Where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming has long been considered a wild state, home to some of the most beautiful public lands in America. Settled by the Crow, Arapaho, Lakota and Shoshone, the initial white explorers through the region felt the expansive state was uninhabited. Settled by the Spanish and French before the Lewis and Clark expedition, Wyoming later became central to the Oregon migration and later home to the first national park.
More than just the buffalo roam in the wild ranges of Wyoming. Restless spirits can also be found in this wide open state and sometimes in places least expected. A ghost ship known as a harbinger of death sails along the plains while a helpful ghost helps tend bar at a hotel named after the first western novel. A Japanese internment camp still haunts a community named for a famous American explorer and guests at a national park hotel might get more than they bargained for during their stay. A ghostly hotel housekeeper is still tucking guests into their beds long after her death. No one is truly alone on the range in Wyoming.
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.
As it took a while to explore the interior, the coastal areas still remain the most populated parts of the Evergreen state with vast wildernesses set aside inland. However, even in the most remote parts of Washington, you might not be alone. The family of a wealth Tacoma businessman still haunt the home that stood in for Stephen King’s Rose Red. A Moorish-style theater is known for its stunning interior and three ghosts. Hikers visiting the ruins of a former mental hospital have reported strange encounters. An Irish pub located in a former funeral home has spirits not served at the bar.
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.
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.
From the rolling plains to the sharp rocky outcroppings of the Badlands and Black Hills, there are plenty of places for secrets to hide in South Dakota. The ghosts of native peoples roam the site where they were massacred and a former school and hospital known for its past abuse. A famed wild west town is haunted by spirits from its rowdy past. A public park has a haunting history going back to the days of Lewis and Clark. Two ghostly lovers are said to be looking for each other at a site known for a death-defying feat by a famous outlaw.
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.
Oregon has always attracted colorful characters from different backgrounds, which is perhaps why the supernatural residents of the Beaver State have chosen to hang around. One of the state’s most photographed lighthouses is also the source of one of the state’s most famous ghost stories. A murdered girl haunts the park where the state’s Shakespeare festival is held. A vampire, a cross-dressing miner and a famed American author are all said to haunt a historic roadside tavern. A dead volcano is said to be a gathering point for witches and demonic entities. A popular hotel and performance venue has a haunting history as a former almshouse and hospital. Things in Oregon aren’t always what they seem.
Political turbulence arising from racism, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl continued to haunt the Sooner state and in many ways still do. Perhaps this is why Oklahoma has so many ghosts clinging to their past. A strange phenomena lights up a corner of the state known as the Devil’s Promenade. The ghost of a murdered woman is still looking for something: either her baby or her head. The King of Western Swing is still belting out tunes at the venue that launched his career. One of the most popular hotels in Oklahoma City is also known for giving out-of-state teams the fright of their lives when they come in for away games. The spirits of Choctaw girls can still be seen on the grounds of the government-sponsored school where they were killed and secretly buried. It seems not everything in Oklahoma is A-OK.
While many consider it a remote state, North Dakota is more than just the geographical center of the country. It has a rich folklore and strange tales involving both the infamous and obscure. A teenage girl murdered by a peddler is said to haunt a bridge over the Pembina River. The restless spirits of native children forced into a boarding school at a former reservation fort may be behind the dark presences felt there. A pioneer mother keeps watch over a children’s museum and the home of a murderous French marquis is known for its strange phenomena. When in North Dakota, it might be best to watch who you let in from the cold.
Spooky stories and terrifying tales found along the road less traveled.