When it comes to haunted places in the US, we normally instantly think about Salem, the place where it is said ghosts still roam free following the 1692 witch-hunting hysteria.
We can be drawn by the supernatural in many different ways. Some people believe in ghosts, while others do not. It does not really matter if you do because the spooky destinations we will talk about below are definitely not romantic getaways. They are places where you will most likely get very scared.
LaLaurie Mansion – New Orleans, Louisiana
During the nineteenth century, Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie welcomed numerous guests and enticed them with champagne and food. She was very popular in the French Quarter and was a renowned Louisiana socialite. What people did not know though was that Made LaLaurie was a grizzly serial killer.
In 1834, the police arrived because of a fire. They found many mutilated enslaved people when they visited the attic. This was the grotesque secret of LaLaurie. Eventually, she had to flee to France because people learned what she was doing. After she left, people stated that the ghosts of those she killed could be heard during the night.
Shanghai Tunnels – Portland, Oregon
Many do not know this, but Portland was a very dangerous US port during the nineteenth century. This was when shanghaiing happened, which was basically human trafficking.
Local lore says that swindlers took advantage of men in the saloons. That was where there were trapdoors used to take the men through some underground tunnels to a place of captivity. Eventually, those kidnapped were sold as unpaid laborers to ships. Now, it is said that the tunnels are haunted by those that died there, right under Portland.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia
It should not be a surprise to see a prison on this list, but the Eastern State Penitentiary is particularly spooky. The Gothic-styled prison became the very first place in the country to use solitary confinement. Basically, prisoners were put in stone cells. They had zero human contact. Unfortunately, this “Pennsylvania system” ended up being replicated in many other US states and even in Europe.
Nowadays, it is believed that the ghosts of inmates are still present, way after the prison was closed in the year 1971. Apparitions are seen by visitors, and you might hear some mischievous whispers when visiting abandoned cell blocks. Daytime tours are available.
RMS Queen Mary – Long Beach, California
RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner. It was operational between 1936 and 1967. Hollywood celebrities and dignitaries were carried during the first three years, including Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. However, in the year 1939, amenities were removed, and the ship was renamed the Grey Ghost. It practically became a troopship used during World War II. After the war, it was restored and kept sailing the seas.
Reports say the ship is haunted by those who ended up dying aboard.
Interesting spooky fact: The D-Day Declaration was signed by Winston Churchill aboard this ship.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Weston, West Virginia
The asylum started to be built in 1858 and officially opened its doors in 1864. We are talking about a massive structure that was built to maximize the presence of fresh air and sunlight. At its origins, thoughts were good since the asylum should have offered a serene, healing environment.
The problem is that by the fifties, the asylum housed over 2,400 patients. It was only designed to accommodate 250. As you can imagine, conditions were very crowded, with patients physically restrained and tortured through inhumane treatments, like lobotomies, and electroshock therapy.
During its tenure, the asylum saw the death of hundreds of people. Countless ghost hunters and guests say they saw shadowy figures of former patients roaming the corridors.