October is here, and many of us know what that means—pumpkin picking and carving, and fall-flavored treats.
But there’s a darker side too, as it is also the month to gear us up for Halloween parties and festivities.
And across the United States, there are plenty of eerie attractions with renowned ghostly sightings for people to visit during spooky season.
Here at indy100, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most “haunted” places in America to visit, if you dare.
1. The St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida
Visited by almost 225,000 people yearly, it also is frequented by other out-of-this-world guests.
Many tragedies transpired at the now-historic landmark that has contributed to the supposed paranormal activity.
One of the first instances was a lighthouse worker falling to his death while painting the tower. Since then his ghost has reportedly been seen overlooking the area.
Another tragedy was when three young girls horrifically drowned when the cart they were having fun in broke and fell in the ocean.
Now, guests claim that they hear children playing inside and outside the lighthouse.
2. Cahawba, Alabama
Cahawba, the first capital of Alabama, is a famous ghost town and gets its name from the state’s longest river.
It was abandoned after the Civil War, and the slave burial ground, desolate buildings, and unearthly cemeteries are popular areas for ghost tours and paranormal experiences.
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One of the most famous tales was about a bright, hovering orb that appeared in the garden maze of a house formerly owned by Colonel C.C. Pegues’ who was killed in battle.
3. Dock Street Theatre, Charleston, South Carolina
Known as one of the oldest theatres in America, this site has a lot of history.
After a fire burned the original theater, the Planters Inn was built right on the spot. But in the 1930s, the inn was turned back into a theater.
One of the most eccentric ghosts named Nettie Dickerson was struck by lightning while standing on the balcony at the hotel. Some report that her shadow was seen gliding on the theater’s second floor adorned in a red gown.
4. The Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
This house might be one of the most disturbing construction projects of all.
After Sarah Winchester (the wife of a rifle maker) lost her child and husband, she was informed by an oracle that the ghosts of gunshot victims murdered her family.
She commissioned the Victorian residence turned grim quarters that people have come to see today to keep the spirits at bay.
Some of the eerier features include staircases that go directly to the ceiling and a séance room.
5. One if by Land, Two if by Sea restaurant, New York City
Considered one of the world’s most romantic restaurants, One if by Land, Two if by Sea has all the fixings for a perfect night: gold chandeliers, exceptional cuisine ... and 20 ghosts.
The spirits inside are reportedly light-hearted and playful more than sinister.
The paranormal activities are pranks such as tilting the picture frames and flickering lights. Some people claim that Aaron Burr, the former vice president of the United States under Thomas Jefferson, haunts the restaurant.
After all, it was his carriage house in the past.
6. Lizzie Borden House (A Bed and Breakfast & Museum), Fall River, Massachusetts
The Lizzie Borden House is arguably the most famous bed and breakfast in the New England region of the nation. For those unaware of the story (or the disturbing jump rope rhyme), Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in 1892, and in the following year, she was acquitted.
While visiting, people tour the home or spend the night, even getting a chance to stay in the room where Abby Borden (Lizzie’s stepmother) was murdered.
7. Calcasieu Courthouse, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Courthouses can be creepy too.
Toni Jo Henry was a former sex worker who became infamous across the nation after murdering a man in 1940.
Two years and three trials later, the jury finally convicted the “charming” Toni Jo. She ended up becoming the first and only woman to be executed by the electric chair.
Now, her spirit is said to still dwell in the courthouse where workers have felt her presence, even smelling burning hair.
8. The Mark Twain House, Hartford, Connecticut
American author Mark Twain lived in this Hartford, Connecticut house from 1874 to 1891, when he wrote The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The now-landmark is a museum that showcases the “father of American literature’s” work and life.
It’s also a great spot to experience ghosts, as visitors reported that they heard strange and a woman in white (classic, isn’t it?).
Twain’s billiard room is also considered the most haunted in the home. Twain used to smoke his cigars there, and some people claim that they can smell the smoke floating in the air as they walkthrough.
9. Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania
The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most violent in American history, with an estimated 50,000 mostly young men dying over the course of the three-day battle.
Many of the troops were never properly buried after their tragic deaths, and many people think their souls are wandering the battlefield looking for their weapons and colleagues.
10. House of the Seven Gables, Salem, Massachusetts
This 17th-century mansion inspired the creation of the iconic novel The Mansion of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Salem also happens to be his birthplace.
The mansion is surrounded by claims of poltergeist and ghost sightings, aside from its beautiful-yet-spooky appearance, based on staff members’ experiences.
And every October, the house provides chill binding tours as well as weekly performances of two plays, The Legacy of the Hanging Judge and Spirits of The Gables.
11. The Driskill, Austin, Texas
Since 1886, the Driskill has attracted European travelers and wedding groups with its stately Baroque hotel with modern rooms and a distinctive brick front. It’s a well-known Austin landmark, which according to some, a ghostly hotspot.
Travellers have reported hearing strange noises in the hotel’s elegant halls, as well as ghost sightings of Jesse Driskill, the hotel’s namesake, whose portrait still hangs in the lobby.
Driskill is said to have never recovered from the pain of losing his hotel in a high-stakes poker game, and it makes sense: It’s hard to bid adieu.
12. The RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
Having a brief moment as a World War II warship, the RMS Queen Mary also served as a luxury ship from 1936 to 1967.
Unfortunately, it was the site of at least one murder, a sailor who was crushed to death by a door in the engine room.
The city of Long Beach bought the ship in 1967 and turned it into a hotel that has the same purpose to this day—despite the reported ghosts of deceased passengers who are staying free of charge.