When you look at North Carolina’s geography, it almost seems as though it was made for paranormal stories! There are the mysterious mountains to the west and seemingly endless, creepy marshes in the east!
It certainly makes for an interesting backdrop for local ghost stories.
Learn about NC’s ghost stories with the 13 most haunted places in North Carolina below.
1. The Demon Dog, Valle Crucis, NC
The story linked to Valle Crucis is not quite a ghost story, but it certainly qualifies as paranormal!
The area is said to be home to an absolutely terrifying demon dog who chases cars – and manages to keep pace with them no matter how fast they drive!
Local legend states that if you drive past the old stone cemetery high in the mountain town of Valle Crucis then the demonic dog will leap out from behind one of the headstones to chase you!
Witnesses who claim to have seen this hellish creature say it takes the form of a large black dog with glowing eyes and yellow teeth!
2. Paint Rock, Hot Springs, NC
Paint Rock is located on the spectacularly scenic Appalachian Trail and it has one of the most interesting pieces of folklore in American history.
The legend goes that men camping near the area woke up to the sound of beautiful singing. They were lured by the siren song and found themselves looking at the reflection of a beautiful Cherokee woman in the water.
They were compelled to reach for the woman, but as they did so some unknown creature pulled them into the water and drowned them!
Now hikers and campers are careful not to stray too close to the water by Paint Rock for fear of meeting the same fate.
3. Lydia's Bridge, Greensboro, NC
One of the most haunted places in Greensboro is Lydia’s Bridge. Local legend states that a young woman named Lydia crashed on the bridge on her way home from a dance with her date.
Her date died on impact leaving an injured Lydia alone and trying desperately to flag someone down to help her. Unfortunately, no help came and Lydia also died.
In the years that followed it was said that Lydia’s ghost stands on the bridge flagging people down only to disappear when the car got close to her.
Other versions of the story say that drivers would actually stop and pick Lydia up and drive her home, but on reaching the house she would vanish, and if the door was knocked her mother would explain that she died years earlier.
The bridge is no longer in use, but plenty of visitors still stop by in search of Lydia!
4. USS North Carolina, Wilmington, NC
One particular place in North Carolina that continues to fascinate paranormal investigators is the USS North Carolina.
Records show that during the second world war, a soldier died in the battleship’s washroom during a torpedo strike. He is one of the ghosts that is now said to haunt the USS North Carolina.
However, he is by no means alone. Visitors, staff, and investigators have all confirmed seeing figures in various passageways and portholes around the ship.
5. Queens University, Charlotte, NC
Queens University is one of the most haunted locations in North Carolina and for many years students have claimed to have experienced paranormal activity in the building.
Common occurrences include doors opening and closing by themselves and knocking sounds that cannot be explained.
It is widely believed that the haunting can be attributed to a former student who committed suicide in the school after her parents learned that she was in a relationship with another woman.
6. Teach's Hole, Ocracoke Island, NC
Everyone has heard of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, right? He is well known for his tales of his adventures at sea chasing down ships and pillaging their cargo. However, few people know that he was beheaded by the Royal Navy in North Carolina in 1718.
Today, people who visit Teach’s Hole on Ocracoke Island say that they have heard the ghost of Blackbeard groaning as he searches the shore for the missing head!
7. The Great Dismal Swamp, Northern Border, NC
The Great Dismal Swamp covers over 112,000 acres along the Northern border of North Carolina and into Virginia.
It is open between sunrise and sunset each day and the sprawling cypress forests and waterways have a very creepy aura about them.
Visitors often report feeling unsettled and there have been multiple sightings of strange lights, ghostly mists, and shadows as well as reports of unexplained noises.
8. The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC
The Biltmore Estate is probably one of the most popular landmarks in North Carolina, but aside from being a beautiful place to visit, it is also said to be one of the most haunted buildings in North Carolina!
The former owner of the estate, George Vanderbilt died in the property in the early 1900s and his death seems to have left a mark on the building.
It has been said that in the library visitors are sometimes able to hear the sound of his wife whispering to him during his final hours.
Of course, considering the fact that at 250 rooms, The Biltmore Estate is America’s largest home, as you might expect this is by no means the only haunting in the property.
There are also reports of a headless cat wandering around the property at night and people have heard disembodied voices in the swimming pool room along with splashes and laughing.
This seems appropriate given that Edith Vanderbilt was well known for hosting epic pool parties!
There have also been reports of a woman’s voice – presumably Edith – calling out George’s name!
9. Old Davis Hospital, Statesville, NC
Hospitals are always a hotbed of paranormal activity and Davis Hospital in Statesville is certainly no exception. It was once a fully functional hospital that operated for around 6 decades, however, due to dilapidation and public concern, the buildings were demolished in 2021.
During its years of abandonment, it garnered a reputation as one of the most haunted locations in the state.
Thrill-seekers and urban explorers reported that even on the hottest day at the height of summer the interior of the Old Davis Hospital was unnaturally cold. It was also cloaked in an overriding feeling of despair and dread.
One of the most haunted areas of the hospital seemed to be the former pediatric ward where people heard babies crying and also where people felt a strong malevolent presence.
Read more about the hauntings of Old Davis Hospital in Statesville.
10. The Devil's Tramping Ground, Chatham County, NC
Just about 50 miles outside of Greensboro, you will find an area known as The Devil’s Tramping Ground. As the name suggests, it is said to be a place where the devil himself manifests and goes on to wreak havoc on Earth!
In over a century nothing has been able to grow in this 40-foot circle said to be worn into the ground from the Devil pacing in a circle each night while pondering what sort of mischief he can get up to!
There have been reports of animal carcasses surrounding the path that leads to the spot. It is also said that if you place an item in the circle it will have vanished by the following morning!
11. The Brown Mountain Lights, Linville, NC
The Brown Mountain Lights were first spotted by Native Americans and have been at the center of great debate ever since. The strange, unexplained lights appear after sunset and they rise above the mountain peak and usually change size, shape, and color.
The best spots to view them are Linville, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Wiseman’s Gap. The U.S. Geological Survey has dismissed the phenomena as marsh gas, despite the fact that there are no known marshes in the area.
There have been various different suggestions made to explain the lights including everything from ghosts to aliens!
In terms of the ghostly explanations, there are two main stories that are often put forward. The first suggests that the lights are Native American maidens who are searching for their lost warriors who died in the great battle between the Cherokee and the Catawba tribes.
The other tale suggests that the light is actually a lantern carried by a slave who is searching the mountain for his lost master, an explorer who went missing on the mountain.
12. Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NCSTAY HERE
Grove Park Inn is a large hotel and spa complex that was built using boulders dug from a nearby mountain. It is also one of the most haunted hotels in North Carolina.
It is said to be home to the Pink Lady, believed to be the spirit of a woman who fell to her death in the hotel’s atrium in the early 1920s.
It is not clear whether she fell or jumped intentionally, but whatever the true story was, she remains in a fifth-floor guest room and is known to play pranks on those staying in room number 545.
13. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton
The lighthouse was originally built in 1870 and has undergone many reinforcements over the years, it has even been moved inland on more than one occasion as the shoreline reduced.
Sailors on their way past the lighthouse have often sighted what appears to be the ghost of a man walking along the beach, believed by many to be the ghost of the inventor Theodore Burr, who lost his life in a shipwreck near the lighthouse.
As well as other chilling tales, one that stands out is the story of the Carroll A. Deering ship. Famously known as the Ghost Ship, it washed ashore in 1921 completely void of passengers or equipment.