Halloween offers all kinds of spooky fun for you and your hellhound. Channel your inner ghostbuster and see if Fido can sniff out paranormal activity at these eerie spots around the country. Many have gruesome histories and otherworldly auras that will leave your thrill-seeking Terrier and sinister Schnauzer feeling afraid, very afraid.
Posted by Billy Francis
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Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
You’ll be glad to have Fido by your side as you take a spine-chilling tour of the historic Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, a featured attraction in the 2021 edition of our Ruff Guide to the United States. A working facility from 1864 to 1994, the asylum was intended as a sanctuary for those suffering from mental illness. However, ever-changing definitions of "humane treatment" led to a number of experimental procedures being performed here over the years. A costumed guide will tell you all about them as she escorts your group around the expansive building. Your well-behaved, leashed pooch is welcome to join you on the daytime History & Heritage Tour.
Located on the shores of Stonewall Jackson Lake, Stonewall Resort is a charming Adirondack-style lodge in nearby Roanoke.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a classic short story about a headless horseman terrorizing the village of Sleepy Hollow. To this day, the townsfolk embrace their spooky heritage with festivals, parades and more. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Irving is buried, welcomes leashed dogs to join you on the pathways that wind past impressive gravestones dating back to 1849. Afterwards, get a taste for what life might have been like for Ichabod Crane at Rockefeller State Park Preserve. The preserve’s trails lead through untouched, varied landscapes alongside Swan Lake and the Pocantico River.
Tarrytown House Estate is a pet-friendly hotel just down the road from Sleepy Hollow Cemetery that hosts the occasional Yappy Hour in the courtyard for canine guests.
Turnbull Canyon Trail
Take a hike on the tortuous Turnbull Canyon Trail if you dare. At first glance, this hike through the California backcountry may seem like a perfectly normal pathway, until you hear about the area’s checkered past. From a plane crash that killed 29 people to rumors of ritualistic sacrifices, UFO sightings and a burned down sanatorium known as the "Gates of Hell," there’s more to this picturesque place than meets the eye. Even Robert Turnbull, whom the trail is named after, was murdered in cold blood.
This chic Whittier oasis will calm Fido down after a day of raised blood pressure on Turnbull Canyon Trail.
Old Cahawba Archaeological Park
Old Cahawba Archaeological Park protects the final resting place of Alabama’s first capital and the most famous ghost town in the Yellowhammer State, Cahawba. After the Civil War, the once-populous town was deserted by its inhabitants, who chose to move to bigger cities that were less prone to flooding. The former residents left behind a selection of impressive historic buildings, which have survived untouched since the late 19th century. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany you on 5 miles of walking trails around the ruins and remains of Cahawba, where you can imagine what life would have been like long ago for the people of the doomed capital.
Spend the night in nearby Selma at this restful retreat just minutes from downtown.
Cape Romano Dome Homes
The Florida Everglades are a unique ecosystem that showcases the diversity of Florida’s plant and animal species. They're also plagued with tales of ghost pirate ships haunting the shores and airplanes being claimed by the swamp. There’s no guarantee of witnessing a spectral ship beyond the shoreline, so why not pay a visit to an eerie, man-made phenomenon instead. Cape Romano Dome Homes were neither the meeting place for a secret cult nor left behind by extraterrestrials, but rather the ambitious DIY project of oil tycoon Bob Lee. Rising sea levels have seen the domes march farther into the Gulf of Mexico over the years. Florida Adventures and Rentals offer pet-friendly private tours around the domes and surrounding waters.
Unfortunately, the Cape Romano Dome Homes are no longer inhabitable. Why not reserve this beautiful home on Marco Island with great views of the water instead?
Rhyolite Ghost Town
Rhyolite Ghost Town is a former mining town that has stood empty for over 100 years. When resources started drying up, the townsfolk picked up their things and headed elsewhere. You and Fido are welcome to wander around the old bank building and bottle house together. Before skipping town yourselves, wander over to the neighboring Goldwell Open Air Museum. The incredible outdoor art museum in the middle of the desert contains a number of haunting permanent exhibits, including The Last Supper, Ghost Rider, and Desert Flower by Albert Szukalski, also known as the sculptor of ghosts.
Prolong your stay in Death Valley at Desert Gold, one of the coolest pet-friendly vacation rentals in North America.
The next time somebody tells you to “go to Hell,” take them up on their offer. Hell is a Michigan tourist destination that pays homage to fire and brimstone at every turn. Take a picture next to the “Gates of Hell,” buy a square inch of hell, or sign Fido up to be the Mayor of Hell for a day. Play a round of hellish putt-putt golf together and visit Screams Souvenirs from Hell & Helloween to buy a lock to attach to the bridge over Hell Creek River. Finish up your visit with dinner on the patio at Hell Hole Bar.
Rent a boat from your host at this adorable pink cottage that overlooks Base Lake near Hell.
Spanish Military Hospital
Built atop a Native American burial ground, Spanish Military Hospital is said to leave visitors feeling like they’re being watched. When the hospital was rebuilt in 1821, workers discovered thousands of bones under the ground beneath the structure, and not the good kind of bones you get from the pet store! Unfortunately, the fates of those that followed weren’t much better. Patients were regularly administered with painful treatments that didn’t leave them better off (and sometimes left them dead). Dogs are welcome to attend an educational tour of the grounds that focus on the barbaric medical tools and remedies used at the hospital over the years.
Only adept ghost hunters will be able to track down Sauerkraut Cave, which is hidden somewhere in the woods of E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. The park was once the home of the Central State Hospital, or Lakeland Asylum, which had a reputation for mistreating patients and sometimes even killing them. Sauerkraut Cave was used as cold storage during the hospital's heyday, and was also part of the underground tunnel system that can be found throughout the town of Louisville. Nowadays, pets can play off-leash throughout the park and romp around, safe in the knowledge that the hospital is long gone. Sniff out other frightening haunts with Amerighost Louisville Haunted Ghost Tour.
After your supernatural adventure, escape to a comfortable room at Aloft Louisville East.
Cheesman Park is one of the most popular recreation areas in the Mile High City, and also one of the eeriest. Formerly a burial ground known as Prospect Hill Cemetery, more than 5,000 bodies were painstakingly removed before construction of the park began in 1893. Explore the rest of the haunted Capitol Hill neighborhood with Denver Terrors Tour.
Blow off the cobwebs with a luxurious stay at The ART, a Hotel.
Ready for a Road Trip?
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