The Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most significant military battles in American history. On July 1, 1863, Union and Confederate forces met outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and fighting ensued. 50,000 soldiers lost their lives over the course of three days. Legend says, that you could walk across the entire battlefield on the bodies of the dead. The military disposed of 8,000 bodies without giving them proper burials and many suffered violent deaths. Therefore it would make sense that many unsettled spirits still haunt the massive battleground. Not only have people claimed to see ghosts of soldiers, but there have also been sightings of spirits of civilians who were killed as well.
The Tower of London is one of the most significant places in British history and will appear again at some point on this list. One of the many people who are said to haunt the halls of the Tower is that of Lady Jane Grey. Beheaded at 16 years old for the crime of high treason, they called her the Nine Day Queen. Jane was a pawn in a scheme to keep Mary I from becoming queen following the death of her brother, Edward VI. The king declared Jane Grey his successor, but that was not enough to save her life. Mary overthrew and then promptly executed her cousin. Many have seen Jane over the centuries, mainly at the Tower of London. Her ghost allegedly makes appearances on Christmas Eve, riding in a carriage drawn by headless horses while she holds her severed head in her lap.
Most remember Aaron Burr for his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton in 1804. We can also thank him for the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution which allows the President to choose his Vice President. Few know that today that his spirit haunts multiple places across New York. Some have seen his ghost wandering around his old neighborhood of West Village. Most of his ghostly activities though take place in a restaurant known today as One If By Land, Two If By Sea. The building that now houses the establishment is the carriage house once owned by Aaron Burr. Many describe his spirit as rather angry as it will reportedly smash dishes and move people’s chairs out from under them.
Holyrood Palace is located in scenic Edinburgh, Scotland and is one of the most haunted castles in all of the UK. The ghost of David Rizzio is one of many that haunts this castle. During the 16th century, Rizzo served as the Private Secretary to Mary Queen of Scots. The married queen’s relationship with Rizzo fell under the constant scrutiny of others, including her husband, Lord Darnley. He soon arranged David’s murder because he was so jealous. Darnley had his henchmen stab the man to death in front of Mary while he held her at gunpoint. It was a messy affair with blood everywhere. A bloodstain on the floor is still visible despite the floor being cleaned thoroughly over the centuries. You can even hear David’s cries echo in the halls on certain nights.
New Orleans is one of the most haunted cities in the world. Enshrouded in mystery, voodoo, and magic of all kinds, it is no wonder that all sorts of spirits supposedly call this place home. One of the many ghosts that can be found in the French Quarter is that of French pirate Jean Lafitte. He and his brother Pierre were on the wrong side of the law for most of their lives smuggling goods in and out of the country. Jean became a household name when he helped Andrew Jackson defend New Orleans during the War of 1812. Jean now makes appearances in one of the oldest buildings on Bourbon Street, Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. He never speaks or interacts with anyone, but his mysterious figure has been seen standing in the shadows watching the patrons who enter.
This mobster is one of the most iconic gangsters in American history. With his bigger than life physique and personality, you couldn’t miss him if you wanted to. His arrest in 1932 ended his reign as head mobster in the US. He served time for his crimes in various penitentiaries across the country. Because of this, there are various places across the US that people have claimed they have seen or heard his ghost. On tours conducted at Alcatraz, patrons can hear the twang of Capone’s banjo echoing in the shower. His spirit hangs out with other gangsters who were imprisoned there, like Alvin “Creepy” Carpis and ” Machine Gun” Kelly.
Plantations were not generally great places to live, especially if you were a slave. Many different spirits haunt the bed and breakfast at Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisianna. Chloe is the most famous spirit who still haunts the grounds. According to records, she became involved in an intimate “relationship” with her owner, Clarke Woodruff. Their affair lasted a few years until Woodruff’s wife cut off Chloe’s ear as punishment for something, maiming her. Chloe poisoned the family while Woodruff was away as revenge. When her fellow slaves discovered what she had done, they lynched her and dumped her body in the river to keep Woodruff from finding out. Her spirit did not go on into the afterlife and still wanders the plantation. Her image has been caught on film at least twice, giving further credence to her legend.
There are many actors and actresses that have died well before their time. One of those is Jean Harlow, 1930’s sex symbol and star of the silver screen. Her career was less than a decade but her death at age 26 came as a shock. There were a few rough patches in her life, including her marriage to Paul Bern who beat her. Jean’s ghost reportedly haunts the Hollywood home the couple shared. Cold spots can be felt, whispers can be heard, and even perfume can be smelled in one of the bedrooms. The couple who renovated the house in the 1970s claims that Jean even saved their lives by appearing to them in a dream. She showed them a faulty light system in the bathroom that could have burned the house down. They believe her spirit still wanders there but means no one any harm.
In 1897, the body of a Zona Heaster was found in her home. The young woman’s mother insisted she had been murdered. Many unusual things happened following Zona’s death. Her mother knew her new son-in-law had something to do with it. Following her daughter’s burial, she prayed that Zona would show her what really happened to her. According to legend, Zona appeared to her mother and told her that her husband had broken her neck in a fit of anger. To show this, the spirit turned its head all the way around. The authorities did a new autopsy after Zona’s mother told them her story. Ironically, they discovered her broken neck and placed her husband on trial. Her mother’s testimony helped convict Zona’s husband of her daughter’s murder.
General. Statesman. President. Andrew Jackson wore many different hats during his lifetime. He is remembered mostly for his actions during the War of 1812 and for his tenure as seventh president of the United States. An active man with a somewhat restless spirit, it makes sense that his soul still shows up in the places he inhabited most. His home in Tennesee known as The Hermitage and the White House are the most common places that people have interacted with him. One of the most well-known stories of Jackson’s rambunctious spirit comes from another person who lived in the White House; First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. In the Rose Room, (which was Jackson’s room during his presidency), you can still hear his boots stomping, voice cussing, and his hysterical laughter.
16. Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious-Punk Rock Couple
It is no secret that rockstars generally have an almost irresistible appeal that draws people to them. Nancy Spungen got caught in a rockstar’s glow when she met legendary Sex Pistols bassist, Sid Vicious in 1977. Their relationship was a total disaster in most respects involving drugs, alcohol, and abuse. The union ended on October 12, 1978, when police found Nancy’s lifeless body under the sink in the hotel room she lived in with Sid Vicious. They arrested Sid (whose real name is John Simon Ritchie) when his knife matched the stab wound in Nancy’s stomach. Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose while awaiting trial. Those who stay in Room 100 of the Hotel Chelsea claim to hear Nancy and Sid arguing, loud unexplained music, or have seen Sid in the elevator.
15. Abigail Adams- Second First Lady of the United States
Just because you are the First Lady of a brand new nation, doesn’t mean you don’t have chores to do. Abigail Adams is the first First Lady to live in the White House as the wife of the President of the United States. Of course, she did not do everything all by herself, but one thing she did by hand was the laundry. After washing the laundry, she would hang them out to dry in the East Room. In the 200 years since her passing, multiple patrons of the White House have claimed to see her ghost. Dressed in her traditional cap and lace shawl, she walks towards the East Room with her arms out like she is carrying a laundry basket. Some say they can even smell wet laundry and lavender when walking past the room.
The legend of Jesse James is synonymous with the American West. As a notorious outlaw, he and the members of his gang rode across the country robbing banks, coaches, and trains, wreaking havoc wherever they went. When the gang fell apart in the early 1880s, Jesse and his brother Frank needed a safe place to hide. The only people the James boys trusted were their friends Charley and Robert Ford. That trust was misplaced as Robert Ford shot his friend to death on April 3, 1882, for the reward money. Since his death, his spirit along with those of his brother and mother haunts the family farm in Kearny, Missouri. Lights are seen when the property is closed to the public and the sounds of horses hooves and whispering voices can also be heard, when there is truly no one there.
Two English princes vanished in 1483. Their only crime is that they were the only thing standing in between one man and his throne. When their father King Edward IV died, their uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester put the boys in the Tower of London to prepare Edward V for his coronation. Richard instead took the throne for himself and had the boys declared illegitimate. No one knew what happened to them until two small skeletons were discovered underneath the Tower over one hundred years later. Visitors to the Tower claim to have seen two boys in period clothing, wandering the halls holding hands or cowering in fear. There is even a photograph in existence that caught the reflection of a young boy in a display case when there were no children in the room.
The Blood Countess Elizabeth Bathory is one of the most prolific serial killers of all time according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She is the Hungarian noblewoman who is accused of killing upwards of 600 young women so she could bathe and drink their blood to preserve her youth. Whether or not she committed these crimes, they imprisoned her anyway. Locked away in Cachtice Castle until her death in 1614, her soul supposedly still resides there today. Those who visit the castle have claimed to see her walking about, the only thing she is missing is her face. When walking around the property, in certain places you can even hear whispers and voices that may belong to the Countess herself.
11. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow- Criminal Couple
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow are two of the most notorious outlaws of the 20th century. This bank-robbing couple wreaked havoc across multiple states and were in and out of jail multiple times. Their crime spree came to an explosive end when a police posse ambushed the couple and another gang member in May of 1934. The violent shoot out resulted in each of them being shot over 50 times each and their funerals drew thousands of people. The nature of their deaths would lead some to believe that their souls have some unfinished business before they move on to the afterlife. The spirits of the couple still haunt the V8 Ford “Death Car” in which they were shot, as well as the woods surrounding the ambush site. Bonnie’s ghost even makes appearances at The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas, as the couple stayed here during their crime rampage.
One of the most infamous figures in world history is Marie Antoinette. The last queen of France before the French Revolution, she lived a luxurious and decadent lifestyle while people starved in the streets of Paris. The residents of France soon tired of the government, her husband, and eventually of Marie herself. The abolishment of the monarchy in 1792, put Marie and her husband Louis XVI in hot water. The following year the couple was executed and nearly forgotten. Despite her violent demise, Marie has remained an iconic symbol over the last 200 years. The ghosts of Marie and Louis are said to haunt their former home of Versailles. In her bedroom, you can feel cold spots and unexplained mists. Sometimes furniture moves on its own or glasses break for no reason.
One of the hunkiest actors of his time, James Dean was a household name in the 1950s. His roles in East of Eden and Rebel Without A Cause earned him a place in the hearts of teenage girls everywhere. When a deadly car accident took his life on September 30, 1955, it devastated fans the world over. Since his death, his ghost has been seen in different locations, but the one place people see him most is his burial site at Park Cemetary in Indiana. Many claim to have seen him sitting on top of his gravestone or feel cold spots near the grave during the summer. Legend also says that if you leave an unlit cigarette at his grave and walk away, when you return you will find it has been lit and smoke is in the air.
Walt Disney revolutionized the animation industry and children’s entertainment in the 1950s. During his life, he gave the world endless smiles and laughter with the development of Disneyland, and its iconic character, Mickey Mouse. Though he died of lung cancer in 1966, his legacy did not and park officials claim his spirit didn’t either. Walt had an apartment above Main Street in Disneyland, located above the fire station. A light is always left on in Walt’s apartment. This tradition started when a worker turned the light out one night while closing, and when she returned the light was back on. She even heard a voice whisper, “I’m still here.” Since then, the light has always been left burning for Walt.
One of the most prolific rulers in the history of the world was Elizabeth I of England. She accomplished many things during her reign as queen. Her rule was so successful that it is often referred to as the Golden Age. Though history now remembers her fondly, her life had a rough beginning. Between her father executing her mother, being removed from the line of succession multiple times, and being locked in the Tower of London, she had a rough road to the throne. Elizabeth died over 500 years ago, but her descendants say she still walks among them. Her spirit walks to the library in Windsor Castle and floats down the halls. She really likes to appear to her family members as well. The father of England’s current monarch claimed to have seen his ancestor eight times in a row on upon the outbreak of WWII.
The King of Rock and Roll is one of the most popular spirits that people continue to see. Famous for his deep voice, handsome face and swiveling hips, Elvis is one of the best selling music artists of all time. Many people claim to see Elvis’ ghost in many different places, but the main place that he is frequently seen is Graceland. Elvis’ home in Memphis is a hotbed of activity when it comes to the King. His image has been caught on film in reflective surfaces and there is supposed video footage that exists as well. There have been hundreds of Elvis sightings in the 40 years since his death. So many in fact that there are those who believe that he isn’t really dead.
Actress. Model. Icon. All of these words can be used to describe Marilyn Monroe. Also known as Norma Jean Baker, she starred in films such as Gentleman Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch. Playboy Magazine even used her photo as the centerfold for their first issue. Her life in front of the cameras wasn’t all glitz and glam as she went through three divorces, miscarriages, and conflicts with her studios. She died young of a barbiturate overdose in 1962 and since then her ghost has been seen numerous places. One of the most common places patrons interact with Marilyn is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The room she stayed in experiences cold spots some of the hotel staff have seen her image in the mirror a time or two when cleaning it. If you want to get up close and personal with the blonde bombshell herself, you can book her old room in the Roosevelt and stay a night.
King Henry VIII is one of the most recognizable figures from the Tudor Dynasty. He beheaded two of his wives, divorced two, and died before he could get rid of his last wife. Henry changed the political and cultural landscape of England in a way that shaped the country for years to follow. When he died at a relatively young age, most assumed the temperamental ruler was gone for good. Turns out that he still resides in Windsor Castle alongside other famous British rulers. His apparition stomps up and down hallways and even shouts every so often. As he still clearly harbors some anger from his lifetime so most try to steer clear of his hot-tempered spirit.
On April 15, 1865 the fate of the United States changed forever with the death of Abraham Lincoln. Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth assissinated Lincoln following the end of the Civil War. The spirit of the 16th President reportedly still inhabits the halls of the White House. The wife of President Calvin Coolidge was the first to see Lincoln’s ghost standing in the Oval Office looking out of the window. His spirit became active again a century later during FDR’s presidency. Eleanore Roosevelt claimed to feel his presence in her study while she worked there. Even famous visitors to the White House like Winston Churchill have seen him. Lincoln reportedly surprised Churchill when he got out of his evening bath.
Ben Franklin is one of the most significant figures in American history. As a writer, inventor, and founding father, Franklin’s legacy is almost anywhere you look. He wore many different hats during his lifetime and as such his spirit has been seen in various locations. Philadelphia, the city most closely associated with Franklin, is the most likely place you might see his ghost. People have seen him strolling the streets from time to time, and one woman claimed he had knocked her over while she was in the American Philosophical Society Library. Old Ben also appears to have a sense of humor as he is said to possess the statue of himself that is outside the American Philosophical Society and go dancing in the streets.
Beheaded in 1536 by her angry husband, Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn clearly met a violent end. Scholars say that she may have actually been innocent of the charges Henry brought against her. If this is the case, it would make sense that her soul could not rest peacefully. As such, she has been seen in various places across England. She wanders past the Queen’s House near where she was executed and has appeared to be leading a procession of nobles across the Tower of London. She also appears at her childhood home of Hever Castle around Christmas time and visits Rochford Castle where she and Henry first met. Some who have seen her claim that she also likes to ride around in a carriage, holding her severed head in her lap, just like her niece, the Lady Jane Grey.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources