Home to native peoples for more than 10,000 years, the first white settlers came to Wisconsin in 1634. These early residents were largely French fur trappers and traders as the British didn’t begin taking over the area until the 1700s. Britain took over the territory in 1783 and it remained in British hands until the War of 1821. Immigrants from the New England states, Germany, Ireland and Scandinavia soon gave Wisconsin the population it needed to reach statehood.
With thousands of years of history and a picturesque landscape, visitors to the Badger State shouldn’t be surprised to find that some former Wisconsinites have decided to remain here in the afterlife.Former working girls still hang around the best-loved watering hole in the hometown of the Ringling Brothers Circus. The wife of the man who helped found America’s Swiss Cheese Capital still haunts her massive mansion. The pleasantly plump proprietor of a lakeside inn is spending his afterlife with his beloved grandson in his old business.
West Virginia is also a state known for its haunts. After all, the Mountain State is the only state where the evidence given by a ghost helped convict a man of murder. Long after Zona Heaster Shue appeared in her mother’s dream to tell on her murderous husband, things here still go bump in the night. The ghost of another woman still roams the road where she was murdered. Inmates and mental patients still roam the facilities were they were held in overcrowded conditions. An abandoned amusement park is known for providing more chills than thrills. Restless spirits walk a town marred by a slave revolt and Civil War battle, and a lady in red still lurks around a historic movie house.
Technically a commonwealth rather than a state, Virginia still manages to cling to its old ways despite its modern progress. A president’s boyhood home is haunted by dark family secrets. A mysterious female ghost haunts the historic tavern where she died nameless. Shipwreck victims and the last woman executed for witchcraft in Virginia are among those that haunt a coastal plantation built on a ferry landing. Nurses, soldiers and children are still roaming around America’s first triage hospital while the former home of an early American storyteller and Aaron Burr's lawyer is known for both its unique name and the many ghosts that haunt its grounds.
A New England state known for its skiing, maple syrup, unique dialect, and picturesque scenery, Vermont is one of the least populated states in the country, but its residents don’t seem to mind the solitude. Of course, they may not be truly alone. A haunted rowboat makes no ripples as it sails across the surface of a popular lake. Strange disappearances and a wild creature are said to haunt the cursed land around a peak in the Green Mountains. A nurse who became a patient in her own hospital still tends to the ill at the state’s police academy. One of America’s oldest military colleges is still visited by cadets from the long forgotten past. The beauty of the Green Mountain State might just belie the darker chapters in Vermont’s history.
Just like the early pioneers, the spirits of the Beehive State haven’t given up easily. The sounds of women wailing and a headless miner are spied in a ghost town where one of the deadliest disasters in Utah history occurred. A ghost train awakens hikers staying overnight at a former Chinese labor camp. The hoofbeats of ghostly horses are heard stampeding through a national park. The eleventh floor of a historic hotel has a reputation for strange deaths, and a ghostly murder victim is blamed for the arson of a university building.
Everyone knows everything’s bigger in Texas, and the ghost stories follow suit. Dancers are still cutting a rug at a former dance hall off Route 66. The agoraphobic wife of a Civil War veteran haunts both her former home and the dormitory that bears her name. A World War II sailors enjoys giving visitors a tour of the vessel he once served on. Spirits of the Texas Revolution still roam where they made their last stand. A seaside hotel is known for the appearance of a ghost bride. It seems spirits are never far away, even in the massive Lone Star State.
Various people have left their mark on Tennessee from the native peoples forced to march across the state during the Trail of Tears to the Revolutionary War’s Over the Mountain Boys to the soldiers who marched through it in the Civil War to the mountain people uprooted from their homes as the TVA filled valleys with water. Their presences are still felt here. One of the oldest American hauntings still strikes fear in the hearts of visitors to a small town near the Kentucky border. The soldiers who died in bloody Civil War battles cry out from beyond the grave. Performers country music landmark might find a spirited guest in their audience, and a native curse is said to haunt a popular recreation area.
Of course, being the smallest state doesn’t mean Rhode Island lacks for history - or for hauntings. The employees of one of America’s first textile mills are still heard around their old equipment. A woman in period garb still likes to ride the old carousel at the site of a former Victorian-era amusement park. Two homes belonging to a famous Rhode Island governor have haunted legacies. A blockbuster film helped further blur the distinction between the fact and fiction of a haunting at a farmhouse dating back to the colonial period. Rhode Island certainly has no shortage of spirits.
With such a lengthy and famous history, it should come as no surprise that many of Pennsylvania’s past residents decided to hang around here long after they should have passed on. The wife and mother-in-law of a famed industrialist are still wandering the halls of the art museum that was once their home. A Wilkes-Barre residence is said to have a story more terrifying than the famed Amityville Horror house. A woman and the man who murdered her 200 years ago still haunt the riverside inn where they once worked. A house built by a famous architect is said to still house the spirit of a wronged wife. Spirits from the Revolutionary War still haunt a tavern known for its role in the famed Whiskey Rebellion.
Visitors come to be spooked at what is considered by some to be the most haunted prison in the country. A long-dead cobbler may be behind the noises that wake up the bed and breakfast guests staying in his old workshop. A drowning death at a popular summer retreat spurred numerous guests to come forward with their own tales of terror about the famed resort lodge. Dozens of ghosts haunt a history museum that was used as a school, hospital, and an apartment building. A former lunatic asylum hides in plain sight as the newest acquisition of the University of Ohio. A Victorian maid is still keeping the riverfront hotel where she worked and died spic and span as the hotel's former boss watches over the bar downstairs. These are just a few of the Buckeye state’s favorite haunts.
Spooky stories and terrifying tales found along the road less traveled.