Monday, July 6, 2009

The Haunted States of America

In my research as to what physical and historic attributes help to create a haunting in a place, I’ve come across some interesting incidental findings.

I’ve found a cluster of states that seem to be unusually haunted and have ideal elements (history/land/waterways/construction) for hauntings to occur:

Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Anyone who’s into ghost hunting could probably rattle off the long list of haunted places in these states, not to mention how many ghost hunting groups wander the countryside in these locations. There is a rich history here, and a tradition of buildings made of stone on land that is geologically ideal for hauntings; limestone, shale, sandstone, with loads of waterways. It may be that the melting of the ice age is what we have to thank for these perfect conditions, but it appears that these states have a better chance of retaining hauntings. I hope to learn more about these elements to make a more specific explanation for just why this is.

On the flip side, there is also a cluster of states that seem to be unusually devoid of hauntings and have less ideal elements (volcanic land, fewer waterways, more frame constructed buildings). It isn’t to say they don’t have their hauntings, but most occurrences in these areas are either hauntings associated with land (canyons, graveyards, mountains) and strange phenomenon such as weird lights rather than “traditional” hauntings. These states include:

Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Nevada.

The only exception to this seems to be mining towns, and that could very well have something to do with the rich ore/minerals in those regions that are being churned up regularly. I’ve often said that when I moved west, I realized the land here is haunted whereas back east it was the buildings. Towns like Bisbee, Jerome, Globe, and Tombstone in Arizona sport our most haunted sites, even in frame buildings like the Bird Cage Saloon.

I would love to hear from any of you about your observations or conclusions in this matter.


  1. Autumnforest-dont have much to add other than great job on this series!! I think the fact that Ohio and West Va came up on the more haunted list is fascinating for W Va because of Mothman and other cases and I have read of a multitude of hauntings in Ohio-especially at this University there-I will have to check to see if it is the U of O or another one. I picked a library for haunting-I love books -I only threatened to haunt my fam if they didnt take care of Clementina if I passed before them:)best as always!!

  2. I love books too. I'd haunt a library, but only if it were the biggest one in the world so I could read for all eternity. Maybe the library of Alexandria that supposedly held all the knowledge of the ancients before it burned down. Now, that would be a wickedly awesome!

  3. ps...i was never much of a biscuit fan until i went to nashville last year and ate at the loveless cafe. i fell in love with their biscuits! i came home and baked biscuits every day until i figured out how they make theirs. i baked over 2000 biscuits before i figured out their secret. my family and neighbors were in biscuit heaven. now i can whip up the best biscuits in no time at all!!!

  4. wait...did my whole comment about the planters not show up here? if you didn't get it let me know and i will write it again!

  5. You know, I have been wondering about this. Because as I'm compiling Haunt Jaunts for my sites I seem to find that some areas of the country seem to have more activity than others. You've helped me confirm this isn't my imagination. There might really be something to it!

  6. I know this is an older post, but I've been playing cath-up on a lot of stuff lately.
    What's interesting to me, is that the states you mention also figure largely in the cryptozoology-monster field as well.
    Thunderbirds, Mothman, giant snakes, hairy hominids, and various ill-defined "white things" make their homes in these same states.