Let us be your guide to the other side in these spooky cemetery tours across the country. Whether you go in the dead of night to maximize your fear or can only stomach a daytime excursion, tours in some of the country's most iconic cemeteries ensure the spooks. From headless legends and Southern Gothic splendor to the ghosts of Old Hollywood, each journey is sure to send shivers down your spine.
1. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, NY
The legend of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman gallops on as you stroll through Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to author Washington Irving’s grave. Fall is the best time to visit as this in upstate New York springs to life with Halloween activities and its woodsy surroundings take on an spooky autumnal glow.
2. Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia
Covering 160 acres, Bonaventure Cemetery in is as beautiful as it is vast. Take in the breathtaking Southern Gothic resting place with tours offered by Bonaventure Historical Society or Bonaventure Cemetery Tours. Both groups provide informative guided tours of the burial ground that are not to be missed. Highlights include Little Gracie’s statue, a haunted gravestone sculpture rumored to cry bloody tears.
3. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana
The Archdiocese of New Orleans now requires all visitors to sign up with a licensed tour guide before entering St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the city's most famous aboveground burial site. Save Our Cemeteries Tour is a nonprofit organization that uses your $20 toward the preservation and restoration of this grand city of the dead. Learn about Big Easy history and burial practices—the city employs aboveground graves to house its departed Civil War soldiers, Yellow Fever victims, and its Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
4. Old Burying Ground in Salem, Massachusetts
Get properly acquainted with the oldest cemetery in Salem and the second oldest in the country, circa 1637 with daytime tour “Cemetery 101: Grave Matters.” Visit the gravesites of a Mayflower pilgrim and two judges in the Salem Witch Trials, Jonathan Corwin and John Hawthorne. Delve into the symbolism behind Puritan stone engravings (Death’s Head, Urn and Willow). Then prepare to get spooked by Salem’s plentiful paranormal activities.
5. Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA
You’ll see stars—even in death—in the City of Angels. Wander the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where deceased actors and directors from Old Hollywood rub tombstones with rock stars. The deceased include Mickey Rooney, designer L’Wren Scott, Charlie Chaplin Jr., Ernest Hemingway’s wife, and even Terry the Pup, who played Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Punk rocker Johnny Ramone’s life-size statue offers an air guitar photo-op, while the tombstone of Mel Blanc (who voiced none other than Bugs Bunny) delivers levity in the face of death with its cheeky inscription: “That’s all folks.” When your journey with Hollywood Forever Cemetery tour comes to an end, stick around for movies or music under the stars at the cemetery’s Masonic Lodge. Only in Hollywood.