The existence of ghosts or spirits has always remained a controversial topic of debate in all generations. Most people believe it is real, and some don’t. Despite that, everyone enjoys Halloween and the witch-hunting associated with it. If you are one daredevil of New Jersey, you must visit these most haunted and abandoned places in NJ America.
Table of Contents
- 25 Abandoned Haunted Places in New Jersey
- 1. Trenton Psychiatric Hospital
- 2. The Pine Barrens Ghost Towns
- 3. Shades of Death Road
- 4. Burlington County Prison
- 5. Raritan Public Library
- 6. Snake Hill
- 7. Clinton Road West Milford
- 8. Historic Village at Allaire
- 9. Stephen Crane House
- 10. The Devil’s Tree
- 11. Paper Mill Playhouse Millburn
- 12. Lambertville High School
- 13. Old Stone House Village
- 14. The Devil’s Tower
- 15. Ghost Lake – Central Warren County
- 16. The Watcher
- 17. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
- 18. Jungle Habitat West Milford
- 19. Seabrook – Wilson House or The Spy House
- 20. Shippen Manor
- 21. The Emlen Physick Estate
- 22. Tillie Smith Centenary
- 23. Proprietary House
- 24. Jenny Jump State Forest
- 25. The Cranbury Inn
25 Abandoned Haunted Places in New Jersey
One of the 13 original colonies, which fought the American Revolutionary War, is New Jersey. It’s nestled between New York and Pennsylvania. The “Garden State” is a popular vacation destination now.
The state is known for its musical legacy and is also an industrial centre. But the history of this state involves battles and wars, murders and violence. Like abandoned Places in San Antonio, it gives the state a fair share of scary and haunted places.
Here is a list of the 25 scary haunted places in New Jersey, which are full of haunting and paranormal glimpses.
1. Trenton Psychiatric Hospital
Abandoned psychiatric hospitals and horror films often go hand in hand. The Trenton Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey is often considered a real-life horror movie set.
Locals of the area claim to have experienced paranormal activities while walking around the area. The hospital was established in 1848 by Dorothea Dix as the New Jersey State Hospital. Later the name was changed into Jersey State Lunatic Asylum.
It’s believed that Dr. Henry Cotton, the first hospital director, had special, peculiar treatment techniques. Dr. Cotton believed bodily infections are the cause of mental illness. As a result of this belief, he often performed unethical surgeries on his patients.
In these surgeries, he regularly took out infected organs, teeth of the patients. He operated on his patients without using any anesthesia, which resulted in an alarming number of deaths. A revolt eventually broke out to save patients’ lives. It ultimately closed almost the entire hospital.
At present, the hospital is run with 400 beds. People have heard unidentified screams coming out from the creepy abandoned buildings and dark apparitions lurking around at night. Ghost lovers can surely try to explore this place at night.
Trenton psychiatric hospital Location: 101 Sullivan Way, Trenton, New Jersey 08628, USA
2. The Pine Barrens Ghost Towns
This wide expanse of woods in southern New Jersey stretches for seven counties. It’s the largest example of the Atlantic coastal pine ecosystem. The creepy, abandoned villages were once bustling towns. They are now home to something mysterious. The Lenni Lenape tribe initially inhabited it.
But later, many industries were set up once the European colonizers came. Many stories have lived on as the place goes wild and the forest reclaim the land. There is history in every corner of the forest, but at that time, a mystery commands the area too.
Top rated 13 Pine Barrens ghost towns in New Jersey
- Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest
- Weymouth Furnace in Weymouth Furnace County Park
- Carranza Memorial in Wharton State Forest
- Smithville in Historic Smithville Park
- Friendship in Cranberry farm
- Belcoville in Estell Manor County Park
- Hermann near Mullica River
- Atsion in Wharton State Forest
- Whitesbog Village in Brendan Bryne State Forest
- Pasadena or Brooksbrae
- Harrisville Ruins
- Hampton Furnace
3. Shades of Death Road
The Shades of Death road is in a gloomy and isolated part of New Jersey. The long shady trees by the side of the road hang lowly and give off an eerie vibe. Thus walking on this road, even in the middle of the day, can give you goosebumps. It’s the most haunted place to go in New Jersey.
According to legends, the road got its name from the many murders that happened earlier. Travelers in the old times were often killed when passing through this road.
Some believed these were acts of a group of savage wildcats. However, the largely accepted belief is that all these murders were executed by a group of unruly people living nearby.
The murders have stopped now, but the souls of the unfortunate are still believed to be there. People have witnessed unknown footsteps, lights, and heard sounds on this road at night.
Shades of death road Location: Warren County, New Jersey, USA
4. Burlington County Prison
This monumental stone structure by Robert Mills was built in 1811 and ran up to 1965. It was the oldest prison in the nation at the time of its closure. The place is currently a museum for visitors at High Street in Mt. Holly. This prison is quite a popular place amongst ghost hunters.
In the earlier days, many executions were carried out in this place. Before getting executed, the prisoner used to stay in solitary confinement. Here they were chained to the ground. Many people have heard human cries emitting from this room.
Another haunted place is believed to be the basement corridor. Some guards were murdered by the prisoners here. There are even blood marks on the wall. Ghost hunters have gathered many proofs on cameras and audio taping devices about the existence of spirits in this place.
Burlington county prison Location: High Street, Mt Holly, New Jersey, United States.
5. Raritan Public Library
Huge empty libraries with high ceilings can often give the chills at night, but Raritan public library does not fall in that category. It’s a house that was later turned into a library.
It’s rumored that one librarian who died haunts this place. The Children’s room, art room upstairs, and basement are where people get the eeriest vibes from. Many staff members have experienced the feeling of being watched or hearing weird noises when no one else is around. Neighbors have even witnessed a mysterious woman standing at the windows at night after the library is closed.
Raritan public library Location: 54 E Somerset St, Raritan, New Jersey 08869, USA
6. Snake Hill
Snake Hill, officially called the Laurel Hill, is an igneous rock outcrop in southern Secaucus. As of now, It’s a picturesque waterfront park, a scenic spot alongside the Hackensack River. But between 1855- 1962, it was in the middle of a city.
The city housed a prison, almshouses, hospitals, and the Hudson County Lunatic Asylum. Though the asylum has been closed down since 1939, many say its former site is still haunted. Countless asylum patients and those who died at the neighboring hospitals were buried on the grounds.
While work was being done in the area in 2003, archaeologists discovered thousands of bodies. Considering this history, no wonder It’s believed to be haunted.
Snake Hill Location: It’s also known as Laurel Hill, located at the bottom of the Meadowlands in southern Secaucus, New Jersey, along the bend of the Hackensack River.
7. Clinton Road West Milford
Clinton Road is a haunted place in West Milford, New Jersey. The bridge at Dead Man’s curve is the source of it all. According to legends, a Ghost Boy appears when you toss a coin on the stream. This boy then apparently returns the coin. It all started with an unfortunate death. A little boy ran out in the road to pick up a quarter where he was hit and killed by a moving car.
There are many other alterations to this story too. Some say the Ghost Boy pushes you inside the water because he drowned in that same way. Without the scary parts, It’s a slightly battered, quiet road through the forests.
Clinton Road West Milford Location: Clinton Road, West Milford, New Jersey, USA
8. Historic Village at Allaire
Allaire Village, in Monmouth County, NJ, was formerly an Indian burial ground. Purchased by philanthropist James P. Allaire in 1882, it was developed as a self-contained community. But it collapsed in 1846. Allaire’s wife, Frances, died in cholera in “The Big House,” as It’s called.
It’s still believed that Allaire’s family, the old residents of “The Big House,” still linger in it. Though the park system didn’t officially recognize the fact, many abnormal activities were reported by the visitors and volunteers. The most famous ghost was Hall Allaire, who died in 1901 at 54 in that house. Now it’s a haunted place in New Jersey to visit.
Historic Village at Allaire location: 4263 Atlantic Ave Farmingdale, New Jersey, US 07727
9. Stephen Crane House
Among the notable American writers from the late 1800s, Stephen Crane is considered the best-haunted place in New Jersey. His house is located near Asbury Park beach town New Jersey. Stephen Crane was born and brought up in this house.
His mother originally owned the house, and then the ownership shifted to the author and his family. Stephen Crane spent the entirety of his life in this house writing his bestselling novels.
After his death, the government turned this into a museum for visitors. The ghost rumors started only recently. People have witnessed mysterious apparitions and heard sounds of crying at night here. Many children, as well as adults, try avoiding this place because of these stories.
There are also stories about some harmful ghosts throwing objects at people. Ghost hunters have been flocking this house for years now. Proper proof of any ghost’s existence is yet to come.
Stephen Crane house Location: 508 4th Ave, Asbury Park, New Jersey 07712, United States
10. The Devil’s Tree
The Devil’s Tree is a solitary oak tree, which grows in a field on Mountain Road in Somerset county. Locals suggest that the tree is cursed. Anyone damaging or disrespecting the tree meets with some sort of accident. Everyone in the vicinity of Bernard Township seems to have a story about it. The popular one states that a farmer hanged himself from the tree after killing his entire family.
The Devil’s Tree Location: Mountain Rd, Basking Ridge, New Jersey 07920, USA
11. Paper Mill Playhouse Millburn
The Paper Mill Playhouse theatre in New Jersey has a long, versatile history. The Campbell family bought the land in 1795 to build up their paper mill – Thistle Mill. A devastating fire closed down the mill only after 20 years.
The land ownership changed quite a few times, and more paper mills began and shut down here. It was until 1934 that Antoinette Scudder, a socialist, bought the land. Along with actor Frank Carrington, she set up a performance theatre here. The theatre opened its door in 1938 and kept on growing till 1980.
Another fire broke out during this time. The theatre is still functioning today, but many actors and staff have shared their creepy experiences while in there. Many of them felt being watched while others heard voices of people talking. The majority belief is that these are the souls of the unfortunate beings who lost their lives in the fire.
Paper Mill Playhouse Location: 22 Brookside Dr, Millburn, New Jersey 07041, United States
12. Lambertville High School
Everywhere in the world, old school buildings are always filled with cryptic ghost stories. In the case of Lambertville High School, It’s the most frequented Halloween destination in New Jersey.
The first construction was finished in 1854, but most of this original structure was lost in a devastating fire in 1926. Within a few years, another tragedy took place. This time a young boy named Billy from Buckeye school lost his life because of a rough tackle in an annual friendly game.
In 1955, the school finally shut its doors, and since then, the building has remained abandoned. People believe that Billy’s spirit still haunts the school building at night. After the school shut down, people stopped visiting the nearby area, and the whole place was desolated. The entire area was covered in wild trees and bushes until 2012 when the building was finally demolished.
Lambertville high school Location: 35 Washington St, Lambertville, New Jersey 08530, United States
13. Old Stone House Village
The Old Stone House village of Washington County is empty. It was built around the mid-1700s. There are houses and other buildings intact in its place and no solid records behind residents abandoning the village.
In 2015, a paranormal experiment was carried out in the village and nearby area. The team of experts found the existence of a little girl’s spirit in various parts. It’s believed that the girl faced an unfortunate death while searching for something there. She is said to be still searching for that in the village. The paranormal experts said that this girl was behind the sounds of crying at night too.
Old stone house village Location: 208 Egg Harbor Rd, Sewell, New Jersey 08080, United States
14. The Devil’s Tower
Previously called Rio Vista, The Devil’s tower was built by a millennial sugar importer named Manual Rionda, dedicating it to his wife. After the death of Ms. and Mrs. Rionda, the place was believed to be inhabited by their spirits.
The Devil’s Tower Location: 12 The Esplanade, Rio Vista Dr. Alpine, New Jersey 07620, USA
15. Ghost Lake – Central Warren County
Also referred to as “Shades,” in central Warren County, It’s a two-lane road, often the subject of folklore and local legends. The road runs along an old haunted lake called the Ghost Lake. Rising pillars of mist have been seen above the water. Various tales of murders and mayhems have led to such a name.
Again some stories have less to do with the murder. They have more to do with deaths because of natural causes. The road traverses an area along the “great meadow.” It had primarily gone empty due to the outbreak of an untimely epidemic.
But whichever explanation you choose to believe, the road even today presents a mysterious and inexplicable feel, maybe a warning of some potential hazards for those who travel on it.
Ghost Lake Location: Great Meadows, central Warren County, New Jersey, USA.
16. The Watcher
The 657 Boulevard, bought by Derek and Maria Broaddus, was a dream come true for the couple. But they could never move in because of the unnatural letters they received.
They were written by someone named “The Watcher,” who had asked the couples about their children. It indicated the secrets the house held. The letters understood that the watcher didn’t want the old history of the house to be demolished.
The mystery of the watcher remained unsolved. The house was left abandoned for many years.
The Watcher Location: 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey
17. Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
Formerly called the State Lunatic Asylum at Morris Plains, Greystone was the largest building in the US until the Pentagon surpassed it in 1943. The hospital for the mentally ill was opened in 1876 and shut down in 2003.
The place went through its dark days during the 1990s as patients were escaping, rapes and abuses. Now the area is left and abandoned places in NJ, reclaimed by nature with some dreaded stories.
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital Location: 59 Koch Ave, Morris Plains, New Jersey 07950, USA
18. Jungle Habitat West Milford
Jungle Habitat used to be a theme park owned by Warner Bros. in July 1972; it was inaugurated. It was a successful venture but only for four years. By October 1976, the park was shut down for visitors.
The park was an instant success upon its opening. There used to be an enormous crowd of spectators lining up before the start. It was built based on African safaris. Many animals used to roam on the grounds while people walked the jungle roads with their cars. But dealing with animals has always been a dangerous and challenging task.
In this case, certain protocols were not followed, which led to unexpected accidents. There have been attacks on humans. Many animals fled the park and went inside the locality. These led to the ultimate closure of the park in 1976.
After that, rumors started spreading that many animals were left behind. People often saw wild monkeys and baboons inside. Now the park is haunted by abandoned places in New Jersey. Jungle Habitat West Milford is still there with its prior decor and other weeds and grasses.
Jungle Habitat West Milford Location: 109 Airport Rd, West Milford, New Jersey 07480, United States
19. Seabrook – Wilson House or The Spy House
Formerly known as the Seabrook-Wilson Homestead, the spy house is the most haunted house in America. The name “Spy House” came from the well-known fact that Seabrook, a militant of NJ, spied on the British troops. Locals and visitors have claimed to see ghostly apparitions and paranormal activities either within the house or through windows.
Seabrook-Wilson House or The Spy House Location: Bayshore Waterfront Park, 719 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758, United States
20. Shippen Manor
The Shippen Brothers built this Gregorian mansion in Oxford Township in the 1760s. Today It’s a place where locals have reported ghostly movements, revolutionary soldiers roaming, and other abnormal activities.
Shippen Manor Location: 8 Belvidere Avenue Oxford, NJ, US 07863
21. The Emlen Physick Estate
Again a Victorian building, a house museum, in Cape May is a place where you can experience your best times. It’s a combination of history with mystery. The house was inhabited by Dr. Emlen Physick, who lived there with his mother and maiden Aunt Emile Parmentier.
The staff till today never felt they were alone. The ghostly presence of Aunt Emilie was confirmed by Craig McManus, who had begun his investigations on the town’s paranormal activities.
The Emlen Physick Estate Location: 1048 Washington St Cape May, NJ, US 08204
22. Tillie Smith Centenary
“She died in defense of her honor.”
A kitchen maid Matilda Smith, better known as Tillie, was found murdered in an open field of Centenary College in Hackettstown, where she lived. According to visitors and local legends, there are frequent sightings of Tillie in the areas near her tomb and on the school grounds.
Tillie Smith Location: Centenary College, Hackettstown, Warren County, New Jersey, USA
23. Proprietary House
Situated in Perth Amboy, this house is the only proprietary governor’s mansion of the original 13 colonies. In 1746, it served as housing to William Franklin, Royal Governor of NJ, from 1774 to 1776. Now It’s a historical museum. But rumors cite that it was a murder site. The wine cell was even used as dungeons during the Revolutionary War.
Proprietary House Location: 149 Kearny Ave, Perth Amboy, New Jersey 08861, United States
24. Jenny Jump State Forest
According to locals, the forest is named after Jenny. She is the ghost rumored to be wandering in the forest. When she was 9, she was playing on the cliffs. While playing, she was startled by the appearance of a Native American.
She called her father, who told her to jump. She died jumping off the cliffs, listening to her father. It’s believed among the locals that her ghostly form still hangs from the cliff.
Jenny Jump State Forest Location: 330 State Park Rd, Hope, New Jersey 07844, USA
25. The Cranbury Inn
The Cranbury Inn is the oldest eatery in New Jersey; Cranbury Inn is a gorgeous place. It has been long-serving American cuisine but with a side of the scare. Many inexplicable events happened around it, like receiving telepathic messages. Alongside mouthwatering meals and striking decors, this tavern has a prolific paranormal legacy.
The Cranbury Inn Location: 21 S Main St, Cranbury, NJ 08512, USA
Although most of these stories are based on rumors, all haunted places in New Jersey still have a kind of mysterious charm to them. Apart from the ghosts and spirits, all these places are old and hold a rich history. If you are not a believer in ghosts but enjoy the thrill of mysterious places, visit these places. You might encounter something that can change your beliefs.
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