One Tank Itinerary: Halloween Edition

Travel Inspiration

Are you someone who loves a good scare? As Halloween approaches and fall is in the air, it’s the perfect time to visit some spooky places around the country. If you love all things creepy and paranormal, take a look at some of these supposedly haunted spots around the U.S. And many of them are an easy drive from major cities, meaning they can be reached with one tank of gas from metropolitan areas. So get ready for some chills with these spooky one tank trip stops, Halloween edition.

Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado

Image via

Fans of Stephen King or horror films will want to head out to Colorado for a visit to the Stanley Hotel. Overlooking the town of Estes Park, this historic hotel opened in the early 1900s, and its stately design was the inspiration for Stephen King’s horror novel, The Shining.

While the 1980s movie was not filmed here, you can visit the Stanley Hotel to see the place that inspired the original book. Even if you’re not planning to stay overnight in the hotel, it’s worth a visit. There are several tours offered throughout the year such as the guided walks about the history of the hotel or more spooky and paranormal based nighttime tours. There’s also a Shining Tour that focuses on Stephen King, the history of the hotel, and even displays some props from the movie. There’s also a hidden underground theater on the property where they host acts throughout the year. You can visit the website for more information.

And bonus – the Stanley Hotel is just 5 miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. So you can get creeped out and then work off all that jittery energy on a trail. The Stanley Hotel is 65 miles from Denver and takes about an hour and a half to drive to.

Salem, Massachusetts

Image via

Salem, Massachusetts is probably one of the best known spooky American cities. The site of the 1692 Witch Trials, this town goes all out for Halloween (and most of the year). Many sites around Salem provide history and stories about the witch trials, from the Witch House to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, to the wax museum. It was also the filming location for the 1993 movie Hocus Pocus, and you can see several of these iconic filming spots around town. Want to make sure you see it all? There are several walking tours offered by different companies in town that will take you to all the historic and haunted spots and explain more about the town’s past.

If you visit during October, get ready for a month of spooky celebration. From parades to street fairs to costume contests and ghost tours, fall really is the best time to visit Salem. Take your pick from haunted houses, music and theater performances, and an extra dose of haunted everything.

Salem is located about 16 miles north of Boston and is an easy day (or night!) trip.

Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Next up on our spooky Halloween edition is Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. At one time this prison was the most expensive and famous prison in the world that held prisoners like “Slick Willie” Sutton and Al Capone. Today, it’s a haunted ruin that offers some spooky tours.

The prison shut down in 1971 and has since become a National Historic Landmark. The prison offers several tours, including the daytime tours that talk about the history of the prison. But for an extra terrifying experience, visit during the fall when they have their Halloween Nights. During October, this creepy prison becomes spook central with five different haunted houses, scary flashlight lit tours, and Halloween themed immersive experiences.

But even if you’re not visiting during the fall, the prison is a museum and historic site throughout the year and offers self-guided tours and exhibits that explain the history of the site. You can visit their website for more information on tours and events.

Jerome, Arizona

Another town that goes all out for Halloween is Jerome, Arizona. Jerome is a real ghost town perched precariously on a mountainside just outside of Sedona. Back in the 1800s, Jerome was a booming copper mining town and called “The Wickedest town in the West”, but in the 1950s the mines closed and the town was all but abandoned. Today it’s full of art galleries, local wine tasting rooms, and ghosts of the dead miners that still linger – or so the residents say. Take one of the daytime walking/ghost tours to see the abandoned buildings and search for spirits that are still remain about the town. Or take a Halloween nighttime ghost tour with ghost hunting equipment or stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel which used to be a hospital and is considered one of the most haunted places in Arizona.

October is the best time to visit as the entire town is decked out in decorations and there are events throughout the month. Jerome is about 110 miles from Phoenix and takes just about 2 hours to get there.

Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California is next on our list. This sprawling Victorian mansion was built over 36 years from 1886-1922 for Sarah Pardee Winchester and has long been considered a hotspot for paranormal activity. This both beautiful and spooky mansion is open for tours year-round, but it’s very extra in the fall.

Visit during October to participate in their Lost in the House Tour which mixes a paranormal investigation with theater. The house has many fall and Halloween themed activities, but even if you’re visiting during the rest of the year, a tour of this magnificent mansion is a must see.

Ohio State Reformatory – Mansfield, Ohio

The Ohio State Reformatory is another historic prison with plenty of spooky appeal. This prison was built in the late 1800s and was in use until 1990 when it closed. Today it offers tours and was also the set of the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Ohio State Reformatory offers several different tours, including options that teach you how to hunt ghosts. These tours guide you through the prison describe the paranormal history while you search for spirits.

If you visit during the fall, this prison also turns into a haunted house with a 45-minute walk through the frightening building. If you’re looking to be scared, head to their website for more information. The Ohio State Reformatory is located 79 miles from Cleveland and 69 miles from Columbus, making it an easy drive from either city.

The Bell Witch Cave and Cabin – Adams, Tennessee

Bell Witch cave and cabin

Many of the other places on our list are buildings or towns, so how about checking out a spooky cave? The Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tennessee is a highly documented haunting from the early 1800s. The cave is home to the Bell Witch, thought to be the spirit of Kate Batts who tormented the Bell family in the 1800s. Paranormal fans can tour the cave itself as well as a reconstructed cabin of John Bell and his family with artifacts and news articles from the time period.

The Bell Witch Cave is a 40 minute drive from Nashville and hosts events throughout October. They have cave and cabin tours, along with haunted hayrides at night and events during the days.

Take a One Tank Trip

One tank trips are a great way to explore locally without spending so much on gas. If you’re looking for other great one tank itineraries check out the list below.

And if you’re looking for a rig, check out for an excellent selection of RV rentals!