A (Haunted) Guide to the Spookiest Cities in America
Visit them if you dare!
It’s that time of year: DIY couples costumes and Pinterest-inspired pumpkins everywhere. But there’s also the other side of the season. The chills-on-the-back-of-your-neck side. The side that thins the veil and encourages spirits to cross over, even temporarily.
So just how brave are you? Plan a trip to one of the spookiest cities in America to find out!
With the number of violent deaths that took place here, how could Gettysburg not be haunted? One of the most massive battles of the Civil War took place here, resulting in the deaths of over 51,000 soldiers. Local lore says that their spirit energy has remained in Gettysburg.
The battlefield is particularly eerie at night, where passers-by have reported hearing gunfire and even cannons going off. Some even say they’ve heard the anguished cries of soldiers in the medical tents.
If the battlefield is a bit much for you, stay at one of the local inns or farms, where guests have encountered more than one Civil War-era ghost.
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans’ reputation as a paranormal hot spot doesn’t limit itself to ghosts. Its Creole history is infused with tales of voodoo, a well-known entrance into the spirit world.
Enhancing NoLa’s voodoo rep is Marie Laveau, “The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans,” who just happens to be buried right outside the French Quarter. Knock on her crypt three times if you need to ask her for a favor. And don’t forget to leave a gift (she’s said to be partial to alcohol and flowers, smh!). The ultimate stop during a girls’ trip, perhaps?
New Orleans also has quite the rep as a vampire city. Some of the most prominent vampire sightings in the country take place in The Big Easy, including Jacques St. Germain. This European vampire was born in the 1700s, but locals claim to have seen him as recently as the 1970s!
With its rich history, Salem was a shoo-in for this list. Although it’s perhaps better known for its witches than ghosts, that’s exactly what makes it one of the spookiest cities in America. Because those 19 alleged witches (tortured and executed in the 1690s) are still… lingering.
Lyceum Hall (now a popular seafood restaurant) is supposedly haunted by the first victims of the trials. Others haunt the cemetery or Gallows Hills, site of their executions.
Pro Tip: Skip the touristy “ghost tours” and explore on your own. A quick chat with locals will point you towards the right historic haunted spots.
San Antonio, TX
One of the oldest cities in the country is also one of its spookiest cities! The ghostly tales here go back over a hundred years, to the Battle of the Alamo. Many ghostly soldiers have been seen patrolling the roof, defending the Alamo, and even giving a rallying battle cry or two.
If that doesn’t give you enough goosebumps, then check out this story. 50 years ago, just outside of San Antonio, a school bus stalled on the tracks. We’ll skip the details, but supposedly any car that stops near the tracks today is “helped” across by unseen hands.
Other haunted spots in San Antonio include its former insane asylum and the Alamo Street Theatre, the latter home to an otherworldly off-key performer.
This charming southern city hides a secret: its ghostly reputation. Savannah’s rich history has left it teeming with tales that make it one of the spookiest cities in the country. Pirates, kids, and even ghost dogs have all put in appearances in Savannah.
Your biggest chance at ghost-spotting is Bonaventure Cemetery, the spooky, moss-covered final resting place of Savannah’s residents. If you’re a pet person, this is where you and Fido might encounter the pack of roaming ghost dogs.
Nearby Fort Pulaski, a Civil War fort, has seen a number of ghostly visitors. And if you want to eat dinner with a ghost, head over to The Pirate’s House restaurant. You might bump into the ghost of sailor/pirate Captain Flint.
Ready to get your scare on? Make the most of a weekend in one of these spooky cities by shipping your luggage to your (haunted) Airbnb or hotel with LugLess. No lugging suitcases or hovering around baggage claim. We’ll handle getting your stuff there, so all you have to worry about is the sudden goosebumps on the back of your neck…