10 great haunts for seekers of the paranormal

Brace yourselves, 'X-Philes': Mulder and Scully are back. These small-screen sci-fi stars are probing the paranormal on the silver screen in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, opening in theaters today. Now is as good a time as any to seek a paranormal experience of your own. Jeff Belanger, author and explorer of the unexplained, shares his list of favorite supernatural places.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Skamania County, Wash.

If large, hairy, apelike creatures are your thing, head to the Pacific Northwest. The highest frequency of sightings occurs in this area of southern Washington. "Some witnesses report hearing a large creature plodding through the forest; others actually see an animal and know it's not like anything else they've ever encountered in the woods," Belanger says. 800-989-9178; skamania.org

The Witch House Salem, Mass.

Vacationers flock to this town, which gained notoriety in 1692 for trying and hanging suspected witches — or those who had fits or acted outside of the Puritans' traditional beliefs. "Witchcraft is part of the very fiber of the village, from the witch-riding-a-broomstick logo on the police department vehicles to the many shops in town where you can purchase your own spell-casting roots, herbs and crystals, or have one of the local witches cast a spell for you," Belanger says. 877-725-3662; salem.org

Lake Champlain Vermont/New York/Quebec

Loch Ness in Scotland isn't the only body of water said to hold a prehistoric monster, Belanger says. "Lake Champlain, which shares its borders with Vermont, New York and Quebec, is rumored to be home to 'Champ,' perhaps a plesiosaur that escaped extinction, or maybe some other kind of uncategorized freshwater giant." 877-686-5253; vermont.org

RMS Queen Mary Long Beach, Calif.

The RMS Queen Mary, one of the last great transatlantic ocean liners, also was a World War II troop ship. "During the ship's service in the Indian Ocean, many soldiers died from the overheating of the lower decks, some POWs committed suicide onboard, and then there were the accidents that happened to the passengers and crew over the years," Belanger says. "After 1,001 Atlantic crossings, the ship pulled into Long Beach harbor, where it has become a permanent and haunted attraction. Ghostly reports abound all over the ship, but the engine room and former second-class swimming pool areas are the most active." 562-435-3511; queenmary.com

Pirates House Savannah, Ga.

Kill two birds with one stone and enjoy a meal or a glass of grog during your ghost-hunting. Diners at the Pirates House, a tavern built in 1753, claim ghosts of the seafaring bandits still lurk around the premises. "Most prominent is the legend of a blue-faced drunkard of a pirate who died while staying at the inn and calling for more rum until his last breath," Belanger says. 912-233-5757; thepirateshouse.com

Roswell, N.M.

If it?s extraterrestrial experiences you?re looking for, alien aficionados from around the world will point to Roswell, Belanger says. Ever since an unidentified object fell from the sky here in July 1947, sparking a debate between the Army and area residents about whether it was a weather balloon or a flying disk, conspiracy theories have evolved at warp speed. 877-849-7679; roswellnm.org

The White House Washington, D.C.

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