The United States has a long and bloody history. War, disease, and slavery have left their mark from sea to shining sea. American cities such as Gettysburg, New Orleans, and Salem are just a few of the most haunted. With their legacies of chaos and bloodshed, it’s not hard to see why.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite haunted American cities. From the southern coast of America to the White House in Washington D.C. So let’s get right into the 13 most haunted cities in America.
1. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a hotbed of hauntings. From voodoo to vampires, to ghosts and tourists, New Orleans pulses with a wild energy. One famous ghost is that of author William Faulkner. His spirit looms near to his old abode, now the Faulkner House Books bookstore.
Another active location is the Old Absinthe House, once home to the voodoo queen Marie Laveau. The house is open to visitors, but don’t be surprised if Marie leaves a feather on your pillow. It is her signature object, after all.
The Tableau Theater also plays host to multiple apparitions. The most prominent being a woman that committed suicide. Her spirit is often seen wandering the hallways, lost and forlorn.
Keep your eyes open through your tour of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Tourists often mistake restless spirit for that of fellow travelers.
2. Savannah, GA
Savannah, GA could possibly be America’s most haunted city. A city built on its dead, there are rumored to be over 20,000 bodies buried beneath the Historic Downtown District.
Featured on both Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters, the Moon River Brewing Company is one of the most prominent paranormal hot spots. Guests often see a woman dressed in white, lingering by the staircase. She is known to play games on the staff, perhaps testing their courage.
The Pirates House was once a boarding residence for sailors but has since been converted into a family-friendly restaurant. Sailors who stayed at the house were routinely drugged, kidnapped, and forced to set sail. Some say their spirits still haunt the restaurant.
The Marshall House on Broughton Street is one of the most haunted hotels in the world. Used during a yellow fever outbreak as a makeshift hospital, many of the spirits who died there continue to linger.
3. St. Augustine, FL
Known as the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine has a unique energy. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is haunted by a drowning victim, a young girl who met her end there on the sunny shore.
Castle Warden, built in 1887, is now home to Ripley’s, Believe It or Not. The building is said to have a number of resident spirits. Did these souls meet their end on the property, or have they been lured there by the museum oddities?
4. Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg is home to one of the largest battles of the Civil War, an event that took over 25,000 lives.
Today, visitors come from all over the world, seeking history and hauntings.
Reports of men, dressed in 19th-century gear, have been seen wandering the battlefields. Are these war re-enactors, or long-dead victims?
5. Washington, D.C.
The White House is said to be one of the most haunted houses in the United States. Past presidents continue to roam its halls.
Abraham Lincoln is said to haunt the Lincoln Bedroom. While, President William Henry Harrison, who died in The White House, reportedly haunts the attic. Former first ladies have also been spotted, including Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison.
6. Salem, MA
Salem is most known for its infamous witch trials. Nineteen innocent lives were taken under the guise of witchcraft.
It is said that the ghosts of these “witches” still loom about the city. Bridget Bishop, the first hanging victim, haunts the local seafood shop.
Howard Street Cemetery is haunted by Giles Corey, a man whose life was lost by the application of great stones. Starting in 1982, Salem Haunted Happenings first began celebrating these spirits with magic and psychic readings.
7. San Antonio, TX
San Antonio, a city with a violent history, is one of the most haunted in Texas. The Battle of the Alamo led to the deaths of over 1,500 men.
Guests who visit The Alamo often report soldiers walking the grounds, while the sounds of disembodied rally cries are heard almost nightly.
The nearby Emily Morgan Hotel, once a hospital for fallen soldiers, is another haunted place. The vision of a young woman in white often roams the property.
8. Portland, OR
Portland is known for great art, live music, and haunted places. The Shanghai Tunnels are the most prominent paranormal hot spots in the city.
Used in the 1800s, the underground tunnels were used to transport goods—most of which were illegal.
Local lore tells of kidnap victims, led through the tunnels and onto awaiting ships. Many of these sailors were never heard from again. Visitors routinely meet their spirits in the local pubs and music venues.
9. Charleston, SC
Charleston is another Southern city brimming with paranormal activity. At Boone Hall Plantation, there have been sightings of a Civil War Soldier, removing a bullet from a fallen friend. A pair of ghostly lovers are also seen on the property, unaware of anything, but each other.
At the Battery Carriage House Inn, many guests who check in find that their rooms have been already been taken. A male ghost lingers near guest beds, oftentimes curling up close to the living.
Finally, the Dock Street Theater is home to the spirit of John Wilkes Booth’s father Junius Brutus Booth, as well as the ghost of a prostitute named Nettie.
10. Chicago, IL
With a long history of violence and gore, Chicago is now one of America’s most haunted cities. Mob hits, serial killers, and fire have all left a deep and chilling mark upon the land.
The Nederlander Theater was the site of a massive fire in 1903 that killed hundreds of patrons. Many believe that the alley behind the building is home to these unfortunate souls.
Chicago is also home to “Murder Castle,” the residence of H. H. Holmes, the country’s first serial killer. Although the building was torn down and another put in its place, strange happenings still occur, especially in the basement.
The site of Al Capone’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, known today as the Clark Street Bar, continues to haunt the city. Visitors have felt the presence of the slain shooting victims nearby to the spot.
11. Boston, MA
The historic city of Boston, MA is alive with the dead. The Omni Parker Hotel plays host to former guests and staff.
The hauntings manifest most prominently on the tenth floor where Harvey Parker’s ghost is said to dwell.
King’s Chapel Burial Grounds is another haunted hot spot with a headless woman roaming about. Folklore claims that her coffin was too short when she was buried, so her head was removed. She now searches for her missing head, there on the property.
12. Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe was established in 1607 and is the second oldest city founded by European colonists.
A city built over an abandoned Tanoan Indian village and burial grounds; Santa Fe is rife with unfinished business. These burial grounds were paved over to make room for a city, and the souls buried there are restless.
If you travel to Alto Street, a headless horseman can be seen riding his horse down the Santa Fe River. It’s said he lost his head after picking a fight with a local witch.
Another spot for paranormal activity is the Laguna Pueblo Mission. A murdered priest’s coffin habitually resurfaces, rising out of the earth with no explanation.
13. Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia is where the United States began. Famous lives and deaths have shaped this haunted location.
One paranormal hot spot is the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary. Although no executions took place there, inmates often committed suicide due to mistreatment and solitary confinement. Two deceased guards appear from time to time, managing the grounds as if still on duty.
On the streets of Philly’s historic district, visitors have reported seeing a very famous ghost- Benjamin Franklin. Another haunted location is The Betsy Ross House. Here, renowned flag maker, Betsy Ross, wanders the halls in search of her lost husband and children.