Ticking off the usual sights and bucket list experiences is great and all, but who doesn’t love being a little spooked out now and then? The USA has a tonne of options for anyone wanting a slightly darker experience on their travels, so we’ve narrowed it down to a few frightfully fun spots to check out on your trip to the States.
The Museum of Death, Los Angeles
We have to warn you with this one – it’s not for the faint of heart. The Museum of Death is just as grim as the name suggests, and it’s more than a little freaky. The collection inside is grizzly, and includes a tonne of body bags and coffins, photos from the Charles Manson crime scenes, real autopsy instruments, full size replicas of execution devices, morgue photos from the Black Dahlia murder, and a whole lot more to give you shivers. Good luck sleeping afterwards!
Alcatraz, San Francisco
A visit to Alcatraz Island and the infamous prison is a must for anyone interested in history, and all things creepy. Tours run during both the day and night, but of course the night tours have a lot more atmosphere! Night tours also visit areas that aren’t seen during the day, such as the infirmary. Al ‘Scarface’ Capone and George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly were held here, and now you can see it for yourself! As a heads up, the prison tours are extremely popular, and often sell out weeks in advance – so make sure you get online and book sooner rather than later!
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National Museum of Funeral History, Houston, Texas
The slogan of this museum is “Any day above ground is a good one.” You’ll probably be thinking that by the time you walk out. This place is attached to an embalming school, and displays America’s largest collection of funeral artefacts ranging from creepy jewellery made from the hair of the deceased, to the less-scary memorabilia items from Michael Jackson’s memorial service. Exhibits cover the history of embalming, presidential funerals, and a range of ‘fantasy coffins’; if a coffin built for three people doesn’t freak you out a bit, then nothing will.
Saint Louis Cemetery, New Orleans
This group of three cemeteries in New Orleans will give you the creeps, especially if you visit when the sun goes down. There are a lot of old above-ground vaults and crypts, mostly from the 18th and 19th century. A lot of notable names have been buried here, but the one that gets the most attention is The New Orleans Queen of Voodoo, Marie Laveau – and there are ghost stories to go with her! To awaken the Queen from the dead (we’re not sure why you’d want to), then you should knock three times on her tomb, mark the door with three X’s with chalk, knock three more times, then make your wish. Don’t forget to leave an offering!
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Bode Ghost Town, California
This is a old mining town that had its heyday in the late 1800s, and what’s left is one epic ghost town. Standing in a permanent state of decay, the California State Parks System took over the town in the 60s to make it a State Historic Park. At one time there were 65 saloons, including numerous brothels, opium dens and gambling halls, and it was riddled with crime. Gunfights were a regular occurrence, as residents would emerge from the mines and head straight for the bars to spend their earnings. Yep, a recipe for disaster. Check out the evenings tours and listen to some ghost stories!
Underground Tour, Downtown Los Angeles
Under the busy and bustling streets of Downtown LA, there are a huge network of underground tunnels. Around 11 miles worth, in fact. These tunnels are about a hundred years old, and were created for the different reasons; some were for streetcars, some were for moving cash between banks – but most were for transporting illegal hooch. A lot of these tunnels were secret, and therefore never mapped. Now you can take a tour and delve beneath the surface, checking out the city’s creepy underground past ranging from famous Prohibition-era murders to old Speakeasy haunts that the rich and famous would visit!
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