What Are the Most Haunted States in America (By Region)?

Updated May 17, 2021
Mission San Antonio de Valeroj in Alamo (1744) at night

Chill seekers across the United States have the opportunity to experience nearby haunts because every state in America is apparently teeming with ghosts. Regardless of which state you live in, if you're a ghost enthusiast, you're in luck. Your state is probably haunted. However, some of America's states have more haunted reputations than others. Take a look at the most haunted state in each region and plan your next ghostly adventure.

Northeast - Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has one of the country's most well-known and active haunts: Gettysburg. The Civil War battlefield makes nearly every top 10 most haunted places in the United States list, which is enough to catapult Pennsylvania to the top as the northeast's most haunted state. Pennsylvania is also home to one of the country's most haunted prisons, Eastern State Penitentiary, as well as the Aaron Burr House in New Hope, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, and Fort Mifflin, also in Philadelphia. Because it's steeped in American history, if you're looking to meet a ghost that rubbed elbows with America's Founding Fathers, it seems like Pennsylvania might just be the place to do it.

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pickett's Charge Fields

Honorable Mention - New York

New York is no slouch as a haunted state, and it's easy to see why. From America's most infamous haunted house, The Amityville Horror house on Long Island, to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (yes, that Sleepy Hollow) in Westchester County, New York is practically overrun with ghosts.

South - Louisiana

Louisiana often receives top billing as a haunted state because of New Orleans. The city is well-known for its hauntings. Visitors can stay in haunted hotels, visit haunted houses in the French Quarter, stop by the haunted Lafayette Cemetery, or learn about NOLA's voodoo and black magic roots. Whether you stay at the haunted Myrtle's Plantation in St. Francisville or sip a famous Hurricane cocktail at Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans, if you keep your eyes peeled, you just may see a ghost.

Lafayette Cemetery in NOLA

Honorable Mention - Kentucky

You can't discuss the haunted South without mentioning Kentucky, and it seems you can't throw a rock in Kentucky without hitting a ghost (or at least passing through one). One of America's most infamous haunts resides here - the Waverly Hills Sanitorium in Louisville. It's a former TB hospital where thousands are rumored to have died, and investigating it is on the bucket list of many paranormal enthusiasts. You can also go for a drink and to listen to some music while keeping an eye out for ghosts at Bobby Mackey's Music World in Wilder, a place so haunted that it actually has warning signs that say, "Management is not responsible and cannot be held liable for any actions of any ghosts/spirits on this premises." Visit if you dare.

Midwest - Ohio

Topping the list for the Midwest's most haunted is Ohio. With its industrial background and plenty of tragedies, Ohio has haunted houses, haunted amusement parks, and haunted prisons, and it is rich with urban legends, lore, and creepy ghost stories. So where do you go to see a ghost in Ohio? Lots of places, apparently. For example, the supremely haunted Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield is a spooky former prison that was the site of a violent riot, and it's said that angry ghosts remain. And Boston Township, an abandoned town colloquially known as Helltown, is a place steeped in lore and cloaked in mystery that includes urban legends about chemical spills, government coverups, and Satanic worship.

Ohio and Erie Canal, Boston Township, Ohio, USA

Honorable Mention - Illinois

Whether it's the ghosts of residents of the Ashmore Estates, a former almshouse in Coles County, Illinois, or Chicago's glamorous and haunted Drake Hotel, Illinois is home to a ghost or two. Or more. Chicago has plenty of well-known haunted hotspots, but that doesn't mean the rest of the state is free of specters. In the Midwest, it turns out, Illinois is a great place to get your ghost on.

West: California

If you live out West, California is a ghost lover's paradise. The Golden State is full of sunshine, sure, but it also has its share of haunted places. Many of the hauntings extend back to the Gold Rush, but you can also find storied haunted houses like the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose and the Whaley House in San Diego, haunted ships such as the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, haunted prisons like Alcatraz, and even haunted hikes. From the mystique of Old Hollywood and the megastars of the movie industry to the rugged coastline that has seen numerous shipwrecks, no matter what part of the Golden State you visit, there's likely to be a haunted place nearby.

Abandoned building at Alcatraz

Honorable Mention - Nevada

There's more to Nevada than Las Vegas including a rich history that seems to have generated a lot of hauntings. Along with the Silver Rush and Gold Rush and the legendary Las Vegas mob bosses, Nevada has a number of creepy haunts including the old boomtown, Virginia City (home of the haunted Washoe Club), Hoover Dam, Boulder City, haunted mines, and the Goldfield Hotel, first made famous on the television show Ghost Adventures. So if you visit for the bright lights of the big city, stay for the ghosts. You won't be disappointed.

Southwest - Texas

Remember the Alamo? Yeah - the ghosts do, too, because they never left. Everything's bigger in Texas, including its ghosts. The state is rich in history and strife, making it fertile grounds for hauntings. In fact, San Antonio is one of America's most haunted cities with ghosts around every corner. In Galveston, you can stay at the haunted Hotel Galvez (stay in room 505 if you dare!) or head to Saratoga and keep an eye out for the Bragg Road Ghost Lights. Want to belly up to the bar next to a ghost? Then the La Carafe Wine Bar in Houston is not only one of the oldest buildings in town, but also one of its most haunted. So saddle up, ghost cowboys! If it's spirits you seek, then Texas is definitely the place to be.

Honorable Mention - Arizona

A lot of spooky stuff happens in the desert, as people who live in and visit Arizona can attest. The state is packed with Wild West history that seems to have left behind some residual energy. Southeast of Phoenix and Tucson, you'll find Tombstone...even the name is kind of ghosty. And ghosts you'll find here, for this is the site of the historic gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the home of the historically haunted Bird Cage Theater. Or, head up in the hills yonder overlooking the Verde Valley to visit haunted Jerome, the "wickedest town in the West." It's home to a ghost town and The Asylum Restaurant, a haunted hospital turned dining establishment. Whether it's the Wild West or ancestral cave dwellings, there are a lot of haunted hotspots to explore in Arizona.

Is Your State Most Haunted?

Even if you don't live in one of the above states, you're not out of luck. Every state has its reports of ghostly activity. So no matter where you are in the United States, pay attention and you just might encounter a ghost.

Trending on LoveToKnow
What Are the Most Haunted States in America (By Region)?