It’s October, which is the time for all things spooky–from haunted houses to scary movies and elaborate Halloween costumes. Here are some of the spookiest travel destinations in the U.S, for the bravest travelers. For those who don’t like to be scared, all of these destinations also have activities that are entertaining without being spooky.
New Orleans, Louisiana
In a city as old as New Orleans, it’s inevitable that some spirits might have stayed around to continue enjoying New Orleans’ food and Mardi Gras. Few houses in New Orleans are as well-known as the LaLaurie Mansion, which belonged to Madame Delphine LaLaurie in the early 19th century. When a fire at the mansion revealed that LaLaurie’s slaves had been cruelly tortured, an angry mob nearly destroyed the mansion, but Madame LaLaurie was able to escape. Today, it’s believed that LaLaurie’s presence is still lurking in the mansion. The story and the mansion have endured the centuries, and even served as inspiration for the TV show, American Horror Story.
For a tour of the LaLaurie mansion and other haunted places in New Orleans, book a tour with Nawlins Theatrical Tours.
For more New Orleans history that isn’t quite as spooky as the LaLaurie Mansion, Storyville was once the first “red-light district,” which was known for its popular bars, and for inspiring new forms of music like Jazz. Once a bustling neighborhood, the only buildings that remain from Storyville are nondescript markets and saloons, yet artifacts from Storyville can be found all across New Orleans.
If stories of torture aren’t your ideal location, focus on modern New Orleans, which has incredible food and a Mardi Gras celebration like no other. For a place to relax and appreciate the food and culture, we recommend staying at Hotel Monteleone.
Going even further back in time, the Salem witch hunts were a particularly dark part of America’s history. The witch trials resulted in the hanging of 19 innocent women, after they were accused of witchcraft. The Jonathan Corwin House is the only structure related to the witch trials that’s still standing, and Jonathan Corwin was none other than the judge who sent the 19 women to their deaths. Now, the house is ominously known as The Witch House. Rumor has it that the house has paranormal activity from cold spots to people feeling like they’re being touched.
The house is now a museum, so visitors can go on a guided tour or explore the grounds on their own—if they dare.
San Francisco and Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island has long been a place of mystery and unbelievable stories. Tour the former maximum-security prison that only closed just over 50 years ago. It held prisoners like Al Capone, and was the site of violent uprisings and escape attempts like the Battle of Alcatraz. The cells are cold and lonely, and the “punishment cells” where prisoners were held in solitary confinement, have a particularly cold and eerie mood.
Enjoy a day in San Francisco without the frights after touring Alcatraz, from Ghirardelli Square to the Golden Gate Bridge. For a hotel as historic as Alcatraz, we recommend staying at the Pickwick Hotel.
When Union and Confederate soldiers clashed in Gettysburg, it was so brutal that approximately 51,000 people died in about three days. It’s said that the battlefield still has the ghosts of soldiers looking for their troops. To add to the scariness, what was once the Gettysburg Union headquarters became an orphanage, where the headmistress was notoriously cruel. In addition to the soldiers, rumor has it that the headmistress is still haunting the grounds at the orphanage.
Gettysburg is an important place to reflect on our history, as well as see the thrills of the haunted areas. We recommend staying at the Brickhouse Inn. It’s in the historic district, and close to the Gettysburg Museum and Cemetery Hill.
The Stanley Hotel, Este Park, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel is so spooky that it inspired Stephen King’s The Shining. The luxury hotel is at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and it offers nightly tours that highlight the “paranormal hotspots” on the grounds. It is said that certain rooms have ghosts that visit frequently. Some visitors swear they’ve felt hands touching them, and there are countless areas in the hotel that suddenly get cold. Just this fall, visitors were on one of the hotel’s ghost tours, when they took a photo of the group. They looked back at the photo, and saw a clear image of a young woman, yet no one in the group remembers any young women in the tour. See for yourself.
The Stanley Hotel is ideally located near the Rocky Mountain National Park, so after enjoying a renowned haunted hotel, visit the equally renowned park. Book a room at The Stanley for a true adventure.
Stay With Us
The United States is filled with ghost towns, abandoned roads, and paranormal activity. And Halloween is the perfect time to visit these spooky places. Book your trip with Reservation Desk to relax and enjoy your trip—no one will blame you if you leave the lights on.