Legends and tales of ghosts and tortured earth-bound spirits have fascinated humans for thousands of years. These stories awaken primal drives of fight or flight that have kept life on earth safe for millions of years. But it’s more than that when it comes to the supernatural. As the only species on the planet aware of our own mortality, we yearn for proof of the afterlife, existence beyond our corporeal forms. Ghost hunting has gained popularity over the years with dozens of shows and movies inspiring people to pick up a camcorder and an EMF detector. If you’re thinking of giving it a go, or you’re just hoping for a once in a life time encounter, here are 11 of the scariest ghost tours in America to get you started.
1) The Winchester House, San Jose, California
This mansion was once the home of Sarah Winchester, widow of firearm manufacturer William Winchester. Most recently it was brought back to light by the movie “Winchester.” The story is about how Sarah believed the ghosts of people killed by her husband’s rifles haunted her. Originally built on 160 acres in San Jose, California (now down to six), construction on the mansion began in 1884 and continued until Sarah’s death in 1922. She designed many hallways, stairs and doors to nowhere to confuse the angry spirits. She also held regular seances. There are approximately 161 rooms, 47 fireplaces, over 10,000 panes of glass (much of it is Tiffany stained glass) and 17 chimneys designed with Victorian influence. The Winchester house offers several tours lasting about three hours. Make sure to buy your tickets and book your ghost tour in advance.