Oct 30, 2012 4:51 PM
TripAdvisor® announced 10 spooky U.S. getaways. These destinations offer unique stories and exciting attractions for travelers looking for fun-filled fright.
Famous for the witch trials of 1692, today Salem is renowned as "Witch City USA". Travelers can explore historic sites related to the harrowing trials including Gallows Hill where many of the gruesome events occurred and the Witch House, the home of one of the judges. Other creepy attractions include Wiccan boutiques, horror-themed gift shops and one of the nation's largest Halloween celebrations.
In 1920, Anoka became one of the first towns in America to treat its citizens to public Halloween festivities when it held a party in an effort to distract Halloween tricksters from pulling pranks. Now deemed "The Halloween Capital of the World," this Twin Cities suburb continues to host eerie events throughout the month of October, including pumpkin carving and house decorating contests; costume parades and even a creepy carnival.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Known as the setting of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this Hudson Valley village comes alive during the Halloween season with a variety of spine-tingling experiences. Travelers can stroll through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where Irving is buried, watch for the Headless Horseman during a hayride, or attend a reading of the story at the Old Dutch Church, the location where several spooky scenes took place.
Roswell, New Mexico
In 1947, an unidentified object believed to be a weather surveillance balloon crashed near this Chaves County city. Since the 1970s, Roswell has been tied to countless rumors and other conspiracies alleging that the crashed object was an extra-terrestrial spacecraft occupied by aliens. Today travelers can walk through the downtown area where the streets boast lamps resembling Martians or visit the shops that are filled with an array of alien-themed souvenirs.
Known as "The Town Too Tough to Die," this rough-and-tumble mining city made famous by a gunfight involving Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday at the O.K. Corral, survived two major fires. Considered to be one of the most haunted towns of the Old West, it's rumored that visitors may encounter the spirits of miners strolling the streets or fallen cowboys lingering at the O.K. Corral and Boot Hill Graveyard. Travelers can also take a mining tour or watch a shooting reenactment.
Located along the Mississippi River, this scenic Midwest spot has been called "The Most Haunted City in America" by some paranormal enthusiasts. Travelers can see several spooky sights located in the city including the three-story, red brick McPike Mansion. Situated on Alby Street, this historic home is said to be inhabited by the ghost of a former owner who is often seen patrolling the property.
Once named "The South's Most Haunted Small Town," the streets of this panhandle city are lined with attractive antebellum homes and historic structures - in fact, one in three buildings are believed to host resident ghosts. Travelers can saunter about Jefferson Street where bone chilling sounds reverberate through the night or visit the Old Hanging Tree in the center of town.
Ellicott City, Maryland
This affluent community outside of Baltimore is full of fright. Paranormal activity has been reported at the Lilburn mansion as tragedy struck the families who lived there. Also nearby is the former Patapsco Female Institute on Church Road, reportedly occupied by the ghost of a young girl who died of pneumonia. The partially rebuilt institution is now a historical site that offers community events including a Halloween tour for travelers.
With ghost stories dating back more than 100 years, this northeast Texan spot is rumored to be the most haunted small city in the Lone Star state. The spirit of Diamond Bessie is believed to be most active from December through January and also on Halloween. Travelers visiting the area should take hold of their baubles as this gem-loving apparition has been known to steal diamond rings from women at rest.
Situated in northern Tennessee, this small city has a big ghost story. Widely known as a sinister spirit, The Bell Witch tormented a pioneer family during the 1800s-legend has it the witch attacked people sleeping in their beds leaving many injured. Today travelers can visit the Bell Witch Cave and canoe down the Red River where they may catch a glimpse of supernatural sights.