Dwindling daylight and cooler temperatures make autumn an intriguing time to set off on a spooky trip —before or after Halloween. Whether through mysterious folklore or paranormal sightings, these five top haunted places offer alluring histories and a dose of fright for ghost enthusiasts and doubters alike.
Haunted Places in the U.S.
The Haunted Town: Salem, Massachusetts
● Drive 15 miles northeast of Boston Logan International Airport.
Salem might just be the most haunted town in the United States. Home to the infamous colony of Puritans that executed 19 people for suspected witchcraft in 1692, Salem remains a portal into the captivating and sordid story of one of the nation’s earliest settlements.
Visit the Joshua Ward House, Salem’s most famous haunted spot, which sits atop the foundation of witch-hunting Sheriff George Corwin’s house. The sheriff conducted much of his brutal torture in his basement, where he used unusually cruel methods of interrogation and punishment on the accused. It is said that Corwin’s ghost, along with those of his victims, haunts the halls of the house, causing mischief and fright. Book a Salem ghost tour to many of the town’s most haunted places — including the Joshua Ward House, a haunted cemetery and Old Salem Prison — through the Salem Wax Museum. Tours are held daily in July, August and October and cost $15 per person.
Salem fully embraces its witchy history in October, with live performances at the House of the Seven Gables. Folks dressed as witches fill the town’s streets. Stores sell witch paraphernalia if you want to try your hand at casting a spell. Year-round, travelers can visit the Salem Witch Museum for an in-depth look at the hysteria surrounding the village’s witch trials.