6 Spookiest Haunted Ghost Towns to Visit This Halloween Season
Any horror movie lover knows that quirky little towns create the scariest settings. Whether you’re running from a machete-wielding maniac, a possessed doll, or a long-haired ghost girl popping out of your TV, there’s one thing we all agree on: being in a deserted town with no one else except for a cryptic hermit makes the experience that much worse – just ask the locals of Jerusalem’s lot from the iconic novel “‘Salem’s Lot”.
Horror movies aside, ghost towns are actually pretty commonplace in real life. Initially boomtowns during the California Gold Rush, many of these settlements depended on valuable resources discovered in the region (such as gold, silver, coal, or oil). Then, when these resources ran out, towns usually began to decline and many shrank in size. In the most extreme cases, settlements would be entirely deserted, resulting in spooky “ghost towns”.
Oh, and sometimes they can be haunted too. If that sounds like you, here are the six spookiest ghost towns to visit this Halloween for the chance to do your own ghost investigations.
Just east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is Bodie, once a thriving mining town, now a popular destination for night photography. At its peak, the town had nearly 12,000 residents, 60 saloons and, allegedly, the worst whiskey in the world. Officially redesigned as Bodie State Historic Park, it is now preserved in a state of arrested disrepair and considered an authentic Old West ghost town open to the public. It’s also a hot spot for paranormal activity – shadows walking through the gates, voices whispering at night, tall figures roaming the mines until dawn… the usual fare. But Bodie’s most famous resident has to be the Woman in the Window, who is said to be glancing down at passers-by below from the second-story window of the JS Caine Residence.
Chances of Surviving a Supernatural Encounter Here: Relatively high considering that the general ghost population of this place stays to itself. Just make sure you don’t take any items with you when you leave. Otherwise, legend has it that the Bodie Curse will bring bad luck to you and your family.
St. Elmo, CO
Considered one of Colorado’s best-preserved ghost towns, St. Elmo originally attracted people due to its thriving mining resources before running out of gold and silver. However, unlike others on this list, this town is still inhabited and 43 of its structures continue to be used (with the exception of the post office, which closed in 1952, so any mail from here will most likely be the work of otherworldly forces). In any case, St. Elmo’s claim to supernatural fame lies in the presence of Annabelle “Dirty Annie” Stark, daughter of St. Elmo’s Home Comfort Hotel owner, Anton Stark and his wife, Anna. Too sheltered in her youth, Annabelle would have taken to walking the streets with her trusty shotgun slung over her shoulder after the death of her mother. And according to sightings, it still does today!
Chances of Surviving a Supernatural Encounter Here: Dirty Annie’s ghostly watch over the city is said to ward off vandals and intruders, and while she may have a playful sense of humor – slamming doors and moving objects – she’s otherwise harmless.
Despite the fact that the official Silver Rush ghost town is now a popular tourist attraction, that doesn’t make it any less haunted by the ghosts of its former inhabitants. Among the most famous are Lucy Lane, who ran the general store with her husband and now haunts him after his death; Tumbleweed Harris, the last town marshal, who still patrols the streets; and little Dorsey, a courier dog. Additionally, there are several paranormal hotspots in Calico – including the school, where teachers and students will wander around – as well as the Hank’s Hotel, which is haunted by an angry cowboy. Looking at the restored buildings, it’s easy to see why the ghosts don’t want to leave: the gingerbread architecture gives the town a lovely western vibe, and the stunt shows, mine tours and haunt of the Ghost Town held in October make for a great and spooky family experience.
Chances of Surviving a Supernatural Encounter Here:The friendly nature of the ghosts here (really, how many haunted places can boast of having a ghost dog?) make this a great stopover for family trips and even an opportunity to make some spooky friends :the one of the school’s ghost children is said to appear in front of tourists from time to time.
City of Nevada, Montana
One of the lesser-known haunted hotspots on our list is Montana’s Gold Rush town, now a living outdoor history museum open only during the summer season. But thrill seekers shouldn’t be scared because during the Halloween period, the Montana Heritage Commission offers ghost tours in which tourists can walk around the 19e-buildings furnished in the last century in search of the former residents of this place. Notably, the best places to view these ghosts are the Nevada City Hotel (said to be frequented by the ghost of a traffic cop who was hanged near him) and Sedman House, where the ghost of a little girl in a Victorian dress house will sometimes wrinkle bedding, much to the dismay of employees.
Chances of Surviving a Supernatural Encounter Here: As long as you don’t mind the creepy kids keeping you awake at night as they pace the floor above your head, the only thing you should worry about is making sure you bring a sweater with you for those unexplained cold spots.
Batsto Village, New Jersey
The only one on our list that wasn’t a gold rush town, Batsto Village was originally established as an iron ore factory. It was just fully liberated in 1989, making it one of the most recently declared ghost towns. Not that his relative youth in this regard matters much, given that he’s apparently haunted by one of the region’s most famous folk creatures – the Jersey Devil. According to legend, this creature is the thirteenth child of the so-called “Mother Leeds” and is now said to roam the village of Batsto and its surroundings. Claims of detecting strange tracks, hearing strange cries, and even coming almost face to face with the creature while crossing the road are quite common!
Chances of Surviving a Supernatural Encounter Here: Given the Jersey Devil’s penchant for tasty cattle, visiting this ghost town should be no problem. Just make sure you don’t wear anything animal-themed while you’re there.
Technically, Helltown is a misnomer – the settlement is actually named Boston Township after Boston, MA and only got that nickname because of the urban legends associated with it. From the upside-down crosses that decorate the ‘Mother of Sorrows’ church, to its equally spooky graveyard, to the supposedly haunted school bus and crybaby bridge, this ghost town looks like it’s straight out of a horror movie. . Moreover, the sector’s tendency to fill with fog only adds to this image, as does the famous “road to the end of the world”, so steep that it made drivers feel like they were descending from a cliff. . Helltown also has its own “mascot” – the Peninsula Python, a snake that has grown to enormous proportions due to a supposed chemical spill in the area.
Chances of Surviving a Supernatural Encounter Here: Its macabre name makes Helltown a perfect Halloween destination for horror lovers, as long as they’re careful to watch out for giant mutated snakes.