The Three Most Haunted Places in America
America has its fair share of haunted places. From abandoned penitentiaries and asylums to battlefields and famous murder scenes, the country has plenty of macabre spots where the barrier between our world and the other side seems to weaken. However, there are some sites that seem to be more haunted than others scattered across the country, possibly because the horrors that occurred in these sites were so inhuman. These are the three most haunted places in America.
Villisca Axe Murder House
Located in Villisca, Iowa, this sprawling house is the site of one of the most infamous unsolved mass murders in U.S. history. On the night of June 10, 1912, 43-year-old Josiah B. Moore, his 39-year-old wife Sarah, their four children – Herman (11), Mary Katherine (10), Arthur Boyd (7), and Paul Vernon (5) – and two neighborhood children spending the night – 8-yesr-old Ina Mae and 12-year-old Lena Gertrude Stillinger – were brutally murdered.
All eight victims were found the next morning with woulds consistent with bludgeoning by axe. Despite numerous suspects and two trials, no one was ever convicted for the crime. In the century + since the murders, various residents of the home have reported “visions of a man with an ax, children crying and unexplained paranormal activity.” These happenings have only increased since the home was renovated back to its 1912 form and turned into a tourist attraction.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, located in Weston West Virginia, was open from 1864 to 1994. The asylum was allegedly overcrowded, unsanitary, and lacked the basic essentials of life, including fresh water and heating. Over the 130 year it was open, well over 100 inmates at the asylum died at the asylum, many under mysterious circumstances.
In the 25+ since its closure, the site has become a hotspot for paranormal activity. Currently, the Trans-Allegheny site offers several types of paranormal tours. These include Ghost Hunts and paranormal tours of both he Main Building and the Medical, Forensics and Geriatrics buildings. The tour’s are advertised by the site’s current owners as follows:
The Asylum has had apparition sightings, unexplainable voices and sounds, and other paranormal activity reported in the past by guests, staff, SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy, the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Challenge. Step back in time and see how the mentally insane lived, and died, within these walls.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is alleged by many to be the single most haunted building in America. The prison, known colloquially as ESP, was open from 1829 until 1971. ESP was revolutionary for its approach to imprisonment. Based on Quaker ideals, the penitentiary emphasized “principles of reform rather than punishment.” To modern ears this may make ESP sound like it was a comfortable place for inmates, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. The prison’s guards implemented infamously strict rules, even for the time. These included solitary confinement in tiny cells whose only light came from a small skylight nicknamed the “eye of God.” Prisoners were often physically beaten, and kept hooded and chained for the most minor of infractions. Further torture methods included “dousing prisoners in freezing water outside during winter months, chaining their tongues to their wrists in a fashion such that struggling against the chains could cause the tongue to tear, and strapping prisoners into chairs with tight leather restraints for days on end.”
Due to these terrible conditions, many believe that the prison is currently haunted by the spirits of inmates who were mistreated there. According to NPR, “Cellblock 12 is known for echoing voices and cackling; Cellblock 6 for shadowy figures darting along the walls; Cellblock 4 for visions of ghostly faces. Many people have reported seeing a silhouette of a guard in one of the towers. Footsteps. Wails. Whispers. The same stories, over and over again.”
Furthermore, a former guard of the prison site – Gary Johnson – claims that in the early 1990s, ” a force gripped him so tightly that he was unable to move” while on his shift. Furthermore, Johnson has said that a “negative, horrible energy that exploded out of the cell. He said tormented faces appeared on the cell walls and that one form in particular beckoned to him.”
A different as their histories are, these three haunted places all share a common backstory of the terrors of inhuman behavior in life haunting them in death. Would you risk a visit to any of them?