Roaming pumpkin patches and trolling for candy is fun, but many adults find themselves bored when it comes to Halloween. Being scared is half the fun when celebrating All Hallow’s Eve when you’re all grown up.
MissTravel wanted to know what the scariest cities in America are, so we polled thousands of members to come up with our elite list for this howl-iday season. Here are the top five that will make your skin crawl.
New Orleans is officially the Queen City of Screams. Did you know that dead bodies cannot be buried underground here because the city is technically below sea level? Buried bodies would start bobbing out of the ground if a bad rain came. Talk about creepy.
New Orleans is also home to the gravesite of famed voodoo queen Marie Laveau, who purportedly places a curse on whoever trespasses upon her cemetery. This terrifying town was most recently featured as the focal point in American Horror Story: Coven.
Another charming Southern town, Charleston, South Carolina, is known for its sometimes bloody history. Murdered slaves and Confederate soldiers are said to roam the city streets to this day. Charleston offers a plethora of ghost tours year-round, including the famous “Old City Jail Tour.” The jail’s structure still stands tall even as it decays, and rumor has it that a murderous innkeeper dressed as Satan’s bride haunts the building to this day.
Our final city of the spooky South, Savannah is known as “America’s Most-Haunted City.” And as if the title weren’t enough, nearly every establishment in town has its own ghost story. Pirate’s House restaurant is threaded below with subterranean passageways and tunnels that witnesses say shriek and cry in the middle of the night. Wright Square, one of the city’s several haunted public spaces, is the only one without Spanish Moss … due to the hundreds of hangings that occurred there. (Told you it was spooky.)
Although Key West may be a visitor’s dream, it can also offer up quite the nightmare. Key West is home to “Robert the Doll,” the inspiration for the evil Chucky in the Child’s Play movie franchise. This possessed doll is said to be under some sort of voodoo magic and even tried to murder one of his owners. Robert still exists in the Martello Museum, where many patrons have claimed to see it move and laugh maniacally. Key West is also home to one of the most famous American ghosts, that of writer Ernest Hemingway. He killed himself in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961, but his ghost is believed to have haunted his favorite saloon on the island ever since.
The South isn’t the only scary area in the country, of course. No list of scary cities would be complete without Salem. The memorial for the victims of the infamous Salem Witch Trials lists the names of “witches” who were hanged, pressed to death, or burned at the stake. The spirits of twenty of the accused are often said to roam this memorial. Salem is also home to the Joshua Ward house, named for a sheriff involved in the Witch Trials. Ward is rumored to be buried in the cellar of the home and haunts the house every night. Lights flicker on and off while doors open and close—apparently by themselves. Visitors have also noted sudden gusts of cold wind blowing through the house, although the home’s doors and windows are always shut.
Spooky cities can be great places to visit this time of year. If you’re a paranormal believer or if you just want to go for fun, get going in pursuit of some serious chills.
What scary cities might you want to visit?