It’s late October here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and Halloween is here! As the leaves begin to fall, we find our storage customers bustling about retrieving their last minute Halloween home and party decorations and costumes from their storage space.
Yesterday I saw one of our tenants at her storage space digging through Halloween items as her preteen daughter ran around her dressed as a ghost, making spooky noises. “Hey Stephanie” I yelled to her – “you’re being haunted!”. “I’ve been haunted by this one since the day she was born” Stephanie replied laughingly.
As I drove back to the storage rental office I was thinking about the stories I had heard of places that were supposedly haunted. In South Jersey we have many places including well known spots including the Pine Barrens and the Victorian City of Cape May that have this reputation. It made me wonder about the rest of the United States, and where the most haunted areas happen to be.
We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most haunted cities in America according to travelandleisure.com…
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is one of the country’s most haunted cities. Stories include churches haunted by the spirits of former priests, soldiers who died but never truly passed on, and homes filled with ghosts – not to mention all the vampire stories. Notable ghosts include author William Faulkner, Andrew Jackson, and pirate Jean Lafitte. Old Absinthe House, open since the early 1800’s, is supposedly haunted by Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau. St. Louis Cemetery is said to be haunted by hundreds of ghosts! These are just a few of the many spooky spots in New Orleans.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Nederlander Theatre was the site of a tragic fire killing hundreds in 1903, and some say the alley behind the theater is still haunted by those unfortunate patrons. The site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, often attributed to Al Capone, reportedly has some residual paranormal energy too.
3. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia, is often ranked among the most haunted cities in the USA. Visitors to Savannah can opt to stay at an allegedly haunted hotel and eat at the restaurants still frequented by spirits that never fully left the earthly realm. The Moon River Brewing Company has been featured on both Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters. Guests have reported seeing a lady in white on the stairs and spirits have been known to mess with the staff. The Pirates’ House restaurant was once a boarding house popular among sailors. Some say that their spirits still visit the restaurant today. Finally, The Marshall House is known as one of the most haunted hotels in the country. It was a hospital during the Civil War and yellow fever epidemics. Guests have reported seeing apparitions in the hallways and hearing ghost children running down the halls at night, among other mysterious things.
4. St. Augustine, Florida
The oldest city in the U.S. is bound to have a residual spirit or two, and lucky for paranormal seekers, St. Augustine is a hotbed of ghost activity. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is one of the historic city’s hot spots, supposedly haunted by girls who drowned there in the 1870s. Visitors have also reported paranormal experiences at Castle Warden, a Moorish-style home built in the 1880s that now houses the first permanent Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, established in 1950. The city has several other haunted locations; you can explore the darker side of St. Augustine on a ghost tour — some even bring along EMF meters to track paranormal activity.
5. Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon is one of the best destinations for ghost hunters. The Shanghai Tunnels are perhaps the most notoriously haunted site in the city — in the late 1800s, the city was a major international port, and underground tunnels were created to transport (often illegal) goods across Portland. According to local lore, residents hanging out at local bars were kidnapped and taken through the tunnels to waiting ships, never to be seen again. Some say the victims’ souls still haunt the bars above ground.
6. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
The site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle is regarded as one of the world’s most haunted places. Some report seeing the ghosts of soldiers on the battlefield. Inns and a farm in the area are haunted, too, according to the Travel Channel. Visitors can take a ghost tour to learn more about the history of Gettysburg and the tragic spirits still said to wander these grounds.
7. Washington, D.C.
Many say the White House is one of the most haunted houses in the U.S., haunted by the ghosts of former residents. President Lincoln’s ghost has been spotted in the Lincoln Bedroom; President William Henry Harrison, who died in the White House, is said to have returned in the afterlife; and first ladies Dolly Madison and Abigail Adams supposedly still linger, tending to the home. D.C. ghost tours take visitors through other allegedly haunted locations, including the National Building Museum, the Congressional Cemetery, and official government buildings.
8. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. – China Camp State Park, the USS Hornet, and the Mare Island Naval Shipyard are all said to be haunted, but the number one San Francisco hot spot has to be Alcatraz. According to the Travel Channel, there are a few ghosts still lurking in the infamous prison, but the spirit of Al Capone is perhaps the most notorious — some say you can still hear him playing his favorite banjo tunes.
9. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts, is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Some say the ghosts of those killed during the Salem Witch trials still linger in Salem to this day — Lyceum Hall is allegedly haunted by the first victim of the trials, Bridget Bishop, according to Atlas Obscura, and Howard Street Cemetery is haunted by Giles Corey, who was tortured to death after being accused of witchcraft. You can learn more about Salem’s spooky side on one of the many ghost tours offered.
10. San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is considered one of the most haunted places in Texas because of the city’s history. The Battle of the Alamo led to thousands of casualties, and Alamo visitors and employees have reported seeing the ghosts of soldiers and hearing mysterious rally cries. The nearby Emily Morgan Hotel is one of the country’s most haunted hotels, too. The property was once a hospital, and some guests now report seeing the apparition of a woman in white in the halls.
So, there you have it, courtesy of The Storage Inn – 10 places that you can visit to scare yourself. By the way…Who knew Al Capone played the banjo?!?