For National Ghost Hunting Day, enjoy an evening with any of these popular and respected ghost tours. / Photo by Gabriel Castles/Unsplash
True believers see ghosts everywhere. Skeptics see bupkis. But on National Ghost Hunting Day, there is something for both to enjoy in five of the best ghost tours in the country.
On Sept. 24, aficionados can celebrate National Ghost Hunting Day by doing more than singing the Ghostbusters theme.
Many cities have dark pasts that breed speculation about the supernatural, though some locations must be seen to be enjoyed.
“A good ghost tour provides a rich history and a balance of legends while incorporating the modern,” says Cris August, owner of OC Ghosts and Legends. “It’s a field that requires a great deal of patience, but everyone loves a good ghost story.”
Halloween Every Night assembled a white-knuckled fist full of ghost tours from around the country that embody that spirit of entertainment.
Los Angeles: DTLA Murder Mystery Ghost Tour
LA’s storied past includes a string of serial killers and infamous locations, which makes this two-mile, three-hour tour not for the faint of heart. Guests get a dark look at old LA: The Biltmore Hotel, where the Black Dahlia was last seen; stopping at Clifton’s to explore the secrets of its founder; the Hotel Cecil, with its hellish history of murders, suicides and serial killers; next is the Alexandria Hotel, where Rudolph Valentino’s ghost supposedly still haunts the penthouse; the Barclay Hotel, former home of two serial killers; the site of the Chinatown Massacre of 1871, where the largest mass lynching in US history took place, and the journey finishes at the Halls of Justice, where the trials of Charles Manson and Benjamin Siegel occurred. Tickets are $45.
New Orleans: The Ghosts of New Orleans Tour
While touring haunted locations, visitors can learn about the historic events and people who shaped New Orleans’ culture. Attendees will see the LaLaurie Mansion from American Horror Story, where you’ll hear the tales of Delphine LaLaurie and her terrible deeds; Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, an allegedly haunted bar in the French Quarter; the Andrew Jackson Hotel, built upon the site of a burnt-down structure; the allegedly haunted Hotel Villa Convento, where Jimmy Buffet lived with other celebrities, and more. Across the street, guests can grab a bite at Muriel’s Restaurant, where the building’s long-dead owner may be looming in the Seance Lounge. Tickets are $9.99-$24.99.
New York City: NYC Gangsters and Ghosts Tour
Manhattan’s dark underbelly is speckled with memories of 1920s and 1930s gangsters when gangland shootings were an everyday news headline. This tour covers the gritty history behind these famed murders and takes participants through modern-day crime scene locations said to be haunted. Guests will cut through famous neighborhoods such as The Five Points seen in Gangs of New York, Chinatown, once gangster-infested Little Italy, the mansions of the West Village, and Washington Square Park. Tickets are $25-$35.
San Antonio: Ghost Bus Tour
This unique Texas attraction is meant to spook, not scare, and passengers can see the most haunting sights while learning about their history. Expect to visit The Menger, Texas’s allegedly most haunted hotel only viewable via tour, San Antonio’s historic cemetery, and many other locations. Accompanied by a sinister guide and driver in tune with the afterlife, guests will be put at unease. Tickets are $49.99.
Salem: Ghostly Night Tour
Learn about the infamous Salem Witch Trials and the real events that inspired Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Salem’s own Nathaniel Hawthorne to write gothic horror. Guests can use tools early ghost hunters examined phenomena with while traveling to what some have claimed as some of the most haunted sites in the U.S., and visitors can hear the stories behind each haunting. Tickets are $30.