15 Places to Search for Ghosts (and What to Look Out For)

Updated July 20, 2021
Man Sitting By Ghost

Do you want to encounter a ghost? If so, you're not alone. Many people are fascinated by the idea of ghosts and hope to have their own haunting experience. But where do you start? If you lack the ability to travel the world seeking spirits, don't worry. It may be possible to have spooky encounters in your own backyard if you know good places to search for ghosts.

Visit Places Where Spirits Are Likely to Linger

While virtually any place can be haunted, some types of locations are more likely to have ghosts than others. For example, on lists of famous haunted places, some trends come to light. These places could have ghosts, so if you live near any of these types of places that are open to the public, check them out.

  • Historical museums with lots of old artifacts
  • Antique shops
  • Very old or historical buildings
  • Places where tragedies have occurred
  • Historic homes
  • Former medical facilities
  • Buildings that served as a mortuary
  • Former prisons or jails
  • Historic hotels and inns
  • Old ships and boats, particularly military ships and ocean liners that now serve as museums, tourist attractions, or hotels
  • Old or historic theaters
  • Old military installations or forts that have been converted to parks
  • Abandoned ghost towns
  • Ruins
  • Battlefields

Start in Your Own Neighborhood

Contrary to what you see on television, ghosts aren't just restricted to old, run-down houses or places where a lot of people have died or a tragedy has occurred (although they may be there). Spirits and spiritual energy can be anywhere, from the brand new McMansion just down the street to the spooky-looking cemetery you pass when you drive your kids to school.

Pay Attention

Pay attention to how you feel when you go places and learn to trust your intuition. If possible, try to quiet your mind and notice any sensations that may be signs of possible paranormal activity. Examples include:

  • Random images or thoughts that pop into your mind
  • The feeling you are being watched
  • Goosebumps or chills
  • Pressure in your ears
  • Visual distortions, such as blurring or wavy "energy" lines (similar to a mirage on a hot day)
  • Smells that are out of place for where you are

Ask Around

Make discreet (or not so discreet) inquiries. Ask people in your neighborhood if they've had odd experiences anywhere or heard any ghost stories about the area.

Learn the History of Your Neighborhood

Research online or visit your local library or museum to learn the history of your neighborhood. Look for interesting information about things that happened there, such as emotionally charged events, large-scale tragedy or illness, or locations that have significant history of some type. Even if the original building that had the history is gone to be replaced by a modern building or home, the energy may still remain with the land.

Explore Places With Energy Conducive to Hauntings

Some places are more likely than others to be haunted, although just because they meet the criteria doesn't mean ghosts will be there. Conversely, the fact that a location fails to meet the criteria doesn't mean there won't be any ghosts.

Places With Old Objects

Museums, antique stores, cemeteries, and second-hand stores or consignment shops all have older artifacts that have belonged to and been used by others. Many of these old objects carry with them the energy of their former owners, especially if the objects were much loved or present when something emotionally significant occurred. Therefore, places with many of these objects (including homes with a lot of antiques) may be more likely than others to have a spirit or two.

Places Where Emotional Energy Is High

Significant emotional energy can leave an imprint on the buildings and land where it occurred. For example, one of the reasons Gettysburg may be so haunted is because of the sheer volume of emotional energy expanded in battle. While it doesn't necessarily have to be a battlefield or the site of a tragedy, if it's a place where there was great emotion, such as a hospital, church, former "poor farm," mothballed naval ship, school, former prison or jail, or even some place that was special and joyful for the people there, it may be more likely to have residual energy that manifests as a ghost or haunting.

Near Water

Psychics and paranormal investigators often notice that water appears to conduct paranormal energy. Therefore, looking near any larger body of water or moving water, such as near a river, large lake, or the ocean, may be a good place to discover paranormal activity. This doesn't mean that every beach in America is haunted, but having a large body of water or moving water nearby can increase the likelihood hauntings are present.

Go When Ghost Activity Is Reported

There's no need for it to be dark when you look for ghosts. If people report experiencing activity at high noon, that's when you should go seek it.

Find Places to Search for Ghosts

While looking for ghosts can be an exciting pastime, it's important to be respectful, both of spirits and the living. Ask for permission before entering private property, don't trespass or vandalize, be courteous with other people and spirits in public spaces, and always follow any applicable rules or laws. Then, enter spaces with an open mind and observe with all of your senses. In doing so, you just may have a paranormal experience.

15 Places to Search for Ghosts (and What to Look Out For)