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13 Most Haunted Towns to Stay in This Halloween Season

With the Halloween season just around the corner, those who appreciate a good spook might want to consider planning a visit to one of the most haunted towns. Of course, those spirits don’t just linger in cemeteries or sit down for a drink in a local bar. Many are said to haunt some of the hotels. For the ultimate trick-or-treat, be sure to book one of them as we reveal not only the country’s most haunted places, but where to stay and experience them.

The West

Virginia City, Nevada Virginia City, Nevada
Credit: Virginia City, Nevada by © Bdingman | Dreamstime.com

Virginia City, Nevada

Why Stay Here: It’s known as one of the country’s most haunted towns and offers lots for history buffs too.

Top Hotels: Silver Queen HotelSugarloaf Mountain Hotel

One of the best opportunities for thrill-seekers around Halloween is a stay in Virginia City. This historic western mining town, just a short drive southeast of Reno, is home to the Washoe Club. In the late 1800s, it was known as the most luxurious accommodation, drawing everyone from President Ulysses S. Grant to writer Mark Twain. It also happens to be where the Travel Channel show “Ghost Adventures” claimed to have taken the “most compelling paranormal evidence ever captured.” Today, it’s a museum that offers hourly ghost tours and an old-time saloon reportedly haunted by a trio of ghosts. If you’re really daring, you can have your own private dusk-to-dawn ‘lockdown’ paranormal investigation complete with the latest scientific gadgets and technology to see if you can detect activity on your own.

Murphys, California Murphys, California
Credit: Murphys, California by Visit Murphys

Murphys, California

Why Stay Here: It’s known as one of the country’s most haunted towns and offers lots for history buffs too.

Top Hotels: Murphys Historic Hotel | The Victorian Inn

This town in the Sierra foothills was booming during the Gold Rush, and while the population dipped significantly when the miners moved on, in recent years, it’s become a popular wine and food destination. There are many wineries and tasting rooms along with historic landmarks, like a small jail that was once the town drunk tank.

At the Murphy’s Historic Hotel, you might run into some former guests and staff members who’ve long since passed. Eleanor, a maid who once worked here, occasionally throws items in the kitchen and the Mark Twain Ballroom while children can be heard laughing down the halls, yet no one is there. There’s also a man named John who is said to stand over guests as they sleep, occasionally.

Portland, Oregon Willamette River and downtown Portland, Oregon
Credit: Willamette River and downtown Portland, Oregon by Photo 29860885 © Robert Brown - Dreamstime.com

Portland, Oregon

Why Stay Here: It’s famous for its paranormal activity, with lots of mysterious spots and haunted walking tours.

Top Hotels: Heathman Hotel | The Benson

The most famously haunted place in Portland can be found beneath the cobbled streets of the Old Town. The Shanghai Tunnels, passageways swirling with dark tales and stories of hauntings, were once a place where loggers, sailors, and others were “shanghaied,” or kidnapped through the trapdoors of saloons and then smuggled through the tunnels to the waterfront before being sold to sea captains. Today, tours are available of this eerie underground area that will fill you in on all the legends.

Visitors can also check out the “Witch’s Castle” in Forest Park. It was built in the mid-19th-century by a man who would become a murderer — it became a prison for his daughter, who had fallen in love with the hired help, and he murdered the man. His excuse was that his wife had “bewitched him with a spell.” He was hung for his crime, the very first legal hanging in Oregon. Ghostly figures fighting have been reported multiple times, usually seen late at night.

Jerome, Arizona driving into Jerome, Arizona
Credit: driving into Jerome, Arizona by dustin_j_williams via Flickr

Jerome, Arizona

Why Stay Here: It’s America’s “largest ghost city.”

Top Hotels: Jerome Grand Hotel | Connor Hotel

Founded in the late 19th century on Cleopatra Hill overlooking Verde Valley between Prescott and Sedona, Jerome was once booming, supported by rich copper mines that made it the fifth-largest town in Arizona during its heyday. The depression marked the end of the good times, with the mines closing in the early 1950s. It re-opened as America’s largest ghost city, with the many haunted places saving it from total extinction. Today, there are only a little over 400 residents and lots of ruins from its past, like a famous traveling jail. The Connor Hotel and Jerome Grand Hotel are known for their especially high levels of paranormal activity.

Mountain States

Leadville, Colorado Leadville, Colorado
Credit: Leadville, Colorado by © Bdingman | Dreamstime.com

Leadville, Colorado

Why Stay Here: Rich history and plenty of ghosts

Top Hotel: Delaware Hotel | FREIGHT

Leadville is tucked high into the Colorado Rockies at an elevation of over 10,000 feet and is America’s highest incorporated city. It was one of the richest, longest-lived and bawdiest mining boom towns in the country, and today, 70 square blocks of its downtown area are designated as a National Historic Landmark of Victorian architecture. The “Unsinkable Molly Brown” arrived here as a teenager, the place where she met James J. Brown, who made his fortune in the mines. Many past Leadville souls are still said to make their presence known in abandoned mines and the 1880s buildings like the Delaware Hotel said to be one of Colorado’s most haunted.

Virginia City/Nevada City - Montana Virginia City, Montana
Credit: Virginia City, Montana by Murray Foubister via Wikimedia Commons

Virginia City/Nevada City - Montana

Why Stay Here: Rich history and plenty of ghosts

Top Hotels: Nevada City Hotel | Fairweather Inn

Little has changed over the past 150+ years in Virginia City, Montana, with hundreds of historic buildings still standing. Just a mile down the road is Nevada City, with the pair of towns revealing the reality of life and death in a Gold Rush town. They were built on the stories of those early treasure hunters, and rumor has it some of them never left. The Nevada City Hotel has had frequent reports of an apparition of a road agent who was hanged nearby, while the apparition of an older cowboy figure who never speaks sometimes appears in hotel rooms and sits at the bar in Virginia City.

Cripple Creek, Colorado Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek
Credit: Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek by Cripple Creek, Colorado

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Why Stay Here: A scenic historic mining town with countless ‘haunts’

Top Hotels: Hotel St. Nicholas | Cripple Creek Hospitality House

Like many old mining towns, crime, including murders, were very common during the peak gold mining days and Cripple Creek is no exception. There are countless ghost stories here, with Hotel St. Nicholas the site of many of them. It was a hospital around the turn of the 20th century and had a ward for the mentally ill. Today it’s a hotel/B&B that’s had many reports of paranormal activity, including very mysterious incidents in Room 11 like a nurse who seems to want to carry her care-taking skills into the afterlife by watching over guests while they’re in bed.


Deadwood, South Daktota Stagecoach in front of the haunted Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, SD
Credit: Stagecoach in front of the haunted Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, SD by © Kenneth Sponsler | Dreamstime.com

Deadwood, South Daktota

Why Stay Here: Meet one of the real-life characters from HBO’s ‘Deadwood’

Top Hotels: Bullock Hotel | Martin Mason Hotel

Deadwood is a great place to relive the days of the Wild West and perhaps glimpse some of its former residents, albeit as apparitions. This gold rush town that was featured in the HBO series with the same name attracted thousands in the 1870s who were seeking to strike it rich or to make money off those who did. That includes the legendary Wild Bill Hickok, who was ultimately shot in the back during a poker game in the summer of 1876. The former sheriff of the town who built and owned the Bullock Hotel, Seth Bullock, is said to still keep watch over his place, and there are many other ghostly legends here as well.

Marquette, Michigan Aerial view of Historic Marquette harbor light house park in Michigan upper Peninsula
Credit: Aerial view of Historic Marquette harbor light house park in Michigan upper Peninsula by © Snehitdesign - Dreamstime.com

Marquette, Michigan

Why Stay Here: From a haunted lighthouse to a historic inn, there’s plenty for ghost lovers here.

Top Hotels: Landmark Inn | Superior Stay Hotel

Set at the edge of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Marquette has a rich and interesting history along with spectacular views. The small ghost of a girl has been seen multiple times on the upper floor of the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, while the historic Landmark Inn is filled with ghost stories, like the Lilac Lady, a former lover of a sailor who frequently stayed in the Lilac Room. “Lilac Lady” was said to be so brokenhearted over the loss of the relationship she committed suicide in the hotel, and staff have described numerous sightings, with the belief that she’s still here.


New Orleans, Louisiana French Quarter, New Orleans
Credit: French Quarter, New Orleans by © F11photo | Dreamstime.com

New Orleans, Louisiana

Why Stay Here: The creepy cemeteries are reason enough, but New Orleans is renowned for its parades and fun festivities, with the Halloween season bringing out the vampires, zombies, ghosts, goblins, and more.

Top Hotels: Monteleone Hotel | Bourbon Orleans Hotel

This city has it all, from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, a paranormal hot spot known to be haunted by hundreds of ghosts, to former hospitals where soldiers died but never really passed on and historic mansions with ghostly residents. Be sure to book one of the countless ghost tours in New Orleans for a truly haunting experience.

Savannah, Georgia Historic Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah
Credit: Historic Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah by © Irkin09 | Dreamstime.com

Savannah, Georgia

Why Stay Here: With haunted inns, homes, restaurants, and more, not to mention charming historic beauty, why wouldn’t you want to stay in Savannah?

Top Hotels: Marshall House Hotel | Olde Harbour Inn

Savannah is often ranked among the country’s most haunted cities, with inns, restaurants, homes, and more said to house the spirits of its former visitors and residents. The Marshall House, in particular, is considered to be one of the most haunted places to stay in the U.S. as a former hospital during the Civil War and yellow fever epidemics. The ghosts of children and other apparitions in the hallways have often been reported. Sip a brew at Moon River Brewing Company, and you might have numerous ghosts join you.


Washington, DC Capitol building in Washington DC
Credit: Capitol building in Washington DC by © Vitaliy Pozdeev - Dreamstime.com

Washington, DC

Why Stay Here: A potential glimpse of the ghosts of late presidents and some first ladies.

Top Hotels: Omni Shoreham Hotel | The Hay-Adams

With such a long history, it’s not surprising that the country’s capital is a place of many ghost stories, including the White House itself. President Lincoln’s ghost has even been spotted in the Lincoln Bedroom, while President William Henry Harrison, who died here, is believed to have come back in the afterlife. There are a few first ladies to help, like Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison. Ghost tours will bring you to other haunted sites like the Congressional Cemetery and the National Building Museum. Complete your experience with a stay at one of D.C.’s most haunted hotels, The Hay-Adams or Omni Shoreham.

Salem, Massachusetts Salem Witch Museum in Salem, MA
Credit: Salem Witch Museum in Salem, MA by © Jiawangkun | Dreamstime.com

Salem, Massachusetts

Why Stay Here: It’s all about witches and ghosts, year-round

Top Hotels: Hawthorne Hotel | The Merchant

Salem is best known as the place where the Salem witch trials took place, resulting in the execution of many alleged witches. Today, it’s not only among the most haunted cities in the U.S., but it’s arguably the best place to be around Halloween, with plenty of witchy happenings. Turner’s Seafood, formerly Lyceum Hall, is said to be haunted by Bridget Bishop, one of the first trial victims, while the ghost of Giles Corey, who was tortured to death for practicing witchcraft, haunts the Howard Street Cemetery.

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