Most Haunted Museums in the USA: A Guide to the Spookiest Collections

  • By: Timothy Rose
  • Date: 21 December 2023
  • Time to read: 36 min.

The United States is known for its beautiful landscapes, but it’s also home to many haunted places. From coast to coast, there are museums, hotels, theaters, and even zoos where ghosts are said to roam. People have reported seeing apparitions and experiencing eerie feelings in these places. If you’re interested in the paranormal, you can explore these spooky sites yourself. Many offer guided tours and some even let you stay overnight. Imagine spending a night in a haunted room! This guide will take you through the most haunted museums in the USA, where history and hauntings intertwine.

One of the most famous haunted museums in the country is the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The museum is known for its collection of odd and unusual medical specimens, including preserved human organs and skeletons. Visitors have reported feeling a strange presence in the museum, and some have even claimed to have seen ghostly apparitions. The museum has been featured in numerous TV shows and documentaries about the paranormal.

Another haunted museum that draws visitors from all over is the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. The sprawling mansion was built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. Legend has it that she was haunted by the ghosts of those killed by the rifle and built the house to confuse the spirits. Visitors to the mansion have reported hearing footsteps, strange noises, and feeling cold spots. The Winchester Mystery House has been featured in several TV shows and movies about ghosts and hauntings.

Understanding the Haunting

When it comes to haunted museums, there are many theories as to why certain locations are believed to be haunted. While some people believe in the supernatural and paranormal activity, others are more skeptical and attribute ghost stories and ghost sightings to psychological and environmental factors.

One theory is that haunted museums may be the result of residual energy left behind by past events or individuals. This residual energy can manifest as ghostly apparitions or other paranormal activity. Another theory is that ghosts may be attracted to objects or artifacts within the museum, such as haunted dolls or other items with a history of supernatural activity.

Many haunted museums also offer ghost hunts or other paranormal investigations, which can help visitors experience the haunting for themselves. However, it is important to note that not all ghost hunts or investigations are created equal, and some may be more credible than others.

Despite the many theories and beliefs surrounding haunted museums, it is clear that these locations continue to fascinate and intrigue visitors from around the world. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there is no denying the eerie and mysterious atmosphere that surrounds many haunted museums and their collections.

In summary, the haunting of museums is a complex phenomenon that can be attributed to a variety of factors, including residual energy, haunted objects, and psychological influences. While some people may be skeptical of the paranormal, others are drawn to the mystery and intrigue of ghost stories and ghost sightings. Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, there is no denying the allure of haunted houses, ghost towns, and other locations that are said to be haunted by the supernatural.

The Concept of Haunted Museums

Museums are institutions dedicated to preserving and displaying objects of historical, cultural, and scientific significance. They are typically associated with education, enlightenment, and the pursuit of knowledge. However, some museums have gained a reputation for being haunted by ghosts and other supernatural entities.

The concept of haunted museums is not new. For centuries, people have reported strange occurrences and unexplained phenomena in museums around the world. These reports often involve sightings of apparitions, strange sounds, and objects moving on their own.

Haunted museums can be found in different parts of the world, but the United States is home to some of the most famous ones. These museums are typically associated with history, art, and culture, and they house a wide range of exhibits and collections that attract visitors from all over the world.

The reasons why some museums are believed to be haunted are varied. Some people believe that the ghosts of former employees or visitors are still lingering in the building, while others think that the objects on display may be the source of the paranormal activity. In some cases, the museums themselves have a dark history, and the ghosts are said to be connected to tragic events that took place on the premises.

Despite the skepticism of some, the idea of haunted museums continues to fascinate and intrigue many people. Some museums even embrace their reputation as being haunted and offer ghost tours and other spooky events to attract visitors.

In conclusion, the concept of haunted museums is a fascinating and complex one that has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, there is no denying the allure of these mysterious and spooky institutions.

Famous Haunted Museums

The United States is home to numerous museums that are believed to be haunted, and some of them have gained a reputation for being particularly spooky. Here are some of the most famous haunted museums in the country – most of which you can still visit

Museum of Death

Museum of Death, located in Hollywood, California, isn’t your typical museum. Its grim title gives you a hint of what’s inside. Born from the curiosity of its founders, J.D. Healy and Catherine Shultz, who started collecting serial killer artwork, photos of crime scenes, and other macabre items, the museum showcases a collection that delves deep into the world of death. The goal? Not to sensationalize, but to demystify death and show its various faces. From exhibits on the history of funeral practices to letters from infamous serial killers, there’s an undeniable chill that hangs in the air.

Museum of Death, Credit Rusty Blazenhoff
Museum of Death, Credit Rusty Blazenhoff

But, beyond the exhibits, there are tales that even the artifacts might not be the only remnants of the past in the museum. Staff and visitors alike have reported paranormal activities. Strange cold spots in certain sections, faint whispering when no one’s around, and even the occasional feeling of being watched. Some speculate that the energies attached to the personal items on display, especially those of violent or tragic origin, could be the source of these anomalies. Richard Ramirez’s drawings, John Wayne Gacy’s paintings, and pieces from other notorious figures might be more than just ink and paint. Could it be that these items carry with them the restless spirits of their past, or is it all just a trick of the mind, amplified by the unsettling ambiance of the museum? Whatever the case, the Museum of Death remains a place that confronts visitors with both the reality of mortality and the mysteries of the unknown.

International Cryptozoology Museum

Nestled in the heart of Portland, Maine, the International Cryptozoology Museum stands as a testament to the mysterious and unexplained creatures of folklore and legend. Founded by Loren Coleman, a passionate cryptozoologist, the museum is a cornucopia of oddities that delve into the realm of cryptids – creatures that are rumored to exist based on anecdotal evidence, but have not been proven scientifically. From the infamous Bigfoot to the elusive Chupacabra, the exhibits provide a deep dive into the tales and myths surrounding these creatures, aiming to shed light on the science and history behind the world’s most enigmatic beasts.

But the allure of the museum doesn’t just end with the exhibits. Over the years, there have been whispers of strange occurrences within its walls. Visitors have mentioned feeling an odd sensation or a subtle chill in certain areas. Others have sworn they’ve heard faint rustlings, as if some creature was scampering just out of sight. One particularly eerie tale revolves around a Mothman statue, which some claim seems to shift its gaze when no one is looking directly at it. Some believe these occurrences could be the energy of the cryptids themselves, making their presence felt. After all, with a place that houses artifacts and relics linked to creatures that tread the line between fact and fiction, who’s to say what’s truly possible? The International Cryptozoology Museum invites the curious to question, to believe, and to experience the unexplained.

Glore Psychiatric Museum

The Glore Psychiatric Museum, located in St. Joseph, Missouri, provides a haunting glimpse into the history of mental health treatment. Established on the grounds of what was once the State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, the museum showcases the evolution of psychiatric care over the years. The artifacts range from bizarre therapeutic devices like the “tranquilizer chair” to more conventional items like patient art and medical instruments. The aim is to shed light on the often dark past of mental health care and raise awareness about the importance of humane treatments. The building’s history, intertwined with the suffering and experiences of its patients, sets a somber backdrop for the exhibits.

Glore Psychiatric Museum
Glore Psychiatric Museum

Yet, beyond the tangible exhibits, the museum is also rife with tales of the supernatural. Over the years, visitors, staff, and paranormal investigators have reported a plethora of eerie occurrences. Soft whispers echoing in the hallways, fleeting shadows darting across rooms, and cold spots that appear inexplicably are among the most commonly cited experiences. A notable apparition is that of a woman in white, believed to be a former patient, who roams the corridors, her melancholy gaze searching for something – or someone. Some also claim to have felt a heavy sense of sadness or unease in certain sections of the museum, perhaps residual energies from the tormented souls that once inhabited the asylum. The Glore Psychiatric Museum stands not just as a beacon of education but also as a testament to the countless stories, both known and unknown, that are etched into its walls.

Edgar Allen Poe Museum

The Edgar Allan Poe Museum, situated in Richmond, Virginia, is a tribute to one of the most iconic figures in American literature. Celebrating the life and works of the master of macabre, the museum is housed in the oldest building in Richmond, known as the “Old Stone House.” It’s a fitting location for such a museum, considering Poe’s ties to the city and the dark, atmospheric themes of his works. The museum displays a rich collection of Poe’s manuscripts, letters, and personal belongings, painting a vivid picture of the enigmatic writer’s life, tragedies, and inspirations.

However, as one might expect from a place dedicated to Poe, there’s an aura of the supernatural that surrounds the museum. Visitors and staff have recounted numerous unsettling experiences. Soft, melancholic whispers are sometimes heard when the rooms are empty. There’s the frequent sensation of being watched or followed, even when alone. But the most compelling story is of a shadowy figure, bearing a resemblance to Edgar Allan Poe himself, seen wandering the premises, especially near the garden. Some believe it’s Poe’s spirit, still lingering around his beloved artifacts, perhaps seeking solace or looking to pen another tale from beyond the grave. Whether these tales are mere products of overactive imaginations, fueled by the eerie ambience of the museum, or genuine paranormal occurrences remains a matter of personal belief. Nevertheless, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum offers both a journey into the literary genius’s life and a brush with the mysteries of the unknown.

Vent Haven Museum

The Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, is an unusual and captivating destination. This museum is the world’s only institution dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. Boasting a vast collection of over 900 ventriloquist figures, photographs, playbills, and historical books, it traces the history and evolution of this unique performance art. William Shakespeare Berger, a Cincinnati businessman and amateur ventriloquist, founded the museum. Over time, his humble collection grew, turning his private passion into a public spectacle. Walking through the museum, one can witness the evolution of ventriloquism, from its roots in religious rituals to its prominence on vaudeville stages.

Vent Haven Museum – Credit 5chw4r7z

But with a museum filled to the brim with dummies, it’s no surprise that there are tales of eerie happenings. Many visitors claim that the eyes of certain dummies seem to follow them as they move around. Others have heard faint, untraceable murmurs and whispers echoing through the halls, reminiscent of a ventriloquist’s act. The most notorious story revolves around a dummy named Mr. Punch, who, according to some, seems to change his expression or position ever so slightly when no one’s looking. Is it the residual energy from the countless performances these figures have been part of, or is it just the unsettling atmosphere created by hundreds of staring, silent faces? The line between the animated and inanimate becomes blurry in the Vent Haven Museum, making it a place of fascination, art, and mystery.

Mütter Museum

Situated in Philadelphia, the Mütter Museum is not for the faint of heart. Dedicated to the world of medical oddities, this museum, part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, houses a collection of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments. Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter initially donated the collection, with the hope that it would benefit medical students and practitioners by showcasing various conditions and the progression of medical science. The museum showcases everything from a slice of Einstein’s brain to the fused livers of conjoined twins, giving visitors a unique insight into the rare and often unsettling aspects of human anatomy.

But as with many places housing the remnants of the deceased, there’s an air of the supernatural that permeates the Mütter Museum. Over the years, staff and guests have recounted unusual experiences. The most famous exhibit, the plaster cast and conjoined liver of Chang and Eng Bunker, the original “Siamese Twins”, is said to emanate a peculiar energy. Some have mentioned feeling a sudden drop in temperature or an inexplicable sadness when near certain specimens. Whispered conversations, when no one else is around, and fleeting reflections in the glass cases add to the eerie atmosphere. Some believe the spirits of those on display might still linger, attached to the remains that once belonged to them. Whether it’s the pull of the mysterious or the undeniable scientific marvels, the Mütter Museum remains a place of wonder, learning, and reverence for the complexities of the human body.

Morbid Anatomy Museum

The Morbid Anatomy Museum was a captivating space situated in Brooklyn, New York. Rooted in a fascination for the intersection of death, art, and culture, the museum explored topics that are often deemed taboo or morbid (hence the name). Its exhibits were a curious blend of art, historical artifacts, and natural history specimens, aiming to provide insight into how various cultures approached death, mourning, and the macabre. From Victorian hair art to taxidermy classes, the museum served as a treasure trove for those intrigued by the darker facets of human nature.

Morbid Anatomy Museum - Credit On Being
Morbid Anatomy Museum – Credit On Being

But a museum delving deep into topics of death and the arcane isn’t without its whispered legends. Over its years of operation, the Morbid Anatomy Museum had its share of spine-tingling tales. Attendees occasionally spoke of an uncanny feeling that washed over them while perusing the artifacts. Some claimed to see mysterious shadows flitting around corners, while others reported an odd sensation of being gently touched or caressed by unseen hands, especially near exhibits linked to mourning practices. A favorite anecdote among museum-goers concerned a vintage photograph of an unknown woman. People often felt that her eyes seemed to follow them, carrying a deep, searching sorrow. Whether these tales stemmed from the museum’s ambiance or were genuine encounters with the unknown, they added an extra layer of allure to the museum. Sadly, the Morbid Anatomy Museum closed its doors in 2016, but its legacy, filled with both educational pursuits and eerie tales, lives on in the memories of its visitors.

Haunted Museums by State

Museums are often considered as places of knowledge and learning, but some museums in the USA are also known for their paranormal activity. Here are some of the most haunted museums in the USA, state by state.

New York

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is an iconic institution that has been delighting and educating visitors for over a century. Sprawling across multiple buildings in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, it offers a vast collection that covers everything from dinosaurs and outer space to ancient civilizations and biodiversity. The museum’s dioramas, particularly, are renowned for their lifelike representations of animals in their natural habitats, transporting visitors to far-flung corners of the world.

American Museum of Natural History – Credit incognito7nyc ✈️❤NewYork

However, any institution with a history as rich as this one isn’t without its tales of the unexplained. Among the countless artifacts and specimens, some stories hover in the realm of the eerie. One of the most talked-about tales centers around the African and Oceanic art sections. There have been whispers of soft drumming sounds echoing through the halls at night, even when no one is present. Then there’s the famous story of the cursed Easter Island statue. Some staff members believe that this Moai statue, named “Mang,” carries with it an ancient energy. There have been reports of electronic devices malfunctioning near it, and some even claim to have felt a peculiar vibration or hum when touching its cold stone surface.

Another intriguing tale comes from the Hall of Gems and Minerals. Some nighttime security guards have mentioned seeing ghostly apparitions near the Star of India, a massive blue star sapphire, suggesting these spirits might be drawn to the gem’s mesmerizing beauty. Whether these accounts are a blend of nighttime museum ambiance and an overactive imagination or genuine brushes with the supernatural, they add an intriguing dimension to one of the world’s most famous museums. The American Museum of Natural History stands as a testament to both our world’s tangible wonders and the mysteries that lurk just beyond our understanding.


The Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, stands as a haunting reminder of one of the darkest chapters in American history. Located in a Gothic-style church, the museum takes visitors on a journey through the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. Through lifelike dioramas and narrative voiceovers, the museum captures the hysteria, fear, and tragic outcomes of this period, where 20 innocent people were executed after being accused of practicing witchcraft. The museum doesn’t just focus on the past; it also delves into the concept of witch hunts and how they have persisted in various forms throughout history.

Given its subject matter, it’s no surprise that the museum and the town of Salem itself are rife with tales of the supernatural. Many believe that the spirits of those wrongfully accused still wander Salem, seeking justice and peace. Inside the museum, visitors and staff alike have reported unexplained phenomena. There’s a frequent feeling of being watched, even in the less crowded parts of the museum. Some have experienced cold spots, especially near the exhibits depicting the actual trials. Others swear they’ve heard soft, sorrowful whispers, particularly near the representation of Bridget Bishop, the first woman to be executed during the trials.

Outside the museum, the entire town carries the weight of its history. Locations like Gallows Hill, where many of the executions took place, are believed to be hotspots for paranormal activity. Some visitors claim to have seen ghostly figures in period clothing, wandering aimlessly or appearing distressed. Whether these tales are the product of the town’s charged history and atmospheric settings, or genuine encounters with the spirits of the past, they make the Salem Witch Museum and its surroundings a deeply evocative place, echoing with the pains and stories of those long gone.


Nestled in San Jose, California, the Winchester Mystery House is a sprawling architectural enigma that has intrigued and baffled visitors for decades. This Victorian mansion, with its labyrinthine hallways, staircases leading to nowhere, and doors opening into walls, was the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. After the deaths of her husband and daughter, a distraught Sarah reportedly consulted a medium, who told her that she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. To appease them and ensure her own survival, she needed to continuously build a home for these restless spirits.

Winchester Mystery House - Credit HarshLight
Winchester Mystery House – Credit HarshLight

For the next 38 years, construction on the house continued non-stop, 24 hours a day. The result? A mansion with over 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases, and an assortment of oddities, like windows overlooking other rooms. Sarah’s obsession with the number 13 is also evident throughout the house, with many rooms having 13 windows or 13 steps.

Given its origins, it’s no surprise that the mansion is believed to be haunted. Visitors, staff, and even some skeptics have recounted eerie encounters within its winding corridors. Soft footsteps, when no one else is nearby, distant voices whispering unintelligibly, and cold spots are commonly reported experiences. In particular, the Séance Room, where Sarah supposedly communicated with the spirits, is a hotspot for paranormal activity. Many claim to have seen shadowy figures or felt an unseen presence brushing past them. The sounds of ghostly organ music, believed to be Sarah playing for her spectral guests, have also been whispered among visitors. Whether one believes in the supernatural or simply marvels at the architectural chaos born out of one woman’s mission, the Winchester Mystery House remains an iconic testament to the mysteries of the unknown and the lengths one might go to find solace.


The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a place of deep historical significance and reverence. Originally established in the 18th century as the Mission San Antonio de Padua, it later became a military outpost. However, its true claim to fame is the 13-day battle in 1836, where a small group of Texan defenders, including iconic figures like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, stood against the Mexican forces led by General Santa Anna. Though the Texans were ultimately defeated, the battle cry “Remember the Alamo!” became a rallying point for the Texan army, which eventually defeated the Mexican army and secured Texas’ independence.

With such a tumultuous and bloody past, tales of haunting are almost inevitable. Over the years, many visitors and locals have reported spectral sightings and eerie occurrences. One of the most frequently reported apparitions is that of a young boy, believed to be John William Smith, a courier during the siege. Some say they’ve seen his translucent figure moving across the mission grounds, seemingly in search of something or someone. Another legend speaks of the “Shadow of the Alamo,” a tall, cloaked figure that stands sentinel at the mission’s walls. Some believe this might be the spirit of Colonel William Travis, the commander of the Alamo defenders.

Furthermore, phantom sounds of battle cries, musket fire, and the haunting notes of a solitary bugle echoing in the dead of night have sent shivers down the spines of many. There are also tales of visitors being touched by unseen hands or feeling sudden cold spots, especially near the area where the fiercest fighting occurred. Whether one attributes these tales to the collective memory of a painful past or believes in the restless spirits of the Alamo’s defenders, the site remains a poignant reminder of bravery, sacrifice, and the indomitable Texan spirit.


Located in the oldest city in the U.S., the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum in St. Augustine, Florida, stands as a beacon of history and mystery. Towering above the Atlantic coast, this lighthouse has guarded the shores since the late 19th century. Beyond its navigational purpose, the lighthouse has witnessed countless events, from shipwrecks and storms to personal tragedies, making it a storied landmark in Florida’s coastal history.

 St. Augustine Lighthouse - Credit WordRidden
St. Augustine Lighthouse – Credit WordRidden

However, the lighthouse’s rich history is tinged with tales of the supernatural. One of the most heartbreaking legends centers around the two young daughters of Hezekiah Pity, the lighthouse’s construction superintendent. The girls, while playing on a rail cart during the construction phase, tragically met their end when the cart broke loose and plummeted into the bay. Visitors often claim to hear the girls’ cheerful giggles echoing in the air, especially around dusk. Some even say they’ve spotted the two, hand in hand, playing near the lighthouse’s base or on the tower’s steps.

Another eerie account is that of Joseph Andreu, a former lighthouse keeper who fell to his death while painting the tower. Many believe his spirit still lingers, performing his duties in the afterlife. The distinct aroma of cigar smoke, which Joseph was known to enjoy, sometimes wafts through the air, even when no one is smoking. There’s also the tale of a woman in the lighthouse’s basement, believed to be Maria Andreu, America’s first official female lighthouse keeper and Joseph’s wife. Her melancholic presence is often accompanied by soft, mournful whispers or a fleeting shadow in the dim light. With its intertwining histories of maritime ventures and personal sagas, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum offers a blend of educational insight and spine-tingling tales that keep visitors coming back, whether by day or the more adventurous night tours.


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond is an esteemed institution, boasting an extensive collection of art that spans over 5,000 years of world history. From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the VMFA offers a diverse array of exhibits that delight art aficionados and casual visitors alike. Its beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture and landscaped grounds are a testament to the museum’s commitment to aesthetics and culture.

However, like many historic establishments, the VMFA has its share of ghostly tales. One of the most notable legends revolves around the museum’s prized Pallandini’s “The Triumph of Galatea”. Some late-night staff and security personnel have reported seeing the figure of Galatea stepping out of the painting to wander the museum’s hallways. She’s described as ethereal, her movements graceful, almost as if she’s floating rather than walking. The room housing the Art Deco collection also seems to hold an energy of its own. Visitors have occasionally mentioned feeling a sudden drop in temperature, accompanied by the sensation of someone standing right behind them, even when they’re alone.

There’s also the tale of a mysterious man in a tweed suit. Staff members and visitors alike have reported encounters with this enigmatic figure in the museum’s older sections. He’s usually seen admiring the artworks, and when approached, he vanishes without a trace. Some believe he might be the spirit of a former curator or perhaps a devoted art lover from times gone by.

While the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts primarily stands as a testament to human creativity and expression, these whispered tales add an intriguing layer to its rich tapestry. Whether one seeks artistic inspiration or a hint of the paranormal, the VMFA promises an experience that’s both enriching and, at times, a tad spine-tingling.


The imposing stone walls of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia conceal a history marked by innovation, reform, and eerie tales from the shadows. Opened in 1829, this prison was once the most famous and expensive in the world. It was built with a groundbreaking design – a hub-and-spoke plan of individual cells, promoting solitude and reflection. The idea was that solitary confinement would help inmates find penance, hence the term “penitentiary.” Over time, the prison housed some of America’s most notorious criminals, including the infamous Al Capone.

Eastern State Penitentiary - Credit Martin Pilát
Eastern State Penitentiary – Credit Martin Pilát

As you might imagine, a facility with such a tumultuous past doesn’t come without its ghostly legends. One of the most talked-about apparitions is the shadowy figure in Cellblock 4. Numerous visitors have reported seeing this dark silhouette, its features indistinct, darting quickly out of sight. In the same cellblock, disembodied laughter and echoing voices are often heard, even when no one is nearby. Another hotspot for paranormal activity is Cellblock 6, where ghostly faces have been said to suddenly appear, only to vanish just as quickly.

Then there’s the chilling tale of Gary, an inmate who was locked in Cellblock 12. Even today, his eerie cackling is sometimes heard echoing down the corridors. The prison’s infirmary isn’t free from ghostly tales either. Many claim to see fleeting figures or feel an overwhelming sense of dread and unease, possibly due to the many inmates who met their end there. Even Al Capone wasn’t immune to the prison’s supernatural aura; he reportedly claimed that the ghost of James Clark, whom he had a hand in killing during the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, haunted his cell.

Today, while the Eastern State Penitentiary no longer holds inmates, its heavy metal doors and decaying cellblocks retain the memories and energies of its past. Whether you’re a history buff or a paranormal enthusiast, this historic site offers a chilling dive into the depths of human justice and the mysteries of the unknown.

New Jersey

The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial in Camden, New Jersey, stands as a proud testament to America’s naval history. Launched in 1942, the USS New Jersey, known as the “Big J”, is the most decorated battleship in U.S. history. Throughout its service, it played pivotal roles in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and even some engagements during the Cold War era. After decades of service, it was finally decommissioned and turned into a floating museum, allowing visitors to walk its decks, explore its cabins, and relive some of the ship’s most iconic moments.

However, a ship with such an illustrious and lengthy service record isn’t without its share of ghostly tales. Over the years, both crew members during its operational days and visitors during its museum days have reported unexplained occurrences. One of the most frequently mentioned apparitions is the spirit of a man, often seen in the ship’s engine room. This area saw a tragic accident in the 1960s when a crew member was fatally scalded by steam. Today, visitors and staff have reported feeling sudden cold spots in the engine room, and some have even seen a figure dressed in period-appropriate sailor garb wandering the area, disappearing when approached.

Another eerie story comes from the ship’s barber shop. Visitors have claimed to hear the sounds of phantom scissors snipping away, even when the room is clearly empty. There’s also the account of a sailor named Carl, who supposedly passed away in his bunk during the ship’s World War II days. To this day, some say they’ve seen a uniformed sailor resembling Carl wandering the ship’s corridors, particularly near the bunks.

Though the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial primarily serves to honor and educate about the ship’s vast history, the tales of apparitions and phantom sounds add another layer of intrigue to this naval giant. For those interested in maritime history infused with a touch of the paranormal, the “Big J” is a destination that promises both awe and chills.


The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan, stands as a grand homage to American ingenuity, progress, and technological advancement. Founded by the automotive pioneer Henry Ford in 1929, this expansive museum showcases an incredible array of artifacts, ranging from the very first Ford car to the bus Rosa Parks famously rode. With exhibits highlighting achievements in transportation, communication, domestic life, and more, it offers visitors a journey through the milestones that shaped America.

Yet, for all its spotlight on innovation, there are also whispers of the supernatural among its vast halls. One of the most intriguing tales revolves around the chair in which President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865. This chair, stained with Lincoln’s blood, is on display at the museum. Over the years, several museum staff and visitors have reported witnessing a shadowy figure, believed to be the spirit of Lincoln himself, near the exhibit. Some have described feeling a sudden drop in temperature or an overwhelming sense of sadness when approaching the chair. On certain nights, a faint echo of a voice, believed to be Lincoln’s, has been heard murmuring indistinct words.

Another spectral presence is believed to be that of Henry Ford himself. Given his deep connection and dedication to the museum, many think it’s plausible that his spirit still roams the halls, overseeing his legacy. Late-night security guards have occasionally reported seeing a figure resembling Ford, inspecting exhibits or wandering the corridors, only to disappear when approached.

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is, at its core, a celebration of human achievement. However, the tales of apparitions and unexplained phenomena add an element of mystery to this temple of progress. For visitors keen on soaking up history with a side of ghostly tales, the museum presents a perfect blend of enlightenment and intrigue.


The Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita, Kansas, stands as a testament to the city’s rich aviation history. Housed in the former Wichita Municipal Airport terminal, this museum celebrates Wichita’s title as the “Air Capital of the World.” The building itself, with its Art Deco architecture, dates back to the 1930s and has seen the rise and fall of numerous aviation giants. From the early days of barnstormers to the jet age, this museum captures the essence of flight and the spirit of innovation that drove aviation pioneers.

Kansas Aviation Museum - Credit Neuwieser
Kansas Aviation Museum – Credit Neuwieser

However, with decades of history comes an air of mystery, and the museum is not devoid of ghostly tales. One of the most recounted stories revolves around a mysterious woman dressed in a 1940s style dress. She’s often seen gazing out of the windows towards the runways, as if waiting for someone. Some speculate she’s the spirit of a woman who once waited for a loved one to return from a flight that never made it back. Her presence is often accompanied by the faint, melancholic tune of a 1940s song playing in the background, even when no music source is nearby.

Then there’s the tale of the phantom pilot. Numerous visitors and staff have reported seeing a figure in an old-fashioned pilot’s uniform wandering the museum, particularly near the old planes. He appears solid, often causing onlookers to mistake him for a reenactor or a staff member. However, when approached, he vanishes into thin air, leaving witnesses bewildered. Some believe he might be the spirit of a pilot whose plane is on display, still attached to his beloved aircraft.

The Kansas Aviation Museum offers a deep dive into the realm of flight and the pioneers who dared to defy gravity. But, intertwined with the rich tapestry of aviation history are the ethereal threads of stories that can’t be explained. For those with a passion for planes and a curiosity for the unknown, this museum promises an experience that’s both educational and eerily unforgettable.

North Carolina

Majestically moored on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina, the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial stands as a solemn tribute to the sailors and marines who bravely served during World War II. Commissioned in 1941, the USS North Carolina, known as the “Showboat”, played a crucial role in many Pacific offensives, earning 15 battle stars for her valiant efforts. After her decommissioning, she was saved from scrap and turned into a memorial, letting generations relive the moments and sacrifices of wartime heroes.

USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial
USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial – Credit Mike Burton

Yet, while her decks echo with tales of valor and service, they also whisper stories of the paranormal. One of the most recurring tales is of a blonde crewman, often seen in the ship’s passageways, especially near the ship’s washroom. He’s been described as looking solid and real, often startling visitors before vanishing into thin air. Some speculate that he’s a spirit of a crewman who met an unfortunate end aboard the ship, perhaps during one of the Japanese torpedo strikes the battleship endured.

Another chilling account is related to the engine rooms. On several occasions, visitors and staff have reported hearing disembodied voices and phantom footsteps, with some even feeling inexplicable cold spots despite the typically warm engine room conditions. There’s also the story of a shadowy figure seen darting around the gun turrets. This figure, believed to be a former gunner, is sometimes accompanied by the distant sounds of orders being shouted or the faint resonance of battle alarms.

While the primary mission of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial is to honor and educate about the ship’s vast wartime contributions, the tales of apparitions and unexplained phenomena add another layer of intrigue to this naval giant. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or someone seeking a brush with the supernatural, the “Showboat” offers an evocative journey through the annals of naval warfare and the mysteries of the unknown.

West Virginia

Nestled in the heart of West Virginia, the imposing structure of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum casts long shadows over the town of Weston. Originally opened in 1864 as the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane, its sprawling Gothic architecture was designed to house 250 patients. However, by the 1950s, it was overcrowded with over 2,400 souls, leading to deteriorating conditions, neglect, and inhumane treatments. With its closure in 1994, the building stood as a haunting reminder of the dark chapters in mental health care.

With such a harrowing history, it’s no wonder that the asylum is rife with tales of the supernatural. One of the most infamous stories centers around a patient named Lily. Born in the asylum, Lily is said to have lived her short life within its walls. Today, many visitors claim to have encountered her playful spirit, especially in the pediatric ward. Reports of toys moving on their own, the sounds of a child giggling, and sudden cold spots are often attributed to Lily. Some visitors even leave toys for her, hoping to catch a glimpse of the young spirit.

The fourth floor, once home to some of the asylum’s most troubled patients, is another hotspot for paranormal activity. Here, many have reported hearing agonizing screams, cries, and footsteps in the dead of night. The ghost of a nurse, murdered by a patient, is also said to haunt the halls, her spirit forever tethered to the place of her untimely death. The Civil War section, built during the war, holds its own ghostly tales. Soldiers, both Confederate and Union, are sometimes seen or heard, their spectral forms forever locked in battle.

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum serves as both a historical site and a chilling testament to the souls that once walked its halls. Ghost tours and overnight investigations offer brave souls the chance to encounter the lingering spirits. But whether visitors come seeking history or hauntings, the asylum promises an experience that’s both deeply moving and spine-tingling.


In the heart of Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum stands as a proud keeper of the Windy City’s rich and diverse past. Originally established as the Chicago Historical Society in 1856, the museum has witnessed the city’s transformation, from the devastating Great Chicago Fire to the rise of its iconic skyline. With countless artifacts, photographs, and exhibits, it captures the essence of Chicago’s cultural, social, and political evolution.

However, much like the city itself, the museum is not without its mysteries and tales of the unexplained. One of the most poignant artifacts in the museum is the remnants of the original Water Tower, one of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Nearby this exhibit, visitors and staff have reported strange phenomena. Some speak of a smoky, fire-like smell that suddenly permeates the air, while others claim to hear faint cries and shouts, eerily reminiscent of the chaos from that fateful night. There’s speculation that these experiences are residual hauntings, replaying the traumatic events of the fire.

Chicago Watertower
Chicago Watertower

Another mysterious figure associated with the museum is the spirit of a woman believed to be Eleanor Robinson Countiss Whiting. Eleanor’s historic house, the Countiss House, stands next to the museum and is owned by the institution. Over the years, staff working late hours have reported seeing a woman, dressed in early 20th-century attire, gazing out of the windows of the Countiss House or wandering its halls. Some believe Eleanor, the original inhabitant of the house, remains attached to her former home, watching over it from the afterlife.

The Chicago History Museum serves as a portal to the city’s storied past. Yet, intertwined with the factual narratives are tales of the mysterious, adding a layer of intrigue to an already fascinating institution. Whether visitors come for the tangible history or the whispered legends, the museum offers a multi-faceted journey into the soul of Chicago.


The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in Oklahoma City stands as a somber reminder of one of the most tragic events in American history. On April 19, 1995, a bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, including 19 children, and injuring hundreds more. The memorial, established on the grounds of the former building, honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all affected by the bombing. With its symbolic outdoor memorial and an in-depth indoor museum, it aims to educate visitors about the impact of violence and the resilience of the human spirit.

While the primary focus of the site is on reflection and education, some visitors and staff have reported experiences that can only be described as paranormal. At the heart of the outdoor memorial is the Field of Empty Chairs, representing each person who lost their life in the bombing. On certain nights, visitors have claimed to see ghostly figures seated in or moving around these chairs. These apparitions appear momentarily, their forms ethereal and fleeting, as if echoing the sudden and tragic loss of life.

Inside the museum, there have been accounts of unexplained phenomena, particularly in areas displaying personal items of the victims. Some visitors have described feeling an overwhelming sense of emotion, as if the energy of the departed still lingers. There have also been reports of children’s laughter and voices, especially near exhibits dedicated to the young lives lost in the daycare center.

While the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is primarily a place of remembrance and learning, these tales add a layer of depth to the site’s already profound impact. Whether these stories are the result of heightened emotions or genuine encounters with the unknown, they underscore the deep connections and memories that bind the living to those tragically lost. The memorial reminds us of the fragility of life, the importance of unity, and the enduring spirit of a community that rose from the ashes of tragedy.


Located in the heart of Georgia’s bustling capital, the Atlanta History Center is a sprawling 33-acre experience brimming with the rich tales, vibrant cultures, and pivotal moments that shaped both the city and the nation. With historic houses, enchanting gardens, and comprehensive exhibitions, the center weaves together the threads of Atlanta’s past, from its Native American heritage to its crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Yet, like many historical sites, the Atlanta History Center is said to harbor more than just artifacts and exhibits. The Swan House, one of the center’s crown jewels, is a grand mansion built in 1928 and serves as a window into the opulence of the Roaring Twenties. Visitors to this iconic home have sometimes reported unexplained occurrences. There are tales of a mysterious lady in a 1920s-era dress seen wandering the rooms, her presence accompanied by the faint notes of jazz music. Some believe she’s the spirit of a former resident or perhaps a guest who attended one of the house’s lavish parties and chose to linger long after the last dance.

The grounds themselves hold their own mysteries. The Quarry Garden, a beautifully restored area showcasing native plants, is said to be a hotspot for ghostly encounters. Visitors have described seeing shadowy figures flitting between the trees and hearing soft whispers when no one else is around. Some attribute these experiences to the spirits of Native Americans who once lived on the land, their voices still echoing through time.

Noteworthy Exhibits and Artifacts

Many haunted museums in the USA boast of having unique and spooky exhibits and artifacts. Some of these exhibits are known for their creepy history and the stories associated with them. Here are some of the noteworthy exhibits and artifacts found in the most haunted museums in the USA.

The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials, which took place in 1692, are one of the most infamous events in American history. The Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts has several exhibits that explore the history of the trials. Visitors can see life-sized figures depicting the accused witches and learn about the events that led to their trials and executions. The museum also has a collection of artifacts, including a chair that belonged to one of the judges who presided over the trials.

The Glore Psychiatric Museum

The Glore Psychiatric Museum in Missouri is known for its collection of medical oddities and exhibits that explore the history of mental health treatment. One of the most disturbing exhibits is a replica of a solitary confinement cell, complete with a straitjacket and a metal toilet. The museum also has a collection of antique medical equipment, including a lobotomy machine and a shock therapy device.

The Getty Images Serial Killer Collection

The Getty Images Serial Killer Collection is a collection of photographs taken by photojournalist Tony Berardi. Berardi spent years photographing crime scenes and the aftermath of murders committed by some of the most notorious serial killers in American history. The collection includes photographs of crime scenes, victims, and the killers themselves.

The Bonaventure Cemetery

The Bonaventure Cemetery in Georgia is known for its haunting beauty and the legends associated with it. One of the most famous legends is that of Gracie Watson, a little girl who died of pneumonia in 1889. Her parents had a life-sized statue of her erected in the cemetery, and it is said that her spirit haunts the area around the statue.

The Hollywood Saloon

The Hollywood Saloon in California is a former brothel that is said to be haunted by the ghosts of the women who worked there. Visitors have reported hearing barking dogs and seeing apparitions of the women in the mirrors. The saloon also has a collection of artifacts from its days as a brothel, including an antique bed and a bottle of snake oil.

The Museum of Death

The Museum of Death in California is not for the faint of heart. The museum has a collection of exhibits and artifacts related to death, including crime scene photographs, serial killer artwork, and a collection of taxidermied animals that died of natural causes. One of the most disturbing exhibits is a replica of a lethal injection chamber.

Overall, these exhibits and artifacts are just a few of the many spooky and unique items found in haunted museums across the USA. Visitors looking for an adventure and a chance to investigate the paranormal will find plenty to explore in these halls of the occult and macabre.

Haunted Museums and Events

Museums are typically known for their exhibits, history, and art, but some are also known for their supposed paranormal activity. These haunted museums across the United States have a reputation for being visited by ghosts, making them a popular destination for ghost tours, ghost hunters, and those interested in the paranormal.

One such museum is the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This museum is known for its collection of medical oddities and specimens, including preserved human organs, skeletons, and wax models. Visitors have reported feeling uneasy and experiencing strange occurrences while exploring the exhibits. The museum even hosts an annual Halloween event, “Mutter at Night,” where visitors can explore the museum after hours and hear stories of the museum’s haunted history.

Another haunted museum is the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts. The house was the site of a gruesome double murder in 1892, and visitors have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises. The house now operates as a bed and breakfast and offers ghost tours and paranormal investigations.

The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is another popular haunted museum. The prison operated from 1829 to 1971 and housed notorious criminals such as Al Capone. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises, and the prison now hosts a haunted attraction during Halloween season.

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is known for its confusing layout and strange architectural features. The house was built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle, and she believed that the spirits of those killed by the rifle were haunting her. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions and feeling a presence in the house.

These haunted museums and events offer a unique way to experience culture and history, and for those interested in the paranormal, they provide an opportunity to potentially encounter ghosts and other supernatural activity.

Haunted Museums and Their Stories

Museums are known for their collections of art, history, and culture. However, some museums also have a reputation for being haunted by ghosts and spirits. Here are some of the most haunted museums in the USA and the stories behind them.

The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum

The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum is located in Fall River, Massachusetts. It was the site of a gruesome double murder in 1892, when Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were killed with an axe. Lizzie was tried and acquitted of the murders, but the case remains unsolved to this day. Visitors to the museum have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange noises, including the sound of a woman weeping.

The Charleston Jail Museum

The Charleston Jail Museum in South Carolina was built in 1802 and served as a jail until 1939. Many prisoners were executed on the premises, and their spirits are said to haunt the building. Visitors have reported feeling cold spots, hearing footsteps, and seeing apparitions of former prisoners.

The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia

The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia is home to a collection of artifacts from the American Civil War. It is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier. Visitors have reported seeing the soldier’s apparition and feeling a cold breeze when he is near.

The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is home to a collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including a mummy and a sarcophagus. Some believe that the museum is cursed because of its association with King Tut’s tomb. Visitors have reported feeling a sense of unease and hearing strange noises in the Egyptian exhibit.

The Haunted House at the Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is a bizarre mansion that was built by the widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. The house has over 160 rooms, secret passageways, and staircases that lead to nowhere. It is said to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed by the Winchester rifle. Visitors have reported hearing footsteps, seeing apparitions, and feeling a chill in certain areas of the house.

In conclusion, these are just a few of the many haunted museums in the USA. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these stories add to the mystique and intrigue of these cultural institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which museums in the USA are known for their haunted history?

Several museums in the United States are known for their haunted history. Some of the most famous ones include the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, and the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts.

What are some of the reported paranormal activities in haunted museums in the USA?

Reported paranormal activities in haunted museums in the USA include strange noises, cold spots, apparitions, and unexplained movements of objects. Some visitors have also reported feeling a sense of being watched or touched by unseen entities.

Are there any famous ghost sightings in museums across the United States?

Yes, there have been several famous ghost sightings in museums across the United States. One of the most famous ones is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, who has been reportedly seen in the White House, including the Lincoln Bedroom. The ghost of a woman in white has also been seen at the Myrtles Plantation.

Can you share some stories of haunted artifacts in museums?

There are several stories of haunted artifacts in museums. One of the most famous ones is the Hope Diamond, which is said to be cursed and has been associated with several deaths and misfortunes. Another haunted artifact is the Annabelle doll, which is housed at the Warren Occult Museum in Connecticut.

What precautions do museums take to ensure visitor safety during ghost tours?

Museums take several precautions to ensure visitor safety during ghost tours. They often provide guidelines to visitors on how to behave during the tour and warn them about potential hazards. They also ensure that the tour guides are trained to handle any emergencies that may arise.

How do museums investigate and verify claims of paranormal activity?

Museums investigate and verify claims of paranormal activity using a variety of methods, including scientific equipment such as EMF meters and thermal cameras. They also rely on the expertise of paranormal investigators and psychics to help them identify and interpret any unusual activity. However, museums always approach such investigations with a healthy dose of skepticism and try to rule out any natural explanations before concluding that an event is paranormal.

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