Would you explore the dark, foreboding hallways of a former penitentiary? Would you stay in a bed-and-breakfast that was once a mortuary? Read on for a few spooky, AAA recommended places that may or may not be haunted….
Eastern State Penitentiary
This former prison housed more than 75,000 inmates while in operation 1829-1971. Modern-day visitors can explore the castlelike structure by day on self-guiding tours or by night during “Terror Behind the Walls,” a haunted house experience that takes place on select fall nights. While no executions ever took place inside the penitentiary, some visitors and workers are said to have heard eerie noises in the hallways.
Historic Hotel Bethlehem
Guests of this hotel have reported flickering lights and strange reflections in mirrors in Room 932, the property’s so-called “room with a boo.” Other spots around the 1920s hotel—including the lobby, the kitchen and the restaurant—are said to be inhabited by a handful of friendly ghosts. Reserve a night or two at this AAA Three Diamond hotel and you’ll join the likes of famous guests Henry Ford, Winston Churchill and Amelia Earhart.
Located in historic downtown Savannah, this 13-room inn is a stop on many local ghost tours, where guides relate creepy tales of nighttime apparitions and noises. Some say the strange goings on are related to the inn’s former life as a mortuary. Book an overnight stay at this AAA Four Diamond bed-and-breakfast to investigate for yourself.
The Myrtles Plantation
St. Francisville, La.
The 1796 plantation home, nestled under a thick canopy of live oaks, is rumored to be haunted by strange apparitions that have appeared in photographs and during paranormal investigations. Guided mystery tours on Friday and Saturday nights offer the chance to hear ghost stories and learn the history of the mansion.
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Restored to its former splendor, the luxury 1930s hotel—today a AAA Four Diamond property—boasts a history of mysterious happenings in its appropriately named “Ghost Suite,” where the hotel’s original owner lived, along with his daughter and housekeeper. The daughter and housekeeper are said to have died in the suite, and there are reports from modern-day guests of lights turning on and off as well as unexplained breezes.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Formerly known as the Weston State Hospital, the Civil War-era psychiatric institution housed more than 2,400 patients at its peak in the 1950s. The facility shuttered in 1994 but is now open for daytime history tours as well as ghost hunts and overnight paranormal tours. Apparitions and unexplained voices are sometimes detected in the halls.
West Virginia Penitentiary
Rusty doors, peeling paint, damp corners and dark hallways—the inside of the Gothic-style West Virginia Penitentiary sets the scene for a spooky experience. Guided tours introduce visitors to the retired prison, which was shut down in 1995 after a court deemed its small cells “cruel and unusual punishment.” Nearly 100 men were executed in the facility, leading many to believe the prison is haunted. Nighttime and overnight tours allow guests to explore on their own with investigative equipment.