Everyone loves a good ghost story, whether you believe in spirits or not. It’s in our DNA. Curiosity about the paranormal likely dates back to when our ancestors were cave dwellers, and interest in this subject is undiminished today, even after science has explained much of what had been previously unexplained.
There are spine-tingling ghost stories in every state, so we at 24/7 Wall St. are taking this opportunity to tell those stories. We drew on information from the websites of places alleged to be haunted, paranormal resource materials, and media reports to determine the creepiest haunted place in every state. We considered the number of cited haunting incidents as well as the story behind a place’s spectral episodes to decide our choices.
A significant percentage of those surveyed in recent polls have said they believe in ghosts. In 2013 Harris poll 42% of the Americans surveyed said they believed in ghosts. That’s not much different from the results of a HuffPost/YouGov poll a year prior, with 45% of the 1,000 people surveyed citing a belief in an afterlife.
Interest in the hereafter is reflected in our choices of entertainment. The television show “Ghost Hunters,” though criticized by paranormal investigators for its lack of scientific rigor, nevertheless, ran for 11 seasons on the Syfy Channel, becoming one of the cable network’s longest-running series. Books written by prolific supernatural fiction writer Stephen King have sold more than 350 million copies, with some adapted for acclaimed films such as “The Shining,” one of the best horror movies of all time.
Each state has harrowing ghost stories to tell, with their backdrops ranging across a wide spectrum of venues, including houses, hotels, hospitals, libraries, schools, caves, and bridges. Much of the unexplained has been relegated to the area of superstitions, and crazy superstitions can be found in every state.
Managers of many of these places make fantastical claims on their websites about their haunted history online and encourage visitors to share online their curious experiences. In 2014 a British couple visiting Alcatraz reportedly took a picture of a ghostly woman at the shuttered prison and the story appeared in English newspapers. Though Alcatraz officials publicly dismiss reports of apparitions, the supposed sighting of the spectral woman probably didn’t hurt tourism, although the former prison gets more than its share of visitors, like many spots around the world where locals are sick and tired of tourists.