Americans love getting scared, and that’s especially true around Halloween – so much so that an entire industry has been built on tastefully frightening people. According to USA Today, haunted houses and theme park attractions have grown into a $300 million- to $500-million-a-year industry, and over 400,000 visitors visit the most popular haunted attractions during prime season.
The horror films Blair Witch Project and the first Paranormal Activity are the two most profitable films ever made based on return on investment, according to IMDB, and ghost stories spoken softly around the campfire or in a dark living room remain a childhood tradition even in the age of smartphones.
Though haunted houses, horror movies and ghost stories are very popular, for fright enthusiasts there’s nothing quite like having one’s own ghost story to report. That’s why haunted venues are frequented by those who wish to have their own experiences with which to shock and awe friends.
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most haunted bed and breakfasts in America for your enjoyment this Halloween season. Take your significant other, your best friends or your family on a spooky adventure they’ll never forget.
Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast (Fall River, Mass.)
This inn is named after Lizzie Borden, who was involved in perhaps the most notorious patricide in American history. In 1892, according to the morbid doggerel: “Lizzie Borden took an ax / And gave her mother forty whacks / When she saw what she had done / She gave her father forty-one.” Borden and her murders were real, and today you can sleep in the room her parents died in and sup at the Borden dining room table. The entire house can be rented for $1,500 per night.
Magnolia Mansion (New Orleans)
New Orleans’ sordid history makes it one of the most haunted cities in America. It’s no wonder there are spirited hotels, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants to explore here. Built in 1857, the Magnolia Mansion is said to be haunted by “friendly” ghosts – specifically “The Caretaker,” who pulls blankets up over guests while they sleep, and a few younger spirits who leave handprints in the bathroom. The mansion’s past was filled with inexplicable and untimely deaths of its inhabitants, which may explain the hauntings.