The Most Haunted Places In The Appalachian Mountains

Located in one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Appalachian Trail boasts some of the most haunted sites in the United States. Rich with ancient cave systems and vibrant forests, Appalachia’s beauty is undeniable. However, beneath its scenic wonders are plenty of historic haunts that tourists should be aware of, especially if they’re easily scared.

From eerie theme parks to antiquated museums, the Appalachian Mountains offers a ton of thrills. For the adventurous souls seeking a spine-chilling experience, these historic haunted places in the Appalachian Mountains welcome visitors, promising an unforgettable journey for those brave enough to visit them.

Museum Village

Museum Village in New York
Daniel Case – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in Monroe Township, New York, Museum Village is renowned for its ghost sightings, and it’s a standout amidst a county renowned for its haunted sites. With an atmosphere akin to a ghost town, Museum Village has been the site of numerous reported ghost sightings, including those of a young woman darting through the fields. They regularly host ghost tours at the museum, a must for those seeking a brush with the supernatural. Don’t miss out on must-see features, including the Candle Shop, where guests can create their own candles, and the Natural History Museum.

The Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail in West Virginia's Harpers Ferry

The Appalachian Trail holds the distinction of being the longest walking-only path globally, traversing through 14 states. Renowned for its picturesque vistas and tranquil ambiance, it also harbors tales of strange disappearances through the years. Perhaps the most spine-tingling legend revolves around the Snarly Yow Beast.

Reports of encounters with this wolf-like creature abound along the Appalachian Trail, with a concentration of sightings taking place in West Virginia. Adventurous travelers seeking thrills amidst the mountains may find camping at one of Appalachia’s numerous campgrounds an exciting opportunity. Must-see attractions along the trail include Harpers Ferry in West Virginia, the Trailside Zoo in New York, and Clingmans Dome in Tennessee.

Jenny Jump State Park

Jenny Jump State Park
Famartin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in northern New Jersey, Jenny Jump State Park encompasses vast woodlands and towering peaks. Renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery, particularly during the vibrant autumn season, this park hides a chilling tale from its past. Legend has it that a young settler’s daughter named Jenny met a tragic fate on the 1,129-foot mountain. Numerous visitors have reported sightings of Jenny’s ghost lingering near the cliff’s edge, adding an eerie allure to this picturesque park. Despite its haunting history, Jenny Jump State Park remains a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering unparalleled opportunities for hiking, fishing, and other recreational activities.

Imbued with legends and natural beauty, Jenny Jump State Park stands as one of New Jersey’s most captivating yet spine-tingling destinations. Be sure to explore its must-see features, including Jenny Jump Mountain and the majestic Delaware Water Gap, for an unforgettable experience.

Mammoth Cave

Entrance to Mammoth Cave Kentucky
Deposit Photos

Situated in west-central Kentucky, Mammoth Cave reigns as the world’s longest-known cave system, boasting an extensive network of tunnels spanning a staggering 420 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Visitors are treated to a captivating journey through millions of years of geological history as they navigate the labyrinthine passages.

Ideal for families, Mammoth Cave offers guided tours led by knowledgeable Park Rangers, ensuring an educational and enjoyable experience for all ages. Above ground, visitors can partake in various recreational activities, including horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, and spelunking, adding to the adventure.

The region surrounding the cavern is steeped in mystery, with tales of a legendary monster purportedly haunting the nearby Green River. As tourists explore the area, they eagerly keep watch for any signs of this mythical creature, adding an extra layer of excitement to their visit.

Shades Of Death Road

A view overlooking Jenny Jump State Forest in northern New Jersey, USA

Stretching across 6.7 miles in northern New Jersey, just east of Hope Township and Jenny Jump State Forest, lies Shades of Death Road. This roadway is enveloped in haunting legends that have intrigued many visitors. Numerous tales attempt to explain the ominous moniker, from ferocious wildcats preying on travelers to sinister murders occurring along its desolate stretch.

While haunted camping grounds like the Pine Barrens have earned New Jersey its reputation for eerie forests, Shades of Death Road remains a lesser-known but equally spine-tingling destination. Its mist-covered path, flanked by looming trees, evokes an unsettling ambiance reminiscent of a place where nightmares take form.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Tim Kiser, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, or Weston State Hospital, was established in the 1860s by Dorothea Dix, and it aimed to provide care for the mentally ill. As America’s largest stone-built asylum, it housed approximately 250 patients. Notably, its design emphasized healing, with spacious stairways and windows allowing ample sunlight and fresh air. Despite its intended purpose, the asylum’s eerie atmosphere has earned it a reputation as one of West Virginia’s haunted spots.

Guided tours offer insight into its rich history, but behind its noble facade lies a darker past. Severe overcrowding in the 1950s led to violence, including tragic events that lead to the creation of tales of haunting spirits. For thrill-seekers, the asylum hosts Halloween events like the Asylum Ball and haunted house experiences, providing a spine-tingling journey into its haunted history.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Graffiti Highway, Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia, Pennsylvania, was established as a mining community in 1845, attracting settlers to its mineral-rich hills. However, its significance remained relatively obscure until a tragic event in 1962 when fires ignited in the town dump, swiftly spreading beneath the town through its mining tunnels.

These tunnels, abundant with highly flammable coal, burned intensely, leading to a near-fatal incident in the 1970s when a sinkhole nearly claimed the life of a young boy. Today, Centralia stands as a ghost town, yet curious visitors can still drive through its eerie streets to witness the haunting aftermath. Buckled roadways and abandoned homes lend the town an atmosphere reminiscent of a horror movie.

Legends surrounding Centralia are more contemporary than other haunted locations in Appalachia. For those venturing to Centralia, the Graffiti Highway, once a popular tourist attraction before being covered in 2020, remains a notable site. Visitors should also consider exploring Saint Ignatius Cemetery, renowned as one of the most haunted spots in this fiery city.

West Virginia Penitentiary

West Virginia Penitentiary
Raeann Davies / Shutterstock

Located in Moundsville, West Virginia, the Former West Virginia Penitentiary stands as one of the most chilling destinations in the state. While West Virginia often evokes images of scenic towns like Harpers Ferry, this haunting site captivates visitors with its dark history. Once a fortress for criminals, with 94 executions conducted on-site, the penitentiary now draws crowds as a popular Halloween attraction. Notably, visitors can encounter “Old Sparky,” the notorious electric chair built by an inmate, still ominously on display. 

Exploring the site through one of its guided tours provides a comprehensive glimpse into its eerie past and its transformation into one of West Virginia’s most haunted locations. Many claim to have encountered lingering spirits here, adding to the site’s eerie ambiance.

Black Hills of Maryland

Mysterious golden dark forest shrouded in fog

The Black Hills of Maryland are renowned for their association with The Blair Witch Project. While the movie itself is fictional, it draws inspiration from events dating back to the late 1600s and early 1700s. Many scholars trace the origins of the Blair Witch legend to the tale of Moll Dyer, a healer who resided in a nearby town during the late 1600s. According to lore, Moll Dyer was attacked by men, and in retaliation, she supposedly placed a curse upon them. Burkittsville, the legendary hometown associated with the Blair Witch mythos, exudes an eerie and enigmatic atmosphere. Visitors to the area often sense the darkness and lingering aura of its cursed history. 

Maryland stands out as one of the most distinctive destinations in the United States, boasting numerous must-visit travel spots, such as Ocean City—a vibrant vacation destination brimming with activities. Amidst its eclectic offerings, the witch-haunted neighborhood remains a top choice for autumn explorations.

Ghost Town Village

Postcard from 1963 featuring Ghost Town Village by Pal Parker Jr.
Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the haunting beauty of the Smoky Mountains, Ghost Town Village, previously called Ghost Town in the Sky, stands as a relic of a bygone era. This western-themed amusement park, situated in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, is a testament to the unique cultural heritage of the region. Opened in 1961, Ghost Town in the Sky quickly gained a reputation as a thrilling destination, offering visitors an immersive experience in a Wild West-style town. However, plagued by financial troubles, the park eventually closed its doors in 2009, earning it the moniker of the “cursed amusement park.”

Despite numerous attempts to revive its former glory, Ghost Town in the Sky remains abandoned, its faded facades and crumbling structures adding to its eerie allure. Today, it stands as a popular haunt for Halloween enthusiasts seeking a spine-chilling adventure. Among its must-see attractions are the iconic Red DeVille Rollercoaster and the spine-tingling House of Terrors, which continue to captivate the imagination of visitors to this day.

Noland Creek Trail

Noland Creek Trail
Google Reviews

Noland Creek Trail in Bryson City, NC, was once home to numerous settlers. Abandoned homesteads and cemeteries remain along the trail. After Fontana Lake’s construction flooded the old highway, settlers had to leave, and a promised replacement road was never completed. A legend tells the story of a man who died searching for his lost daughter; he supposedly appears as a glowing orb to help guide lost hikers back to safety.

The Devil’s Courthouse

The Devil’s Courthouse
National Parks Services / CC0

The Devil’s Courthouse on Whiteside Mountain in North Carolina is a cliff with a cave and a dark legend. Early settlers claimed the Devil held court in the cave, delivering evil judgments. This story may stem from a Cherokee legend about Jutaculla, a giant with a thunderous voice and lightning arrows who hailed from the area. Despite its eerie lore, the site remains a popular hiking destination today.

Roaring Fork Motor Trail

Roaring Fork Motor Trail
TripAdvisor / Terry Grayson

The Roaring Fork Motor Trail in Gatlinburg, TN, is rumored to be haunted by a ghost named Lucy. According to legend, Lucy passed away in a cabin fire in the early 1900s. A young man named Foster encountered her in the woods, fell in love, and later found out from her parents that she had died a year earlier. Reports say Lucy still appears on the road, seeking rides from visitors and becoming a well-known local legend.

Old Trinity Episcopal Church

Old Trinity Episcopal Church
Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Although not in Appalachia, the nearby Old Trinity Episcopal Church in Mason, TN, is notable. Founded in 1847 on the site of the burned-down Saint Andrew Church, it’s set in rural Tipton County. Once peaceful, it suffered vandalism from a small group, and several gravestones were damaged. Restoration efforts are ongoing, but eerie events like strange lights and noises persist. A statue of the Virgin Mary, reportedly seen “weeping,” adds to its haunted reputation.

The Greenbriar Restaurant

The Greenbriar Restaurant

Greenbriar Restaurant, which was originally a lodge, opened in 1939 and soon became infamous after a tragic event. Lydia, a heartbroken bride, passed away mysteriously in her wedding dress after being abandoned at the altar. Her fiancé was later found dead, sparking rumors of Lydia’s vengeful spirit. Diners today report seeing a sad figure on the staircase where she passed, making Greenbriar an excellent haunted dining experience.

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