The spooky season is here. So where should you travel if you want to see the most haunted places in America?
Meet Conner Gossel and Silvia Olivares, two paranormal investigators who are part of the team behind the Haunted Historian, which has become a go-to source for all things historically haunted, and has helped work on a variety of supernatural TV series, including Ghost Adventures, Destination Fear and Portals to Hell.
Gossel caught the spooky bug when he was growing up in Ohio. “I had a like-minded group of friends who enjoyed watching Ghost Adventures. We decided it might be fun to venture out and have an adventure of our own, so 14 of us went to New Castle, Pennsylvania to see Hill View Manor,” he says. “The encounters that we all had there were incredible.” Gossel was hooked and has spent the past 10 years traveling to some of the most remote corners of the planet to explore and document haunted destinations and paranormal stories.
For Olivares, her fascination for the paranormal started at a very young age. “I’m originally from Mexico, where the departed are still very much part of the living. It played a major role in introducing me to the afterlife, from hearing first-hand accounts of hauntings to folklore,” she says. “Years later I had an unexplained encounter at my apartment in Brooklyn that led me to become a paranormal investigator.” She has traveled around the country to investigate some of the most famous haunted locations, along with some smaller unknowns.
But according to Gossel, the Haunted Historian isn’t just their own story. “It’s the paranormal community’s story,” he says. “It’s the locations others have been to, the accounts that others have had, the journeys and the sightings and the experiences that people—the country over and the world over—share.”
Here, we caught up with Gossel and Olivares to get their top picks for some of the best—and lesser known—haunted spots around the United States to check out right now, including truly haunted houses, haunted hospitals, haunted hotels, haunted restaurants and even haunted Airbnb rentals.
5 Truly Haunted Houses
Wilson Castle – Proctor, Vermont
The History: “Haunted destinations in Vermont are few and far between, which makes a venue as horrifyingly intriguing as Wilson Castle all the more rare for the Green Mountain State,” says Gossel. “What started out as a private residence that even the original family ended up not being able to afford became the property of one of AM radio’s earliest pioneering entrepreneurs.”
Haunted Appeal: “Wouldn’t you know it, that lineage has been in possession of the home ever since and it just recently began allowing overnight investigations on the property through a variety of third-party tour companies,” says Gossel. “So, if you get tired of the foliage and fresh air, Vermont has quite the haunt to offer travelers.”
Frightmare Manor – Talbott, Tennessee
The History: “Currently serving as a seasonal haunted house, Frightmare Manor has seen atrocities far greater than any animatronic or set design that could be put together for Halloween,” says Gossel. “This small-statured dwelling was once the home to Jeremiah Lexer, a lesser-known serial killer whose murderous rampage lasted from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. During that time, some estimate he took the lives of nearly 100 people, including his own families.”
Haunted Appeal: “Needless to say, a wide variety of spirits are said to haunt the home and its surrounding property. So much so that the restaurant that took residence here had to shut down from rampant paranormal attacks and unavoidable ghostly activity,” says Gossel.
Kreischer Mansion – Staten Island, New York
The History: “As if the antiquated yet wondrous design of Kreischer Mansion weren’t enough to draw prying eyes, the home’s history has left it with a perfect mixture of paranormal activity and true crime appeal,” says Gossel. This haunted Staten Island mansion runs a haunted house every October every Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Haunted Appeal: “Not only are members of the property’s founding family, the Kreischers, said to still inhabit its walls, but so is the spirit of a victim killed in the home’s basement during the early 2000s in what was described as a gruesome mob hit,” says Gossel. “A variety of public functions are hosted at the house each year to welcome interested citizens, during which locals have seen apparitions in windows, heard screaming voices from inside and encountered other startling ordeals.”
The Gill House – Galion, Ohio
The History: “Constructed in the early years of the 1900s for automotive mogul Bloomer Gill and his family, the Gill House has become a historic structure revered the state over for its authenticity and ongoing efforts to preserve a look consistent with what the home would have looked like inside and out over a century ago,” says Gossel.
Haunted Appeal: “The old-world beauty and antiquated aesthetic has been enough to attract history buffs, local event organizers, photographers and, yes, paranormal investigators to venture within its walls for tours and overnight paranormal investigations—as the home has become notorious in Northern Ohio for its rumors of ghostly activity,” says Gossel. “Many point to nearby indian burial grounds, the three separate graveyards that once surrounded the property and the family’s passion for the home even in death for the persistent spiritual activity. The spirit of a Native American is known to inhabit the basement, walking about the shadows and startling those brave enough to wander down. The apparitions of a young girl, a crude old man in the attic and a deceased family member have all been identified in the home as well, accounting for footsteps, phantom voices, opening doors, darting shadows and the feeling of having your clothes tugged on.”
The Roff House – Watseka, Illinois
The History: “Popularly utilized today as a home, as well as a bed and breakfast, the Roff House has roots dating back to the late 19th century,” says Olivares. “In fact, it’s that rich history and interior aesthetic that drive so many to stay an evening at the historic abode. However, many know the home by another name; the Watseka Wonder.”
Haunted Appeal: “It was here that the first recorded exorcism in American history unfolded. And it’s here that spiritual activity has continued to unravel to this very day, drawing the occasional ghost hunter to spend an evening inside its walls for the chance to see if the house may still play host to sinister energy and entities” says Olivares.
5 Haunted Hospitals, Sanitariums and Prisons
Old Hospital on College Hill – Williamson, West Virginia
The History: “Many, if not most, residents of Williamson, West Virginia can point to the abandoned hospital looming over their small Appalachian town as the location that they were born, or at least were treated at growing up,” says Gossel.
Haunted Appeal: The hauntings are legendary, from the “nurse that never clocked out” (after a car accident, she died at this hospital, where she worked) to the tortured story of Mose Blackburn, a local restaurant owner who killed a police officer, subsequently broke a leg, fell from a third-floor window at the hospital and later died or was killed here. There are also shadow apparitions, doors shutting on their own, voices heard, children’s laughter and running on floors above.
Harriman Hospital – Harriman, Tennessee
The History: “Just this year, the paranormal community was met with open arms by what is perhaps the most exciting new haunt to have graced the field in all of 2022: Harriman Hospital,” says Gossel. “In existence since 1938, the hospital was built to provide for the healthcare needs of the area’s growing population. And as those needs continued to grow over the course of the 20th century, the hospital continuously added new wings and additions.”
Haunted Appeal: “Abandoned since 2013, the hospital has had a revitalization of sorts, falling under the ownership of a local team of ghost hunters who have now made the venue available to anyone willing to lock down inside and endure its inhabiting spirits—who are known to stare at passing individuals from the windows, drag remaining furniture around the floors, appear in front of visitors and run all about the building,” says Gossel.
Beach Army Hospital – Mineral Wells, Texas
The History: “Forgotten and crumbling on the outskirts of what is widely considered one of America’s most haunted towns, the 90,000 square feet of Beach Army Hospital once served as the training ground for soldiers preparing to deploy in the Vietnam War,” says Olivares. “It was left abandoned shortly after the conflict’s completion.”
Haunted Appeal: “Beach Army Hospital has afforded many urban explorers and visitors with supernatural encounters—the most famous reports being run-ins with the apparitions of energies of former service members, nurses, doctors and even that of a young boy seen in the main entrance,” says Olivares.
Wildwood Sanitarium – Salamanca, New York
The History: “Admittedly, the Wildwood Sanitarium looks far different than most such institutions of its time. But it boasts a history and interior aesthetic capable of pitting it against even the largest sanitariums still in existence,” says Gossel. “Since 1909, it’s welcomed the public inside, as a healing bath house before it was converted into a sanitarium in 1923. The holistic natural healing measures instituted by the owners proved ineffective against the ravages of tuberculosis, allowing for a staggering death toll.”
Haunted Appeal: “Long after its closure, a mother and daughter duo bought the property for use as a paranormal investigation site, during which time people have found wet footprints tracking up the stairs, spotted orbs, heard the pained moaning of former patients and seen shadow figures darting about every floor of the home,” says Gossel.
Carbon County Jail – Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
The History: “As its antiquated architecture might suggest, Carbon County Jail was the original prison building for the town of Jim Thorpe,” says Olivares. “Its most well-known, albeit cruel, claim to fame in the history books is referred to as ‘The Day of the Rope.’ A day in 1877 that saw the hanging of 10 men in the prison’s gallows and which many point to as the cause for the jails haunting to this very day.”
Haunted Appeal: “Tour groups have been witness to the sounds of hushed voices in the remaining jail cells and the banging of bars, as though prisoners are fighting to escape even in the afterlife,” says Olivares. “Creepier still, some have heard the cries and wails of men in the portion of the building that once housed the gallows. A historic and spooky visit to round out the Halloween season for anyone.”
5 Haunted Places to Eat and Drink
The Whitney – Detroit, Michigan
The History: What’s better than dinner and a show? For the residents of Detroit, that is what’s drawn a national audience to the opulent dining rooms of The Whitney, a restaurant that serves not only as one of the city’s most famously upscale destinations but one of its most haunted.
Haunted Appeal: “It’s not uncommon for guests to witness moving tableware, footsteps on the grand staircase and sometimes even the hazy outlines of figures moving through the restaurant—believed to be David and Flora, the original husband and wife duo that called the building home,” says Olivares.
Moon River Brewing – Savannah, Georgia
The History: “It’s difficult to go too long as a paranormal investigator without hearing of Moon River Brewing Company, perhaps the most haunted locations in all of Savannah,” says Gossel. “Originally constructed in the 1820’s, the building has served such purposes as a hospital, a general store and now a restaurant.”
Haunted Appeal: Each floor of the structure houses its own unique forms of paranormal activity. “An entity known only as ‘Toby’ stays in the basement, lurking in the shadows and scratching/pushing passing parties when least expected,” says Gossel. “Deceased former patients stay in the upper floors shuffling about and talking audibly enough for staff and guests to hear every night. And most unique are the female apparitions that are known to pause dinner service as everyone in the restaurant watches them pass through the main rooms and disappear into walls.”
The Pirate’s House – Savannah, Georgia
The History: “In times long past, the building that now houses The Pirate’s House lent itself to passing sailors as a place to get a warm meal, cold brews and a soft bed. However, little did these sailors know that their stay would turn out to be one of the worst nights of their life, as they were shanghaied in the dead of night after having consumed drugs that were slipped into their food and drink,’” says Gossel. “The basement of the house had tunnels leading to the Savannah River, where a life of servitude awaited the unfortunate souls.”
Haunted Appeal: “Today, those visiting the home for its delicious food hear voices in the basement, stomping feet barging about the rooms and have even seen misty apparitions moving up and down the stairs,’” says Gossel.
Jailhouse Pizza – Brandenburg, Kentucky
The History: Before being converted into a pizza restaurant, this building served as the Meade County Jail for 70 years, from 1906 to 1976. “Ominous appearance aside, Jailhouse Pizza is a functioning restaurant that draws in locals and travelers from all walks of life, day-in and day-out,” says Olivares. “Some come for a slice of small town pizza pie, whereas others come in an effort to witness first-hand the rumors of paranormal activity that have become entwined with the location’s past.”
Haunted Appeal: “While enjoying a hot slice, guests have hard clanking on jail cells, heard disembodied voices and coughs from empty halls and seen the apparition of Bigsby, the most well-documented spirit in the building known to keep a careful watch over the comings and goings of patrons,” says Olivares.
Phantom Wines – Clarksburg, California
The History: “Phantom Wines is more than an award-winning wine brand with a hauntingly wondrous brand backstory. It’s a picturesque vineyard in Northern California’s wine country that actually boasts a legitimate degree of supernatural activity that’s become recognized nationwide—the entity behind it all being known only as ‘The Phantom,’” says Gossel.
Haunted Appeal: “Guests enjoying the fine wine and stunning atmosphere of the property are typically none the wiser of the ghostly activity, but staff have encountered doors opening and closing on their own, eerie footsteps moving about the tasting room, figures in the vines and strange technological malfunctions,” says Gossel. “Phantom Wines are available at the Bogle Family Vineyards tasting room in Clarksburg, California.”
4 Haunted Hotels
Sumpter Bed and Breakfast – Sumpter, Oregon
The History: Over the course of 122 years, this quaint, historic structure has served as a miners’ hospital, a brothel, masonic temple and—most recently—as a B&B. “The small town relies heavily on its tourist economy, welcoming interested parties wanting to get a first-hand look at the area’s remaining buildings and log cabins from its mining era,” says Olivares.
Haunted Appeal: “Many tourists choose to stay at the bed and breakfast. Some for its glowing reviews and rustic charm, others for the spine-tingling tales of phantom miners, disembodied voices and activity from townspeople long passed, as well as the fabled “Woman in White” said to haunt the property,” says Olivares.
Story Inn – Nashville, Indiana
The History: “This town dates back nearly 175 years, operating originally as a thriving logging community. The Story Inn is one of the area’s most historic relics,” says Gossel.
Haunted Appeal: “The proprietor of the Story Inn purchased the building with no preconceived notions of the paranormal,” says Gossel. “However, as overnight guests and regulars to the tavern began reporting strange noises in their rooms, footsteps in the halls and frequent sightings of what’s now been termed ‘The Blue Lady,’ he took to keeping a public log of all the ghostly encounters men and women from every corner of the country have had inside the inn.”
Bush House Inn – Index, Washington
The History: “The north country of Index, while once buzzing and alive with the activity of its local mining operation, has found new life in recent years as a secluded, mountainous oasis for those wishing to detach themselves from modern settings,” says Olivares.
Haunted Appeal: “Constant in both eras has been the Bush House Inn, a local staple and one of the state’s most haunted stays,” says Olivares. “The current owners, responsible for efforts to refurbish the inn to its former glory, have welcomed investigative teams and interested locals alike, all hoping to catch sight of a woman rumored to have taken her own life in room nine. To this very day, reports of a woman screaming, unseen hands tugging at sheets and poltergeist activity inside that particular room have become commonplace.”
Lodge at Hot Lake Springs – La Grande, Oregon
The History: “Cloaked in the fog and mists that Hot Lake Reservoir has become known for lies the Hot Lake Lodge,” says Gossel. “A dance hall turned hotel turned sanitarium turned hotel once more, the lodge has developed a global namesake as being a place of rejuvenation and relaxation—a curious thing, given its somewhat sordid past as a treatment center for a tremendously deadly disease.”
Haunted Appeal: “Perhaps the hotel’s history is to blame for the paranormal activity staff and guests have witnessed,” says Gossel. “From figures that resemble patients and former employees, to phantom piano music, spectral bodies pacing by guest bedrooms in an attempt to get in—perhaps to their former treatment rooms?—and much more.”
5 Haunted Airbnbs
John Riordan House – Jerome, Arizona
The History: Jerome, Arizona was once described as “the wickedest town in the west.” The wickedest place to stay? The John Rioridan House. “Dating back to 1898, it is one of the best preserved structures in the entire mountainside town,” says Gossel. “But, as often happens when history is so well preserved, the spirits of former residents are haunting the home to this day, making for a startling stay for those who brave this unique Airbnb.”
Haunted Appeal: “Creaking floorboards from the weight of phantom footsteps, eerie mists in the form of humans, entities that climb into bed along guests and ethereal voices startling enough to chill your blood are just some of the occurences” says Gossel.
Bethany’s Home Sweet Haunted Home – Jackson, California
The History: “The former mining town of Jackson is littered with venues rumored to be haunted, with Bethany’s Home Sweet Haunted Home purported to be the most spiritually infested, housing an estimated 15 spirits within its 2,300 square foot interior,” says Gossel. “What little historical documentation exists suggests that the home was a former brothel, speakeasy, boarding house and now an Airbnb.”
Haunted Appeal: “Rumors of murders, evidence of suicides and some unfortunate souls who passed away inside the walls following mining accidents, have left each room with its own unique degree of paranormal activity—from footsteps, shadow figures and hushed voices, to dragging sounds, moving objects, phantom aromas and fully-formed apparitions.
The Civil War Field Hospital – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
The History: “The David Stewart Farm is located in historic Gettysburg. The farmhouse and barn were used as a Civil War field hospital following the Battle of Gettysburg. And, as unfortunate as it is to say, many of the wounded men who found their way here never found their way back out,” says Olivares.
Haunted Appeal: “The longtime owner and Airbnb host is an open book on that subject, letting all overnight guests know that they will be joined in their stair by a great many spirits, some of which have called the building home for well over a century,” says Olivares.
Cemetery Schoolhouse – Hudson, New York
The History: “Can you imagine the eerie feeling that would take hold renting an Airbnb for the night that’s simply a converted schoolhouse, with many of its original fixtures and decor still in place? There’s no reason to feel uneasy, but the mind wanders and begins waiting for the sounds of childish laughter in the halls and rooms. The fact that the building is surrounded by a graveyard doesn’t help, however picturesque its lawn may be,” says Gossel.
Haunted Appeal: “As it turns out, those eerie feelings would be correct, because reports of ghosts in this Airbnb have become rampant,” says Gossel. “Many claim to hear voices and see figures in the cemetery, whereas others have reported strange noises in the schoolhouse and items that disappear in their rooms.”
The Golden Lamb – Lebanon, Ohio
The History: For more than 215 years, The Golden Lamb has served as a meetinghouse for locals, travelers and some truly noteworthy figures—including 12 US Presidents, musicians such as Kesha, authors like Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), various astronauts and more. Today, it serves as a popular restaurant and fashionable hotel. In fact, it’s Ohio’s longest continuously-serving business,” says Olivares.
Haunted Appeal: “Staff and guests have reported the apparitions of a former Congressman who accidentally took his own life in one of the rooms, as well as a young girl who spent a fair deal of her life living at the hotel,” says Olivares. “Footsteps are often heard in the dead of night wandering the hall. Chairs in the restaurant are moved about on their own. And sometimes, strange, other-era music can be heard emanating from thin air.”