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7 Haunted Cities to Go Ghost Hunting in the United States

It is officially October, which means that it is officially the season of tricks and treats. If you’ve been looking to get into the Halloween spirit, you could have a horror movie marathon or throw a Halloween party . . . or, if you’re interested in something even spookier, you could go ghost hunting in some of the most haunted locations in the country. 

New Orleans, Louisiana

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From Scooby Doo to American Horror Story: Coven, New Orleans has garnered quite the reputation for being a haunted city in the United States. Specifically, the French Quarter is known for its haunts, thanks to eerie stories of Lalaurie Mansion or the grave of Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. You can hunt ghosts in areas like cemeteries and morgues but also in places a little less common like jazz clubs, theaters, or the Louisiana Supreme Court Building.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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Known as the bloodiest battle in the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was General Robert E. Lee’s second attempt to invade the North. Whether you choose to explore the battlefields themselves or you visit the home of the battle’s only civilian casualty, the Jennie Wade house, there are plenty of spooky sites in the city to explore. If you’re a Ghost Adventures fan, head to the Gettysburg Orphanage and see the terrifying dungeon in the basement.

Salem, Massachusetts

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Also known as “Witch City,” Salem is well known for its witch trials and The Crucible. Visit the Witch House, in which preliminary questionings for the witch trials were held. You can also visit a variety of museums with artifacts and recreations of the trials. When you’re done taking in the history, you can pay your respects at the Howard Street Cemetery, where victims were laid to rest or go to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial on Liberty Street.

St. Augustine, Florida

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Known as the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida was founded over four centuries ago, and it has garnered a bit of a spooky reputation throughout its time. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is known to have a number of haunts—little girls who tragically passed away in the waters near the lighthouse. People have recalled hearing footsteps and seeing apparitions of young girls here. You can also head to the old jail and St. Francis Inn for more opportunities to see and hear from ghosts. 

Los Angeles, California

Image by Steve Proehl

Los Angeles, California is known for a lot of things but not always haunted things. However, there are several spots within the city limits that have a dark past. Between the apparitions at the Hollywood sign to the ghosts in the Viper Room and Grauman’s Chinese Theater, you can find ghosts in Los Angeles, if you know where to look. You can also visit the Cecil Hotel to learn more about its dark history and how it inspired American Horror Story Hotel.

Charleston, South Carolina

Image by Peter Unger

Charleston, South Carolina has connections to the Civil War and pirates, so there’s a little something for everyone. Founded in 1670, Charleston, South Carolina has a rich history, including a history of natural disasters like fires and hurricanes—not to mention its history of two wars. Bulldog Tour Company offers walking tours through a variety of cemeteries, jails, and dungeons. In fact, Bulldog Tours is the only company in Charleston with access to the city’s dungeon.

Portland, Oregon

Image by Luis Henrique Boucault

Portland is known for its quirky, artistic style, and they love Halloween there. Take an underground tour of the Shanghai Tunnels with a newly uncovered 4,400 square feet. There are also haunted pub crawls.  If ghosts aren’t your thing but monsters are, you can also go hunting for Sasquatch. If you were a Disney kid, take the 45-minute drive to St. Helen’s and visit the city where they filmed the iconic Halloweentown franchise.

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