Adventure Travel

4 Destinations with Spine-Chilling Ghost Tours

Dive into the paranormal and explore these spooky spots on your next vacation

The Vacationeer
Spookily lit Edinburgh street at dusk, Scotland, UK.

Now that the weather is colder and the days are shorter, it’s easy to see why autumn is considered the spookiest time of year. Halloween, derived from the Celtic holiday Samhain, marks the end of summer and harvest and supposedly is when ghosts of the dead walk the earth.

Whether you believe in the supernatural, fall is the perfect time to explore. Ghost tours offer a unique experience, pairing a walking tour of famous sites with stories giving insight into local history and culture. Not to mention, it’s easy to stay socially distanced since most tours take place outdoors and at night, which means avoiding daytime crowds.

Still not convinced?

Ghost tours aren’t only for experienced ghost hunters; you can find a variety of tours catered to your travel group, from family-friendly excursions to pub crawl-style walks. What makes ghost tours unique from other walking tours is the emphasis on storytelling and ambiance. Plus, you can find ghost tours in big cities and small towns alike; anywhere with an interesting history is bound to have a ghost tour, usually run by local historians.

Whether you want a spooky outing or to learn more about local history, try something new and spice up your fall vacation with a ghost tour. Here are some of the top ghost tours offered in some of the most haunted cities.

White church steeple illuminated in the night sky, Charleston, South Carolina.    

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is known as one of the most haunted cities in America. As a port city, Charleston was a target for pirates during the colonial era, including Blackbeard and Anne Bonney, the first female pirate to gain infamy.

Because of Charleston’s extensive waterways, many of Charleston’s most haunted sites aren’t accessible by foot. Sandlapper Water Tours offers ghost tours of the Holy City via boat. Climb aboard and learn about pirate fortunes and other local ghost lore.

Stay: Rest your head at Liberty Place Charleston by Hilton Club

Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.

Eerie nighttime shot of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.    

If you enjoy off-the-beaten-path vacations in Scotland, ghost tours are a spine-chilling way to get acquainted with the city of Edinburgh. Underground vaults built in 1788 run throughout the city, and the infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist is said to haunt Edinburgh.

You can join a Free Ghost Tour of the city, hit the major attractions, and hear stories of witch trials, the Westport Murderers and the real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (just be sure to tip your guide as thanks).

If you’re looking for something more dramatic, check out Ghost Bus, a ghost tour on wheels. Ride on a black double-decker bus with a theatrically trained guide for a comedy-horror experience on the go. Whether you’re a tourist or a long-time resident, there’ll be stories that surprise you about the eerie history of Edinburgh.

Stay: Plan a day trip to Edinburgh from your choice of Aviemore,  Ballater and Dunkeld resorts.

Alley way lighting the night sky in St. Augustine, Florida.    

St Augustine, Florida

Try Creepy Crawl, a paranormal pub crawl if you’re looking for a unique ghost hunting experience.

Take a tour of St. Augustine’s most haunted bars and taverns and encounter spirits—both the alcoholic and otherworldly kind. Catered to die-hard ghost hunters and pub crawlers alike, enjoy drinks and tales about St. Augustine’s history.

Stay: Set your Florida vacation base in Orlando and choose from Hilton Grand Vacations’ four fantastic Orlando resorts.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania     

Gettysburg Ghost Tours are a great option for families and history buffs and even offer customizable tours. These tours take guests through spooky alleys and around haunted sites around Gettysburg by candlelight.

Dark and gloomy clouds overhead historic battle field, Gettysburg, Pennslyvania.    

However, if you’re looking for a more hands-on tour, join a ghost hunt. Learn how to use ghost hunting equipment to track down specters in creepy battlefield sites, tailored to a family-friendly experience or experience ghost hunters looking for a scare.

Stay: Settle into The District by Hilton Club in Washington, D.C. and be within driving distance of Gettysburg and D.C.’s famous monuments.

Read “3 Fall Break Bucket Lists To Fit Your Vacation Style” for more unique ways to make your fall break escape. 



The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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