By Krista Murray
With Halloween just around the corner, many people may be making plans to go to costume parties, scare houses, or even to go trick or treating (You’re never too old). But what about actually going to an acclaimed haunted house, hotel, or asylum? Here’s a list of some of the so-called most haunted places in America, and some of them are just a few hours away. Go to them if you dare, but if you don’t want to get your scare on in that way, I suppose watching a 24-hour marathon of Hocus Pocus is not a bad way to celebrate the holiday either.
The Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV- (Travel time: 2 hours) Built in the year 1858, this Lunatic Asylum was home to the mentally ill until it was abandoned in 1994. With its rich history and tragedy, the large building is a haunted tourist attraction with midnight ghost hunts, flashlight tours, and even a annual Halloween Asylum Ball.
The Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, PA – (Travel time: 3 hours and 30 mins.) Seven score and ten years ago both Union and Confederate soldiers fought on this infamous battlefield, but in 2013 the many that died in 1863 are said to still walk amongst the living where the battle took place.
The West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV– (Travel time: 1 hour and 45 mins.) In 1986 this gothic-like prison was closed due to accusations of cruel and unusual punishment to the inmates, but since its opening in 1876 the penitentiary has provided many chills for visitors throughout the years, and has been plagued with apparent residual hauntings (paranormal replays of incidents from the past). Creepy.
The Haunted Whaley House in San Diego, CA- (Travel time: 36 hours) Good luck traveling all the way across America, but the Whaley House has been placed as number one on the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted house list. As for that being true or not, it’s up to you to find out.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO- (Travel time: 22 hours) The popular horror film The Shining, produced from the novel by Stephen King, was based off of this very old hotel in the mountains of Colorado. With ghosts in every room, the hotel is open to the public all year round, and individuals can stay the night in room 217 (Stephen King claimed it was the most haunted) or possibly experience a piano playing by itself every now and then.
The Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah, GA- (Travel time: 10 hours) Savannah was named the most haunted city in America in 2003 and the Moon River Brewing Co. was one of the reasons for this paranormal title. The pub, once a hotel, has experienced multiple bottles being thrown across the bar and has been declared haunted by both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.
The Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, KY- (Travel time: 6 hours) Used as a tuberculosis hospital during the early 1900’s, this large structure has been given the title “The Most Haunted Place in the World” by multiple paranormal investigative sites. The sanitarium is open all year long, but is especially eventful during Halloween with history tours, ghost hunts, and even its own scare house.
The Franklin Castle in Cleveland, OH– (Travel time: 2 hours and 25 mins.) This home has been on the realty market since the mid- 1800’s when it was constructed. There have been a large number of unexplained tragedies inside the stone walls that have lead to speculation of ghostly activity. No one is currently residing in this four-story, boarded-up, dark castle. I wonder why?
The RMS Queen Mary on the coast of Long Beach, CA- (Travel time: 35 hours) If you don’t mind the road trip or spending a lot of money on gas, this notorious ocean liner is home to many so-called ghosts that have apparently haunted every level of the RMS Queen Mary since 1934. The ship is now a floating hotel and frequently has paranormal sightings of ghostly sailors from the residents on board.
The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA- (Travel time: 4 hours and 45 mins.) It’s only fitting to end this list with a haunted Pennsylvania prison. Nowadays this penitentiary is one enormous haunted house where individuals in need of a scare on Halloween can roam the prison at night. But don’t be fooled, the rich history has provided numerous “real” ghost sightings as well.