Best Places to Scare the Crap Out of Yourself This Halloween

October’s the only time of year when people applaud you for showing up to a party with an ax in your head.

It’s a themed month, when Walmart features Dracula puppets shriek-laughing like the Count on an endless loop, and when fun-sized Snickers constitute legit breakfast.

Ghosts like Bisbee, Arizona, or perhaps Bisbee likes their ghosts. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ghosts like Bisbee, Arizona, or perhaps Bisbee likes their ghosts. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s also the best time of year to try and scare yourself silly, just ‘cause you can.

Here are a few of the most haunted places and best spots to live the scary story you’ve waited all year to experience.

Arizona

Arizona is terrifying. Between its creepy-crawly rattlesnakes, horrid Gila monsters, unnerving black scorpions, and it’s almost-unbearably high temperatures, the Copper State is a pretty scary place to live. And as if that is not frightening enough, Arizona’s Wild West past and haunted history gives us even more reason to go hide under the covers. Sure, you can stand 110-degree heat and ride out haboobs, but can you brave these Arizona haunts?

Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island

For six days in October, the winding tunnels below historic Fort Adams, become one of the most realistic scary attractions in New England. Fortress of Nightmares is four haunted attractions inside America’s largest coastal fortification. Tunnels of Terror is a ghoulish maze of Halloween horrors built deep inside the tunnels beneath Fort Adams.

Wandering through dark, zombie-filled passages is enough to keep anyone terrified until Thanksgiving, but Fortress of Nightmares has now upped the ante with virtual-reality. Paranormal360 puts you inside an eight-minute horror movie, with real-life effects to enhance the experience. You’ll need a separate ticket, on top of the $15 for general admission.

The Alamo © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Alamo © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

It might seem obvious, but the Alamo isn’t only a shrine of Texas liberty. During the infamous siege of 1836, thousands of men were killed and their bodies dumped unceremoniously into mass graves, so it’s no wonder a few of their disembodied spirits are pissed off.

Several security guards have reported hearing footsteps in the middle of the night, some have seen a small blonde-haired boy in the gift shop, and a ghastly John Wayne—yes, John Wayne—reciting lines from his 1960 film on the subject.

Jekyll Island Club © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jekyll Island Club © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jekyll Island Club, Jekyll Island, Georgia

The Jekyll Island Club, whose members included some very famous last names—the Morgans, the Vanderbilts, and the Pulitzers—was the happening spot for rich folks from 1886 until World War II. The Club still stands, as do some of the cottages of the wealthy in Jekyll Island’s historic district.

Naturally, with all the wealth that’s passed through its doors, the club is haunted, namely by the ghost of a former railroad magnate, who apparently gets his morning coffee and kicks back with the newspaper just to mess with your mind.

Room 3101 of the Annex is also said to be haunted, but by a friendly ghost (yay!) named Charlotte Maurice, who ironically advises visitors on how to live their best lives.

Jerome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jerome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jerome, Arizona

Jerome is a former copper-mining town with a paranormal reputation that dates back to the Wild West. The town is now home to just 400 residents (down from 15,000 in its heyday), but legend has it there are plenty more ghostly residents from the days of mining accidents and gunfights.

One well-known spirit is the working girl Sammie Dean, a prostitute who was strangled by a customer in the old Crib District. Her beautiful spirit roams the alleys looking for her killer, who was never found.

Jerome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Jerome © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Local history plus spooks equals great fun!

See also related article.

Worth Pondering…

I’m just a ghost in this house
I’m shadow upon these walls,
As quietly as a mouse
I haunt these halls.
—Allison Krauss, Ghost in This House

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