A ghost is usually defined as the apparition of a deceased person which frequently carries the deceased person's likeness and is experienced in association with the person's former habitats. The word "ghost" may also refer to the spirit or soul of a deceased person, or to any spirit or demon.Ghosts are often associated with haunting, which is, according to the Parapsychological Association, "The more or less regular occurrence of paranormal phenomena associated with a particular locality (especially a building) and usually attributed to the activities of a discarnate entity; the phenomena may include apparitions, poltergeist disturbances, cold drafts, sounds of steps and voices, and various odors."
Ghosts are controversial phenomena. According to a 2005 poll by the Gallup Organization, about 32% of Americans believe in ghosts.The term ghost has been replaced by apparition in parapsychology, because the word ghost is deemed insufficiently precise.
- 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island, New York, is reputedly haunted due to a mass murder (the DeFeo family) that took place in the house on the evening of November 13, 1974. The Lutz family moved into the house thirteen months later, but fled 28 days later claiming that the house was haunted. Families have continuously lived in the house since the Lutz family fled and have reported no supernatural disturbances. Several people (notably the attorney for the man who murdered the DeFeo family) have come forward to say that the story was concocted as a money making scheme and an appeals strategy over many bottles of wine. Though both George and Kathy Lutz disputed that until Kathy's death in 2005, the Amityville Horror book and film franchise has been a huge money-maker for over 25 years.
- 514 E. 2nd Street in Bloomington, Indiana is reportedly haunted and known for various paranormal phenomena and events. Residents have reported sickening smell drifting throughout the house being emitted from the basement. Other eerie effects, such as food being taken, unclaimed dirty dishes being found, and shaving cream sprayed on the bathroom walls, have been witnessed.
- Alcatraz - a former maximum security prison on an island in San Francisco Bay in the United States, which is no longer used as a prison, where visitors and tour guides have made claims of hearing screams, slamming jail doors, and footsteps.
- Athens, Ohio is said to be one of the most haunted places in America, and is reputed to contain many ghosts. One oft-made claim is that, when drawing a line from each of the 5 (or, in some versions, 10) graveyards, one creates a pentagram; this claim is false. Ohio University is also considered by some to be the most haunted campus in America, as it is the former state hospital, Athens State Mental Hospital.
- Bobby Mackey's Music World, a country-western nightclub in Wilder, Kentucky (in the Cincinnati, Ohio metro area) is reputed to be "a gateway to Hell."
- Belcourt Castle, a French Renaissance-style château in Newport, Rhode Island, is alleged to be the location of numerous paranormal phenomena and events, including moving chairs, moving armor, ghostly apparitions, a possessed statue and various other sightings.
- Boone County, Illinois has several intersecting roads south of the city of Belvidere with a reputation of being haunted, most notably Bloodspoint Road. Stories circulated by the surrounding populace include a phantom vehicle that chases cars, a vanishing farmhouse and various apparitions.
- The Boston Athenĉum is said to be haunted by the scholarly Rev. Harris, who was seen there by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
- The Brown Grand Theatre in Concordia, Kansas has stories of a ghost that haunts the theatre, especially during the opening season.
- The Brinton Lodge in Douglassville, Pennsylvania is a locally-famous reputedly haunted house. The original structure, built in the early 1700s, was a one-room building which was operated as a tavern/roadhouse stop along the Schuylkill River Canal System. Legend has it that at least five spirits inhabit this property, "Dapper Dan", Caleb Brinton, an older woman, and a "lady in white."
- Bunnyman Bridge in Fairfax County, Virginia has several stories about an entity (the "Bunnyman") who supposedly haunts the area.
- Chickamauga Battlefield in northwest Georgia, site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. According to some, Chickamauga is haunted by the ghosts of killed soldiers and a frightening entity known as "Green Eyes"
- Several buildings located at Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida are reported to be haunted. While the attraction itself has been closed down for a few years, many of the remaining local businesses have moved elsewhere, supposedly because of the paranormal phenomenon. Church Street Station is now, however, a very popular tourist destination for ghost hunters, parapsychologists, and paranormal enthusiasts.Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas - One of the most famous hotels in the state of Texas, and long a gathering place for the state's political players, it is said to be haunted by at least half a dozen ghosts, including the spirit of a young girl heard bouncing a ball down the main stairs; the ghost of founder Jesse Driskill himself; and a "suicide bride" who killed herself in room 427 in 1989.
- Forest Park Cemetery, in Brunswick, New York, gained fame (or, rather, infamy) as a result of a magazine article that listed it as one of the Top 10 Haunted Places in America. Little is known as to why it would be haunted, but many have reported strange activities there. The cemetery itself is in a shameful state of disrepair; many graves are desecrated, almost every statue is missing its head, and the rusted-out, skeletal ruins of what was to be a beautiful building stand in the center of the cemetery.
- The George Stickney House in Bull Valley, Illinois, has a unique design due to Stickney's belief in spiritualism. It is thought that he and his wife wished to communicate with their dead children. Today the house is the local police department, and it is claimed that police report strange sounds, objects moving around, lights turning off, and door knobs turning and doors opening by themselves. Other homes in the area are also rumored to be haunted. The nearby Holcombville cemetery includes tombs of the Stickney children and a person killed in the crash of American Airlines Flight 191.Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania is allegedly the most haunted battlefield in the United States.
- Haunted Hollywood is a term used to describe the places in the Los Angeles, California area that are believed by some to be haunted by the ghosts of celebrities and others.
- The World War II era aircraft carrier USS Hornet (which is no longer on active duty.) Crewmen believed to have seen the ghosts of the sailors who served on her during World War II walk around the interior of the ship late during the night. Crewmen are said to have reported seeing the ghosts walk through corridors and on catwalks.
- Huntress Hall in Keene, New Hampshire - A college resident hall located at Keene State College, said to be haunted by the ghost of the dorm's namesake, Harriet Huntress. Students are said to often report strange noises coming from the attic, where her wheelchair still rests to this day.
- The Haunted Grand Hotel in Jerome, Arizona started out as the United Verde Hospital in January 1927 and is supposed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Arizona, due to it's days as a hospital and asylum. Many events are claimed to have occurred on the site in the past, including various murders, suicides, and accidental deaths. Occurrences claimed to be common in the hotel include mysterious elevator activity, footsteps, moaning, heavy breathing, coughing, doors flying open, and lights turning on and off by themselves.
- The King George Inn Restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The apparitions of a woman and young child who are dressed in 1700s style clothing, are said to have been sighted walking from the entrance into the dining room, along with the sounds of a baby crying have been heard in the kitchen, close to an old well in the basement.
- The Lemp Mansion Restaurant and Inn in St. Louis, Missouri is said to be haunted by ghosts of the members of the Lemp family. Four of the Lemp family members committed suicide. Supposed manifestations include glasses flown off the bar, feelings of being watched, apparitions, etc.
- The Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts, which is now a Bed and Breakfast, is claimed to be the most haunted house in America. The site of a double murder, one of the most famous in US history, claimed sightings, noises and the feeling of a cat walking across people have all been reported.
- The Mansion, owned by music producer Rick Rubin in Los Angeles. Many musicians have allegedly reported that eerie situations have happened. It is rumored that the house has been haunted since the 1920s, when the son of a furniture store owner pushed his homosexual lover from the balcony.
- Matheny's Bridge near Section, Alabama is reportedly haunted by a coffin which can be seen floating underneath the bridge late at night and the ghost of a baby which can be heard crying on nights with a full moon.
- The Masquerade, a now-defunct performance theatre/music venue located in the historic entertainment district of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida, is said to house ghosts whose moods were dictated nightly by the quality of music played
- Moonville, Ohio - A forgotten mining and railroad ghost town, little left behind to mark its place except a railroad tunnel allegedly haunted by three spirits. The town's cemetery is also supposed to be haunted.
- Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana claims to be the most haunted house in the United States. The Myrtles Plantation is a bed-and-breakfast inn located on the outskirts of St. Francisville, 30 miles north of Baton Rouge.
- New Orleans, Louisiana - Numerous sites in this city, especially in the French Quarter, claim multiple hauntings. Arnaud's and Brennan's restaurants, the Hotel Monteleone, the park and cathedral at Jackson Square, and most of Royal Street are among the French Quarter's most famous allegedly haunted sites. Since Hurricane Katrina, it is claimed that many residents report higher paranormal activity than usual.
- A field just to the northwest of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was the site of the crash of American Airlines Flight 191, and residents of a nearby trailer park have reported spectres of the passengers approaching their homes or walking up to them, as well as knocking sounds and strange lights.
- Ohio State Reformatory - nineteenth century prison reputedly haunted by a Mrs. Glattle, who was killed in 1950 when a gun accidentally fell and discharged.
- The Old Jail House of St. Augustine, Florida, which is said to be haunted by the spirits of prisoners.
- The Old Town section of Spring, Texas is reputed to host many ghosts, including spirits from Spring's days as an American Old West town, and a bank robbery credited to Bonnie and Clyde.
- Point Pleasant, West Virginia is famous for the legend of Mothman who has been claimed to be sighted numerous times since the late 1960s. Various rumors of UFOs, haunted hotels, and Men in Black make this town a popular destination for tourists. A movie, starring American actor Richard Gere, was made which was loosely based on the stories of Mothman.
- Race Rock Light - a lighthouse on Race Rock Reef, southwest of Fishers Island, New York. The reef is a dangerous set of rocks off the coast of Fishers Island on Long Island Sound and was the site of many shipwrecks.
- The Staup house in Jasper Township, Michigan is said to be haunted by a dead farmer and his family.
- A guest room in the Story Inn in Story, Indiana is supposedly haunted by a ghost known as "the Blue Lady". Little is known of who she might be, or why she might haunt that room, but her alleged presence is mentioned in many separate guestbook entries. According to some, she seems more likely to appear if a certain table-lamp is turned on.
- Summerwind - A mansion located in Wisconsin with 70 years of alleged ghost sightings.
- Sunnyvale, California - Many Toys "R" Us employees have reported seeing unusual rearranging of toys in the aisles, and reported sightings of a man in his thirties dressed in old clothing. His name is believed to be Johan, and is believed to be a farmer who used to live on the site of the Toys "R" Us and is just keeping "an eye on the old place". The store still remains open today; most customers are completely unaware of this legend. Johan
- The Union Hotel in Flemington, New Jersey, famous for housing national and international media during the trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, is today just a restaurant. However, the upper floors that were once hotel rooms are used for some of its back offices, and employees working there have reported ghost sightings and poltergeists.
- The Vanderlip Mansion in Palos Verdes, California, former home of Frank A. Vanderlip, the wealthiest landowner on the peninsula. Local urban legends claim that either Vanderlip's wife or daughter killed the rest of the family, including Frank's two dogs, and committed suicide at this site. At night, visions of family members are said to have been seen in the windows of the mansion while the dogs have been spotted haunting the wooded area and hillside behind the mansion. During the day, human voices can supposedly be heard in the wooded area.
- Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky - a former tuberculosis hospital, Waverly Hills has been of strong interest with paranormal investigators, some calling it "the most haunted place on Earth". There are unconfirmed reports of more than 60,000 deaths at the site, and the property owners, workers, and investigators have claimed that at almost anytime you can see strange lights, phantasms and shadows moving around the corridors and rooms of the building.
- The Whaley House in the "Old Town" section of San Diego, California, is a reportedly haunted house. The house was one of the region's first court houses as well as hanging grounds before being converted to a residence. The Whaley House is claimed to be recognized by the federal government as being haunted.
- The White House in Washington, D.C. is riddled with stories of different hauntings.
- The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, USA is supposedly haunted by the ghost of its eccentric builder, Sarah Winchester. Ironically, she is said to have built the rambling mansion to protect her from the spirits of all those killed with her late husband's famous line of rifles.
- The Alkimos: a shipwreck in Western Australia.
- Fremantle Prison in Western Australia - the face of Martha Rendell, the only woman to be hanged at Fremantle, appears in the window of the church regularly. The face seems to be caused by ripples in the glass that reflect light in an unusual way, but the resemblance is uncanny.
Belgrave Hall in Leicester, caught peoples attention in 1999 when a white figure was captured on CCTV. One theory is it is the daughter of a former owner.
- Borley Rectory in the village of Borley Essex, England. Many reported sighting since 1885. The house was burnt down in 1939, and remains a major source of controversy.
- Chillingham Castle in Northumberland is reputed to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. This remote, eerie castle is regularly featured on paranormal TV and radio programs. It is believed that every room in the castle is haunted by at least one spirit. Famous ghosts include the Blue Boy - the ghost of a young boy whose body was found bricked-up in a wall between two parts of the castle.
- Cranborne Chase in Dorset. A ghost riding a horse bareback, and wielding an axe, is supposedly seen. Witnesses described him as looking like a stone age warrior.
- Denbigh Castle, Denbigh, North Wales is reported to be haunted by a grey lady apparition.
- Hampton Court Palace - home of King Henry VIII of England, whose fifth wife, Catherine Howard, is supposed to be heard screaming in the Haunted Gallery. In October 2003, CCTV footage allegedly showed someone in 16th century clothes and no face closing a firedoor that, though locked, was constantly being opened without anyone near it.
- Mary King's Close in Edinburgh, Scotland is reportedly one of the most haunted places in Scotland. The close, built in the 1600s, housed hundreds of people during the plague of 1645 who were quarantined in their homes during the terrible outbreak. People have reported not only hearing voices, but seeing a lady dressed in black, dogs, and a young girl by the name of "Annie" who was found by a Japanese psychic in 1993.
- Minsden Chapel in Hertfordshire is reputed to be haunted by a single monk climbing stairs which no longer exist.
- The Old Bailey, London's main criminal court. A person of unclear gender supposedly appears in the building during major trials. These appearances have been allegedly witnessed by judges, barristers and policemen.
- Ordsall Hall in Salford is said to be haunted by the "White Lady" who allegedly committed suicide by throwing herself off a balcony overlooking the Great Hall. Staff say they have heard footsteps down the only set of stairs in the gift shop. Alleged paranormal activity at the site was featured during an episode of the television show Most Haunted.
- Ostrich Inn in Colnbrook, England is alleged to have recently started to experience poltergeist activity, witnessed by live-in staff and customers.
- Pluckley in Kent is claimed to be the most haunted village in Britain, with claims to have 12 established ghosts and one that has only recently started appearing, although some of the ghosts are thought to have been fabricated to enhance the town's reputation.
- The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall has been "seen" quite a few times over the years. She is called the 'Brown Lady' because of the brown brocade dress that the ghost is supposedly seen wearing while wandering the halls and staircase of Raynham Hall. In 1849 Major Loftus and a friend named Hawkins claimed to see the ghost one night after retiring to bed, saying they were amazed by the old fashioned clothing that she wore. The following night the Major claimed to see the figure once again, saying he took note of her "empty eye-sockets". The incident resulted in several members of staff resigning and a full investigation of Raynham Hall involving local detectives.
- Stabane, Grammer in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland the school which has been standing in Strabane for a long time. It was once a convent but now changed to A school. It's supposedly haunted by two nuns, the white nun and black nun: the White nun goes into local houses through the window and leaves through the door but the black one enters through the door and never leaves.
- Temple Newsam is reported to be the most haunted house in Yorkshire, with the most famous ghost being that of Mary Ingram, commonly known as the Blue lady, who in her life became deranged after an attack by highwaymen. Ghosts linked with the more famous residents of Temple Newsam include that of the White lady: this is said to be the ghost of a Lady Jane Dudley née Grey (not the same as Queen Jane) who worked at the house for Lord Darnley, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. She fell in love with Lord Darnley and committed suicide when she heard of his marriage to the Queen of Scots.
- Towneley Hall near Burnley in Lancashire: an allegedly spectral White Lady.
- Upton Court in Upton, Slough, is said to be haunted by a girl (aged around 18) in a blood-stained nightdress on some Friday evenings, seen walking towards the main door of this late-medieval manor house. It is now owned by the Slough Observer newspaper. Similar sights have been reported at the immediately adjacent St Laurence's Church.Windsor Castle - home of English and British royalty for 1000 years. Numerous ghosts are supposed to have been seen, including Anne Boleyn, who supposedly runs down a corridor screaming. Among those who claimed to have seen the ghost, who sometimes is said to be carrying her head, are King George VI, William Ewart Gladstone and Andrew, Duke of York.
- Worcester Royal Grammar School, Worcester: an allegedly spectral White Lady, probably a nun.