This blog post was updated on October 8, 2021.
By the time fall rolls around, many of us are ready to be spooked. Across the United States, a number of reportedly haunted sites offer tours of their skin-crawling, goosebump-inducing corners where it would seem those who may have left this earth…are still hanging around. If you tend to love feeling those tiny hairs on the back of your neck rise at the thought of a ghostly encounter, then these ghost tours are in your fear factor wheelhouse. From former prisons to haunted hotels, you’re sure to hear a few bumps in the night on these spooky U.S. ghost tours.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Paranormal Tours and October Ghost Hunts
If you want to kick up the spookiness factor around Halloween, look up cheap flights in October and plan your visit to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Ghost Hunts. Located in Weston, West Virginia, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum presents yet another reportedly haunted site you can tour. The Asylum was built between 1858 and 1881, and it’s the largest hand-cut stone mason building in North America. The asylum officially opened to patients in 1864 with the capacity to house 250 people. However, by its peak in the 1950s, it was seeing some 2,400 patients. It eventually closed in 1994, but it would seem a number of patients are still up and about. It comes as no surprise as many patients have died in the building. Nightly paranormal tours are held for two hours, taking travelers to four of the most active spots, all with a guide. If you’re more of a lights-on kind of person, you can take the same paranormal tour during the day. Running throughout the night and into the early morning hours, the ghost hunts allow you to explore the building with an experienced ghost hunter or on your own, if you dare.
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The Stanley Hotel Night Spirit Tour
Set in Estes Park, Colorado, right at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, ghost hunters have long flocked to The Stanley Hotel. Designed by F.O. Stanley, this historic hotel opened its doors in 1909 and remains on the National Register of Historic Places. Many guests and employees have detailed The Stanley’s paranormal activity. In fact, a one-night stay was enough for Stephen King to find inspiration for The Shining. You can join the hotel’s Spirited Night Tour to learn a little bit more about what makes The Stanley such a hotbed for ghosts and hear the stories surrounding these spirits wandering about the 100-year-old hotel. The tour lasts just over an hour and photography is welcome.
The Crescent Hotel and Spa Ghost Tour
Eureka Springs, Arkansas might seem like a quiet historic town, but it harbors what is considered one of the most haunted hotels in America. Hailing from 1886, it was the Crescent Hotel and Spa’s brief time as a hospital, led by Norman G. Baker, that might be a contributing factor to its increased paranormal activity. Baker posed as a doctor, despite possessing no degree or qualifications. He along with some of his patients are said to haunt the place. Nightly ghost tours detail the main stories of patients and other guests that never checked out.
The Ohio State Reformatory Ghost Walks
Once the home of some 155,000 inmates, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio is no stranger to ghosts as one would imagine. The 19th-century former prison might look familiar as it has been in numerous films including The Shawshank Redemption. Its past life, namely, thanks to its infamous prisoners, makes for a backdrop of paranormal activity. This prison is so spooky that it hosts several paranormal programs. To get a sense of the history and ghost stories of the Ohio State Reformatory you can join the Ghost Walk. Held at night for two hours, the tour heads through the corridors and halls where many inmates died. A guide takes you to the most active areas of the prison to see if you can experience an out-of-this-world encounter. In addition to ghost walks, you can also go on ghost hunts inside the prison and even sign up for private paranormal investigations.
What’s your favorite ghost tour? Share your pick with us in the comments below.