America's Most Haunted Places
The United States is known for many interesting locales, including amazing haunted sites that fascinate and spook, in equal measure. The US' long, rich history has given rise to a significant number of locations that boast of ghost stories, creepy encounters and terrifying haunting. These haunted sites range from humble homes to intricate mansions; from hospitals to hotels; from prisons to the seat of power.
The following are some of the most haunted places in America based on their rich history and horrifying ghost stories:
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
Can the Winchester House be considered a prime real estate property? With the awe-inspiring Victorian mansion set within its stately gardens, it sure seems to be the case. But if you consider the eccentric design of the house, the numerous staircases that wind around the house or lead to nowhere, the secret passageways, twisting hallways or doors that open to walls, one might say that it is more of a maze than a home. This could be the object of the original owner of the house, Mrs. Sarah Winchester. After the deaths of her husband and child, she turned to redesigning and remodeling the house with the help of a medium who claimed that she should appease the spirits who haunted her family and fortune by building a great house for them. This construction project continued for 38 years until Mrs. Winchester's own death. It is said that the design of the house helped Mrs. Winchester trick the spirits that pursued her. Whether as a structure meant to trap the spirits or serve as their home, this house, indeed, is aptly called The House Built by Spirits.
The White House, Washington, D.C.
The address that houses the seat of power is also allegedly home to many ghosts. Haunting accounts include hearing weird sounds, seeing ghostly apparitions and feeling unexplained and disembodied presences. Allegedly, the most famous ghost who has made his presence known is no other than that of President Abraham Lincoln's. Staff of the White House, dignitaries, first ladies, US presidents and some heads of foreign countries are said to have experienced these ghostly encounters. Who would have thought the most famous address in the US is one of the most haunted places in America?
LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans, Louisiana
Even after her death, the name of Madame Delphine LaLaurie seems to be as infamous as when she was still alive, thanks to the terrifying stories of torture and abuse she allegedly made under her own roof, the LaLaurie Mansion. The house served as the site for Madame LaLaurie's brutal treatment of her servant slaves. One story claimed, that a little slave girl plunged to her death from the roof of the house as she was trying to escape her mistress' whipping. But the most shocking truth was revealed when a fire broke through the house and dozens of slaves in poor condition were discovered in the attic, shackled and gagged. Some were found in cages and bound on operating tables and mutilated, while body parts were strewn on the floor. Madame LaLaurie managed to escape and was never seen again. Many accounts of haunting in the house have circulated, like hearing bone-chilling screams and agonized wailing, a child running on the roof, encountering a shackled black man, animals mutilated, and even apparitions of a woman, claimed to be the Madame herself, chasing children or looking over an infant.
Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts
Many consider this house as one of the most haunted places in America. It was the witness to the bloody murder of Lizzie's father and stepmother, Andrew and Abby Borden. They were found axed to death, which many believed was perpetuated by Lizzie herself. But at that time, when females were believed to be the weaker sex and thus could not possibly do such a horrendous crime, Lizzie was acquitted and set free while the case remained unsolved. Nowadays, the Lizzie Borden house serves as a bed and breakfast that thrives in spite (or because) of the place's horrid history. It is claimed that the ghosts of Andrew and Abby still haunts the house and make their presence known to patrons.
Alcatraz, San Francisco, California
The Rock, as Alcatraz Prison is also popularly called, is not only a well-known tourist destination due to its history as a maximum-security penitentiary but also because of the creepy accounts and ghost haunting that allegedly happen there. Clanging sounds, sobbing, moaning and wailing coming from the prison walls are commonplace, even though Alcatraz had seized prison operations since 1963. Cold spots, smell of smoke and unexplained sounds with no known sources have also been reported. The most famous haunting in The Rock is claimed to be made by the infamous Al Capone. He was known to have played the banjo in the shower while he served time there. Today, many visitors to the site claim to hear banjo music coming from the shower and prison walls.
There are literally hundreds of scary locations in the US but the aforementioned are possibly some of the most haunted places in America. Whether a believer of ghosts or not, one could not deny that the stories that these places have produced are some of the most spine-tingling and worth knowing.