- 1. Get jailhouse jitters in Alcatraz, California
- 2. Spend a spooky night in Savannah, Georgia
- 3. Uncover Florida’s fiendish past
- 4. Risk nightmares in New Orleans, Louisiana
- 5. Discover eerie Estes Park, Colorado
- 6. Watch out for witches in Salem, Massachusetts
- 7. Haunted in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
1. Get jailhouse jitters in Alcatraz, California
Nestled among the mists of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island is a must-visit for thrill-seeking visitors to the West Coast. Home to the now-closed Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, the island sits 1.25 miles offshore and is surrounded by supposedly shark-infested waters. It’s easy to see why this was the chosen location for one of America’s scariest prisons. With only 36 escape attempts, the walls of the prison are said to be filled with the ghosts of prisoners forever stuck on the island. Catch a boat over if you dare — just make sure you don’t miss your ride back to shore.
2. Spend a spooky night in Savannah, Georgia
As the setting for a number of battles and more than a few mysterious murders, Savannah has a well-earned reputation as one of the spookiest towns in the US. Take a late-night stroll with a local guide to enjoy some historical horrors and terrifying tales. Literature fans can’t miss visiting the scene of the Jim Williams murder, made famous by “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
3. Uncover Florida’s fiendish past
The sunshine state actually has quite a shadowy past and you can discover this by heading over to St. Augustine. Take a nighttime tour through cemeteries and visit the famous Castillo de San Marcos, a military fort dating back to 1672 and still the reported home of long-dead soldiers and prisoners.
4. Risk nightmares in New Orleans, Louisiana
With a history of Voodoo ingrained in local culture, New Orleans is the place to be for fans of the occult with a side of fun. Wander through the local cemeteries or learn about the queen of Voodoo herself, Marie Laveau. Even better, visit the haunted house of horrors that earned her the reputation of one of America’s most infamous murderers.
5. Discover eerie Estes Park, Colorado
Any self-proclaimed fans of cinematic classics should Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel on their bucket list. Serving as inspiration for Stephen King’s 1977 novel, “The Shining,” and the following film starring Jack Nicholson, the remote hotel certainly lives up to spooky expectations. Resting in the Rocky Mountains National Park, guests to the area are often surprised by the sense of isolation, which is only enhanced by the dense surrounding forest.
6. Watch out for witches in Salem, Massachusetts
Most familiar to the current generation from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the witch trials of Massachusetts were a dark time for early colonial America. Just as you’d expect, the mythology around vengeful spirits and wronged women continues to this day. Explore historical recreations and local haunted houses to uncover Salem’s spookiest spots for yourself.
7. Haunted in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Why not head to the home of horror (on film, that is) and visit Universal Studios. Known as one of the scariest in the world, Universal Studios’ House of Horrors and Horror Nights will definitely get the adrenaline flowing. All of the cinematic greats are represented, with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface making an especially strong impression.