Every state in America has their own famous ghost stories and urban legends. And all of them are equally as creepy as the next.
Here are 10 of the spookiest ghost stories from different states around the U.S.
The Golden North Hotel in Skagway is the setting for Alaska’s creepiest ghost tale. Legend has it that a woman named Mary moved into the hotel during the Klondike Gold Rush with her fiancé, a man who went by the moniker “Klondike Ike.”
Ike set off to prospect gold and find fame and fortune, but he never returned from the rugged Alaskan wilderness. Mary locked herself in her hotel room and waited for her beau. Eventually, hotel workers broke down Mary’s door and found her dead in the room wearing her wedding dress. The story goes that “Scary Mary” still roams the halls, occasionally checking in on hotel guests to make sure Ike isn’t bedding down with anyone else.
What place beside the infamous Alcatraz prison would make this list for California? The foreboding island prison in San Francisco Bay operated from 1934-1963 and housed the likes of Al Capone and James “Whitey” Bulger behind its walls.
The most famous ghost to roam Alcatraz’s hallowed grounds is a prisoner who once called cell 14D his home. Apparently, the prisoner screamed all night, claiming that a ghastly creature with glowing eyes was trying to kill him. The guards ignored his cries, and the next morning the inmate was found strangled to death. A doctor said the injuries could not have been self-inflicted and that the man had strange wounds on his neck.
The Buffalo Rose Saloon in Golden is said to be haunted by a young girl who drowned in a swimming pool in the saloon’s basement in the 1920s. The spirit of the girl is said to still roam the hallways and skip up and down stairs.
An employee who works nights at the bar described the basement where the pool was located as “very bad. Sometimes you can’t go [down] there.”
Lake Lanier in Georgia is said by locals to be cursed. The Army Corps of Engineers flooded nearly 60 square miles of homes, farmland, and businesses in the 1950s to create the large lake. Cemeteries were relocated to accommodate the project.
Freak accidents and mysterious drownings have plagued the lake and some people who have almost died in the waters have described being pulled underneath by a phantom force.
The spooky Old Idaho Penitentiary operated from 1872-1973 and housed more than 13,000 prisoners over 100 years. One of the most notorious inmates to call the jail home was Raymond Allen Snowden, who was known as “Idaho’s Jack the Ripper.”
Snowden was executed in the jail in 1957 and died a slow, painful death. His neck didn’t break when the rope dropped, and it took 15 minutes for Snowden to suffocate. It’s rumored that the killer haunts the premises. Visitors to the jail have described hearing strange sounds and voices and being overcome by extreme sadness.
Growing up near Chicago, I learned about the story of Resurrection Mary at a young age…and it always haunted me. The legend of the ghost says that during the Great Depression, a young woman named Mary went a dance hall near Chicago. Mary got into an argument with her boyfriend and decided to walk home along Archer Avenue, where she was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Mary was buried in nearby Resurrection Cemetery and generations of Chicagoans have reported seeing a young girl in a white dress hitchhiking along Archer Avenue late at night. Sometimes she’s even picked up but disappears from the back seat before reaching her final destination: Resurrection Cemetery.
The sand hills surrounding Hutchinson are known to be creepy as hell and for good reason: a creature known as the Hamburger Man is rumored to haunt the hills, looking for a fresh kill.
Rumor has it that the local legend is only partially man or perhaps survived a horrific accident and is mutilated beyond belief. One thing is for certain: the Hamburger Man is said to carry a large knife and he likes to abduct people and eat them for dinner. Chew on that one for a little while…
The swampy lands of Louisiana are ripe for ghost stories. One legend comes from the state’s Cajun communities and centers around cauchemar: witches that arrive at night, immobilize people in their beds, and ride them like horses. Seriously. Think sleep paralysis but way more terrifying.
Even if a person attempts to scream while being attacked by a cauchemar, it’s no use: the scream can never escape someone’s throat. People have reported having marks and bruises from where a cauchemar beats them a whip. Creepy indeed.
The Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre attracts ghost hunters from all over the country. A prostitute named Lucy was rumored to have worked in a brothel where the hotel now stands.
Lucy and other women died in a tragic fire at the brothel, and Lucy is not happy with men in the afterlife. So she’s taken to haunting the Palmer House, naturally. Lucy is known to slam doors and make the temperature drop drastically when a man is present. Apparently, Room 17 is her favorite haunt.
We already covered Resurrection Mary, but another creepy hitchhiker from haunted lore is the Phantom Hitchhiker of Black Horse Lake. If you happen to drive along Highway 87, you might see a Native American man wearing a jean jacket appear out of nowhere and smash into your windshield.
Locals say the man died when he was hit by a car and has been reenacting the traumatic scene ever since. Keep your eyes peeled…