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7 Haunted Road Trip Ideas: Exploring Spooky Destinations with SGT Auto Transport
Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Here at SGT Auto Transport, Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year. Our office is buzzing with spooky excitement. Water cooler chats have turned into spirited debates about the best horror flicks and the most haunted places to visit.
All you Halloween aficionados out there need to get ready to hit the open road because today's blog post will make this autumn extra eerie.
If your world is filled with pumpkin spice lattes and costume planning, we’re going to help you take things up a notch. We’re here to serve up a deliciously frightful menu of haunted roadtrip destinations that’ll leave you thrilled, chilled, and yearning for the next spooky tale around the water cooler.
So, grab your cauldron-sized coffee mug, don your favorite witch’s hat, and rev up your broomstick.....I mean, car engine! It’s time to embark on a Halloween adventure like no other. Whether you’re a horror movie buff or just a curious spirit, these Halloween roadtrip ideas will have you saying, “Witch way to the open road?”
1. Salem to Boston
No list of spooky road trips would be complete without some kind of mention of Salem, Massachusetts. Our number one roadtrip 2023 starts right there.
The town of Salem was immortalized by the witchcraft hysteria in 1962 and you can start your spooky road trip to the Salem Witch Museum. Inside you’ll learn about the infamous events that took place in the town. There’s also the Witch Trials Memorial where you can remember the twenty young victims of the trials.
From Salem, head north to Dogtown in Gloucester. This town was abandoned in the 1800s, after which, the ghost town became a hotspot for vagabonds. It is rumored that the townsfolk practiced witchcraft. There are still odd words and phrases carved into boulders in the area that might suggest the rumors are true.
From Dogtown, head southwest to Fall River. There you’ll find the Lizzie Borden house. This is where the most gruesome axe murders in the US took place. Lizzie was accused of butchering her father and stepmother, but the case has never been solved.
Nearby is the Freetown-Fall River State Forest. Also known as the “Cursed Forest of Massachusetts”, legends tell of UFO sightings, human sacrifices, witchcraft, ghostly orbs, unexplained disappearances, and stories of a race of troll-like creatures who made the forest their home.
The final location in this spooky road trip is Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater. There have been numerous ghost sighting reports including patrons still sitting in their seats waiting for a show and stagehands backstage.
2. Philadelphia to Evans City
For this frightening road trip, you need to head for one of the country’s most infamous haunted destinations, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Criminals including Al Capone have called this prison home. However, time spent here would not have been a walk in the park.
It was known for its extreme approaches to solitary confinement and isolation, with many prisoners losing grip on their sanity. Visitors have reported the feeling of being pushed, shoved, and followed as they walk past the prison cells. This could be some angry spirits haunting the prison.
From Phili, head west to the Pennhurst Asylum in Spring City. This former hospital for the mentally disabled was nicknamed “The Shame of Pennsylvania” because it was the site of horrific abuse towards its patients.
Visitors have claimed visions of nurses and children and reported leaving with unexplained scratches and marks on their arms.
The next stop on this road trip is Stewartstown where you should head for Hex Hollow. This is where John Blymire murdered Nelson Rehmeyer. This local man believed Nelson was a witch who had placed a hex on him. After murdering Nelson, John and two accomplices set fire to his house. Surprisingly, the house survived and still stands today, although there are reports of there being a deeply sinister atmosphere around the house.
The next port of call is Gettysburg, the site of the notorious Battle of Gettysburg. The battle took place in 1863 and there were over 55,000 casualties. It is said that the spirits of Confederate and Union soldiers still haunt the battlefield.
You can end this trip at the Evens City Cemetery and the graveyard where “The Night of the Living Dead” was filmed. Why not recreate that epic opening scene yourself?
3. Asheville, North Carolina to Charleston, South Carolina
Both North and South Carolina are known for their beauty. However, you might not know that they are also steeped in haunted history.
This road trip starts at Asheville, North Carolina’s Omni Grove Park Inn. This is where a young woman wearing a pink ball gown fell to her death in the 1920s. Guests have reported seeing her in a pink ball gown, particularly when children are around. The friendly Pink Lady tries to hold their hands or tickle their toes.
South Carolina’s infamous Abbeville Opera House is your next stop. If you look up to the balcony, you’ll spot a chair that stands out from the rest of the modern refurbishments. The chair has been left there for the ghost of a young actress. She dies in the middle of a performance and is said to haunt the opera house.
The final city on your Halloween itinerary is Charleston, where there is no shortage of hauntings.
There’s the Old City Jail where criminals deemed too dangerous for society were housed in the 1800s. They are said to still wander the halls to this day. Poogans Porch is somewhere you can stop for lunch. Keep an eye out for unexplained events such as lights, water faucets, and radios randomly turning on as well as ghostly sightings.
You can end your trip at White Point Gardens. This is where numerous pirates were executed and buried in the marsh nearby. Visitors have reported seeing ghostly orbs, seeing apparitions of pirates waiting for their ships, and experiencing cold spots throughout the park.
4. San Antonio to El Paso
This trek across Texas starts at Woman Hollering Creek, just off Interstate 10. It is said that the ghost of a woman who drowned her children haunts the creek. If you spend some time walking around, you might hear her cries of anguish as she continues to look for them.
From there you can head to the haunted railroad track in San Antonio, at the intersection of Shane and Villamin. Ten children and a bus driver were killed at this spot in the 1930s when their school bus was hit by a speeding train. There was one survivor who wanted to end her life, so she drove to the train tracks. However, she felt her car being pushed off the tracks before the next train came. It is said that anyone who tries to park on or near the tracks will start to feel their vehicle being pushed away. This is the children making sure no one else meets the same fate as they did.
In the 1800s, some ghost lights were discovered. To experience these glowing orbs, you need to head down Route 67, in Marfa. Some say the lights are the remnants of UFOs or a sign of paranormal activity. While others say they are merely reflections of car headlights.
Drive to El Paso for the last stage of this scary road trip. According to a 16th-century tale, La Llorona was a grief-stricken Mexican woman who drowned herself and her children in the Rio Grande. People who have traveled the river have reported hearing a horrific wailing in the middle of the night, followed by an apparition of a woman with long dark hair wearing a white gown.
5. San Jose to Bodie State Historic Park
Your Northern Californian spooky road trip begins at San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House. It is one of the most infamous haunted houses in America. The widow of the Winchester rifle’s inventor constructed this house and it’s said that anyone killed by a Winchester rifle haunts this house to take revenge on the family.
Head further up north for a visit to another of America’s most notorious prisons, Alcatraz Island. The Rock, a former military fortress is surrounded by shark-infested waters. Inside the walls, there have been some dangerous criminals including Al Capone, Robert Stroud, and James “Whitney” Bulger. The prison has been a hotbed of paranormal activity of all kinds for many years. Employees report seeing floating lights, apparitions, and freezing cold temperatures in some cells.
Donner Pass Train Tunnels in Truckee is where a group of explorers en route to California found themselves stranded because of heavy snow. It is reported that they resorted to cannibalism for survival.
Your final stop is the Bodie State Historic Park, nestled in the Basin Range of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was once a bustling mining hub but was completely abandoned in 1915. This is when it became a ghost town. It is said that anyone who takes something from the town, even a small pebble, will be cursed with bad luck until the item is returned.
6. Cheyenne, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado
Number six in our list of spooky road trips stretches from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado. It starts at the Atlas Theater, a National Historic Landmark that’s earned itself a state-wide reputation for being a ghost hunter’s paradise. According to reports, several ghosts occupy the second floor and there have been sightings of floating orbs, moving objects, and voices when no one is around.
When you’re done looking for ghosts in the theater, head over to the St Mark’s Episcopal Church. The bell tower was the site of a particularly grisly murder cover-up. It involves two Swedish workers who were constructing the tower. They disappeared without a trace in the 1900s.
Later, the truth behind the disappearance became known. One of the workers had slipped and fallen to his death. The other workers, afraid that he might be deported, hid the remains in the wall of the tower and left the town. What’s spooky about the whole thing is that the church organ plays and the bells ring all by themselves, even to this day.
The next stop is The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Horror fans amongst you will be familiar with Stephen King’s “The Shining”. This is the hotel that was the inspiration for the book. The hotel has been the site of numerous reported paranormal activities since the 1970s. Guests have reported seeing ghosts in almost every room, closet doors opening and closing, and lights flickering on and off. There have also been reports of ghosts following guests to their beds.
The last stop is Denver where you can enjoy some downtime in Cheesman Park if you dare. It’s not generally known, but the park was built over a cemetery for unclaimed bodies. Visitors to the park have reported sudden overwhelming feelings of despair and sadness. Some have also claimed to see apparitions and shadows following them on their morning runs.
7. Los Angeles to Death Valley National Park
Our final road trip suggestion starts in Southern California in the City of Angels. Los Angeles may be best known for its glitz and glamor, but it also has a haunted past. Some of the city’s spooky spots include the following:
- Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This is where ghosts of Old Hollywood are said to hang out
- Rosenheim Mansion: Best known as the “Murder House” from “American Horror Story”
- Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge: The site of countless suicides
- The Hollywood Sign: In 1932, aspiring actress Peg Entwistle jumped off the H to her death and is reported to be still haunting the sign’s surroundings to this day
From Los Angeles, head to Bakersfield where you’ll find The Padre Hotel. In the 1950s, a fire killed several children and they’ve been spotted running around the hotel to this day. In the hotel’s cafe, you might want to check out the child-size handprint on the wall. It’s been painted over several times but keeps appearing.
Make the Amargosa Opera House the last stop on your trip. It’s located on the eastern outskirts of Death Valley National Park. Several unexplained phenomena have been reported here including the sound of babies crying, strange smells, and a ghost cat that interrupts theater performances.
There is also a hotel on this site, parts of which used to be a morgue for miners during the Gold Rush. Its nickname is “Spooky Hollow” and visitors have reported a deeply eerie atmosphere and glowing orbs.
As you prepare to venture into the unknown and embrace the supernatural, remember that these haunted road trip ideas are more than just spine-chilling thrills. They're a reminder of the magic that surrounds us, even in the darkest corners of the world.
So, gather your fellow Halloween enthusiasts, load up your car with tricks and treats, and let the tales of the restless spirits guide you on a Halloween adventure you'll cherish for years to come. Happy haunting!