When you think about your ideal vacation, you probably envision long sunny days lounging on a beachside hammock with a margarita in hand or maybe a trip to a tranquil spa with massages, facials and wraps that help you unwind from the cares of the world. I however picture ghosts, haunted hotels, running from creepers in the dark and having the ever-loving bejeezus scared out of me. Hi, my name is Jen and I‘m a weirdo. I love getaways that get the adrenaline pumping, where you feel like you almost assuredly will die from fear but don’t, where you clutch onto your friends and laugh hysterically just to keep from bawling your eyes out.
Here’s my bucket list of four scary places I’m dying to visit. Join me…if you dare.
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado
“Redrum, redrum, redrum.” Stephen King used the hauntingly beautiful Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado as inspiration for one of my all-time favorite novels and films, The Shining, and I’ve always wanted to stay here. The hotel even offers a ghost adventure package that guarantees guests a 4th floor room (where many ghostly sightings have taken place), a K2 meter to measure paranormal activity during your stay and a souvenir REDRUM mug! All I have to say is, “Here’s Jenny!”
Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours in Gettysburg, Virginia
Gettysburg has long been on my list of historic places I’d like to take my son, Jack, some day. But learning that Ghosts of Gettysburg offers nighttime tours led by costumed guides carrying lanterns who spin tales of ghostly encounters and hauntings of dead Civil War soldiers who still roam the area – yahtzee! Numerous tour guests have experienced strange sightings first hand and there’s even a photo wall with proof.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky
Have you been thinking to yourself, “You know, I don’t spend nearly enough nights at terrifying, abandoned hospitals.” Hey, me too! Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky was originally designed to treat tuberculosis patients during the 1900’s epidemic. Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go as planned. Doctors tried using several experimental procedures and failed, and as a result, it’s rumored that over 100,000 people died here. So many people they had to build a special tunnel to move all the bodies – uh huh, fa-ree-ky! Today, the hospital has the rep for being one of the most actively haunted buildings in the country and offers overnight ghost hunting adventures to guests that run from midnight to the 8AM in the morning. That is, if morning ever comes…
Clinton Road in West Milford, New Jersey
Only the bravest (read: totally insane) of drivers would dare conquer a nighttime drive down a 10-mile stretch of highway off Route 23 in West Milford, New Jersey known as Clinton Road. Lauded as the most haunted road in America, Clinton Road is surrounded by menacing woods, long twisty turns and total darkness if you venture out past bedtime. The road has become well-known for scares with its numerous tales over the years of ghost sightings; witch gatherings; strange creatures, cannibals lying in wait, and a phantom black truck that chases drivers to the end of the road before disappearing into the night. There’s even a famous story about the ghost of a drowned little boy who hangs out under the bridge at Clinton Brook and returns coins back to you after you toss them into the water – unless he grabs your feet and pulls you under of course.
Have any favorite scary places you’re hoping to visit? Let us know!