Haunted Places USA: Take a Halloween Ride
October is a time for pumpkin flavored everything, trick-or-treaters, and a celebration for all things spooky. Now, I'm not one to buy 100% into tales of the supernatural and paranormal, but I do enjoy a good creepy folktale. And who doesn't like to get scared every now and then? It gets your heart pumping. It's fun.
In honor of All Hallow's Eve being just around the corner, I decided to do some coast-to-coast research into some creepy destinations for road trips. Whether or not you buy into ghosts, goblins, or spirits of the ethereal sort, I invite you to take a ride to the creepy side. These destinations could make for a good story, you never know.
Do you dare?
Scroll on through, or select a category in the dropdown to jump to that area!
Looking for some haunted places or spooky road trips this Halloween? If you want more info, just click the name to go the official page. Did we miss one of your favorite spots? Let us know and we will add it!
Battlefield, Fort, or Cemetery
NOTE: while I cannot say for sure whether these locations are haunted, they are places of honor and remembrance. If visiting, please recognize that these are somber places, and, as always, be respectful.
As far as ghosts, the fort is told to have dozens of them with events occurring as early as the pioneer days in the old west. The spirits are supposed to be the victims of disease, Indian attacks, lost travelers, slain soldiers, and many more unlucky others. The most famous tale is that of Father Fred who was killed when the original church onsite burned in 1875. Another story is that of Catherine Sutler who was traveling to Oregon with her family in 1880. Two of her children, Ethan and Mary Sutler, went missing, and Catherine Sutler was distraught. The children were eventually found, but Catherine had already passed away of pneumonia. Her ghost is said to still wander the fort as she searches for her children.
Some witnesses claim to see uniform-clad spirits lingering within the walls of the fort, or mysteriously showing up in photos taken onsite.
Most of those who were killed were burned beyond recognition, and were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. The section set aside for the mass grave is now called Showman’s Rest, and is still used for burials of showmen who go to play the big top in the sky. Supposedly the memorial cemetery is haunted, and legends say the sound of phantom elephants drift through the cemetery.
Today, the site is the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, and many visitors claim to hear shouts and cries from phantom soldiers, the pounding of horse hooves in the heat of battle, and the crack of unseen rifle fire from the trees.
One night, two Cook County Forest Preserve officers were patrolling near the pond when a horse emerged near the pond. The horse seemed to be pulling a plow and, steering it, was an old man. The horse passed in front of the headlights of the patrol car before vanishing. Little did they know, they had just witnessed one of the most famous ghosts of Bachelor’s Grove. In the 1870’s an old farmer was plowing a nearby field when his horse became spooked. The old man became tangled in the reins and was dragged behind the horse and plow before they plunged into the pond. The man, the horse, and the plow were all dragged to the bottom of the pond and drowned.
This hallowed ground in Maryland has seen massive amounts of bloodshed and terror, and visitors often describe feelings of sorrow and grief overwhelming them. The sound of shouts, cries, moans, and rifle fire have been heard, and the thundering of phantom horse hooves are common occurrences. Perhaps these are the residual feelings of those soldiers who lost their lives here, but the long-ago battle seems to be raging on for those souls who remain.
Business or Museum
It was also one of the most dangerous brothels in American history. To this day, you can count 140 bullet holes in the walls...and those were just the ones that missed. Reports of ghostly prostitutes and patrons are common, and one of the most famous is the mysterious “man in black” who paces the stage with heavy boots.
She was made into a luxury hotel in 1967 and has rested in Long Beach ever since. The ship is known as one of the most haunted places in the world with a reported number of ghosts reaching over 150 hauntings. Hotspots of activity include the infamous “Door 13” below deck which crushed two men to death in the Queen Mary’s lifespan. Others have reported seeing the apparition of a drowning victim name “Jackie” at the ship’s swimming pools, and the ghost of a beautiful young woman in the first-class lounge.
While the site is said to be infested by “demons” of a particularly violent and sinister nature, Bobby Mackey’s most famous spirit is that of Pearl Bryan. In 1896, Pearl Bryan was five months pregnant when she disappeared. Her mutilated body was later discovered, but her head was never found. Rumor has it that her head was used in an occult ceremony and cast down the well in the old slaughterhouse where Bobby Mackey’s Music World now stands (over the same well, as it were). Her lover, Scott Jackson, and his partner in crime Alonzo Walling, were convicted and hanged for her murder, but Pearl is rumored to have never left.
Those who were fortunate enough to find themselves in the company of Robert reported hearing giggling or whispers coming from the doll. Or, even more terrifying, hearing footsteps before discovering that the doll had moved by itself. He is now safely housed in a glass case in the Fort East Martello Museum.
Fights, brawls, duels, murders, and who knows what else happened within the walls of the Pirates’ House Restaurant. And if you believe what many witnesses claim, the place remains a happenin’ hot spot...for ghosts.
Most interestingly, though, is the story of the duel that took place inside the hotel in 1832. As history tells, a notable Savannah physician named Philip Minis had his honor insulted by James Stark, a member of the Georgia state legislature. As was customary back in that day, a duel was challenged, and the men met in the barroom of the Moon River Brewing Company, at that time the City Hotel. Minis shot Stark through the chest, killing him.
There were many deaths and tragedy on the property, and the earliest documented ghost at the Whaley House is "Yankee Jim." In 1852, James Robinson was convicted of attempted grand larceny in San Diego and hanged on a gallows off the back of a wagon on the site where the house now stands. After Thomas Whaley built the house on the grounds five years later, he immediately reported hearing and seeing paranormal happenings, and they supposedly haven’t stopped since. Other ghostly residents are said to be Thomas, Violet, and Anna Whaley, a mysterious long-haired girl, and a spotted dog.
Landmark or Ghost Town
The family that owned the land and for who Dudleytown was named, for lack of a better term, was cursed. Back in England in 1510, an ancestor with the last name Dudley was beheaded for plotting to overthrow King Henry VII. At that time, a curse was placed on the family stating that all of the Dudley descendants would be surrounded by horror and death. The Dudley family did indeed have a pretty bad run of luck for the next couple hundred years, and it historical evidence reflects that it followed them from England to France, and finally, to America.
From her sickbed, Emma could see the beautiful Red Mountain and she dreamed of the day that she could be healthy enough to hike its peak. However, this day never came. Emma died of her illness, but not before making her family promise to bury her on the mountain she so loved. They honored her wishes, but, after a sequence of events that could only be described as the worst luck ever, poor Emma’s body was moved to the Crystal Springs Cemetery in the late 1920’s directly against her last wish.
Legends say that Emma now haunts the mountain, and witnesses have reported seeing Emma's wandering spirit as she forever climbs to the summit she never reached in life.
The island was home to an Native American settlement in the 17th century, that was considered sacred by the Anishinaabe. In the mid-1600’s, the island was settled by the French, the British came along in the 1700’s, and the Americans after that. Soon, and this sacred place was turned into a very critical fort that saw action in two different battles in the War of 1812.
One of the biggest hotspots is the Drowning Pool, where in the 1700s and early 1800s seven women were accused of being witches. To question the witch-status of the accused, they used a method where rocks were tied to the feet of the “witch,” and they were thrown into the water to see whether or not they would float. Unfortunately, the women sank. But, on the bright side, they were declared innocent of any witchcraft!
I should note: if you want to visit Mackinac Island, be aware that they do not allow any motorized vehicles on the island. All vehicles have been banned since the end of the 19th century in order to maintain historical (and quiet) integrity of the island.
Witchcraft was such a terrifying prospect in the colonial days that the fear of having a possible witch in their midst was enough to justify the murder of some of Salem’s townsfolk. However, people say the ghosts don’t see it that way. The town is supposed to be actively haunted by the spirits of those wrongfully accused and executed so many years ago on the town's "Gallows Hill."
Walz never disclosed the location of his mine, and it remains a mystery to this day. When other hopefuls went to search for themselves, they all vanished without a trace, lost their minds, or turned up dead. Walz was undoubtedly responsible for most of the murders, as he’s suspected to have been protecting his stake, but when the Peralta Massacre occurred and hundreds were found murdered, some had to wonder how such things could be done by one man. Some believe that Walz himself perished in the mountains, and the murderous ghost of the Dutchman continues to protect his claim.
Regardless of the legend’s origin, the lack of electricity in the depths of the canyon and centuries’ worth of reports make the Dover Lights an intriguing mystery that you can see for yourself.