For Halloween, some flock to Salem to roam where supposed witches flew. Others head to Savannah, said to be the most haunted city in America. The rest just deal with it in destinations that aren’t known for having any creepy grounds. If you want to get in the holiday spirit no matter where you are, we show you how to plan a spooky trip that works for a wide variety of destinations!
Stay at a Haunted Hotel
What could be spookier than actually booking a haunted hotel stay for your trip? You can immerse yourself in the paranormal by planning a trip around a haunted hotel. Thrill-seekers will love the rush of adrenaline that comes with a stay at one of the many alleged haunted hotels scattered across the country. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is best known as being the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, “The Shining,” making it a good stop in a beautiful setting. Want to be transported back to the Golden Age of Hollywood? Consider a stay at the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles. Guests have reported seeing the ghosts of some of Hollywood’s most iconic legends in the mirrors of this upscale hotel. Or head to the Marshall House in Savannah, Georgia for a hair-raising experience. In operation since 1851, this hotel was once a wartime hospital with a history of paranormal activity. Docked in Long Beach, California, the Queen Mary ship is home to the supposedly haunted stateroom B340. Overnight guests in this stateroom have routinely reported a variety of spooky noises and paranormal activity after a guest passed away in the room in 1948. Do you dare to stay there?
Grab a Drink at Haunted Pubs
Most cities have bars and restaurants with ghost stories to go along with their grub and cocktails. They’re an especially good alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to lay there their head down for the night anywhere that’s supposed to have guests from the other side also checking in. It’s pretty easy to lookup any restaurants or bars with any ghost stories at your destination. If you’re in New York, for example, you can order a pint of beer at the legendary White House Tavern and wait to see the specter of inebriated writer Dylan Thomas. You never know what you might see While sitting at the bar or corner table!
Visit a Cemetery
Cemeteries are generally peaceful havens. However, many of these places are known for their haunted vibe. Between the ornate decor, the scary tombstones, and the thought of hundreds of corpses rotting beneath your feet, it’s easy to get spooked while walking through them! This is especially true if you choose a cemetery known for its haunts. Start your haunted cemetery tour with the granddaddy of them all, the St. Louis Cemetery in New Orleans. This cemetery even offers guided tours so you can learn more about its legendary history. It’s no surprise to learn that Salem, Massachusetts, is home to one of the nation’s scariest cemeteries. As the place of the notorious Salem Witch Trials, the city itself is enough to give anyone chills. While here, be sure to visit the Old Burying Point Cemetery, distinguished as being the final resting place of some of the famous judges from the trials. Cap your cemetery tour with a visit to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York. The name itself is enough to give you the heebie-jeebies!
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Go on a Ghost Tour
If you really want to take a step to the dark side, go on a ghost tour! Usually held in the evening, these guided tours are often a mix of history with superstition and local lore. They’re not only spooky but also fun ways to learn more about a destination. The Graves Tales Tour in Savannah is a great example. The tour is a nighttime walk through some of the city’s most historic landmarks, including haunted mansions and cemeteries, and also provides a look into the history of voodoo in the region. Washington D.C. is one city with a variety of ghost tours, including the Ghosts of Georgetown and the popular Capitol Hill Ghosts and Scandals Tour, that showcase the little-known paranormal history of the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, on the West Coast, the Secrets, Scandals, and Scoundrels tour in San Francisco is well-known for providing a unique look into what life was like in the city during the 1800s and the lawlessness of the era.
Head for True Ghost Towns
Sometimes the mere feeling of abandonment puts the traveler right in the theme of Halloween. True ghost towns lend these feelings of abandonment and mystery. Lucky ghost towns exist all over the world. These abandoned settlements come with their own set of stories of the who, what, where, when, and why. Whether the town failed due to a dried-up mining operation or merely to the closing of a railroad, they make for spooky places to visit around Halloween.
Roam Through Historic Neighborhoods
While manufactured haunted houses are all fine and well, the traveler in search of truly haunted homes can merely roam through their destination’s most historic neighborhoods. In many cities, these neighborhoods with the most history feature, not just impressive architecture and famous former residents, but also their fair share of ghost stories. So now you know: do a little bit of paranormal research the moment you book those cheap flights in October to your destination. Who knows? You might uncover a haunted mansion that offers tours of the premises to fill your Halloween itinerary!
Have your own secret tip for planning a spooky trip? Tell us all about it in the comments section!