What Are Some of the Most Haunted Places in the U.S.? The Answers May Surprise You

Did you know that California and Texas are two of the most haunted places in the U.S.? We investigate some interesting spooky stats for Halloween.

Katherine Stinson - Author

Oct. 8 2021, Published 10:20 p.m. ET

Full Moon
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What are some of the most haunted places in the U.S.? The answers are not what you'd likely expect. Spooky season is upon us, and it's time to celebrate before November comes near. If you've already binge-watched all of your favorite Halloween thrillers and still need to get your scare fix, consider checking out one of the most haunted places in America.

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According to a report from Porch, which utilized information from the Shadowlands Haunted Places Index, California has the highest number of haunted sites in America, with 1,029 spooky places to visit. Texas trailed in second, with 674 spooky spots.

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What makes these spots so haunted? Here's a look at the most haunted U.S. places.

Although California and Texas are the states with the most haunted sites overall, Kentucky has both bigger states beat but in terms of concentration of spooky spots. In other words, when it comes to the number of haunted sites per 100,000 people, Kentucky takes the top spot with 79 haunted spots per 1 million residents.

Hang on a minute. When haunted U.S. spots come to mind, it's hard not to automatically think of cities like Salem, Mass. Well, Salem did make the top 10 most haunted small cities list, with 25 haunted sites per 100,000 people. Topping the most haunted small cities list was Mackinac Island, Mich., with a whopping 3,347 haunted sites per 100,000 people. (For perspective, the current population of Mackinac Island is 1,072 people.)

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Mackinac Island? Why is it so haunted? Here's a brief backstory.

The Michigan island has a long history, long before Europeans even reached the shores of North America. Mackinac became a point of contention between the British and Americans during the War of 1812. Before the war, Americans had used Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island as a point of trade until British troops took the fort during the start of the war. A battle broke out to take over control over the island, ending in a British victory. Americans would eventually reclaim the fort.

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According to the official Mackinac Island website, there have been many reports of ghosts of the other fort on Mackinac Island called Fort Holmes. One common sighting is three soldiers conversing, who then suddenly vanish when they notice they've been spotted by visitors. Other visitors have reported sightings of ghosts at the Fort Mackinac hospital.

Here are some other spooky stats that might send chills down the spine.

Another interesting statistic from the Shadowlands index is what the most common spooky sites are in the U.S. It's reasonable to immediately assume graveyards or creepy cemeteries, but they only make up 8 percent of the most common haunted sites in the U.S. Colleges and universities actually have graveyards and cemeteries beat, but only by 1 percent. Unknown sites make up the biggest chunk of this category with 51 percent.

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A spooky forest
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Houses make up 11 percent of America's spookiest sites. There's a house in Salem, Mass. that has a turbulent history that has led to reports of it being haunted today. The Joshua Ward House once hosted Sheriff George "The Strangler" Corwin and is considered to be one of the most haunted sites in Salem.

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Corwin was the sheriff during the infamous Salem Witch Trials and was the one responsible for choosing the site of execution for the 19 people who were hanged upon false accusations of witchcraft. He reportedly would torture the victims of the Salem Witch Trials at the Joshua Ward House before they were executed.

According to Salem Ghosts, one of the spirits that supposedly haunts the Joshua Ward House is Giles Corey, the man who was accused of being a warlock. Corey was found guilty and was subsequently crushed to death by rocks for his "crimes." The man who executed Corey in such an awful manner was none other than Sherrif Corwin himself.

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Nightly Spirits reports that Corey apparently is a ghost regular at the Joshua Ward House. Employees at the house reported that many candles would melt into the shape of an "S." That led some paranormal enthusiasts to believe that it was a sign from Corey himself, still seeking revenge against the sheriff who murdered him on trumped-up charges.

George Corwin was the nephew of Judge Jonathan Corwin, whose home is now another haunted site in Salem known as the Witch House.

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Funnily enough, there's a semblance of gender equality in reported hauntings. In terms of reported sitings of male and female spirits in the U.S., it's an even split at 14 percent apiece. Ghostly children spirit sightings come in at 8 percent, with the unknown category coming in again on top for who haunts America's spooky sites the most at 49 percent.

Spookiness aside, we hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween season. Are you planning on visiting any haunted sites across the U.S. this year?

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