North Carolina is one of the thirteen original colonies, and as such has a long, storied history—some of it haunted. From the coast to the mountains, you can find paranormal activity and tales of hauntings throughout the state. Below are the top 13 most haunted places in North Carolina you can visit.
Haunted Destinations for North Carolina Travelers
According to legend and sightings, you can find the ghost of Blackbeard, wandering Civil War soldiers, or the devil himself in North Carolina. Read on to plan your tour of North Carolina’s haunted locations.
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13 Most Haunted Places in North Carolina
Haunted North Carolina stories include a wide variety of spooky, eerie legends of ghosts and even demon canines.
The Most Haunted Places in Raleigh, NC
1. North Carolina State Capitol (Raleigh, NC)
The State Capitol building in Raleigh is, of course, home to lots of history—but it’s also home to hauntings. The current capital was built in 1840 after the original building (known as the State House) was destroyed in a fire in the early 1830s.
Paranormal activity has been reported here since the mid-1800s. The elevator doors are known to open and close by themselves, and the elevator moves from floor to floor with no passengers.
Politicians of the past are said to still conduct meetings in the old meeting rooms, as evidenced by wisps of cigar smoke and conversations floating down the hallways, even when no one is there.
A night watchman reported seeing a Civil War soldier in a window one evening after he’d locked up the building for the night. The third-floor library, though, seems to be the hot spot for paranormal activity and was investigated by ghost researchers in 2004, who located both orbs and electronic voice phenomena.
Nearby, the North Carolina Executive Mansion is also reported to be haunted by former Governor Bob Scott.
· State Capitol: 1 E Edenton St, Raleigh NC 27601
· Executive Mansion: 200 N Blount St, Raleigh NC 27601
2. Mordecai House (Raleigh, NC)
Built in 1785 by Joel Lane, known as the founder of Raleigh, the Mordecai House is the oldest house in Raleigh remaining on its original foundation. The house is part of Mordecai Historic Park which also includes the birthplace of United States President Andrew Johnson.
The park boasts enough haunted spots that it has its own ghost guild. The ghostly figure of a woman has been reported both wandering the house and standing on a balcony.
Others have heard the piano playing itself—some seeing a gray mist hovering above the keys. In the Andrew Johnson home, there have been numerous reports of a lit candle in the window, when it’s known that the house is empty. Just a mile away is another of North Carolina’s haunted places, the Historic Oakwood Cemetery.
· Mordecai House: 1 Mimosa St, Raleigh NC 27604
· Historic Oakwood Cemetary: 701 Oakwood Ave, Raleigh NC 27601
The Most Haunted Places in Asheville, NC
3. Omni Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC)
The Omni Grove Park Inn is a popular getaway, known for its beautiful mountain scenery and spectacular spa, but a stay there might also involve an encounter with the Pink Lady.
A friendly spirit, often seen by children, she’s been haunting the inn since the 1920s. Either appearing as a pink mist or a lady in a pink ballgown, she fell to her death from a fifth-floor balcony and her spirit never left.
For the best chance at a sighting, stay in room 545, and be on the lookout for lights and air-conditioning that turn on and off by themselves, as well as objects that seem to move of their own accord.
· Omni Grove Park Inn: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville NC 28804
4. Biltmore Estate (Asheville, NC)
Originally built as a vacation home for George Washington Vanderbilt, the Biltmore Estate is one of North Carolina’s most popular tourist attractions. Visitors have reported seeing a shadowy figure (thought to be the ghost of George Vanderbilt) in the library, which was known to be his favorite spot in the home during his lifetime.
His wife, Edith, has also been heard whispering for George in the library. Others have reported hearing both splashing from the empty swimming pool and echoes of the lavish parties once hosted at the estate. Visitors have also shared sightings of a headless orange cat roaming the property.
· Biltmore Estate: 1 Lodge St, Asheville NC 28803
The Best Haunted Asheville Tour
Asheville: Mountain Spirits Haunted Walking Tour Delve into Asheville’s history of war, disease, murder, and coverups on this 1.5 tour. Meet your guide at The Jackson Building, where a suicidal businessman from the Great Depression lingers on the street where his life ended. From there, you’ll visit seven other historic, haunted landmarks before circling back to the starting point.
More Haunted Places in North Carolina
5. Beaufort Ghost Walk (Beaufort, NC)
The best way to see all the haunted spots Beaufort has to offer is the Beaufort Ghost Walk one hour and fifteen-minute guided walking tour that takes you through 300+ years of history and hauntings.
A pirate will walk you through North Carolina’s third oldest town (founded in 1709), sharing family-friendly local legends and lore throughout the tour. You’ll hear tales of Blackbeard, learn about the Graveyard of the Atlantic, and visit the Old Burial Grounds.
Be sure to have your camera ready, because the Old Burial Grounds are known to be a great location to catch an orb or other paranormal activity in your photos.
· Ghost Walk Meeting Place: 108 Middle Lane, Beaufort NC 28516
6. Battleship North Carolina (Wilmington, NC)
Commissioned in 1941, Battleship North Carolina was a part of all major naval offensives in the Pacific during World War II, earning fifteen battle stars. Now permanently docked in Wilmington, you can tour the ship to learn about its history.
But be aware—ten soldiers were lost on the ship, and a few may still be lingering there today.
Visitors have reported experiencing cold spots, hearing strange noises, and ghostly footsteps. Danny Bradshaw, the night watchman for decades, experienced enough paranormal activity on the ship that he wrote a book about it (Ghosts on the Battleship North Carolina).
While you are in town, consider adding the Wilmington Ghost Walk or Haunted Pub Crawl onto your itinerary. It’s been named a Top 5 Ghost Walk in America by USA Today and has made several TV features, including MTV Fear, TLC, and more. The ninety-minute walking tour will take you to the most actively haunted homes and burial grounds in Old Wilmington, while the two-and-a-half-hour pub crawl will guide you through the most interesting pubs in town, sharing ghost stories along the way.
· Battleship: 1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401
· Ghost Walk & Pub Crawl Meeting Place: Riverfront at Water and Market Street (look for the Ghost Walk sign)
7. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (Buxton, NC)
The Cape Hatteras lighthouse is the tallest brick lighthouse in North America and the iconic black and white striped pattern makes it easy to spot, but those aren’t its only claims to fame. In 1921, the Carol A.
Deering, better known as the Ghost Ship, washed ashore with nothing on board—except food, that appeared to be prepared for a meal. For over one hundred years, visitors to the lighthouse have reported seeing the “Ghost Cat,” a large black and white cat roaming around. The cat approaches visitors, occasionally rubbing against their legs, but vanishes if anyone tries to pick it up.
Cape Hatteras is also home to the Grey Man, a shadowy figure said to appear on the beach near the lighthouse when a hurricane is a real threat to the island. He arrives with the first winds of the storm, and only when the hurricane is one to worry about. If approached, he fades away. But if you spot him, that’s your sign to evacuate.
· Cape Hatteras Lighthouse: 46379 Lighthouse Rd, Buxton, NC 27920
8. Ocracoke Island (Ocracoke, NC)
Ocracoke Island, an isolated spot on the Outer Banks, is also rumored to be one of the most haunted spots in all of North Carolina.
Room 23 of the Island Inn (currently closed and being restored) is home to the well-known ghost of Mrs. Godfrey.
Nearby, Teach’s Hole is the spot where Edward Teach (better known as Blackbeard) was beheaded in 1718, and the location has been known for paranormal activity since.
Ghost sightings have also been reported at Springer’s Point Nature Preserve. The Ocracoke Light Station is known to be home to several ghosts, including an old lighthouse keeper and Theodosia Burr Alston, victim of a nearby shipwreck.
· Island Inn: 100 Lighthouse Rd, Ocracoke NC 27960
· Teach’s Hole: off the shore of Springer Point
· Springer’s Point Nature Preserve: 104 Loop Rd, Ocracoke NC 27960
· Ocracoke Light Station: 360 Lighthouse Rd, Ocracoke NC 27960
9. Devil’s Tramping Ground (Bear Creek, NC)
If you are feeling especially brave, head to the Chatham County woods for an encounter with the devil himself. Just south of Siler City there’s a forty-foot circle where nothing grows—because, according to legend, the devil needs “room to dance.”
It’s said that each night, the devil paces this circle in the woods. Because of that, nothing grows here, even plants that have been transplanted. Brave visitors have tried leaving items in the middle of the circle in the evening only to find them thrown out of the circle by morning, and others have reported seeing glowing red eyes at the Devil’s Tramping Ground.
· Devil’s Tramping Ground: Devil’s Tramping Ground Rd, Bear Creek NC 27207
10. Lydia’s Bridge (Jamestown, NC)
If you are driving through Jamestown on a foggy or rainy night and see a hitchhiker dressed in white, you may actually be seeing the ghost of Lydia.
First sighted in 1924, a driver passing through town stopped to help her, only to receive a shock when he arrived at the address she provided. His passenger seemed to disappear when he reached the house, so he knocked on the door, only to have her mother inform him she had died the previous year in a car accident at the very spot he’d stopped to pick her up.
A century later, there are still reports of “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” or “The Lady in White” near Lydia’s bridge.
· Lydia’s Bridge: E Main Street, Jamestown NC 27282
11. The Duke Mansion (Charlotte, NC)
The Duke Mansion is known for gorgeously appointed guest rooms and beautiful event facilities, but it’s also known as the home of Jon Avery’s ghost. The mansion is now over a century old.
An early owner of the mansion, Jon Avery and his wife moved in during the 1920s. His wife, whose health was failing, was eventually sent to a mental institution.
Lonely after his wife’s departure, Avery met a young writer and they quickly fell in love. She realized that it was hopeless—he would not leave his wife to begin a new life with her. When she broke it off on a rainy night, Avery begged her to return one year later to meet him at midnight: dead or alive.
The year passed and she returned to honor her promise. As the legend goes, Avery indeed appeared to meet her. Only, he’d died just days before.
· Duke Mansion: 400 Hermitage Rd, Charlotte NC 28207
12. Brown Mountain Lights (Linville, NC)
Unexplained lights have been appearing above Brown Mountain for centuries. Sightings of the Brown Mountain Lights have been reported often enough that they’ve been investigated by the US government and studied by students at Appalachian State University.
Is this one of the most haunted places in NC? Or is there another explanation?
The first reported sightings of the strange lights were by Cherokee and Catawba tribes. Years later, sightings were reported by Civil War soldiers, too. The lights are often described as orb-like, and have appeared in red, orange, blue, and white. If you want to join in the generations of people who’ve experienced this phenomenon, head to Wiseman’s View Overlook in Linville Gorge or try the Lost Cove Cliffs Overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dry, crisp nights in the fall are your best bet for seeing the lights.
· Wiseman’s View Overlook: Off the Kistler Memorial Highway, look for the Linville Falls parking area
· Lost Cove Cliffs Overlook: 3744 Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville, NC 28646
13. Lost Cove (Yancey County, NC)
Known as one of North Carolina’s creepiest ghost towns, Lost Cove was once known for moonshine production but was abandoned by its last residents in 1957. As the name suggests, you’ll have to work to find it—it’s only accessible by hiking.
With the remote location and eerie atmosphere, most hikers aren’t brave enough to take this trail solo. Though a fire destroyed some of the remains in 2007, some of the abandoned buildings still stand, along with gravestones of long-ago residents. If you are brave enough to explore Lost Cove, plan to dedicate a full day to this haunted trails NC adventure.
· Lost Cove Trailhead: Unlabeled trailhead off Forest Service Road 278 (2.5 mile hike from trailhead)
Whichever part of the Old North State you decide to explore, remember that history is often accompanied by hauntings. If you choose to stay in one of the haunted hotels or linger in a ghost town, those eerie feelings or orbs that show up in your photos might be more than just your imagination.
Know of other haunted places in North Carolina? Please share in the comments!
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Laura is a native North Carolinian who lives in a house full of boys. She spends her days picking up Legos, encouraging creativity in her kids, and filling all of her free minutes with words—both writing and reading them. You can visit her website here.