Halloween is the beloved time of year when ghosts and ghouls haunt the night! Well, maybe you’re not the type to buy into such superstitions, but regardless, there is a certain irresistible atmosphere to the holiday: the changing leaves, cooler temperatures, longer nights. It is easy to see why, over time, the month of October became associated with restless spirits, monsters, and witchcraft. Is that chill on the back of your neck the autumn breeze, or something from beyond the grave? On TakeTours.com, you will be able to find Halloween themed tours in some of the country’s spookiest cities. Keep reading – if you dare!
A very early settlement in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Salem set the precedent for haunted happenings in the U.S. in the late 17th century, when 19 people were hanged, and many more accused, under suspicion of practicing witchcraft. These days, the city of Salem has preserved some of its oldest buildings, retaining much of the charm of its colonial days. There is no better time to visit the city than the month of October, which is full of shows, events, tours, and more to get ready for Halloween. Book this Halloween Witch Town Haunted Tour from Boston, which will take you to the Salem Witch Museum, converted from an old church, where you can get detailed information about the trials, learning about the hysteria that swept over the population. Inside, you will see life-size sets, recreating famous moments from the trials, and other exhibits that will shed light on a dark time in American history. Then you will head north to the town of Gloucester, where you will take a haunted house tour of Hammond Castle, designed in the 1920’s in the European Gothic style of the Middle Ages, giving the estate a chilling beauty. Before returning to Boston, you will get to explore Salem on your own as night falls, the time when the most thrilling – and frightening – attractions come out! Departing from Boston or Quincy on 10/26 and 10/30, this spooky tour costs $68 and includes round-trip transportation. Please remember, admission for the Salem Witch Museum and Hammond Castle have separate admission fees. Be sure to check the tour page for the latest information.
New Orleans, Louisiana
With its long history of voodoo practices, New Orleans is regarded as one of the country’s scariest cities. The three St. Louis Cemeteries are famous for their above-ground tombs, resembling neighborhoods full of houses for the deceased. This Cemetery and Voodoo Walking Tour, lets you explore St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where Marie Laveau, the city’s “Voodoo Queen” of the 1800’s, is buried. Or, perhaps you would like to explore the haunted buildings of the French Quarter on this Ghosts and Spirits Tour, during which you will visit the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, where the ghosts of Confederate soldiers from the Civil War and nuns, from when the building was a convent, stalk the halls. You can also learn about NOLA’s vampires on The New Orleans Vampire Tour, hearing the legend of the mysterious figure of Jacques Saint Germaine, an allegedly ageless man who walks the streets. In addition to these tours mentioned, there are many more options for seeing the scariest historical sites in the city. These spooky tours depart nightly, and only cost about $25.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nicknamed “Sin City,” Las Vegas has some dark secrets lying underneath the surface. Take this Haunted Vegas Tour, stopping by the Motel of Death, learning about the numerous celebrity deaths that occurred there. Then you will stop by Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Filled with wax sculptures of celebrities, this museum would be creepy enough without a ghost, but employees have reported feeling the touch of icy hands pushing them. In addition to these locations, this tour visits a few other haunted Vegas sites, provides guests with ghost hunting equipment, and starts at just $99.
San Jose, California
The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, CA. Sarah Winchester, the woman who lived there and put up the money to have it built, inherited a massive amount of money from the death of her husband, who was the owner of the Winchester Arms Company, a gun manufacturer. Sarah, who believed she was being haunted by the ghosts of all who died from the company’s rifles, was always paying for additions and renovations. The property was under constant construction and maintenance. Not only are the interior corridors a large maze, but there are also secret passageways that Sarah used to evade ghosts and spy on her servants. There are countless quirks and oddities about the design of the house, like stairways that lead to dead ends and a door on the second floor that opens up to a sheer drop outside. Apparently, the Winchester’s design was so effective at containing the spirits of the deceased that even Sarah’s ghost has decided to take up residence there! To learn more about this spooky mansion, visit the Winchester Mystery House website.
Whatever Halloween thrills you seek, TakeTours.com is always ready to help you get there in the most exciting way possible. Stay safe this Halloween, and happy trick-or-treating!