The Most Haunted Buildings in North America
Spooky Season is well and truly here … and it is a BIG deal in the USA and Canada. To celebrate this most creepy of seasons, we wanted to share some of the most haunted places on the continent with you.
Are you brave enough to incorporate any of these into your next road trip, or have you experienced any paranormal activity at any of these locations? We would love to hear!
The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Fall River, MA
‘Lizzie Borden took an axe …’ You know the rhyme, right?
The Borden family home, and site of Andrew and Abby Borden’s brutal murder in 1892, has now been turned into a museum and bed & breakfast where guests can walk in the footsteps of the family and even stay the night in one of its reportedly haunted rooms.
Andrew & Abby’s daughter Lizzie was long suspected of committing the crime but was never charged, due to a lack of evidence.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Opened in 1829, Eastern State was the first US prison to implement solitary confinement, meaning prisoners had virtually no human contact during their stay (hoods were even placed over their heads when they were moved).
Take a tour of the prison, including the cell of infamous criminal Al Capone. You may see an apparition. Many visitors have also claimed to hear the whispers of the former prisoners.
R.M.S. Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
This ship, which is now a floating hotel in Long Beach, California, has had many lives. It started as a luxury cruise liner in 1936, its passengers including Audrey Hepburn & Elizabeth Taylor. It became a war ship called the ‘Grey Ghost’ in 1939.
Today, the ship is said to be haunted by those who died aboard, including a young sailor who was crushed in the engine room and a crew member who was murdered in cabin B340.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
Massachusetts couple F.O. & Flora Stanley opened this hotel, the inspiration behind Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ in 1909 … and reportedly never left.
Mrs. Stanley is reported to play her piano in the music room at night and Mr. Stanley is said to show up in photographs. Bags have been reported to be unpacked, lights turn on and off and children’s laughter has been heard in the hallways.
Stay the night, if you dare, or take a tour of the premises.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, WV
The facility was opened to patients in 1864 and by 1950, it had 2,400 inhabitants even though it was only designed to house 250. Hundreds of patients, who suffered from a range of afflictions like alcoholism and epilepsy, died here and their spirits are said to haunt the asylum.
You can now tour the building, which officially closed in 1994.
The Old Spaghetti Factory, Vancouver, BC
If you travel to Vancouver, go for dinner one night at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown, built above an underground railway track and said to be haunted by four ghosts, including the conductor of a trolley car that forms part of the restaurant's décor.
He is said to sit at the tables in the trolley, rearrange table settings and create inexplicable cold drafts.
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, AB
Along with being one of the most luxurious hotels in Canada, it is also rumoured to be one of the most haunted.
Built in 1888, it is reportedly home to several ghosts, including a bride who allegedly died falling down the hotel’s marble staircase and a bellman named Samuel McAuley who haunts the corridors dressed in full uniform. During your stay, listen out for the ding of an elevator when no one is around or doors that appear to open on their own.
Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, MB
There are reports that there is a specific room at this 1913 hotel that has blood trickling down its walls. Guests have also reported seeing a female apparition crying in the hotel’s lobby while others have heard rattling silverware, strange noises and the vague feeling of a presence while staying here.
Visit at your own risk!
Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC
The castle, built in the 1890s by Robert Dunsmuir, is one of Victoria’s most loved tourist attractions and one of its most haunted. Visitors have reported hearing a mysterious piano playing and others claim to have seen a woman in white, supposedly Mrs. Dunsmuir, looking out the window.
Many attribute the castles’ supernatural proclivity to Dunsmuir’s untimely demise just a year before the building was completed.
The Keg Mansion, Toronto, ON
Now a Keg steakhouse in downtown Toronto, the mansion was once the home of industrialist Hart Massey and his family. Legend has it that after the death of Massey’s daughter in 1915, their maid was so distraught that she completed suicide in the building.
Many diners have reported having seen the maid and several other spirits. So much so, in fact, that the staff at the restaurant keep a ‘ghost log’ to document encounters.