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Photos: Haunted destinations

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  1. Bran Castle

    Bran Castle, Dracula's castle, in fog, Transylvania. (Gavin Quirke / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The Myrtles Plantation

    Now a bed and breakfast, this antebellum estate northwest of Baton Rouge has been called "America's Most Haunted Home." Reported phenomena include an oil portrait whose features become animated, a "bloody handprint" on the adjacent wall, and doors that open and close by themselves. (Courtesy of The Myrtles Plantation) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Pfister Hotel

    Built in 1893, the Pfister is the most regal address in Milwaukee, Wis., having hosted every U.S. president since William McKinley and scores of celebrities. But rumors abound that late at night, the spirit of hotel founder Charles Pfister, who died in 1927, arrives to check in. Some guests report hearing strange noises and having paranormal experiences. (Morry Gash / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Alcatraz

    The former maximum security facility on an island in San Francisco Bay was once home to Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. It is no longer used as a prison, but visitors and tour guides have claimed to hear screams, slamming cell doors, and footsteps. (Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Amityville house

    The house at 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville, New York, gained infamy in a best-selling book and several movies. Former owners reported creaking noises, voices, the music of a full marching band in the middle of the night, foul odors, and a black, shapeless apparition. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Edinburgh Castle

    This ancient stronghold overlooking Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions. It is reputed to have many ghosts, including a drummer who only appears when the castle is about to be attacked, and a piper who disappeared in the tunnels underneath it. (Jonathan Smith  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Paris Catacombs

    In the 1800s, Paris’s cemeteries were coming dangerously close to being filled, so some bodies were moved to tunnels that had been dug beneath the city by workers quarrying for building materials. Bones and skulls are stacked up throughout the Catacombs, and visitors have reported strange voices. (Fred De Noyelle / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Hotel Chelsea

    A familiar haunt for artists and bohemians in the Chelsea district of New York City since it was built in 1883, the Hotel Chelsea still puts up guests today ... if they don’t mind sharing accommodations with the reputed ghosts of former residents Dylan Thomas, Eugene O’Neill, and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Eastern State Penitentiary

    Located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, this prison was designed to encourage solitude, supposedly helping prisoners open themselves up to God. But it is said that many went mad instead ... which may explain the eerie noises that have been reported since it closed. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Hotel del Coronado

    In 1892, a young woman checked into this luxury hotel on California’s San Diego Bay to meet her husband. He never arrived, and a few days later, she was found dead on the hotel steps. Since then, guests and staff have noticed the pale figure of a young lady in a black lace dress.... (Nathan Hughes) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Inverary Castle

    It is said that the ghost of a harpist who was hanged in 1644 for peeping at the lady of the house can be seen wandering this castle in western Scotland, and can be heard playing every day in its library. The castle is home to the 13th Duke of Argyll today, but sometimes opens its doors to brave visitors. (Graeme Cornwallis / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. New Orleans

    The Big Easy’s French Quarter is well-known to tourists for its hot jazz and spicy food. But New Orleans is also the historic center of voodoo traditions that African-Americans brought to Louisiana during the days of the slave trade. Although those customs were suppressed by slave owners, they linger on today. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Petzow Castle

    This 18th-century castle near Potsdam in eastern Germany is a hotel and restaurant today ... but its corridors harbor a dark history involving murderous barons. (Sven Kaestner / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Forks, Washington

    Michael Gurling, right, of the Forks, Wash., Chamber of Commerce, talks about the bonfire location on a beach in LaPush, Wash., that is portrayed in Stephenie Meyer's wildly successful vampire-themed "Twilight" books and movies. (Ted S. Warren / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Point Hicks Lighthouse

    In 1947, the keeper of this historic lighthouse on the eastern coast of Australia mysteriously disappeared. Afterward, many visitors have claimed to hear his hobnail boots at night, and it’s said his ghost continues to keep the tower’s brass doorknobs polished to this day. (Oliver Strewe  / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Salem, Massachusetts

    The location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, dramatized in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible,” is today a mix of important historical sites, New Age boutiques, and witch-kitsch attractions. The Salem Witch Museum claims to be the most visited one in town. (Ed Young / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Sleepy Hollow

    This picturesque village 30 miles north of New York City was immortalized in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s classic tale of schoolteacher Ichabod Crane and the fearsome Headless Horseman. Irving implied that the apparition Ichabod saw was a fake, but a number of visitors also have claimed to see the Horseman, supposedly a Hessian trooper whose head was carried off by a cannonball during the Revolutionary War. (Susan Rosenthal / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Stanley Hotel

    This neoclassical hotel in Estes Park, Colo., was the real-life inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s “The Shining.” It is named for Freelan O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile, whose ghost has been reported visiting its billiard room and bar. Guests also complain about children playing in the hallways at night ... even when no children are checked in. (Rob Lee) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Tower of London

    The ghosts of Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, just two of hundreds of victims executed on Tower Hill over the Tower of London's bloody 900-year history, are among many that have been seen in what is called England's most haunted building. Legend has it that in 1816, a guard died of fright after seeing an apparition of a bear approaching him. (Scott Barbour / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The White House

    America's most famous residence is the setting for a number of ghost stories, some of which have even made it onto the official White House Web site. The spirit of Abigail Adams supposedly continues to do laundry in the East Room, while the ghost of Dolley Madison has been reported looking down upon the Rose Garden. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 10/16/2008 10:33:00 AM ET 2008-10-16T14:33:00

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Halloween 2008

The deal
It's not too late to get out of town on a spine-tingling sojourn this Halloween. We've found six spooky getaways in the U.S. that won't leave a frightening dent in your budget. So pack your best costume and celebrate this Halloween via a costume ball in Salem, a murder mystery weekend in New Orleans, a festive family getaway at a Pocono golf resort, and a spooky Southern hotel stay in Beaufort or Savannah. Starting at just $85/night, these last-minute deals are so good it's scary.

Ghostly pirate lore in Beaufort, North Carolina, from $85/night
If you’re intrigued by the legends of pirates and murderous privateers, head to the historic town of Beaufort, North Carolina—a place where the notorious Blackbeard is rumored to have lived. The town’s nighttime Ghost Walk will regale visitors with chilling stories of ghost ships and the fascinating lives of the early settlers who now lay buried in Beaufort’s 300-year-old cemetery. The historic Inlet Inn on the waterfront offers great views, comfortable rooms, and breakfast daily from just $85/night.

Trick-or-treat family fun at Pocono golf resort from $191/night
Families can enjoy a laid-back Halloween weekend at Split Rock Resort & Golf Clubin Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains where brilliant fall foliage covers the resort’s 500 acres. The Halloween weekend rate of $191/night includes access to the resort’s indoor waterpark, costume contests, kids parties, a tour of Split Rock’s Nightmare Inn, free bowling, tennis, racquetball, and more.

Spooky Savannah weekend package and ghost tour from $375
Savannah’s first hotel built in 1851, the Marshall House, undoubtedly has a storied history. It once accommodated yellow fever victims and served as a clinic for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. During renovations in the 60s, amputated bones of former patients were unearthed—and hotel guests have reported strange incidents ever since. Should you dare to brave a weekend in one of the hotel’s exquisite Southern-style rooms, the special "Haunted Package" is the way to go with two nights’ accommodation, continental breakfast, and two tickets for a ghost tour of Savannah (known to paranormal experts as one of the most haunted cities in the U.S.), priced at $375 for two.

Haunted weekend at New Orleans landmark hotel from $479
Legend has it some former guests of the landmark Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans checked in but never checked out. Recent visitors leave with tales of ghostly sightings and odd chills while walking the corridors at night. Such strange happenings make the French Quarter hotel an ideal setting for a weekend of mystery and mayhem. Shack up at the supposedly haunted grand dame and spend the weekendfollowing clues and solving the mystery of the mysterious disappearance of fellow guests. The $479 "Haunted Weekend" package, valid this October 31 to November 2, covers 2 nights’ deluxe accommodations, meals, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a murder mystery you won’t soon forget.

Salem costume ball three-night package from $682
Hankering to show off this year’s costume and get spooked at the same time? Salem, Massachusetts, is surely worth the trip. Home to the gruesome witch trials and executions of 1692, the town is still haunted by its past and throughout the month of October, the town plays host to numerous haunted house tours, pumpkin festivals, movie screenings, and plenty of other Halloween-themed shenanigans. From $682, the three-night Halloween package includes a stay at the cozy Emerson Inn in nearby Rockport with breakfast daily, as well as transportation and two tickets to the annual costume ball held on Halloween night at the historic Hawthorne Hotel—an event no Salem visitor should dare to skip.

Halloween rates at all 5 of New York’s W Hotels from $479/Night
New York is a great city for Halloween thrills, costume parties, and a parade second to none. This year, head to Greenwich Village for the annual Halloween Parade (7 p.m.; Oct. 31), a colorful spectacle featuring thousands of costumed New Yorkers, drag queens, artists, and bands. Visitors can book a room at any of the city’s five stylish W Hotels with Halloween goodies like two trick-or-tini cocktails and unlimited scary movies included. Rates for the W’s Halloween package start at $479/night for stays October 26 to November 2.

The dollars
Taxes and other fees not included.

The catch
water and garlic are not provided, so beware! See our Top 10 Places to Get Spooked on Halloween  for more on the world’s creepiest travel destinations.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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