Estes Park, Colorado Ranked as the 2nd Spookiest Place in the US

Stanley Hotel (Unsplash, 2022)

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New research, reveals the top 10 spookiest places across the country, just in time for Halloween

New research by iVisa ranks the spookiest places across the country, revealing that Estes Park, Colorado is the 2nd ‘scariest’ due to The Stanley Hotel which is thought to have inspired the infamous novel by Stephen King, The Shining.

Philadelphia is the ‘scariest’ city, due to the infamous hauntings of Eastern State Penitentiary, once home to notorious prisoner Al Capone.

To create The Spookiest Destination Shortlist, iVisa scoured the internet to reveal which locations were most frequently recommended for Halloween fanatics searching for spine-chilling places to visit.

Here’s what was unveiled:

(SOURCE: iVisa, 2022

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1st) home to the famous Pennsylvanian jail, Eastern State Penitentiary. Where a paranormal investigation found there to be voices, shadow figures, and other occurrences that couldn’t be explained.

A hotbed of paranormal activity can be found elsewhere on The East Coast:

  • Weston, West Virginia (3rd) home to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, open between 1864 to 1994. It was built to house 250 patients, but 2,500 were crammed inside, causing death by overcrowding. Some ghosts allegedly remain.
  • St. Augustine, Florida (4th) and St. Augustine’s Lighthouse. Suspected the resting place of ghosts such as the Pittee sisters, known to have fallen from a height and drowned at sea. Some still claim to see trails of little muddy footprints.
  • Savannah, Georgia (5th) due to Bonaventure Cemetery. Supposedly, home to the ghost of a 6-year-old girl who died of pneumonia. A statue was carved in her memory, where some claim to have seen her with blood dripping from her eyes.

In the West, 3 cities claimed a spot in the top 10:

  • Estes Park, Colorado (2nd) and the Stanley Hotel is to be the inspiration for Stephen King’s, The Shining. The hotel has been linked to a host of paranormal occurrences.
  • Portland, Oregon (10th) home to the Portland Underground, more sinisterly known as the Shanghai Tunnels. Where young men were drugged and carried aboard ships bound for Asia, forced into slave labor by infamous captains.
  • San Jose, California (6th) and Winchester Mystery House, built by Sarah Pardee Winchester apparently to appease the spirits. Many visitors have applauded the actor dressed in period clothing cleaning the fireplace in the ballroom. Yet, no actor was ever hired.
  • Long Beach, California (8th) and the docked RMS Queen Mary ship, said to be home to over 150 ghosts where laughter, whistling, and squeals are heard.

‘Otherworldly’ occurrences have also been recorded in the South: 

  • New Orleans, Louisiana (7th) and the darker side of the French Quarter, a breeding ground for things that go bump in the night. For example, St. Louis Cemetery is said to be home to the Creole Voodoo witch Marie Laveau.
  • San Antonio, Texas (9th) due to San Fernando Cathedral, which is said to house many spirits who wander the grounds how they did in life, now in death.  

As we enter the spooky season, this research acts as the perfect travel guide on where (or where not) to visit for a truly harrowing, ‘all hallows eve’ experience.

So, wherever you are in the country, why not venture away from the typical trick-or-treating and book a spooky trip? Happy Halloween!