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Real Scary Places To Visit In the United States

Updated on October 11, 2012

Tis the Season

As we approach the fall season and the days get shorter we once again find ourselves thinking of goblins, ghouls, and all things strange and scary. With these eerie thoughts come the approach of the Halloween season filled with trips to the local pumpkin orchard, haunted houses, and all things supernatural. One has to wonder though are there such things as true ghost stories and real scary places that no man or woman would dare walk through. Despite what some may consider as just old tales our culture is rich with stories of the supernatural involving both famous people we all know as well as those we do not. Sit back and sip on a glass of apple cider or pumpkin spiced coffee whichever you prefer and join me in recollecting tales of all things supernatural and unexplained.

Homes of the Superrnatural

Apparition or smoke?
Apparition or smoke? | Source
This is the Sach's Bridge in Gettysburg. Residents and tourists have said they have seen  visions of a man hanging from the rafters of this dark bridge.
This is the Sach's Bridge in Gettysburg. Residents and tourists have said they have seen visions of a man hanging from the rafters of this dark bridge. | Source
Inside of a prisoner's cell at Eastern State Penitentiary.
Inside of a prisoner's cell at Eastern State Penitentiary. | Source
Upper level of Eastern State Penitentiary.
Upper level of Eastern State Penitentiary. | Source
Stairwell leading to the upper level of Eastern State Penitentiary.
Stairwell leading to the upper level of Eastern State Penitentiary. | Source

Haunted Places in the United States

When it comes to scary places one can start right in the city where our country’s independence was born. Known for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, The Liberty Bell, and one of the thirteen colonies largest cities Philadelphia is home to some of the scariest locations in the country. Starting with the Betsy Ross House once home to the famous flag maker it is rumored that visitors have seen the late Miss Ross crying on the edge of her bed. There have been others who say they hear a woman’s voice call out to them while in other parts of the home. Could this be possible? Could the famous flag maker still be haunting the premises hundreds of years later? As if these reports are not enough others have reported supernatural activity involving the late Charles H. Weisberger, the founder of the Ross Memorial who have stated they hear the man whispering to them in the darkness.

There are other rumors that the ghost of a gift shop employee killed years ago during a robbery haunts the grounds. If you are visiting Philadelphia check out the Betsy Ross House and if you hear a whispering or feel a cold draft on your neck chances are it is not your overactive imagination. The plague of supernatural activity incited museum administration to contact the famous paranormal investigation team Ghost Hunters. Investigators Jason Hawest and Grant Wilson spent the night in the home and declared there was indeed some supernatural activity going on in the famous flag maker’s home.

Another long time Philadelphia resident and avid contributor to American history Benjamin Franklin has been seen dancing in the streets of Philadelphia and roaming the halls of the American Philosophical Society. These findings go back as far as 1884 when a cleaner claimed the famous scientist knocked her down while in the building’s library. If you are ever in the city of brotherly love and just happen to notice that Mr. Franklin’s statue is dancing down the streets of center city do not assume it is your eyes playing tricks on you.

Out of the two historical buildings above one of the most haunted and noted buildings to contain paranormal activity Eastern State Penitentiary has been an attraction to thousands of visitors and paranormal investigating teams for years. Housing such criminal minds as Al Capone and many others there have been more than one noted accounting of spirits seen roaming the darkened cellblocks and corridors of the abandoned prison. Home to hundreds of thousands of violent and criminal minds it is no wonder that such a place would inhibit such unexplained phenomena.

Once again, Ghost Hunters returned to the city of brotherly love to investigate this unique place. In one of the clippings on the show, you actually can see the shape of a dark figure running up and down one of the corridors. After careful observation, it is noted that this figure is dressed in some kind of cape holding something. Ghost Hunter investigators claim they could feel a sense of heaviness when they are in these eerie confines as if something is pressing down on them. There are also those who have stated they see black shadows along the cell blocks rapidly appear and disappear.

If this doesn’t convince you that something sinister breathes in the walls of this ancient prison then you might want to consider the story of a locksmith who years later says the idea of what happened still terrifies him. Given the job of removing a 140-year-old lock many feel what happened to the man are the results of the tortured souls hidden behind the door were released after years of confinement. The man recalled seeing faces of anguish on the cell walls. A circle of distorted figures encircled the man as he had an out of body experience and heard the voice of someone beckoning him to go further down the locked up corridor.

Eastern State Penitentiary has 24 paranormal investigations a year and just about, all of them find proof of paranormal activity. Tourists and employees have also revealed they hear weeping, giggling, and whispering coming from the prison walls. Would you say this is fact or fiction? Check out the Eastern State Penitentiary in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia and find out for yourself.

Video of Apparition Running Down Hall In Eastern State Penitentiary

Most Haunted States in America

Listed as one of the most haunted states in America on the other end of the keystone state Gettysburg has a lot to offer to the states haunting status. Home to one of the largest military battles in the history of the civil war where nearly 50,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, and went on missing it is no surprise that this city should have a few of its own scary haunted stories. Tourists and residents have reported seeing ghosts throughout the town often reenacting battles that occurred during the war. One victim of the war Jenny Wade innocently caught in the crossfire is said to cause daily paranormal activity in what once was her home.

Despite the reports, Devil’s Den is said to be one of the region’s most haunted places. Devil’s Den was the location of the second day of the big battle in Gettysburg. Apparently, during these heated fights a confederate sniper had been shooting at Union soldiers during the battle. Union officers retaliated and killed the shooter. Photographer Alexander Gardner took a picture of the dead man claiming this was the individual who had attacked the soldiers. It was later discovered that Gardner took the corpse of another dead soldier and drug him over claiming this was the man union soldiers shot down. Several discussions by tourists and townsfolk alike suggest the dead man's spirit still haunts Devil's Den. Tourists claim the pictures come out blurry and their cameras suddenly stop working.

One of the most famous haunted places in America Alcatraz located in San Francisco, California is home to quite a few unexplained happenings. Housing many hardened criminals through its time it is noted for almost being impossible to escape. Could that explain the sounds of ghosts seen on cellblock walls? Are these tortured spirits individuals with so much penned up evil that their legacy lives on in these abandoned walls?

Other unique places you might want to consider checking out if you dare are the San Francisco Art Institute. Built upon the graves of those victims killed during the earthquake of 1906 there have been sightings of apparitions going up the stairs to the tower that looks out into the old graveyard where the corpses of those who were innocently killed lay to rest.

When you think of Keywest Florida, you certainly do not put supernatural phenomena in the same sentence. Home to gorgeous homes and pristine beaches this laid-back town has something in its skeletal closet to share with visitors too. Some of the most frightening and disturbing tales exist here in Keywest. Captain Tony’s Saloon for example a local bar on the island once housed the resorts morgue. In the center of the building is a tree that has been the sight of many hangings for pirates and local criminals. It is has been reported that the apparitions of these criminals and pirates have been seen in the building.

Famous novelist Ernest Hemingway bought property in Keywest years ago. Today his property is a museum dedicated to his life’s work and career. Visions of his spirit have been reported to be seen walking in the home. Some say they even hear his typewriter working diligently on that next best seller in the main house.

Whether you live in the heart of Philadelphia or the quiet valleys of Ohio there are signs of supernatural activity everywhere you go. Check it out for yourself. Go to your local library and do some researches on your city or town’s history see what has occurred there over the past one hundred years. Chances are there is proof that strange things are happening in your own backyard that you did not even know about. You might even find that you do not have to travel very far to experience your own supernatural phenomena.

Eastern State Penitentiary

A markerEastern State Penitentiary -
2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA
get directions

Visit this impressive prison and see for yourself why many people feel there is something eerie lurking about.

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    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I live in PA and have been on Sach's bridge (U have a great shot of it in this hub) It was grey skies slowly growing dark and there was some strange mojo I felt while there-The acoustics are wild and the wind sounds muffled (hard to explain) If you've never been go-take a camera U may see him swinging -if U do don't wig out ...dude is harmless just likes to hang about. Voted up!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      That video was so freaky. Your photos really set the scene. I love reading about paranormal activities. Glad I found you on hubpages.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I always wonder why human beings love to scare themselves. I love scary situations. Pennsylvania and Maryland have some very scary places to visit. I will have to check these out. Great hub!

    • William Gerace profile image

      William Gerace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Thanks so much for the kind words Funom. I really appreciate it. Thanks and check out the sites when you're here. Ciao.


    • Funom Makama 3 profile image

      Funom Theophilus Makama 5 years ago from Europe

      This is a fantastic Hub, engaging from start to finish and definitely voted up. These places though are really scary and I hope when I get to the USA someday, I will check them out

    • William Gerace profile image

      William Gerace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      I know it seems like it would be pretty cool to be a member of such a team like Ghost Hunters. I once worked in a Haunted House years ago that was rumored to be haunted though I never experienced anything. Last year I tried to get a job at Eastern State Penitentiary for their annual Terror Behind The Walls they ran for 2 months through the Halloween season but I never got the job sadly. Oh well. Thanks for reading this Chrystal. Have a nice day.


    • cmahan profile image

      Chrystal Mahan 5 years ago from Michigan

      I saw my first ghost as a very small child. I have been very fortunate to have many paranormal experiences in my life. I think it is great that technology has allowed us to study (even televise) the paranormal. I keep saying once I finish grad school I am going to join a paranormal investigation team. Great hub!!

    • William Gerace profile image

      William Gerace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Thanks guys. I learned a few things about Philadelphia myself. I was shocked to hear about the Betsy Ross House and well Eastern State Penitentiary I've known for awhile it's haunted. Tell me do you think that video is scary or what. I personally think it is an apparition making an appearance in the prison. Me and my friend went there in August and it was quite eerie. We are supposed to go there for Halloween for their annual terror behind the walls. I might do a Hub on that and if I'm allowed to take pictures I will and post it up. Thanks again for the great reviews guys. Have a nice day.


    • abyas profile image

      abyas 5 years ago

      I love this article! Maybe it has something to do with me loving anything and everything about the paranormal.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      I heard the story about the Betsy Ross House being haunted, but didn't know about the other Philadelphia area hauntings. The video of Eastern State Penitentiary is pretty weird. Good hub - voted up and interesting.