The Best Cemetery Tours In The U.S. Will Give You All The Thrills This October
For people who enjoy haunted houses and places that'll give you the thrills, October is the perfect month to explore some of the spookiest sites in the country. A lot of destinations go all-out to get visitors into the holiday spirit. Even though it truly gives me the creepy-crawlies, I put together a guide to the best cemetery tours in the U.S. for you and your friends to explore.
There are some destinations on this list that many people believe are haunted, including Salem, Massachusetts, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Savannah, Georgia. But to my surprise, spooky cemeteries exist in some of the most unexpected cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles, California. At each of these burial grounds, there's a little something for every spooky lover in your group, including historical landmarks, ornate tombstones, and even a few stories that'll give you all the goosebumps.
Some of the stories that come out of these graveyards are enough to make me jump out of my seat. (That's to be expected, though, since I won't even watch scary movies.) But if you're nothing like me and really enjoy having the heebie-jeebies scared out of you, you definitely shouldn't pass up the chance to take one of these cemetery tours this month.
1. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 — New Orleans, LA
For the spookiest tour in The Big Easy, look no further than St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. The famed cemetery is home to some of NOLA's most notable historical figures, including Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. The cemetery is so renowned, even Nicolas Cage purchased a massive pyramid-shaped tombstone there (although the reasoning for the purchase has not been revealed), according to Atlas Obscura.
Book your guided cemetery tour today with Free Tours by Foot to experience some unmatched thrills. (The website notes that there is a $2 per person fee when you book.)
2. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery — Sleepy Hollow, NY
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is the definition of spooky. The cemetery offers both daytime and nighttime tours, so you can tailor your experience to your scare threshold. For the ultimate thrilling experience, I suggest booking the Murder and Mayhem Evening Lantern Tour to learn more about some of the darker stories of the people of the cemetery — all while guided by the light of a lantern.
3. Hollywood Forever Cemetery — Los Angeles, CA
Though it's hard to get in the spooky mood in the beautiful Los Angeles sunshine, the rich history in this cemetery is definitely worth the visit in October. Cemetery Tour offers a guided tour for $20 per person, and it lasts for two and a half hours.
4. Bonaventure Cemetery — Savannah, GA
Bonaventure Cemetery is massive, with over 100 acres within its gates. It's easiest to navigate this giant property with one of their guided tours, but if you choose to wander by yourself, they have an app to help you get around. According to their website, must-see sites include Johnny Mercer's grave and the ornate marble carvings on the Lawton plot.
5. The Burying Point — Salem, MA
It really doesn't get spookier than the Salem witch trials, and there's no better way to learn more about (and get slightly spooked by) them than at The Burying Point in Salem. The cemetery is the resting place of some of the most notable judges from the trials, including Justice John Hathorne. Spellbound Tours, which has been in operation for more than 15 years, offers what they are naming Salem's "original and best haunted tour"; Old Burying Point is one of the tour's highlights.
6. The Secret Charleston Life Of Edgar Allan Poe — Charleston, SC
Offered exclusively through the King Charles Inn, the Edgar Allen Poe package offers a walking tour through some of the spooky Charleston sites that inspired some of Poe's most famous pieces of work. There's even a tour through the Unitarian Church Graveyard, which is known for its overgrown shrubs that seem to have taken over the graves, according to Atlas Obscura.
7. Spooky Empire — Orlando, FL
When you've had your fill of ghosts in the cemeteries, consider checking out the Spooky Empire convention in Orlando (which takes place Oct. 26-28). Even though this experience doesn't take place in a cemetery, it can be your one-stop-shop for all things spooky and Halloween-related.
According to the website, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson from The X-Files will be in attendance, and you can even take a special effects class to learn more about how professionals do special effects makeup and props.