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There are also a number of stories concerning Mary Anne Pleasant, the so-called “Voodoo Queen of San Francisco,” who was a former slave and abolitionist who used a knowledge of the black arts to gain wealth and influence among the city’s elite.
Even the trendy San Francisco Art Institute, which is rumored to have been built on top of a graveyard that housed victims of the 1906 earthquake, is said to be the home of several ghosts who have frequently been seen climbing the stairs to a tower that overlooks the ancient cemetery.
Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, but the former maximum-security prison is also home to some of the city’s weirdest ghost stories.
Visitors to the island often claim to see apparitions walking the cellblocks, and sometimes hear voices emanating from what was once the cafeteria.
This small, otherwise peaceful community has inspired stories of hauntings that include everything from a headless train conductor to pagan cults and the violent murders of livestock.
Many claim that when plotted on a map, the city’s five major graveyards form the symbol of a pentagram, and strange rituals are at the center of many of Athens’ most famous ghost tales.
Portland was notorious for this practice thanks to a series of labyrinthine underground tunnels that run beneath the city streets, which were used by the Shanghaiiers as a safe way to capture and transfer victims to the harbor without being seen.
A lot of these stories date back over a hundred years, when the town became associated with the Spiritualist movement of the 1800s.
The most famous tells of Jonathan Koons, a poor farmer who was instructed by ghosts to build a “spirit room” in which apparitions would then manifest and communicate with him from beyond the grave.
The island’s art and historical museum isn’t haunted, but it does contain one of the creepiest artifacts of Key West’s history in the form of Robert, a large doll that many claim is possessed.
The doll was given to painter Gene Otto in the early 1900s, and the young boy soon became deathly afraid of it, as he said it would often threaten him and wake him in the night by throwing furniture around the room.