8 Creepy Places to Visit around the U.S.
With October here, your mind is probably already set on Halloween. Here are 8 creepy places to visit around the US. From California to New Orleans to Connecticut, there’s something sure to please every taste of the macabre. Whether you are creeped out by serial killers, possessed dolls, tortured patients, or angry ghosts, you won’t want to miss these haunted locations and spooky places.
1. The Winchester Mansion, California
How about a real haunted mansion? Sarah Winchester collected huge royalties from her late husband’s invention—the gun that won the West. To appease the angered spirits of those killed by the Winchester Rifle, she continuously built an enormous mansion in San Jose, California. Historians are unsure if the numerous trap doors, dead ends, and staircases to nowhere were meant to confuse angry spirits, or because she never hired an architect. Today you can take a tour of this sprawling Victorian mansion, one of the 8 creepy places to visit around the US.
2. The Ellis Hotel, Georgia
There’s nothing a whole lot creepier than sleeping in a hotel where 119 guests died in a massive fire—the deadliest hotel fire in the history of the United States. Considering there are only 127 rooms, someone probably died in yours. One amazing photograph captured a woman jumping from the eleventh floor; ironically she survived and lived to be 86. The other guests were not so lucky. Some of them are occasionally seen through the windows and mirrors of the hotel (formerly named the Wincote). Check in and find out for yourself! If you’re staying above the third floor, just remember that everyone staying on floors 4 and up were trapped by the blaze, and had no way out except for the window.
3. The Occult Museum, Connecticut
If you like (or dislike) creepy dolls and paranormal items, this is one place you’ll want to see (or avoid). The personal collection of Ed and Lorraine Warren has become a Hollywood name, in part to its most sinister resident: Annabelle the Doll. This possessed doll sits behind a glass case and has been previously exorcised—but it still moves and makes growling noises at visitors. Rumor has it the doll once housed a demonic spirit that was looking for a human body to possess, and the exorcism performed on it may or may not have worked. The museum has closed due to zoning restrictions, but is looking for a new home (any takers?). However, you can still book a private tour in this spooky place.
4. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia
This asylum is your chance to visit a gloomy hospital in the backwoods built just for the mentally insane. Did we mention that many of the victims—sorry, patients—of this institution were subject to electric shock therapy, caged isolation, and forced lobotomies? (That’s where they take out a chunk of your brain.) Health reforms in the 1990s (pretty recently, at that) forced this macabre place to close its doors, but by that time, hundreds of patients had already died. You might even be able to catch a glimpse of the former patients…rumor has it they roam the crumbling halls, which you can walk through on a historical day tour.
5. The Amityville Horror House, New York
Whether you saw the original 1979 film or the 2005 remake, you were probably deeply unsettled by the idea of abnormal happenings right at home, linked to the murder of previous occupants. This haunted home has captured the dark side of the American imagination, and guess what—it’s actually a real place, with a real story of a man who killed all six members of his own family. The home is privately owned today, but you’re welcome to drive by 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island and snap some pictures. See if you can notice any ghosts in the windows of your photographs…previous occupants have reported blood coming from the walls and unearthly music.
6.The LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans
Come visit one of the swankiest mansions in the French Quarter, where the elite of this southern city were entertained with lavish feats by Delphine LaLaurie. Did we mention that the slaves in the upstairs kitchen were brutally tortured and subjected to cruel experiments at the behest of Madame, who was actually insane? A fire started by one of the slaves led to the discovery of Madame LaLaurie’s cruel exploits. One slave had her limbs broken and reset, giving her a twisted, crab-like gait; another slave was rumored to have a wooden spoon drilled into his skull. Like many haunted residences, the mansion is privately owned. However, you can get the opportunity to visit one of this 8 creepy places by taking a ghost tour of New Orleans.
7. The Villisca Axe Murder House, Iowa
If you’d actually like to stay overnight in a haunted house, this cozy bed and breakfast in Villisca, Iowa is one of the only places around the country where you can do so. In 1912, a still unidentified person broke into the home and murdered all six occupants by driving an axe into their heads. Everyone was sleeping when it happened, except perhaps for one of the victims, who seems to have made an attempt to fight the murderer off. Spend an evening in one of the blood-soaked crime scene rooms, and catch some z’s…if you can. Be forewarned that you’ll need to bring a sleeping bag, because sleeping in the beds is not allowed (we’re not sure if you’d want to, anyway). Feel free to take pictures and videos of whatever you see, but the B&B staff appreciates if you can share your footage with them.
8. The Shanghai Tunnels, Oregon
This network of underground tunnels beneath Portland, Oregon connected the basements of taverns and hotels to the Willamette River. They mainly ran under Chinatown and the business district, and were built to facilitate the easy movement of goods to and from the docks. Unfortunately, they may have become a human trafficking tool in the “Wild West” days of the city, when unsuspecting men were drugged and dragged through the tunnels onto ships. One kidnapped like this was said to be “Shanghaied,” and could wake up to find themselves far away from home, trapped as a slave in a strange place (sometimes the Far East; hence the name). Today it’s unlikely that you’ll be Shanghaied yourself—but you can still take a tour of these creepy subterranean passages and learn about Portland’s colorful past.
It’s hard to say whether the abnormal events at these 8 creepy places are true paranormal occurrences, hoaxes, or just plain imagination. The only way to find out is to go yourself. Remember to visit these spooky places in a safe, guided way. Don’t attempt to get a behind-the-scenes-tour. Trespassers might not like what they find…or what finds them.
Have you ever visited any of those 8 Creepy Places?
Do you have recommendations for other spooky places to visit this season? Comment Below!