America the beautiful is also the land of many ghost stories. From haunted homes and cemeteries to towns that come to life on Halloween, there are many sites to explore, which in addition to offering rich culture, fascinating history, and beautiful scenery, may also be a bit spooky.
Made famous for its role on the cover of the bestseller, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Bonaventure Cemetery is known for gorgeous live oaks, colorful azaleas, and interesting tombstones, making the more than 150-year-old burial ground one of the most photographed cemeteries in the country.
But there’s a supernatural side to the cemetery that draws ghost enthusiasts and curious visitors from all around. Statues throughout the cemetery have been said to grimace and smile at passersby and spooky sounds have been heard, like that of a baby crying, giggling children, or sounds of a pack of dogs snarling and barking angrily.
St. Francisville, LA
At first glimpse Myrtles Plantation, surrounded by centuries-old live oak trees, envelopes one with a complete sense of peace and tranquility. Inside the mansion, one can admire exquisite ornamental ironwork, hand-painted stained glass, Carrara marble mantels, and gold-leafed French furnishings.
However, it is reputed to be one of the most haunted homes in America. Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, Myrtles is rumored to be on top of a burial ground, generating many ghost stories and spooky legends about the property. The most well-known is the tale of a young girl named Chloe, who once lived there, whose apparition has been seen peering out of a large window in the breezeway of the mansion.
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Sleepy Hollow is a village in New York State’s Hudson Valley, known as the setting of Washington Irving’s 1820 tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, considered one of America's first ghost stories—and one of its scariest.
Every Halloween, the village of Sleepy Hollow celebrates Irving’s timeless story, in which lanky newcomer and schoolmaster Ichabod Crane courts Katrina van Tassel, a young heiress who is also being pursued by the Dutchman Brom Bones. After being rejected by Katrina, Ichabod is chased by a headless horseman, who may or may not be his rival, who hurls a pumpkin at him, throwing Ichabod from his horse. The schoolmaster vanishes, never to be seen again.
A perfect mixture of folklore and history, the legend of Sleepy Hollow resurfaces every year around Halloween and continues to fascinate and terrify us in the best possible way.
American Cruise Lines visits Sleepy Hollow on our Hudson River cruises.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
St. Augustine, FL
With its intriguing past, the St. Augustine Lighthouse has gained a haunted reputation. Several tragic events which have occurred at this site have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity. One of the first was when a lighthouse keeper fell to his death while painting the tower; his ghost has since been seen watching over the grounds. Other strange sightings, including those of ghost children playing hide and seek on the grounds, have also occurred.
To learn how you can visit one of these spooky sites during your cruise with us, call a Cruise Specialist at 800-460-4518.