From the scores of reality ghost hunting shows on prime-time TV to record-smashing box office hits like Paranormal Activity, it’s clear to see that interest in the paranormal has spiked in recent years. In an age where so much is known, it’s now the exploration of the unknown that attracts audiences en masse. While television shows and movies offer some genuine scares from the comfort of home, there’s nothing like exploring the paranormal up close and personal. That’s a big reason why ghost tours are a growing source of tourism in many small towns and big cities across the country. So if you’re looking for a spooky experience, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ghost tours in the US. Here they are:

Haunted History’s New Orleans Ghost Tour (New Orleans, LA)

Featured on The History, Discovery, and Travel Channels, it’s no wonder that travelers love to book cheap domestic flights to Nola around spooky season. The famous two-hour Haunted History tour explores the grim and undisclosed history of the French Quarter. Guides tell of the horror suffered by slaves kept secretly at the LaLaurie House and the reported hauntings that followed their deaths in 1834. Further in the tour guests will investigate a bar that has been at the center of dozens of reported ghost sightings. The offbeat tour guides provide audiences with chilling, eerie, and accurate commentary as they uncover the secret and unsettling past of one of the country’s most famous neighborhoods. This two-hour has become world-famous over the years.

Ghosts of Gettysburg (Gettysburg, PA)

Top TK Ghost Tours in the U.S. like the Ghosts of Gettysburg

These candlelit tours, based on the research of historian Mark Nesbitt, wind through the streets, cemeteries, and battlefields of one of the most haunted cities in America. Torn apart nearly 150 years ago by the bloodiest battle in the country’s history, Gettysburg is purported to be a hotbed of paranormal activity to this day. Visitors have reported sightings of soldiers in battle, apparitions of the wounded, and whispers of the horrifying sounds of century-old battle. Ghosts of Gettysburg offers four two-hour walking tours and a more expansive tour that culminates in a visit to a quiet farm that once served as a makeshift Civil War hospital.

Ghost Tours of St. Augustine (St. Augustine, FL)

Ghost tours in the US like Ghost Tours of St. Augustine

[Above image “Ghostly Windows” by Steve Beger on Flickr – licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0]

This award-winning tour was created by St. Augustine native Sandy Craig who can trace her ancestry back to the original Spanish settlers who founded the city nearly 400 years ago. Started in 1994 as a way to keep visiting schoolchildren active in the evenings, the instantly successful tour was quickly opened to the public by popular demand. With over several full-time storytellers and input from local historians, the Ghost Tours of St. Augustine are constantly being updated to include the most vivid and historically accurate ghost tales in the country. The tour runs every night of the year, including holidays, and has been featured on the Discovery and Travel channels.

Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry (Harpers Ferry, WV)

One of the oldest ghost tours in the US, Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry has been entertaining and spooking visitors to this small West Virginia town since 1970. The tour and its stories are based on a book written by Shirley Dougherty who began experiencing and subsequently researching unexplainable phenomena at a popular restaurant she owned in the area. As she began to research the history of Harpers Ferry, dozens of others came forward to tell experiences of their own, and thus the ghost tour was born. Today the tour is owned, managed, and guided by Rick Garland, a local Civil War historian. The hour-and-a-half tour is packed not only with spooky ghost stories but also the fascinating history behind them.

Related: Nine Haunted Hotels in America Where You Can Stay and (Maybe) See a Ghost!

Salem Witch Walk (Massachusetts)

Ghost tours in the US like the Salem Witch Walk

If you pick one place to go for a ghost tour, you would be wise (and brave) to pick Salem, Massachusetts. Home to the Salem Witch Trials, it’s no wonder that this town is known for its relationship with the supernatural. Legend has it that the town in coastal Massachusetts is still haunted by the people who were sentenced to death during these notorious 17-century trials. While there is no shortage of ghost tours to choose from in a spooky place like Salem, the Witch Walk is ranked as one of the best in the bunch. This walking tour includes a ghost tour led by authentic paranormal investigators.

Haunted Haight Walking Tour (San Francisco, CA)

Top TK Ghost Tours in the U.S. like the San Francisco Sutro Baths Tunnel

San Francisco’s Haunted Haight Ghost Tours will take you to the site of some of the Bay Area’s spookiest locations while you learn about many of the most morbid stories ever to come out of this region of Northern California. The two-hour walking tour is not for the faint of heart. In addition to learning the gory details of some of the city’s most famous mass murders, you’ll also be privy to the paranormal secrets as well as a host of interesting urban legends of San Fran. This tour prides itself on being one of the only ghost tours in San Francisco where a real paranormal investigator is your tour guide.

Gangsters and Ghosts Tour (Chicago, IL)

Chicago Ghost tours in the US

Immerse yourself in Chicago’s colorful gangster history with its famed Gangsters and Ghosts Tour. This tour bills itself as two tours in one, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the city’s most iconic gangsters and the places that they may still haunt. Along the way, you will see a variety of destinations, including legendary criminal hangouts, Death Alley, and the speakeasies from the Prohibition era. You’ll feel the city’s creepy past come alive as your tour guide paints a chilling picture for you. It’s hard to look at Chicago and its past in the same way ever again once you’ve braved this tour.

Spooked In Seattle Ghost Tours (Washington)

Spooked In Seattle is your one-stop-shop for all things spooky in the Emerald City. This tour group offers walking tours, bus tours, haunted pub tours, and even the chance to go hunt for ghosts. These tours are known as the longest-running of their kind in the city, telling the true story behind all of these terrifying legends. With so many options, you can choose a tour to fit your specific interest. Every tour also includes admission to the Death Museum, allowing you to make a day out of this scary experience.

Old Louisville Ghost Tour (Kentucky)

Ghost tours in the US like in Louisville

Old Louisville has a reputation of being the most haunted neighborhood in America, and this tour proves why. Back in its heyday, Old Louisville was known for its glitz and glamour as the home to high society barons and mobsters. The preserved Victorian mansions are now said to be haunted by these ghosts of yesteryear. In addition to the various haunted houses that you’ll allegedly discover while you’re on the Old Louisville Ghost Tours, you’ll also find haunted churches, parks, and graveyards. Do you dare try to experience this hair-raising tour for yourself?

Are there any other spooky ghost tours in the US that you recommend? Tell us about it below!

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