America's Spookiest Small Towns Will Give You Chills
The United States has no shortage of spooky cities like Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana. But in the noise and chaos of cities, it's easy to escape anything that might make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. In small towns, on the other hand, there is often no way to avoid mystical energies that give you the creeps.
If you love the thrill of fear, you have to visit the 10 most haunted small towns in the U.S. Of course, the best time to visit is in the fall, as near to Halloween as possible. If you can't do that, they still make great paranormal destinations year-round.
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Estes Park, Colorado
Even Stephen King couldn't get away from the hauntings in Estes Park. When he stayed at the Stanley Hotel with his wife, his nightmares became the inspiration for "The Shinning." But the town has more than one creepy spot. Seven Keys Lodge is also said to be haunted, and there is the legend of a three-toed monster who comes with blue mist and kills animals — it is also thought to be responsible for the death of a miner named Bill.
Where to stay: The Stanley Hotel
With one of the best-preserved colonial centers in the country, Williamsburg is definitely haunted. It was the site of several battles of the American Revolution and the Civil War. The ghosts of soldiers are reportedly still roaming around, unable to rest. So are the spirits of people who once patronized old hotels, taverns and buildings. A famous spirit is Lady Anne Skiwith, who is said to have died at the Governor's Palace during labor and who some claim has never left.
Where to stay: Williamsburg Inn
Savannah, New York
Savannah, Georgia is famous for its ghouls, but its small town counterpart in New York also has its fair share of paranormal activity. The town has fewer than 500 residents but, according to them, there are other locals who are not counted in the census. Once a Native American village, the original settlers were forced from their homes during the colonial era. To this bad karma, add centuries of settlement that have given the town many old cemeteries and historic buildings where ghosts have no qualms about making their presence known.
Where to stay: Del Lago Resort & Casino
Like many places in the South, Eufaula was witness to the most shameful period of the continent's history, in which millions of people were enslaved and tortured until their death.
The weight of this past can still be felt in the grandiose antebellum houses and plantations that served as work and death camps. The Civil War also passed through town, adding an even darker energy to towns. It's no wonder that townspeople report seeing ghosts and experiencing unexplained phenomena such as seeing objects move on their own.
Where to stay: Hampton Inn Eufaula
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Beautiful Eureka Springs is known for its Victorian architecture. And while these homes are undeniably charming, many are thought to be inhabited by the ghosts of residents past. Travelers can't escape these hauntings either, as the city's famous Crescent Hotel is thought to be one of the most haunted in the country. The town also stands out because of its natural hot springs, which many fans of the paranormal claim are a portal that connects the world of the living and the dead.
Where to stay: Crescent Hotel & Spa
Orlando is known for the magic of Disney World, but just north of it is one of Florida's spookiest small towns. Cassadaga was first founded as a spiritualist camp, attracting a community of psychics and mediums who claimed to communicate with spirits. Over a century after its establishment, the town is still called the Psychic Capital of the World. Perhaps it's not that there are more ghosts than in any other place, but nowhere else will you have as many people who can tell you what they want.
Where to stay: The Ann Stevens House
This former Gold Rush town had everything you would expect from the Wild West: outlaws, tavern brawls and violent executions. Many criminals were hanged from a tree that continues to be called Hangman's Tree — and, yes, it's as creepy as it sounds. Other spots were spirits tend to roam around are the Historic Cary House Hotel and, somewhat randomly, the Placerville Hardware Store.
Where to stay: Historic Cary House Hotel
Close to Kilauea Volcano, this appropriately named town is near many sacred and spiritual Native Hawaiian sites. Not only is this volcano one of the most active on the planet, but it is also associated with the Hawaiian goddess Pele. Because of this, Hawaiians have a deep respect for the land that surrounds it. Many report paranormal happenings, like cold spots, unusual sounds and inexplicable apparitions of beings that are not necessarily human.
Where to stay: Volcano Acres Ranch B&B
St. Francisville, Louisiana
Once again, the shameful history of slavery continues to literally haunt a southern town. St. Francisville is the home of Myrtles Plantation, where an enslaved woman was murdered after being accused of poisoning her captor's family. Many have claimed to see her ghost around the former work camp. No doubt, the souls of other tortured people still haunt this and other plantations.
Where to stay: Hotel Francis
Ghosts and ghouls don't have a monopoly on creepy happenings. Aliens can also haunt us. Or so the people of Aurora, Texas seem to believe. In 1897, a UFO supposedly crashed into a windmill in this town, carrying the body of an extraterrestrial. As legend has it, E.T.'s cousin was buried in the local cemetery (you can still visit the grave) and the town is still haunted by the alien's spirit.
Where to stay: Best Western Decatur Inn