Last updated: 03:54 PM ET, Sun May 24 2015

Top 5 Reportedly Haunted Locations Ghost Hunters Must Visit

Destination & Tourism | Donald Wood | May 24, 2015

Top 5 Reportedly Haunted Locations Ghost Hunters Must Visit

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One of the biggest crazes in the travel industry today is dark tourism, and for those who love the idea of hunting for ghosts on your vacation, there are a plethora of reportedly haunted locations across the United States you must visit.

From a haunted prison like Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia to an abandoned mental institution like the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia, there are many places paranormal investigators can try to come in contact with spirits.

Here are the five reportedly haunted locations that have reached near-mythic status for the ways they go bump in the night:

1. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Located in Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the oldest remaining prisons in the United States, and one of the most notoriously haunted locations. While a terrifying haunted house exhibit takes over a portion of the building during Halloween, the stories of legitimate hauntings have been around for years.

If there was ever a place for ghost activity, it would be Eastern State Penitentiary. During the building’s 142 years of service as an active prison, 1,200 inmates died overall, with more than 50 inmates killing themselves and over a dozen murdered by other inmates.

For those looking for proof, major ghost-hunting shows like Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" and SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" have investigated the building and found some exciting evidence indicating the buildings are haunted.

Tickets for a full tour of the building and the surrounding grounds are only $14. With the amount of negative energy inside the historic walls of the prison and the deteriorating surroundings, Eastern State Penitentiary is a legitimately scary location.

2. Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Spring City, Pennsylvania

Pennhurst State School and Hospital is one of the most controversial buildings in the United States. Opened as an institution for mentally and physically disabled people, the conditions inside the building were deplorable. It was eventually shut down in 1987.

The building tucked into the woods of Pennsylvania doesn’t look much different than any other abandoned buildings across America, but the acts of abuse and mistreatment that eventually had the building shut down stained the area.

Just as Eastern State Penitentiary was investigated by Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" and SyFy's "Ghost Hunters," Pennhurst was as well. Both of the most recognizable ghost hunting teams in the country found impressive evidence before determining several of the buildings in the complex were haunted.

Add in the fact that the building has one of the world’s top-ranked haunted houses in a main building, and the decaying walls of the controversial facility make it one of the top reportedly haunted locations.

3. Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky

Originally built as a place to house all of the victims suffering from a serious outbreak of tuberculosis, estimates as to how many died at Waverly Hills Sanatorium vary, but a safe estimate from researchers hovers around 8,000.

The vast number of deaths in such a short time is said to have left a negative imprint on the property, and ghost investigation teams who have gone through the building all agree that the facility provides evidence of paranormal activity.

For those who want to experience the building on their own, the owners of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium offer guided tours during the day or at night for those looking to experience some of the spirits reportedly roaming the halls.

Add in the fact that investigators can pay $100 per person to investigate the buildings unsupervised, and the amateur ghost hunters should be making their way to Louisville, Kentucky, for an authentic experience.

4. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia

After first opening in 1864, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum underwent many alterations before being shut down due to changes in treatments of patients. The result has been a slew of paranormal reports from the building.

With thousands of patients possibly being mistreated at the facility over the years and hundreds of recorded deaths, the conditions are ideal for activity. Guest and investigators have reported apparition sightings, unexplainable voices, and unexplainable sounds.

Instead of hiding the truth about the building, the owner of the land has opened the structures to anyone willing to pay for the opportunity to roam the halls. For just $100 (plus tax) per person, investigators can be locked down inside the mental institution for the night.

If Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures" and SyFy's "Ghost Hunters" both agree that this is one of the most haunted places in the United States, those looking for a little adventure of their own should consider spending the night inside the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.

5. Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As one of the oldest military forts in the United States, Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia is steeped in history. As a key location in the Revolutionary War, a prison in the civil war and a defense location in World War II, the building has a long history since being built in 1771.

There have been many deaths over the years, but an exact number is not known. Some of the buildings that are reportedly haunted include Casemate 11, the Officers' quarters and the blacksmith shop, where many believe deaths occurred.

Fort Mifflin understands the haunted history of its buildings, and embraces it. For just $45 per person, visitors can go through the grounds with an experienced ghost hunting team and investigate the fort under the cover of darkness.

While you’re in the Philadelphia area investigating Eastern State and Pennhurst, why not stop at Fort Mifflin for a spine-tingling ghost hunting trifecta?


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