This blog post was updated on December 23, 2019.
There are few places spookier than a forest at dusk, especially as Halloween approaches. As it turns out, there are quite a few U.S. national forests with creepy history and ambiance galore. Here are three to add to your list.
Twilight fans will probably recognize this eerie natural setting from the films. However, Olympic National Park’s creepy status was well cemented before becoming the backdrop for one of the world’s most famous film series. It has long been recognized as the site of several Sasquatch sightings. All this to say, who knows who you’ll encounter as you stroll through this misty, grey wonderland. There are many miles of hiking trails to explore, and some of the park’s campgrounds are open year round (so you can stay and experience the spookiness all night long).
Sure, Ocala National Forest is an idyllic place to canoe or kayak… it’s also a great place to get a major chill down your spine. It’s rumored that former Ku Klux Klan members and their victims haunt Ocala, since their bodies were taken to Mud Lake, located within the park’s borders – talk about a terrifying reminder of a horrible period in history. As if that weren’t scary enough, the forest is also home to Kerr City, a 19th century ghost town that’s famous for being the site of murders and unsolved mysteries (for a super spooky experience, you can even rent out one of the buildings and stay overnight!). All this to say, visit at your own risk!
Haunted national forests aren’t only in the lower 48 – Alaska has quite a few spooky spots of its own. One of the best known is Wrangell- St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the state’s largest national park and site of the abandoned town of Kennecott. The town was built in the early 1900s to house the nearly six-hundred employees of the Kennecott Copper Corporation that mined nearly $200 million worth of copper over three decades. The former residents of Kennecott are said to haunt this area, especially near the old railroad tracks. Kennecott is challenging to get to, but more than worth the trip. The natural beauty that surrounds this spooky spot is nothing short of breathtaking, and the historical tours of the town and rehabilitated mines will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. If you’re lucky, you’ll even encounter a ghost or two.
Have you visited one of these spooky spots? Or have you been to a place even scarier? Upload it to our Spookiest Spots in America Photo Contest or post on Instagram or Twitter with #OTspookyspots! You could win $250 in OneTravel giftcards! Hurry, it all ends on October 30th!