The Spookiest Tourist Attraction in Every State
If you’re looking for a creepy travel destination you’re in luck—there’s at least one in every state to scare the pants off of you.
Maryland: Westminster Hall Burial Grounds
In October 1849, horror writer Edgar Allan Poe was found delirious on the Baltimore streets, wearing someone else’s clothing. He died a few days later and is buried in the Westminster Hall Burial Grounds. You can tour the burial grounds year-round and each year for Halloween there is a reading of Poe’s short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and rare opportunities to visit the catacombs.
Massachusetts: Lizzie Borden House
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally murdered by someone using a hatchet. Many suspect Andrew’s daughter Lizzie Borden, but she was ultimately acquitted of the crimes. Regardless of who did it, the house where these murders took place is undeniably creepy. You can tour the house, or even stay overnight.
Michigan: MacArthur Bridge
Previously known as the Belle Isle Bridge, the MacArthur Bridge in Detroit does more than connect two pieces of land: it also scares a lot of people. According to local legend, if you park your car or bicycle near the bridge and stay silent for a few minutes, the apparition of an old woman draped in white will appear.
Minnesota: Landmark Center
The Landmark Center in St. Paul, Minnesota was opened in 1902 and originally served as the Federal Court House and Post Office for the Upper Midwest. Today is it a major cultural hub for the area and is said to be haunted. Each October, visitors can take the Gangster Ghost Tour, where they’ll explore the lesser-visited hallways of the building and potentially cross paths with ghosts of gangsters, G-men, and judges.
The city of Corinth, Mississippi is home to the Civil War Interpretive Center, where you can learn all about the nearby battle of Shiloh. Because of the massive loss of life and bloodshed during this battle, some believe that untouched mass graves are located on or near the Crossroads Museum property. Each year, visitors can take a tour through the city’s oldest cemetery. Find out the oldest cemetery in your state.
Missouri: Missouri State Penitentiary
Opened in 1836 in Jefferson City, the Missouri State Penitentiary was the oldest continually operating prison west of the Mississippi until it shut its doors in 2004. If walking around an old prison isn’t creepy enough for you, you can also take dedicated ghost and paranormal tours.
Montana: Virginia City
Virginia City, Montana has a spooky history full of gold-seekers involved in murders, lynchings, and hangings. One of the spookiest spots is Boot Hill Cemetery, where five men were buried after being hanged by vigilantes. The Bonanza Inn in Virginia City is also thought to be haunted: visitors have reported witnessing both friendly and menacing spirits.
Nebraska: Joslyn Castle
A gorgeous four-story, 35-room Scottish Baronial mansion just outside Omaha isn’t just an amazing architectural specimen, it’s also rumored to be haunted. Built in 1903, Joslyn Castle is open for public tours. In 2014, a paranormal investigator visited the property and said that he found enough activity to classify the house as being haunted—so you may want to visit during daylight hours.
Nevada: Crystal Bay
In the 1950s, the North Lake Tahoe town of Crystal Bay was the playground of the rich and famous, including members of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, and the Kennedy family. In fact, Frank Sinatra once owned the former CalNeva Lodge, which has resulted in a variety of conspiracy theories involving secret underground tunnels, presidential affairs, and Marilyn Monroe’s death. In addition, the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay is thought to be haunted by Mary, a former performer in the Aspen Cabaret Showroom.
New Hampshire: Star Island
Part of the Isles of Shoals that straddles Maine and New Hampshire, Star Island has been attracting visitors of different varieties for centuries. Spooky local tales include a young boy who died falling on rocks during the Revolutionary War and an elderly couple involved in a suicide pact. Today, Star Island is a popular destination for day-trippers and overnight visitors.