“We saw a nice little vacation spot on the West coast. You should check it out sometime,” A family member suggested. “Is it haunted? She’ll only go if it is haunted” my boyfriend replied.
Everyone chuckled; Kind of because it sounds crazy but mostly because it is the truth. It has been years since we have taken a vacation anywhere that didn’t have a paranormal phenomenon or a haunted location to visit.
All this time I thought I was alone in my creepy travel culture. Paranormal Tourism has become quite a thing within the last year or so. Previously, I would do my own independent research or use what I have already read to navigate us to these haunted hotspots. Due to the dark demand, companies will now do all of that for you.
Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters has started Strange Escapes, a travel company which has events at grand hotels like the Stanley Hotel, Mackinac Island and even paranormal cruises. Not only do you travel to legendary destinations but engage in planned discussions, see paranormal fan favorites (and autograph sessions), and take part in professional investigations. Strange Escapes events do sell out so keep your eyes peeled for new destination information and act promptly if interested!
Other companies have been popping up, like Phenomevents. A group which even gathers here at Walt Disney World so you can pretend you are taking a wholesome family vacation but you are really getting some macabre on the side. They also have bigfoot trips for all you ‘saqatcher’s out there too…
For those who find joy in planning your next adventure and want to investigate on your own, consider looking at Haunted Travels where you can dive into the paranormal by state. And if you love a spontaneous stop along the way… Haunted Travels offers an app that will use the GPS on your phone to find any haunts nearby for a paranormal pit stop when you are just passing though. Another bonus to the paranormal tourism boom is places that were once only accessible during ghost tours or locations that were off-limits all together are now opening their doors to tourists because the extra profit is enticing.
For example, The Winchester Mystery House (my white whale), is reported to be opening its doors this year to overnight guests. YEASSS. And other haunting hot spots are following suit like the Villisca Ax Murder House and even the infamous Waverly Hills sanatorium.
For those that want the ‘home away from home’ feel, AIRBNB has reported an increase in listings described as ‘haunted’ and travelers are not feeing from but to these locations. (Read more about AirBnb’s macabre listings here, here and here.)
I know there are plenty of people out there who can’t stop dreaming about vacation. The next best thing to the actual time off for me, is the excitement in the planning and research beforehand… especially if I get to dig up some creepy content along the way.
Where to next?! Savannah? Key West? Where are you dying to visit?
-xoxo, Pretty Scary