The paranormal; the supernatural; simply, the unknown. These linked terms encapsulate an area of interest that fascinates and horrifies simultaneously. We seem to have a strong preoccupation with what occurs after this life ends for us, with what happens once our physical forms have ceased to be nothing more bone slowly turning to dust. Everyone has grown up listening to ghost stories of one sort or another – some that are steeped purely in folklore and legend, and some that carry somewhat more weight with them.
Pure spooky tales put to the side, listed here are the most haunted sites within each state, many of which have been widely documented – some for generations. What makes a site supremely haunted though? What is it that distinguishes one place breathtakingly eerie? The answer isn’t so straightforward, as it can be one of a couple of things, or a combination thereof. Many sights are vaulted to top of the terror list due to the violence that led to their hauntings – think mass murders involving axes and rifles. Others aren’t so much terrifying as they are extremely active, such as many of our nation’s historic hotels and theaters. In fact, hauntings occur virtually everywhere across America, from houses, hotels, and theaters to universities, government buildings, and even highways.
Now, if you’re easily creeped out, reading through this expansive list may not be the best idea (although it is kind of fun to get spooked….most of the time anyway). If you’re enthralled by the supernatural though, or simply intrigued, then this list makes for one fascinating – and maybe slightly horrifying – read.
1. Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, Alabama
Operating for just under 100 years, this pig iron factory had plenty of time to rack up the number of fatalities that occurred on its premises. It’s reported that screams, odd noises, apparitions, and even the malevolent ghost of a former foreman haunt this place.
2. UAA’s Wendy Williamson Auditorium, Anchorage, Alaska
While it may look innocent enough, this auditorium has its fair share of unexplained phenomenon. Footsteps and voices are often heard, but it’s the poltergeist activity that gets the attention, whether its brunettes getting shoved or having their hair pulled, or stage equipment being thrown.
3. Bird Cage Theatre, Tombstone, Arizona
With dozens of deaths at this theater due to one type of brawl or another, this famous theater has plenty of fodder for the paranormal. Eerie music, laughter, and shouts often echo through the building, and the spirits of cowboys and prostitutes alike are often seen – and sometimes felt.
4. The Crescent Hotel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Often referred to as the most haunted hotel in America, this hotel is said to be haunted by several spirits. These include a young woman who died from a fall from the roof, a nurse seen pushing a gurney, as well as several former guests and owners.