This blog post was updated on October 13, 2022.
Sure, haunted hotels and mansions are fine for the Halloween season…but there’s something about a good old-fashioned graveyard that can be downright bone-chilling! Cemeteries have a way of spooking us to the core, suggesting to us that those who have left this world might still be very much around us. And that’s why cemeteries are some of the best Halloween destinations you could imagine. To send even the most cool, calm, and collected of visitors into a scary fit, try touring these reportedly haunted cemeteries in the U.S.!
Cemetery Hill — Gettysburg, PA
Often referred to as the Soldier’s National Cemetery at Gettysburg, this iconic burial ground can be explored on a number of walking tours, including those under the cover of darkness. Some visitors claim to feel a ghostly presence and even see apparitions while roaming Cemetery Hill. After all, over 50,000 soldiers were killed at the Battle of Gettysburg on both sides during the Civil War.
Cemetery Hill has earned a place in history as a place still redolent with the souls who lost their lives during this epic battle. With so many soldiers dying at one time, it was impossible to clear out all of the corpses. As a result, an awful stench infiltrated the air for years. Some visitors still report smelling the peppermint that was used to disguise the smell. Cemetery Hill is a must-see spot if you want to learn more about this famous battle and its place in American history.
Western Burial Ground — Baltimore
While officially referred to today as the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, the Old Western Burying Grounds in Baltimore is the oldest cemetery in the city. Dating back to 1786, the Western Burial Ground is best distinguished as the home of Edgar Allan Poe’s grave. The cemetery is also considered by many to be the scariest in the country. Legend says that Poe’s ghost routinely haunts the grounds, and for that reason alone many thrill-seekers snag cheap flights to pay their respects to the master of horror.
There is also the story of the Cambridge Skull. The story alleges that the head of a murdered minister never stopped screaming even after he took his last breath. The skull was said to be gagged and buried in the cemetery to conceal the sound. However, some visitors to the cemetery report still hearing the awful sound. No wonder the burial ground is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hollywood Cemetery — Richmond, VA
Some cemeteries aren’t just spooky, they’re also oddly beautiful. The Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond lives up to that description with its garden-like setting. The cemetery is the final resting place for a number of famous figures in U.S. history, including former Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler, some six Virginia governors, and 18,000 Confederate soldiers. Designed in 1847, the cemetery is allegedly haunted by a vampire who hangs around (get it?) in one of the mausoleums. You can tour by foot, by Segway, or even hop on a trolley. Then again, you can always enter on your own and explore the winding paths, views, history…and maybe even ghosts!
St. Louis Cemetery #1 — New Orleans
Not all cemeteries feature graves below the ground. New Orleans is known for its many cemeteries with above-ground tombs. Perhaps the spookiest is the St. Louis Cemetery #1, just steps away from the French Quarter. The oldest active cemetery in the city, it was founded in the late 18th century and boasts the tombs of many of the city’s important historical figures including most of New Orleans’ early Creoles.
However, it’s the tomb of the voodoo queen Marie Laveau that draws ghost seekers. While you can only access her grave by joining an approved guided tour, some of these tours adopt a decidedly chilling theme to truly give visitors the spooks.
You may also like: Ready for a Spooky Trip? Add These Ideas to Your Halloween Itinerary!
Howard Street Cemetery — Salem, MA
It is only natural that Salem, Massachusetts would be home to one of the nation’s most haunted cemeteries. Home to the infamous Salem witch trials, the town is flush with an abundance of spooky historical sites. You can tour the cemetery from dusk until dawn, but be sure to leave plenty of time as the cemetery covers 2.5 acres with over 1,100 headstones!
The oldest cemetery in Salem, Howard Street Cemetery is home to the legend of Giles Corey. This Salem resident is not just buried in the cemetery, he also lost his life there after he was tortured during the famed witch trials. Local lore says that Corey still appears in the cemetery to warn of an upcoming tragedy.
Union Cemetery — Easton, CT
Dating back to the 1600s, the Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut is also known as the White Lady Cemetery. It earned this nickname as a result of a ghost that allegedly haunts the grounds. Locals claim that a ghost wearing white roams the cemetery and often heads past the gates out onto the road, scaring travelers.
Some people have even reported hitting this specter with their vehicle when it appeared out of nowhere on the road. Other visitors have reported spotting its red eyes looking out from behind the greenery that dots the landscape of the land surrounding the tombstones. So, what do you say? Are you brave enough to book cheap flights to Connecticut to face this infamous otherworldly presence?
So, did we miss any other spooky cemeteries? Let us know in our comments section below!
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