TUBI EXCLUSIVE: Scariest Places In America (2023)

I kind of love when Tubi doesn’t even hide that they’re owned by Fox so you stop watching them and puts on shows like this that totally would have once aired on a Saturday afternoon on FX or Fox or one of their many, many channels.

This is so new that despite it airing on the channel starting today, there are no credits on IMDB. Obviously, with Netflix asking for your password so your mom, sister and girlfriend don’t have it and MAX being the mess you knew it would be, things are looking pretty good for Tubi.

You know, as long as my morality doesn’t get in the way and I sit back and realize that the fun streamer that has an Italian Giallo and Horror category has created the death cult of brain dead people stomping on Pride shippers at Target, because that’s the real problem and not the fact that a kid got shot in front of a school today and the shooter kept punching him after or that we enable oligarchs and tech-spending manchildren and man, if we take this show literally, the Scariest Places In America is just cities in Florida for 90 minutes. Orlando? Terrifying. Tallahassee? Bone chilling. Ocala? I just pissed myself.

Anyways. Off the soap box and time to talk about ghost chasing.

Written by Savannah Lucas (who was also behind Love You to Death: The Jodi Arias Story and Suburban Nightmare: JonBenét Ramsey) and narrated by Jake Hart, this is the kind of down and dirty doc that lists where its music and stock footage came from in the credits but not any of the people who are the talking heads in this, which makes them much like the people in four hour horror movies about movies that say things like, “Really, it’s the best of the sequels.”

Here are the thirteen places with some comments by me.

13. The Lizzie Borden home in Fall River, MA: Lizzie was fine, but I really prefer the 1975 TV movie The Legend of Lizzie Borden. As I sit here, I can think of so many better haunted places, but I guess they don’t have the lurid charges of an axe murderess who may have been a lesbian and ghost hunter Omar Escobar claims that he really got scared there, so who am I to doubt him when I sit in a basement all day watching dubbed ninja movies and he’s engaging in the pants filling terror of ghostbusting? To top that off, paranormal investigator — and TALKING BOARD COLLECTOR, this woman collects Ouija boards — Beckie Ann-Galetin smiles and guides us through this while looking way too much like the kind of girl young me would pine over and send Craigs List missed connections to…only to discover that she has a house full of spirit boards. They were correct about this show being scary.

12. Lake Lanier in Georgia: I feel for whoever had to write the Lake Lanier website and work on the FAQ, because this question had to feel like they were leading people to drown. Is Lake Lanier safe to swim in? “In addition to the Corps swim areas, there’s also a beautiful white-sand beach and designated swim area (with a stunning view) at Don Carter State Park. All swim areas are “swim at your own risk”, and there are no lifeguards on duty.” Actually, they put their photos on the site and their names are Robert and Bradley and nowhere on this cute little site do they mention that, oh I don’t know, that its the “largest lake in Georgia, is one of the deadliest in the U.S. Since its formation, 500 people have died there, nearly 200 since 1994,” according to an article in Oxford America. Nor that it’s a haunted lake. A haunted lake. Come on. I don’t even want to take a bath and you expect me to get into a haunted lake. Come on, Robert and Bradley.

11. The Sallie House in Atchinson, Kansas: The Visit Archinson website isn’t as friendly as our enemies in Georgia. Nope, right on the site they invite you to stay overnight at the Sallie House if you dare. They’re questioning my manhood, right in front of the cyberworld. No thank you. I will not challenge the spirit world, I will keep right on sitting here sipping on this Pineapple Bubbly and remain alive. And who is Sallie? Well, she was the little girl patient of Dr. Charles Finney who died on the operating table in the basement of this house and she’s now known as “The Man-Hating Ghost.” Nope. I’ll end up running out of that house sounding like Jim Varney, you know what I mean?

10. The Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, PA: Well, my wife’s best friend lives in Gettysburg and told me that all the children have white teeth there because the water is infused by the calcium from the bones of the Civil War dead. I’ve never wanted cavities so much in my life. Here’s some free advice. Never ever stay in a bed and breakfast that also has ghost tours, much less “Civil War era magician Professor Kerrigan who will delight you with Magic spanning from Card Tricks—using Civil War Era Playing Cards— to Illusions from his Parlor Presentation.” The professor has no idea how to capitalize properly and it’s giving me a bigger headache than sleight of hand usually does.

9, Sleepy Hollow in New York: Yes, all the movies get mentioned, even the one where Tim Burton reveals that he watched Black Sabbath. Not only is Washington Irving buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, but Kykuit, the Rockefeller family’s opulent hilltop estate, is located here and nothing but nothing makes me more upset — and yes, scared — than rich people. So yes, Sleepy Hollow belongs right where it is.

8. Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO: You know this already, right? This is where Stephen King came up with The Shining because it freaked him out so much and he was too poor at the time to buy coke like he was mainlining into his eyes while directing Maximum Overdrive, so I will go and say that yes, this place is super scary. I did stay at the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, OR where they shot the exteriors and it was very peaceful and quite breathtaking, but also very very scary because my mother-in-law went along and when I was looking at the “red rum” written on my bathroom mirror, she popped up and screamed, “What does that mean?” and then asked me who wrote it. I told her it was a ghost child and she didn’t sleep for days.

7. St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, FL: The oldest surviving structure in this Florida town, this is perhaps the most frightening place on the list because if you peaced out of my rant earlier, you also have to go to Florida to see it, a state where Deicide seems like the most well-adjusted people now. I mean, have you see Ron DeSantis laugh? He laughs like someone who can’t wait to touch the nuclear button. He’s already laughing the laugh he’ll laugh when that happens. Also, I refuse to call him an android or automaton because as we learned in Anton LaVey’s Five Point Plan, android companions are the way of our safer future.

6. The Clown Motel in Tenopah, NV: This 31-room motel was opened in 1985 by Lenroy and Leona David in honor of their late father Clarence, whose collection of over 150 clown statues was used to decorate the property. There are now 2,000 clowns that exist on the property and a cemetery nearby. None of these things are frightening, per se, they are just odd to people. Clowns aren’t as terrifying as the fact that the LAPD’s “34 helicopters and four small aircrafts also release 11,100 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions annually”which is way more than all the celebrity private planes people complain about according to Curbed. They also “are lowest and loudest in census blocks that are more than 40 percent Black, subjecting those residents to unwarranted stress, trauma, and sleep deprivation — in addition to blanketing those neighborhoods with toxic airborne pollutants.” Sometimes under 1,000 feet, putting civilians in danger. But go ahead, be freaked by clowns.

5. The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA: You can stay overnight in the Queen Mary but like the back of an old Slayer shirt once asked, “Do you want to die?” Suite B-340 is supposedly haunted and you know, reality is like a videotape and when you record horrible moments over and over in the same spot of the tape — like the maniacs in my hometown including me that would pause Kelly Preston’s nude scene in Mischief on the only rental copy at Prime Time Video — things just get left behind. Things that want to eat your soul. Ask yourself: could I sleep on the same ship where The Poseidon Adventure and episodes of Baywatch were made?

4. The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles: When your Wikipedia page says, “the hotel has a checkered history, with many suicides and deaths occurring there” in the third sentence, well…you should stay away. Now an affordable housing complex — I guess Candyman has a new address after he moved out of Cabrini–Green — this has been on enough true crime shows that even I, someone who writes about Godfrey Ho movies and tries to ignore Keith Morrison’s gleeful descriptions of human depravity and sadness knows what this place is. I mean, a girl drowned in the water tower and people drank aqua infused by her decaying body. If you want to stay in a place where Richard Ramirez could walk around unencumbered in his bloody boxers, I won’t stop you.

3. Alcatraz in San Francisco, CA: In 1969, the Indians of All Tribes occupied Alcatraz for 19 months in the name of freedom and Native American civil rights. That makes up for the fact that this was the final stop for so many career criminals, I guess. Like how this was the longtime — and often final — home for Al Capone, Robert Franklin “Birdman of Alcatraz” Stroud, Mickey Cohen and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. What’s really weird is that the families of the jail guards lived on the island. It’s now a national park.

2. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV: I live minutes from here and I will never go. Why? Have you seen how many horror movies I watch? Do you realize that that’s research for staying alive? When a ghost tells you to “stay away,” you do not run headfirst into spectral slaughter. They have flea markets and Father’s Day car shows here. As Jake “The Snake” Roberts once said while contemplating the chocolate all over his jacket, “Ain’t no way.” Also: There are 12 things to do in Weston. This ranks #1. Two of the other things on the list are places to buy glass and #13 is Appalachian Oddities, which sells a trepanning set if you want to drill a hole in your head and also has a wall of pickled punks. I went to the Müttter Museum once and there was a whole wall of backlit fetuses in jars and I thought, “I can handle this,” and then, just then, the drugs kicked in. Imagine.

1. The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, MO: William J. Lemp Brewing Co. dominated the St. Louis beer market before Prohibition with its Falstaff beer brand. So many members of the Lemp family — William J. Lemp Sr., Frederick, Billy, Charles and Elsa Lemp Wright — killed themselves in this house. Elsa may have been murdered. When the last surviving Lemp, Edwin, died in 1970 at the age of 90, his final wish was that his art collection and all of the family’s heirlooms were to be destroyed. Totally normal.

You know what’s the worst part of all of this? Self-professed “spiritual teacher, psychic medium and paranormal investigator” informs us at the end that the scariest places in America are right where we lived. “Maybe someone died in your house,” she helpfully coos. You know what? The dude whose wife left him and used to live here hung himself and I live feet away from the second largest Native American burial mound in the U.S. and when they built my plan, they left the bodies and only moved the headstones. I don’t need this stress.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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