Top 10 Most Haunted Locations in Raleigh, NC

Top 10 Most Haunted Locations in Raleigh, NC

North Carolina’s prestigious capital of Raleigh comes with the baggage and burdens connected to all prominent cities. What sets it apart from other capital cities however is its large amount of paranormal phenomena, locations, and experiences.

Its history rivals the age of the large oak trees that the city derived its nickname, “The City of Oaks,” from. Buildings constructed in Raleigh before its founding in 1792 still stand.

Raleigh was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, a 16th-century Englishmen who attempted to settle the first colony. He was later charged with treason and ultimately beheaded marking the bloodshed that would stain the city.

Raleigh’s capital building is considered the most haunted in the United States. A tactful surrender spared the city from the victorious carnage spread by General William T. Sherman across the South during the Civil War. Because of this the buildings, and often their former residents, still remain.

The historic buildings that line the downtown area have a unique charm in both story and spirit. Cemeteries dot the city and tell the tales of the founders and common folk that created “The Triangle,” as it is locally known.

Why is Raleigh So Haunted?

In its nearly 300 years of existence, Raleigh has accumulated a large amount of spiritual buildup. Although it was further inland, granting it immunity from pirate attacks like other Carolina cities, it was not spared from the onslaught of angry Native American tribes.

The ravages of the Civil War played a part in the numerous paranormal sightings that plague Raleigh as well. However, it’s only a fraction of what makes this city a magnet for the macabre. Like many other American cities, it has also been plagued by systemic violence and mental illness.

The Dorothea Dix Hospital, a massive hospital complex, operated in Raleigh for over 100 years. It was founded to treat the mentally ill, and many of them lost their lives in the process.

Tales of structures of a secret society that haunt nearby Chapel Hill, only add to the spookiness and mystery of this southern escape.

Find out more with a ghost tour from US Ghost Adventures next time you visit! 


Source: Picryl

Originally known as Wake Crossroads, the county seat for the surrounding Wake County area, Raleigh was officially designated as a city in 1792. Upon its origination, it became the official state capitol for North Carolina.

A small two-story brick statehood building was completed in 1796. This structure was destroyed in a large fire in 1831 and by 1832 plans for a new capital had begun.

By 1840 the massive project was completed at the cost of $532,000 dollars. The pure granite structure was designed to emulate the fathers of democracy, the Greeks, who so inspired the young democratic nation.

The Greek Revival-style building once held all three branches of the North Carolina government but by 1888 the Supreme Court moved out followed by the General Assembly in 1963.

Other than its magnificent scale it is known for the Antonio Canova statue of George Washington and the plaques honoring the three North Carolinian presidents: Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, and James K. Polk. 


While visitors coming to view the massive scale of American and Greek democracy are treated with a walk through history, they are often met with much more.

There has been much discussion of paranormal activity occurring at the North Carolina State Capitol building, with most of it centering around the library. Many guests and staff alike feel uneasy in the massive library.

The smell of cigar smoke can often be detected as if a fresh one was being lit up right next to them. Because the building is constructed of pure granite paranormal researchers have dubbed it a treasure trove of information.

Metal buildings often disrupt devices used in investigations, but the signals are pure here. They state that since the library used to be where the state legislature would write and research bills, a high level of emotional energy has been left behind.

Then there is the mysterious shadow figure seen around the Governor’s Office. The first Governor to reside here, Zeb Vance, who led the state through the civil war, is said to haunt the building. Apparitions have been seen and photographed in and around the room. 


The building itself has been a part of some tumultuous times in Raleigh’s history, with various apparitions of former politicians frequenting the building. However, there are also other chilling accounts of events that could possibly explain the otherworldly activity.

There are rumors that a woman was murdered on the steps of the old State Capitol building. Though there is no physical evidence, sounds from the other side may be an indication that something nefarious took place outside this landmark building.


  • Sightings of a Civil War Soldier
  • Doors shut on their own
  • Unexplained noises and footsteps
  • Disembodied screams and voices appearing to carry on a conversation
  • Feelings of being watched
  • Some have claimed to felt a hand touching their shoulder


The North Carolina Executive Mansion, also known as the Governor’s Mansion, has quite a disturbing origin story. Completed in 1891, the building was constructed by forced labor using taxation money taken from early colonialists.

Over the years, the Queen Anne-style mansion has been home to 13 of North Carolina’s 17 governors and was deemed as “the most beautiful governor’s residence in America” by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The first governor to inhabit the mansion, however, would go on to be the most notable. And the mansion’s quaint appearance would quickly be overshadowed by the unusual activity that continues to take place within its walls.


North Carolina Governor David Fowle was the first to stay in the mansion, albeit his stay was a short one. The governor moved in January of 1891 and, involuntarily vacated in April, passing in his bed in the middle of the night.

His bed became a mainstay in the mansion and many governors slept in it from there on out. In 1969 Governor Bob Scott moved into the house and decided he wanted something a little different. He moved Fowle’s bed frame into storage.

This move seemingly disturbed the old governor.

Soon after, Governor Scott began hearing knocks from within the walls where the bed used to stand. He believed that Fowle was requesting that his bed be returned.

It eventually was, when the current Governor Roy Cooper moved in, but the strange happenings did not cease. The activity reportedly continued as future governors also sensed the presence of Fowle.

Governor Pat McCrory who served from 2013 to 2017 claims that he would jokingly say goodnight to the spirit of Fowle.

There have yet to be any further reports since the bed has been moved back to its original spot.


Built in 1785, seven years before Raleigh was founded, the Mordecai House was once part of a 5,000-acre plantation. When the city was deemed the site of the new state capital, owner Joel Lane sold 1,000 acres south of the home to help construct the new city.

Today it is the oldest building in Raleigh and is part of the historically listed Oakwood neighborhood. Its namesake was derived from a man named Moses Mordecai who twice married into the family, marrying two sisters of Joel’s son Henry.

Moses expanded it before his death in 1826 into a Greek Revival-style mansion, as was popular at the time. This mansion, which is still visible today, remained in the Mordecai family until 1967 when it was bought by preservationists, and the area was turned into a historic park.

Tours of the home are now offered to the public. Many original furnishings from the Mordecai family decorate the old home, and many say some of the Mordecai family members still reside here. 


The most famous tale is that of a woman in a gray dress. It is believed to be the spirit of Mary Willis Mordecai Turk who lived in the home from 1858 to 1937, and apparently still does.

Many see her at the top of the staircase or on the uppermost balcony in the front of the house. The piano, dating back to the mid-1800s when Mary occupied the house, often plays on it its own. A strange grey mist is seen above it and in other parts of the house as well.

Additionally, there are reports of loud knocks and bangs from the second floor. The sound of someone yelling “Get up!” has been recorded by paranormal investigators.

Lining the walls are Victorian-era portraits of former Mordecai family members. Their eyes appear to stare at visitors as they walk through the historic home, following visitors as they tour the home.

The Mordecai House is considered one of the most haunted buildings in all of Raleigh and not one to be missed. 


  • Employee claim to hear creaking footsteps late at night
  • Loud thumps, as though someone has fallen
  • Overwhelming feelings of grief
  • Disembodied humming can be heard from Mordecai Park


The White-Holman House is one of many historic homes and buildings that lay within the Capitol Area Historic District. This area, once known as Union Square, was and still is the center of Raleigh and serves to preserve the history of the old city.

Built in 1799, the White-Holman house is one of the oldest in the area. It was constructed by Secretary of State William White who served in this position from 1798 to 1811 and had a long history in state politics.

In addition to serving in the State Senate and the House of Commons, William also served as Mayor from 1830 to 1806. His home was expanded over the years and eventually moved to its current location to prevent demolition.

By 1971 it had procured national landmark status, which it retains today.


Those who have lived in the Georgian/Federalist-style mansion enjoy the fine architecture and interior woodwork, but it’s come with a price as many have reported strange noises emanating from the back staircase.

The building is famous for its “peg-legged ghost.” Footsteps are heard coming from them on an almost nightly basis. What is even more strange however is that they are followed by the dense thud of wood, as if someone with a wooden leg is walking up the stairs.

It is hard to say who, or what is creating these sounds. Since the building was moved to a second location the entity could have followed the house or it may have been waiting on the grounds for decades.

Many that have lived here consider the spirit harmless. It never extends past the staircase, which makes many think the spirit came along with the home.

Today the home is a private residency and the current residents have simply learned to live with the noisy spirit. 


Source: Flickr

Spanning 102 acres, The Oakwood Cemetery is one of the largest and most historic cemeteries in all of Raleigh. Over 22,000 citizens are buried at the old cemetery.

Henry Mordecai, son of Moses Mordecai from whom we previously mentioned, donated two and a half acres of his land in 1867 to the fallen soldiers of the south.

Today over 1,500 Confederate soldiers from all across North Carolina lay in the Oakwood Cemetery. Oddly enough many did not stay in their original location for long.

A few months after the small plot of land was designated for its original use it was reimagined by occupying Union troops. They claimed it was their own and demanded that all the bodies be re-interred within two days or they would be dumped into the streets.

Over 560 bodies were dug up and moved by residents. Amongst its other residents are seven governors, five senators, and a numerous amount of Mayors. All played their part in developing the city and the state. 


Many say the Cemetery is haunted. Perhaps it is the spirits of those dug up and reburied? One tale, in particular, has captivated visitors for years.

It is the legend of the “spinning angel.” A woman named Etta Rebecca White passed away in Raleigh in 1918 at the age of 38 due to a cerebral hemorrhage.

Her husband, W.E. Ratcliffe, built a statue in her likeness atop her grave. The mason spared no details in the statue’s construction and the end result was eerily life-like.

Many claim that when you walk by her her eyes follow and that a strange mist emits from the statute. While the cemetery is generally not open at night, there are trespassers and ghost hunters that break in during twilight hours.

They claim to feel the uneasy feeling of being followed around her tomb. Some state it is just an urban legend, but those who have visited state it is very much real. 


  • People claim to have been scratched, pushed and shoved
  • In the Confederate section, the faint sounds of gunshots and shouting can be heard
  • There are claims that the statue will turn a full 180 degrees on its own


Raleigh is a town known not only for its history but for its delicious cuisine as well. In the Glenwood South neighborhood, there is a Mexican restaurant now known as Raleigh’s Xoco. It was formerly known as Dos Taquitos and before that was the Pine Street Creamery.

People come for the tacos, tequila, and macabre decorations, and leave with some terrifying tales to take home.

Lights flicker on and off, especially in the woman’s bathroom. People hear names whispered into their ears. Glasses fly across tabletops and many of the small skeletons set up around the room begin moving on their own.

The activity is so profound that patrons are warned at the door via a small sign that states “This building is confirmed haunted.” So what happened here? 


Built in 1928 the Pine Street Creamery was a wholesome family-owned ice cream shop. Sadly, the building suffered extreme damage from fires that occurred in both the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, the fires claimed the lives of two workers.

And it only gets worse from here.

In the 1990s, Raleigh experienced the emergence of a serial killer, a man named John Williams Jr. With an IQ of 80 and a raging temper he terrorized the streets of Raleigh until he was eventually arrested.

But not before murdering six women, four of them working as prostitutes.

Homeless and a danger to society, John left his gruesome mark on the city. One of the bodies, that of a woman named Deborah Elliot, was found in the alley next to the creamery. Many of his murders were not proven, although two were confirmed.

It is believed that he is responsible for the death of Cynthia Brown. Her body was found scattered across the nearby railroad tracks. Some claim the whispers they hear are the names of these lost but not forgotten women. 


As one can imagine, the creepy events that have occurred over the years have made this a hotspot for paranormal investigators, and they did not leave disappointed. Here is what was captured during one of these investigations:

  • Confirmation that the spirit of murder victim Cynthia Brown inhabits the building
  • Recordings of sinister giggling
  • Disembodied screams
  • Voices asking questions
  • Sightings of unexplained shadows


North Carolina State University is home to many bright minds, molding generations of aspiring young students. What they don’t know is their education includes a crash course in the paranormal.

Tales of haunted locations on the campus have swirled for years, but one, in particular, provides enough proof for even the biggest of skeptics. This location is the Spring Hill House which sits on the land of the former Dorothea Dix Hospital and NCU’s Spring Hill Campus.


The Spring Hill house that sits within this park stretches back even further in Raleigh’s history, made evident by the grave that sits behind the building.

It dates back to 1798 and belongs to Theophilus Hunter Sr. Beside him lay 25 other members of his family that were buried here up until the last Hunter passed in 1863.

However, their graves are unmarked – a chilling fact known to all students who come to come to visit the building. As technology advanced many workers at the hospital started noticing strange occurrences. A motion sensor goes off on a nearly nightly basis. It is always triggered on the staircase.

Many security guards come by at night to inspect the situation to find no one there. The legend states that it is Theophilus Hunter himself, walking back and forth from the house to his grave.

It could very well easily be the spirit of a former mentally ill patient. Whatever or whoever it is is very active and cannot rest. 


Source: Pixabay

With the Dorothea Dix Hospital and North Carolina State University campus mostly being one and the same, it comes as no surprise that the tales of ghostly encounters are almost endless. Hundreds if not thousands met their end within these buildings.

282 buildings made up the old hospital complex, only increasing the chances of a haunting. The Alumni Memorial building is one of the oldest and most noted as being haunted.

Originally built in 1897, this four-story brick building operated as an infirmary for half a decade. It was renovated in 1959 and renamed the Alumni Memorial Building in honor of the 300 of NCSU that died in the Korean War and World War 2.

In 2006 it was renamed the Winslow Building in honor of Arthur Winslow, one of the early petitioners to establish North Carolina University in 1885. 


With over a hundred years of history, and half of these being spent filled with the sick and dying, it is considered the most haunted building on campus.

One of the most well-known ghost stories is about a young man named “Evan.” Evan is often spotted wearing a fedora and 1940’s style clothing. He is seen sitting in the auditorium and is known to stare at those on the other side.

Then there is the clanking ghost that was first reported in 1934. It’s said that the entity was making a large racket amongst the old hallways.

Those with the misfortune of working late in the old building frequently state that they feel as if they are being watched from afar. Perhaps it is Evan, or perhaps it is one of the other countless souls that lost their lives here.

There is also an apparition of a young woman in a flowing dress that appears in the Clark section of the building.

With so many sightings and so much activity, the Alumni Memorial Building easily clocks in as one of the most haunted locations in Raleigh. 


Source: Flickr

In nearby Chapel Hill, one of the three cities that create the area known as “The Triangle,” there is a small castle. This castle lies at the edge of the University of North Carolina campus and is rife with mystery, rumors, and even tales of a secret society.

This castle was built in 1926 by a secret society known as the Order of Gimghoul. While this sounds like something out of a horror film, it is a real society, as far as anyone knows.

They were established in 1899 by students who would go on to heavily influence the development of UNC. The little that is known about them is that they follow King Arthurian-like traditions.

After they decided an official meeting place was needed they purchased this land in 1915. By 1926 the castle was constructed and today it is privately owned by one of the members of the Order.

Although it is located on campus, no one except for order members are allowed inside. It cost over $50,000 to make in 1926 and was handcrafted by French masons.

Few pictures of the interior exist. What is known is that there is a banquet hall and multiple changing rooms. 


In 1833, nearly a century before the castle was built, a student of only 18 years of age met his untimely demise.

Legend has it that Peter had fallen in love with a local woman named “Miss Fanny”, but she had other suitors pursuing her. Both Peter and one of Miss Fanny’s potential suitors decided the only way to win her love was by facing each other in a pistol duel.

The younger Peter was hit first and died almost instantly atop a large rock atop the hill where the castle now stands. They say that this rock is stained with his blood to this day.

Miss Fanny reportedly died not long after Peter’s death, allegedly of a broken heart. It’s said that from time to time, the pair can be seen walking together late at night.


Source: Flickr

Another location in Chapel Hill that captivates the minds of visitors and UNC alumni alike, is one that sits atop the hill that the area is named after. The Carolina Inn has been welcoming visitors and alumni to the University since its construction in 1924.

The building was constructed by a man named John Sprunt Hill who was an alumnus that graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1889, as well as a founder of the nearby bank of Durham. After operating it as a private business for over a decade he handed it over to the University in 1935, who still owns it to this day.

Part of the stipulation of this business transaction, however, was that any profits made after overhead were to be donated to the North Carolina Collection. The hotel has been operating as an Inn and a funding organization since then.  


While serving the guests and students of UNC, the inn has seen many come and go. But some never leave. One, in particular, has become famous amongst the staff of the inn.

After retiring from his practice, Dr. William Jacocks sought refuge at The Carolina Inn. The doctor checked into the hotel in 1948 and for 20 years, lived a peaceful life in the Inn before passing in 1965.

Today, Dr. Williams Jacocks continues his residency in room 256 (formerly 252). It’s said that in life, he was a kind man with a great sense of humor – a personality trait that followed him in death.


  • Locking guests out of room 256
  • Curtains will open and close on their own
  • Bath mats get shuffled around the bathroom
  • Sink handles have fallen off leaving water to spray everywhere
  • Guests have reported sightings of his apparition attempting to open random doors
  • He has also been spotted walking down the halls

Those looking for a real spooky adventure in North Carolina need to look no further than Raleigh and “the Triangle.” Its astute history goes hand in hand with the higher education being offered.

Along with it comes countless tales of spirits from the unknown. Former residents of Raleigh that found their city too knowledgeable and beautiful to ever leave behind simply never did.

It appears most of the spirits here are at peace while some are lost or confused. Much is to be said of their stories and the work they left behind. Next time you visit Raleigh, North Carolina, take a ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures to learn more!


Featured Image Source: Flickr