With its mysterious mountains to the west and eerie marshes to the east, North Carolina sets the perfect stage for spine-tingling tales of the paranormal.
In this article, we invite you on a thrilling journey to explore the 17 most haunted places in NC, unveiling the chilling stories that have captivated locals and visitors alike for decades.
From the terrifying Demon Dog of Valle Crucis to the enigmatic Brown Mountain Lights, North Carolina is teeming with ghostly encounters that will leave you awestruck and perhaps, a little unnerved.
So, gather your courage and prepare to delve into the supernatural side of the Tar Heel State. Let’s begin!
1. The Demon Dog, Valle Crucis
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
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
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.
Related: The Most Haunted Bridges in NC
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
Related: The Most Haunted Cemeteries in NC
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
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
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. [BOOK A ROOM]
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.
14. Historic Brookstown Inn, Winston-Salem
A hop, skip, and a jump away from Old Salem lies the Historic Brookstown Inn, which has been standing tall since 1837 – so you know it’s got stories to tell!
Once a cotton mill infamous for its grueling work environment and pint-sized laborers, it’s no wonder that Brookstown Inn is considered Winston-Salem’s most haunted hotspot. Deaths? Check. Ghosts? You bet!
If you’re seeking the paranormal, head straight to the fourth floor. Here, you’ll find Sally, the resident ghostly celebrity. After a workplace disagreement (and we thought our co-workers were tough!), poor Sally found herself at the bottom of an elevator shaft. Room 401 is her favorite haunt, as it used to be the dormitory for the mill workers.
But don’t worry, Sally isn’t alone. The hotel is also home to a playful posse of ghost kiddos. You might hear their tiny footsteps scampering through the halls or catch the sound of their ghostly giggles.
And let’s not forget Eddie. If you’re ever in an empty room and suddenly hear heavy stomping, it’s probably just Eddie making his ghostly presence known.
15. Roanoke Island, Dare County
Picture this: the year is 1585, and Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth I’s BFF, is tasked with establishing America’s first permanent colony. Talk about a daunting gig!
Raleigh and his crew, led by Ralph Lane, set sail and encounter stormy seas, a shipwreck, and a lost silver cup (the horror!). Tensions rise between settlers and Native Americans, and ultimately, the first colonization attempt ends in retreat.
But, like a phoenix from the ashes, Raleigh tries again. This time, John White leads the expedition, arriving at Roanoke Island in 1587. Virginia Dare, the first English child born on North American soil, comes into the world. What a time to be alive!
White returns to England for supplies but gets caught up in the war with Spain. When he finally makes it back to Roanoke, he finds… nothing. No people, no daughter, no granddaughter – just the word “Croatoan” carved into a tree. Spooky, right?
Fast forward to today, and Roanoke Island is teeming with legends and ghosts. Virginia Dare’s spirit is said to be trapped in a white doe, and visitors flock to catch a glimpse of this ethereal creature.
But wait, there’s more! The Roanoke Island Inn, a charming bed and breakfast, is also haunted. Asa and Martha Jones built the inn in the 1860s, and their descendant Roscoe Jones, a disgraced postman, died there in despair. Guests now report mysterious footsteps, radios turning on and off, and objects mysteriously smashing.
16. Duke mansion, Charlotte
Introducing the 16th addition to North Carolina’s most haunted places: The Haunted Duke Mansion in Charlotte!
This stately, century-old mansion at 400 Hermitage Road has quite the history, from its creation as Lynwood Mansion by Zebulon V. Taylor to its expansion by James Buchanan Duke, who also developed Duke University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment while residing there.
The mansion has gone through various ownerships, transformations, and even a fire, but its hauntingly beautiful charm remains.
Now, let’s get to the spooky stuff. The Duke Mansion is haunted by a tragic love story that unfolded between a previous owner, Jon Avery, and a young writer who had come to document the historic property.
Their forbidden romance led to a dramatic promise to reunite in the mansion’s gardens one year later, whether “dead or alive.”
Fast forward a year, and the young writer, now engaged to another man, keeps her promise to meet Avery. To her shock, she encounters his ghostly presence in the garden.
You see, Mr. Avery had passed away just days before their meeting, but love truly knows no bounds—even in the afterlife.
So if you’re in search of love, history, and a few goosebumps, the Duke Mansion is the perfect addition to your haunted North Carolina bucket list! [BOOK A STAY]
17. Latta Place, Huntersville
Nestled in Huntersville, North Carolina, lies Latta Place, a historic cotton plantation with a twist. Dating back to the early 1800s, this 52-acre estate boasts picturesque gardens, fields, and livestock quarters. Today, it serves as a living history exhibit and a National Register of Historic Places.
Related: The Most Haunted Plantations in NC
But there’s more to Latta Place than meets the eye. Staff and volunteers report eerie happenings, such as moving furniture, shadowy figures, and laughter from unseen children.
Despite the paranormal activity, these friendly ghosts add charm to the estate. Visitors can enjoy ghost walks, explore the scenic Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, and immerse themselves in the captivating history of Latta Place.