Our family has a whole set of Christmas traditions, one of them is opening presents at our home on Christmas morning. Even tho my kids are grown with families of their own those that live in town and those that came home for the holidays still open presents at my house. Those unable to come home for Christmas open presents with those that are here thanks to the magic of technology.
Every now and then we decide to do something different, we travel. We usually leave Christmas evening. This allows us to open presents together Christmas morning and also take advantage of the cheaper airfare that’s available for traveling on the holiday. Air fares are very expensive just before and just after the holiday, but drastically drop on the holiday itself as no one wants to travel that day. It’s always a pleasure to travel on Christmas and New Year’s day, flights are pretty empty and flight attendants more pleasant.
There are many great places to spend the holidays with kids. Many places have fantastic Christmas displays and host many seasonal events. Here are a few places you might want to visit during Winter Break, some may even be close enough to drive to thus eliminating costly airfare and the crowds at the airports.
Hershey Park, Hershey, Pennsylvania – Billed as “The Sweetest Place on Earth”, Hershey Park is a popular theme park year round it’s even more fun during the holidays. Lots of holiday events going on including dining with Santa, Sweet Lights a drive-thru spectacular, Christmas Candy Lane, ice skating, Gingerbread Tea, Dinner Theater Shows, and more.[spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
2. Visit Santa’s Workshop, where else but in North Pole, NY. Just minutes fro Lake Placid, New York families have visited the Workshop since 1949. Experience the magic of an old-fashioned Christmas in this fairytale setting. Meet Santa and his reindeer, tour the village and shops, ride Christmas themed rides, and more.
3. Santa Claus, Indiana – “America’s Christmas Hometown” has lots of events this season including meals with Santa, Chestnut Roasting, Children’s Craft Time, and more. Click here to see their event schedule this year.[spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
4. Experience a Traditional Christmas on the Cape at Chatham Bars Inn in Cape Cod. 2014 marks the Inn’s 100th. Anniversary. They are hosting many seasonal events including Elsa & Friends Enchanted Wonderland for Frozen fans, Gingerbread House Workshops, and their annual Sno BBQ on December 26. Click here for their event schedule. [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
5. Enjoy an Old-Fashioned Christmas at one of Pennsylvania’s all-inclusive resorts in the Pocono Mountains. Olde-Fashioned Holiday at Woodloch Resort and Old-Fashioned Christmas at Mohonk Mountain House offer many seasonal activities including caroling, holiday scavenger hunts, visits with Santa and more.[spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
6. Christmas in Cambria, California. During the holidays the stretch of California’s highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles turns into a lighted village filled with story-book charm. Stroll the town and visit many galleries and shops to shop for unique one of a kind items. Enjoy your Holidays in The Pines. Click here for events in the area.
7. ICE! the award-winning icy attraction and Christmas celebrations at 4 Gaylord Resorts: National Harbor, Maryland; Kissimmee, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Grapevine, Texas.
During this season resorts guest will enjoy lights, Christmas trees, snow tubing, character meals, and more.
8. Set sail for the holidays on Disney Cruiseline’s Very MerryTime Cruises. Disney cruises are always fun, even more so with these holiday enhancements onboard:
Other holiday enhancements include:
- Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party, a celebration in addition to Pirate Night, with candy-cane limbo, dancing and games
- Tree Lighting Ceremony, where kids can help light the tree and kick off the holiday festivities
- Santa Claus meet-and-greet, an exciting opportunity to take family pictures and see Santa and his elves
- Meet-and-Greets with some favorite Disney Characters, dressed in their holiday attire
- Teen-only and tween-only holiday parties—private celebrations where teens and tweens can hang out with new friends
- Holiday storytelling, with new and old tales about holidays at sea and around the world
- Themed activities and crafts for kids—decorate stockings, make holiday cards, go on a holiday scavenger hunt and more
- A life-sized gingerbread house made completely with edible ingredients—and the opportunity to make your own gingerbread house*
Plus, on December 24 and 25, enjoy additional holiday experiences:
- Cookies on Christmas Eve
- Special holiday towel animals
- Special holiday surprise
- Holiday caroling with the kids and crew
- Religious Services
9. Hop aboard the Polar Express for a fun filled evening ride to visit Santa and friends. For more info and to find a Polar Express near you click here!
10. Head over to the Big Apple! It’s the most wonderful time of the year to visit New York City. Ring in the Holidays at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! Enjoy the Tree at Rockefeller Center, events, and activities New York City has to offer this holiday season. For NYC events and activities click here!
|Anthony Quintano/Flickr Creative Commons
The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade heralds in the Christmas Holiday season. It’s one of the most famous holiday events in the world. Over three million people line the parade route to get a glimpse of celebrities, marching bands, floats, and the huge floating balloons—Snoopy, Spiderman, Big Bird, Hello Kitty, and friends. 50 million people are expected to watch it on TV as part of their annual Thanksgiving tradition.
This parade has been a part of my life forever. I watched is as a child perched high atop my father’s
shoulders. When we relocated to Hawaii we woke up early Thanksgiving morning to watch it on TV, when I had my own kids we did the same, and now the grand kids watch it every year. When my youngest child was in her high school’s marching band they marched in this parade. At that time Pearl City High School had a standing invitation to march in the parade every couple of years, they still may. This parade is definitely part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if we miss the parade, live or on TV.
For those of you who will be lucky enough to watch it live this year here are a few tips to help you out.
1. The fun doesn’t have to begin on Thanksgiving morning. A pre-Thanksgiving tradition on the Upper west side in watching the balloons get inflated. For many kids watching the balloons “come to life” is more fun than watching the parade itself.
This Thanksgiving eve event is on November 26, 2014 beginning at 3:00 p.m. It takes place
along the perimeter of the Museum of Natural History, on 77th and 81st streets between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.
2. The 88th. Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on November 27, 2014. It begins at 9:00 a.m.
The parade route starts by heading south down Central Park West from 77th Street, east along Central Park South to Sixth Avenue and then south along Sixth Avenue to West 34th Street. It ends in front of Macy’s in Herald Square.
3. Arrive early and bring folding chairs, they will make the wait more comfy. Crowds start gathering along the route as early as 6am. You’ll want to stake out your spot before 7am if you want the kids to be close enough to be able to see.
4. Check the weather and dress accordingly. From the time you stake out your spot until the last float passes by you could be standing out in cold weather for more than 5 hours. Make sure the kids are dressed warmly and have hats and mittens. Layering would be a good idea, you can peel them off if it gets warmer as the day wears on. Bring umbrellas if there is a chance of rain or snow.
5. Bring essentials such as snacks, camera, extra sweater, a lap blanket may come in handy. I’d take it easy on drinks, hot or cold, bathrooms may be difficult to get to.
6. Choose your spot wisely, a spot as far north as possible would be good. Once the parade starts it takes 90 minutes for the last float to pass by. If you’re near the beginning of the route you could be done before 11:00 a.m. If you choose a spot near the end near Macy’s Herald Square you will be waiting much longer and be fighting larger crowds.
There are public viewing spots along Central Park West, on the both sides of the street from 70th Street to Columbus Circle to 65th Street and continuing on the west side of the street down to Columbus Circle. You can try further south along Sixth Avenue between 58th Street and 34th Street
It would be a good idea to stake your spot near a coffee shop or department store, this is a definite must with young kids, you can nip into the shop for a bathroom break when needed.
7. Know your kids limits. There’s no harm in bailing out early if it gets too cold or the kids get cranky. Watching part of the parade is better than nothing, and better than bringing home sick or upset kids.
8. Treat yourselves to a Thanksgiving Feast, after standing out in the cold for hours you’ve definitely earned it. For NYC restaurants offering special Thanksgiving meals click here!
9. Enjoy the other sights and events this city has to offer. The Christmas Season is one of the most wonderful time of the year to visit the Big Apple. For a list of NYC Christmas events click here!
Is it me or does it seem that once we hit Halloween the rest of the year seems to become a blur of rapidly changing seasons and holidays? It seems that once the spooky fun and games of Halloween is over, it’s time to think about the next Fall holiday, Thanksgiving. Then it just rolls into Black Friday, Christmas, and continues on until the New Year. It’s one of the busiest times of year for me, I love it!
Every year on November 1 I toy with the idea of chucking tradition out the window and engage in some Thanksgiving Travel. No cooking, no baking, and no family dinner.
I actually go on line and research family friendly Thanksgiving travel destinations where I can enjoy a great Thanksgiving meal that I didn’t have to prepare. We actually packed the kids up a few years ago and took ourselves off to the Big Island of Hawaii to spend a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend at the Hilton Waikaloa Resort. It was great, we went horseback riding, snorkeling, and relaxed at the pool. Thanksgiving dinner was at the bountiful buffet in one of the hotel restaurants.
It was a memorable holiday, but it just wasn’t the same! I actually missed my yearly ritual of planning, cooking, baking, and serving this wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. My family complained as well, they wanted their home cooked turkey that they look forward to every year. We’ve never left home for Thanksgiving again.
I guess we all hold this holiday tradition close to our hearts. But never the less, it’s November again and I find myself looking for that get away. I probably won’t go, but it’s fun to look just the same. Here are some Thanksgiving Travel ideas I found this year. You might just want to start a new Thanksgiving tradition!
Once great tip on Thanksgiving travel, or any holiday travel for that matter, is to head to our great cities! Most folks overlook this idea thinking that big cities means big bucks for hotel rooms. But the holidays is a great time to visit one of our cities to take advantage of bargain priced hotel rooms. Most city folks leave the city during the holidays. You’ll be surprised to find that many high end hotels in the city center drop prices on holiday weekends just to fill hotel rooms.
So head to the Big Apple for the annual Macy’s Parade. Entertaining kids and adults since 1924 it just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without watching this parade.
After the parade you can shop til you drop, or just wander the city to admire department store windows, they put on a great show for the holiday season. Of course there are museums and parks to explore, lots of Broadway shows to choose from, and great restaurants for your dining pleasure.
Find great Thanksgiving travel deals here!
Our nation’s Capital Washington, D.C. is truly the place to soak up American history on this real American holiday.
Wander the Mall, explore the museums, and just enjoy the season in this great city.
Find hotel bargain on DC hotels here!
Big cities not your thing? No worries, here are some other Thanksgiving Travel ideas.
Spend the day with Pilgrims at the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass.
Located just 45 minutes south of Boston you will learn how the pilgrims lived in the 17th. Century, see the Mayflower II a replica of the original Mayflower. You can also have Thanksgiving dinner there! Check their website for seasonal events.
Enjoy the beautiful foliage of New England then stop by Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont for a wagon ride or to learn how Thanksgiving is observed in this 1890 Farmhouse.
There’s lots of seasonal events happening in Vermont. Click here for more events.
Board the Polar Express in Woonsocket, Rhode Island for a magical 90 minute train excursion inspired by the Christmas classic by Chris Van Allsburg.
It’s a great way to kick off your holiday season.
Disney World kicks off their Christmas parties in November.
The kids will love the holiday themed parades in all the parks. Thanksgiving dinner is served at many of the resort’s restaurants.
|Image by Carmina Ahmed
Halloween is around the corner and just about everyone is thinking ghost, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Admit it or not most of us have thought about supernatural and paranormal things. Many of us jump at the sound of creaking floors when we’re alone late at night, I know I do!
Whether you’re a true believer or a skeptic we all want to be just a bit “spooked” during the Halloween season. We visit haunted houses, watch scary movies, dress up as our favorite ghoul, and in the back of our minds wonder if there really are haunted places. So why not go on a ghost tour this year?
My family and I did the Birdcage Theater Ghost Tour in Tombstone, Arizona the other year. I can’t tell you that we actually saw any ghosts nor can I say that the experience made me a true believer; but I can say we had a great time and learned some of the local history as well.
It seems that there are ghost tours in just about all the states. Here are some that have been touted as the “Best Ghost Tours in American” by Haunted America Tours and America’s Best Online. Maybe there’s a tour by you, if not I’m sure you’ll find a tour in your area by doing a internet search.
Ghost Tours of St. Augustine in Florida offers several types of ghost tours.
Their award winning “Ghostly Experience” with a guide is a nightly 75 minute tour. To book your tickets on line click here!
Chicago Hauntings’ guides have been featured on many TV shows including those on the History and Discovery Channels.
They offer several different tours including private ones.
To reserve your tour click here! [spacer height=”-20px”]
“On this haunted ghost hunt, you will be given ghost hunting equipment…..you’ll get to participate in an interactive paranormal investigation.” Haunted Vegas Ghost Tour and Hunt
Enough said, for tickets click here!
Haunted Heartland Tours operates in 4 states: Ohio, W. Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
They were voted one of the top 10 ghost tours in the US.
Click here for more info![spacer height=”-20px”]
Appalachian Ghost Walks offer walking ghost tours in Tennessee.
They also offer Bigfoot Tours.
To book a tour click here![spacer height=”-20px”]
Go on this walking tour and learn about San Francisco’s macabre history and the ghosts and hauntings in Haight-Ashbury.
For reservations click here![spacer height=”-20px”]
Voted #1 in the Top Ten Ghost Tours of America, Haunted America Tours is a “haunted ghost tour like no other”.
They offer several tours on Galveston Island, some of which are led by Dash Beardsly the company founder dubbed as “the ghost man of Galveston”.. He’s the local expert and has been featured in various magazines and TV shows. For more info and booking click here![spacer height=”-20px”]
French Quarter Phantoms in New Orleans offers several tours of one of the most haunted cities in the US. Buy tickets here!
Ghost Tour of Philadelphia offers several tours including a Haunted Trolley tour.
For info and tickets click here!
A nightly walking tour in Key West that ends in the only “haunted Hard Rock Cafe in the world!
Click here for info and tickets![spacer height=”-20px”]
Featured on the History Channel the Charleston Ghost Tour is a Walking Tour in South Carolina.
Licensed tour guides recount tales of area hauntings.
Click here to book![spacer height=”-20px”]
This ghost tour in Alton, Illinois has public and private walking and bus tours.
Most tours are 3 hours long and lets you experience the real haunted side of Alton.
Click here to reserve![spacer height=”-20px”]
A list of ghost tours in the US wouldn’t be complete without a tour in Salem. Nothing screams Halloween more than the town of Salem, Massachusetts, home of the infamous witch trials in 1692 – 1693.
Halloween doesn’t come once a year to this town, it’s year round! There are many museums and tours dedicated to Salem’s “spooky” history. Our family visited this town many years ago, it’s a lot of fun!
Featured on the History Channel Salem Night Tour
leaves on a nightly tour of Salem’s famous places.
England’s Tower of London is said to be one of the most famous haunted places in the world; not surprising given it’s bloody history. The Tower counts among it’s prisoners Anne Boleyn, Henry the VIII’s second wife, and Lady Jane Grey who was Queen of England for just over a week.
Both ladies were subsequently executed on the Tower’s grounds.
England boasts many more haunted places from castles and churches to parks and cemeteries. But haunted places aren’t limited to England, or for that matter Europe. Just about every continent, country, city, and town has at least a ghost story or two which is inevitably linked to a specific location. America is no different, from coast to coast and from north to south our country has hundreds if not thousands of reportedly haunted places. Some, like the Queen Mary in California, are world famous, others local legends famous only to the town’s inhabitants and serious ghost hunters.
In the fall, specially closer to Halloween, many of us like to experience a little thrill and go on a ghost tour or drive by places that look spooky. There’s definitely no lack of haunted places in each state. Here’s a list of haunted places, one from each state, some famous, others not so. Perhaps one or two of them will be close enough for you to visit this year.
Sweetwater Mansion in Florence, Alabama
Alabama – Sweetwater Mansion
Year Built: 1828 – 35 (estimate)
Address: 842 Sweetwater Avenue, Florence, AL 35630
The Sweetwater Mansion in Florence, Alabama has seen plenty of history. Construction began in 1828, it was here that Union and Confederate officers stayed during their respective occupation of the city during the Civil War. It is said that many of its former residents reside here still. Children’s laughter is said to be heard and items that mysteriously move.
Golden North Hotel Skagway, Alaska Creative Commons license by Noel Zia Lee
Alaska – Golden North Hotel
Year Built: 1898
Address: 3rd. & Broadway Skagway, Alaska
Filled with hopes for a bright future Mary came to Alaska as the fiancee of prospector Klondike Ike. Mary locked herself in the couple’s hotel room to await her beloved who went off in search of gold, he never returned.
When concerned hotelkeepers finally gained entrance to her room they found her dead, dressed in the wedding gown she was to wear on her wedding day.
Today guests have been spooked by a pale ghostly figure looking out the window still awaiting her lover’s return or by a figure standing over their bed checking to see who’s in it.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Arizona – Jerome Grand Hotel
Year Built: 1926
Address: 200 Hill St, Jerome, AZ 86331
There is no shortage of haunted places in the state of Arizona, but one of the most famous is the town of Jerome, a quaint community in northern Arizona. All sorts of specters are said to haunt many of the town’s historic buildings.
The most haunted is thought to be the vintage Jerome Grand Hotel. It opened as the United Verde Hospital in 1927. Miners from the nearby copper mine were treated here for serious injuries many of which proved fatal; insane people were also treated here for their mental illness. The hospital closed in 1950 and re-opened as the hotel in the late 1990s.
Today ghost enthusiaists, including my cousin and his family, book rooms here hoping to catch a phantom nurse or hear a scream or two during their stay. My cousin and his family have stayed here twice and have never had a paranormal experience, but the town has many nice shops and restaurants making it a nice place to spend the weekend.
I can’t talk about Arizona ghost towns without mentioning the town of Tombstone. During my last visit the lady at the fudge shop told me the whole town is filled with spirits. She claimed their their presence could be felt as you wander the town’s streets and buildings. I’m not sure about the streets, but whenever we’re in town we usually stop for drinks at the Crystal Palace Saloon, and I hate going to the restrooms located in the back of the building. Walking down the hallway to the restrooms always gives me the creeps and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Haunted or imagination? I’m never quite sure. We did the Bird Cage Theater ghost tour, it was fun, but we didn’t really have a ghostly experience. But here’s a YouTube video called Haunted Birdcage Theatre Ghosts caught on film !!! and the theater was featured on the TV show about haunted places.
Arkansas – Hwy 365
Driving along Arkansas 365 in Woodson, just south of Little Rock can turn into a paranormal experience.
Motorists driving this road on dark rainy nights have claimed to have encountered a young girl on the roadside. They give her a lift, she tells them where she must go, but when they get to the destination the girl has vanished.
I think just about every town has a similar story, here in Hawaii it’s said that Madame Pele, the volcano goddess, has been seen asking for rides along many of our roads.
California – Disneyland
Year Built: 1955
Address: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802
California has many haunted places including Alcatraz in San Francisco and the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, but I would never had thought of Disneyland as a haunted place.
It is said that the “Happiest Place on Earth” is truly haunted. The Space Mountain Ride and the women’s employee locker room is said to be haunted by a man who died on the ride in the 1970s and The Christmas Shop on Main Street, Tom Sawyer’s Island, and Tomorrowland all house a spook or two.
Colorado – Stanley Hotel
Year Built: 1909
Address: 333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517
Get Google Map Directons
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is hands down the most famous haunted hotel in the Rockies. This sprawling luxury hotel that opened in 1909 is a favorite with dignitaries and ghost hunters.
This hotel inspired author Stephen King to write his bestselling book “The Shining”. Today there are many stories of paranormal activity, particularly in room 217.
Courtesy of damnedct.comYear Built: 1700s
Connecticut – Union Cemetery
Address: Easton, CT 06612
Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut is said to be the most haunted spot in the state and possibly the most haunted cemetery in the country.
The famed “White Lady” is said to wander this 400 year old cemetery.
Courtesy of Haunted Houses.com
Delaware – Fort Delaware
Year Built: 1848
Address: Delaware City, DE 19706
Fort Delaware sits on Pea Patch Island just off Delaware City. Built in 1848 and decommissioned in 1943 this fort was never attacked. It did house has many as 16,000 prisoners at one time.
Reached only by ferry today Fort Delaware is part of the Delaware Park System. No one lives there anymore, just the ghosts of past inhabitants.
The park services offers ghost hunting tours on the island. Click here for more info!
Florida – Round Cypress Head
This particular bend of the St. John’s River in Seminole County, Florida with a cluster of cypress trees, is known as Round Cypress Head. Many have said they have witnessed paranormal activities in this dark dank area of cypress woods. It is said that the woods is home to demons and/or witches. Folks are warned to not venture there for fear of being eaten by these monsters. Locals claim that fishermen have gone missing in this river and many claim the woods are most definitely haunted.
Georgia – Madison Square
Year Built: 1837
Address: 332 Bull St. Savannah, Georgia 31401
The quaint southern city of Savannah is arguably the most haunted city in Georgia.
Known for its southern charm and hospitality along with its antebellum architecture many of it’s historic buildings and spaces are said to host a specter or two.
Madison Square was the site of a Revolutionary Battle and British soldiers were buried there. Shadowy figures are said to be lingering in the park.
Hilton Hawaiian Village
Hawaii – Hilton Hawaiian Village
Year Built: 1957
Address: 2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
Steeped in legends and lore from ancient Hawaiian days to missionary days and beyond the 50th. State has its own host of haunted places. Night Marchers are said to walk the land at night and Madame Pele the volcano goddess can be frightening or almost playful.
The islands are filled with many haunted places including schools, bridges, libraries, drive-in movie lots, and hotels.
The luxurious Hilton Hawaiian Village is said to be one such place. Folks have reportedly seen the Lady in Red wandering the halls or even the beach. It’s said she could have been a guest who tragically died at the hotel or Madame Pele herself.
Idaho – Idaho State Penitentiary
Year Built: 1870
Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712
The Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise is supposedly the most haunted prison in the state.
Constructed in 1870 and added to over the years this prison has seen more than its fair share of violence. It is said the hauntings began soon after the riots that started to erupt within the prison walls in 1935.
Illinois – Nelly Dunton Home
Year Built: 1843
Address: 401 E. Lincoln St., Belvidere, Illinois
Get Google Maps Directions
The Nellie Dunton Home in Belvidere, Illinois is said to be haunted by this broken hearted woman who lived here before the Civil War. Folks claim to see her in the house and around the neighborhood.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Indiana – French Lick Springs Hotel
Year Built: 1845
Address: 8670 IN-56, French Lick, IN 47432
French Lick Springs Hotel is a historic resort in the town of French Lick, Indiana. Among the paranormal activities here it is said that its former owner lingers in the service elevator.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Iowa State University
Iowa – ISU
Address: Ames, IA 50011
Originally known as Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts when it was founded in 1858, Iowa State University (it was renamed in 1959) is known for its agriculture, engineering, and science programs.
It is also home to the ghost of Frederika Shattuck who was said to haunt the theater named after her for her contributions to the theater department. Shattuck Theater was torn down hence this other worldly being has moved to the Fisher Theater on campus.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Kansas – Hutchinson Public Library
Address: 901 N Main St, Hutchinson, KS 67501
The Hutchinson Public Library in Hutchinson, Kansas is said to be haunted by its former librarian named Ida Day. Locals say she wanders the building sometimes sorting or looking thru books
[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Kentucky – Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Year Built: 1910
Address: 4400 Paralee Ln, Louisville, KY 40272
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky opened in 1910 to house victims of the Tuberculosis Epidemic. Over 63,000 people including patients, doctors, and nurses died there. The death toll in this building is comparable to a battle field, it’s no wonder it is said to be haunted.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Louisiana – Hwy 154
Address: Hwy 154, Gibsland, LA
Directions: (Courtesy of Roadside America)
From Gibsland, drive south 2.5 miles on Hwy 154. Turn right to stay on Hwy 154 (If you go straight you’ll be on Hwy 517. If you pass the Springfield Baptist Church you’ve driven too far). Follow Hwy 154 another 5.5 miles. You’ll see the monument on the right.
From haunted bayous to voodoo queens, Louisiana is host to many ghosts, and goblins, and other things that go bump in the night. The historic city of New Orleans is home to the blues and filled with many quaint shops and restaurants, it’s also steeped in mystery. Walking down the streets of the French Quarter on a foggy night can be very creepy. I know we were creeped out one dark and foggy February night as we walked down Decatur Street. You get kind of an eerie feeling and if you’re not careful your imagination might kick into high gear!
But did you know that it was in this state where the infamous duo Bonnie and Clyde met their end? This lone stone in Gibsland, Louisiana marks the ambush site. Legend has it that on nights when the moon is full you can still hear the gunfire.
Ellis Pond East Andover, Maine
Courtesy of Viktor Posnov / Flickr
Maine – Ellis Pond
Address: 2 Medawisla Way, Roxbury, ME 04275, USA
Ellis Pond, also known as Roxbury Pond in serene East Andover, Maine is said to be haunted. Visitors walking along the shores have reported hearing or feeling a presence even when they are alone.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Antietam Battlefield in Maryland
Courtesy of Mindie Burgoyne
Maryland – Antietam National Battlefield
Address: 302 E Main St, Sharpsburg, MD 21782
There are hundreds of haunted places in the small state of Maryland, but the Antietam Battlefield is possibly the most haunted. Over 23,000 souls lost their lives here making it the site of America’s bloodiest single day battle. It’s no wonder those poor souls still wander the field and battle sounds can reportedly still be heard.
Today it’s a National Battlefield and is part of the US National Park System.
Massachusetts – Lizzie Borden House
Year Built: 1845
Site of one of the most infamous double ax murders in American History, the Lizzie Borden House in Falls River, Massachusetts is now a Bed and Breakfast.
I would be surprised if it wasn’t haunted. It is reported that guests have seen apparitions in the house.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Michigan – Landmark Inn
Year Built: 1930
Address: 230 N Front St, Marquette, MI 49855
Get Google Maps Directions
Famed pilot Amelia Earhart was a guest at The Landmark Inn, located in Marquette, Michigan before she mysteriously disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
They say that she sometimes shows up in room 502.
Minnesota – Forepaugh’s Restaurant
Year Built: 1870
Address: 276 Exchange St S, St Paul, MN 55102
Staff and diners claim this St. Paul, Minnesota restaurant is haunted by the building’s former owner and his mistress who committed suicide here in 1892.
Back then it was the home to Joseph Forepaugh, today it is Forepaugh’s Restaurant.
Stuckey’s Bridge Enterprise, Mississippi
Mississippi – Stuckey’s Bridge
Year Built: 1901
Address: Stuckey Bridge Rd, Chunky, MS
I-20 exit 121 south. Turn left onto Hwy 80, drive east two miles, then turn right onto Point Winata Lake Rd. Drive seven miles and turn left onto Stuckey Bridge Rd. The road will turn to gravel and will dead-end at the bridge.
Stucky’s Bridge in Enterprise, Mississippi is said to be haunted by the inn-keeper named Stucky. He supposedly robbed and murdered guests who stayed at his inn. He was caught and hanged on this bridge.
Truman House Independence, Missouri
Missouri – Truman House
Year Built: 1867
Address: 223 N Main St, Independence, MO 64050
This 14 room Victorian mansion in Independence, Missouri is now a museum. It was the home of President Truman, and of course it is said to be haunted by the President himself. Today it’s a National Historic Park and is part of the US National Park System.
Little Bighorn Battlefield Crow Agency, Montana
Montana – Little Bighorn
Address: Interstate 90 Frontage Rd, Crow Agency, MT 59022
The scene of the historic battle known commonly as Custer’s Last Stand the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana is home to many spirits. Apparitions and Native American war cries have been reported here. Today it is a National Monument and is part of the US National Park System.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Brother Sebastian’s Steak House & Winery
Nebraska – Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse
Year Built: 1977
Address: 1350 S 119th St, Omaha, NE 68144
Brother Sebastian’s, a restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska is said to be haunted by Bill Walden, a regular patron who passed away but still frequents the joint.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Flamingo Hotel Las Vegas, NevadaYear Built: 1945
Nevada – Flamingo Hotel
Address: 3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Billy Wilkerson, owner of the Hollywood Reporter and several night clubs in Los Angeles started building the original Flamingo Hotel in 1945. Due to high costs Mr. Wilkerson soon ran into financial trouble. He was “persuaded” to take on partners by none other than the famed mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. The hotel was given the nickname of Bugsy’s girlfriend Virginia Hill who the story claims he called Flamingo due to her dyed red hair. He built himself a fortified apartment in the hotel but was gunned down on a trip to Los Angeles.
The hotel is supposedly haunted by none other than Bugsy himself. He reportedly haunts the Bugsy or Presidential Suite which is rumored to have the gold bathroom fixtures he had in his apartment at the original hotel. He has also been seen in the gardens by his memorial and at the wedding chapel where his apartment was supposedly located.
We’ve stayed at the Flamingo Hotel many times, back in the late 1990’s, before the Bellagio opened. We’ve never stayed in the Presidential Suite so I can’t say if it’s haunted or not. But recently we stopped by with our grandsons and walked around the gardens, we didn’t see any ghosts.
Huntress Hall Keene, New Hampshire
New Hampshire – Huntress Hall
Year Built: 1926
Watch YouTube Video: Haunted Places In New Hampshire
Address: Appian Way, Keene, NH 03431
Built in 1926 at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire this college dorm called Huntress Hall is said to be haunted by its namesake Harriet Hunter.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Hindenburg Crash Site Lakehurst, New Jersey
New Jersey – Hindenburg Crash Site
Address: 2650 Hwy 547, Lakehurst, NJ
Directions: (Courtesy of Roadside America)
To tour the crash site you need to call the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society at least two weeks in advance to register and be approved (U.S. citizens only): 732-818-7520. At the Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station. Garden State Parkway exit 81A (Lakehurst/Toms River) to Hwy 37 West. At the traffic circle, follow the signs to US Hwy 70 W., then turn right onto Hwy 547 (McDonalds on left). The entrance to the base will be on the left.
One fateful evening, May 6, 1937, the airship Hindenburg caught fire and crashed killing 36 people. Today it is said that screams can still be heard at the crash site in Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Chaco Canyon New Mexico
New Mexico – Chaco Canyon
Chaco Canyon National Historic Park in New Mexico is an eerie place. It’s haunting beauty and great stone work is a testament to past ages. Folks claim to have the eerie feeling of being followed while visiting this park.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
The Dakota New York City
New York – The Dakota
Year Built: 1884
Address: 1 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023
Built in 1884 the Dakota is one of the most sought out residences in New York City. This landmark building built in gothic style architecture was where the horror movie “Rosemarie’s Baby” was filmed. But it’s most known as the building where former Beatle John Lennon lived and was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.
It is said that the famous musician sometimes appears to the building’s residents, although he is not this building’s most famous ghost. That honor belongs to the two children dressed in late 19th. century style who have been seen since the 1960’s. It’s not sure who the children are, but it is assumed that they were once residents of the building, more likely around the time it was constructed.
Carolina Inn Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Courtesy of Haunted Places.org
North Carolina – Carolina Inn
Year Built: 1924
Address: 211 Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Built in 1924 Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina is said to be haunted by no fewer than 20 ghosts. The most famous one is that of Dr. William Jacocks. He lived in room 256. He pulls pranks and locks guests out of his former room, even after it was renovated in 1990. The room was partitioned to become part of 4 other rooms and electronic locks were installed to prevent such pranks. No go, he still manages to jam the new locks.
North Dakota – Apple Creek Country Club
Year Built: 1948
Address: 8921 County Rd 10, Bismarck, ND 58501
Apple Creek Country Club in Bismarck, North Dakota is reportedly haunted by a former chef.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Big Four Train Depot Galion, Ohio
Ohio – Big Four Train Depot
Year Built: 1900
Address: Crawford County, Ohio
The Big Four Train Depot in Galion, Ohio is said to be the most haunted building in town. It’s seen its share of tragedies and historic events of the town. Folks claim that at times the building shakes as if a train is passing by.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City
Oklahoma – Skirvin Hilton
Year Built: 1911
Address: 1 Park Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Guests at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City, Okalhoma claim to hear infant cries and female voices during their stay. It is thought it’s the ghost of a former maid who killed herself and her illegitimate child by jumping out of one of the windows of the hotel.
Oregon – Bagdad Theatre
Year Built: 1927
Address: 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214
Built by Universal Studios in 1927 the Bagdad Theater in Portland, Oregon housed both vaudeville type shows and moving pictures, today it’s a cinema and pub, it also is home to 2 haunts.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
George Washington Headquarters Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania – George Washington Headquarters
Year Built: 1700’s
Address: 1400 North Outer Line Drive King of Prussia, PA 19406
Straight out of history books is Valley Forge.
Every American knows or should know about the hardships the Continental army suffered here during the Revolution.
Today it’s a National Historical Park in Pennsylvania. Visitors claim to have seen men dressed in period army dress.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Belcourt Castle Newport, Rhode Island
Rhodes Island – Belcourt Castle
Year Built: Early 1890s
Address: 657 Bellevue Ave Newport, RI
Though Belcourt Castle in Newport, Rhode Island is not really haunted, some of the furnishings and decor is reportedly so. The objects here have a haunted history including chairs and a suit of armor.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Hotel Aiken Aiken, South Carolina
South Carolina – Hotel Aiken
Year Built: 1878
Address: 235 Richland Ave W, Aiken, SC 29801
Holley House or the Hotel Aiken in Aiken, South Carolina was built in 1878. It is reportedly haunted specially on the second floor.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
1880 Train Hill City, South Dakota
South Dakota – 1880 Train
Address: 222 Railroad Ave, Hill City, SD 57745
The 1880 Train in Hill City, South Dakota was the first locomotive steam engine brought to the area. Today the Highliner Eatery is located within the train. Employees report seeing a spectral in a brown suit.
Ryman Auditorium Nashville, Tennessee
Tennessee – Ryman Auditorium
Year Built: 1892
Address: 116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennesee is more famously known as the Grand Ole Opry House because it was the site for the show, was built in 1892. It is reportedly haunted by none other than Hank Williams, Sr. whose voice has been heard within singing his songs.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
The Alamo San Antonio, Texas
Texas – The Alamo
Year Built: c. 1744
Address: 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205
I’m sure just about everyone’s heard of the Alamo located in San Antonio, Texas.
Many American folk heroes including James Bowie and Davy Crockett died here defending the Alamo against the forces of General Santa Ana during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. During that battle over 2000 lives were lost. It’s not a stretch to hear reports of restless spirits wandering here.
Mountain Meadows Massacre Site
Utah – Mountain Meadows Massacre Site
Address: about 35 miles southwest of Cedar City, Utah
Reports claim that the Mormon Militia massacred a group of settlers at this site in Central, Utah in 1857. Today visitors to the Mountain Meadows Massacre Site report hearing screams in the wind.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Glastenbury Mountain Bennington County, Vermont
Vermont – Glastenbury Mountain
Legend has it that Glastenbury Mountain in Shaftsbury, Vermont is believed to be cursed by Native Americans, they used it as a burial ground. There have been several unsolved disappearances on the hiking trails. All the trails stop partway up the mountain as if forbidding hikers to continue.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Monticello Charlottesville, Virginia
Virginia – Monticello
Year Built: c. 1772
Address: 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902
The beloved home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, located outside of Charlottesville, Virginia is said to be haunted by the famous former owner himself.
Thornewood Castle Inn Lakewood, Washington
Washington – Thornewood Castle Inn
Year Built: Over 500 years ago
Address: 8601 N Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood, WA 98498
This inn located in Tacoma, Washington is where Stephen King’s movie “Red Rose” was shot. It’s called the Thornewood Castle Inn and guests and staff have reported seeing strange apparitions and lights.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Harper’s Ferry West Virginia
West Virginia – Harper’s Ferry
Address: 171 Shoreline Dr, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia is on the site known for its battles during the Civil War. Many apparitions including a marching army have been reported here.
Maribel Hotel Maribel, Wisconsin
Wisconsin – Maribel Hotel
Year Built: 1800s
Address: Maribel, WI 54227
Built in the 1800s and rumored to have been owned by Al Capone the Maribel Hotel in Maribel, Wisconsin burned down in the 1920s. It’s rumored that it’s haunted.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Bighorn Medicine Wheel
Wyoming – Bighorn Medicine Wheel
Address: Big Horn National Forest, Wyoming
Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Big Horn, Wyoming is said to be at least 12,000 years old. It’s not known who built it. Legend has it that if you fast within the circle for 4 days ancient spirits will come to you.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Ford Theater Washington DC
Washington DC – Ford Theater
Year Built: c. 1863
Address: 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Although it’s not a state this post wouldn’t be complete without a haunted place in Washington D.C.
Our Nation’s Capital is not lacking for haunted places, many of them famous, or more appropriately infamous.
At the top of the list would be Ford’s Theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. It is said his footsteps can still be heard echoing up the back stairs to the President’s Box.
I’ve taken you thru the states from A-W and the District of Columbia. Each state has many more haunted places, let me know if you’ve visited any of them!
For a list of scary places around the world check out this post by Michele Smarty. It’s awesome!
Ready to plan your haunted holiday? Let Savvy Nana Travel help you out! We specialize in custom itineraries for couples, families, and groups. If you can dream it, we can plan it!
My cousin recently told me that the only thing his 7 year old daughter wanted for her birthday was to stay at a haunted hotel. Ever the indulgent father and avid fan of the paranormal, he and his wife packed up and took their only child for a stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel.
Reportedly a haunted hotel in Jerome, Arizona, a historic artist community that really plays up the “haunted town” theme as reflected in area businesses such as The Haunted Hamburger, Asylum Restaurant, and the Spirit Room Bar.
They didn’t have a ghostly experience but had a great time exploring the town, browsing the art galleries, and dining at the various restaurants.
There are many “haunted” hotels across the country. Here’s a list of the top haunted hotels in America according to the Travel Channel and Haunted America Tours. Are you brave enough to book a stay at one of them this Halloween? Let Savvy Nana Travel help you book your spooky vacation this year!
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was built in 1926 and is located on Hollywood Boulevard.
Over the years many Hollywood greats stayed there. Its Blossom Ballroom was the venue for the first Academy Awards Ceremony and many movies and TV shows were filmed in various areas of the hotel.
And Marilyn Monroe is said to haunt this famous Hollywood hotel.
Located in Estes Park, Colorado’s Stanley Hotel inspired Stephen King to write his novel “The Shinning”. The hotel offers a 5 hour ghost hunt as one of their activities.
New York’s Hotel Chelsea is rumored to have many famous ghosts, including that of Dylan Thomas who fell into a fatal coma there in 1953.
Unfortunately it’s currently closed for renovation. The new owners hope to open in 2018.
Old West spirits are said to hang out at Santa Fe’s La Fonda Hotel.
Guests staying in room 6, Emily’s Room, of the Logan Inn in New Hope, Pennsylvania reported hear the soft crying and smell the lavender scent of Emily, the former owner of the building.
Mary Todd Lincoln is said to haunt Vermont’s
Docked in Long Beach, California the Queen Mary is touted as the “haunted ship”. They have various ghost hunting tours and also offer accommodations.
Guests report strange occurrences and sightings at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs. AR.
The Myrtles Plantation, located in the heart of Louisiana’s Voodoo land, is said to be one of America’s most haunted houses.
The most famous haunt is Chloe, a green turbaned former slave. She joins over a dozen more ghosts rumored to haunt this plantation.[spacer height=”-20px”]
A former Confederate hospital in New Orleans in now Hotel Provincial.
Guests have reported ghostly sightings and blood stains mysteriously appearing and disappearing on the linens in some rooms.
Located on Coronado Island in San Diego the Hotel del Coronado is a historic luxury hotel.
It said to be haunted by a lonely jilted lady, Kate Morgan, who checked in to the hotel in 1892. She was there to meet her estranged husband who never showed up. She was found dead on the beach from a gunshot wound.
Le Pavilion Hotel in New Orleans is said be the hotel with “real” ghosts.
Employees and guests have reported many strange happenings, voices, and sightings.
Room 703 in The Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon, is said to be a hotspot for paranormal activity.
Paranormal investigators, guests, and staff report many strange happenings in a particular room on the second floor.
The Sagamore Hotel in Bolton Landing, NY is very haunted.
Golfers report that a ghost steals their golf balls and flings it at them.
Rumor has it that it’s owner Walter Schoreder was murdered in the Ramada Plaza Hotel. He is said to haunt this Fond du Lac, Wisconsin hotel.
Still looking for more haunted hotels? Listverse.com has a list of the top 10 Haunted Hotels in the world. Or check out The Telegraph’s list of 30 of the most haunted hotels.
Ready to book your Spooky Vacation yet? Let Savvy Nana Travel help you plan your dream vacation. We specialize in custom itineraries for everyone! And we love, love, love Halloween!
For more Halloween fun check out Savvy Nana’s Corner or follow my You’ve Been Booed board on Pinterest.