Eight of America’s Most Haunted Towns Slideshow
Visitors throng to the coastal town of Salem, Mass., to celebrate Halloween and learn the truth about Salem's bloody history. Find the tombstones marked HANGED at The Salem Witch Trials Memorial followed by a trip to Gallows Hill, the site of the witch hangings. End your day at The Hawthorne Hotel for some local flavor and sea-fresh dishes like cornmeal-fried oysters and grilled swordfish.
Home to the iconic headless horseman, visitors to Sleepy Hollow looking for haunted remnants won't be disappointed. Stop at the Old Dutch Burying Ground and search for the tombstones of characters that inspired Washington Irving. After working up an appetite, find a seat at The Horseman for a locally loved slice of pizza before you head off to Patriots Park. Rumor has it this is the site where the horseman was killed, and he still haunts it to this day.
Once a thriving mining town, Jerome, Ariz., now has ghostly figures as reminders of its former glory. The Halloween Capital of Arizona, is rumored to be haunted by the former prostitutes that once filled the town. The mines lay silent, save for the occasional sighting of headless Charlie, an unsuspecting victim of a mining accident. Enjoy a meal at The Asylum, but keep one eye peeled for ghosts as you enjoy a mushroom-bacon burger or steamed Alaskan king crab.
True ghost-seekers come to Athens, Ohio, for a paranormal sighting in one of the town's five graveyards. At the center of these is the Athens Lunatic Asylum, a mental institution with a partiality for lobotomies, that was shut down in the '90s. If you still have an appetite after touring the town, don't miss Casa Nueva, a local Mexican eatery with a slow food mentality and playful drinks (think bacon-infused vodka).
Wikimedia Commons/OHIO fan
Portland is home to the famous Shanghai tunnels, which were unintentionally used to kidnap passersby and local laborers, who were then sold into slavery on ships waiting nearby. Locals hold that the tunnels now hold the ghosts of the victims, returning to the scene of their crime to roam for eternity. Distract yourself from wispy visions with a visit to Toro Bravo, where seasonal plates of tapas are perfect for sharing.
With its violent history of mob bosses, street gangs, and citywide fires, Chicago has endured its fair share. The Bachelors-Grove Cemetery was the mob's preferred graveyard for burying victims' bodies. To this day, people still see the figure of the White Lady wandering through the tombstones at night. With your senses heightened, treat your taste buds to another otherworldly sensory encounter at Alinea.
Home to one of the bloodiest battles during the Civil War, locals believe that Gettysburg is still haunted by the ghosts of soldiers killed in battle. The Devil's Den, a nearby rock formation, is where many claim the ghost of a Confederate shooter haunts and destroys all photos taken. Continue your tour of traditional Civil War-era sites with a visit to the Blue Parrot Bistro, a former army doctor residence.
Flickr/BIGDOG3c (J. Todd Poling)
St. Augustine is America's oldest city and with that status undoubtedly comes a winding, haunted history. At landmarks like the St. Augustine Lighthouse (the famous, winding stairs, pictured) and Castillo de San Marcos, locals recount numerous tales of eerie sightings to visiting tourists. After a long day of hunting ghosts, head to the A1A Ale Works and enjoy their freshly brewed beer with their special A1A Ale and Cheese Soup on the side.