Back to blog listing

Family adventures

The spookiest places in America

Matt Domm October 31, 2014

Vermont Pumpkins

Happy Halloween from Hayes and Jarvis! The eeriest day of the year has arrived, so it’s time to carve those pumpkins, get the sweets ready and wrap up warm in front of a good horror flick.

We know no-one celebrates October 31st quite like the USA, so we’ve picked out five of the spookiest places in the States for you to visit next time you’re across the pond.

The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado

“Heeeere’s Johnny!”
The Stanley Hotel in Colorado is the setting for the most memorable scene from one of the best horror movies ever made. More than this, though, the hotel is thought to be a hotbed for paranormal activity.
Many of the reported ‘hauntings’ have been witnessed in the ballroom, including staff hearing a party from the next room even though it was empty. The founder of the hotel, Freelan Stanley, and his wife, Flora are also believed to be well-dressed regular apparitions. Some you can’t see, however, so beware of invisible hands tugging at your clothing... And if you’re not already terrified enough, The Stanley runs five-hour ghost tours for its guests.

The Queen Mary – Long Beach, California

All good settings for ghost stories start with a troubled history. When she was in service between 1936 and 1967, first as a World War II transport ship and later a luxury liner, the Queen Mary carried both sailors and holidaymakers. With the ship’s activity across four decades it’s only natural that there were a few tragedies on board. And where there’s historical tragedy, there will doubtless be reports of hauntings.
The Queen Mary now operates as a hotel and tours are run regularly, but that hasn’t seemed to put off the resident ghosts. A small girl and two women are sometimes seen roaming the pool area – so keep an eye on your drinks – while a true horror story reportedly happened in the kitchen: a chef who was cooked by troops underwhelmed by his cuisine can still be heard screaming to this day.

The Whaley House – San Diego, California

The Whaley House has had many different guises through the years, from being a home for the Whaley family, a County Court building, then a theatre to its present-day incarnation as a museum. With so much drama having happened in one building there are bound to be skeletons in its closets... And according to America’s Most Haunted, this is the most haunted house in the USA.
A photograph has also been taken here that is seen by many advocates of the paranormal as one of the most conclusive ever. When it was shown to people with knowledge of the Whaley family most agree that the ghostly face looking out the window is the house’s founder and first owner Thomas Whaley.

Alcatraz – San Francisco, California

What’s the best way to deal with criminals? Why, throw them on an island of course, where even if they escape they still have a mile and a half of water to swim across to get to land. The notorious Alcatraz on Alcatraz Island was a military prison from 1868, then a federal one between 1933 and 1963.
A lot of nasty things are believed to have happened here, and especially in the supposed torture chambers of the jailhouse. Although the official line from Alcatraz officials is that the creepy old place isn’t haunted, that doesn’t stop the claims, which include the sound of whispering from prison cells, figures standing in corridors and eerie cold spots around the prison.

The White House – Washington DC

The home of the President of the USA might not strike fear into the hearts of most, but because it’s such a swish home and a privileged position some previous residents have reportedly been reluctant to move out...
Several well-known visitors, including the former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, have claimed to witness the ghoulish figure of the 16th President Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Bedroom on the second floor. Churchill’s recollection was of emerging from the bathroom to see Abe ‘chilling’ by the fireplace. Chilling indeed.