See America’s scary side by discovering its best places to visit for Halloween.
Halloween is creeping closer, and while we can’t visit the USA just yet, we can appreciate its renowned Halloween splendour and its spooky spots.
To give you a festive fright, we share 11 eerie locations around the USA with a spooky story beyond their façade.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
With scenic views of the epic Rockies, this exquisitely presented hotel is far more than a base camp for an adventure trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Outlook Hotel in The Shining. Author Stephan King checked in to the historic hotel with his wife, Tabitha, in 1974, the sole guests at the property at the end of the season. King experienced a nightmare during his stay, which led him to write the cult film.
The author isn’t the only guest to have had a scare at the property, with room 217, in particular, being a hotbed of paranormal activity. Those looking for a spooky stay should book a tour with the hotel’s resident clairvoyant.
Earnestine & Hazel’s, Tennessee
Earnestine & Hazel’s is Memphis’ most famous dive bar located in the downtown Memphis South Main Art District. It’s a true authentic juke-joint with a supernatural jukebox operated by the resident ghost and is considered by some as the most haunted bar in America.
The Talbott Tavern, Kentucky
Stay or just grab a drink at the 1779-built The Talbott Tavern in Bardstown, Kentucky. The building’s location was once a well-known stagecoach stop and has seen many travellers over the years. Visitors to the area have reported hearing strange footsteps, disembodied voices, and various apparitions. Eerie.
Fremont Troll, Washington
Lurking under one of the oldest bridges in Seattle is the concrete sculpture Fremont Troll, seen clutching tightly onto a VW Beetle between his long, spindly fingers.
Over time, locals have decided to commemorate the iconic Seattle attraction, staging Troll-o-ween, an outdoor celebration, every Halloween.
Gaylord Opryland Resort, Tennessee
Gaylord Opryland Resort is perhaps the most famous haunted hotel in Nashville. It’s a popular place for ghost hunters, with many guests having reported paranormal encounters within the resort.
Woodruff-Fontaine Mansion, Tennessee
One of the city’s remaining Victorian-era mansions on ‘Millionaire’s Row’, Woodruff-Fontaine exudes glamour and horror in equal measure.
Every year the mansion host’s a Halloween fundraiser known as Haunted Happenings, which includes a dark tour of the haunted mansion and – of course – a live paranormal investigation.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
As an early American settlement, numerous historic houses in Colonial Williamsburg are believed to be haunted by past residents. One such property, the Peyton Randolph House, housed the Peachy family, who rented the property to many guests during their residency, including a young unnamed soldier attending the nearby College of William & Mary. Unfortunately, the young man fell ill during his stay and never recovered.
He died in the home, and today, there have been multiple accounts of visitors spotting a young man walking sadly through the house or hearing heavy footsteps above their heads, even though no one is upstairs.
You can discover more of Colonial Williamsburg’s creepiest locations on a moonlit Colonial Ghost Tour.
The Crescent Hotel and Spa, Arkansas
Arkansas’s The Crescent Hotel and Spa has had guests “checked out” but never actually left the building. Several famous guests include Michael, an Irish stonemason who helped build the hotel; Theodora, a patient of Baker’s Cancer Curing Hospital in the late 1930s; and “the lady in the Victorian nightgown”, who likes to stand at the foot of the bed in Room 3500 and stare at guests while they sleep.
These are just three of the dozens of spirits guests have reported encountering in this Ozark Mountains hotel.
Molly Brown House, Colorado
The ‘Unsinkable Molly Brown’, a survivor of the Titanic, once lived (and perhaps still lives) in this charming Victorian house. The Molly Brown House is now on the National Register of Historic Places and has been transformed into a museum of Molly’s life and times in Victorian-era Denver. The philanthropic, humanitarian and charitable socialite herself is still said to be present within her home, with reports of lightbulbs unscrewing and doors opening and closing themselves.
Throughout October each year, a ‘Victorian Horror Series’ event sees in-person visits from both the spirit and mortal worlds, with ghost stories shared as you creep from room to room.
Cain’s Ballroom, Oklahoma
Tulsa’s historic Cain’s Ballroom, in the heart of downtown Tulsa, has hosted thousands of musicians and performers since opening its doors in 1924. The ballroom is still a favourite for many visitors due to its spring-loaded dance floor and the eclectic mix of musicians who frequent its hallowed halls. But it is the rumoured presence of not just one, but two, lingering spirits that continue to mystify visitors, even today.
Frequent sightings of former musician Bob Willis himself are often reported, along with a mysterious “lady in red” figure who has been seen, heard and felt by several employees and patrons over the years.
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
More than 1.2 million visitors flock to the beautiful Biltmore Estate built by one of America’s most prominent families, The Vanderbilts.
George Vanderbilt died in his home in the early 1900s, and many visitors have reported his ghost can still be spotted on the property and roaming the halls. Witnesses also claim to have heard his late wife, Edith, calling his name. Workers and visitors to Biltmore have heard sounds of clinking glasses, laughter, music, and splashes from a swimming pool that is now empty. A spooky soundtrack indeed.
Feature image: Port of Seattle
See more: United States travel