Did you know there is a national day set aside for ghost hunting?
I had no idea and it certainly wasn’t the reason I wanted to create a list of the scariest places to visit in New Jersey. I just knew there are some parts of New Jersey that can be pretty creepy. I mean we have the whole history of the Jersey Devil in the South Jersey Pine Barrens and there are towns in Cape May that host ghost tours. You can even sleep with ghosts in the Absecon Lighthouse. You, not me… I’m not that brave.
Seeing the success of last year’s Get Spooked at New Jersey Haunted Houses and Halloween Displays article I realized two things. First, our readers love to visit New Jersey’s scariest places. Second, we have lots of creepy places that are open year-round. You don’t have to wait for Halloween to get scared in New Jersey. If your kids or teens are into being scared then consider this your list of all the scary things to do in New Jersey that YOU must do with them.
The popularity of shows like Ghost Hunters have given rise to lots more television and cable shows like it so it’s only natural families would want to go out on their own hunt for ghosts across New Jersey. Who are we to tell you no. So while we may not be brave enough to join you, we are certainly going to do what we can to help you and your family have a hauntingly good time hunting for ghosts and other paranormal activity. With that being said enjoy our guide to the scariest places to visit in New Jersey. Should you come across more that we haven’t listed, please comment below with the information. Be sure to check our guide below for equipment you might want for your ghost hunt.
The Scariest Places to Visit in New Jersey
For some when they think of places to hunt for ghosts they think of cemeteries and mansions that serve as haunted houses. We certainly have those in New Jersey. But we also have historical landmarks like the Proprietary House with claims of a wine cellar being used as a dungeon during the Revolutionary War. We have a state park that’s haunted by a child and a tree that serves as a portal to Hell. Whether you are looking to explore on your own or take a guided ghost tour, we have it in New Jersey.
Scary Places to Visit in North Jersey
Shippen Manor (Oxford)
Built in 1755, Shippen Manor estate was built and owned by the Shippen brothers- one a doctor, the other the owner of the nearby Oxford Furnace. The manor was featured on a 2018 episode of Ghost Hunters. Visitors to the manor have reported seeing the apparitions of a soldier, a boy in period clothing, and the spirit of a woman wearing blue. There have also been reports of doors opening and closing on their own.
The museum at Shippen Manor is open the first and second Sundays of each month from April to December. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated.
Jenny Jump State Park (Hope)
Folklore has it that a nine year old girl named Jenny was playing near the cliffs in the state park when she was startled by the appearance of a Native American, and then jumped off the cliffs to her death. It is reported that her ghost still haunts the cliffs and trails of the park.
Jenny Jump State Park is also home to Ghost Lake. It is rumored that a Native American burial ground is located underneath the lake. Visitors to the lake have reported witnessing apparitions rising from the mist on top of the water.
The state park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission to the park is free.
Brighton Asylum (Passaic)
If you have always wanted to participate in a real paranormal investigation, then booking a ghost hunting tour at the Brighton Asylum should be on your must-do list. Participants on the tour are provided with real ghost hunting equipment during their 2-3 hour tour of the abandoned asylum.
Paranormal tours at the asylum start at $49.99 per person. Times that the tours are offered vary month to month, so be sure to check their site for up-to-date hours.
Proprietary House (Perth Amboy)
Constructed in 1764, the Proprietary House served as home to William Franklin, the Royal Governor of New Jersey, from 1774 to 1776. A staunch Loyalist to the British government, Franklin’s residency at the house was cut short as he was arrested and convicted of treason.
Proprietary House is rumored to be the site of a gory murder on the staircase. Legend also has it that the wine cellar was used as a dungeon during the Revolutionary War.
The house is now a museum. Tours are offered every Wednesday and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 per child.
The Devil’s Tree (Martinsville)
Plenty of dark folklore surrounds the Devil’s Tree, a solitary oak tree located in a field across from a private residential area. Rumors swirl that the tree was used by the KKK for lynchings. Local legend also claims that a farmer hung himself from this tree after murdering his entire family. It has even been said that the tree serves as a portal to hell. It has also been reported that anyone who gets too close to the tree will be chased down by a mysterious driver in a Black Ford pick-up truck that seemingly disappears into thin air.
The Devil’s Tree is open to the public every day from 9 am to 4 am. Visit at your own risk.
Scary Places to Visit in Central New Jersey
The Historic Village at Allaire (Farmingdale)
The village was the site of self-sustained community of over 400 people during the 1820’s & 1830’s. With 13 of the original buildings still on site and available for touring, this living museum provides visitors with of a snapshot of what the Industrial Revolution would have looked like in the area. But visitors to the village may be in for more than just a history lesson. It has been rumored that the spirits of James Allaire’s two wives and his young son still reside on the property to this day.
The village is open every weekend in April, May, September, October, and November from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
The Cranbury Inn (Cranbury)
Originally established in the mid 1750’s, The Cranbury Inn is still serving guests in their two 1700’s stagecoach taverns and the 1930’s main dining room. But all of the guests of the inn may not be currently alive. Part of the inn’s history is that it once served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Guests and employees of the inn have reported numerous unexplainable happenings and sightings including doors opening on their own and mysterious orbs.
Although the inn no longer houses overnight guests, the restaurant, taverns, and the liquor store are open to the public. Their hours vary by day, so check their site before visiting.
Princeton Cemetary Visit & Ghost Tour (Princeton)
If you are looking for the real deal in a ghost tour, then make plans to book a tour with the Princeton Tour Company. Before heading out on the tour, guests are trained to use EMF meters, dowsing rods, and other paranormal investigation tools. While the tour takes you through the surrounding neighborhood, the highlight is a stop at the Princeton Cemetery where you will be given access to one of the most prestigious cemeteries on the East Coast.
Tours start at $25 per person. Check their website for tour dates & times as they vary by season.
White Hill Mansion (Fieldsboro)
This 300 year old mansion has a long and colorful past having been rumored to have served as bordello, speakeasy, and a home to rum smugglers during Prohibition. The home is now open to the public for tours, including ghost hunts. During the ghost hunts at the mansion, guests are given a tour of the building that includes its history and tales of its famous hauntings. Then you will be turned loose on the mansion to explore the dark corners and search for the spirits that have occupied the residence for decades.
Ghost hunts are offered on Saturdays and cost $40 per person.
Scary Places to Visit in South Jersey
The Emlen Physick Estate (Cape May)
Built in 1879, the Emlen Physick Estate offers visitors to the museum and home a glimpse into what life was like during the Victorian Era in Cape May. But sometimes visitors to the estate get a little more than they were bargaining for. It is believed that the spirits of two of the former owner’s aunts reside here. There may also be a few four-legged ghosts roaming the halls of the house as Dr. Physick owned several dogs while he lived there.
The Estates offers guests three different tour options. The admission cost for each is $15 for adults and $8 for children. Tour times vary, so check their site for hours.
The Pine Barrens
The Pine Barrens spans across multiple counties in New Jersey, but several reported sightings of the infamous Jersey Devil have happened in the southern counties. Local folklore recounts instances of people hearing unearthly wails coming from the expanse of the Pine Barrens. The deaths of many domesticated animals have been blamed on the Jersey Devil. If you are brave enough, you can enter the Pine Barrens in search of New Jersey’s most well-known mythical creature.
Gabreil Daveis Tavern Museum House– (Glendora)
This historic tavern was built in 1756 and temporarily served as a military hospital during the Revolutionary War. It is believed that the spirits of soldiers who suddenly left this world now currently haunt the tavern. Visitors have reported hearing the moans of suffering soldiers and to have witnessed apparitions walking past the windows.
Check the Gloucester Township site for upcoming events and tours at the tavern.
Burlington County Prison Museum (Mt. Holly)
In operation from 1811 to 1966, the Burlington County Prison’s yard beared witness to multiple executions. The prison was also the scene to many violent deaths often at the hands of inmates trying to escape the prison. The prison now serves as a museum, but visitors have reported feeling watched, hearing the sounds of moans coming from the maximum security cell, and seeing unexplained orbs in the halls and cells.
The prison museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sundays from 12pm to 4pm. Admission is $5 for adults, children 5 and under are admitted for free.
The Jonathan Pitney House (Absecon)
Built by a prominent physician and businessman, the Jonathan Pitney House currently serves as a bed and breakfast in the south Jersey town of Absecon. It is rumored that Mr. Pitney and his wife haunt the home, and guests of the B&B have reported hearing the sound of a fife playing. Other guests have claimed to see the apparitions of two men walking through their room. The house is considered one of the most haunted locations in Atlantic City.
For more information on booking a room at the Jonathan Pitney House and conducting your own paranormal investigation, visit the bed and breakfast’s website.
Absecon Lighthouse (Atlantic City)
The 150 year old Absecon Lighthouse might be famous for being the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey, but it is also well-known for being home to a little paranormal activity. Visitors to the lighthouse have reported smelling the unexplained scent of cigars and pipes while touring the lighthouse. Some have even claimed that the Jersey Devil itself has paid a visit to the lighthouse.
The Absecon Lighthouse is open Thursdays through Mondays from 11 am to 4 pm, September to June. It is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm from July to August. Admission to the museum is free, but a $10 fee is charged for adults and a $6 fee is charged for children to climb the actual lighthouse. The lighthouse also offers overnight stays for the bravest of visitors.
Oh and about the National Ghost Hunting Day. It’s on the last Saturday in September. As part of the World’s Largest Ghost Hunt, National Ghost Hunting Day kicks off an annual international investigation of the paranormal. Whether you kick off your ghost hunt this September, in time for Halloween, or another time of year save this list because unlike the ghosts it’s not disappearing anytime soon.
Looking for more scary places to visit in New Jersey?
Visit this article when making your Halloween plans, Get Spooked at New Jersey Haunted Houses and Halloween Displays.
5 Things You Should Take With You Before Hunting for Ghosts
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And if this is your first time ghost hunting, buy this too, Ghost Hunting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started.
Remember these New Jersey scary places are open yearround so pin this and save it for later.