What’s the scariest place you’ll visit at work today?
Is it the courthouse, to attend a hearing you’ve barely prepared for? Or maybe the conference room, where an encounter with a difficult client awaits? Or, heaven forbid, the dreaded copy room, where the copier is making unearthly sounds and chewing up paper like some ravenous beast?
Count your blessings. At least you don’t have to visit the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. That dark, foreboding castle in Weston, West Virginia once housed up to 2,400 patients and has become a hotspot for paranormal investigators.
The asylum was one of the Creepiest Places in America, according to this survey.
Here then, in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, are 20 other sites on the list:
- The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO). This sprawling 142-room mansion was the inspiration for The Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s horror classic “The Shining.”
- Louis Cemetery (New Orleans, LA). One of the oldest gravesites in the country – dating back to the 1700s – the St. Louis has above-ground tombs, guided tours and resident ghosts, including Marie Laveau and Henry Vignes.
- Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast (Fall River, MA). This charming B&B is where Lizzie Borden dispatched her father and stepmother with 40 whacks in 1892.
- The Villisca Ax Murder House (Villisca, IA). For some macabre reason, guests are lining up to stay at the modest Iowa house where eight people were murdered in their sleep in 1912.
- Alcatraz Prison (San Francisco, CA). Visitors to this former maximum-security prison can drop by spooky Cell 14-D, which is always unnaturally cold, and hear spine-tingling screams, moans and banjo playing – allegedly from the ghost of Al Capone.
- The Lemp Mansion (St. Louis, MO). The Lemp family made its fortune in lager beer in the mid-1800s, but their haunted residence is now a go-to destination for ghost hunters.
- Clinton Road (West Milford, NJ). Lots of bizarre sights – including frequent ghosts floating among the ruins of an abandoned zoo - abound along this winding, woodsy lane.
- Winchester Mystery House (San Jose, CA). Among the many weird attractions at this former home to the Winchester firearms family are 150 rooms, endless hallways and ghastly architecture.
- Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, PA). It seems prisons and Halloween go together like candy and apples. This dilapidated building hosts the annual Terror Behind the Walls event, when the ghosts of former inmates come out and play.
- The Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA). At Halloween, ghosts of former passengers make appearances at the annual Dark Harbor party, which is open to the public.
- The Shanghai Tunnels (Portland, OR). This labyrinthine network of underground passages once connected Old Town businesses to the Willamette River, but now it is a place of trap doors and cages.
- The Bird Cage Theater (Tombstone, AZ). If you’re lucky, you might glimpse the apparition of gunfighter Doc Holliday at this legendary theater, saloon and gambling hall.
- The Riddle House (West Palm Beach, FL). This former funeral home is right across the street from Woodlawn Cemetery.
- Seven Sisters Road (Nebraska City, NE). According to local lore, a man hanged seven sisters from seven different trees lining this dark thoroughfare.
- Mizpah Hotel (Tonopah, NV). Numerous guests at this hotel, which was renovated and reopened in 2011, have reported running into the woman in red, who was murdered by her jealous husband.
- West Virginia State Penitentiary (Moundsville, WV). Yet another prison. This one – with its creepy Gothic visage, bloody past, and resident “shadow man” – is popular with paranormal sleuths.
- Felt Mansion (Saugatuck, MI). This eerie residence was built in 1928 by the inventor of the mechanical calculator. Locals say an incalculable number of ghosts reside there today.
- The Bell Witch Cave (Adams, Tennessee). Drive out into the Tennessee countryside and you will encounter the Bell farm and spooky cave where a witch resided in the early 1800s.
- Western Burial Ground (Baltimore, Maryland). This cemetery at the Westminster Presbyterian Churchyard is the final resting spot of Edgar Allan Poe.
- The Amityville Horror House (Amityville, Long Island, NY). The grisly murder of six family members inside this Amityville home in 1974 inspired a best-selling book and movie.