It's almost the season of pumpkin spice and all things not-so-nice - or rather spectrally spooky, to be more accurate; with fall comes that festive feeling of harrowing Halloween and all the chills it instills. Alongside decking the halls with pumpkins and Halloween decorations, what could be more goosebump-inducing than adding some of the most haunted US locations in history to the bucket list? Curated and ready for curious creep-chasers, Lou Hammond Group gathered the following selection of daring destinations perfect for ghoulish guests on the hunt for their next scare. Comprising a cryptic gamut of ghostly hotpots plush with paranormal activity, only those in for a scare who wholeheartedly dare will savor these historic hair-raising hubs of sinister sites set across several spine-shivering states - be they macabre museums, abandoned asylums, horrifying hotels, possessed parks, and more.
10 Hotel Haya, Tampa, Florida
Famed for its Cuban heritage and old-time cigar factories, Ybor City is a historic center full of flavor to tickle the senses of history buffs. However, the Tampa neighborhood gets all the attention in the scary season; it's a hotbed of ghost encounters and freakish paranormal activity, which is unsurprising given its long past of historical events. A high number of visitors in Ybor have seen ghostly figures in the walls of the vibrant streets' brick buildings and told tales of these unsightly spectacles.
Those who can stomach a deep dive into the city's haunted history can also lose themselves in a ghost tour, which teaches brave visitors about the infamous ghastly figures often seen throughout the neighborhood. There's the 'drunken Cuban' said to haunt the old Tampa Florida Brewery, which now operates as a law office, as well as the ghosts from the tragic 1908 Ybor City fire and the victims of Charlie Wall - a nefarious local mobster nobody would want to cross paths with on a dark night. If this number on the list of haunted US spots sounds sufficiently spooky, the Hotel Haya in the historic neighborhood is the ideal accommodation. While the hotel itself isn't haunted, its location on 7th Avenue is the perfect base for exploring the Tampa neighborhood in search of its ghosts of the past.
9 The Alida, Savannah, Georgia
As one of America's haunted cities full of busy ghosts, Savannah is the place in Georgia to get one's spook fix. The Historic District is a superbly scary spot to learn all about the haunting history of The Mercer-Williams House, 432 Abercorn, Bonaventure Cemetery, and Wright Square. Visitors can also raise their hair on several ghost tours available throughout the city, some of which are perfect for families with kids, while others are for adults only. Once all that spirit searching is over and done for the day, The Alida Hotel is a prime location to lay the head - a boutique accommodation set right on River Street boasting plenty of Southern charm for which Savannah is renowned.
8 Talbott Tavern Bed & Breakfast, Bardstown, Kentucky
As one of Bardstown's oldest buildings, the haunting of Talbott Inn is a well-known phenomenon and frequently attracts ghost hunters. This 240-year-old inn in Bardstown, Kentucky, is a melting pot of paranormal activity, where ghost encounters are a part of normal everyday life.
Guests of this B&B have been known to experience harrowing happenings, including flickering lights, random electrical shocks, and heaters turning on at night. Even employees have had to put up with such spectral shenanigans, who have reported items like keys and glasses moving by themselves. What's more, some people have claimed to see the infamous outlaw Jesse James prowling the old hallways - and since he did actually stay at the inn during his most fervent years, this is entirely believable. Others have told of encounters with a pale lady dressed in a seventeenth-century white dress.
7 Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, Marquette County, Michigan
Decades of fearsome ghostly sightings have seen Marquette become a hive for paranormal hunters, and as each year goes by, many more make their way to search for the restless spirits. Naturally, some hauntings are myths while others who claim to have experienced them brand them as absolute facts. Whatever the case, Marquette County and its no lack of unnerving spots is undeniably a thrill-seeker's eerie paradise - with the biggest curiosity of them all perhaps being the haunted Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, which is said to house the ghost of a sad young girl whose parents left her behind.
6 McRaven Tour Home, Vicksburg, Mississippi
This authentic, pre-Civil War home may look the part; it's lavish and furnished with exquisite antiques, forming a treat to the eyes and the camera lens for those fortunate enough to tour it. However, known as Mississippi's 'Most Haunted House,' the regal estate is said to be haunted by at least 14 ghosts, which, given its illustrious history, is no surprise. In the past, the three acres of verdant gardens were once employed as a confederate campsite and field hospital, where bones are still regularly found after heavy rainstorms. For those with enough bravery, one of the best and, indeed, nerve-racking ways to appreciate the home and its grounds is by searching for its infamous former residents on a candle-lit tour.
Vicksburg also has a second treat for fans of fear; The Haunted Vicksburg Ghost Walk - The Trail of Tears is a disturbing insight into the old neighborhood's eventful legacy and lingering restless spirits. The fascinating yet chilling tales told on the tour detail the past's yellow fever epidemics, antebellum duels, and the 47-day siege that took place. Guests of this tour also get to take in the sights and sounds of the twelve-block stroll through the historic town's oldest and most haunted neighborhood, which is led by local expert and licensed Vicksburg National Military Park guide, Morgan Gates.
The Vicksburg National Military Park finds itself among the country’s most famous memorials, the site where one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War occurred. Visitors to the park have even reported seeing sculptures crying tears of blood, smoke emanating from cannons, the scent of gunpowder in the air, and even weary soldiers in the periphery. Although a popular ghost-spotting site, these grounds are of the utmost historical importance and demand respect, especially the spirits with unfinished business that may still linger.
5 New Hampshire Amos J Blake House Museum, Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
Once a combined home and store, this 1837 property was purchased by Amos J Blake to be used his home and law office 30 years later. Nowadays, the Fitzwilliam Historical Society undertakes the museum's care and operation, and, amazingly (or terrifyingly, depending on who is asked), it's home to no less than 11 ghosts.
Furthermore, fans of Ghost Hunters will immediately recognize this old-world museum. Appearing on the popular TV show, the home's harrowing haunted history is widely accepted by most paranormal fans. Even the property's caretaker claims to have seen a cat disappear before her very eyes. Overall, whether seeking ghosts or not, this is one of the country's creepiest museums, granting an extraordinary opportunity for visitors to explore the town's interesting history while potentially sampling some spooks at the same time.
4 Brighton Asylum, Passaic, New Jersey
Nationwide programs across the entire TV alphabet have covered this haunted asylum, including ABC, NBC, Today, FOX, Buzzfeed, and more. Closed in 1952 after a tirade of disappearing patients, the building hosts a prolific backstory comprising violent patients and poor conditions. After a 59-year hiatus, the doors of the property were reopened in 2011, the location now serving as a hairy haunted attraction complete with a roster of events for paranormal-loving guests to enjoy. From escape rooms and axe throwing to haunted houses and ghost tours and so much more, it's no wonder this place has been named New Jersey’s 'most visited Halloween destination' for over a decade.
3 City Hall, Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is one of the most underrated destinations in the US. Yet, it offers a menacing menu of haunted delights for fans of the season of spooks. At the epicenter of its paranormal activities is the grand City Hall, a historical landmark built in 1875 that comes with an impressive haunted history and reputation for strange spectral sightings, which landed it a prominent spot on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. Employees of the building can recant their own ghostly interactions, ranging from whispers and cigar smoke smells to items moving on their own.
Visitors can also experience Providence Ghost Tour’s lantern-led tours across the town, stopping at the most haunted places in the city. City Hall is often included in most Providence walking tours, many of which feature the haunted areas of the building. Should walking around town be an unappealing option, hopping on the city's Haunted Boat Rides with the Providence River Boat Company is a ghoulish alternative, during which haunting tales of the not-so-dead are brought to life while guests uncover the city’s history.
2 Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, South Dakota
Constructed in 1928, the Hotel Alex Johnson has long been celebrated for being one of the most haunted hotels in all of South Dakota. The 143-room hotel attracts visitors worldwide for its haunted reputation, which includes 75 years of history. Interestingly, guests can look through a special book at the check-in counter that's chock-full of past guest reports of unexplained, bizarre phenomena - most of which are centered on the eighth floor.
Out of all the rooms, number 812 is a particular hotspot of ghostly activities and is believed to be haunted by a distraught spirit named the 'Lady in White, who is said to open windows, remove dresser drawers and put them back upside-down, and wander the halls of the infamous eighth floor. On that same floor, many guests have reported being visited by the ghost of a young girl, who, after having knocked on their door, disappeared down the hallway. Other guest reports claim sightings of the ghost of Alex Johnson himself, experiencing the alarming sense of being grabbed or touched and hearing the distinct beating of drums.
1 Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley Fright-Seeing Tour, Cheyenne, Wyoming
The Wyoming city of Cheyenne invites visitors to enjoy numerous nefarious sites and activities perfect for indulging in this spooky season. Ghost hunters will relish taking a ride on the famous Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley, where the public can learn about the city's haunted history every October. Offering a creepy combination of historic and daunting ghost reportings from all across the city, this iconic Cheyenne tour is a favorite among locals and tourists and always sells out during the hectic Halloween period - so be sure to book this experience early.
In addition, Cheyenne's guests can enjoy exploring the city's darker side, and discovering its various historic landmarks and buildings. One of these that stands out is The Cheyenne Depot, a National Historic Landmark and the beating heart of Cheyenne’s history, which contains unearthly stories of spirit encounters, ghostly laughing children, and even an unfortunate employee's tale of suffering painful scratch marks. Built in 1886 by the Union Pacific Railroad, the depot is also the final remaining grand railroad station located on the transcontinental route. Adding further to its sketchy history, hundreds of people have died in the yard surrounding the depot over the many years, ranging from deaths on the job to accidents.
Visitors will also find spooks at Cheyenne's Historic Atlas Theater, a building erected in 1887 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. With a long history of diverse uses, the site once served as a confectionery shop, offices, a nightclub, and a theater - but what makes it all the more intriguing is this: it's believed to house several ghosts. Although very little is known about the theater's paranormal residents, locals' favorite includes the 'Lady in White, who has been seen standing on the property's balcony. Supposedly, stories of her claim she was one of the prostitutes that worked in the brothel upstairs, who met her misfortune when she was murdered - allegedly. Whether the blood-curdling stories of the theater are to be believed, paranormal investigators often leave with genuine evidence of spirit activity.
Last but not least, another legendary haunted site is The Lincoln, which houses the city's increasingly popular live music scene as well as a group of mischievous ghosts who leave hand prints on the freshly cleaned mirrors hanging along the building's stairwells. Cheyenne locals often blame cowgirl pinups Darla and Jenny, famously known as 'The Ladies of the Lincoln', for most of the site's spine-tingling activity.