You’ve undoubtedly seen the countdowns, the premature store decorations, and the filled-to-the-brim pumpkin patches that let you know that it’s that spooky time of the year again, Halloween season! For some, this time of the year glows as a favorite, the streets filled with costume-clad kids and eerie lawn decor scaring away strangers or inviting in spine-chilling guests. And, well let’s face it, almost everybody loves a good hair-raising scare during the season! Many cities across the nation boast the best and most haunted ghost tours available, and we’ve comprised a list of what we consider the 7 spookiest stops across the nation. Gear up for some of the most horrifying, entertaining, and downright shocking after-hours city tours we could find, ensuring you the most terrifying and informative Halloween yet!
The Official Ybor City Ghost Tour - Ybor City, FL
Get ready for a thrilling night of spine-tingling stories about real people, real history, folklore, and the ghosts that have made Ybor City their haunted home! The Official Ybor City Ghost Tour has been rated the number one haunted tour in the U.S. by the U.S. City Traveler, Best 10 Haunted Tours by USA Today, and has been featured quite a few times on local news. Your master tour guide will take you through the most haunted stories and sites of Cigar City, a historic city in which workers from Cuba and Europe immigrated in large populations. With those workers came villains, conspirators, buccaneers, bandits, and gangsters, making the city a troublesome place at the time, and a valued paranormal place during ours. Your group will hear the stories of the illicit lovers sealed under the Orpheum Theatre, the eight-year-old who drowned in the Cuban Club pool and hasn’t left, the King Corona shop keep apparition, and the famous story of Jose Luis Abellera, Jr. and his disembodied nurse who still reside in the Don Vicente Inn. The guides have years of research, personal accounts, and real-life experiences and guarantee that you won’t see any "phony orbs or fake voices," just the more spooky, true, detailed facts.
The Haunted Heritage Memphis Ghost Tour - Memphis, TN
Backbeat tours will entertain you with its most popular after-dark entertainment, the Haunted Heritage Memphis Ghost Tour, showing the darker side of historical Memphis. Professional storytellers will lead you from Beale Street to the most haunted sites throughout Memphis, giving you the history of the famed vice, voodoo, phantoms, ghosts, and lost souls of the city. The tour lasts 2 hours and is mostly outdoors, so be sure to wear your walking shoes and maybe bring a jacket (though you will undoubtedly still get the chills). During your tour explore the several eerie legends around downtown, such as the Orpheum Theatre’s haunting presence, Mary, claimed to be seen roaming the halls and stages since 1921. Your group will also see the John Alexander Austin House, a Victorian-era mansion filled with spooky spirits and historical facts. Most popular on Beale Street, however, would be the Gayoso Houses’ haunted piano or Ernestine and Hazel's old brothel. The brothel site is known to be the most haunted in the city, featuring a jukebox that plays whatever it wants, whenever it wants, as well as many rooms with the darkest of mysteries and spookiest of tales. Keep your wits about you during this spine-tingling tour, and enjoy taking in the darker side of Memphis with a historical twist!
Haunted History New Orleans Ghost Tour - New Orleans, LA
A personal favorite on the list is said to be one of the most truly haunted and historically authentic ghost tours yet, the New Orleans Haunted History Ghost Tour. This tour company actually offers 8 different blood-curdling tours and has received national acclaim from most of the major hit TV paranormal shows, local news, and book publishers. Many cities claim to be the most haunted, but the twisted history of the original sin city may have you convinced that this is it! We suggest taking the 5 in 1 Ghost and Mystery Tour, a two-hour tour that takes you through the darkest alleys and most secret courtyards to tell the haunting stories of ghosts, vampires, witches, voodoo, and mysteries. You will hear the story of the supposed otherworldly serial killer, the haunted mansion on Royal street where the victims of Delphine Lalaurie still scream, and the French Quarter where countless ghosts such as Sultan’s and French Monks still reside. Another great tour is the Original Scandal Tour, discussing the murder, mayhem, corruption, prostitution, and conspiracy that ran afoot widely in this city. This one is not kid-friendly, and the others allow kids but don’t recommend them. Get ready for a mildly theatrical, hugely historical, and thoroughly entertaining and aptly horrifying tour of the Big Easy, New Orleans!
The Ghosts of Gettysburg Tour - Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg is the bloody home of countless Civil War battles, as well as countless spirits of unrest. The Ghosts of Gettysburg tour will take you through the shocking undead history of the ghosts of America’s past, using the historic Gettysburg battlefields and other various Civil War sites along the way. Since the tragic battles, there have been thousands of sightings, many people claiming they see lines of soldiers crossing the gentle fields or standing near the quaint houses of the town. Nesbitt, the creator of the tour, will take you to Carlisle Street, which holds the highly avoided elevator to the soldier's hospital below, the county courthouse steps, in which soldiers are most often seen sitting, as well as the Old Pennsylvania College, where in the past men were slain in rows. The most thrilling and spine-tingling part of the tour is walking amongst the many battlefields, seeing up close and personal the very spot where so many men lost their lives, and so many spirits still reside today. Featured on the History Channel, Travel Channel, A&E, and Unsolved Mysteries let Nesbitt continue his haunted history expertise with you and show you why Gettysburg is oftentimes called the most haunted American city.
The Salem Witch Walk - Salem, MA
Do you believe in magic? Well if so this tour is perfect for you, and if not maybe the true Witches of Salem can convince you otherwise! While most tours focus on the historical significance of the supernatural events in their town, this tour focuses on the current happenings, such as true witches and true magic still going strong today in Salem. Being the only magical tour in the nation, this Salem Witch Walk is run by actual witches and is more on the spooky side than most, so if you are bringing little ones you may want to reconsider. Though they will touch on the history of those 19 townspeople accused of witchcraft and put to death in 1692, mostly they will take you to their favorite sites for a truly bewitching night. Join Lorelei and Christian Day as they guide you through a real magic circle, an ancient ritual in one of the oldest and most haunted graveyards in the United States, and other various customs that allow you to get their practicing perspective on life in Salem. You will even learn spells, charms, poppets, and curses along the way, as well as receive a blessed crystal for your journey away from Salem afterward.
Ghost Tour of Harpers Ferry - Harpers Ferry, WV
One of the more family-friendly tours on our list is the Ghost Tour of Harpers Ferry, in West Virginia. This is America’s oldest ghost-themed tour, attempting to educate and creep visitors out for over 40 years now. Close to Washington, D.C., this tour takes visitors through the critical battle sites of the Civil War in this area such as St. Peters Catholic Church, an old hospital for soldiers. You will hear and see up-close-and-personal the legend of Maryland Heights, where ghostly campfires of the One Hundred Day Men are said to be seen nightly, all of the men dying quite suddenly in a large 1861 explosion. Your guide will tell you the stories, legends, and historical events associated with the unexplained ghostly phenomenon of the entire city plus historic Lower Town, a soldier spirit-filled the landscape. Though the city and tour are filled with background history on its violent past, this tour is kid-friendly and appropriate for all ages, even dogs are welcome! The tour lasts about 1.5 hours and is a perfect after-dark family attraction, holding a great mix of informative history and spooky thrills.
Original Ghost Tour of Catalina - Catalina Island, CA
Last but certainly not least on our list is the Original Ghost Tour of Catalina, an island in California filled with spooky spirits and ancient gravesites. The small village of Avalon was built atop an ancient burial ground, as many good supernatural cities are. A one hour tour of this historic village will show you the rich history of the city and its inhabitants as well as give you a chilling overview of the paranormal activity and restless spirits still wandering around. Created in 2009, this tour is filled with local tour guides who have at least 30 years of experience within the island. Everything you hear on this tour is historically accurate and backed by verifiable facts, from the unsolved mysteries and scandalous tales to the nightly local ghostly sightings. Your group will meet at the Casino, just look for the lantern and glow in the dark necklace clad group of people awaiting a terrifying tour of the Avalon streets. On this tour, you will hear the story of the western author Zane Gray, who is said to still haunt the casino grounds with his cigarettes and wary wisps of smoke. You will also explore all the secret nooks and crannies of the island, dark and dank as they mostly are, so don’t think too hard and push forward as you learn the haunted history of Catalina Island!