Building a GIS Database of America's Haunted Places

Do you believe in ghosts? According to a 2019 YouGov poll, approximately 45% Americans believe in ghosts. It's little surprise, then, that nearly every neighbourhood and town in the United States has a unique ghost story. 

The Haunted Places Database is an ambitious, user-submitted database of ghost stories around the United States. Some of the stories contain detailed accounts of actual ghost sightings by users. Others are known legends that have been associated with a certain location or town for decades, if not centuries.

ghost stories map


Like other forms of data, Tapestry Maps is dedicated to putting ghost stories on the map. Using Mapbox GL JS, we took a massive dataset and converted each geocoordinate into a clickable story. That being said, making such a map usable required a deep clean of the data and the code to ensure that the app ran smoothly. 

Mapbox is a great tool for setting up an interactive location directory, so we added a sidebar menu and a general search bar so you could search for ghost stories virtually anywhere. 

Ghost stories map

Tapestry Maps built the map for our sister brand, Pomelo News, which aggregates local news from hundreds of locations around the world. These datamaps are part of our greater efforts to make geodata more usable and accessible to average users.