It’s October and that means renewed interest in ghosts, mystical spirits and the supernatural. Although cities like New Orleans and Salem get widespread attention for ghosts and goblins, smaller communities also deserve notice as we approach Halloween. Moreover, ghosts and haunted houses gets more public interest than other quirky oddities like unexplained sounds and mystical vortexes. Without any further mention of ghosts, read on about the best small towns in the U.S. to visit for supernatural attractions on Halloween.
Note: Some attractions may be closed due to COVID-19. Please check directly with each attraction.
The small town of Adams will likely not invoke thoughts about supernatural occurrences. But its most famous legend, the Bell Witch might sound familiar. In fact, the Bell Witch has been the source of famed films like “The Blair Witch Project” and “An American Haunting”. The legend of the Bell Witch dates back to 1817, when paranormal activity was first reported by the John Bell family. Today, the farm property is a tourist and Halloween attraction, known as the Bell Witch Cave.
Related: America’s Most Haunted Places
A supernatural occurrence in a small West Texas town may have been an inspiration for scenes from the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. That inspiration is known as the Marfa Lights, described as pulsating lights that dart across the sky. First reported in 1883, there are been thousands of eyewitness accounts of flickering lights. Although scientific analysis reveal that these lights are likely coming from automobiles, Marfa remains a popular destination for sci-fi enthusiasts.
Where to stay: Hotel Paisano, El Cosmico
Roswell, New Mexico
Among the country’s most famous supernatural places, Roswell gained notoriety with a reported UFO sighting in 1947. Although the U.S. military insisted the incident involved a weather balloon, interest in UFOs and aliens grew enormously over the ensuing decades. In fact, there are conspiracy theories, eyewitness accounts and an alien autopsy hoax. Perhaps taking advantage of the popularity in UFOs, Roswell has related attractions to draw in more visitors.
Where to stay: Hampton Inn & Suites, TownePlace Suites by Marriott
Bounded by picturesque red rock landscapes, Sedona is among the most supernatural spots in America. Located in Central Arizona south of Flagstaff, Sedona is world famous as a spiritual and wellness destination. Of particular interest is the perceived existence of spiritual vortexes found in several spots around Sedona.
These vortexes are thought to have healing properties that help renew spiritual awareness. Of the many vortexes in the area, Bell Canyon and Boynton Canyon are considered the most powerful.
Where to stay: Amara Resort and Spa, Enchantment Resort, L’Auberge de Sedona.
Taos, New Mexico
Taos is a curious Halloween destination known for its thriving art community, historic buildings and world-class skiing. It has also appeared in several Hollywood films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Easy Rider. But this small community in Northern New Mexico is also known for a supernatural phenomenon called the Taos Hum. Discovered in the early 1990s, the Taos Hum is said to emit an unexplained sound that only a small percentage of people can hear. Despite several scientific investigations, the Hum remains a phenomenon not clearly understood.
Where to stay: El Monte Sagrado, Hotel La Fonda.
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, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago and CBS San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million monthly visitors. His other stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.