With October just a few weeks away, it’s pretty clear that we’re in the mood for scary and spooky and we bet a lot of you are too. That’s why we wanted to take a peek at all the scariest places to visit across the country. From Victorian mansions to insane asylums, this country is full of haunted history and is a breeding ground for paranormal activity. If you’re interested in taking a trip to some of the country’s scariest haunts this October, then read on if you dare!
The Winchester Mystery House
The Winchester Mystery House is a 160-room Victorian mansion built in the late 1800’s which was a sprawling estate designed like a twisted maze of hallways, doors, and staircases. It all began with Sarah Winchester, the wife of the William Wirt Winchester whose family was famously known for inventing the Winchester rifle. After the death of her infant daughter and husband, (which occurred years later), she sought guidance from a medium. According to the medium, her family was being haunted by the victims who died at the hand of the weapons produced by her husband’s family. In order to please the spirits, she was instructed to move west and build a home large enough to accommodate them. The result is an equally beautiful and eerie display of architecture which is said to be haunted by spirits ‘til this day.
Why visit in October? During the month of October, they host special tours called Flashlight Tours where you can roam the mansion. At night. In the dark. With just a flashlight. Creepy and right up our alley! Get more info here.
The Queen Mary
This long-standing local legend was built in the 1930’s as a luxury cruise ship that catered to the rich and famous. During WWII, the ship was called to duty and was transformed into a mighty military ship. After the war, the ship was brought back to its original stature and resumed as a glamorous cruise ship later to retire in Long Beach, CA as a popular tourist attraction and hotel. With the ship’s unique history, it’s no surprise that it is not without drama and mystery. This popular landmark is said to be haunted by spirits and even offers special tours to areas of the ships where sightings have been reported.
Why visit in October? In Southern California, there are plenty of “haunted” mazes like Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal Studio’s Horror Nights, but the Queen Mary boasts to have the only haunted mazes that are actually haunted! During October, the ship hosts its Dark Harbor attraction that features terrifying mazes, rides, and entertainment. Get more info here.
The Stanley Hotel
Speaking of hotels, remember the Overlook Hotel from the classic horror film The Shining? Well that hotel is based off an actual place and that place is called The Stanley Hotel. Author Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after an eerie stay at that hotel. Various paranormal activities have been cited by hotel guests including sounds of children running through the halls and music being played in the empty ballroom. Since The Shining, this incredible site has been such a big part of pop culture and has transformed into a destination where the stay is the attraction. They even have a television channel where they play the movie on loop!
Why visit in October? The Stanley Hotel takes full advantage of its reputation and plans on hosting several events this month including its Murder Mystery Dinner, The Shining Ball, and the Halloween “Masquerade” Ball. What better way to celebrate Halloween than to convene with the spirits? Ger more info here.
Villisca Ax Murder House
Nothing spells horror quite like a mysterious massacre which is just what you’ll find at the Villisca Ax Murder House. In the small town of Villisca, IA in 1912, an entire family was brutally murdered at the hands of a killer who is yet to be named. Its bloody history is one that history has yet to forget. There have been supposed sightings and activity all throughout the house. One guests even cites a stay where they have asked the ghostly children to turn a flashlight on an off and the spirits had obliged. If that doesn’t give you the chills, then we don’t know what will.
Why visit in October? Although they don’t have any special events, you can’t deny the spine-shivering factor of visiting a haunted house in October. They offer daytime tours as well as over-night stays for the truly brave.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
This facility was built in the mid-1800’s to house the mentally ill. With many patients admitted for permanent stay for close to a century, there have undoubtedly been deaths within the walls of the asylum. Due to overcrowding and the lack of funds to maintain the facility, the asylum was closed in 1994. In addition to its years as an asylum, the facility was also used as a military post during the Civil War. Aside from its extremely fascinating history, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was also a place of paranormal sightings and activity. This place, (along with many others on this list), was featured on a variety of ghost hunting television shows and continues to be a major attraction to this day.
Why visit in October? If you’re planning to visit in October, you can look forward to a variety of special events including its special live attraction, Forsaken. For those looking for family-friendly fun, they also will host its Fall Festival which includes a car show, live entertainment, costume contests and more. Lastly, there’s the Asylum Ball which is a huge costume party with live entertainment and a costume contest with cash prizes. With so many activities, there are plenty of reasons to visit this hotbed of haunts in October. Get more info here.
Now that you know all the coolest spots to visit this October, it’s time to start planning the best Halloween season of your life! For more Halloween ideas and costume ideas, be sure to follow us on Pinterest (here). Is there a local haunt in your city that you like to visit? If so, share it with us by leaving a comment below!