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Scattered all around Nevada, you’ll find old mining towns with an eerie history and a spooky vibe. But the best haunted town in the U.S. to visit this October is Virginia City, Nevada, which is just 25 minutes outside of Reno and is home to one of the largest historic districts in the country.
This former silver and gold boomtown has much more than just abandoned mines and is embracing its haunted status this year for “Hauntober.” All during this month, there are fun and fascinating ways to have a potentially paranormal experience here with ghost tours, creepy crafts, haunted hotels, and much more!
During Hauntober in Virginia City, Nevada, you can take a ride on a wine and history train to learn about the area, make nightmare-inspired dolls as a fun craft project, and take a haunted ghost tour at the Gold Hill Hotel. There are kid-friendly events, such as the Gold Hill Pumpkin Patch Train, and adults-only events too, like Cemetery Gin’s Hunt for the Spirits, which lets adults 21+ learn about the historic town while sampling spirits along the way. It’s also easy to tap into your creative side in Virginia City this Hauntober by painting your pumpkin or gourd at a local event with cocktails and all supplies included, hosted by St. Mary’s Art Center.
But Halloween weekend is when the paranormal possibilities really heat up in Virginia City because this is when the Halloween Ghost Investigation and Sleepover takes place at St. Mary’s Art Center and the Electric Halloween Stream Train of Lights takes passengers on a spooky ride under the dark night skies. Over Halloween weekend, there are also opportunities to tour the Mackay Mansion Haunted House, attend the Fourth Ward School Museum’s Victorian All Hollow’s Eve Ball, and take a self-guided audio tour of the Virginia City Cemetery.
A big highlight of the holiday weekend will be the Hauntober Parade, which takes place on Halloween evening from 5-6 pm and welcomes kids, adults, and even pets to participate. Then you can stick around after the parade to trick-or-treat at the various shops along the boardwalk.
Things to Do in October
But no matter when you visit Virginia City in October, there are lots of fun things going on throughout the month. Haunted Adventure Passes are available at the visitors’ center and give you discounted access to many Hauntober attractions. Tour options offered all month include the Bats in the Belfry Guided Ghost Tours, tours at Piper’s Opera House, Mackay Mansion Paranormal Tours, and Washoe Club Haunted Tours. There’s even an escape room to test your skills and give you thrills with an extra challenge!
At the end of your evening of spooky activities, there’s nothing better than staying overnight at a haunted hotel to really get in the Halloween spirit. Virginia City has multiple hotels that are rumored to be haunted, including the Gold Hill Hotel, Silver Queen Hotel, St. Mary’s Art Center, and Tahoe House Hotel.