Halloween is approaching, which makes it the perfect time to share ghost stories. But for some, just telling terrifying tales isn’t enough. After all, seeing is believing.
If that sounds like you, you may remember last year’s Best Spooky Spots for Seniors This Halloween post, which covered some of the creepiest places in America. The United States is too big to fit all the best haunted places in one article, though. This year, we found 10 more of the spookiest, hair-raising places you can visit in the continental United States.
So, what are you waiting for? You’re not afraid of a few stories, and ghosts don’t exist… right?
Cape Cod, MA
The quaint sights of Cape Cod mask some dark tales. For such a small area, there’s a surprising amount of ghost stories and haunted houses. If you want, you can spend the night in some spooky places, like the Beechwood Inn, where a beautiful room might just come with a spirited roommate who likes pranks.
You can even spend the night in some spooky places, as long as you’re okay a spirited roommate who likes pranks.
Don’t miss the Barnstable House, famously called the House of 11 Ghosts, on one of the ghost tours in the area. The nearby islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket also have their fair share of local haunts worth checking out.
International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, ME
Did you enjoy the Bigfoot hunting hike from last year’s spooky spots but live on the East Coast? You’re in luck, because Portland, Maine, is home to the International Cryptozoology Museum. The museum’s collection was assembled by Loren Coleman with the mission to “educate, inform, and share cryptozoological evidence, artifacts, replicas, and popular cultural items with the general public, media, students, scholars, and cryptozoologists from around the world.”
The museum’s collection was assembled by Loren Coleman with the mission to “educate, inform, and share…”
For a $10 entry fee, you can explore and learn about cryptozoology, the study of unverified species. While Bigfoot is the star of the museum, there are also exhibits on other mysterious creatures like the Loch Ness Monster.
Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
From former presidents to demon cats, Capitol Hill is rife with spooky activity. The White House, especially, is a hotbed of haunting encounters for many guests and former inhabitants. Abraham Lincoln is the most common ghost seen, but he isn’t the only one.
The White House, especially, is a hotbed of haunting encounters for many guests and former inhabitants.
Former presidents Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, and William Henry Harrison Harrison are all seen, as are First Ladies Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison. Capitol Hill also has its fair share of other ghost stories. You may even spot the famous Demon Cat!
Sleepy Hollow, NY
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of America’s first Halloween classics. While Washington Irving’s characters are a work of fiction, the town is very real. Sleepy Hollow may not be as haunted as other places, but it loves Halloween. Each year, the town hosts a Jack O’Lantern Blaze, featuring over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.
Each year, Sleepy Hollow hosts a Jack O’Lantern Blaze, featuring over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.
You can also follow in Ichabod Crane’s footsteps on a guided tour. If you’re looking for something scarier, try the Haunted Hayride or the Horseman’s Hollow, which tests just how real the legendary Headless Horseman is.
St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine lays claim to being the oldest city in America, as well as a host to spirits from centuries ago. Of all the scary locations in the city, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is the most famous for its ghosts. The stairs can leave you with a chilling feel that you’re not alone.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is the most famous for its ghosts, but they aren’t limited to there.
You may even see the former caretaker or the children who are often spotted there. Supernatural sightings aren’t limited to the lighthouse, though. Visit the Old Jail or the Spanish Military Hospital for additional scares.
The Bell Witch Cave, Adams, TN
Do you want to explore the site of one of the most famous hauntings in American history? One that even reportedly spooked Old Hickory, President Andrew Jackson. Today, you can still visit the Bell Witch Cave and family farm, where the Bell family was tortured by the Bell Witch in the early 1800s.
It seems the Witch never quite left.
The Witch was believed to have lived inside the cave, which you can still tour to this day. You can even enjoy the Halloween celebrations that are held there throughout October. To this day, strange occurrences happen on the property, especially in the cave. It seems the Witch never quite left.
Middle of America
Villisca Axe Murder House, Villisca, IA
The Villisca Axe Murder House is one of the most mysterious places on this list. One crisp morning on June 10, 1912, neighbors of the Moore family found a sickening sight. Joe and Sarah Moore, their children Herman, Katherine, Paul, and Boyd, and Katherine’s friends Lena and Ina Stillinger, were found brutally murdered in their beds. Even stranger, every single mirror in the home was covered. This 100-year-old crime remains unsolved.
To this day, the brutal 100-year-old crime remains unsolved.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, IL
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery is a small, 82-plot graveyard in a now-defunct town in Illinois. For a long time, it was known as a hangout for teenagers, but stories of ghostly mothers and floating orbs spread quickly. Today, the graveyard is private property, but that doesn’t mean the ghost sightings have stopped.
Just make sure you’re on a tour, because if you’re not, you’re probably as likely as to be arrested as see a ghost.
The White Lady is still spotted wandering with her baby under full moons. A vanishing farmer plows the fields, and a silent monk watches over the grounds. Just make sure you’re on a tour, because if you’re not, you’re probably as likely as to be arrested as see a ghost.
Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield, OH
There’s something about old prisons that draws ghost stories in, and the Ohio State Reformatory is no different. The prison that was the set for the Shawshank Redemption has a long and dark history that’s left an undeniable imprint on the place. When the prison became a maximum-security prison for the worst inmates, it gained a reputation as a particularly brutal prison.
When it was a working prison, the Ohio State Reformatory gained a particularly brutal reputation.
Visitors to the prison still report witnessing disembodied voices and a long list of frequent apparitions. Throughout October, the Reformatory fully embraces its haunted reputation by holding a terrifying haunted house that’s certain to scare you out of your skin!
Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, CA
Want to meet a ghost, but enjoy world-class accommodations? Then San Francisco’s Queen Anne Hotel is calling you. The hotel is a Victorian-era property that was once a girls’ finishing school. The rooms are so beautiful you may not want to leave — in fact, some never did!
The rooms are so beautiful you may not want to leave — in fact, some never did!
The most common entity spotted is former Head Mistress Mary Lake, who keeps an eye on guests. She’s even reportedly cleaned up after guests, unpacked their clothes, and tucked them in. Her presence is felt strongest in room 410, which used to be her office.
Thornewood Castle Inn, Lakewood, WA
The backdrop for Stephen King’s Rose Red, the Thornewood Castle Inn shows that art can imitate life. Built by Chester Thorne in 1911, the “House That Love Built” is said to be haunted by a young boy who drowned on the property and other spirits.
If you spent four years building your dream home, would you want to leave it?
Chester Thorne is even spotted occasionally. If you spent four years building your dream home, would you want to leave it? Guests also report experiencing everything from footsteps to the spirit of a young girl. You can see the castle for yourself by renting a room or suite, though don’t be shocked if you have a surprise visitor during the night!
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If you’ve tried all sorts of spooky entertainments and none have sufficiently gotten you into the Halloween spirit, trying for the real thing could be your ticket. After all, why be afraid of a fake ghost when one night in a haunted hotel could give you the story of a lifetime? Whether you’re in the mood for tricks or treats this Halloween, these locations will leave you satisfied. Or, terrified — if you’re lucky.
Do you have any ghost stories? How about some great Halloween memories? We’d love to hear them! If you’d like to share with us, send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may even share a few of the best! Happy Halloween!