Haunted Places In America To Visit On Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching and if you’re like many Americans, you love a haunted attraction. From classic horror films to paranormal television programs, you’ve been fascinated with haunted place. While the existence of ghosts has largely been debunked, some Americans still believe that earthly spirits may exist. That’s because many of the world’s cultures and …

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Black Cat with a Halloween orange sunset

Halloween is fast approaching and if you’re like many Americans, you love a haunted attraction. From classic horror films to paranormal television programs, you’ve been fascinated with haunted place. While the existence of ghosts has largely been debunked, some Americans still believe that earthly spirits may exist. That’s because many of the world’s cultures and religions. After all, some of its teachings include life after death. So if you’re bold enough to visit at night, here are five of the most haunted places in America.

Gravestones at Charter Street Cemetery in Salem is often said to be haunted
Old Burying Point in Salem (credit: Randy Yagi)

Charter Street Cemetery

51 Charter St.
Salem, MA 01970

The Old Burying Point, Charter Street Cemetery is among America’s oldest cemeteries. In fact, Old Burying Point is best known as the final resting place of several well-known individuals. For example, Richard More is buried here. In more detail, he’s known as the only passenger of the Mayflower with a documented gravesite. If that’s not enough, John Hathorne, one of the infamous judges presiding over Salem Witch Trials is also buried here. Unfortunately, none of the falsely accused “witches” are here, as they were not allowed a Christian burial. If you visit over Halloween, you’ll soon realize why this graveyard may be haunted. Just being here at night may give you the shivers.

Haunted Happenings, Salem

On Halloween, the entire city of Salem observes the enormous event Haunted Happenings. In previous years, about 250,000 visitors would descend upon this historic city. Visit the Haunted Happenings website to get a better idea of what will be in store on October 31. This will include haunted house tours, Halloween fairs and museums with a ghostly theme. However, it’s not just Halloween that Haunted Happenings will occur. Indeed, there will be special events the entire month of October. If you plan to go to Salem anytime during the month of October, be sure to visit the Haunted Happenings website.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

In the immediate area of the Old Burying Point is the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Because it’s so close to the graveyard, you should definitely visit this spot. Here you will find gravestones bearing the names of many of the women who were wrongly accused as witches. If you go, you will likely see many flowers left by visitors on these memorials.

Proctor’s Ledge, Salem

In recent years, some historians believe that Proctor’s Ledge was the actual spot where the witch hangings took place. This is contrary to the original belief that the hangings were at Gallows Hill Park. Either way, both sites are worth visiting for its historic and ghostly connection. It’s only a .4-mile walk between these two local attractions. You can see a memorial below Proctor’s Ledge.

The Bewitched Statue

Although it’s not exactly scary, you may enjoy a visit to the Bewitched statue. This popular attraction features a life-size sculpture of actress Elizabeth Montgomery. You may not be old enough to remember but she was the star of the 1960s tv comedy “Bewitched”. The sculpture depicts the late actress sitting on a broomstick, with a crescent moon behind her. Although “Bewitched” wasn’t made her, it’s fitting to have it in Salem. After all, she was a witch, albeit a good witch. If you have a Roku streaming player, you can watch episodes of the popular 60s comedy for free. Of course, you can find past episodes on other platforms, like Amazon.

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Eastern State Penitentiary

2207 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA  19130
(215) 236-3300

Once the world’s largest prisons, Eastern State Penitentiary is also haunted. Located just minutes from the  Philadelphia Museum of Art, the enormous fortress-like structure operated as a prison between 1829 and 1971. However, by the 1940s, reports of paranormal activity have been documented. In fact, it could be the ghosts of famous prisoners like Al “Scarface” Capone. Moreover, the creepy look and feel of this prison makes it seem likes there are ghosts. Due to the immense popularity of a visit on Halloween, you should make reservations earlier than later.

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St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

425 Basin St.
New Orleans, LA  70112
(504) 482-5065

Another city well known for haunted places is New Orleans, especially in historic cemeteries. The oldest and  most haunted is St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Also known as “City of the Dead”, St. Louis Cemetery holds more than 100,000 above-ground tombs. However, unlike other cemeteries, you must be accompanied by a licensed tour guide. The place drawing the most attention is the tomb of Marie Laveau. You may know her as the New Orleans Voodoo Queen. Also buried here is Madame LaLaurie, murderous owner of LaLaurie Mansion in the French Quarter. If you do go, make sure to bring along a friend, in case your tour guide disappears.

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The Stanley Hotel

333 E. Wonderview Ave.
Estes Park, CO  80517
(970) 577-4000

Best known an inspiration for Stephen King’s bestselling book “The Shining”, the Stanley Hotel has long been known to be haunted. Located in Estes Park, the Stanley Hotel is a magnificent Colonial Revival hotel first opened on July 4, 1909. Well before it gained further notoriety with “The Shining”, the landmark hotel was known to have paranormal activity, even from its founder Freelan Oscar Stanley, who suffered from tuberculosis. The founder of Motor Carriage Company, F.O. and wife Flora Stanley have experienced paranormal sensations. As a matter of fact, some of their guests and employees have reportedly seen ghosts..

Haunted Rooms at the Stanley Hotel

Today, several of the guest rooms have been described as haunted. This includes room 217, where Stephen King stayed and was first inspired to write his horror novel. Room 401 is where members of “Ghost Hunters” conducted paranormal investigations on a “ghost thief”. Other rooms are known to be haunted with numerous reports of ghostly activity, like rooms 302, 413, 418 and 428. The hotel’s concert hall, grand staircase, underground tunnels and an area called “the Vortex” are reportedly haunted.

Trans-Allegheny Asylum

71 Asylum Drive
Weston, WV  26452
(304) 269-5070

Formerly known as the Weston State Hospital, Trans-Allegheny Asylum was infamous for its severe overcrowding of its psychiatric patients. The massive 19th century stone structure was originally meant to hold 250 patients. However, at its peak in the 1950s, this state hospital held 2,400. As result it had overcrowding, while its mental health facilities deteriorated. Years after closing in 1994, it was renamed as Trans-Allegheny – Asylum. Today, it  a popular, year-round tourist attraction. What’s more, it’s a National Historic Landmark. Like other popular spots, you should book reservations far in advance for a Halloween tour.

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About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, he had a digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly readers. His other stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.