The 5 Most Haunted Places In Idaho

Written by Maura Hoff
Updated: October 27, 2023
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Idaho isn’t just famous for its rugged wilderness, stunning mountains, and diverse wildlife. It is home to some of the most haunted places in the country. Beyond the picturesque views and flowing rivers are tales of chilling activity that can only be explained as paranormal activity.

From abandoned penitentiaries to historic hotels, this state has a haunted history that continues to impact those seeking a thrill. There is spooky folklore throughout the state, even within the natural wonders of the scenic beauty. Join us as we journey to discover the five most haunted places in Idaho.

Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise

Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Old Idaho State Penitentiary is one of the most haunted prisons in the United States.

©Tamanoeconomico/CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Located in Boise, IA, the Old Idaho State Penitentiary is one of the most haunted prisons in the United States and one of the most haunted places in Idaho. The prison was built in 1870 and operated for more than 100 years. It began as a one-cell house but quickly evolved into numerous buildings and held over 13,000 prisoners during its active years. The Old Idaho State Penitentiary housed some of the toughest, most ruthless prisoners in the state, and it enforced the death penalty when necessary. The most famous convict was Raymond Allen Snowden, also known as “Idaho’s Jack the Ripper.” He was sentenced to death by hanging at the prison gallows in 1957.

Conditions within the prison walls were brutal, and more than 100 died during their sentence from illness or murder. Today, there are numerous reports of paranormal activity throughout the prison. Unexplained whispers, eerie feelings, and cold spots are common. Still, most activity is centered in the room where Raymond Allen Snowden died. Many believe his spirit never left due to the complications during his execution. The darkest and most malevolent energy focuses around the gallows. Visitors can tour the facility today and experience the chilling presence for themselves.

Contact Information

Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Road Boise, ID 83712

Phone: (208) 334-2844

Website: www.history.idaho.gov/oldpen

Spirit Lake

Frozen Spirit Lake in Idaho.

Spirit Lake is a small, densely forested town in Idaho in the Panhandle region.

©gjohnstonphoto/iStock via Getty Images

Nestled in the Panhandle region of Idaho, Spirit Lake is a small yet scenic town offering plenty of outdoor activities for tourists and locals to enjoy. The lake itself is the focal point within the town, but its eerie history makes it one of the most haunted places in Idaho. The stories date back many generations, but it all starts with the fact that Spirit Lake has a sealed bottom. Many believe the sealed bottom traps spirits within the waters that continue to haunt the lake to this day.

Local folklore tells the tale of forbidden love between two young members of the Kootenai tribe. According to legend, the two lovers declared their love to each other despite their family’s disapproval and jumped into the lake and perished. Today, many have witnessed the spirits of the two lovers rowing a canoe across the lake. Some also believe they hear the cries and moans as their spirits try to escape the murky waters.

Contact Information

Website: www.spiritlakeid.gov

Idaho Hotel in Silver City

Silver City - Idaho Ghost Town

The Idaho Hotel was a popular place to stay in Silver City, a mining town in Idaho during the gold rush.

©Marty Nelson/iStock via Getty Images

During Idaho’s gold rush, numerous mining towns brought in miners, businessmen, and others who tried to claim their share during the 1800s. The Idaho Hotel in Silver City was a popular destination tucked deep in the Owyhee Mountains. Today, Silver City is one of Idaho’s many ghost towns, but the Idaho Hotel is the oldest hotel that still remains in operation.

Many visitors have claimed to witness ghostly orbs and felt an eerie presence throughout the hotel. The most paranormal activity seems to focus around Room 27. Historically, one of the hotel owners committed suicide in this room, and his ghost haunts the room to this day. Some have seen the apparition of a man wearing a coat as it wanders the halls and stairwells. Guests enjoy staying at the hotel today to potentially experience the unexplained happenings as well.

Contact Information

Phone: (208) 941-1119

Website: www.historicsilvercityidaho.com

Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital in Gooding

Exterior of Gooding University Inn and Resort in Gooding, Idaho

Once the Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital, the Gooding University Inn and Resort is reportedly one of the state’s most haunted.

©Drmccreedy / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

The former Idaho State Tuberculosis Hospital in Goodling, Idaho, was transformed into the Gooding University Inn and Resort. Still, due to its dark past, it is one of the most haunted places in Idaho.

Built in 1917, the building was constructed originally as a college. It was converted into a renowned tuberculosis hospital in the 1940s and eventually shut down in 1976. Many patients passed away within the building walls from the deadly disease, and visitors believe their spirits still remain to this day. Visitors claimed to hear whispering voices and witnessed apparitions of children. Numerous owners and staff also reported seeing the spirit of an angry old man. Today, the inn houses thrill-seekers and history buffs looking to experience their own ghostly encounters.

Contact Information

Address: 301 University Ave, Gooding, ID 83330

Phone: (208) 283-1650

Website: www.goodinginn.com

The Bates Motel in Coeur d’Alene

The Bates Motel

The Bates Motel inspired the well-known horror movie,

Psycho.

©diaper/Flickr – License

While The Bates Motel is a well-known name because of the movie Psycho, its actual history isn’t as sinister as the movie portrays. Still, it is one of the most haunted places in Idaho to this day. It was built originally to operate as officer barracks during World War II and was converted into a motel that still operates today. They hung the iconic sign during a film production in the 1980s and left it behind once completed.

Guests of the motel have reported unexplained experiences while staying at the hotel, particularly if they stay in Rooms 1 or 3. Many have felt as though they were being watched and also witnessed flickering lights and ashtrays falling from tables. Cold spots and eerie noises are also common stories shared by guests over the years.

Contact Information

Address: 2018 E Sherman Ave, Coeur d’Alene, ID, 83814

Phone: (208) 667-1411

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © btdigital/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Maura Hoff is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is dogs, travel, and hiking. She has been writing for over 10 years and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Pennsylvania State University in 2016. When Maura isn't writing, she spends time with her husband and two Golden Retrievers, Basil and Sunny, in the Colorado mountains. Her passions are cooking, reading, music, and quoting her favorite show, The Office.

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