The days are growing darker and there’s a crisp chill in the air that sends a shiver down your spine. What better time to meet the restless spirits haunting your own backyard?
Grab your lantern and embark on these spine tingling twilight trips. From haunted Chicago to spooky Savannah and paranormal Philly, these are the creepiest ghost tours across the country.
1. Blue Orb Tours
Meet at tree-lined Chippewa Square for the Uncensored Zombies tour by Blue Orb Tours, which combines Savannah’s colonial history with the conjuring cultures of voodoo and hoodoo legends. Look for orbs and hags (conjured spirits) at places like the Colonial Park Cemetery and the Marshall House, which served as a hospital during the Civil War where amputated body parts were buried under the floorboards.
2. Gunfighter and Ghost Tour
The Wild West lives on—after dark—in Tombstone, Arizona. On the Gunfighter and Ghost Tour, explore sites where the restless spirits of a lawless past still roam free. Participants visit 10 historic and haunted locations on this tour, including the infamous O.K. Corral and the Bird Cage Theatre, where painted ladies once danced in hanging cages while gunfire rang out below, leaving a reported 31 ghosts to haunt the building.
3. Gettysburg Ghost Tours
Confederate and Union soldiers clashed in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, with a loss of life unmatched by any other battle in North America. Consequentially, this Southern Pennsylvania town is known as a hotbed of paranormal activity. Gettysburg Ghost Tours offers candlelit journeys down historic streets and across misty battlefields with guides dressed in period costume who regale participants with eerie tales. Request tour guide Johlene “Spooky” Riley, who has gained local fame thanks to her creepy, history-rich stories.
4. Ghost City Tours
Savannah, GA; New Orleans, LA; San Antonio, TX; Chattanooga, TN
“America’s Number One Ghost Tour Company,” Ghost City Tours offers tours of the some of the most haunted spots—in some of the most haunted cities—in the U.S. Choose your location: either Savannah, New Orleans, San Antonio or Chattanooga, and your specific tour type—cemeteries, haunted buildings, pub crawls, and more. With so many spooky options to choose from, it’s impossible to go wrong.
5. Farnsworth House Inn
For those looking to keep the chills going all night while in Gettysburg, book a room at Farnsworth House Inn. The historic B&B is believed to be haunted and offers its own tour that begins in the stone basement.
6. Chicago Hauntings
Meet the tortured souls who linger in Chicago, left behind by everything from mobster Al Capone to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the Battle of Fort Dearborn in 1812. Chicago Hauntings takes a historical look at the Windy City, honing in on its macabre past. Among the tour’s eeriest stops is the former site of serial killer H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle, where numerous victims were led to grisly deaths during the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.
7. Ghosts & Gravestones – Boston
Take an open-air trolley ride with your undead host of Ghosts & Gravestones where you’ll hear grisly tales of the Boston Strangler, Cotton Mather (a prominent figure in the Salem Witch Trials), and the Boston Harbor drownings. This tour takes participants to numerous haunted locales in Bean Town, including the King’s Chapel burial grounds, Boston’s oldest graveyard, and the Omni Parker House, a stately hotel reportedly haunted by the ghosts of former guests.
8. Ghosts & Gravestones – Key West
Key West, Florida Keys
After the sun sets, climb aboard the Ghosts & Gravestones trolley for a spirited ride through this undead party town. Fact: there are more people buried in Key West (about 100,000) than currently living above ground (approximately 30,000). The haunted sites on this ghost tour include the Fort East Martello Museum, a former Civil War barracks that now houses the possessed voodoo figurine, Robert the Doll. You’ll also hear freakish stories about Carl Tanzler and his mummy bride and the ghostly legend behind Key West’s many haint blue rooftops, painted to bar spirits from entering.
9. SF Chinatown Ghost Tour
Chinatown, San Francisco, California
On the SF Chinatown Ghost Tour, you’ll wind down the narrow alleys of Chinatown and discover its rich paranormal history of ancestral spirits. In the 1880s, Chinatown was home to gambling houses, opium dens, and brothels. Nowadays, local ghost tour guides discuss Chinese superstitions and the paranormal history of the colorful neighborhood. You may even get a whiff of lotus perfume in Fragrant Alley, a scent popular with the ladies of the brothels that still lingers in the air.
10. Haunted Haight
San Francisco, California
Stroll the Haunted Haight in the company of the founder of the San Francisco Ghost Society. You’ll pass the homes of Charles Manson, cult leader Jim Jones, and singer Janis Joplin —where a murder at her doorstep left paranormal activity in its wake. Other ghosts on the tour include a child poltergeist who haunts the site of former waterslide park, and rocker Phillip Bury of Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys, who haunts Golden Gate Park where he was killed while walking his dog.
11. Historic Jefferson Texas Ghost Walk
Jefferson was once an important port town in Texas, its architecture resembles that of New Orleans. The Grove, which many say is the most haunted house in all of Texas, can be found here. Many people have captured strange orbs in digital pictures and reported heavy paranormal activity such as noises, voices, and apparitions. The Historic Jefferson Texas Ghost Walk takes you past haunted downtown landmarks and along the street where the murdered Diamond Bessie has been known to appear.
12. Nashville Ghost Tours
It’s not all honkytonk and rhinestones when you hop aboard the Nashville Ghost Tours. Haunted stops include the Congress Inn, a former makeshift hospital during the Civil War where wounded soldiers died in agony, and the old Tennessee State Prison, where prisoners of the past still linger in their cells. You might also hear the somber voice of Hank Williams, Sr. echoing through the Grand Ole Opry House. Tour all these sites from inside a hearse, if you choose.
13. French Quarter Phantoms
New Orleans, Louisiana
French Quarter Phantoms leads you on a Ghost and Vampire tour while you sip spirits from a plastic cup. Soak in the once-bloody sites of the LaLaurie Mansion and the apartment where brothers John and Wayne Carter reportedly fed on victims, vampire-style, and subsequently cursed the lives of those who survived their captivity.
14. New Orleans Ghost Tour
New Orleans, Louisiana
For all those who prefer a bit of dark magic while in the Big Easy, sign up for the New Orleans Ghost Tour’s Voodoo Tour, which undoubtedly includes a visit to voodoo priestess queen Marie Laveau.
15. Haunted Atchison
In the late 1800s, Atchison hosted a multitude of westward travelers and saw the rise of stately mansions as it became a railroad town. Haunted Atchison takes guests on a trolley ride to various spooky locations. Stops include the Gargoyle Home, where the owner purportedly made a deal with the devil for his wealth, and Atchison Street, where a female who perished in a car crash still calls out to travelers. At Sallie’s House, the ghost of a girl who died from a botched surgery reportedly haunts male visitors who enter the home.
16. Grim Philly
Grim Philly serves up a down and dirty version of American history, where ghost stories about our founding fathers get an R-Rated bent. Learn about Baldy houses—brothels where prostitutes shaved to prevent STDs, then used wigs made from beaver hides to disguise their status. Grim’s themed tours include Serial Killers; Vampire, Sex, Ghosts; and Voodoo Love Magick—a taste of darkness for everyone.