The autumn brings with it chilly winds, rustling leaves and stories of spirits that exist somewhere beyond our reality. There are several cities and towns across the United States with notable haunted histories, but the following four are particularly worth checking out if your idea of a Halloween fright is hunting down a real ghost or two.
When you think of Savannah, your mind may immediately go to syrupy Southern drawls and tall glasses of sweet tea. For its light and peachy reputation, Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in the United States. While there is no shortage of ghost tours to take, Visit Savannah suggests that some of the most haunted locales in the city are places that you can patronize. Book a stay at The Marshall House, enjoy some delicious gumbo at The Pirates’ House and responsibly enjoy a pint at Moon River River Brewing Co. ,all three are said to have been visited by restless spirits.
Gettysburg is a city rich with history, but when the sun sinks below the horizon, things get downright spooky. Home to the most devastating battle of the Civil War, Gettysburg’s haunted hot spots range from the very battlefields on which so many lost their lives to the home of Jennie Wade, the sole civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg. Ghost tours are quite the nocturnal industry in Gettysburg, so you have your pick between candlelit walking tours, ghost hunts and a one-of-a-kind Ghost Bus Tour. Whether you spot a specter or not, a trip to Gettysburg is well worth taking if you are an avid history buff.
The small city of Alton has several claims to fame, including being the hometown of Miles Davis and hosting the final debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. It’s every bit as proud of its standing as one of the most haunted small towns in America, a reputation that some say is earned by the heavy presence of limestone in the town and its inherent tendency to trap psychic residue. Alton is the home of McPike Mansion, a decrepit manor that has laid abandoned for some 60 years and looks to have been birthed from a horror novelist’s imagination. Another popular hot spot for paranormal activity is Smallpox Island, which lies just across the Missouri River and served as the burial site for 260 Confederate soldiers who died from smallpox.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Beyond the bright revelry of Fat Tuesday and the neon lights of the French Quarter, New Orleans is a city of darkness and mystery. The Big Easy is an easy target for ghost hunters the world over thanks to its sprawling cemeteries — including the famous St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 on Basin Street, and the Gardette-LePretre house, which is said to be haunted by the spirt of a maniacal man known as the Sultan. Stop by Muriel’s Jackson Square, where there’s always a table reserved for the ghost of Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan that’s set with a loaf of bread and a glass of wine.
From the battlefields and field hospitals of Gettysburg to the darkest corners of New Orleans, there are plenty of places to turn if you want to hear American ghost stories. You just have to know where to look and muster up the courage to explore.
This article is presented by Gossett Mazda.