The 10 Most Popular Haunted Tourist Destinations in the U.S.

Take a ghost tour this spooky season, or explore on your own — if you dare.

Spooky season is officially upon us, and fans of all things scary are ready to get their thrills. While haunted houses full of actors can be fun, those looking for the real deal might be surprised to find that some of the most popular tourist attractions in the U.S. are actually haunted year-round.

View of the historic Staley Hotel in the Rocky Mountains of Estes Park
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Just in time for Halloween, Holidu, a search engine for vacation rentals, set out to find the top, must-visit haunted destinations in the U.S. Using data from Google searches along with research about destinations with a history of ghostly activity, the company created a list of the top 10 most popular haunted tourist destinations in the U.S.

A picture of the Brookyn Bridge.
Getty Images

Coming in at No. 1 is New York City's Brooklyn Bridge. Though the bridge is a hotspot for Instagram photo shoots now, 20 workers died throughout the more than 13 years that it took to build the Brooklyn Bridge. Twelve civilians also passed away on this site during a stampede caused by rumors that the bridge was collapsing. There have been sightings of headless figures and shadowy figures, as well as reports of screams on the bridge. If you're brave enough, hop on one of the many ghost tours offered in Brooklyn and learn more about the spirits that allegedly roam the area.

The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas at sunset
Arturo Ortiz Jr./Getty Images

No. 2 on the list is a bit less surprising: the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. Site of one of the most gruesome battles in Texas history, nearly all Texan soldiers perished in this fight against Mexico. To this day, it's rumored that you can spot an apparition of a guard on the south side of the building's roof.

Rounding out the top three is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. This sprawling mansion has housed many famous guests, including Stephen King, who reportedly used the hotel as inspiration for his book "The Shining." Several paranormal shows have documented the ghostly activities at the Stanley Hotel, with rooms 401 and 217 supposedly being the most actively haunted.

Here's the full top 10 list:

  1. Brooklyn Bridge: New York, NY
  2. The Alamo: San Antonio, TX
  3. Stanley Hotel: Estes Park, CO
  4. Philadelphia Zoo: Philadelphia, PA
  5. Biltmore Hotel: Coral Gables, FL
  6. Robert the Doll: Key West, FL
  7. Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, CA
  8. Beverly Hills Hotel: Beverly Hills, CA
  9. Eastern State Penitentiary: Philadelphia, PA
  10. Chateau Marmont: Los Angeles, CA

If you're ready for a spook-filled vacation, Holidu offers accommodations near all of these haunted hotspots.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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