Best Haunted Travel Destinations
Every city has a ghost story, but not all are created equal.
Do you have a passion for fear and fright, and get a thrill when things go bump in the night? The United States is filled with spooky folklore from its storied past, and there are countless opportunities to explore its haunted history. But not all haunts are created equal. Here are four haunted tours that will be sure to send shivers down your spine.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Located in Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary’s dark corridors and ominous stone walls set the perfect backdrop for your next ghost hunting adventure. From the outside, this defunct prison might look creepy, but the real horror occurred inside the walls. The nearly 200-year old prison boasts a gruesome history of murder, madness and terror. Tales of ghostly faces haunting cellblocks and silhouettes of guards walking abandoned towers attract thousands of visitors each year. You can explore the site by day either on your own or through one of many walking tours. The prison also offers private ghost hunting tours at night if you’re feeling adventurous.
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the Stanley Hotel is as beautiful as it is scary. So scary, that it inspired Stephen King to write one of his most popular novels, “The Shining." Walk in King’s footsteps as you explore the haunted halls of this infamous hotel. If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even spend a night in the very room Stephen King stayed in, the infamous room 217. King and his wife arrived at the hotel when it was closing for the season and they were the only overnight guests staying there. The room is said to be haunted by Elizabeth Wilson, the hotel’s head housekeeper. Other guests have reported items moved, luggage unpacked and lights being turned on and off. There are plenty of stories to be heard with your visit, and if you’re lucky, you’ll walk away with one of your own.
New Orleans French Quarter
There’s a reason that New Orleans is back on our list of tours. With an abundance of options for ghost hunters of all ages, the Big Easy might just be the most haunted city in America. French Quarter ghost tours carry a variety of themes, from the family-friendly “Ghosts of New Orleans Tour” to the more adult “Killers and Thrillers” excursion. Whether you’re in the mood for voodoo, goblins or ghosts, the Bayou has something for everyone.
Queen Mary Hotel
The Queen Mary Hotel is truly unique, and not just because it’s on an ocean liner. This hotel (or boatel) has been voted by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Places in America -- and rightly so. An engineer and “lady in white” are just some of the ghosts that presumably haunt this historic ocean liner. In addition to haunted walking tours, guests can enjoy a first-class meal through the “Dine with the Spirits” nighttime tour and join expert ghost hunters through the ships “Paranormal Investigation” tour. Just make sure to bring a buddy when you tour these creepy corridors, you don’t want to get lost at sea.