What makes a place haunted? Stories get passed down through generations (and elaborated), locals swear they’ve seen paranormal activities, and abandoned landmarks become spookier with every neglected year. And there is no better time to seek out the country’s spookiest, most storied towns than October.
From abandoned mines and underground tunnels to haunted histories perpetuated by books and films, America’s most haunted towns each have unique landmarks and local legends that precede them.
Perhaps the most famous haunted town in the country is Salem, Mass. Re-trace the actual events of the Salem Witch Trials with a visit to Gallows Hill. Immoratlized by Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the town is rich with a bloody history. Or, for a more recent bit of haunted history, take Athens, Ohio’s, former insane asylum. Shut down in the ‘90s, locals claim that they still see patients running through its grounds today.
The historical town of Gettysburg, too, has a haunted past. Home to one of the best-known battles of the Civil War, many locals swear that the town is still haunted by the ghosts of young, fallen soldiers who have been sighted wandering the area in uniform. Small towns are perfect settings for everlasting tales of haunted grounds and spooky stories. Sleepy Hollow, in upstate New York, is home to one of the best recognized frights: the headless horseman. The town’s cemetery (one of the oldest in the country) is where you’ll find tombstones with the names of many characters in Washington Irving’s book.
These ten towns are home to chilling sites that will send a shiver down even the bravest spine. Get in the Halloween spirit and discover America’s dark and haunted side.