Family Lodge is just 15 minutes away from Emily's Bridge by car, for a safe retreat.

Gettysburg Battlefield Pennsylvania

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest in American history, with somewhere around 50,000 young men dying in the three-day conflict. Many of the soldiers never received a proper burial after their untimely deaths, and many believe the souls of these men now wander the battlefield to look for their weapons and comrades.

Planning your visit: If you do choose to wander the fields, the National Park Service encourages visitors to Gettysburg National Military Park to be mindful of deer ticks, especially when the insects are most active in the late spring to early fall. Follow traditional protective measures like wearing insect repellent and pants.

Honolulu Airport

Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii

If flight delays and $13 sandwiches aren't enough to make you fear airports, Honolulu 's Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (also called Honolulu International Airport) has an extra feature to strike fear in even the most intrepid of travelers: a resident ghost. Dubbed “the Lady in Waiting,” the apparition is a blonde woman in a white dress who shows up in off-limits areas of the airport. According to legend, the woman fell in love with a man who promised to marry her (while she was still alive, of course), but then he hopped on an international flight and abandoned her at the gate—her ghost is still waiting for him to return. People have reported other strange occurrences as well, like toilet paper rolls that unravel on their own and toilets that flush by themselves. (Although when it comes to airport bathrooms, we've seen a lot scarier.)

Planning your visit: Since the airport's Lady in Waiting is said to show up in places usually inaccessible to travelers, you'd probably be better off actually, you know, leaving the airport and seeing Hawaii. Perhaps a stay at the Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort ? It was voted the best resort in Hawaii in this year's Readers' Choice Awards .

Hotel Monte Vista Flagstaff Arizona

Hotel Monte Vista, Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff's Hotel Monte Vista has its fair share of paranormal guests who have truly overstayed their welcome, including a long-term boarder who had a habit of hanging raw meat from the chandelier in Room 210; two women who were also thrown from the third floor and allegedly now attempt to asphyxiate male guests in their sleep. There are also reports of an infant whose disturbing cries have sent staff members running upstairs from the basement. (Actor John Wayne even claims to have had a paranormal encounter here.)

Planning your visit: When you need a break from ghosthunting (or ghostbusting), there's plenty to do in Historic Downtown Flagstaff, where the Hotel Monte Vista stands. Among them: Nearby restaurants Atria and Brix are perfect for locavores who love a menu that rotates with the seasons (and none of it hangs from a chandelier here).

House of the Seven Gables Salem MA

House of the Seven Gables, Salem, Massachusetts

No, this house did not steal its name from the classic novel—in fact, it inspired the novel. Aside from being the site of those famous witch trials, Salem also happens to be the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who used this 17th-century house as inspiration for his famous 1851 novel, The House of the Seven Gables . Aside from its beautiful-yet-spooky facade, the house is surrounded by tales of paranormal activity and ghost sightings (all based on personal experiences of staff).

Planning your visit: Every October, the house offers spooky tours as well as performances of their “ Haunted Fables at the Gables ." There are daytime options as well as nighttime options for the brave of heart. And late in the month, the programming becomes dedicated to an interactive theater experience called Daemonologie: Sinew & Soul .

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago Illinois

Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois

Lions, and tigers, and…ghosts? As it turns out, one of Chicago's most popular attractions is also one of its most haunted, with much more than just chimpanzees roaming the grounds. From the 1840s to '50s, the heart of Lincoln Park served as the city cemetery, housing some 35,000 bodies . The cemetery was eventually moved due to its proximity to the city's water supply, and most of the bodies—but not all of them—were moved along with it. If you've ever seen a horror movie, you know that messing with burial grounds is the easiest way to get haunted, and the Lincoln Park Zoo is no exception. As if walking above several thousand corpses isn't creepy enough, famed parapsychologist Ursula Bielski once called the area (in its current state) “without a doubt the most active site I’ve investigated”—and people have reported seeing ghosts there since it opened in 150 years ago.

Planning your visit: The Lincoln Park Zoo is free—no admission fees are required. Opening hours change with the season, so be sure to double check so you don't get locked out of the park (or locked in).

Lizzie Borden Bed  Breakfast Fall River Massachusetts

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Fall River, Massachusetts

Without a doubt, the most famous haunted bed and breakfast in New England is the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River. For those unfamiliar with the story (or the macabre jump-rope rhyme), police accused Borden of brutally killing her father and stepmother with a hatchet in 1892; she was acquitted of the murders later that year. At the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum, visitors can tour the house or spend the night, even staying in the room where Abby Borden was killed. Guests and employees have reported all kinds of strange activity in the house, including weeping and footstep sounds, an apparition in Victorian-era clothing wandering the halls, doors opening and closing, and muffled conversations coming from vacant rooms.

Planning your visit: Since the Lizzie Borden House has only six rooms available for booking on any given night, you might find yourself with no room at the inn, as it were. Don't fret: Just drive 30 minutes and cross state lines to Providence , Rhode Island, where a bevy of plush hotels like the Graduate await (hauntings not guaranteed).

The Mark Twain House Hartford Connecticut

The Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut

Mark Twain lived in this Hartford house from 1874 to 1891, during which time he wrote both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer . The landmark now serves as a museum that showcases the iconic author’s life and work. It’s also an excellent place to experience the paranormal, apparently, as visitors have reported things like odd noises and a woman in white (isn’t it always?). The billiard room is considered the most haunted spot in the house—it is where Twain used to sit and smoke cigars, and some claim they can smell smoke wafting through the air as they pass through.

Planning your visit: The Mark Twain House and Museum website highly recommends booking timed tickets in advance of your visit. And if you're looking for another equally historical house tour, the home of the writer and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe is just a one-minute walk away, around the corner from Twain's.

Masonic Temple Detroit Michigan

Masonic Temple, Detroit, Michigan

With its 16 floors, over a thousand rooms, and Gothic facade, the Masonic Temple is one of the most imposing additions to Detroit 's skyline. According to rumors, there's also more to it than meets the eye, like hidden passageways and staircases. The most famous urban myth associated with the Temple, however, is that of its architect, George D. Mason: Legend has it that Mason went bankrupt funding the construction and then leapt to his death from the roof. You'll be hard-pressed to find facts to back up this tale, but it certainly does help explain reports of a ghost climbing the steps to the roof of the building.

Planning your visit: The Masonic Temple maintains an active events calendar for its theaters and ballroom. There are guided tours as well, though they're subject to staff availability,—be sure to consult the calendar and get tickets ahead of time.

Mizpah Hotel Tonopah Nevada

The Mizpah Hotel, Tonopah, Nevada

The Mizpah Hotel opened in 1907 as one of Nevada's first luxury hotels, complete with solid granite walls and Victorian-era decor, and it was fully restored in 2011. But the swanky hotel has a history as blood-red as its scarlet furnishings—one it proudly embraces. Legend has it that a woman died on the fifth floor, and her soul never left the building. The "Lady in Red" now reportedly makes her presence known by whispering in men's ears and leaving pearls from her broken necklace on guests' pillows.

Planning your visit: The Mizpah Hotel isn't creepy enough for you? Walk 10 minutes up along Main Street and stop by The World Famous Clown Motel , which is exactly what it says on the tin. If that weren't enough, its tagline is “America's Scariest Motel.”

Ohio State Reformatory

Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, Ohio

Opened in 1896, the Ohio State Reformatory is famous for its Gothic facade and ominous six-story cell block. But its greatest claim to fame is when it served as the filming location for The Shawshank Redemption —though, to be clear, the prison was shrouded in terror long before Red and Andy holed up there. The reformatory closed in 1990 due to overcrowding and inhumane conditions, but not before more than a total of 200 people (including two guards) died in the building. Legend says that the ghosts of several former inmates still roam the halls, as well as an old guard who jabs people with his nightstick.

Planning your visit: There are various ways for visitors to experience the hauntings first-hand at the Reformatory, from two-hour guided tours to private paranormal investigations. The site also plays host to an annual music and tattoo festival called InkCarceration .

One if by Land Two if by Sea

One if by Land, Two if by Sea, New York City

One if by Land, Two if by Sea has all the makings of a perfect evening: gold chandeliers, fireside tables, upper-crust cuisine… and about 20 ghosts. The spirits are reportedly more playful than malicious—paranormal activities are classic phantom pranks like flickering lights, tilting picture frames, and moving plates. Some of the most famous apparitions guests have claimed to see include a woman dressed in black who walks down the staircase and a Ziegfeld follies girl. Other people claim that Aaron Burr haunts the restaurant—it was his carriage house back in the day, after all. Sadly, there are no reports of him performing any songs from the Hamilton soundtrack.

Planning your visit: Given the fame it has as one of the world's most romantic restaurants, reservations are a must. And for a truly swoon-worthy evening, book a room nearby at The Marlton Hotel , a New York City classic, right off of Washington Square Park .

Pine Barrens New Jersey

Pine Barrens, New Jersey

The heavily forested Pine Barrens spans over 1 million acres and seven counties in New Jersey. The area thrived during the Colonial period, host to sawmills, paper mills, and other industries. People eventually abandoned the mills and surrounding villages when coal was discovered to the west in Pennsylvania, leaving behind ghost towns—and, some say, a few supernatural wanderers. The most popular Pine Barrens resident is without a doubt the Jersey Devil. According to legend , the creature was born in 1735 to Deborah Leeds (her 13th child) with leathery wings, a goat's head, and hooves. It flew up the Leeds' chimney and into the Barrens, where it has reportedly been killing livestock—and creeping out South Jersey residents—ever since. ( The Sopranos ' fans will recognize the vast woodlands from the namesake Season 3 episode, which was anxiety-inducing in its own right.)

Planning your visit: To say that the Pine Barrens are huge is to understate the fact. It can be easy to get lost—as TV characters Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie learned the hard way. If you want to go exploring, stay in your vehicle or at the very least stay close to roads and campgrounds.

Pittock Mansion Portland Oregon

Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon

Oregonian pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock decided to build their dream house when they reached their golden years, in 1909, spurring the innovative design and construction of the Pittock Mansion . Unfortunately, the couple only got to enjoy their home for a few years before passing away—Georgiana in 1918 and Henry in 1919. The building is now a public landmark where some strange occurrences have been reported, such as the smell of roses (Georgiana's favorite bloom) filling a room with no flowers in it, and a childhood painting of Henry moving, on its own, from spot to spot within the house. Clearly, death was not enough of a reason for the Pittocks to vacate their beloved home.

Planning your visit: Be mindful of the Mansion's opening hours , which vary throughout the year. Virtual tours are also offered. In addition to tours, temporary exhibits and permanent collections that celebrate local Oregon history and culture are also on display at the house.

Red Onion Saloon Alaska

Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska

Established in 1898 as a brothel for miners during the Klondike Gold Rush, Alaska's Red Onion Saloon had a feature that set it apart from other bordellos: It used dolls to help run its business. (Always a good sign.) Every day, 10 dolls would be placed on the bar downstairs, each one representing one of the ladies working in the upstairs rooms. A customer would choose one of the dolls, at which point it was laid down on the bar to indicate that the corresponding worker was occupied. When the customer came back downstairs, the doll would be returned to her sitting position to let other potential clients know she was available. Fast-forward to 2023, and the Red Onion Saloon still operates as a bar and restaurant (yep, the dolls are still on display), and offers tours of the upstairs rooms, which are preserved as a sort of makeshift brothel museum. As if licentious dolls weren't creepy enough, there are reports of Lydia—a former madam of the brothel—haunting the site, complete with cold spots and lingering smells of perfume wafting through the halls.

Planning your visit: There's no super easy way to get up to Skagway, but it is set along the Inside Passage, a popular coastal route for cruise ships traveling through the North American Pacific Fjordland. If you want to pay a visit, look for a sailing that has a shore day in Skagway.

RMS Queen Mary Long Beach California

RMS Queen Mary , Long Beach, California

Aside from a brief stint as a war ship in World War II, the RMS Queen Mary served as a luxury ocean liner from 1936 to 1967. During that time, it was the site of at least one murder, a sailor being crushed to death by a door in the engine room, and children drowning in the pool. The city of Long Beach purchased the ship in 1967 and turned it into a hotel , and it still serves that purpose today—although the reported ghosts of the deceased passengers get to stay for free. (For an extra dose of spine-tingling experiences, see if you can visit the ship's engine room, which is considered by many to be a "hotbed" of paranormal activity.)

Planning your visit: In addition to overnight stays at the guest rooms , there are tours and exhibits on offer on the Queen Mary. An experience called The Grey Ghost Project allegedly takes “a skeptical- and evidence-based approach to investigating the supernatural." The Steam and Steel Tour, meanwhile, brings you close to the ship's massive engine rooms.

San Fernando Cathedral San Antonio Texas

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas

The oldest church in Texas holds El Mariachi Mass on Sunday, and is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. But come nightfall, you'd have to be something of a daredevil to enter its myth-ridden grounds . When construction workers started renovating the church in 1936, they unearthed bones, nails, and tattered military uniforms near the altar, which some believe belonged to three soldiers of the Alamo. Since the disturbing incident, visitors have reported shadowy figures and orbs in their photographs, as well as ghosts in the back of the church itself . Such otherworldly inhabitants include a man dressed in black and figures in hooded, monk-like clothing.

Planning your visit: Be mindful of the mass times and confession hours should you decide to drop by during the day. Once you've paid a visit, head to the San Antonio River Walk , which is right outside the church, for some bites, people-watching, and maybe even a boat tour .

Sheffield Island Lighthouse Norwalk Connecticut

Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Norwalk, Connecticut

Built in 1868 to help ships reach Connecticut's Sheffield Island (a 45-minute ferry ride from South Norwalk), this 10-room, Victorian-style lighthouse has a bit of a troubled past. In 1972, the lighthouse's original keeper died suddenly while watching passing ships with a spyglass; his death was never fully explained. Then, in 1991, an archaeologist working on historic site preservation reported several mysterious happenings, including mystical music coming from the shores, distant cries for help, and the sound of a foghorn—despite there being no foghorn on the island. Many believe the sounds were the work of the ghost of Captain Robert Sheffield, who originally purchased the islands in the early 1800s (and apparently had a knack for weird musical instruments).

Planning your visit: Today, Sheffield Island Lighthouse offers guided group tours from May through September. For a truly picturesque afternoon out on the water, try a sunset cruise that leaves from South Norwalk.

The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel 's stately Georgian architecture and world-renowned whiskey bar have lured travelers to Estes Park since the hotel opened in 1909. But the Stanley reached new levels of fame after inspiring Stephen King's fictional Overlook Hotel from The Shining . That eerie association aside, many other ghost sightings and mysterious piano music have been connected to the hotel. The Stanley Hotel leans into its reputation quite cleverly, offering nightly ghost tours and psychic consultations from the in-house Madame Vera .

Planning a visit: Estes Park is a popular base for visitors heading to see the majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park , so hiking and outdoor adventuring could easily be bundled with ghostbusting at The Stanley on your next Colorado trip.

St. Augustine Lighthouse Florida

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is visited by nearly 225,000 people annually, but it is just as well-known for its otherworldly visitors. Several tragic events occurred at the now-historic site that have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity. One of the first was when the lighthouse keeper fell to his death while painting the tower; his ghost has since been spotted watching over the grounds. Another event was the horrific death of three young girls, who drowned when the cart they were playing in broke and fell into the ocean. Today, visitors claim to hear the sounds of children playing in and around the lighthouse.

Planning your visit: Stay a while in St. Augustine, voted on of the best small cities in the US in this year's Readers' Choice Awards . There's lots more history to explore in this centuries-old town (founded in 1565 by a Spanish admiral), like the Castillo de San Marcos across the Matanzas River.

TransAllegheny Lunatic Asylum Weston West Virginia

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum opened its doors to patients in 1864, and in the 1950s, the West Virginia facility reached its peak, housing more than 2,400 patients—even though it was designed to hold only 250. The severe overcrowding led to inhumane conditions (like lack of heat and convalescent people kept in cages), and patients started acting increasingly violent, from starting fires to attacking staff members. The asylum finally closed in 1994, but the souls of some patients are said to linger.

Planning your visit: Ghost tours are available for those who dare, but for the rest of us, there are other attractions across the West Fork River that bisects Weston: the Mountaineer Military Museum and the Museum Of American Glass in West Virginia .

Whaley House San Diego California

Whaley House, San Diego, California

Thomas Whaley built this family estate in 1857 in San Diego , on the former site of the city's first public gallows. Shortly after he moved in, he reported hearing the heavy footsteps of "Yankee" Jim Robinson, a drifter and thief who was hanged on the site four years before the house was built. Whaley's family history ended up being filled with tragic deaths and suicides, many of which occurred inside the home itself. Some of the family members reportedly still haunt the landmark , often accompanied by cigar smoke and the smell of heavy perfume.

Planning a visit: There are day and evening guided tours on offer at the Whaley House; there's even an after-hours investigation package where participants can join “ an actual paranormal investigation ” and get their hands on “ the latest ghost hunting equipment .”

Winchester Mystery House San Jose California

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House might be one the most disturbing construction projects in history. Following the death of her husband and child, Sarah Winchester (the wife of a rifle-maker's son) was informed by a seer that her family was killed by the ghosts of gunshot victims. To keep away the vengeful spirits, she commissioned the Victorian fun house-turned-macabre dwelling that you see today. Some of the creepier features include staircases that lead directly into the ceiling, doors that open onto brick walls, and windows that can take you to secret passages.

Planning your visit: Book a guided tour , since you'll probably need it to navigate this M.C. Escher drawing of a house. If you're looking to be truly transported, grab tickets to the Unhinged immersive theatre experience that's on offer during the Halloween season.

The Bowery Hotel New York

The Bowery Hotel, New York City

This iconic hotel in Manhattan's Lower East Side is out of New York's Gilded Age with opulent decor and charming (albeit sometimes creepy) oil paintings throughout the property. But if you're feeling an otherworldly presence when you check in, that may be due to the poltergeists that allegedly make The Bowery Hotel their home. Some say that the elevators go haywire every night at one in the morning thanks to those spooky specters.

Planning your visit: If you want to stay up until 1:00 a.m. to catch the ghouls wreaking havoc, there's plenty to do in the neighborhood to keep you occupied until then. Grab dinner at nearby Momofuku Ko , then catch a performance at The Bowery Electric .

The Emily Hotel

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The 16 scariest real haunted houses in America

Forget about those hokey attractions at amusement parks. There are real haunted houses spread across America.

We're talking about the true-blue, creepy-as-can-be haunted houses.

The houses where local residents claim they hear voices and where serial killers dumped their victims. The places that carry legends of entire families vanishing into thin air and serve as a backdrop for murders and suicides.

Photographer Seph Lawless braved these collapsing and dilapidated buildings for his new photo book, " 13: Hauntingly Beautiful ," to show us how creepy these places are. Captioned with the photos are the urban legends and tales Lawless heard about the houses photographed, coupled with information from some corroborating news reports.

Lawless will also be staying in one of these abandoned homes on Halloween night , and will be live-streaming the event. Which home will be decided via vote by his Instagram followers. 

Under a pseudonym, photographer Seph Lawless is known for his dark and foreboding pictures of abandoned buildings.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

In support of his new photo book, "13: Hauntingly Beautiful," Lawless has provided us with photos of real-life haunted houses across America.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Some are actual murder sites, while others are places where corpses have been dumped. All are creepy.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

We begin our tour with the Haught Mansion in Brush Park, Michigan, which was an upscale brothel in its 1940s heyday.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Years after it closed, a number of dead bodies were found in the basement. The torsos and chests of the victims were marked with perfectly round circles.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

This broken-down palace in Michigan made a cameo as Bruce Wayne's house in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

A film assistant came across it while looking at Lawless' photos.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Detroit is full of ghost stories, especially on Temple Street. In 1942, three priests are said to have been murdered in this dilapidated Victorian mansion.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Neighbors from across the street say they'd heard ghosts stirring in the house, which was recently demolished to make way for new developments.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

This abandoned home in East Cleveland was marked by ABC News as the dumping ground of a serial killer in 2013.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Three female victims were found in the house. The killer had put one of the women in the fetal position and wrapped her in plastic bags.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

A man named Benjamin Albright accidentally shot and killed his son in 1958 in this Nova, Ohio, house. He later killed himself and his wife.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Called the Nova House, the home has been abandoned ever since. Some of the family's belongings are still inside.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

It's suspected that this Milan, Ohio, house is where local witches practice their craft.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The original owner, known as the Milan Witch, is rumored to be buried underneath the front porch.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

In Buffalo, New York, a local sheriff, Donald Caters, shot himself after his home went into foreclosure.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The house has sat vacant since the 1968 suicide. Locals claim they hear voices around the property.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Lawless believes slaves were kept in this Mississippi plantation house. Some of the walls have markings similar to what a prisoner might scrawl to pass time.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Lawless says this house was "emotionally draining to photograph."

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

This Texarkana, Arkansas, house sits in front of the road where the "Phantom Killer" took his victims. His crimes are often called the Moonlight Killings.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The Phantom Killer was never caught, but some speculate that his crimes are the early work of the Zodiac Killer.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The haunted Bailey Mansion is the inspiration for the house in the first season of FX's "American Horror Story."

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The show was set in Los Angeles, but the actual location of the Bailey House — often referred to as "the murder house" — is in Hartford, Connecticut.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Lawless shot this 1892-built house in downtown McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the day before it collapsed from a fire.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

"It's truly frightening and it still gives me chills thinking about it," says Lawless.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

However, he says that "the creepiest mansion I visited was filled with mannequin heads neatly displayed on shelves along with old rusted medical tools."

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

According to locals, these Louisiana row houses are where a little boy committed suicide. "People eventually abandoned the row houses out of fear," Lawless explained.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Per Lawless, he heard strange and unexplained noises at the Old Hickory Tavern in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio, is considered one of the most haunted houses in the US. According to local legend, there have been numerous murders in the house. People have also reported seeing ghosts and hearing unexplained noises.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The three-story mansion was originally constructed between 1875 and 1880 for Frank Knox. It was sold in 1928 and converted into a hotel and restaurant.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Once, when reviewing his photos and editing them, he saw "shadowy figures." He says they were probably "derelicts inside the places. I had no idea they were watching me, which is a frightening concept as well."

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Despite his book being published, Lawless continues to visit abandoned homes.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

This Halloween, he plans on spending the night in one, and live-streaming it.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Which one will be determined via vote by his Instagram followers.

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

  • Main content

The 13 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

By emily petsko | sep 20, 2018.


Horror lovers will feel right at home in New York or Ohio. Attractions in those states claim four out of 13 spots on Halloween expert Larry Kirchner’s new list of America’s scariest haunted houses. Drawing upon his 25 years of experience designing and installing Halloween attractions, Kirchner releases the list on his website, Hauntworld.com, each year.

This year, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, New York, tops the list. A historic 18th-century manor provides a spooky backdrop to the haunt, which includes a theatrical hayride, corn maze, eight haunted attractions, and escape rooms. “Dr. Dark’s Circus Side Show” (with everyone’s favorite: creepy clowns ) will be one of the new themes offered this year, and another new section called “Two Raven’s Manor” will feature stunt actors and a magician.

The runner-up on Kirchner’s list is Field of Screams in Mountville, Pennsylvania. The attraction promises its hayride will be “the most disturbing ride of your life through thick rows of corn.” Expect to see demented doctors, evil nurses, chainsaw and ax murderers, and miscellaneous monsters.

Check out the full list of attractions below, and head to Haunt World’s website for additional details.

1. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses: Ulster Park, New York 2. Field of Screams: Mountville, Pennsylvania 3. The Dent Schoolhouse: Cincinnati, Ohio 4. 13th Gate: Baton Rouge, Louisiana 5. Netherworld: Atlanta, Georgia 6. Nightmare on 13th: Salt Lake City, Utah 7. Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory: Akron, Ohio 8. Bennett’s Curse: Baltimore, Maryland 9. Haunted Overload: Lee, New Hampshire 10. Erebus: Pontiac, Michigan 11. Hell’s Gate: Lockport, Illinois 12. The Darkness: St. Louis, Missouri 13. Bayville Screampark: Bayville, New York

Could You Survive the 50 Scariest Haunted House Attractions in the U.S.?

We're even spooked by some of the photos ...

While we’re sure most of them will give you a fright, these haunted houses take scariness to a whole new level. Some of our most terrifying faves are on hold until 2021 (and are worth the wait), but we've found equally spine-tingling alternatives for this year. Are you brave enough to make it through?

Alabama: McKamey Manor


What the majority of the population would consider a torture chamber rather than a haunted house, McKamey Manor is by far the scariest "haunted house" there is. It began in San Diego, and now has locations in Alabama and Tennessee, and not one person has made it through without asking for it to be over.

The 30-page waiver you need to sign in order to participate gives Russ McKamey and his "team" the OK to shock you, submerge you in water, and even give you unwanted dental work, along with other disturbing things we'll save you from reading.

McKamey is currently under watch from locals — in both of his new locations — who want him out . The most disturbing part: He has over 27,000 people on the waiting list. If you are too scared, check out Episode 8 of Dark Tourist on Netflix to see what this is all about.

*WARNING: The site contains graphic images and links to even more graphic YouTube videos of the experience.*

More: The Best Halloween Animatronics to Make Your Own Haunted House

Alaska: Fright Nite Manor

Alaska Fright Nite Manor Haunted House

This haunted house is super popular in Anchorage, and it offers a 3D element. Fright Nite Manor been haunting locals for more than three decades, so you know it must be good!

Arizona: AZ Field of Screams

Large corn mazes are just extra spooky at night. This Glendale haunted attraction will make you want to escape, but the question is ... how?

Arkansas: Arkansas' Reaper Haunted House

If you desire an extra-long haunt, Arkansas' Reaper Haunted House offers over 15,000 square feet of scares through 30 horrific scenes. It continues to be the top Arkansas haunted house, so you should check out why. All new for 2020, the Haunted Hallow.

California: Knott's Scary Farm

Closed for the 2020 season.

This terrifying transformation of Knott's Berry Farm theme park to Knott's Scary Farm , where the Southern California theme park Knott's Berry Farm has been a tradition since the '70s.

Looking for one to visit this year? Many in California are shuttered for the season, but Scream Park's Museum of Horrors in Sacramento is up and running, where you can explore the Voodoo Bayou, the Midnight Asylum or the House of the Undead.

Colorado: Hellscream Haunts

At Colorado Springs' Hellscream Haunts , you can choose between the Hellscream Haunted House and the Haunted Mines. Each has a detailed story — in the first, a reporter gets stuck while covering a story, and in the second, you can take a lights-off tour through the underground tunnels.

Connecticut: Fright Haven

Experience a Victorian-era mansion spooked by bloodthirsty vampires, total darkness (and what's lurking in it), and a 3D carnival at Fright Haven in Stratford.

Delaware: Frightland

If one haunted house isn't enough for you, maybe take a trip to Frightland in Middletown, where you can experience eight haunted attractions. You can choose from Horror Hayride, Haunted Barn, Idalia Manor, Fear, The Attic, Ravenwood Cemetery, Zombie Town, and Zombie Prison.

Florida: Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

One of our favorite scares in Florida is a must for the TV and movie junkie who's also into horror and roller coasters, experience it together at Universal Halloween Horror Nights . You'll recognize the haunted house themes from American Horror Story to The Shining to Saw , and there are nine different houses to walk through, in addition to Universal's famed rides.

This may be on hold this year, so try Tampa's Scream-a-Geddon instead. It has creepy clowns galore, paintball and the scariest beer garden you've ever seen.

Georgia: Netherworld Haunted House

You won't have to worry about these monsters touching you at Netherworld , but that doesn't mean you won't leave shaken to the core. The two houses for the 2020 season are Halloween Nightmares and Cyborg Shock, and there are escape rooms if you need even more of a spooky challenge.

Hawaii: Haunted Plantation

For real haunted vibes, check out Hawaii's Haunted Plantation (that is, if you're lucky enough to live there). At this haunt, over 60 actors — as well as the spirits of Hawaii — will scare you. Can you handle it?

Most of Hawaii's scary haunts are shuttered for 2020, but there's a drive-thru scare fest Habiltiat at Aloha Stadium in Oahu . Sounds safe, until killer clowns surround your car.

Idaho: Requiem Haunted House

Requiem is Idaho's top-rated haunted house for a reason: It features 7,000 square feet of horror, so there's plenty of haunting to be had here.

Illinois: 13th Floor Haunted House

This Chicago experience has two haunted houses in a 30,000-square-foot area: Cursed: Purgatory and Dead End District: Freakshow.

Check out the chilling trailer for 13th Floor here .

Indiana: Indy Scream Park

As Indiana's scariest haunted house, Indy Scream Park touts six attractions for the bravest souls. If you want an extra-scary time, wear the glow sticks so the monsters can give you the VIP terror treatment.

Iowa: Scream Acres Park

Escape from zombies in a prison, monsters in a corn maze, clowns in a carnival, and spirits in a slaughterhouse at Scream Acres Park . Be sure to do the cornfield — it's a fan favorite.

Kansas: Field of Screams

Walk through the haunted Field of Screams ... which is 30 minutes in the dark and being scared by actors and special effects. Reservations in advance are required.

Kentucky: Sinister Tombs

Sinister Tombs haunted house in Kentucky has been haunting locals in Eastview since 2001. The land also boasts a quarter-mile trail if you're feeling extra adventurous.

Louisiana: The 13th Gate

Thanks to the film industry's boom in Louisiana, the owners of this terrifying Baton Rouge haunted attraction have hired the best of the best when it comes to set design and makeup.

The walkthrough lasts 30 minutes as people make their way through 13 themed rooms seamlessly woven together. It involves claustrophobic cellars and a real snake-infested Louisiana swamp. No. No, thank you.

Maine: Destination Haunt

Destination Haunt , located in Maine, has several spooky attractions for guests to visit. Experience The Butcher, Buried Alive Cemetery, The Outdoor Maze, and The Clownhouse, to name a few.

While many of Maine's scariest destinations are closed, Saco water park Aquaboggan has been turned into the Trail of Terror for the season.

Maryland: Field of Screams

Field of Screams Maryland (unaffiliated with Field of Screams Kansas!) has been changed into one long haunted trail this season for all your scary needs. Tickets are purchased for groups of up to six people, so bring some friends to scream along with you.

Headshot of Angel Madison

Angel Madison is a writer, editor, and crafter living in New Jersey with her teenage daughter and two cats.

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7 of the scariest haunted houses in America to visit for Halloween

People across America are expected to spend a whopping total of $9 billion on all things Halloween , including costumes, candy, decorations and more, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF's survey of nearly 7,000 consumers found that Americans will spend a near-record high on Halloween, and 21 percent of them plan to visit a haunted house this year.

Haunted house designer and attraction expert Larry Kirchner has been in the Halloween business for more than 25 years and for the 13th year in a row, his website HauntWorld.com released a ranking of America's scariest haunted houses .

"Most of these haunts have been around for 20-plus years and they're just getting better," Kirchner tells CNBC Make It .

Kirchner, also the owner of Halloween Productions, has worked with hundreds of amusement parks to help stage attractions and currently owns some of St. Louis' most famous haunted attractions such as The Darkness, House of the Occult at Lemp Brewery and Creepyworld.

"People used to go to multiple haunted houses, but now that they're more expensive, people need to do their research to help them choose," says Kirchner.

If you're in search of some spooky plans, here are the seven scariest haunted houses in America, based on HauntWorld.com's latest rankings.

1. Headless Horseman

Location: Ulster Park, NY Background:  Located   in the Hudson Valley region of New York state, Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses is set in an  18th century historic manor that was originally a horse exchange tavern, circa 1793. Don't miss: The theatrical hayride, the corn maze and the Headless Horseman Escape Rooms Cost: $49.95

2. Field of Screams

Location: Mountville, Pennsylvania Background: Based in a farm in Lancaster, the Field of Screams opened in 1993. Don't miss: The haunted night walk through a "post-apocalyptic" trail Cost: $25 to $37

3. The Dent Schoolhouse

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio Background: The Dent Schoolhouse was reportedly a real public school that opened in 1894. Legend has it Dent was the site of a mass murder in the 1950s, when a janitor was suspected of killing missing students. Don't miss: The "lights out" tour of the school house is done completely in the dark Cost: $15 to $55

4. 13th Gate

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana Background: An indoor and outdoor experience, 13th Gate has been haunting the Louisiana area for 16 years using a mix of phobias including a "snake-infested" Louisiana Swamp, cramped tunnels and zombies. Don't miss: Axe-throwing at 13th Gate's "Carnevil" attraction Cost: $30 to $55

5. Netherworld

Location: Atlanta, Georgia Background:  Netherworld was created by Ben Armstrong, who was in TV production, and Billy Messina, a former Hollywood special effects artist, who "set out to develop characters and scenes that were completely original," according to Atlanta Magazine . Now it's one of the largest attractions on the list. Don't miss: Its two haunted houses, "The Awakened" with classic horror elements and the extraterrestrial-themed "Subject: Unknown" Cost: $23 to 55

6. Nightmare on 13th

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah Background: Now in its 28th year running, Nightmare on 13th is the oldest and largest haunted house in Utah, according ABC4 News in Salt Lake. "The Nightmare on 13th is well known for constantly changing. We work year around to create highly realistic sets and over the top special effects," reads its site. This year's acquatic theme and takes vistors through man-made caves and mines. Don't miss: Photo-ops throughout the haunted house with costumed actors Cost: $25 to $45

7. Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory

Location: Akron, Ohio Background: The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory has been around for over 30 years and its seven floors of attractions play on classic phobias. Don't miss:  Happy hour at the   Haunted Midway Cost: $25 to $30

The rest of the top 13 attractions can be found at Hauntworld .

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Haunted house on a hill with red lights shining inside and bats flying overhead

The 6 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

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Caroline Morse Teel

Caroline Morse Teel is the Managing Editor for SmarterTravel Media. Follow her adventures around the world on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

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What level of thrill are you looking for this Halloween? Scare yourself silly at one of these incredibly spooky haunted houses (or maybe just skim this story in the middle of the day with all the lights on). Featuring everything from tunnels filled with live snakes to real electric shocks—these six haunted houses are the scariest in America.

Eloise Asylum, Michigan

Mad scientist doctor and nurse work on a zombie patient at Eloise Asylum haunted house

You’ll certainly get your money’s worth at the Eloise Asylum . This former psychiatric facility has undergone a $1.2 million conversion into a haunted house that pulls out all the spooky stops using cold spark pyrotechnic simulators, a Tesla coil, advanced projection mapping technologies and over 100 actors each night. 

Brace yourself for a truly immersive scare at Eloise Asylum, as the actors are allowed to touch the victims (aka participants). 

Gates of Hell, Nevada

The owners and performers of Gates of Hell, Nevada haunted house in Nevada

At Nevada’s only R-Rated haunted house, Gates of Hell , you’ll need to be 17 or older to enter (or with a parent/guardian). No one under 12 will be admitted at all, due to the intense nature of this exhibition. Put on by the appropriately named Freakling Brothers, the terror at Gates of Hell begins the minute you enter the park. 

You’ll need to sign a waiver to enter this haunted house, where you’ll then be treated to what the Gates of Hell describes as “a sadistic experiment in absolute sensory overload. You won’t be a spectator. Prepare for heart pounding, claustrophobic terror; face the reality of your own violent death… and finally, experience a slow and painful descent into cold, black nothingness to meet Lucifer himself.”

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The 13th Gate, Louisiana

Low lit dirty hallway in The 13th Gate haunted house

Step inside a real-life horror movie at the 13th Gate , where professional makeup effects, set design, and special effects will leave you wondering what’s real and what isn’t. You can expect tunnels filled with live snakes, an outdoor zombie-infested graveyard, a life-sized pirate ship, and more. True thrill-seekers can take it a step further and participate in one of their 13th Gate Escape Game , where players must navigate a serious of chilling rooms and logic puzzles to escape in under 60 minutes.  

Still sounds too tame for you? Visit during one of the Flashlight Fright Nights, when the haunted house experience happens in the pitch dark. 

Cutting Edge, Texas

Three people dressed as clowns Cutting Edge haunted house in Texas

“Beware,” warns the website for Cutting Edge Haunted House . “You’ll receive electrical shocks.” Built in a 100-year old abandoned meat packing plant, this sprawling horror show holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest haunted house—so prepare for an extended amount of terror time.

In addition to real electrical shocks, you can expect slides, moving floors, and enveloping fog—and be sure to pack a change of clothes because you’re going to get wet in this haunted house. 

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Asylum 49, Utah

Interior hallway at Asylum 49 haunted house in Utah

Asylum 49 is held in what used to be Tooele Hospital, one of the most haunted places in America. Visitors can choose different scare levels when they purchase their tickets, ranging from “no-contact” to full-contact where you’ll be covered in “stuff” and have to “tap out” to end your tour. 

Be warned that full-contact means you can be separated from your group, “detained in small dark areas” and even strapped to a metal bed.

The Haunted Hotel, California

Zomebie woman stumbling toward the camera at The Haunted Hotel Mission Valley

The Haunted Hotel is so scary that the venue has actually been sued by one of the visitors to the haunted house, who was so terrified that he injured himself attempting to run away from one of the actors. 

If you dare attempt the Haunted Hotel, you’ll head down to the hotel’s basement via the “hellevator”, visit the “spirit-saturated hotel bar” and stay in the “chainsaw bridal suite”.

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The 13 scariest real-life haunted houses in America

Under a pseudonym, photographer seph lawless is known for his dark and foreboding pictures of abandoned buildings..

Under a pseudonym, photographer Seph Lawless is known for his dark and foreboding pictures of abandoned buildings.

The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.

The images he captures have an eerie, surreal quality.

In support of his new photo book, "13: Hauntingly Beautiful," Lawless has provided us with photos of 13 real-life haunted houses across America.

In support of his new photo book, "13: Hauntingly Beautiful," Lawless has provided us with photos of 13 real-life haunted houses across America.

Some are actual murder sites and others are places where corpses have been dumped. All are intensely creepy.

Some are actual murder sites and others are places where corpses have been dumped. All are intensely creepy.

We begin our tour with the Haught Mansion in Brush Park, Michigan, which was an upscale brothel in its 1940s heyday.

We begin our tour with the Haught Mansion in Brush Park, Michigan, which was an upscale brothel in its 1940s heyday.

Years after it closed, a number of dead bodies were found in the basement. The torsos and chests of the victims were marked with perfectly round circles.

Years after it closed, a number of dead bodies were found in the basement. The torsos and chests of the victims were marked with perfectly round circles.

This broken down palace in Michigan will make a cameo as Bruce Wayne's house in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

This broken down palace in Michigan will make a cameo as Bruce Wayne's house in 2016's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

A film assistant came across it while looking at Lawless' photos.

A film assistant came across it while looking at Lawless' photos.

Detroit is full of ghost stories, especially on Temple Street. In 1942, three priests are said to have been murdered in this dilapidated Victorian mansion.

Detroit is full of ghost stories, especially on Temple Street. In 1942, three priests are said to have been murdered in this dilapidated Victorian mansion.

Neighbors from across the street say they'd heard ghosts stirring in the house, which was recently demolished to make way for new developments.

Neighbors from across the street say they'd heard ghosts stirring in the house, which was recently demolished to make way for new developments.

This abandoned home in East Cleveland was marked by ABC news as the dumping ground of a serial killer in 2013.

This abandoned home in East Cleveland was marked by ABC news as the dumping ground of a serial killer in 2013.

Three female victims were found in the house. The killer had put one of the women in the fetal position and wrapped her in plastic bags.

Three female victims were found in the house. The killer had put one of the women in the fetal position and wrapped her in plastic bags.

A man named Benjamin Albright accidentally shot and killed his son in 1958 in this Nova, Ohio, house. He later killed himself and his wife.

A man named Benjamin Albright accidentally shot and killed his son in 1958 in this Nova, Ohio, house. He later killed himself and his wife.

Called the Nova House, the home has been abandoned ever since. Some of the family's belongings are still inside.

Called the Nova House, the home has been abandoned ever since. Some of the family's belongings are still inside.

It's suspected that this Milan, Ohio, house is where local witches practice their craft.

It's suspected that this Milan, Ohio, house is where local witches practice their craft.

The original owner, known as the Milan Witch, is rumored to be buried underneath the front porch.

The original owner, known as the Milan Witch, is rumored to be buried underneath the front porch.

In Buffalo, New York, a local sheriff, Donald Caters, shot himself after his home went into foreclosure.

In Buffalo, New York, a local sheriff, Donald Caters, shot himself after his home went into foreclosure.

The house has sat vacant since the 1968 suicide. Locals claim they hear voices around the property.

The house has sat vacant since the 1968 suicide. Locals claim they hear voices around the property.

Lawless believes slaves were kept in this Mississippi plantation house. Some of the walls have markings similar to what a prisoner might scrawl to pass time.

Lawless believes slaves were kept in this Mississippi plantation house. Some of the walls have markings similar to what a prisoner might scrawl to pass time.

Lawless says this house was "emotionally draining to photograph."

Lawless says this house was "emotionally draining to photograph."

This Texarkana, Arkansas, house sits in front of the road where the "Phantom Killer" took his victims. His crimes are often called the Moonlight Killings.

This Texarkana, Arkansas, house sits in front of the road where the "Phantom Killer" took his victims. His crimes are often called the Moonlight Killings.

The Phantom Killer was never caught — but some speculate that his crimes are actually the early work of the Zodiac Killer.

The Phantom Killer was never caught — but some speculate that his crimes are actually the early work of the Zodiac Killer.

The haunted Bailey Mansion is the real-life inspiration for the house in the first season of FX's "American Horror Story."

The haunted Bailey Mansion is the real-life inspiration for the house in the first season of FX's "American Horror Story."

The show was set in Los Angeles but the actual location of the Bailey House (often referred to as "the murder house") is in Hartford, Connecticut.

The show was set in Los Angeles but the actual location of the Bailey House (often referred to as "the murder house") is in Hartford, Connecticut.

Lawless shot this 1892-built house in downtown McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the day before it collapsed from a fire.

Lawless shot this 1892-built house in downtown McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the day before it collapsed from a fire.

"It's truly frightening and it still gives me chills thinking about it," says Lawless.

"It's truly frightening and it still gives me chills thinking about it," says Lawless.

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30 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

Are you brave enough to step into one of these living nightmares?

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Fear Overload

It’s October, which means, of course, that it’s officially haunted house season.

Just in time, we’ve rounded up 30 of the best haunted houses across 18 different states. Fair warning: these intense and terrifying thrill-fests, many of which are held inside shuttered asylums or other certifiably haunted locales, are not for the weak of heart. Browse at your own risk, and plan a visit if you dare.

1. Pennhurst Asylum, Spring City, PA 

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Pennhurst Asylum

Once an actual operating asylum, Pennhurst was shuttered for good in the 1980s, amidst claims of inhumane treatment and physical abuse. It’s said to be haunted to this day by the inmates who suffered there. The comprehensive haunted experience has four distinct parts: the “Pennhurst Asylum,” a walk through the hospital’s old administrative buildings, featuring artifacts from the actual defunct hospital; “The Morgue,” a horrifying walk through the asylum's full service mortuary; “Containment,” a 1,200 foot path below the complex filled with human experiments; and “Mayflower After Dark,” a self-guided tour through one of the most haunted buildings on the asylum’s campus.

Related:  A Living Nightmare: The History of Pennhurst Asylum  

2. New Orleans Nightmare, New Orleans, LA 

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: House of Shock

When House of Shock, the long-beloved Nola haunted house, abruptly announced that it was closing its doors last year, many horror lovers were disheartened. Luckily, the new haunted house New Orleans Nightmare has cropped up in its wake and delivers the same level of scares–even if Satan is no longer involved.

3. Blood Manor, New York, NY 

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Blood Manor

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Blood Manor is 5,000 square-feet of themed rooms, corridors, and labyrinths. Some of the 2016 attractions include “The Crypt—Where no one rests in peace!” and “Maggot Invasion—They’ll get under your skin!” If that’s not horrifying enough for you, November 4 and 5 are special “Lights Out” nights, where you can journey through blood manor with just a glow stick and minimal lighting.

4. Terror Behind the Walls, Philadelphia, PA 

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Eastern State Penitentiary

Terror Behind the Walls is set at the now-defunct Eastern State Penitentiary, an abandoned 11-acre prison. Many believe Eastern State to be haunted by the souls of the inmates who were imprisoned there, making the experience all the more terrifying. This year, a new attraction has been added to the already impressive roster. “Blood Yard” lets you loose among the prisoners where it’s your choice: Hunt or be hunted.

Related:  7 Most Haunted Prisons in America

5. Nightmare New England, Litchfield, NH

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Nightmare New England

Nightmare New England features five separate and terrifying attractions, spread out over 80 acres. “The Haunted Hayride” is a mile-long journey through a spider infested campground, a compound full of disfigured human experiments, and more. You can walk through “Brigham Manor,” once home to the murderous Bishop family, and visit the “3D Festival of Fear,” home to freak show rejects. Lastly, don’t forget “Carnage” and “The Colony,” each featuring horrors more gruesome than the next.

6. Erebus Haunted Attraction, Pontiac, MI

scariest haunted house

  • Photo Credit: Haunted Pontiac

Erebus Haunted Attraction is located in a once-abandoned four-story parking garage. While the specifics change every year, the premise remains the same: a scientist sends visitors back in time, to various different eras in history. Prepare to face a gigantic dragon, a bottomless pit, monsters trying to bury you alive, and much, much more.

Related:  The Devil Comes Out to Play in This Sinister Folk Horror Novel  

7. Fear Overload Scream Park, San Leandro, CA

scariest haunted houses

Fear Overload Scream Park features two uniquely terrifying haunted houses. In “The Grimm Fairytale Killer,” visitors find themselves in the home of a deranged murderer, who attacks his victims in the same manor as Grimm fairytale villains. “Insanitarium” takes visitors inside the fictional San Leandro Asylum, home to the criminally insane. The second attraction is experienced in pitch blackness: Visitors are only allowed a flashlight.

8. McKamey Manor – San Diego, CA, Various Locations

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: McKamey Manor

Described by some as the most realistic/best haunted attraction in the world, or, by others, as irresponsible, dangerous, and sadistic, there can be no doubt that McKamey Manor is unlike any other attraction out there. Participants are kidnapped and taken to the manor for an eight-hour-long “tour,” where they are subjected to brutal treatment at the hands of their abductors (volunteer actors). The manor has been operating for over a decade, and, to this day, no one has made it through the full tour.

Related:  McKamey Manor: The Most Brutal Haunted House

9. Netherworld, Norcross, GA

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Netherworld

Netherworld has been in business since 1997, adding new horrifying elements throughout the years. In this self-guided tour, described as a “multi-story, multi-attraction haunted event,” visitors encounter monsters, nightmarish creatures, and terrifying scenes. Netherworld has been praised, in particular, for its horror-movie-quality special effects, amazing makeup and costumes, and attention to detail. Parts of Zombieland  were filmed here, and many crew members also work on the set of The Walking Dead .

10. 13th Gate, Baton Rouge, LA

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: 13th Gate

Consistently recognized as one of the country’s top haunted attractions, 13th Gate is located in a 40,000 square-foot property in Baton Rouge. This Louisiana-style haunted house features “a real snake-infested swamp, nightly voodoo shows, hidden subterranean passages, and even a prehistoric ice cave.” Like Netherworld, 13th Gate prides itself on hyper-realistic special effects, top-notch costume design, and fastidious attention to detail.

Related: Here Are the 50 Most Haunted Places in the United States  

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11. House of Torment, Austin, TX

haunted houses house of torment

  • Photo Credit: House of Torment

Operating in a new, 40,000 square foot location, House of Torment keeps amping up their truly terrifying haunted house attractions. In 2018, they're offering three brand-new haunted house experiences and Halloween escape rooms. Whether you visit the "Blackthorne Penitentiary," "Darkest Dreams," or "Trick or Treat," you're in for a scary good time.

12. The Darkness, St. Louis, MO

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Scarefest

The Darkness, located in a two-story building in downtown St. Louis, has been in business since 1994. It stands out for the extensive renovations it undergoes every year, in order to keep raising the bar on horror—this year it boasts six separate attractions. What’s more, if you survive The Darkness, you can head next door for zombie-themed laser tag.

13. Horseman’s Hollow, Sleepy Hollow, NY

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: Horseman's Hollow

You’ve already heard of the terrifying “Legend of Sleepy Hollow:” why not live it? Journey to the very town where Washington Irving both lived, and set the tale of the Headless Horseman. The historic Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, as visitors make their way down a haunted trail, filled with the townsfolk who have been driven mad by the Horseman. Up next is “Ichabod’s Schoolhouse: a twisted maze of horrors too terrible to describe.” The final stop takes visitors to the lair of the Horseman, himself. High-quality special effects and the work of award-winning make-up artists and costumes designers make this attraction truly horrifying.

Related:  The Truth Behind the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

14. The Dent Schoolhouse, Cincinnati, OH

scariest haunted houses

  • Photo Credit: The Dent School House

According to legend, Charlie the janitor, who worked at The Dent Schoolhouse in the 1940s, was responsible for abducting and murdering a group of children after they mocked him. He fled town, but his ghost still haunts the school. Visitors can look out for Charlie, stalking through the school basement—where the students’ remains were discovered sealed in barrels—as well as other teachers and staff roaming the deserted hallways.

Related: American Horror: The 10 Most Haunted Places in Ohio  

16. Cutting Edge Haunted House, Fort Worth, TX

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Cutting Edge Haunted House

The Cutting Edge Haunted House has won the Guinness World Record for Largest Haunted Attraction four times, cementing its status among the biggest and best haunted houses in the world. It’s also one of the most creative haunted houses, using techniques and scare methods that would never even occur to most. Be sure to wear clothes you don’t feel attached to to this freaky attraction.

17. Brighton Asylum, Passaic, NJ

haunted house giveaway

  • Photo Credit: Brighton Asylum

Only 60 years ago, the Brighton Asylum closed its doors due after New Jersey’s government began investigating the many reports of inhumane medical experiments, disappearances, and unlivable conditions. Today, it has been reopened to allow any curious and brave soul to encounter the spirits left behind. Brighton Asylum offers three separate terrifying experiences—only for the truly hardy.

18. Indy Scream Park, Indianapolis, IN

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Indy Scream Park

Indiana’s scariest haunted house is waiting for you … The Indy Scream Park offers a number of haunted experiences within its gates. Choose your worst fear: Zombies, clowns, the plague, homicidal families, and haunted asylums are all there for the scaring. After you’ve been thoroughly frightened, move over to the Monster Midway for food, drink, and games. Maybe after an hour or two, you’ll be calm enough to drive home.

Related: 10 Horror Books Too Terrifying to Handle

19. Ultimate Terror Scream Park, Sacramento, CA

haunted house giveaway

  • Photo Credit: Ultimate Terror Scream Park

The “best in the west”, the Ultimate Terror Scream Park includes three separate terrifying haunted house experiences. 2018 brings all new attractions, including the Paranormal Playground, Cabin Sickness, and the horrifying Optic Surgeon. Pick your poison, but be certain that you’ll be stumbling out of the park, terrified and shaking.

20. 13th Floor, San Antonio, TX

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: 13th Floor Haunted House

Many buildings were created without a 13th floor. Superstitious architects and owners hoped that avoiding this unlucky number would mean that malicious spirits would leave their homes, hotels, and businesses alone. The former hotel where you can now visit the 13th Floor was supposed to be one of those buildings. Unfortunately, thanks to hidden floors, the hotel did indeed have a 13th floor. Visit today to hear the eerie stories of the past and experience the terrifying present.

Want more screaming houses? Sign up for The Lineup’s newsletter, and get the scariest places delivered straight to your inbox.

21. Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Los Angeles, CA

los angeles haunted hayride - haunted house giveaway

  • Photo Credit: Christopher Brielmaier / Courtesy of Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

This hayride is no quaint trip through the woods. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride takes visitors through the Old Griffith Park Zoo, where ghosts of creatures and humans haunt the paths. Once you’re let off the tractors, you’ll be surrounded by clowns from hell. And that’s not even including the three other haunted attractions around the Hayride.

22. Nile Nightmares, Mountlake Terrace, WA

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Nile Nightmares / Facebook

The winner of multiple best-in-state awards, the Nile Nightmares haunted house is back with a vengeance. As you wander in- and outdoors, this immersive setting will keep shocking you at every turn. Watch out for the chainsaws!

Related: 8 Paranormal Books You Haven’t Read Yet but Should  

23. City of the Dead, Denver, CO

haunted house giveaway

  • Photo Credit: City of the Dead

Denver’s largest and most terrifying haunted house awaits. From the zombie hordes in City of the Dead to the cursed corridors of The Asylum, this sprawling haunted house as sure to terrify. As you’re chased through the city by a horde of zombies, remember that The Lineup is responsible for your terror.

24. The Hex House, Tulsa, OK

Haunted Houses Tulsa Hex House

  • Photo Credit: Tulsa Hex House

In the 1940s, the small community of Tulsa was shocked when a dead body and two enslaved young women were discovered in the home of a seemingly normal housewife. The woman had been starving and beating her boarders in the name of religion. Now, you can visit her home, complete with secret hallways and creepy basement. The Hex House will terrify any sane visitor.

Related: Dark Magic: The 1928 Hex Hollow Murder of Nelson Rehmeyer  

25. Hundred Acres Manor, Bethel Park, PA

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Hundred Acres Manor

The Hundred Acres Manor sprawls over one mile of terror, with six horrifying experiences for visitors. Ranked in the top three scariest haunted houses by a variety of publications, the Hundred Acres Manor will terrify you with an elevator from hell, a trip through the Black Plague featuring serial killers galore, voodoo priests, and more.

26. Haunted Overload, Lee, NH

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Haunted Overload

Visit the terrifying forests of New Hampshire with Haunted Overload. Once, long ago, the small town where you can find Haunted Overload was visited by a supposed demon. When the demon did not receive any care or aid for the night, he became furious, cursing the town with strange creatures, the undead, and unexplainable noises. All of the locals have since left … can you make it through?

Related: 7 Haunted Forests You’d Never Want to be Alone in at Night  

27. Castle of Chaos, Midvale, UT

haunted house giveaway

  • Photo Credit: Castle of Chaos

Castle of Chaos offers five levels of fear: They’ll guarantee that even the bravest explorer leaves their underground haunted house fully terrified. The dance club setting and hands-on terror will get you up close and personal with the vampires who are taking over. 

28. Dead End Hayride, Wyoming, MN

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Dead End Hayride

The Dead End Hayride will bring you through the depths of Pinehaven Farm and forest to the Sunnyvale Asylum. Along the way, you’ll encounter ghoulish creatures, patients who have lost their grip on the world, and other terrifying specters. If you make it through the asylum, the Pinehaven Motor Inn awaits, surrounded by an eerie cornfield. Don’t venture out too far… who knows who or what is waiting for you out there.

29. Asylum 49, Tooele, UT

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: Asylum 49 / Facebook

Asylum 49 accepts no wimps. Be ready to be grabbed, isolated, touched, and restrained by the lunatics who have taken over their ward. The 38,000 square foot attraction has been known to suck scare devotees in for hours on end.

Related: 5 Insane Asylums You Never Want to Find Yourself Locked Up In  

30. Bates Motel, Glen Mills, PA

haunted houses america

  • Photo Credit: The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

The Bates Motel has been ranked the number one haunted house in the nation by USA Today , Hauntworld, and more. Drive through an abandoned asylum, visit a creepy New England church filled with ghosts, and get chased by the Headless Horseman during your visit. Try the haunted hayride for a truly supernatural experience.

Featured photo: Fear Overload


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This Halloween season, visit the 10 best haunted houses in the US

USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice Awards logo

Best Haunted House / Attraction (2023) September 29, 2023

Halloween is about fun costumes, scary movies, and celebrating all things spooky — and that includes having a live haunted experience. These 10 haunted houses / attractions have been voted by our readers as the best in the country for the quality of their actors, set designs, and special effects, as well as value for money. 

Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary

No. 10: Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary was once one of the most expensive prisons in the world, housing the likes of Al Capone and "Slick Willie" Sutton. Today, the crumbling ruins stand empty, but they return to life during Halloween Nights. Come each spooky season, visitors who dare can test their bravery in five haunted houses, learn about the prison's past on historic tours, and drink their fears away in themed bars and lounges.

Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

No. 9: Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride - Glen Mills, Pennsylvania

Located just outside Philadelphia on Arasapha Farm, the Bates Motel offers an incredible experience of terror and mayhem. Check into the motel to experience a new level of horror, with high-tech special effects and lighting, including levitating spirits and pictures with eyes that follow you. Their Haunted Hayride is a 25-minute ride through the forest, complete with detailed Hollywood-style sets and props, giant monsters, and “more pyrotechnics than a KISS concert.” Also on offer is a haunted corn trail.

Nightmare on 13th

No. 8: Nightmare on 13th - Salt Lake City, Utah

At Nightmare on 13th, horror fans can find their way through 13 themed nightmares, ranging from Nightmare Alley and Dark Ride of Terror to Deep Freeze and many more. A second attraction, Institute of Terror, helps to prolong a night of scares. 

The Horrorland Miami

No. 7: The Horrorland Miami - Miami, Florida

Described by expert Nikky J as "absolutely terrifying," The Horrorland Miami is a themed haunted house experience that includes five main haunted attractions along with eight scary outdoor zones. Additional activities include bloody carnival games and Freak Cirque shows. And visitors can regain their composure in the food village and coffin bar.

The Haunting Experience

No. 6: The Haunting Experience - Cottage Grove, Minnesota

At The Haunting Experience, visitors must find their way through the haunted house's winding corridors, which are filled with diabolical sights and sounds, including the remains of an abandoned hospital. The scares continue on the haunted hayride that takes the brave through the shadowy forest. If you still haven't had your fill of frights, try to escape a dark cornfield where the sounds of chainsaws fill the night air.

Field of Screams Maryland

No. 5: Field of Screams Maryland - Olney, Maryland

Enter a horrifically terrifying world beyond imagination at Field of Screams in Olney, Maryland. A walk through the woods on The Haunted Trail and Trail of Terror leaves visitors scurrying away. Along their journey, guests are welcomed into several haunted houses, where they might find anything from dead bodies to clowns and butchers. Enjoy Body Bean Bag Pumpkin Toss, Zombie Brain Smash, and other Carnival Town Games for a thrilling, competitive experience.

A Petrified Forest

No. 4: A Petrified Forest - Altamonte Springs, Florida

A journey through A Petrified Forest takes visitors through three different themed scare trails sure to make your skin crawl. The highlight of each trail is going through a house filled with scare actors, bone-chilling music, and horrifying scenes. As expert Nikky J says, "It's an incredible local haunt in central Florida."

Azra Chamber of Horrors Haunted House

No. 3: Azra Chamber of Horrors Haunted House - Madison Heights, Michigan

At this haunted house, those who dare will encounter Azra, an ancient and powerful dragon, and his collection of the scariest fears, which he stored in the Chamber of Horrors. Around every corner, there is something new and terrifying trying its best to conquer anyone bold enough to walk the halls. 

Field of Screams Pennsylvania

No. 2: Field of Screams Pennsylvania - Mountville, Pennsylvania

At Field of Screams in Mountville, Pennsylvania, visitors can choose from four terrifying experiences: the Haunted Hayride, two haunted houses (Den of Darkness and Frightmare Asylum), and the Nocturnal Wasteland, a fear-filled forest. If you think your heart can take it, you can try to conquer all four during your visit. 

Cutting Edge Haunted House

No. 1: Cutting Edge Haunted House - Fort Worth, Texas

More than just a haunted house, Cutting Edge Haunted House begins its entertainment the moment guests enter the parking lot. Located in a historic area of Fort Worth, Texas, known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” this 100-year-old abandoned meatpacking plant takes visitors on a 55-minute haunted experience with its twisting corridors and multiple stories of live actors and special effects. 

About 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

Nominees are submitted by a panel of experts. 10Best editors narrow the field to select the final set of nominees for the Readers’ Choice Awards. Readers can vote once per category, per day. For any questions or comments, please read the FAQ or email USA TODAY 10Best .

The Experts

Christine barger.

Christine Barger

Christine Barger, aka The Haunt Girl, has over 30...   Read More

Christine Barger, aka The Haunt Girl, has over 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. She started out entertaining audiences through the art of ventriloquism. As an adult she has acted in live theatre productions, haunted attractions, theme park shows, television and movies. She has also designed and built attractions. She is currently building her second escape room coming soon to The Exit Game in Anaheim, California. She is also a popular content creator on TikTok and Youtube. She has gained popularity in the escape room and haunt communities through her IG & vlog channel (TheHauntGirl) dedicated to updating her community on the newest immersive plays, escape rooms and haunted attractions. Her passion for escaping rooms has taken her to over 650 escape games nationwide. Christine’s primary hobby aside from cuddling her cats is a fascination with the paranormal. She has done her fair share of investigations and had a handful of paranormal experiences that she couldn’t explain away using “logical explanations” such as the full body apparition she saw on the Queen Mary. She and her husband even went ghost hunting in London for their honeymoon. While many people look for the nicest hotel or best deal on vacation, Christine plans around the most haunted places to stay. She doesn’t mind a friendly spirit following her home now and again, as long as they don’t bother her beloved cats. Christine knows a lot about: · the paranormal · unique roadside attractions · the best places to get locked in a room Connect with Christine at: Instagram @ChristineBargerOfficial , TikTok  @ChristineBarger , Youtube , and her website, TheHauntGirl.com .

Christine Barger

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She...   Read More

Jamie is an attorney, writer and photographer. She was born with deeply ingrained wanderlust and has visited 45 countries and counting. She often brings her children along for the adventure and is passing her love of travel on to the next generation. Jamie has written for   Insider,   Fodor's Travel ,   Yahoo ,  the Huffington Post , the  Washington Post,   Viator  and  Reviewed  among many other publications. Jamie is from Philadelphia and now lives in Washington, DC, where she takes advantage of everything the region has to offer.    Jamie can be reached at  [email protected]  and can be found on  Twitter ,  Instagram  and  TikTok .

Jamie Davis Smith

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of...   Read More

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum, the trusted resource for family vacation planners since 1996. FTF’s award-winning publications: MyFamilyTravels.com , America’s Most Popular Family Vacations and  The Family Vacationist  e-newsletter  provide destination reviews, tips and  seasonal roundups  for all aspects of travel. Ms. McCarthy, author of a dozen Frommer’s guidebooks, also contributes to US News, CNN and other publications. She can be found on most social networks @familytravelforum.

Kyle McCarthy

NikkyJ is a theme park super fan, Author of The...   Read More

NikkyJ is a theme park super fan, Author of The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide, the founder and owner of ThemeParkHipster.com , a wishful Food Critic, coffee enthusiast, and a lover of life! She currently resides in Orlando, Florida where she enjoys spending time with her husband and two little girls while discovering the beautiful attractions of Florida. You can watch her on  YouTube  or listen to her podcast.

Nikky J

Robb Alvey is the owner of ThemeParkReview.com ,...   Read More

Robb Alvey is the owner of ThemeParkReview.com , started in 1996 and one of the longest running and largest theme park fan sites with over 3 million followers. Robb travels to theme parks all over the world each year including Europe, Asia, Australia, and all around the Americas, has visited hundreds of different parks and ridden about 2,000 different roller coasters. His background in theme parks started as a cast member for Disneyland when he was 17 years old and has continued more than 30 years later.

Robb Alvey

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original,...   Read More

USA TODAY 10Best provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.

10Best Editors

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Best Fun Run

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Best Sprint Triathlon

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Best 5K Race

Best 5K Race

Browse the best.

Best Pumpkin Patch (2023)

Best Pumpkin Patch (2023)

Best Escape Room (2023)

Best Escape Room (2023)

Best Ghost Tour (2023)

Best Ghost Tour (2023)

Best Theme Park Halloween Event (2023)

Best Theme Park Halloween Event (2023)

Best Apple Orchard (2021)

Best Apple Orchard (2021)

Back to readers' choice.


25 Most Haunted Places in the United States

Posted: March 3, 2024 | Last updated: March 3, 2024

The United States is historic, and by that, it also means endless spooky possibilities. Paranormal investigators often organize ghost tours throughout the nation. You get to hear, see, and feel the unknown, unimagined, and scariest things. Here are the 25 most haunted places in the United States.

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

This historic prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a popular tourist spot. But if you are not into haunted places, avoid it. The prison operated from 1829 to 1971, but today, it serves ghosts and spirits. A visit here will introduce you to shadows, unexplained laughter, and footsteps. Cellblock 12 is particularly spooky.

Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania

Louisiana is a famous American State and is home to the most haunted houses in the world. Located in St. Francisville, this plantation is built on a Native American burial ground. Visitors here often claim to see shadows and hear footsteps. The ghost of Chloe, a former slave, is quietly talked about and is often seen.

The Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana

Located in the San Fransisco Bay of California, Alcatraz Island is a notorious federal prison. This place is known for numerous awkward occurrences, particularly ghostly activities. Guards often report hearing mysterious sounds and chilling sensations at particular locations. Cell 14D is claimed to be one of the most haunted sections here, with unexplained sounds of banjo playing.

Alcatraz Island, California

This tuberculosis hospital in Waverly Hills opened in 1910 for advanced medical practices. However, the hospital had some tragic incidents, transforming it into a haunted place. Now, many claim to see ghostly shadows, strange sounds, and more. Even paranormal investigations have recorded many unexplained incidents.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky

Winchester Mystery House was built by Sarah Winchester in a peculiar and maze-like fashion. The construction went straight for 38 years, 24×7, until Sarah died. Rumors suggest that she made the house to appease spirits killed by the famous rifle her husband invented. Visitors report hearing footsteps, doors slamming, and feeling the presence of spirits.

Winchester Mystery House, California

This British ocean liner offers a stay and enjoys world-class entertainment along Long Beach in California. There have been many instances of paranormal activities, although the sightings of a “lady in white” are particularly popular. Besides that, the engine room and certain cabins are also believed to be haunted. You can join various ghost tours and investigations to live this experience.

The Queen Mary, California

The Lizzie Borden House is known for the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in 1892. Although not found guilty later, their daughter Lizzie Borden was charged with the crime. Today, visitors claim to hear footsteps, whispers, and other unexplained sounds. Some even claim to feel uneasy or see ghost spirits, particularly in the room where the murder happened.

Lizzie Borden House, Massachusetts

Salem in Massachusetts is one of the popular haunted places in the USA. The infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692 focused on killing (hanging) a large number of people after being charged with witchcraft. The landmark features Old Burying Point Cemetery, which, along with the tragic incident, adds to the ghostly connection of this place.

Salem, Massachusetts

Visit the site of one of the bloodiest battles during the American Civil War in 1863. As per beliefs, the severe conflicts during the Civil War left a residual energy, contributing to paranormal activity. Many visitors claim to see the spirits of soldiers and to hear unexplained gunshots. Some claims suggest that even visitors experience a gloomy mood at times.

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

The Whaley House, which dates back to 1857, has served as a home, a general store, and a courthouse. Presently, it is one of the most haunted houses in the United States. Visitors claim to see spirits of the Whaley family and other historical figures who were ever associated with this place.

The Whaley House, California

In 1912, this house saw the brutal ax murders of Josiah Moore, his family, and two guests. Since then, it has never remained the same happy home but has turned into a haunted place. Today, you can hear footsteps, voices of small kids, and many other paranormal activities. It is also a popular spot for paranormal investigation.

Villisca Axe Murder House, Iowa

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a popular tourist spot in Florida with a rich maritime history. Besides visiting it for maritime tourism, people also choose this place for spooky experiences. From seeing shadowy figures to hearing voices and experiencing mysterious occurrences, a lot is going on there.

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

Known as the most haunted hotel in America, the Crescent Hotel was built during the 19th century. Located on the top of the Ozark Mountains, it was once a women’s college and a hospital. But today, the hotel is a permanent residence of the most famous ghost, Dr. Norman Baker, who once operated a cancer care hospital here.

The Crescent Hotel, Arkansas

Jerome Grand Hotel was earlier a hospital with a storied past. As per beliefs, the spirits of former patients and medical staff still roam here. Visitors have reported ghostly sightings and strange occurrences. In fact, some spots are chilling spots, still unexplained. Despite its stunning hillside location, the haunted image is difficult to wipe out.

Jerome Grand Hotel, Arizona

This popular mansion in New Orleans was once home to Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Madame was a socialite with a sinister secret contributing to the dark history of this place. In the 1830s, the mansion caught fire, revealing a secret room where slaves were brutally mistreated. Today, those tortured souls are said to haunt the premises.

The LaLaurie Mansion, Louisiana

Do you know what brought fame to the Sallie House? The spirit of Sallie, a young girl who died during her surgery. This place is a focal point for paranormal investigations and is quite popular amongst ghost lovers. Visitors claim to see mysterious scratches and sightings of a little girl.

The Sallie House, Kansas

If you have read about American folk fare, you must be familiar with the legend of the Bell Witch. This ghost story revolves around the Bell family, who are believed to be possessed by demons. This family property and the neighboring cave are popular for haunting activities like strange noises, unsettling encounters, and even physical attacks.

The Bell Witch Cave, Tennessee

The Pfister Hotel, which is located in downtown Milwaukee, is popular for its historic charm. However, what makes it even more popular is the ghost encounters here. Visitors claim to have seen the spirit of Charles Pfister, the original owner of the hotel. The 23rd floor is especially popular for paranormal activities.

The Pfister Hotel, Wisconsin

The Joshua Ward House in Salem is popular for its association with the Salem Witch Trials. The house is built over the original land of George Corwin, the High Sheriff, during the trials. Since he was known for dealing with witches, the effects are still present here. While some visitors claim to experience oddness, others see the spirit of Corwin.

The Joshua Ward House, Massachusetts

Located in Mansfield, the Ohio State Reformatory is a popular haunted place in the U.S. The place is known for its brutal architecture and the inhumane conditions that its inmates face. Since the facility saw a great deal of violence and death, it resulted in the transformation of a haunted place.

Ohio State Reformatory, Ohio

Although it is a popular tourist place, the music world attracts ghost enthusiasts the most. The building was once a slaughterhouse and later a speakeasy with ties to the mob. Legends believe that its history attaches it to being ghostly. Visitors often see the spirit of a murdered dancer named Johanna and other experiences.

Bobby Mackey’s Music World, Kentucky

Do you know that these tunnels beneath the streets of Portland have a dark history? If believed, the tunnels used to transport victims (after kidnapping) to the waterfront for forced labor aboard ships. In association with this dark history, visitors today feel a chilling presence and encounter ghostly appearances.

The Shanghai Tunnels, Oregon

Although the Congress Plaza Hotel is not known for any brutal real-life instances, it has paranormal activities. Plan a visit here, and you may see flickering lights, fast footsteps, and ghostly figures. Room 441 is particularly popular for its ghostly experiences, including unexplained sounds and movements.

The Congress Plaza Hotel, Illinois

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East TN Family Fun

9 Totally Horrifying Ghost Tours and Haunted Houses in Johnson City TN, Bristol, Kingsport, and Tri-Cities

Whether you’re looking for a few light screams, or prefer terrified crying in the fetal position, Tri-Cities fright lovers have plenty of haunted attractions to choose from. With 10 different haunted houses in Johnson City TN and the surrounding areas, you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.

From horrifying haunted corn mazes, to elaborate scare houses and zombie attractions, it will be hard to choose just one. Thankfully, many attractions offer combo passes so you can enjoy it all!

Most of the attractions recommend leaving younger kids at home, due to the intensity of the experience. Click any of the business names below to verify the information we’ve provided and get additional details.

Most Horrifying Haunted Houses in Johnson City TN

For your convenience, this post may contain various affiliate links. As an affiliate, and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. View the disclosure page for more information.

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Table of Contents

Haunted Houses in Johnson City TN, Bristol, Kingsport, and Beyond

1. haunted forest.

  • 172 Big Springs Rd, Elizabethton, TN

Scream seekers, travel in style as you are whisked away to the main attraction, a terrifying forest filled with nightmarish creatures. Once you’ve had all the scares you can handle, you can wrap up the night with a fast-paced zombie laser tag adventure.

2. Hartman’s Haunted Corn Maze and Zombie Paint Ball

  • 7941 Blue Springs Pkwy, Mosheim, TN

This fear-packed haunted corn maze is sure to have you crying for Mommy! If you seek additional scares, you can also hop aboard the fabulous haunted hayride. Finally, the farm also offers Zombie Paintball Hunting which gives visitors a chance to shoot their favorite un-dead villains.

3. The Fun House Haunted Attraction at Stickley Farm

  • 531 Timber Mill Private Dr, Bluff City

This carnival-themed haunt will have you quaking in your boots.

4. The Haunted Grounds (Formerly Hales Haunted Forest)

  • Appalachian Fair Grounds, Gray

Don’t miss this revamped haunted attraction .

5. The DAM Haunted Woods

  • 3460 Highway 75, Kingsport

This haunted attraction bills itself as Tri-Cities’ longest haunt! In addition to the frightening haunted attraction, there is also a bonfire and food available for purchase.

Most Horrifying Haunted Houses in Johnson City TN

6. Haunted Holler

  • 15128 Lee Hwy, Bristol, VA

This attraction is on pause for 2023, They are still looking for the perfect piece of property to reopen this attraction.

At one of the oldest houses in Washington County , the Haunted Holler offers a variety of frightening fun including a real-life haunted house, haunted trail, escape house, and zombie paintball experience. Not recommended for children under 12.

7. The Warehouse

  • 313 Legion Street in Weber City, VA

This no-touch haunted attraction features a variety of scary themes along the route. Food and drink will also be available for purchase. Not recommended for children under 10.

Frightening Ghost Tours

8. paranormal technology investigations and east tn ghost tours.

  • various locations in Jonesborough, TN

This company offers a variety of haunted walking tours throughout Jonesborough, where participants get to use sophisticated paranormal investigation equipment to hunt for real ghosts.

They also offer 2 different classes for aspiring professionals that want to learn how to use paranormal investigation equipment, to hunt on their own.

9. Appalachian Ghost Walks

  • tours located in Jonesborough, Johnson City, Dandridge, and More

This comprehensive ghost tour company offers 15 different tour options throughout North East Tennessee and South West Virginia. They also offer ghostly party packages, bus tours, and more!

Halloween Books to share

With these Halloween picks, not only will you have fun reading with your kids, but you’ll also be giving them a little boost academically, without even trying!

  • Pumpkin Jack – This book focuses on the life cycle of a pumpkin. After tossing his wilted carved pumpkin into the garden, Tim observes the scientific changes it continues to make throughout the season. When spring comes, Tim makes an awesome discovery!
  • Big Pumpkin – In this classic Halloween tale, a witch teams up with some unlikely friends to make a pumpkin pie from the biggest, heaviest, pumpkin they’ve ever seen! But, who will be able to carry it?
  • National Geographic Readers: Bats – Vivid photographs and fun facts help introduce kids to the secret world of bats!

More East TN Family Fun

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Erica Cardinal

Erica has lived in East TN for over 9 years. She enjoys exploring this gorgeous region with her husband and 3 lively children. As a former teacher turned homeschool mom, she loves finding fun and affordable activities the entire family will love, especially if they cultivate a love for learning!

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Top 13 places in Russia where you may face a ghost

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

1. Kusovnikov House in Moscow

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

In the 19 th   century house № 17 on Myasnitskaya street in central Moscow was inhabited by a rich, but very greedy couple – Pyotr and Sofya Kusovnikov, who scrimped on almost everything. Extremely suspicious, they used to hide money from their servants in different places. Once they hid some in the fireplace, but the janitor accidentally burned it when lighting the fire. When she found out, Sofya died instantly of a broken heart, her husband passed away a little later. Since then, the ghost of a hunched old man in a coat has routinely appeared on the street near the house – this is Pyotr Kusovnikov mourning his lost money.

2. Sokol metro station

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

During WWI, not far from the modern Sokol station of the Moscow metro, a cemetery for fallen soldiers was located. In 1918, mass executions of White officers and priests by the Reds were held there. All this led to the appearance of ghosts in the dark tunnels of the station. Early in the morning diaphanous figures with festering wounds can be seen there.  

3. St. Michael’s Castle in St. Petersburg

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

This castle was a royal residence built by order of Tsar  Paul I. On March 21, 1801, he was killed there by a group of conspirators. It is considered that the restless spirit of the tsar was unable to leave the castle. It appears there in the corridors with a burning candle in its hand.

4.   Znamenskaya Tower in Yaroslavl

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

During the Civil War in Russia (1917-1922), a group of White troops held positions in the Volkovsky theater in Yaroslavl. The Red commissar in command of the siege promised to spare their lives. However, he lied and all the Whites were executed at the Znamenskaya Tower. Since then, the ghost of the commissar who didn’t keep his promise has been seen at the place of his crime.

5. Igumnov House in Moscow

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The house at 43 Bolshaya Yakimanka Street in Moscow, also known as “Igumnov House,” serves today as the residence of the French ambassador. It was built at the request of the industrialist Nikolay Igumnov in the late 19 th   century. He settled his young mistress here, but one day caught her with a lover. The lover was kicked out, but the girl was never seen again. It is believed that the outraged Igumnov bricked her up in a wall. During Soviet times, people often saw the ghost of a young girl walking through the walls with deep, plaintive sighs.     

6. House of Rasputin in St. Petersburg

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

The flat on the second floor at 64 Gorokhovaya street in St. Petersburg is today a usual residential apartment. However, in the early 20th century it was home to one of the most mystical figures in Russian history – Grigory Rasputin. His ghost sometimes appears here, scaring inhabitants with its clunking steps and grunting in dark corners.

7. House on the Embankment

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

This house at 2 Serafimovicha Street, simply known as “House on Embankment,” is among the most famous in the Russian capital, known as the place of residence for the Soviet   crème de la crème : writers, artists, actors, generals, athletes. However, it also has a dark history. During the Great Purge, a campaign of political repressions in the USSR, dozens of the house’s inhabitants were arrested and executed. Today, the house is full of the ghosts of those victims, who sometimes appear in their old dwelling place. 

8. Tower of the old hospital in Ryazan

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Among the high-rise modern buildings at 15 Gorky Street in Ryazan is an old tower – all that remains of the old hospital. At night, a lonely dark figure can be seen walking in this tower. This is the ghost of Alexander Smitten, who administered the hospital more than a century ago.

9. Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

During a misty night in March, one can see the ghost of a young girl near the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg. Her face is blue because of asphyxiation, and there is a big red mark on her neck caused by a rope. This is famous revolutionary Sophia Perovskaya, who assassinated Tsar Alexander II and was hanged for her deed. To meet this ghost is a bad omen, and can cost nocturnal pedestrians their lives.

10. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

There is a legend that when the Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod was being built, the constructors were unable to finish one of the towers. It kept falling down. In the end, they decided to make a sacrifice and to build the tower on the blood of the first person who passed by. It happened to be a pregnant woman hurrying to the river for water. She was seized and bricked up in the tower alive. The ghost of a pale woman holding a baby has appeared near this place ever since.

11. Oldenburg Palace near Voronezh

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Built in the late 19th century, the palace belonged to Princess Eugenia of Leuchtenberg. Today her ghost rises from the deep casemates of the palace to wander through its rooms and corridors. There is also another ghost there, much older — the ghost of a young peasant girl. It is even said that Princess Eugenia saw it when she was alive.

12. Stalin’s country house near Sochi

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Stalin’s ghost can be seen at his country house, located today within the Green Groove hotel near Sochi. The “father of the nations” walks in his white jacket, smoking his trademark pipe.

13. Psychiatric hospital near Nizhny Novgorod

number 1 scariest haunted house in america

Near the modern psychiatric hospital in the village of Lyakhovo near Nizhny Novgorod, one can see an abandoned old building. Several dozen years ago a young girl hanged herself there because of unrequited love. At night it is possible to see a white silhouette and hear the moaning and cries of the “love-stricken schoolgirl” as the locals call her.

And if you want to see a UFO, here are several places in Russia where you will have a chance.

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number 1 scariest haunted house in america

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