15 Scariest Driving Destinations
For thrillseekers who enjoy a good scare, October is the time to hit the road and drive to some of North America's spookiest spots.
These are the places that try a person’s soul. Across the country there are haunted houses, spooky highways and old prison hospitals that have reports of paranormal activity. Enter these places if you dare.
Below are some hair-raising destinations to consider if you're into the paranormal:
Sloss Furnaces--Birmingham, Alabama
Screams, groans, and even the apparition of a former foreman are routinely reported at this former smelting plant in Alabama. The iron ore smelting plant operated for nearly a century (1882 to 1971), during which around 60 employees died.
Workers succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning, scalding steam from burst pipes, and vats of molten iron.
Now a national landmark, witnesses report echoes and apparitions at Sloss Furnaces. The ghost is said belong to a cruel foreman and occupies the second floor of the Blower Building.
According to folklore, "Slag" can be heard demeaning his workers.
Crescent Hotel--Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This Victorian hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas once home to a 19th century cancer ward routinely appears on lists of America's most haunted destinations.
Hotel guests, a nurse pushing a gurney, and a woman who died after falling from the roof have all been reported by visitors. The hotel offers self-guided walking tours as well as nightly ghost tours.
Highway 666, New Mexico
This roughly 200-mile stretch of pavement shed the mark of the beast in 2003 when it became US Route 491, but rumors of evil apparitions and ghostly encounters stayed behind.
Ghosts appearing in the backseat and a flaming truck attempting to run drivers off the road are among the paranormal events reported on this haunted highway that runs through Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.
Amityville Horror House: Amityville, New York
This infamous haunted house located at 108 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, New York is the scene of grisly murders in 1974 by Ronald DeFeo Jr., who killed his mother, father, and four siblings.
The Lutz family moved into the two story Dutch Colonial in 1975 and immediately announced a host of paranormal activity. Levitation, moving objects, foul odors, dark stains, and demonic apparitions were among the unexplained activities within the home.
Jay Anson authored the controversial "The Amityville Horror: A True Story" in 1977. The home has been bought and sold multiple times in the following decades. It recently sold earlier this year for $605,000.
DeFeo is serving six concurrent sentences of 25 years and is held at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, New York.
Palace Hotel: Port Township, Washington
Guests reportedly have been touched and/or had objects moved around in this three story brick hotel in Port Township, Washington.
Between 1925 and 1933 the hotel housed a brothel with the house madame occupying a corner room on the second level. The brothel closed down after a sheriff's raid in 1933. Apparitions of females are the most common sightings. The most famous apparition is the ghost of a lady in a blue dress. This figure appears in rooms 3 and 4 and is often accompanied by the smell of perfume.
Hero’s Waterworld: Odessa, Texas
Though this doesn't enjoy the paranormal experiences as other locations on this list, the abandoned Hero’s Water World in Odessa, Texas remains an eerie destination.
Opened in 1980, the short-lived amusement park was shuttered after a series of accidents and discrimination lawsuits. Nature has slowly reclaimed the park, now a monument to urban decay besieged by graffiti and vandalism.
Claremont Hotel and Spa: Berkeley, California
The ghost of a girl who died on the property is said to inhabit room 422 of the Claremont Hotel and Spa in Berkeley, California.
The claim received renewed interest in 2014, when NBA player Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs lodged there while in town to play the Golden State Warriors.
“I heard a baby in his room. There was somebody or something in his room. Yeah, I definitely heard something. It wasn’t creepy, because I assumed it was really somebody in the room, and they gave him the wrong room," Duncan said. “But when they told me the story the next day about calling up there and no one in the room, it’s at that point you get chills. I totally agreed with him. There was a baby there, absolutely. I heard about the history of the place, and I’d rather not (stay there again).”
Alcatraz Island: San Francisco, California:
Formerly home to a federal penitentiary, Alcatraz Island sits between the Bay and Golden Gate bridges in San Francisco.
Now a tourist destination, guests and guides alike report hearing screams, banjo music, slamming cell doors, and footsteps. Night tours are also available at the prison that housed notorious criminals like Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, and the first "Public Enemy No. 1" Alvin Karpis.
Burying Point and Salem Witch Trials: Salem, Massachusetts
Sixteen women and four men were executed on suspicion of practicing witchcraft here in Salem, Massachusetts.
Five others (including two infants) died in prison awaiting judgement. Today the site of the 17th century trials hosts a museum and archeological site with names of the accused carved in stone.
The trials are why Salem is nicknamed "Witch City" and why a number of local institutions--Salem Jail, the House of Seven Gables, and Danvers State Hospital--are all rumored to be haunted.
Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California
This Queen Anne Victorian mansion belonged to Sarah Winchester, widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester.
Sarah Winchester and others believed the home to be haunted by the ghosts of people killed by Winchester rifles. Originally seven stories mansion was built without the assistance of an architect.
As a result, the home features staircases that lead nowhere, windows that overlook other rooms and stairs with odd-sized risers. The residence became a four-story home after the 1906 earthquake.
St. Louis Cemetery: New Orleans, Louisiana
The oldest cemetery in New Orleans is rumored to be haunted by ghosts.
Marie Laveau, “The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans” is the most famous spirit to local residents say roams the grounds.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum: Weston, West Virginia
Once a state hospital for the criminally insane, the more than two miles of hallways are said to be haunted by Civil War soldiers and former patients.
Built in 1858, the asylum housed a couple hundred patients, but by the 1950s that number swelled to more than 2,000. The hospital closed in 1994, and guided tours include a nighttime ghost hunting trip.
Moundsville Penitentiary: Moundsville, West Virginia
About 1,000 inmates died in this Gothic-style prison that opened in 1866.
Some one hundred were executed here, and visitors say ghosts of the condemned roam the halls. One apparition is a former janitor who was stabbed to death after reporting inmate activity to the guards.
Sunset tours are available.
Gettysburg Battlefield: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, this haunted landscape has produced paranormal activity.
Visitors report hearing moaning of soldiers and firing of cannons. More than 50,000 soldiers died on the historic battlefield. Devil’s Den, a spot where many remains of soldiers were found after the war, is a popular destination for supernatural activities.
The Stanley Hotel: Estes Park, Colorado
“Here’s Johnny”--two words etched into cinematic history in the movie “The Shining.”
Jack Nicholson’s character, Jack Torrance, has become the Hollywood’s hallmark for psychotic behavior. The Stanley Hotel has become a popular Halloween destination.
Visitors report seeing the hotel’s owner, Mr. Stanley, in the billiards hall and lobby. They also have reported an apparition of his wife, Flora, playing the piano and the ghost of a young boy in room 1211.