As the chill of autumn descends upon us and the leaves turn to fiery shades of red and gold, a bewitching allure beckons those with a taste for the extraordinary. For the discerning traveler seeking an otherworldly experience this Halloween season, we have unearthed a collection of haunted Halloween hideaways and ghostly retreats that promise to ignite both thrill-seekers and lovers of the supernatural.
From historic mansions shrouded in mysteries to eerie inns echoing with ghostly whispers, explore these enigmatic destinations where the realms of the living and the dead intertwine.
1. The Conjuring House – Blackstone Valley, RI
Partake in a one-hour guided tour of the Conjuring House in Harrisville, RI, or even spend the night to experience an overnight investigation. This authentic colonel home – circa 1736 – that’s rich in history and mystery will certainly delight any paranormal investigator.
The house and the real-life hauntings of the Perron family, who lived there in the 1970s, were the inspiration for the infamous horror film The Conjuring. The movie was released in 2013 and has become a famous movie franchise. For those interested in learning more, there will be a 3-day Halloween Livestream event on October 29, 30, and 31 featuring members of the Perron family.
2. Thrills and Chills in Savannah, Georgia
The Hostess City, known for its quaint southern charm and remarkable hospitality, is also known as America’s most haunted city and has quite a few mysterious ghost tales up its sleeve! Thrill-seekers around the world come to Savannah to catch a glimpse of paranormal activity.
Those looking for even more thrills and chills are invited to partake in an array of festivities at Plant Riverside District, including a dog costume contest called “Costumes on the Woof” and a Halloween party at Electric Moon on October 28.
Known as “Savannah’s Entertainment District,” Plant Riverside District expands the city’s iconic riverfront to a 4.5-acre waterfront hospitality and entertainment destination anchored by the 419-room JW Marriott Savannah. The development features more than a dozen restaurants and lounges, high-end shops, and galleries – the perfect destination for a scary good time.
3. Ghoulish Tales in St. Augustine, Florida
With over four centuries of storied history and known for being “America’s oldest city,” St. Augustine’s past is filled with ghoulish tales on every corner.
Tourists can experience an actual paranormal investigation in the Old Jail (built in 1891 by the same company that would later build Alcatraz) after dark or visit the creepy dungeons of Castillo de San Marcos. At this historic 17th-century fort, the unexplainable can be witnessed even to this day.
After a haunting evening, retreat to the cozy (and ghost-free!) Casa Monica Resort & Spa to end the night – shining through with impressive fortress-like architecture as it majestically overlooks the downtown district and Matanzas Bay.
4. The Coombs Inn and Suites – Apalachicola, FL
Located along Florida’s Forgotten Coast, The Coombs Inn & Suites is a collection of picturesque Victorian mansions rumored to be watched over by the original owners. Built in 1905, The Coombs Inn once served as the private home to Mr. and Mrs. James N. Coombs.
When a fire significantly damaged the home in 1911, the couple was forced to temporarily move into a hotel while the house was repaired, passing before renovations were completed. Buried side by side across the street from the inn, it appears that James and Maria never wanted to leave their beloved home.
Just as in love as ever before, some guests have reported seeing them on the property smiling and strolling hand in hand. See for yourself why James and Maria did not want to leave this quaint coastal inn when you stay at The Coombs. Nestled within the charming seaside community of Apalachicola, spooky activities abound, including a Historic Ghost Walk through Chestnut Street Cemetery, the final resting place of The Coombs.
5. Witch’s Grave in Tallahassee, FL
Nestled in Tallahassee’s oldest public cemetery, the curious grave of Elizabeth “Bessie” Budd-Graham is a unique memorial for a woman some believe was a kind “white witch.”
What makes the story curious is Bessie’s tombstone – a towering ornate obelisk that happens to be the most visited grave in the entire cemetery. What was even stranger about Bessie’s tomb is the strange epitaph chiseled on the front (which historians have translated to have many dark, witch references throughout). While some have claimed Bessie was a “good witch,” others are not so sure when they feel the energy that they attribute to the grave itself.
Take a self-guided walking tour when you visit The Old City Cemetery and see for yourself whether you feel anything when you visit the presumed witch’s grave.
6. Wild Dunes Resort – Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Nestled along the northern tip of Isle of Palms in South Carolina, Wild Dunes Resort is the perfect getaway for those seeking a charming and spooky escape filled with thrills and chills.
Curious guests looking to get into the spirit can look no further. The resort offers ghostly retreats to immerse guests in the rich history and haunted tales from the Lowcountry, where whispered legends and lingering spirits await. Gather beneath the starlit skies around the flickering beach bonfires and listen to the captivating story collections, including that of American writer Edgar Allen Poe, whose ghost can be seen sitting beneath the large oak tree near the 14th fairway of the resort’s Links Golf Course.
From forgotten pirates to resilient spirits, embark on a dark journey that uncovers the secrets hidden that bring the Lowcountry’s soul to life during the Tales of the Lowcountry series.
7. The Historic Windsor Hotel – Americus, GA
Built in 1892 to attract winter visitors from the north, The Windsor was a 100-room, five-story Victorian mansion complete with towers, balconies, and a three-story open atrium lobby. It occupies nearly an entire city block and was the site of numerous famed balls and celebrations.
The Windsor closed its doors in the early 1970s but recently underwent a $5.8 million restoration, which returned the historic structure to its original grandeur.
Stay on the third floor for an extra spooky experience, as guests often report hearing a young girl running around in the late hours of the night. The Windsor Hotel is a certified haunted hotel, and with its many mysteries, you will have to see it to believe it.
8. Ghost Stories in Laredo, TX
As in most communities, legends of apparitions, hauntings, and paranormal activity generally grow up around the oldest parts of town, and from the story of “La Llorona” to the apparitions of long-dead spirits, Laredo is no different.
Located in the heart of the San Agustin Historic District, La Posada Hotel has a rather storied past, having served as both an elementary school and a convent for the Sisters of Divine Providence.
Many say that in the early morning hours, a little girl with pigtails can be seen skipping through the lobby, and rumor has it there’s at least one restless nun haunting the grounds to this day. Security cameras have even captured footage of the dark figure floating about 10 feet above the ground.
Cold spots and the sound of someone calling out names have been reported, along with the moving and dropping of objects and running footsteps in the ballroom.
The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum neighbors the hotel, and inside is a cradle that, at times, especially in the cold, rocks itself. Museum voice boxes are reported to turn on with no one even close to the button, and in 2010, a team of paranormal activity investigators documented significant activity within the historic home-turned-museum.
While downtown, take the San Agustin Ghost Walk Tour or grab a copy of the “Haunted Heritage – Myths and Legends of Laredo” book and discover Laredo’s treasure trove of ghost stories.
9. Trump International Hotel & Tower New York – New York, NY
Start off your spook-tacular visit right outside the doors of the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York with the annual Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla of jack-o-lanterns floating on the lake in Central Park!
Then head to Greenwich Village to take a guided stroll in one of the most haunted neighborhoods in Manhattan and round out your adventures with a visit to the “Boo at the Bronx Zoo” or, if you are brave enough, book a trolley tour at the Green-Wood Cemetery founded in 1838 to get some first hands ghost stories!
10. Ghostly Explorations in Belize
For those for whom trick-or-tricking days are long behind them but still enjoy the spooky spirit of Halloween, the country of Belize offers an array of hair-raising adventures and ghostly explorations.
Mystical Caves – to experience the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is to truly immerse yourself in the chilling past of the ancient Maya Civilization that once thrived in Belize. Entering these passages to the Maya Underworld is intriguing, thrilling, and mysterious as you take in thousands of years of history.
From tubing, hiking, canoeing, or even swimming in the gloomy underground realm, those who dare to enter the darkness may visit the resting site of the skeleton of an ancient Maya sacrificial victim – the Crystal Maiden – amongst many other Maya artifacts found in these sacred spaces.
Scary Night Hikes – home to the world’s only jaguar preserve, the Cockscomb Basin is the ideal place to come face-to-face with the jungle’s most frightening inhabitants. Organized night hikes through the rainforest offer a heart-pounding opportunity to track down not only the elusive jaguar but also the puma, ocelot, and jaguarundi.
The jungle is also abundant in other creepy night crawlers – spiders, snakes, or scorpions, sure to provide spooky wilderness encounters not for the faint of heart.
11. Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago – Chicago, IL
Discover Chicago’s rich history and delve into legends and mysterious tales. The Windy City offers a myriad of haunted attractions and events throughout the Halloween season. From haunted house experiences that will test your bravery to haunted walking tours that delve into the city’s darkest secrets, there is something to satisfy every thrill-seeker’s appetite for the supernatural.
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, nestled in the heart of the city, invites guests to embrace the spirit of Halloween with the Room with a Boo Package. Located on the Mezzanine level of Trump Chicago, sophisticated lounge Rebar is hosting a highly anticipated event, “Yelloween by Veuve Clicquot,” that will be taking place on Saturday, October 28, from 9 pm to 1 am. This exclusive Halloween affair promises an evening of unparalleled elegance, Halloween-themed delights, live DJ entertainment, captivating prizes, and thrilling costume contests.
12. Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, NV
Located just off the Strip, Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino is known for touting some of the most unique suites in the country and has just debuted its latest treat for travelers to take advantage of this season – the Halloween Suite. Best of all, this crypt can be booked year-round for those looking to enjoy all of their leftover Halloween candy in a frightfully fitting setting.
“Elvis has never left the building. Wayne Newton tells the story of how a few months after Elvis’ death he was performing on our stage and swears he saw the ghost of Elvis in the upper balcony. Many celebrities, Team Members, and guests have shared stories about their personal Elvis experiences, but one thing they all have in common is that Elvis’ presence is something they can feel and very much exists here to this day,” shares Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts.
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Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.