Five Most Haunted Places in America
Despite being a relatively young country compared to many others in the world, the United States has a rich and complex history. It is this history which has given the nation some of its best ghost stories and mysterious haunted landscapes. Among the numerous ghost filled halls of the country a handful of places stand out, so now it is time to take a look at Five of the Most Haunted Places in America. Just a friendly if you feel the need to visit any of these places, look out ahead of time to ensure that you will not be trespassing.
1. Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): In one of the oldest cities in America, Dr. Benjamin Rush sought to apply Enlightenment Era thinking to crime and punishment by creating a prison that sought to fill inmates with guilt by breaking them down. Those imprisoned in this intimidating stone structure were isolated in their own private cell with human interaction kept at an absolute minimum. During its time in operation Eastern State Penitentiary housed such infamous people as; Al Capone, Clarence Alexander Rae, and William “Slick Willie” Sutton. The prison eventually closed due to the outcry over its harsh treatment of prisoners and it now stands as a monument to an era long ago, but those who suffered behind its walls refuse to be forgotten. Over the years which followed its closure, there have been reports of footsteps and voices heard throughout its now empty halls as well as apparitions spotted still doing time. Many sites in the now abandoned prison have developed reputations for their unique supernatural events; from the horrifying cackling from Cell Block 12 to the blink-and-you-missed them shadow figures in Cell Block 6. In recent years, around October, the real life haunted prison becomes home to a haunted attraction to scare those brave enough to wander its halls. As expected, with employees spending so much time in the old prison, their have been numerous encounters with the ghosts of long ago.
2. Orpheum Theatre (Memphis, Tennessee): This beautiful historic entertainment venue in my hometown of Memphis has given audiences; Broadway shows, films, live performances, and one of the Bluff City’s most famous ghosts. In 1921, while the theatre operated under a different name, a young girl named Mary was hit by a car on Beale Street and rushed into the lobby of the theatre where she tragically passed away from the incident. But the young girl’s story does not end with her untimely death, as she has been spotted by patrons and employees throughout the decades, often in her favorite seat in the house in C5. With as many major entertainers who have performed on the Orpheum’s stage, Mary has had no shortage of witnesses, including the legendary Yul Brynner who often saw the spectre during his stint performing The King and I. Perhaps the strangest encounter with Mary came at a concert when many patrons, drawn by a white light in the lobby left the auditorium to investigate only to discover the apparition of the young girl dancing to the music that was played. Mary is said to be one of several spirits who haunt the Orpheum Theatre, but she stands as the most active one. Employees recognize that Mary would rather play childish pranks than harm anyone, so they embrace her with open arms.
3. Villisca Axe Murder House (Villisca, Iowa): Restless spirits have often arisen from horrible events, and few events in the American Heartland have been as brutal as the unsolved murder of the Moore family in 1912. Family patriarch Josiah Moore, was a well respected businessman in his community so the fact that someone would murder him as well as; his wife, children and their friends is such a savage manner sent shockwaves throughout the town of Villisca. At some point during the night, the innocent family was hacked to pieces as they slept and the killer who carried it out has never been identified, despite accusatory fingers being pointed at some rather prominent suspects. In the time which followed, the community tried to move past the horrible slayings, they offered free rent for six months to anyone who would be willing to move into the old house but nobody was willing to stay for more than a few nights as they experienced, voices, apparitions, and the furniture moving. Perhaps the most chilling event happened to a family in the 1960’s who tried to take up residence there watched as their father stabbed through his own hand with a knife. Of all the spirits which reside in this house, none are more frightening than the one who resides in the attic, believed by many to be the murderer himself. The specters which haunt the Villisca Axe Murder House are not mischievous and friendly, they are volatile and incredibly active still troubled over the events which occurred all those years ago
4. The Sultan’s Palace (New Orleans, Louisiana): New Orleans is a city which holds a certain mystique, with a colorful history it has become synonymous with; vampires, voodoo, and crime. In the midst of the legendary French Quarter is a building with a brutal past that fills even the citizens of the Big Easy with dread, the Sultan’s Palace began life as a Greek Revival style mansion flourished by wrought-iron railings, owned by a local businessman. He rented out the Gardette-LaPrete House to a mysterious man from Turkey who claimed to be royalty and was dubbed by the locals as, the Sultan. The Sultan brought with him an entourage of strange people who locked themselves away in the home. Rumors of strange parties and rituals began to circulate among the city as strange smells and sounds poured out from behind the closed doors of the mansion. One day people noticed something strange pouring out from under the door to the house, it was a pool of blood. Inside the citizens of New Orleans, discovered nothing short of a house of horrors, as the Sultan’s entourage had been hacked to pieces. The only one spared this fate was the Sultan himself, for he received a far worse fate. With one hand sticking out from the ground, he was found to have been buried alive in traditional Islamic funereal attire. Despite rumors of pirates and political rivals, nobody knows who was behind this horrendous murder. Naturally following such an event the ghostly entities left behind began to make their presence known; with the sounds revelry and the scent of incense filling the air. The more horrifying encounters with otherworldly entities have involved the sounds of body parts falling to the ground and sighting of the Sultan himself wandering the halls.
5. Sloss Furnaces (Birmingham, Alabama): Often when an industry dies, something remains behind, in Birmingham, Alabama the ghosts of those who worked in this now abandoned site share the grounds with other entities who are reported to reside in the old furnaces. It would be putting it mildly to say that employees had to work in incredibly dangerous conditions and many men met their gruesome ends by being burned alive or ground up in machinery gears. This produced a great deal of paranormal activity to go along with the dangers at the work place, as the nights were filled disembodied screams of agony and brief glimpses of people who were not actually there. The furnaces were closed in the 1970’s but it did not go out without one final strange event. On it’s final night of operation, the night security guard was attacked by a demonic entity, who left him with serious burns. To this day the activity continues, with the ghost of a brutal foreman known as the Slag proving to be the most noticeable of the lost souls as he is still heard harassing employees in the afterlife. Much like Eastern State, the owners of this historic site have been able to turn the supernatural reputation of the furnaces into a haunted attraction.