Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, oh my! While it’s easy to get into the scary spirit with a few decorations and some costumes, there are a handful of spots around the country that are eerier than most.
1. Salem, MA
From the moment you set foot into this town, where the famous witch trials went down, you know that the stories you’ve heard are no joke. While Salem is a bit ominous all year round, it really comes into its own for the entire month of October. Psychic fairs, seances, haunted hayrides and all sort of other bone-chilling activities help visitors make the most of the season.
2. New Orleans, LA
You can’t escape the cool-yet-creepy voodoo vibes that characterize this charming city. Nearly everywhere you turn, there are nooks and crannies just begging to be explored. From the old hotels and bars — including Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the oldest in the country! — to the many cemeteries, there are lots of ghost stories to go around.
3. Savannah, GA
Plenty of terrifying tales are hiding under the shade of Savannah’s Live Oak trees and within the walls of its historic homes. In addition, the town is the setting of the 1994 book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a story based on true events. You can take an evening ghost tour by trolley for a truly spine-tingling experience.
4. Gettysburg, PA
This city, famous for its epic Civil War battle, is now allegedly home to many disgruntled spirits still waging a fight. The Cashtown Inn, for example, has seen phenomena like phantom door knocking and unlocking, lights turning on and off, and photos with ghostly cameos.
5. San Francisco, CA
Though San Fran has built a reputation for being cool and contemporary, there are tons of hidden treasures scattered throughout the narrow, winding streets. Alcatraz, the famous prison, no longer holds prisoners, but it supposedly hosts many haunted happenings. The Queen Anne Hotel, which used to be the site of an all-girls school, is reported to be visited by former headmaster Miss Mary Lake.
6. Augustine, FL
What would you expect from the oldest continuously-occupied city in the country? At the Casablanca Inn, you’ll get more than a room with a view: guests have heard phantom footsteps and children’s voices during their stays. The Spanish Military Hospital, built on a Native American Burial Ground, is full of screams, creaks, and other unsettling sounds and sights as well!