Sharing spooky ghost stories, whether it’s around the campfire with family or at a slumber party with friends, can be a whole lot of fun, and we’ve found the best real ghost stories ever told from each and every state across the United States.
These scary ghost stories from every region will send chills up and down your spine. From freaky ghost stories about dead lovers or murdered families to creepy ghost stories about science experiments gone wrong or random bullet holes, this giant list of the spookiest ghost stories will have your mind reeling.
The best part: All of these spooky ghost stories are still unsolved mysteries, so you never know when these ghosts will be spotted again!
Ghost Stories in Every State
March 1, 1858, the Eliza Battle caught fire in the middle of the freezing Tombigbee River. The lifeboat is burned and Mary Taylor loses her new husband as they face the frigid water in each other’s arms. She however is rescued by her childhood sweetheart who was also on the steamboat.
Mary arrives in Alaska and checks in to The Golden North Hotel where she becomes engaged. Soon her fiance Klondike Ike has to return to his prospecting over Chilkoot Pass, over 500 miles away. He never returned and sometime later Mary was found dead in her room. They say she still waits there for her fiance to return so they may wed.
Now along old route 66, the Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona was opened in 1927. Built entirely from public taxes, this hotel became very popular and over the year has been stayed in by people from all walks of life, including famous people. Strange occurrences including noises and sightings haunt the halls and many ghosts are reported, from cowboys in the lobby, to prostitutes in the pool and bell boys knocking on doors.
The McCollum-Chidester House, which is now a museum is named for a Mr. Chidester who delivered mail for a living. He was accused of spying for the confederacy and bullet holes can be see upstairs where he was shot in his home. Some report Mr. Chidester still resides in the home.
A local lady decides to have a walk and take her child to the park, after being distracted by chatting with an acquaintance, she realizes in horror that the pram is gone. After running around frantically looking for the baby, in a moment of complete despair she walks into the lake.
At the Buffalo Rose Saloon, whose history dates back some 150 years, there are reports of a ghostly girl who haunts the saloon day and night, making noise as she is often reported to be heard going up and down the stairs. In the basement lay an old swimming pool from the 1920s, now covered, this is thought to be her favorite room as employees speculate she may have drowned in the pool.
On December 22 of 1916, head lighthouse keeper Fredrick Jordan left to row ashore to spend the holiday with his family. Sadly he never made it as a gigantic gust of wind is reported to have capsized his boat, and his assistant Iten was unable to rescue him. Iten takes his place as head keeper and is haunted by memories, reporting seeing Jordan around the lighthouse and the logbook mysteriously being left open to the day of his death. Jordan is also credited for leading some ships to safety and some light malfunctions at the lighthouse.
Woodburn Mansion is considered by many to be the most haunted place in Delaware. The ghosts are considered mostly pleasant and are experienced by many witnesses. Prior to being the “Governor’s House,” this haunted place in Delaware was home to many members of Delaware’s elite class. From slave raiders still hanging in the trees, to soldiers who are seen stealing the wine at night and a certain little girl who favors the garden, this old house has no shortage of apparitions.
St. Augustine, boasting a rich and old history, seems to be a hotbed of paranormal activity. Many ghosts left with unfinished business or regretful memories are seen sulking or hanging around places like Castillo de San Marcos, Tolomato Cemetery, St. Augustine Lighthouse, the Old Jail and Spanish Military Hospital.
Lake Lanier, named after Sidney Lanier, an 18th-century Georgia poet who wrote “Song of the Chattahoochee,” was created by the Army Corps of Engineers after the farmlands were purchased for low prices from the resident’s who families had owned the land for generations. The lake is reported to be haunted as it is not only popular but large and holding memories of much forgotten history, probably including unmarked graves.
Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed by a Japanese attack on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It isn’t uncommon for local officers to respond “That’s just Charley” when water faucets turn themselves on, radio stations switch, or heavy doors swing back and forth inexplicably. Charlie is one of the most famous ghosts.
The State Penitentiary in Idaho began in 1870 as a one-cell house and quickly grew into a complex of buildings surrounded by a large sandstone wall. The sandstone wall was built by stones mined by prisoners from nearby rock quarries and for a long time prisoners suffered in inhuman conditions in the prison. Raymond Allen Snowden, known as “Idaho’s Jack the Ripper,” is said to haunt the building were he was executed.
At Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, a beautiful statue of a girl who died at 6 sits, ironically protected by glass casing, as some legend states that she may have died stuck by lighting, and left outside during a thunderstorm as punishment. Other’s say the storm appeared suddenly, and others that she died of tuberculosis. There is a mystery surrounding the girl and the statue is reported to be missing from the glass case on stormy nights.
The Tunnelton tunnel, funnily named was built in the mid-1800s and many believe it is haunted as it is surrounded by ghost stories. It is believed that there was a cemetery here and caskets were exposed as the tunnel was dug.
Just outside Burlington, at a cliff that dominates the evening sky, a woman named Lucinda waited for her husband. His cart was broken and he was delayed, but Lucinda thought he’d run away with another woman and in despair hurled herself from the cliff. She haunts that spot now. Say her name three times and she may appear. If she lays a rose at your feet, you’ll die terribly within two days.
Within Sand Hills State Park roams Hamburger Man. Disfigured in life by a fire, he became a murderer who dragged his victims to his shack in the hills. Hamburger Man killed them with his hooked blade and ground their meat into hamburgers for his pleasure. Since the 1950’s he stalked the hills and continues now as a monstrous ghost who prowls the night.
One hundred seventy years ago in Harrodsburg a woman claiming to be the daughter of a judge came to a mineral spa frequented by the rich and famous. Drawn from her room by the music in the hall below, she danced to every song and twirled with partners all the night. When the last song played, she died in her partner’s arms. In her room, they found no proof of her identity, and her story was forgotten. Years later the spa burned; the town died and a lonely madhouse was built on the spot. The asylum also burned and now people sometimes see the ghost of the woman, dancing in the moonlight and asking strangers for directions to the spa.
In 1992 on the Myrtle Plantation an insurance photograph of the buildings revealed a mysterious image. Between the General Store and the Butler’s Pantry stood the apparition of a slave girl in antebellum dress. National Geographic Explorer examined the photo and found the measurements of the wraith to be human. They called her ‘Chloe’ and made a postcard of the image. Years later another apparition, called “The Ghost Girl”, was photographed in another location on the plantation. Are Chloe and The Ghost Girl related somehow, or are they part of a group, one of many trouble souls forever wandering the plantation?
From Maryland to Texas stories swirl of a man who stands nearly eight feet tall. He has the torso of a man, with the legs and feet of a goat. His eyes glow red, and he kills his prey with an ax. The Goatman is said to have killed more than fifteen people. He can jump very high, makes strange sounds and has an unpleasant smell.
In Arkansas, you’ll hear the Legend of the Goatman. With the upper body of a human and the lower body of a goat, the so-called “Goatman” carries an axe and has rams growing out of his head, as the ghost story goes. People who claim to have seen him say he’s between 6-8 feet tall and gives off a terrible odor that indicates his presence. He was first reported in 1957, when people in Arkansas saw a hairy-looking half-man-half-goat monster in Beltsman, MD. He’s said to be the byproduct of a science experiment gone wrong when Dr. Scott Fletcher was experimenting on goats at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
Atop George’s Island in Boston Harbor sits Fort Warren. It was built at the beginning of the Civil War and housed Confederate prisoners. Melanie, the wife of a Confederate officer, planned to break her husband out of Fort Warren. She dressed as a man and sneaked into the fort with tools and weapons. During the escape, she mistakenly shot and killed her husband. She was quickly captured and sentenced to hang. The only clothing they had for her to wear on the gallows was a long black dress. Melanie was buried on the fort grounds, but her troubled ghost can be seen wandering the Island in search of her long-dead husband.
The Melon Heads are little people with round heads who scamper through the woods of Allegan County, Michigan. They wander the Saugatuck Dunes State Park and are said to live in the tunnels beneath it. They are blamed for madness and murder and are rumored to be cannibals. Stories vary wildly, however, so who’s to say which legend is true?
The Palmer House Hotel opened in 1901. Unlike most haunted locations the ghosts there don’t seem to be troubled or lonely. The Palmer House ghosts appear to be enjoying their good memories of the hotel. Tales abound of children laughing, adults talking and pets playing in the rooms and halls. Many guests and workers have seen spirits through the years and seem to be intrigued by them rather than frightened.
Beulah Cawthon was a woman suffering from bipolar disorder in 1900’s Mississippi. These were the days before lithium treatment was available, so Beulah went in and out of mental institutions. One day her parents wakened to find her standing over them with a hatchet. This resulted in Beulah being institutionalized for the rest of her life. She died in a mental ward. Her ghost was later seen haunting her family home, a mansion-style house called Linden Hill. A family from Arizona bought Linden Hill in modern times. Stacey Humphries, the wife of the family, now lays a rose on Beulah’s grave every month to give her peace and rest.
An old couple that ran a lodging house once killed a rich visitor and took his money. Years later, on her deathbed, the wife made the husband promise he’d never remarry. He promised her, but within a year he married anyway. On his wedding night the townsfolk shouted insults at his house, and a ghostly black carriage arrived at his door. His dead wife stepped from the carriage and ushered him inside. He went with her and the two were never seen again.
On the road to Fort Benton, a phantom hitchhiker prowls. When a car approaches in the dead of night, the ghost seems to be hitchhiking for a ride. Once the car is near, the hitchhiker hurls himself across the window and bounces across the hood. When you stop the car there is no sign of him, and your car doesn’t have a scratch. Some say the ghost hitchhiker is a Native American man who died hitching a ride on that road. The truth is none can say, because nobody really knows.
In the late 1800’s a young couple fell in love and agreed to marry when the man returned from study abroad. He became lost in his travels, and his bride-to-be married another man. The young man returned and found his former lover in a cabin on Blackbird Hill. She lived there with her husband, whom she said she would leave in order to marry her first love. The man left, and when the husband returned the wife told him she would leave him. In despair, the husband mortally wounded his wife. He carried her, still amazingly alive, to the top of the hill and jumped with her into the river below. She screamed as they fell. Her young lover came just in time to witness them tumble and drown in the river. The young man later died of a broken heart. The woman’s death screams can still be heard echoing on a cold night around Blackbird Hill.
the Goldfield Hotel was one of the first to use electric lights. The hotel stood through the Gold Rush, a town fire and the Great Depression. It declined through the years and is one of the few remaining structures in what is now a ghost town. The hotel is said to house the ghost of its brutal owner George Wingfield. He was a tyrant who ran the town like his own fiefdom, making his living on lodgings, prostitution, gambling and robbery. George and his victims are thought to still walk the hotel halls, moaning and complaining their way through eternity.
Nashua’s Country Tavern in NH is popular for its hearty meals and warm hospitality, but it has a dark past that lives to this day. During the Colonial days, jealousy led to rage and murder here. Today, the restless spirit of an inconsolable mother roams the property, desperately searching for her lost child.
Distracted driving might take on a new meaning on Passaic County, New Jersey’s Riverview Drive late at night. Years ago, a young woman walking along the road was struck, dragged, and killed by a careless driver in the dark. Now, drivers still see the unfortunate young woman, Annie, in the white dress she was wearing when she died, along with streaks of blood where she was dragged.
More than half a century ago, a boiler explosion tragically took the life of a young boy in the KiMo Theatre of Albuquerque, NM. To this day, his spirit haunts the building where he died, playing tricks on visitors, staff, and performers alike, never ceasing to be the little boy he never had the chance to outgrow.
Like many other dorms at NYU, Brittany Hall once was a hotel. Nearly a century ago, a little girl named Molly fell into an elevator shaft and died. Since her body was never found, her spirit may never have passed on. This might explain the strange sights and sounds many have experienced in the dorm. Is poor lost Molly looking for a playmate?
When Governor John White returned to North Carolina’s Roanoke Island in 1590 three years after leaving to gather fresh supplies for the British colony there, he came upon what remains one of America’s enduring mysteries. All the colonists were gone, without a trace or a clue as to what happened or where they went. The word “Croatoan,” carved into a wooden post, was all he found.
After his wife died, the pastor of Sims Lutheran Church remarried, and he and his family left North Dakota. His deceased wife’s spirit remained behind, however, and for the past 75 years, she has haunted the now-empty parsonage. If you see second-story windows open and shut by themselves or pump handles go up and down on their own, you may be in the presence of the Gray Lady of Sims.
For generations, the legend of Bloody Mary has terrified and dared Ohio’s children at sleepovers. Most say it’s just an urban legend, but why does it persist? And why are so many children and grownups alike still reluctant to step into a dark room after midnight, stare into a mirror, and utter “Bloody Mary” three times?
If the legends are true, opponents of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder may have more than their on-court foes to worry about when they stay at the famous Skirvin Hilton Hotel. To hide an affair and a pregnancy, the original owner locked his mistress on the 10th floor, where she committed suicide. Now she haunts the halls and rooms, disrupting the rest of visiting NBA players and other guests alike.
In 1887 in Lafayette, Oregon, as a man was executed for murder, his mother cast a curse upon the town, screaming out that it would burn to the ground three times. So far, Lafayette has completely burned down twice. Coincidence? Maybe. After all, fires were more common then because building materials were more flammable. Yet, there were rumors that the mother was a witch…
Devil’s Den at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania was a short-lived triumph for the Confederacy on the eve of losing the larger battle and never being able to regain momentum. More than 150 years after the end of the Civil War, visitors to the hallowed ground at this otherworldly landscape still encounter the restless spirits of doomed Confederate soldiers.
The story of The Conjuring may seem too terrifying to be real, but it’s based on true events. In 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron, along with their five daughters, moved into an old farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Soon, they discovered it was haunted by spirits, some of them malevolent, and the terror continued for nearly 10 years until they finally moved away in 1980.
When young Julia Legare was mistaken for dead, she was buried alive, trapped behind the locked door of her family mausoleum. After the horrible truth was discovered, people began repeatedly finding the door to the tomb open after seeing that it was shut and locked. Many believe Julia is now at rest, but some still sense a paranormal presence in the quiet and shadows of the old cemetery on Edisto Island in South Carolina.
Legendary Deadwood, South Dakota isn’t a ghost town, but it isn’t without its ghosts. The Fairmont Hotel, originally a brothel and saloon, was the site of murders and suicides in the early 1900s, and visitors have seen and heard the ghosts of the dead but not departed. You can no longer stay overnight in the hotel, but nightly tours are available for the brave of heart!
Everyone familiar with Southern haunting lore has heard of the Bell Witch. On land that is now Adams, Tennessee, John Bell and his family settled and made a life. By 1817, they were experiencing paranormal activity, including physical attacks, much of it by a spirit identifying herself as “Kate,” a former neighbor with whom John Bell had clashed within business dealings. The activity mostly ceased after John Bell’s death in 1820, but people still experience sights and sounds that have no natural explanation.
Every city rich in history has its share of ghosts, and San Antonio is no exception. One of the most legendary haunts in this storied Texas city is at the Donkey Lady Bridge, where a mother burning alive leaped to her death as the vindictive son of a wealthy merchant murdered her, her husband, and her children. That was in the mid-1800s, but even today, visitors report screeches and screams from under the bridge or the nearby woods, and the ghost has damaged vehicles parked on the bridge as well.
In 1914, Frank Latuda founded a town named after himself and opened a coal mine. Tragedy struck in 1927 when avalanches killed several townspeople. The widow of one of those killed later committed suicide, and visitors to what today is a ghost town sometimes see the White Lady of Latuda roaming the streets and buildings in a white dress.
The Green Mountain Inn located in Stowe, Vermont has a most unusual resident ghost. Boots Berry was born in Room 302 of the Inn, and he died on the roof above it when he slipped and fell after saving a little girl trapped up there in a snowstorm. Boots had learned to tap dance while in prison in New Orleans, and today, he still tap dances on the roof during storms!
The Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia has long been the source of rumors about hauntings. Restless spirits of Confederate figures, residents who met tragic ends at young ages, and others who formerly drew breath in this capital city wander the grounds and sometimes even prey on the unfortunate and the unwary. One tomb is even whispered to be the lair of the sinister and legendary Richmond Vampire!
In response to hundreds of deaths from disease, poor sanitation, mining accidents, and crime, the city of Seattle in 1903 built a mortuary to house all the dead bodies. Later, an Irish Pub was built over the grounds, and ever since, owners and guests have seen phantoms and witnessed unexplained phenomena such as shattering mirrors and falling objects. Kells Irish Pub is today one of America’s most haunted pubs, if not the most haunted.
Greenbrier County in West Virginia was home to a ghost that returned from the grave for justice. Elva Zona Heaster was found dead presumably of natural causes, but her spirit visited her mother in dreams and revealed she’s been murdered by her husband, Erasmus Shue. Eventually, Shue was convicted and sent to prison, where he died of disease. A marker in Greenbrier County commemorates Elva’s death and the role her spirit played in her husband’s conviction.
Why is the gravesite of Kate Blood separated from the rest of the gravesites in the cemetery where she rests in Appleton, Wisconsin? Some insist nothing sinister happened and that it’s her name that haunts her legacy, but other accounts hold that she murdered her husband and 3 children before committing suicide, and that officials separated her from the others in horror at the alleged bloody deeds.
Before the Green River Library was built, a cemetery existed on the site in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Although bodies were moved to a new cemetery, more remains were discovered during construction. Did the activity disturb the sleep of the dead? No one knows for sure, but there has been enough paranormal activity at the library that there’s even a log of it at the circulation desk.