It’s almost time to celebrate the spookiest holiday of the year! Halloween is less than a week away and travelers are searching for the most eerie, haunted or festive locations during this scary holiday. Here are some historical and haunting destinations that will have travelers who are game for ghostly sites ready to take on this year’s Hallows Eve.
Salem, Massachusetts, one the most treasured towns of New England, is considered to be extra spooky. This location’s wicked history began in 1692 with the Salem Witch Trials, when many people were summarily accused of being a witch and executed. Whether travelers believe the accusations or not, much of the city’s cultural identity is reflective of this history and October is the best month of the year to see the town in all of its gore and glory. Visitors can go to the Salem Witch Museum to experience the drama of the trials through life-sized stage sets, figures, lighting and narrations. Around Halloween, Salem also holds tons of themed events like haunted carnivals, village tours, paranormal investigations and the official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball. There are also many New Age and Wiccan boutiques offering curious shoppers a taste of witchcraft.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is a top East Coast location for paranormal activity. As the former war grounds of the biggest battle of the American Civil War, 5,000 horses and 50,000 soldiers were killed on this soil. Many of these soldiers never received a proper burial. Over 14 decades later, hundreds of paranormal sightings in this area lead some to believe that soldiers’ unsettled spirits may still be lurking. A surprising number of phantom figures have been seen by the naked eye and have even shown up in pictures. Today, Gettysburg visitors can tour the battlegrounds, watch or participate in a re-enactment of the famous battle, take a candlelight ghost walking tour or even join a Gettysburg paranormal investigation at night.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
New York’s town of Sleepy Hollow goes way beyond a boring re-enactment of the Washington Irving tale. As the setting to “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the town pays homage to the famous book and author on Halloween with events taking place at the famous cemetery. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery still showcases the original features of 18th century tombstones, twisting narrow roads, majestic mausoleums and stately statuary all situated on a hilly woodland canvas. Visitors can take a guided lantern tour of the cemetery at night where they will visit some of the famous and infamous residents, be introduced to cemetery art and architecture and even step into the cemetery’s 112-year-old underground receiving vault. One of the town’s newest Halloween events, Horseman’s Hollow, adapts “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to dark extremes where visitors walk through a haunted trail presenting scary scenes of the town driven mad by the Headless Horseman. If visitors can get through the haunted trail in one piece, they can end with a twisted maze of horrors. Visitors should enter Sleepy Hollow at their own risk … and look out for the Headless Horseman riding through the town!
Tower of London
One of the most royal and well-known buildings in the world, the Tower of London, might be one of the most haunted buildings as well. Due to the high amounts of executions, murders and tortures that have taken place in this building over the last 1,000 years makes this London Tower a place for a large amount of paranormal activity. High amount of ghost sightings are reported regularly in and around the tower. Tower guards say that one of the most well-known ghostly residents of the Tower is Anne Boleyn who was beheaded in the London Tower in 1536. She has been seen on the Tower green and in the Tower Royal Chapel and at times, even carrying her head.