Fake haunted houses and spooky hay rides are everywhere as soon as summer is officially over. Some are more believable than others; others seem absolutely genuine, considering the frank and open accounts of people’s personal encounters with what they believe to be ghosts. You may have already walked through a haunted hike, but you just didn’t know it. From Maine to New York, Virginia and California, they are located all over the United States.
The woods in Maine can be a scary place. The Compass Harbor Nature Trail in Bar Harbor on Route 3 was once a trail walked by wealthy mansion owner, George Dorr, who was also the park’s first superintendent. He died there when he was walking with his caretaker. It is he who supposedly continues to watch from behind the trees.
Avoid hiking along the 8-mile long Spruce Railroad Trail. The black depths of Lake Crescent are rumored to be home to the Lady of the Lake. Hallie Latham Illingworth was killed by her husband in 1937, and her decomposed body was discovered three years later. She supposedly now wanders the loop for help. There are stories of cars plunging into the water never to be seen again. Look at the abandoned railroad tunnels from the outside.
As if the name is not spooky enough, the appropriately called Ghost House Trail leads past an old cemetery. The 1.2-mile trail is ground zero for the park’s haunted legends. Hikers have said they heard noises that sound like a panting dog coming their way. Ghosts are said to be seen in pictures that are taken near the graveyard. There is a house nearby in which a girl died from tuberculosis. Some people say they hear her crying. Neighbors moved away after hearing creepy clamors even though the house was vacated.
This was a former home for mentally disabled people. Nature has already reclaimed the hospital, giving it a hauntingly beautiful look. Many children there became unwitting test subjects. In 1950, the institution gained notoriety as the site of one of the first human trials of a still-experimental polio vaccine. The institution closed down in 1996. It is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of the patients who suffered there. Some people have reported seeing dead bodies, tall figures behind doors and hearing them make noises.
Ben Campbell, the former hutmaster on this White Mountains route, died on a hiking trip in Scotland, but he loved taking hikes in New England. Visitors often report hearing heavy footsteps at night and seeing tracks of footprints that suddenly begin, and just as suddenly end, according to Backpack Reverse.
This shelter is a resting spot for hikers trekking between Roanoke and Blacksburg. According to the legend, it was built near the site of an old homestead that has been haunted for decades, blueridgeoutdoors explains. Hikers have reported seeing a ghost walking around the woods at night; some have even noticed the spirits in photos taken of the shelter.
Lake Fontana is said to be the spookiest area along the Norton Creek Trail. According to thegreatsmokies.net, there are supposedly over 200 known cemeteries remaining inside the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and the majority of these are on the north shore of Lake Fontana. Hikers who have gotten lost on the trails have reported witnessing a ghostly light that helped lead them safely out of the woods.
Located in Orange County the Black Star Canyon trail. It leads to an abandoned Indian village. A massacre occurred there in the 1830s – killing all of the Indians. There was also a murder in 1899; the driver, teacher and all of the children on board were killed. Hikers have reported seeing figures in hoods and movement.
This 1.5-mile trail is located in the Antietam National Battlefield – the site of one of the bloodiest Civil War battles in 1862. There were four hours of deadly fighting. Hikers have reported seeing ghostly soldiers and hearing gunfire and smelling gunpowder. One visitor even reported seeing a few men in Confederate uniforms walking the Bloody Lane, according to fhwa.dot.gov.
This 5.7-mile loop trail is located in Stevens Pass in the Cascades. It is the location of what was one of the worst railroad accidents in the history of our country. An avalanche swept two trains off the track and nearly 100 people died. It is said that the spirts of the unlucky passengers are still trapped in the tunnels, trying to escape their tomb.