From haunted inns to seriously creepy cemeteries, there’s nothing quite like learning the intriguing history of a place famous for ghostly sightings—especially around Halloween. But abandoned towns in the middle of nowhere aren’t the only spots where you can experience paranormal activity; large cities and popular towns also have a plethora of haunted places like centuries-old mansions, whispery bridges, and even Civil War battlefields.
Scared yet? Pack family or friends in the car and head to one of these destinations near you that offer something for everyone craving some frighting entertainment this fall.
Haunted Places in the South
Your first stop in this southern destination should be to the spooky side of Old Town Winchester to hear the true stories of ghostly sightings. Apparition Trail Ghost Tours hosts a haunted tour of the streets, alleys, and public houses of Old Town so visitors can hear hair-raising tales of the ghosts and spirits of the soldiers and citizens who have lived, fought, and died here. At the Wayside Inn, guests have experienced objects disappearing and turning up later in a different location, items flying off the shelf, the dishwasher’s apron getting untied.
Hear tales of darkness, death, and dismemberment on Mobile’s Dark Secrets Tour that explores pre-Civil War mansions, overgrown gardens, and an old church with a mysterious past. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the USS ALABAMA, where aboard this historic battleship, several people have reported hearing ghostly footsteps, strange voices, and the slamming of hatches.
Guests who check into Room 711 in Nashville’s historic Union Station Hotel have relayed stories of playful hauntings of a young woman named Abigail, whose spirit is believed to occupy the room. Check out Nashville Ghosts tours that dive into historic sites like the Ryman Auditorium and Printer’s Alley.
Situated in the northeast corner of the state, Corinth is home to the Shiloh National Military Park and Cemetery and the Corinth Contraband Camp which accommodated emancipated refugees with homes, a church, school, and hospital. These locations have significance in paranormal research stemming from untouched mass graves which are believed to be located nearby.
This island’s ghostly past makes it one of the nation’s top destinations for haunted travel, with a century-old “haunted” hotel, storied harbor, spooky cemeteries, and Victorian mansions. Year-round, visitors can explore Haunted Mayfield Manor, a haunted house full of ghostly stories.
Haunted Places on the West Coast
Fifteen miles north of the Mexico border, Bisbee was at one time one of the world’s most productive gold, copper, zinc, and lead mines. Check out the Bisbee Seance Room, set in Magic Kenny Bang Bang’s Victorian Parlor, where you’ll hear about the historic haunted history of Bisbee. The Old Bisbee Ghost Tour is a great way to experience the town after dark.
Tuolumne County, Calif.
Located in Northern California, Tuolumne County has rich Gold Rush history and many visitors and locals have reported friendly ghost sightings. The Victorian Era Fallon Hotel at Columbia State Historic Park is said to be haunted by a young lady lingering around the grounds. City Hotel in the same park is also reported to be occupied by a sorrowful ghost named Elizabeth.
Lincoln City, Ore.
Fan of boating? You’ll be intrigued by the history of the Siletz Bay Schooner ship, which drifted into the Siletz Bay at the south end of Lincoln City 150 years ago. Today, it’s a ghost ship sometimes seen sailing into the bay before vanishing into thin air. Nearby, local Native American legend speaks of an octopus-like creature that dwells in Devil’s Lake.
After World War II and the decrease in demand for copper, Jerome became a ghost town. Today, the town is once again thriving, and visitors can spend the night in the haunted Jerome Grand Hotel which was originally a hospital until it was turned into a hotel in 1996. Rumor has it that past hospital residents haunt the hotel, especially the third floor where many unsuccessful operations took place. Also visit Ghost Town Tours and the Gold King Mine, which is now a field of abandoned buildings and cars.
Estes Park, Colo.
The Stanley Hotel was made eerily famous thanks to Steven King’s book The Shining. One of the ghosts rumored to haunt the hotel is the owner, F.O. Stanley, who is also the inventor of the Stanley Steamer steam-powered automobile from 1902.
Haunted Places in the Southeast
Jekyll Island, Ga.
This exclusive private island flourished during the early 20th century and included some of America’s wealthiest families, like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. One of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s most famous ghost stories involve the son of club member and railway magnate Edwin Gould who was shot and died in a hunting accident in 1917. The hotel is also said to be haunted by a bellman who is mostly seen on the second floor.
At Poogan’s Porch, an 1800s home-turned-Southern comfort food restaurant, there have been multiple accounts of ghost sightings, apparitions in mirrors, and bizarre happenings, like radios, water faucets, and lights turning on without human assistance. You can also stay in room #8 at the circa 1843 South Battery Carriage House, where you may be greeted by the “Headless Torso.”
Martin County, Fla.
For an under-the-radar spooky experience, head to Martin County in the Sunshine State. Port Salerno Ghost Tours tells dark, shivery tales from Port Salerno, the area’s historic fishing town. You will encounter the spirits of ancient Native Americans, plundering pirates, a phantom widow watching for lost seamen, and the victims of a deranged police officer.
Haunted Places in the Midwest
Archer Avenue, which weaves its way through the forest and multiple cemeteries, is said to be one of the most haunted roads in the country thanks to historic accounts of paranormal activity. The area between St. James Catholic Church and resurrection cemetery is where most visitors have encountered the spirit of Mary: a young girl fabled to have been murdered while walking back home from a dance.
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Halloween filmmaker John Carpenter once called Bowling Green his home and the John Carpenter Driving Tour explores streets and locations mentioned in his famous films. For thrills and action, visit Skelton’s Lair Scream Park for a haunted hayride and trips through the Skeletal Visions 3D Zone and the Doomsday Doll Factory Haunted House.
Fort Dodge, Iowa
The center of spookiness in the midwestern city of Fort Dodge is the Banwell Terror Bridge. Visitors who are brave enough to exit their vehicles while on the bridge report seeing strange orbs, plus hearing voices and a woman moaning beneath the bridge. And don’t be surprised to leave with a few strange handprints on your car windows.
If you’re looking for a true haunted performance, pay a visit to the Alliance Theater to hear about historic accounts of an actress dying in front of a live audience—some even say she was killed by a falling chandelier. Staff who work at the theater today have reported hearing a woman practicing her lines within the walls and have even seen furniture move on its own.
Haunted Places in the Northeast
Many have claimed to see British or Hessian soldiers at the 1758 Moravian Sun Inn, along with one that sings and another who watches over valuables hidden in the inn. The Inn is open to dining and also offers self-guided tours. After the tour, spend the night at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem in room 932 which is said to be haunted, and keep an eye out for a former hostess who be seen roaming around the lobby.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The town of Barnstable is famous for buildings rich in history that were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. In order to see the town properly, the Cape Cod Haunted History Tour Company offers tours of likely haunted locations such as Cobb’s Hill Cemetery and Barnstable Tavern & Restaurant where ghost sightings have been reported for years.
Three thousand confederate soldiers died at Fort Delaware during the Civil War, a prisoner-of-war camp where visitors now record paranormal activity. Be sure to make a stop at the 1800′s era Rockwood Mansion featured on Ghost Hunters also said to be haunted by former residents.
©2021 Cox Media Group