The Five Creepiest Towns in America
|Ancient crypts and above-ground graves in New Orleans, Louisiana (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)|
’Tis the season to be haunted: With the autumnal breezes come shorter days, longer nights, and the harkening of Halloween. As one of the oldest holidays celebrated around the world, Halloween is also the only one that revolves around death, ghosts, and general spookiness. For those curious about where the creepiest of the creepy places are in this relatively young country of ours, fear not! This great land has its fair share of spine-tingling destinations. While ghostly activities may not be a guarantee, the mystique of these destinations alone can enchant naysayers and enrapture the true believers. Here are our top five creepiest towns in America.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Few cities conjure up a creepy atmosphere as palpable as the Big Easy. Mired in a long and sometimes seamy history, New Orleans has been home to slaves and slave drivers, pirates, and—as some will affirm without pause—ghosts. The French Quarter, site of the city’s founding in 1718, is a dense neighborhood of narrow streets and unique wrought-iron and wooden architecture—a prime stomping ground for displaced souls.
Voodoo and Santería, two Afro-Caribbean religions practiced here, have greatly contributed to the city’s mystical atmosphere. Then again, the sprawling graveyards where dead are “buried” in cement vaults below sea level—not the most stable final resting place—have certainly done their part, too. But Royal Street’s LaLaurie House holds the title for the most haunted mansion: it’s the 19th-century home of a reputed serial killer of slaves. The ghosts of the wicked lady of the house, Delphine LaLaurie, and her victims are said to still make appearances today.
Charleston, South Carolina
It’s one of the oldest cities in the United States, and one of the most haunted. They say ghosts from the Civil War patrol some of the steeple-lined lanes of Charleston, while the Battery plays home to some of those lost during the slave trade. The city’s beautiful old Southern architecture makes it worth a visit in any case. Consider a stop into the 1869 Dock Street Theater, especially if you want to try for a backstage glimpse of Nettie, a young lady killed here by a lightning strike in the 1800s, and Junius Brutus Booth, father of assassin John Wilkes Booth.
Also called the “Holy City” for its abundant churches, Charleston’s graveyards are regular hotspots for apparitions—but not as much as the Old City Jail, where brutal killings took place and allegedly left some angry spirits who aren’t afraid to push tour goers around, literally.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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