Haunted destinations to visit (year-round!) 

Halloween festivities look a bit different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Communities continue to debate the risks associated with the trick-or-treat tradition, and similarly, spooky events have seemed to stall across the country. Movie nights to enjoy classic thrillers are encouraged, alongside socially distanced trends such as ghost photo shoots. Even though the Halloween spirit has dwindled, there are still many places to visit year-round that just may offer the scare you are looking for.  

Here are several states to consider visiting at any time of year, with chilling pasts and frightful activities: 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 

Gettysburg is a landscape rich with natural charm and echoes the past time of the American Civil War. In 1863, Confederate and Union forces fought on the grounds of Gettysburg National Military Park – leaving some 50,000 dead or wounded. The cries and whispers of those lost are said to reside throughout the area. The Battle of Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address.” The area is now a magnet for ghost hunters and history buffs ready to experience a phantom encounter at any moment. Gettysburg Ghost Tours hosts a variety of events during the Halloween season, along with weekly activities throughout the entire year.  

Below are a few samples of their offerings now until the end of 2020 and beyond. 

  • Black Cat Tour– Takes guests along Gettysburg’s quiet dark alleys by candlelight to locations which were active battlefields and homes of makeshift shallow graves.  
  • Locations: Haunted Creek Bed, the Rupp House Museum, and the Dobbin House 
  • Cost: Adults – $10, Children – $5 
  • Availability: EVERY NIGHT – Now through December 31, 2020 / Every Friday in 2021 
  • Museum of Haunted Objects  Guided Tour60 minutes, starting at $10 (Now through 2021) 
  • Intense Ghost Hunt – 120 minutes, starting at $40 (Now through January 2021) 

Book your American Experiences trip to Gettysburg with Club Adventures and your AAA Travel advisor! 

New Orleans, Louisiana 

Besides its famed history of Mardi Gras celebrations and delectable beignets, New Orleans’ contains its fair share of eerie sights and spooky character. The famous French Quarter is compiled of haunted mansionsabove-ground cemeteries along with parts of the city, and unique culture of voodoo and jazz funeralsVisit St. Louis Cemetery to see the tomb of Marie Laveaua notorious voodoo figurehead whose spirit is said to loom and cast spells. Choose to dine at Muriel’s Jackson Square, where a table is set with bread and wine for their resident ghost. The property has a history of apparitions, and the workers are more than happy to entertain while divulging into the paranormal past of the restaurant. Check out AAA’s New Orleans travel guide or read last year’s publication of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans to explore on your next trip. Book your Spotlight on New Orleans trip with AAA Member Choice Vacations and your AAA Travel advisor! 

 Upstate New York 

If in the mood for a road trip sometime soon, exploring the Haunted History Trail of New York State may just be the escape you are looking for. No matter what time of year you choose to travel, upstate New York is full of unrested spirits from the last 400 years. Start in Long Island and head north into the Hudson Valley, through the Catskills and up to the Capital-Saratoga region to encounter the haunted sights of the Empire State. For the past several years, the increased interest in this eccentric experience, has been detailed in a widely popular brochure. This resource outlines over 90 allegedly haunted locations across the region, including: hotels, restaurants, museumshaunted houses, and other stops that appeal to Halloween fanatics.  

Even if you may not be ready to seek out these spooky destinations yourself, there is a collection of horror films, based in New York, that offer a similar personable experience. Here are some notable scream-worthy classics to consider watching with a bowl of popcorn: 

  • “Sisters” (1973) 
  • “The Exorcist” (1973)   
  • “The Amityville Horror” (1979) 
  • “Sleepaway Camp” (1983) 
  • “Ghost Busters” (1984)
  • “Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
  • “Sinister” (2012)
  • “A Quiet Place” (2018) 

Looking for a travel package to pair with your road trip in Upstate New York? Check out the American Experiences trip to the Finger Lakes with Club Adventures, and book with your AAA Travel advisor.