We hear a lot about haunted houses this time of year, but have you ever visited a haunted hiking trail? There are numerous trails and places in nature around the United States that are considered by some to be haunted by the spirits of people gone. If you’re looking to go on a haunted hike, look no further than this list of the 10 spookiest, most haunted hiking trails in America.
The Ghost House Trail
If you’re looking for a spooky and purportedly haunted hike, the ghost house trail in Tennessee, located in Big Ridge State Park, may be the place for you. It is said to be a place where “witches” were put to death, though there is no supporting evidence. There is, however, a long and verifiable history of conflict between European settlers and indigenous people. Some also claim to see a ghostly dog running up and down the trails.
The Long Path
The Long Path, which connects Theills, New York to the Letchworth Village Cemetery, is said to be another incredibly haunted hiking trail. Letchworth was once a mental institution toward the beginning of the 20th century, where the “feeble minded and epileptic” were housed. Many of the individuals housed at the institution were children, and hundreds of anonymous graves mark the landscape. The institution was shut down in 1996.
The Transept Trail
If you happen to be visiting the Grand Canyon and want to give yourself a bit of a scare, take a hike down the 3-mile-long Transept trail. Some hikers have reported what they call a wailing woman, who appears to trekkers as a woman in a white dress with blue flowers crying for her husband and son who reportedly died from a hiking accident along the trail.
Chilnualna Falls Trail
Chilnualna falls is an eight and a half mile hike in Yosemite National Park that passes along Grouse Lake. According to a local legend, a young boy from an indigenous tribe drowned in the waters of Grouse Lake. Some hikers reportedly hear the cries of the boy drowning, and anyone who ventures into the water to attempt a rescue succumbs to the water as well.
Spruce Railroad Trail
In Olympic National Park, the spruce railroad trail runs along Lake Crescent where, in 1937, Hallie Latham Illingworth was murdered by her husband. Her body was discovered by fisherman three years later, and travelers along this eight-mile trail report seeing the spirit of a “Lady of the Lake” who continues to haunt the area.
At the peak of Bluff Mountain approximately 100 years ago, tragedy struck when four-year-old Ottie Cline Powell died after he wandered away from his school. Many hikers who reach the peak of the mountain report that they feel an unseen presence that leaves them feeling odd and unnerved. Could it be the spirit of Ottie?
The Bloody Lane Trail
Wow, I wonder how a place called “Bloody Lane Trail” got a reputation for being haunted? The name of the trail is apt given its history. During the civil war, more than 23,000 soldiers perished at the Battle of Antietam, and this 1.5 mile trail cuts through the battleground. Locals suggest that visitors don’t ago alone. Many report seeing ghostly soldiers, strange balls of light, hearing phantom gunfire, and smelling gunpowder.
The Black Diamond Mines
In the east bay of San Francisco, you’ll find the black diamond mines. The mines are purportedly haunted by the spirits of two women, sometimes referred to as witches. Sarah Norton, who is buried near the mines, was thrown from a buggy and died from the injuries she sustained. Mary, whose last name is unknown, was accused of witchcraft after several children in her care died of various diseases. The townspeople claimed they found evidence of her craft and hanged her for her crimes. If you hike to the black diamond mines, beware!
The Gold Mine Trail
In the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park in Maryland, you’ll find a haunted hiking trail called the gold mine trail. It winds through the forest and brings you to a cave where miners once hauled gold from the earth. Locals say that the trail is very haunted, with ghosts commonly seen near the two-mile mark. Similar to the bloody lane trail, a civil war battle happened near the gold mine trail, and some hikers reportedly see the spirits of soldiers and hear the sounds of gunfire.
Last on our list is Camp Lulu, located near Brownsville, Texas. It’s an abandoned girls’ camp with a haunted history. One of the camp counselors reportedly murdered a camper, and another rumor suggests that local gangs once used the camp as a killing field. Since then, this trail has been freaking out local hikers who say they hear the sounds of children playing and sometimes see toys left on the trail move by themselves. Spooky!