Top 10 spookiest places to visit before Halloween

Top 10 spookiest places to visit before Halloween

With Halloween around the corner, most people are looking to get a good scare in before fright night.

Here are 10 spooky spots to visit around the United States that will surely leave shivers running down your spine.

The Winchester Mansion, California

When Sarah Winchester moved to San Jose, California, she was instructed by a psychic that she needed to continually add upon the Winchester Mansion to appease the spirits following her.

The spirits were said to be the lost souls taken by her husband’s creation, the Winchester lever-action repeating rifle, which was dubbed the “Gun that Won the West.”

The Winchester Mansion
The Winchester Mansion in San Jose, California.
Winchester Mystery House / Facebook

The rifle is responsible for thousands of deaths during and after the Civil War.

Construction on the labyrinth mansion began in 1881 and wouldn’t end until Winchester’s death in 1922.

Winchester is said to make paranormal appearances around the mansion, as there are plenty of twists and turns throughout the house for her to take shape.

Residual hauntings are said to be the most prominent activity at the mansion. This is when spirits are believed to be stuck repeating things they may have done during their time alive, like a video on constant replay, unaware of their surroundings.

The home now hosts tours and even weddings for the most daring of couples.

Cecil Hotel, California

The Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has lingering evilness around its halls.

At least 16 people are said to have died in the hotel, among them murder victims, suicides, and mysterious deaths like Chinese-Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, who was the feature of the Netflix documentary “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.“

The Cecil Hotel in Downtoen Los Angeles.
AFP via Getty Images

Serial killer Richard Ramirez spent some time at the hotel while on his killing rampage in the 1980s.

It’s even said that murder victim Elizabeth Short, dubbed the Black Dahlia, had been drinking at the hotel days before her death.

The hotel was the inspiration for American Horror Story creator Patrick Murphy’s 5th season of his anthology show titled “American Horror Story: Hotel.” 

Today, the hotel is being used as affordable housing but is set to reopen as a hotel at an undetermined date, with 299 hotel rooms being added to the hotel in 2021.

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Opened in July of 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley, who built the hotel as a health retreat for those suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis in Estes Park, seven miles outside the Rocky Mountains.

Nearly 70 years later, it would become the inspiration for Stephen King’s 1977 novel “The Shining.”

 Estes Park
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.
Denver Post via Getty Images

King and his wife checked into Room 217 for a one-night stay in 1973, where they were the only guests who had checked in to the then decrypt 140-room hotel, which was preparing to close its doors for good.

After a few drinks at the bar, King took a walk around the hotel, where he ran into a child on the fourth floor, only later to find out that there was no staff member on the premises with a child.

King has said he awoke from his sleep that night with the vivid dream of his son being chased through the hallways by a firehose. Shaken by the dream, he went outside to smoke a cigarette, where he came up with the premise for the best-selling book based on the hotel.

Today, the Stanley Hotel has leaned into its proclaimed haunted history, even offering a ghost tour where guests can visit paranormal hotspots, like room 217.

Waverly Hill Sanatorium, Kentucky

Opened in 1910 as a tuberculosis ward in Louisville, today, Waverly Hills is a haunted shell of what it used to be.

Initially, only meant to hold around 50 patients, but later changed when an epidemic of tuberculosis broke out throughout Kentucky.

Waverly Hill Sanatorium
Waverly Hill Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium / Facebook

The building was expanded to hold more than 400 patients at a time in 1926.

Waverly Hill’s doors officially closed in 1961. During its time, more than 50,000 patients are said to have passed through its halls.

However, It seems that not all of its patients and staff have left the premises.

The spirit of a young boy named Timmy enjoys playing catch with visitors who enter the building. The ghost of a nurse who hung herself in the building now roams the halls late at night and can be seen darting in and out of rooms throughout the building.

Waverly Hills offers overnight ghost tours to guests and even private overnight investigations for the bravest of paranormal enthusiasts.

Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana

Dubbed one of the most haunted houses in the US, Myrtles Plantation in New Orleans was built in 1796 by General David Bradford.

Its despicable mistreatment of slaves and servants still haunts the grounds.

Myrtles Plantation
Myrtles Plantation in new Orleans, Louisiana.
Myrtles Plantation / Facebook

The most notable ghost claimed to be seen on the grounds is a slave named “Chloe,” who was owned by Clark and Sara Woodruff.

The Woodruff’s were said to treat their slaves horribly, with Clark even said to have cut Chloe’s ear off when she was caught listening in on a private conversation. Today, Chloe can be seen wandering the plantation wearing a green turban.

Tours are available for those willing to stomach the evil history of Myrtles Plantation.

Salem, Massachusetts

One of the most well-known, spookiest spots in the United States is the home of the famous Salem witch trials.

But its paranormal history has only grown since the trials of the 1660s.

Built-in 1923, the Hawthorne Hotel is said to be on top of Bridget Bishop’s apple orchard, one of the first victims of the witch trials.

The Hawthrone Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts.
The Hawthrone Hotel / Facebook

Guests staying in the hotel report smelling apples throughout the halls, the crying of a baby that can’t be located, and the apperception of a woman appearing in Room 612.

The hotel is open to this day, but booking reservations should be done months in advance since it’s one of the top locations to visit in Salem.

The Old Burying Point Cemetery is the final resting place for many of Salem’s most notable historical figures, including Judge John Hathorne (the great-great-grandfather to renowned author Nathaniel Hawthrone, who changed the spelling of his last name due to his ancestor’s actions during the witch trials), sentenced 19 of the accused to their death and now said to appear in the cemetery.

There is no shortage of tours, sights, and museums to visit in Salem, and for those who enjoy Halloween, this town is always in the Halloween spirit.

The Pine Barrens, New Jersey

The suspected home of the famed Jersey Devil, these 1.1 million acres of coastal plains in Southern New Jersey will keep your senses heightened while wandering its massive forest.

Legend says that the Jersey Devil was born in Leeds, New Jersey, in 1735 to Mother Leeds as her 13th unwanted child.

The Pine Barrens.
The Pine Barrens in Southern New Jersey.
Stephen Yang

Upon birth, a beast appeared, slashing the throat of one of the midwives aiding Mother Leeds before shooting up the chimney and taking refuge in the massive Pine Barrens.

Locals refer to it as the “Leeds Devil,” with it described as having a horse’s head, long legs with hooves, short front legs, the wings of a bat, and ranging anywhere from six to four feet tall.

The most recent sighting of the New Jersey Devil was in 2015, though many skeptics believe it to be fabricated.

There are many trails and campsites to explore around the Pine Barrens, but the Batona Trail and Campgrounds seem to be where most sightings are.

Adventurous hikers, be warned, the Batona Trail spans 49 miles from end to end.

Kreischer Mansion, New York

The Kreischer family was one of the most influential families in New York City during the 1800s.

German immigrant Balthasar Kreischer is credited for introducing stone masonry to New York City when most buildings were built from wood.

Kreischer mansion
The Kreischer Mansion on Staten Island, New York City.

In 1885, he purchased land on Staten Island, where he built two mansions and the Kreischer Brick Manufactory. One of those mansions still stands today as a historical landmark and though vacant, may still be home to some of the Kreischer family members, now passed.

In 1894, Edward B. Kreischer, son of Balthasar, committed suicide by shooting himself in the right temple in the family’s factory.

Over 100 years later, in 2005, a Bonanno crime family associate named Robert McKelvey was killed by the Kreischer Mansion caretaker under the orders of mob boss Gino Galestro.

Pictures of full-body apparitions have been captured in the windows of the mansion, along with orbs floating around the outside of the house.

From unexplainable moans and groans to sounds of furniture moving on its own, this historical remnant of New York City is jam-packed with paranormal activity.

The Kreischer Mansion hosts an annual haunted house from late September to October 31.

Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Pennsylvania

Opened in 1908 to house the mentally ill, as many asylums were at the turn of the 20th century, patients in the institution were treated poorly.

In 1968, TV reporter Bill Baldini ran a five-episode exposé of Pennhurst State School and Hospital on Philadelphia’s TV10, which exposed the horridly depraved nature its occupants were left to fend in out of the public eye.

Spring City, Pennsylvania
Pennhurst State in Spring City, Pennsylvania.
Pennhurst Asylum / Facebook

Though troubling, Pennhurst wouldn’t officially shut its doors in Spring City, Pennsylvania, until December 1987.

Now, the spirits of those poor, tormented souls are said to wander its massive brick corridors.

One of the site’s most active entities is dubbed “The King.” Believed to be the unfriendly spirit of the maintenance man who worked at Pennhurst during the 40s or 50s. He is said to dislike females, even getting violent at times, with reports of people getting touched and even choked by the malicious spirit.

Overnight paranormal investigations are available for those brave enough, as well as Ghostly guided tours.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Spectators who wish to see ghostly figures from the 18th century need to look no further, as Gettysburg is a breeding ground of paranormal activity dating back to the civil war.

The home of the bloodiest battle fought on US soil, where an estimated 50,000 casualties took place in the three-day Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, is now said to be haunted by its ghastly past.

The monument to the United States Regulars of the Army of the Potomac stands along Hancock Avenue at the Gettysburg National Military Park
The monument to the United States Regulars of the Army of the Potomac stands along Hancock Avenue at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Getty Images

From a haunted orphanage to a spot on the battlefield named “The Devils Den,” Gettysburg seems to have an abundance of activity around every corner.

With a wide variety of ghost tours to pick from, day or night, Gettysburg is a prime destination for anyone looking for a good fright before Halloween.