The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing colour and the spooky decorations are popping up on your neighbours’ properties. This could mean only one thing: Halloween is coming. While we may be too old for trick or treating (that is debatable), we’re never too old to celebrate the season with some good ol’ fashioned ghost stories.
To help you get into the ghoulish spirit, we’ve rounded up 37 of the spookiest spots around the world to get your fright on this October.
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (Banff, Alberta)
Don’t fact check this but we’re pretty sure there are a few Fairmont properties in Canada are haunted. A number of them were old railway hotel properties that are over 100 years old. From the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City to the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC, they all have their own haunted history.
But, arguably, the MOST haunted of them all is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, with tales of a murder in a room that no longer is open to the public, as well as a ghost bride, to name a few. A stay at the “Castle in the Rockies” isn’t complete without a tour of its spooky history.
If you’re looking for a little more of a scare, drive north to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and ask to hear the story of the housekeeper that haunts one of the cabins…
Voodoo Music + Arts Festival (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The home of voodoo and all things haunted, New Orleans is the place to go if you’re looking for something spooky this Halloween. From ghost walks through the French Quarter to cemetery tours; the city is brimming with activities all year long.
Over Halloween weekend, the Voodoo Music + Arts Festival brings together some of the best musicians and interactive exhibitions for a ghoulish good time with this year’s headliners including Mumford & Sons, Childish Gambino and Arctic Monkeys. Be sure to pack a costume to join in on the festivities.
Secrets of Stanley Park (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Right here in the home of Daily Hive’s headquarters lies a dark history in the 1,000-acre Stanley Park. Forbidden Vancouver takes you on a tour of this historic and haunted area, telling you how the Lion’s Gate Bridge was built and what really went down on Deadman’s Island.
A Halloween tour of Transylvania (Romania)
Obsessed and intrigued by Dracula? Then look no further than hopping on the Halloween in Transylvania 10-day trip with Intrepid Travel. Travel through haunted castles, gothic church and learn about vampires in Romania.
The best part? You get to spend Halloween in the birthplace of Dracula visiting the 12th-century town of Sighisoara.
Five-acre haunted maze (Miramichi, New Brunswick)
Miramichi’s newest fall attraction, Fletcher’s Farm’s five-acre corn maze, gets spooky with haunted additions to its signature attraction. The farm features actor spooks and ghouls in costume hiding throughout the haunted maze, flashlight nights, and scary wagon rides.
The hotel from The Shining (Estes Park, Colorado)
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Stephen King was inspired to write “The Shining” while staying at The Stanley Hotel where he heard children’s laughter in the hallways and eerie piano music from deserted ballrooms. In fact, the hotel is so haunted, they offer nighttime spirit tours that take you to some of the creepiest areas of the hotel, including an underground tunnel.
The Day of the Dead (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
Experience the Day of the Dead in Mexico by visiting the Festival of Life and Death in Xcaret. The Hotel Xcaret Mexico has put together some exciting activities during this weekend in theatre, music, dance and gastronomy celebrating the in the Mexican state of Zacatecas.
Stay in a jail cell (Ottawa, Ontario)
Rated one of the 10 spookiest experiences in the world, the Hi Ottawa Jail hostel is located in former jail allowing guests to sleep in former cells (with the original bars) and wander through the gallows, stairwells and tunnels that are definitely haunted.
While there are many haunted corners of the old city of Ottawa, there is probably nothing spookier than spending a night in a solitary confinement cell.
The (very haunted) Hotel Chelsea (New York City, New York)
The streets of New York City are actually more haunted than you might think, with hundreds of years of history on every block. But the first place you should look is right in your hotel room.
The Hotel Chelsea is still said to have haunted hallways, and former tenants have shared stories of paranormal activity. The most famous of the ghosts was Sid Vicious, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend while they living there.
Ghost Train in Montérégie (Saint-Constant, Quebec)
If you’re looking to explore this haunted rail situation, head on over to the P’tit train du Nord. You can cycle along 200 km of trails built on an old railway line that closed in the late 1980s. The tracks are filled with their own haunted history from the age of railway travel.
Room 333 (London, England)
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But, The Langham in London is best known for their ghost sighting in Room 333 where a man is said to appear Victorian evening-wear while others are said to haunt the basement and hallways.
Hollowe’en Hoe-Down (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Taking place a Champetre’s Howling Coyote Saloon, just a short ride from Saskatoon, the Hollowe’en Hoe-Down is filled with fun activities like the Trick or Treat Tumbleweed Tow, Eerie Maze, and games and crafts for the whole family.
The Algonquin Resort (St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick)
Believed to be one of the most haunted spots in all of New Brunswick, The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea, Autograph Collection is home to 233 rooms, and a few ghosts playing tricks and rearranging the silverware. One of the best known is the jilted bride who stayed in room 473 and later died (not at the hotel) of a broken heart. But her spirit returned and has been seen moping around the hotel ever since.
A real-life Moaning Myrtle.
Witches Market (La Paz, Bolivia)
A must-see stop on Contiki’s 15-day day ‘Bolivian Magic’ tour, in Bolivia’s capital city of La Paz you’ll visit an eerie ‘Witches Market’, also known as La Hechiceria and El Mercado de Las Brujas. Here, you can get your fortunes read by local witch doctors known as yatiri, and get lotions and potions as souvenirs to bring home.
La Fonda on The Plaza (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
While La Fonda on the Plaza is surely not the only haunted hotel in New Mexico, it is one of the best known as it sits on the site of the city’s first hotels, dating all the way back to the early 1600s. The current building was built in 1922, but some of the more spirited guests have stayed long after their checkout and have been seen rising from the fountain in the lobby…
For a little history on another haunted property in Santa Fe, American Ghost tells the story of Julia Staab, who is said to haunt La Posada de Santa Fe and appears anytime they try and do renovations to her former residence.
House of Horrors (Surrey, British Columbia)
Now in its 16th year, Potter’s House of Horrors in Surrey, British Columbia has now two uber-haunted houses and even a Lil’ Haunters for little monsters 12 years old and younger. The House of Horrors runs for the month of October with the scare crew in full costume ready to spook you!
Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
For Halloween, The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia hosts a Terror Behind the Walls experience that is rated by Forbes as the #1 scariest thing to do in the USA. Wind your way through this former prison with six haunted former cellblocks surrounded by soaring 30-foot high fortress walls.
To this day the former prison is still believed to be haunted, with 60 paranormal teams coming annually to scout out the site.
The Catacombs (Paris, France)
The Catacombs in Paris are made up of 1.7 km of tunnels in a labyrinth consisting of over six million bones under the city. If you’re looking for a truly creepy way to see this city, then this tour that starts at the Place Denfert-Rochereau is it!
Route 6 Motel (Cavendish, Prince Edward Island)
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The Route 6 Motel in Prince Edward Island is one of the scariest places to visit in Atlantic Canada, taking visitors on a tale of an abandoned motel left under disrepair with only a former caretaker still residing. But this motel has one main problem – disappearing guests. This is one spot where you won’t want to sleep!
A haunted history trail (Finger Lakes, New York)
New York State is so spooky that they have their own Haunted History Trail, taking you to some of the eeriest spots they’ve found. The Belhurst Castle in the Finger Lakes was just added to the trail because of its own torrid past including the death of one resident by blood poisoning. The most well-known ghost is Isabella, an opera singer often seen dressed in white.
The historic Naples Hotel also takes visitors on private ghost tours year-round to visit particularly “active” rooms within the inn, and attempt to reach the hotel’s famous spirits. If you dare stay the night after your tour, you’ll save 20% off on your stay and will have the chance to see something for yourself.
The Isle of Devils (Bermuda)
When you think of haunted places, your first thought might not be Bermuda, but the island’s early history is filled with fascinating tales of shipwrecks, murder and ghost stories.
The Carter House, in particular, is filled with restless spirits whose resting place was moved to make way for a US Naval base. Today, this house is still haunted with trapped spirits from the family forever wandering around the residence.
Legends of Horror (Toronto, Ontario)
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The Legends of Horror at Casa Loma is an amazingly immersive self-guided tour through the grounds, basement and scariest parts of this castle in Toronto. There is even live performances by The Vampire Circus if you weren’t already amused by the goblins and ghouls.
A ghost walk (York, England)
Contiki’s 10-day ‘England & Scotland’ adventure uncovers the best (and as it turns out, the spookiest) spots of the UK. The stop in York reveals a place where past beheadings, tortures and murders are only the beginning of its scary history.
A haunted hike (St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador)
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The Haunted Hike is the oldest running ghost tour in St. John’s, a city that has plenty of haunted stories to tell. Wind your way through the dark alleys and laneways, as you listen to a story or two including a sailor who met their fateful end on the way to the shores of Newfoundland & Labrador.
And if that isn’t giving you the creeps already, this city is known to be draped in a misty fog that drifts in off the North Atlantic.
The Ghost of Marilyn Monroe (Los Angeles, California)
Known today as the spot for pool parties for L.A.’s A-listers, The Hollywood Roosevelt has a long history welcoming celebrities in Los Angeles, California to stay in their iconic rooms. Guests have said they can hear the faint sound of trombones from actor Montgomery Clift, and have also have claimed to have seen the ghost of Marilyn Monroe in the mirror in her old suite.
PS: If you still don’t believe in ghosts, you should. As I was working on this article this song about Marilyn Monroe came on a RANDOM Spotify playlist just as I was writing this section… #DontMessWithGhosts
An abandoned asylum at Tranquille Farms (Kamloops, British Columbia)
Tranquille Farm is the site of an old sanatorium where two kilometres of tunnels were built beneath the former tuberculosis hospital 15 minutes west of downtown Kamloops, British Columbia where nearly 1,600 patients passed away, most of them quite young.
Ross Castle (County Meath, Ireland)
The Ross Castle is a 15th-century castle transformed into a bed and breakfast along the banks of a lake in County Meath, Ireland. But local legend has it that the daughter of an evil English lord, known as the Black Baron, haunts the halls of Ross Castle, while the Baron himself haunts the grounds.
How’s that for some Game of Thrones level spookiness?
Fort Garry Hotel (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
The Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba was built in 1903 by the Grand Trunk Railway and over the last centuries has seen a number of famous guests including Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, Laurence Olivier, Louis Armstrong, Liberace, and many more.
But these special guests will not be staying in room 202, which is haunted by a woman who apparently committed suicide by hanging herself in the closet. Sightings have ranged from a glimmer in photos, the ghost of a woman wearing a cloak hovering over the foot of their bed, to blood dripping from the walls…
Alcatraz Island (San Francisco, California)
Alcatraz Island is basically a real-life Azkaban, 1.25 miles from downtown San Francisco in California. It was home to some of America’s most notorious criminals held in this federal penitentiary surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.
The Legends & Lore Tour is your best bet if you looking to learn more about the famous residents behind bars including Al ‘Scarface’ Capone and Robert ‘Birdman’ Stroud.
Northern Ghosts (Dawson City, Yukon)
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Along the Alaska Highway lies the old gold rush town of Dawson City, Yukon, which seems to be forever frozen in time. On Halloween weekend they open their doors to the largest and creepiest haunted house in the Yukon at the “Old Courthouse”. But if you ask the locals, the whole town is a little haunted year-round.
Likely tied with New Orleans, Savannah, Georgia is one of the most haunted places in the U.S. There’s something about those southern states that brings out the extra spooky vibes along with the centuries of history. A fairly walkable city (or floatable if you’re a ghost), Savannah has designed a walking tour of 6 spots to visit that are most definitely haunted. We dare you to visit all six!
But if you can only squeeze in one, The Marshall House is known to hold the spirits of the Civil War where the building served as a hospital.
And if you don’t believe us… say hi to our friend Nicholas who paid this one writer a visit at the Sorrel-Weed House in Savannah.
Windermere House (Muskoka, Ontario)
Today, Windermere House is Muskoka’s premier hotel and resort overlooking Lake Rosseau in Ontario’s cottage country. But, the “Lady of the Lakes” has had reported hauntings from the original owner Thomas Aitken, who has been said to knock on doors and move items around the hotel.
How’s that for five-star service with a scare?
A nuclear disaster (Pripyat, Ukraine)
Chernobyl was the world’s most devastating nuclear disaster and its effects can still be seen today. In Northern Ukraine, there is an abandoned town when its 50,000 residents were evacuated after the No.4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Station exploded in 1986.
And the town of Pripyat has remained abandoned ever since…
The Halifax Citadel (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Back in the day, Halifax was a popular port city for trade, immigration by ocean and one of the main sites for the Canadian military in Nova Scotia. The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site embraces their history by taking guests on ghost tours led by candlelight through dimly lit tunnels and passageways to the prison cells that once held soldiers.
If you’re hungry after your tour, rumour has it that the Five Fisherman Restaurant is also haunted…
Toftaholm Herrgård (Lagan, Sweeden)
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Before it was a hotel, this property was owned by a wealthy Baron. Legend has it that room 324 is haunted by a young man who killed himself when the Baron refused to let his daughter marry the boy.
That brings new meaning to being “ghosted”.
A haunted corn maze (Abbotsford, British Columbia)
What we consider to be “one of the most terrifying corn maze in Canada” is right near our HQ in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Maan Farms Haunted Corn Maze is one of many corn mazes that spring up in the Fraser Valley every fall, and needless to say, it’s terrifying. This corn maze is filled with the dead, creepy, corrupt clowns, creatures of the underworld, scenes of violence and carnage – and real chainsaws.
Don’t say we didn’t try and warn you.
A whole haunted city (St. Augustine, Florida)
What makes St. Augustine, Florida extra creepy is that it’s the oldest city in the United States, meaning that centuries worth of ghosts are seen haunting the street. Stop in at the 17th-century fortress Castillo de San Marcos for a ghost tour, and you will hear about a love triangle that still haunts this city by a female apparition in a white dress.
Have you stayed in a haunted hotel room or visited somewhere spooky? Share your ghost stories with us at [email protected]