New Orleans calls itself the most haunted city in America, but there are plenty of other cities that have an eerie past of their own. If you are looking for a different place to spend the most spine-tingling time of the year, read our recommendations of the 5 most spooktacular cities in the USA!
Written by Corinne Hogge, Amelia Johnson, and Juliana Schnerr
Take a trip to the haunted South. Savannah is known as a hub for the paranormal thanks to the spooky, devious + downright evil events that have taken place in the city. Come face to face with Civil War spirits that haunt the city or learn more about its dark history this Halloween season. Whatever you choose, Savannah has all the spooky fun you need this month!
The Hamilton-Turner Inn was made famous by Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Paranormal activities inside the inn include the sounds of children laughing, billiard balls rolling around on the upper floors and sightings of a strange, cigar-smoking man sitting on the roof.
Check-in if you dare at the Marshall House hotel which has been in operation since 1851, this hotel has been used as a hospital three times – once for Union soldiers and twice for 19th-century Yellow Fever epidemics, so guests have reported their fair share of paranormal experiences such as seeing ghosts in the hallways, hearing nonexistent running down the halls and faucets turning on by themselves.
Consider partaking in these events to get you into the spirit:
Halloween themed charity bar crawl where you can move at your own pace as you stop at a number of Savannah’s top bars, pubs and lounges! Come in costume for your chance to win a $2,000 prize!
Join your gravedigger guide aboard the "Trolley of the Doomed" for an evening excursion through Savannah's darker side. Hear tales of murder and mayhem, stories of ghosts, ghouls and other mysterious happenings. Click here for even more ghost tour options!
Take a Halloween themed nighttime tour of the scenic trails of the Wormsloe Plantation! Your park ranger guide will teach you about the site’s spooky past and you might even spot a spirit beneath the oak trees and Spanish moss!
The United States’ capital is riddled with secrets, assassinations, + deceit that define the spooky stories we know and love during this season. Join in on pop up bars, ghost tours, and parties to experience the city as you’ve never have before!
Take a behind-the-scenes National Building Museum Ghost Tour to hear about after-hours apparitions and shape-shifting figures in the building that was originally the restitution office for Civil War widows and children.
Sleep with one eye open at The Omni Shoreham Hotel. Built in 1930, it has overseen some key historic events of throughout the city’s history. Room 864 is officially named, “The Ghost Suite” for the strange activity reported in the room.
Check out these options when you visit D.C:
From September 21 - November 3, head to Six Flags America for thrills on + off the rides. With several haunted houses and ‘scare zones’ added just for the season, you’re sure to explore your fair share of nightmare material!
This 21+ event offers exclusive access to the National Zoo after hours while enjoying live entertainment, local food trucks, + craft brews. Make sure to wear your best costume to be entered into the annual Halloween contest! There is also, Boo at the Zoo for the family-oriented crowd. It often sells out quickly (and is already for 2019) - but be sure to keep it in mind for next year!
Join DC’s biggest + best Halloween bar crawl on Saturday, October 26 for costumes, drink specials, contests, giveaways, and a whole lot of fun. This year is the 21st annual crawl, so don’t be fooled by imposters!
Experience the history of the Congressional Cemetery through a guided twilight tour. Explore the stories + mysteries of the cemetery’s permanent residents while touring the hallowed ground!
Join a tour as guides explore some disturbing stories about Lafayette Square, the White House, The Hay-Adams hotel, and St. John's Church.
San Francisco, California
Take a trip to historic San Fran for Halloween this year. A city with hippy vibes, a carefree attitude, + haunted buildings is a recipe for a perfect holiday. Dive into the eerie past of the Bay Area which may surprise you!
Paranormal activity has been reported in two popular areas. The Presidio, a retired military base with a hospital and cemetery, has had visitors report seeing ghostly figures and army men lurking the property. At Alcatraz, some say they've heard voices from within cell walls and seen figures walking through cellblocks. Check them out + let us know what (or rather, who) you find!
Every aspect of the Nob Hill Hotel screams “paranormal” from the room decor that calls back to the high-end stylings of the original period of the hotel to the more than 20 ghosts that have apparently visited travelers over the last 100 years of business.
Our top picks for Halloween in San Fran:
Enjoy this spooky 60-minute journey through San Francisco's past from the Gold Rush to Alcatraz, mixing of 9 live actor shows, 200 years of history, + authentic storytelling with special haunts added specifically for the Halloween season!
Adjacent to the oldest building in the city, this cemetery is the final resting place for numerous First Californians, notable California pioneers, + famous San Franciscans. Fun fact: Alfred Hitchcock filmed a scene of Vertigo here!
Roam gambling houses, narrow streets, and dark alleys while learning the tormented and storied past of one of the country’s largest + oldest Chinatown districts.
Travel to Transexual Transylvania to watch the Halloween favorite The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a live “shadow cast” at the Clay Theater. Participate with the rest of the audience while dancing to the Time Warp + singing to the rest of the iconic soundtrack!
The birthplace of our nation is also the birthplace of many ghostly stories and makes one of the country’s oldest cities a great place to celebrate Halloween. A rich history beginning before the country’s inception, Philadelphia is known to be haunted. Travel to this East Coast city to take in the fall foliage, go on a ghost tour, + party the night away!
Christ Church Burial Grounds is the current resting place of Ben Franklin. Some reports say that he steals pocket change and throws pennies at visitors. Grumblethrope is another haunted location that is said to be haunted by a general that died during the Battle of Germantown. The living room floor still shows the bloodstain where General Agnew died from a sniper’s bullet!
Cornerstone Bread and Breakfast was built in 1870 in University City and now welcomes guests to stay. Visitors report seeing a female apparition and smelling a floral perfume scent. Some even reported that they felt something sitting on the edge of the bed in the middle of the night!
Our picks for Halloween festivities in Philly:
Terror Behind the Walls is a night of horror and haunts at the already spooky Eastern State Penitentiary. Try not to scream as you run from zombie prisoners, deranged nurses and a whole collection of ghosts and ghouls!
Enjoy no cover charge, unbeatable drink specials and costume contests as you make your way through over 50 of the best nightlife spots in the city! You can also check out this event if you are in Arlington, TX or Baltimore, MD.
Get in the Halloween spirit at this day-long fall festival offering everything from seasonal food, to live music, a hay maze, and horse and wagon rides!
This unsettling museum of medical oddities becomes even spookier at its annual Mischief Party where you’ll enjoy a themed dinner and scary surprises and a costume contest among all the guests.
If nothing else, be sure to check out not one, but two Halloween themed pop-up bars around town. What does that mean exactly? They are only around for a terrifyingly short time — so don’t miss out!
Travel to the PNW for Halloween fun! Seattle makes our list for one of the spookiest cities to celebrate the holiday due to its dark + dynamic past. Enjoy the mountainous scenery as you get down with the pioneer spirits that founded the city!
Pike Place Market is apparently a popular hotspot for the living and the dead. An astonishing amount of visitors have claimed to have seen sightings of various apparitions. These sitings range from a Native American princess that still resides in her cabin that the market was built on to a ghost of a lady barber that would sing to her clients + rob them. Even if you do not believe in ghosts, the stories behind them are worth checking out!
Sorrento Hotel is a boutique hotel that has been called one of “the most haunted hotels in the world” . It is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a woman named Alice Toklas and her favorite spot to go is room 408!
Join in on these events during the month of October:
Learn + explore the real paranormal stories of haunted Seattle on this top rated tour! Party with the city’s spirits while visiting some of Seattle’s most haunted drinking establishments!
A fun, twisted, + dark adaptation of Tim Burton’s Halloween Classic, the Nightmare Before Christmas. Boasting live orchestral music, vocal performances, + video projections, this live action show has two showings: one for people 17+ and another for 21+.
Travel to the historic Hotel Sorrento + receive a professional tarot card reading in their Fireside Lounge. Explore your future of love, loss, + opportunities as you enjoy the hotel’s cozy atmosphere while sipping a cocktail!
Enjoy the yearly pumpkin bash at the zoo! Spend a day watching all of your favorite animals get in the holiday spirit with varying pumpkin feeding times throughout the day!
Beneath the cobblestoned streets of Portland's Old Town lies the legend of the Shanghai Tunnels, passageways that swirl with dark tales and hauntings. As the story goes, men who came to Portland to work—sailors, loggers, cowboys, and others—were "shanghaied," or kidnapped through trapdoors in saloons, smuggled through the tunnels to the waterfront, and sold to sea captains. A recent episode of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel explored this mysterious Portland underground.
Go below Old Town Pizza on a Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour and use ghost-hunter equipment to locate Nina, a tunnel spirit. The Cascade Geographic Society leads Shanghai Tunnels tours that start at the haunted Hobo's Restaurant in Old Town. The McMenamins' White Eagle Saloon & Rock 'n' Roll Hotel above one of Portland's oldest bars. Locals say the basement tunnels were used for shanghaiing drunken patrons.
Is it your dream to see costumed characters paddle down a river in GIGANTIC pumpkins? Lucky for you, you can make this dream a reality. The Giant Pumpkin Regatta is one of the northwest’s most anticipated events. As if these 1000 pound pumpkins weren’t enough, they also have pumpkin golf, pumpkin bowling, and a pumpkin pie eating contest! Admission is free so you will not be spooked by the prices.
Boos and Booze on a boat. What could be better? Dance with monsters late into the night aboard the Portland Spirit. Costumes are encouraged and there will be a bistro menu + full bar (must be 21+ to board!).