10 National & State Parks That Hide Strange Mysteries With…



  • The Grand Canyon National Park is not only known for its breathtaking scenery but also for its creepy lore involving a haunted Hopi god named Maasaw.
  • Mammoth Cave in Kentucky has nearly 200 documented instances of paranormal activity, including encounters with enslaved people and tuberculosis victims.
  • Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas is a hotspot for disappearances and is considered to be one of the most haunted state parks in the US.

Peek behind any corner at some of America’s most iconic national and state parks, and one is bound to discover some seriously spooky and intriguing things. The history of American parks is long and distinguished, giving these vast swatches of land plenty of time to develop some mysterious lore.

From blood-soaked battlefields to portals to entirely different worlds, one never knows what they’ll stumble across. Also, even if adventurers don’t run into an extra-terrestrial or a Civil War-era ghost, they might find themselves subject to some truly strange national park rules while out trekking, biking, climbing, exploring, or soaking up history.

Tickle the mind’s curiosity by checking out these spooky state and national parks in the US with strange stories, mysterious happenings, ghostly apparitions, scary lore, and dark histories.

Related: Ghastly Ghost Hunts: Visit The Planet’s Most Haunted Cities

Grand Canyon National Park

A pink sunset pours over a crowd of visitors enjoying the canyon views from Mather Point in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

A pink sunset pours over a crowd of visitors enjoying the canyon views from Mather Point in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is jam-packed with fun activities in the fall, winter, spring, and summer (it’s amazing year-round). Besides the gorgeous scenery, there is some spooky lore linked to the Native Americans who used to roam there.

A Hopi god named Maasaw evidently haunts the canyon, leaving visitors reeling with dizziness or even hurling stones at them. While one might not come face-to-face with the legendary Hopi deity, the story is creepy enough to keep people on their toes while hiking.

  • Where to find it: S Entrance Rd, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
  • Spooky meter: 7/10

Mammoth Cave

Autumn in Mammoth Cave National Park near the Fisher Ridge Cave System

Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave hides some serious ghostly activity, with nearly 200 documented instances of paranormal activity. Travel through these caverns, and one might come face-to-face with one of the enslaved people who used to roam its nooks and crannies, including Stephan Bishop.

Plus, this massive cave system used to hold tuberculosis victims. Since it was the place of immense suffering, it’s no wonder that Mammoth Cave is absolutely haunted.

  • Where to find it: 1 Mammoth Cave Pkwy, Mammoth Cave, KY 42259
  • Spooky meter: 8/10

Related Link: These Are The 14 Most Beautiful Towns In Kentucky You Should Visit

Devil’s Den State Park

Moonshiner’s Cave Trail is found just outside of Devil’s Den State Park

Arkansas’ Devil’s Den is among the most haunted state parks in the US; it sits in the heart of the Ozark Mountains and is a hotspot for bizarre disappearances, including the controversial but true story of Katherine Van Alst.

It’s hard to say whether Van Alst’s vanishing act was mere misfortune on her end or due to some otherworldly elements, but Devil’s Den remains one of the United States’ most intriguing spooky spots.

  • Where to find it: 11333 W Highway 74, West Fork, AR 72774
  • Spooky meter: 4/10

Acadia National Park

Fall foliage on the Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

Fall foliage on the Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

Acadia National Park offers many epic hikes, but one can also stumble across The Devil’s Oven, a secret sea cave that just might be a real-life portal to hell.

As the legend goes, these caves were used to execute people via slow drowning, and locals would often see unexplainable lights radiating from the mouth of the oven.

  • Where to find it: 25 Visitor Center Road. Bar Harbor, ME 04609
  • Spooky meter: 8/10

Yosemite National Park

Sunset at Cathedral Lake in Yosemite National Park, California, United States of America

Sunset at Cathedral Lake in Yosemite National Park, California, United States of America

Yosemite National Park is famous for its stunning lakes, beautiful hikes, fantastic nature, and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the northwestern part of the US.

If visitors are very lucky or unlucky, depending on one’s take on alien encounters, one might even spot a UFO. This Golden State Park is teeming with reported UFO sightings and unexplained visions.

  • Where to find it: 9006 Yosemite Lodge Dr, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
  • Spooky meter: 6/10

Cuyahoga National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Photo by Max Andrey on Unsplash

Aerial view of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, USA

One will find plenty of ghosty lore at the Cuyahoga Valley’s Canal Visitor Center and Museum. Back in the days when Cleveland was a vital canal city, the current visitor center was a tavern of questionable repute that attracted quite an interesting crowd.

Stroll around the museum, and one might hear knocking or even long-dead voices.

  • Where to find it: 1550 Boston Mills Rd W, Peninsula, OH 44264
  • Spooky meter: 6/10

Related Link: Every Ghost Town Is A Small Town When There’s No Population, Here Are 10 Worth Visiting In The U.S.

Antietam National Battlefield Park

Monument and cannons at Antietam National Battlefield

Monument and cannons at Antietam National Battlefield

One of the most pivotal and bloody battles in the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam had a staggeringly high death toll and still retains some of the ghosts of its troubled past. Stroll along the battlefield, and one might hear yelling, see apparitions, or even smell gunpowder and blood.

The sheer number of interactions and the Battle of Antietam’s grim past make it a somber place to go that’s shockingly scary.

  • Where to find it: 5831 Dunker Church Rd, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
  • Spooky meter: 9/10

Great Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

The Great Dunes National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and it’s also a great spot to try to catch a flying saucer hovering over the sand dunes.

Those interested in extra-terrestrial life should undoubtedly make the journey to this epic park. Even if one doesn’t see otherworldly life forms, there’s a great chance one will enjoy a gorgeous starry sky.

  • Where to find it: 11999 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO 81146
  • Spooky meter: 5/10

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States
Photo by Kasabubu on Pixabay

Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States

The uniquely beautiful Badlands National Park is a fabulous place to step into a brand-new landscape, test out the hiking boots, and possibly spot a ghost – it’s one of the most haunted national parks in the US.

There are countless stories featuring ghostly lore in Badlands National Park, including Native American apparitions, strange noises, and skeletons.

  • Where to find it: 25216 Ben Reifel Pl, Interior, SD 57750
  • Spooky meter: 7/10

Related Link: Decay And Beauty: 10 Hauntingly Beautiful Ruins That Will Take Your Breath Away

Gettysburg Battlefield Park

Gettysburg battlefield Pennsylvania
Image by Bruce Emmerling from Pixabay

Gettysburg battlefield with a forest in the distance

One of the most haunted battlefields in the US, Gettysburg Battlefield is full of incredible historical and cultural things to see. It’s also the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, with a staggering 51,000 casualties.

The number includes the amount of people killed, injured, or missing from both sides at Gettysburg. With this amount of suffering, it’s no wonder that there are tons of ghostly lore at Gettysburg.

  • Where to find it: 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325
  • Spooky meter: 9/10
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