Halloween Haunts: The Top 10 Spookiest Cities in the US and Europe

New Orleans

The United States’ most haunted city is a sure bet for ghost hunters.

It’s perhaps no surprise that the spookiest city in the US is New Orleans, given that it’s often named the most haunted city in America. Exploring the city in the evening can seem like an intimidating solo quest, though, which is where the Original Ghost, Voodoo, Vampire, and Mystery Tour comes in. Instead of going it alone, take to the city’s most eerie sites at night in the company of a guide and group. Or, for another evening fright, the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 Official Walking Tour is the perfect way to indulge in all things All Hallows’ Eve.

Edinburgh

You can’t go wrong with a visit to the Scottish capital this Halloween.

Coming in first as Europe’s spookiest city is none other than Edinburgh, and it’s really no surprise. Home of witch burnings, mass murders, hangings, and more, Edinburgh has a Dark History. Explore the city’s spookier side on The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour, or head beneath the surface (literally) for the Extreme Paranormal Underground Ghost Tour and Underground Walking Tour in Edinburgh.

Salem

There’s a reason everyone’s favorite black cat is named after this Massachusetts city.

Of course Salem was going to come in near the top. As the birthplace of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, there are plenty of places for visitors and locals alike to learn about the events, including the Salem Witch Museum. But if you’d rather an interactive experience, opt for the History and Hauntings Guided Walking Tour or the Bewitched Walking Tour, during which you’re sure to feel the energy of the magical women who walked the town’s streets centuries ago.

Rome

Pizza, pasta, and … paranormal happenings?

While Rome might not be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to spooky cities across Europe, don’t be too quick to count it out. Between the miles of Crypts and Roman Catacombs to the Ghost and Legends that once roamed the streets, the city is full of Haunting Stories that you’ll be thrilled (and chilled) to discover.

Chicago

Chicago has a surprisingly rich haunted history.

What’s more Chicago than deep-dish pizza and being blown away by a gust of wind? Well, the stereotype that Gangsters and Ghosts rule the city, for one. For any fearless adventurer, Chicago is home to plenty of spooky experiences, so satisfy your sinister appetite by diving into an investigation with the Haunted City Exploration Game or Lincoln Park Hauntings Ghost Investigation Tour.

London

England’s capital has a long and horrid history of spooky goings on.

If the legacy of Jack The Ripper is not proof enough of why London should be deemed one of the spookiest cities in Europe, then what is? Good thing Sherlock Holmes is on the case to Solve The Crime. Discover the dreadful past of London on the Serial Killers: The Blood and Tears Walk—it’s not for the faint of heart, but you’ll soon understand why London’s ranked well up there for Europe’s spookiest cities.

Savannah

Savannah and ghosts go hand-in-hand.

On the surface, Savannah might look like any other southern city, but to those familiar with the place, there’s more than meets the eye. Savannah is known for its ghostly inhabitants and paranormal activity, so it’s no wonder the Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour and “Dead of Night” Walking Night Tour are among the top 10 most popular spooky tours. And for anyone with a Sixth Sense for the great beyond, the Ghost Encounter Walking Tour is a safe bet.

York

It’s not all that grim up north … it’s scary, too.

Present-day England’s northern heart also has a spine tingling past, as you’ll find out on the Dark Chronicles Horror Walk of York. After all, Mad Alice of Yorkshire wandered (or still wanders?) the streets covering up her husband’s death in the county’s capital. But for a more traditional ghostly adventure, the Award-Winning Historical Ghost Walk and Deathly Dark Ghost Tour will be right up your alley.

Boston

Historic Boston has some tales to tell.

As the capital of one of the founding states in the US, Boston naturally has a bloody, eerie history, and if there’s one thing Bostonians love to do, it’s tell ghost stories in the pub. For the perfect combination of beer and scare, the Haunted Boston Ghost and Pub Walking Tour is a great place to start. You can also indulge in Boston’s finest Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour or “Death and Dying” Walking Ghost Tour too, though.

Paris

The City of Light has a dark underbelly.

Paris might be all jaunty berets and flaky croissants in the public imagination, but for international travelers or Europeans looking for a true Halloween experience, there’s more to be had here. Those who are willing to look down can opt for the Catacombs Special Access Tour, while the Famous Graves of Pere Lachaise Cemetery will surely send chills down your spine. For an extra spook, The Darkest Secrets of Paris will make you rethink all that you know about la ville lumière.

Top 10 Spookiest Cities in the US

  1. New Orleans
  2. Salem
  3. Chicago
  4. Savannah
  5. Boston
  6. Charleston
  7. Louisville
  8. St. Augustine
  9. Key West
  10. Nashville

Top 10 Spookiest Cities in Europe

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Rome
  3. London
  4. Yorkshire
  5. Paris
  6. Dublin
  7. Prague
  8. Budapest
  9. Bucharest
  10. Munich

Methodology:

The top cities are based on the number of ‘scary’ tours and experiences available for booking in each market on Viator’s marketplace as of September 2023.

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