The 15 Scariest Haunted Hiking Trails In The U.S.
Just reading about these trails is giving us goosebumps...
In the mood for a hike this weekend? Check out this list of the scariest hiking places in the U.S. Hopefully one is in your area! (Make sure to pack some marshmallows and your Kindle to tell scary ghost stories if you’re going for an evening hike.)
1. Bluff Mountain and Punchbowl Shelter, Virginia
Four-year-old Ottie Cline Powell died on the mountain over a century ago after wandering away from his schoolhouse, says Backpacker. The Virginia Trail Guide blog notes seeing the grave marker when they hiked through here.
The Blue Ridge Country website says many hikers feel “an eerie, unseen presence near the mountain top.”
2. Black Diamond Mines, Antioch, California
Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is located way out in the San Francisco East Bay (I’ve been there). The Wailing Witch is thought to haunt the mines after she was executed for failing to take care of children in her care, which led to their deaths. And a lady named Sarah Norton was crushed to death by her carriage, so she hangs out at the nearby Rose Hill Cemetery. If my wife and I had known this, we might’ve just spent the day at Six Flags instead.
3. The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles
Yes, that Hollywood sign. It’s been a landmark for ages, but there’s a story. In L.A. there’s always a story. It seems back in September of 1932, an actress named Peg Entwhistle decided to climb up the back of the “H” and then leapt to her death. Modern Hiker says on Sept. 18, her purse, shoes and jacket were found along with a suicide note. “I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.”
Here’s a live webcam of the sign. Do you see her?
While her body was cremated and buried in Ohio, there are those who claim to have seen her apparition fall from the H and vanish before it hit the ground, and spotted her wandering hiking trails in Griffith Park and near her old home on Beachwood Canyon Drive. You might even catch a whiff of her favorite gardenia perfume at those spots, too.
Want to go? Modern Hiker has route and trailhead info.
4. Bloody Lane Trail, Maryland
The name alone should tip you off. In the Civil War, more than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing at the Battle of Antietam. Here are details on the 1.5 mile route. Don’t go alone—Travel Channel says visitors report “seeing ghostly soldiers both day and night, and phenomena include witnessing balls of blue light, hearing drumming, gunfire and battlefield songs, and smelling gunpowder.”
5. Chilnualna Falls Trail
This one is located in Yosemite National Park, and the 8.4 mile trail passes Grouse Lake. As the legend goes, a young boy from a local Native American tribe drowned in these waters, and you can still hear his cries. If you try to help him…you’ll be pulled under, too. Just sayin’.
Oh… and one more thing about the Chilnualna Falls Trail. Stories say there’s an evil spirit named Pohono—and if you get too close to the edge of the highest waterfall (which you shouldn’t be anywhere near anyway, evil spirit or not) the spirit will push you over the side.
Despite the scary stories, plenty of hikers remain undeterred, including Instagrammer @jessicapatt, who posted this fearless photo from the falls:
6. Spruce Railroad Trail, Olympic National Park, Washington
The trail runs along Lake Crescent, and that (allegedly) is the home of “The Lady Of The Lake.” According to Backpacker, the husband of Hallie Latham Illingworth killed her back in 1937, and fisherman found her mummified body three years later. FWIW: Keep an eye peeled for her ghost on the 8-mile loop trail. Maybe keep two eyes peeled.
7. Long Path, New York
You wanna follow the Long Path to Theills in Rockland County, New York. You’ll eventually pass Letchworth Village Cemetery. Letchworth was a mental institution built in 1911 for the “epileptic and feeble-minded” that housed mostly children, and hundreds of anonymous grave markers note their final resting places. Travel Channel notes they were subjected to clinical drug trials and suffered from abuse and extreme neglect. It was shut down in 1996, and trespassing is illegal. Except for ghosts.
Still, Sorta Outdoorsy calls the Long Path a terrific day hike and has transit info on how to get there.
8. Transept Trail, Arizona
This three-mile trek along the Grand Canyon North Rim is known for its striking beauty. Oh, and, as the story goes, the Wailing Woman. Wearing a white dress with blue flowers, she’s often spotted at night crying for her husband and son, who died in a hiking accident.
9. Ghost House Trail, Tennessee
This trail in Big Ridge State Park is known for a witch-hanging and a Native American-scalping. The hanging isn’t confirmed but a plaque on the nearby Indian Rock Trail does mention the, um, other thing. What is noteworthy here is that the trail was named for the house of the Hutchinson family. Their daughter Mary died of tuberculosis in the 1800s. Neighbors reported hearing cries and spotting ghosts long after the family left, and people still report the sounds of a phantom dog running up and down the trail, panting.