Image source: Flickr - Anna Fox
Anyone who knows me well can attest to the fact that my favorite holiday is Halloween, and it's not uncommon for me to find a way to keep ghoulish decor up year round and seek out haunted spots on my travels. Abandoned areas, old hotels and even theme park events tend to be some of my favorite 'haunts.'
If you are looking to add some ghostly fun to your future travels, check out these cool haunted spots.
Growing up near Long Beach, my parents liked to visit the harbor area in the evenings and I fell in love with the Queen Mary. The luxury ocean liner was purchased by the city of Long Beach in the late 1960s and transformed into a hotel. It wasn't until I was older that I learned that this magnificent ship had a darker story. The most haunted spot on the ship is said to be the engine room where a young sailor was crushed to death while attempting to escape a fire onboard. Today, it is said you can hear him banging on the pipes near the door. If you are interested in learning even more about the Queen Marys haunted past, check out the ghost tours and cool events around Halloween.
Not surprisingly, this is my favorite theme park attraction in the world and it's not out of the norm for me to ride it four to six times in one visit to Disneyland. You might wonder why this is on the list since we all know the ghosts on the ride are fake. Or are they? Disney Cast Members have told stories over the years about odd apparitions and unexplainable events that have taken place on the beloved attraction. And, there are even urban legends about people attempting to spread ashes of their loved ones on the Haunted Mansion.
One of the coolest sides to Sacramento is its rather unknown underground history. 150-year-old tunnels hidden below the citys historic area are home to some of the creepiest legends from Sacramento's early days. Adult-only evening tours are even better as guides get into the more gritty residents that once called Sacramento home. If you visit during October, be sure to check out the special ghost tour that talks about murder victims and other ghost stories dating back to the Gold Rush era.
Old prisons are a goldmine for haunted tales and Alcatraz Island certainly has some tales to tell. Haunted stories about "The Rock" include Al Capone's ghost roaming the grounds. Capone spent his final years at Alcatraz and he spent a lot of time playing the banjo with a prison band. He practiced in the shower room for fear of being killed by other prisoners and today, employees swear they've heard banjo music coming from there. Aside from haunted cellblocks, paranormal reports include smoke without a source of fire, unexplained cold spots around the prison and even ghost-sighting claims.
If money is no object and you are hoping for a one of a kind haunted experience consider renting Houdini's old estate. The stunning property sleeps 12 in its three bedrooms, and the house is believed to be haunted by the master himself. Some report seeing a dark figure on multiple occasions and its not uncommon to hear unexplained footsteps within the house.
One of the most iconic buildings in San Diego is the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. It was built back in 1886 and is an iconic example of a Victorian beach resort. It opened its doors in 1888 as the world's largest resort at the time and it has hosted a number of notable guests including Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin, Brad Pitt and George Harrison along with a sizeable list of U.S. Presidents. However, one of the most famous guests is believed to still wander the Hotel Del Coronado. Kate Morgan was a guest in 1892 and committed suicide on the steps leading to the beach. Today, guests who stay in room 3327 report flickering lights and other strange events like unexplained floating objects.
Where are your favorite 'haunted' spots?
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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