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Halloween Travel: Ghost Town Tours in America’s Haunted Cities

Published by Merlin Leachman

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This Halloween, go on a ghost town tour in one of the most haunted cities in America. Here are ten ghost tours you can consider this Halloween, divided by region:

Mid-Atlantic: Washington, DC

We all know that the White House is haunted with presidential ghosts, but did you know about the other haunted houses in our nation’s capitol? The Octagon House, considered by some to be the most haunted house in DC, was built in the 18th century by John Tayloe III. Tayloe’s daughter either jumped or fell to her death after an argument with dad, and her ghost still haunts the house to this day. For Halloween, consider the ghost tour “Capital Hauntings”, which tours haunted Lafayette Square Park, the ghost infested haunted park just north of the White House.

Southeast: New Orleans, LA, and Savannah, GA

Maybe it’s the Spanish moss dripping from the trees, or the sordid histories of these haunted cities, but both New Orleans, LA, and Savannah, GA, are the kind of cities that feel haunted and filled with ghosts the minute you set foot on their streets after dark.

In Savannah, visit the Kehoe House, built in 1892 by William Kehoe. His twins died while playing in a chimney, and the ghosts of these twins still haunt the present-day Inn. Savannah is well-known for its ghost tours; for Halloween consider Cobblestone Tours (GhostSavannah.com). This ghost tour was featured on the Travel Channel in an episode of “America’s Most Haunted Places.”

If you didn’t know Savannah is haunted by ghosts, surely you knew that New Orleans is rife with ghosts and haunted houses. There are several haunted houses in the French Quarter alone. If you really want to give yourself a fright this Halloween, visit the haunted Sultan’s House, where the ghost of the Turkish Sultan and ghosts of his harem still haunt the site with screams. These ghosts were brutally murdered by pirates in the 19th century. To find other ghost tours for Halloween in New Orleans, click here.

Midwest: Chicago, IL

Considering how many mobsters died in the 1920s and 1930s in Chicago, it is not surprising that their ghosts still haunt the streets. One ghost tour, Weird Chicago, will take you to the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, where seven gangsters were murdered during a gang war.

But stranger still is the haunted Hull House, which was a settlement house opened by Jane Addams in 1889. Rumors say there was a “Devil Baby” born with scaly skin and pointed ears and brought to Hull House. After a failed baptism, the baby was locked in the attic and died there. Although Ms. Addams denied this story, there is a more probable tale that the actual “Devil Baby” was a severely deformed boy who lived in the attic. The ghost of this boy still haunts the attic, and sometimes you will see his ghostly face peek out the attic window. Now there’s a Halloween chiller for you!

Northeast: Salem, MA

Salem, MA, is still synonymous with “witches”, so it is not surprising that there are many “Haunted Happenings” in Salem around Halloween. One ghost you can glimpse is that of George Corwin, who was the High Sheriff at the time of the Salem Witch Trials. His ghost still haunts the Joshua Ward House. And if the Joshua Ward House isn’t scary enough for you this Halloween, attend the Festival of the Dead, an annual Halloween celebration offered by Salem’s modern witches. There’s also the Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tours, which runs nightly from October 6 through Halloween night.

Southwest: Albuquerque, NM and Tombstone, AZ

If Chicago is home to ghosts of gangsters, Albuquerque and Tombstone host the ghosts of the Wild West. Albuquerque, in particular, is a very old town (founded in 1706) and has had several centuries to collect its share of haunted places and ghosts. Two hauntings in Albuquerque you might try this Halloween are the Maria Teresa Restaurant and the Tours of Old Town ghost tour.

With a name like “Tombstone”, it’s not surprising that this city has its ghosts. For starters, this home of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday is supposedly haunted by over 40 men who died in great fires of 1881 and 1882. For Halloween, enjoy the city’s Helldorado Days near end of October, which celebrate Tombstone’s gunslinging past. Another option is Tombstone’s Ghost Tour.

Mountain West: Estes Park, CO

Anything that scares Stephen King will definitely scare the rest of us! Try visiting the Stanley Hotel, known in King’s The Shining as the “Overlook Hotel”. King’s interest in the haunted hotel started when he and his wife were staying there and had their belongings rearranged by the ghost of Ms. Wilson, a hotel maid who died in famous Room 217. Around Halloween, try the Stanley’s Annual Shining Halloween Ball. For ghost tours of the Stanley Hotel, click here. Redrum!

West Coast: San Francisco, CA and Hollywood, CA

The West Coast has its share of ghosts, too. Did you know that Native Americans believed the island of Alcatraz near San Francisco to be haunted by ghosts and evil spirits long before the prison was built there? If you visit Alcatraz this Halloween, be sure to visit the D-Block cells – considered the most haunted part of the prison. Amongst others, one of D-Block’s famous residents was Robert Stroud, the violent “Birdman” of Alcatraz. San Francisco’s Chinatown, which is the oldest Chinese community in the United States, is also said to be haunted by many ghosts.

Although Hollywood is not particularly famous for its ghosts, its ghosts are particularly famous! The ghosts of both Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift are said to haunt the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Meanwhile, Superman, aka George Reeves, supposedly haunts home where he committed suicide. Enjoy a celebrity-packed ghost tour if you’re in Hollywood this Halloween.

These are just a few of the many ghost tours and haunted places you can visit this Halloween. Be careful – not all of these ghost tours will be suitable for younger audiences.


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