Haunted national parks across the U.S.

As we near Halloween, landmarks across the country get spookier

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Jewel Cave National Monument is also known as “The Torture Chamber”.

While there’s an urban legend, myth or old folktale buried within every city across the United States, some stories have gotten much more traction than others. Haunted farms, woods and other outdoor venues have gotten plenty of time in the spotlight in part to movies and other entertainment, along with urban legends.

Few give the attention to some of the nation’s most haunted national parks that they deserve. Hidden in plain sight across the country lie some of the most eerie and sinister tales that have taken place over centuries in the U.S.

The Torture Chamber

First on the list is the Torture Chamber located within Jewel Cave National Monument, S.D. Adventurers have explored this cave for as long as time can tell, with no explorer finding an end in sight to this day. As of today’s records, it stands as the third-longest cave in the world, yet it could be longer with more exploring.

The cave goes back so far that the mind begins to play tricks, with sounds of water and other distant echoes delivering chills to the tourist’s spine. With it being one of the shortest drives from our campus, it’s most certainly worth checking out during the Halloween season as it’s only one state away.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The infamous Stanley Hotel may be resting just outside of the Rocky Mountain National Park in Denver, Colo., but the RMNP is more than happy to associate themselves with the hotel solely for the mysterious inspiration for Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’.

Guests over the decades have reported seeing and hearing children, as well as the former owner Stanley himself around the hotel from time to time. While many can overlook the children, it gets even creepier when guests ask the front desk who’s currently residing above them, only to find out that the room above is vacant and locked.

Mammoth Cave National Park

The Mammoth Cave in Ky. has had its fair share of reported hauntings and mysterious sightings for good reason. It’s heavily rumored that hundreds of Native Americans died in the cave centuries beforehand, along with many explorers since then who have gotten trapped and couldn’t find their way out in time. Plenty of visitors have reported hearing ghosts and seeing their outlines in the shadows as they run for safety.

Slaughter Canyon Cave

This national park is located in N.M. and happens to be most known for the cave in the heart of the national park. It’s said that one of the most unique aspects of this national attraction is the view of the cave from the outside at sunset.

Over 400,000 free-tailed bats leave that cave in unison, offering anyone nearby an unforgettable sight that’s both beautiful and terrifying. With no electricity, lights or paved trails, park attendees are truly on their own for this one.


Skidoo, a notoriously warm desert park, is a haunting landmark located in the central area of Death Valley National Park, Calif. Having been surrounded by populated towns in the Wild West era in the past, most of these towns are ghost towns, holding a certain weight and intensity when visiting. There’s old folklore and tales that state visitors of the area have seen a headless ghost lurking in the shadows that was sentenced to death for murder over a century ago.

The Pine Barrens

Finally, The Pine Barrens, located inside the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve in N.J., have haunted people for much longer than many of the other landmarks listed above. The park is listed as the country’s first official national reserve, with plenty of history to back that statement.

Over the previous 260 years, there have been numerous bodies found, reports of suicide and much more than natural beings reported. There have been numerous claims to sights of a flying creature with glowing eyes and the head of a goat.

While this clearly sounds more than mythical, it’s certainly more mysterious that this creature has been reported by people who visit from all over the country, with no possible connection to hearing about this tale before the age of the Internet.

While this does sound like something that only N.J. could possibly create, the reports have left scientists and biologists confused and wishing to find hard data and clear answers.

These national landmarks, some hidden and some more well-known, have haunted our country for centuries and will continue to do so for long after we all pass. Having visited a handful of these locations, it’s more than worth the journey to check out some of the bone-chilling destinations, especially around the spookiest time of the year.

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