Thursday, October 27, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Top 10 Most Haunted Cities to Spend a Weekend

Do you believe in the spirit world? Do you have a fascination with Paranormal Activity? If you like seeking supernatural, haunted or spooky activities, this list will mention some of the top paranormal destinations where you can find plenty to do. Some say you can witness evil ghost activity, hear noises, door closings, voices and more. Let’s get started.
Savannah, GA

It is rumored that Savannah was constructed on American Indian burial grounds, which are linked with the hauntings. It was also the place of Revolutionary and Civil War clashes and yellow fever outbreaks where many lost their lives. Savannah is considered less scary and more friendly during the day. River Street is a well known area for restaurants, bars and shopping. There is so much shopping and dinning establishments to be found on Broughton Street, while City Market is an open air destination for eating, doing shopping and enjoying nightlife in restored warehouses. Plus, there is a vast number of art galleries, local breweries, historic squares and Revolutionary and Civil War landmarks.
San Francisco

The wild gold rush era and the 1906 earthquake, which triggered a fire that killed at least 3,000 individuals, likely contributed to San Francisco’s haunted present. Nonetheless, Alcatraz Island is also notoriously haunted. Tales of death, assassinations and madness surround the prison that once detained gangster Al Capone. Although the National Park Service does not offer official ghost tours, you can visit at night for the chance to experience cold spots, whispering in empty cells and sounds of forcefully and loudly slamming doors. Learn about other haunted sites, from the USS Hornet to Chinatown, with the Haunted Haight Walking Tour, San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour or San Francisco Chinatown Ghost Tours.
Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. contains many of the region’s haunted hot spots. The U.S. Capitol Building, which was constructed in the mid-1800s, is filled with spirits, from construction workers to politicians. In fact, there’s even a “demon cat” that appears right before national tragedies. Historical hauntings also happen at The Octagon House. Less happy occurrences in the mansion’s past include speculated murders and incomprehensible mysterious deaths. If you end up taking the self-guided tour of the museum, don’t be surprised to feel cold spots on the staircase or overhearing knocking inside the walls.
Quebec City

Quebec’s dark past dates back to when it was New France more than four hundred years ago. Check out Les Promenades Fantomes or Ghost Tours of Quebec, which was the battleground for the Seven Years’ War, fought between Britain and France. The most horrific fighting happened during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, when more than one thousand soldiers were slaughtered. Travel into the nearby tunnels, where people have claimed to have smelled gunpowder and overheard cannons being fired. The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is one of the planet’s most tweeted hotels, and yes, it’s cursed. It was named for Louis de Buade, a late 17th century governor of Quebec, who died before marrying his fiancée. He wanders the hallways looking for her, and has been spotted just about everywhere from the hallways to guest rooms.
Charleston, S.C.

Charleston is no stranger to misfortune since its founding in 1670. As a result, many landmarks are regarded as haunted, particularly the Old City Jail. Constructed in 1802 on land that previously housed a hospital and a workhouse for runaway slaves, the jail imprisoned offenders from pirates to Civil War prisoners… some which are claimed to still be there, if you truly believe the stories of chains dragged through the floor and the doors slamming. Lavinia and John Fisher are among the more notorious prisoners. The couple operated a hotel, and rumors circulated about them poisoning guests. They were in the end convicted of highway burglary and hung for the crime.

A yellow fever wave in the late 18th century terminated the lives of over 5,000 individuals, who are undoubtedly among the spirits that haunt Philly to this day. But Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the most notorious haunted places. The prison was the first of its kind to introduce solitary confinement when it opened in 1829. Some of its most notorious inmates range from Mafia ringleader Al Capone to the unrivaled bank robber Willie Sutton. Since closing down in 1971, paranormal activity varying from dark figures to accounts of being grabbed have been reported in prison cell 4, 6 and, particularly, 12. During each fall, the prison holds its well known Terror Behind the Walls haunted house, and while the chances of an actual paranormal encounter are low during this time, it’s currently the only possible way to experience the prison at night. Experience the Ghost Tours of Philadelphia to visit more haunted spots throughout the city. With your head full of rich history, peruse the many shops that pepper the city, from hipster Northern Liberties to upscale Rittenhouse Square.
Portland, Oregon

At one point, Portland was regarded as one of the most dangerous port cities in the entire world thanks to the abundance of prostitution, local gangs, opium dens and gambling rings. One of the most enduring tales from this era is about the Shanghai Tunnels, which are subterranean tunnels that connected the hotel and bar basements to docks. Initially intended as a way to transport goods from the harbor side, they are rumored to be where hired hands in the 19th century would abduct, or “shanghai” men to work as minions on ships bound for Asia. Victims would be dropped into the tunnel through trapdoors located in bars and locked up in cells until their assigned ship set sail. A few ghost tours such as Beyond Bizarre Ghost Tour, Haunted Pub Tour and Shanghai Tunnels/Portland Underground Tours initiate right at the Hobo’s Restaurant, where there is a underground basement entrance to the tunnels. Besides hearing screaming and crying, individuals recall seeing Nina, a paid sex worker who met an ill-timed end at the base of an elevator shaft of what’s today Old Town Pizza.
New Orleans

Civil War clashes, yellow fever outbreaks, and hundreds of years of voodoo magic all contribute to making New Orleans a prime contender for the most cursed place in America. In fact, many of the city’s hotels, bars and other sites in the French Quarter alone are known for being haunted, such as the Hotel Provincial, Hotel Monteleone and Hotel Villa Convento as well. Perhaps regarded as the most notorious stops on ghost tours is the LaLaurie Mansion, constructed by the prosperous LaLaurie family in 1832. During a fire in 1834, seven slaves were found chained up to a wall in the attic. Talk about scary.
New York City

So many individuals love New York City so much that they never ever leave, even after death. As a matter of fact, there are so many deceased spirits that Ghosts of New York Walking Tours provide about twenty different choices. Just as there are non stop ghost possibilities in New York City, the same goes for things to do. Good luck getting Hamilton tickets, but fortunately there are always new extras to the city scene all the time. For example, forget about the Empire State Building in preference of the vistas from the observatory at One World Trade Center.

The Great Chicago Fire of October 8, 1871 lasted two entire days and killed at least 300 people. Horrific as this was, even more unfortunate was the 1903 blaze at the much-touted fire resistant Iroquois Theater, which claimed the lives of more than 600 individuals at an afternoon performance. In fact, the alley behind it has been nicknamed “Death Alley,” after those who jumped to their death in desperation to get away from the raging fire. It’s also where retrieved bodies were temporarily placed. The Oriental Theater now resides on this location, and individuals have claimed to have seen ghosts in period dress, heard shouts and screams and smelled the scent of smoke.

There is definitely an abundance of haunted cities in America. If you’re looking for some legit and surreal scares this season, this list will help you chasing that thrill. We’ve already done the research so look no further for some of the best fright-fueled paranormal destinations to liven up your Halloween.

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