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Haunted destinations

From the inspiration for “The Shining” to the Headless Horseman’s hangout, visit the world’s wildest, weirdest tourist attractions ... if you dare.

Re-enactors leave the field at dusk on the fields in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, site of the bloody Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. Union and Confederate armies suffered 46,000 to 51,000 casualties in total in the battle. John Moore / Getty Images
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is a local landmark in Louisville, Kentucky. The vacant building has become an attraction for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts, who insist the building is haunted by former patients. Dylan Lovan / AP
The Battle of the Alamo happened in 1836 as part of the Texas Revolution.The Alamo became one of the Lone Star State's most historic sites. A quick online search can return hundreds of results about how the area is supposedly haunted by the ghosts of fallen soldiers. Jill Torrance / Getty Images
This is an aerial view, taken in 1994, of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif. The house, a maze of 160 rooms built by a firearms heiress to fend off pursuing ghosts, has been given national landmark status. AP
Now a bed and breakfast, this antebellum estate northwest of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been called "America's Most Haunted Home." Reported phenomena include an oil portrait whose features become animated, a "bloody handprint" on the adjacent wall, and doors that open and close by themselves. Courtesy of The Myrtles Plantation
Built in 1893, the Pfister is the most regal address in Milwaukee, having hosted every U.S. president since William McKinley and scores of celebrities. But rumors abound that late at night, the spirit of hotel founder Charles Pfister, who died in 1927, arrives to check in. Some guests report hearing strange noises and having paranormal experiences. Morry Gash / AP
The former maximum security facility on an island in San Francisco Bay was once home to Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. It is no longer used as a prison, but visitors and tour guides have claimed to hear screams, slamming cell doors, and footsteps. Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images
Bran Castle, Dracula's castle, in fog, Transylvania. Gavin Quirke / Lonely Planet Images
The house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York, gained infamy in a best-selling book and several movies. Former owners reported creaking noises, voices, the music of a full marching band in the middle of the night, foul odors, and a black, shapeless apparition. Corbis
This ancient stronghold overlooking Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions. It is reputed to have many ghosts, including a drummer who only appears when the castle is about to be attacked, and a piper who disappeared in the tunnels underneath it. Jonathan Smith / Lonely Planet Images
In the 1800s, Paris’s cemeteries were coming dangerously close to being filled, so some bodies were moved to tunnels that had been dug beneath the city by workers quarrying for building materials. Bones and skulls are stacked up throughout the Catacombs, and visitors have reported strange voices. Fred De Noyelle / Corbis
A familiar haunt for artists and bohemians in the Chelsea district of New York City since it was built in 1883, the Hotel Chelsea still puts up guests today ... if they don’t mind sharing accommodations with the reputed ghosts of former residents Dylan Thomas, Eugene O’Neill, and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious. Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images
Located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, this prison was designed to encourage solitude, supposedly helping prisoners open themselves up to God. But it is said that many went mad instead ... which may explain the eerie noises that have been reported since it closed. Matt Rourke / AP
In 1892, a young woman checked into this luxury hotel on California’s San Diego Bay to meet her husband. He never arrived, and a few days later, she was found dead on the hotel steps. Since then, guests and staff have noticed the pale figure of a young lady in a black lace dress.... Nathan Hughes
It is said that the ghost of a harpist who was hanged in 1644 for peeping at the lady of the house can be seen wandering this castle in western Scotland, and can be heard playing every day in its library. The castle is home to the 13th Duke of Argyll today, but sometimes opens its doors to brave visitors. Graeme Cornwallis / Lonely Planet Images
The Big Easy’s French Quarter is well-known to tourists for its hot jazz and spicy food. But New Orleans is also the historic center of voodoo traditions that African-Americans brought to Louisiana during the days of the slave trade. Although those customs were suppressed by slave owners, they linger on today. Mel Evans / AP
This 18th-century castle near Potsdam in eastern Germany is a hotel and restaurant today ... but its corridors harbor a dark history involving murderous barons. Sven Kaestner / AP
Michael Gurling, right, of the Forks, Wash., Chamber of Commerce, talks about the bonfire location on a beach in LaPush, Wash., that is portrayed in Stephenie Meyer's wildly successful vampire-themed "Twilight" books and movies. Ted S. Warren / AP
In 1947, the keeper of this historic lighthouse on the eastern coast of Australia mysteriously disappeared. Afterward, many visitors have claimed to hear his hobnail boots at night, and it’s said his ghost continues to keep the tower’s brass doorknobs polished to this day. Oliver Strewe / Lonely Planet Images
The location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, dramatized in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible,” is today a mix of important historical sites, New Age boutiques, and witch-kitsch attractions. The Salem Witch Museum claims to be the most visited one in town. Ed Young / Corbis
This picturesque village 30 miles north of New York City was immortalized in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s classic tale of schoolteacher Ichabod Crane and the fearsome Headless Horseman. Irving implied that the apparition Ichabod saw was a fake, but a number of visitors also have claimed to see the Horseman, supposedly a Hessian trooper whose head was carried off by a cannonball during the Revolutionary War. Susan Rosenthal / Corbis
This neoclassical hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, was the real-life inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s “The Shining.” It is named for Freelan O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, whose ghost has been reported visiting its billiard room and bar. Guests also complain about children playing in the hallways at night ... even when no children are checked in. Rob Lee
The ghosts of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, just two of hundreds of victims executed on Tower Hill over the Tower of London's bloody 900-year history, are among many that have been seen in what is called England's most haunted building. Legend has it that in 1816, a guard died of fright after seeing an apparition of a bear approaching him. Scott Barbour / Getty Images
America's most famous residence is the setting for a number of ghost stories, some of which have even made it onto the official White House Web site. The spirit of Abigail Adams supposedly continues to do laundry in the East Room, while the ghost of Dolley Madison has been reported looking down upon the Rose Garden. Alex Wong / Getty Images