America isn’t lacking in historic buildings with dark pasts, giving ghost hunters and seekers of the paranormal plenty of options across the States.
Some of the country’s most haunted locations were former hospitals and prisons, where an air of despair and cruelty still lingers amid the lost souls roaming the deserted halls. Some places are merely haunted by those who used to work there, while others have trapped tortured souls that were imprisoned or died at these locations.
Of course, human spirits aren’t the only ones doing the haunting: at least one of these haunted places is home to an entity that may never have been human to begin with.
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7. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar – New Orleans, Louisiana
Opened in 1772, this Louisiana bar was rumored to be a front for Laffite’s smuggling operations and also possibly a hiding place for his stolen pirate’s treasure — a treasure many believe is still hidden buried beneath the bar, and a treasure Lafitte is still guarding to this day, glaring out from the downstairs fireplace. Some staff and visitors to the bar claim to have seen Lafitte’s ghost staring at them from across the room, but as soon as they have a second look he vanishes, leaving behind the faint smell of tobacco.
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6. Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia
This prison was built to hold 250 people, but estimates say that at one point there were 1700 inmates crowded into filthy conditions – not to mention tortured on the premises. Guards would soak prisoners with cold water, outside, in the depths of winter. They would leave their charges in solitary confinement for unnaturally long periods of time, and forbid inmates from talking to each other.
Such cruel conditions created the perfect environment for subsequent paranormal activity, and when the prison shut down in 1971, ghosts are said to have taken over.
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5. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Weston, West Virginia
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was home to thousands of patients suffering mental illness, starting in 1864. Hundreds died here before the hospital closed in 1994, and visitors now hear disembodied footsteps and the screams of patients who suffered shock therapies and lobotomies.