Visiting a haunted place can make for a mysterious and fun adventure. Since the early days of this country, Americans have been captivated by the prospect of supernatural activity, and interest has risen in recent years with the success of shows like “Ghost Hunters.” Resultantly, most people have become familiar with the typical haunted hotspots, which tend to be in single houses, hotels and hospitals. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find a wide variety of locations in which ghostly encounters are common. If you’re in the mood to be spooked, take a look at these 10 bizarre places for haunted tours.
- The Old Bell Farm – Adams, Tennessee
Located 36 miles north of Nashville, the Old Bell Farm features the ghost of the Bell Witch, who haunted John Bell and his family during the early 19th century. As legend has it, Andrew Jackson bestowed the name upon her during a visit to the property after word spread to Nashville about the peculiar activity for which she was responsible. Her torment reached its peak in 1821, when she is said to have killed John Bell after she steadily poisoned him during the course of a year. She continued to haunt the family for almost two more centuries and still lingers around the farm to this day. The property includes a haunted cave that can be toured when it’s not inundated by the Red River.
- East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, Tennessee
ETSU is widely recognized as one the South’s most haunted colleges. Students, professors and campus visitors have experienced odd occurrences for years, including screams in Cooper Hall and the spotting of a long-dead former ETSU president. The stacks at the old Sherrod Library and Yoakley Hall – a former female dormitory where a student is said to have committed suicide by jumping out a window – are the most infamous haunted buildings on campus.
- Various Bars in the French Quarter – New Orleans, Louisiana
Given that New Orleans is perhaps America’s most haunted city, it’s no surprise the more than 275-year-old French Quarter is the home of a ghost or two. However, the presence of ghosts in several bars and the creation of a haunted pub crawl ensure this haunted tour is one of the most unique in the country. Tourists can guzzle spirits as they as they visit the spirits of former patrons who died at the hands of others or committed suicide.
- John’s Pass – Madeira Beach, Florida
When Tampa/St. Petersburg area tourists are tired of the beach, they can visit John’s pass, where residents near the boardwalk and village tell stories of hauntings dating back centuries. Notably, the spirits of two pro-Union farmers from the Civil War era are said to reside by the bridge – they were murdered by confederate militiamen and buried at the south end it.
- Mansfield Reformatory – Mansfield, Ohio
Ghost hunts of 100 people are currently organized at Mansfield Reformatory, which exudes spookiness based on its outward appearance. Its design was patterned after old German Castles, featuring Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque architectural styles. There’s plenty of space for the spirits of tortured inmates to roam freely inside – the reformatory is home to the largest free-standing steel cell block in the world.
- Old Town Key West – Key West, Florida
Known as a charming place frequented by beachgoers from around the country, Old Town Key West possesses an eerie dark side. Residents have endured years of inhabitance by the spirits of pirates, smugglers and wreckers who frequented the island centuries ago. Included in the tour of the Old Town is a visit to Robert the Doll, which is possessed with evil spirits. Robert has been known to black out photos, tap on the glass of his display case and shift the position of his toy lion.
- Shanghai Tunnels – Portland, Oregon
The Shanghai Tunnels in Portland were used to house men and women who were randomly kidnapped from the street, transported to the harbor and shipped to the orient for slave labor and prostitution. It’s believed by locals that the ghosts of some of the kidnapped reside in the tunnels, haunting those who set foot inside of their now permanent home.
- Naperville Neighborhood – Naperville, Illinois
Author and Naperville ghost historian Diane Ladley dubbed the Chicago suburb as the “The Most Phantom-friendly City in the Midwest.” Several events are blamed for the haunting of the town, including the Naperville train wreck of 1946. Ghost tourists get to experience the eerie-feeling neighborhood, featuring Victorian style mansions and brick walkways lit by old fashioned street lanterns.
- State of Capitol of New York – Albany, New York
During the fall, the State of Capitol of New York offers Capitol Hauntings Tours, which give visitors the chance to view the spot where a night watchman named Samuel Abbot perished during the Capitol fire of 1911, learn about the two presidents who visited the capitol after they died, listen to the story of the Secret Demon, and view other areas that have been deemed haunted within the building. Of course, the spookiness only pertains to the supernatural beings that may live in the capitol and not the dealings of the politicians who work in it.
- Provost Dungeon – Charleston, South Carolina
The Provost Dungeon located below the Old Exchange Building in Charleston predates the 19th century. It was constructed not long after the Revolutionary War to hold prisoners who were both hardened criminals and innocents – many of whom died from diseases and illnesses fostered by the damp and unsanitary conditions. The Dungeon is a hotspot for ghosts in a town that’s one of the most haunted in the nation.