3 Spooky Cities to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

A chill is in the air, and we’re not just talking about the change of the seasons. With fall’s arrival comes an atmosphere fit for ghouls, ghosts, and spirits—if you believe in such things, of course. Celebrate the spooky season even after Halloween has passed in these three U.S. cities known for ghostly sightings and creepy happenings, all with Inspirato accommodations nearby.

Charleston, South Carolina

This Southern port city has long been considered one of the most haunted destinations in the country—and from playing host to pirates to its pivotal role in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars, it’s easy to see why. Explore Charleston with eyes peeled for ghostly encounters. The Old City Jail, allegedly home to more than 10,000 prisoner deaths during the 1800s and 1900s—whether by execution or illness—is said to be haunted by the inmates who died there.

While in town, catch a show at the Dock Street Theatre, home to two ghosts, one of whom is said to be John Wilkes Booth’s father, Junius Brutus Booth, who once acted in a troupe there. Other points of interest include White Point Garden, where pirates were hanged in the 1700s, and Poogan’s Porch Restaurant, allegedly haunted by Zoe, a spinster schoolteacher who lived there in the early 20th century.

Where to stay: Once historic carriage houses, the 16 rooms at Zero George have been converted into chic, boutique-style accommodations, sure to inspire your own exploration of Charleston’s rich history.

Boston, Massachusetts

One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Boston is a history buff’s dream—and a spirit seeker’s, too. The Omni Parker House Hotel, once host to the likes of Charles Dickens and Ho Chi Minh, is allegedly one of the most haunted spots in the city. The elevator is said to travel back and forth between the third and fourth floors of its own accord, and the late owner himself, Harvey Parker, roams the halls, particularly the 10th floor.

And just 45 minutes up the coast from Boston lies Salem, a tiny town steeped in sordid history that needs no introduction. During your stay in Boston, take a day-trip detour to experience the haunting home of the Salem Witch Trials yourself.

Where to stay:
The XV Beacon Hotel is a delightful boutique retreat that’ll have you sleeping soundly despite a night of ghost hunting.

San Francisco, California

From earthquakes to catastrophic fires, San Francisco has seen its fair share of tragedy. Plenty of ghost stories abound in the city by the bay, from the mourning spirit of a despondent mother who lost her baby at Stow Lake, to the ghost of singer Al Jolson, who died mid-poker game in Suite 1221 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

Alcatraz in particular is said to be a hot spot for haunts. The notorious prison was known for housing Al Capone and other infamous criminals, and its isolated location lends itself to an already creepy atmosphere. Visitors on night tours have reported eerie whispering, the sound of phantom gunshots, and a British woman in 2014 even captured what she believes is a ghost woman in a photograph of the old visitors’ window. Take the ferry across the bay and see for yourself.

Where to stay:
After spooky adventures, cozy up in Cocoa, a two-bedroom, apartment-style home at Ghirardelli Square within easy walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf.