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7 Haunted Small Towns You Need to Visit

If you are fascinated by ghosts and haunted small towns you’ll want to check these places out and add them to your bucket list. They’ll be sure to leave you with goosebumps and you might just encounter a greeting of an old ghostly soul. 

Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City is located in northern Nevada and is situated roughly 20 miles southeast of Reno. It’s one spooky paradise that is rich in history that you’ll want to put on your bucket list. It was established in 1859, for several decades this historic town was a booming mining establishment and famous for the Comstock Lode. This town is rich in history, and one you’ll want to put on your bucket list. When you visit this historic place you’ll feel like you’ve jumped back in time as you stroll along the wooden sidewalks alongside shops, grabbing a cold one at one of the unique western saloons, or taking on a haunted ghost tour. With many sites to see, there’s a guided tour that’ll surely give you a chilling experience, visit the Silver Queen Hotel where ghosts are heard running around the hotel and tapping on windows. Visit the historic Fourth Ward School where a spirit of a former teacher can be seen searching for her students. Piper’s Opera House is very haunted with sites of entities setting up, performing, or watching for a show. The Sugar Loaf Mountain Motel has a lot of paranormal activity with unexplainable noises such as laughter, heavy breathing, moving doors, and footsteps. Some other haunted places in Virginia City are Mackay Mansion, Story County Courthouse, Old Washoe Club, and Delta Saloon. 

Calico, California

Calico was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town and has now been converted into a county park named Calico Ghost Town. This ghost town is in San Bernardino County in California. Soak in the history and come visit this historic town turned into an attraction with shops, restaurants, and take a ghost tour! There are three unique ghost tour experiences to choose from, the walk up Main Street, where you’ll learn about the town as well as stories and hauntings. The Maggie Mine tour is a pretty neat tour through Maggie Mine. The lights will be turned low and you’ll experience it similar to when the Mulcahy Bros mined it in 1881. The last tour offered is the School House Tour where you’ll go inside the schoolhouse at night and hear all of the stories about the past children. 

Tonopah, Nevada 

Tonopah, Nevada is another haunted location full of paranormal activity. It’s a wild west town remotely in the desert. It’s situated midway between Las Vegas and Reno. This spooky town has many attractions including the Mizpah Hotel, where history meets luxury. This hotel is the jewel of the desert and you’re able to book a room at this hotel and experience some of the ghosts during your stay. There is also the infamous Clown Motel where you can stay in one of the haunted rooms. Explore the Old Tonopah Cemetery next door to the motel where there are some pretty scary stories of strange lights, full-body apparitions, and weird noises. Tonopah is known for being one of the best places to stargaze, be sure to check that out. There’s the Tonopah historic mining park, Tonopah Brewing Company, and the Central NV Museum. 

Bannack, Montana

Bannack, Montana is a desolate former mining town filled with chilling paranormal activity. This town in the wild west was founded in 1862 as this was the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery making it a gold rush town and Montana’s first territorial capital. There are over fifty historic buildings that line Main Street, the buildings are log and frame structures that will take you back in time. This well-preserved town is now a state park. Tours are available, there is a campground, ice skating in the colder months, fishing, picnicking spots, bicycling, lots of wildlife, and of course the rich history to soak in. 

South Pass City, Wyoming

South Pass City, Wyoming was a historic gold mining town and happens to be one of Wyoming’s largest historic sites. Founded in 1867, this mining town is located approximately ten miles north of the Oregon Trail on the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. In South Pass City there is a historic site that features more than twenty-four preserved historic structures and thirty-period room exhibits, picnic areas, nature trails, and a visitor center. This is a great place to soak in the history of this old mining town and you never know what old souls you may run into. 

Bodie, California

Bodie, California is a former gold-mining town and State Historic Park northeast of Yosemite, 13 miles east of Highway 395 on Bodie Road (Hwy 170), and seven miles south of Bridgeport. In 1875, a mine was revealed which then had a mass of people descend into Bodie in 1877 after the purchase of the mine by the Standard Company. Bodie is now simply a ghost town and it looks much the same as when the last residents left. There are no commercial facilities to preserve the ghost town atmosphere. Daily tours are offered, visitors are able to walk down the deserted streets of Bodie that once had approximately 10,000 people residing there. Only a small portion of the town has survived being preserved in the state of “arrested decay”. Everything remains as it was left including stocked with goods. Come to experience Bodie and you might just encounter an occasional ghost. 

Goldfield Ghost Town

Goldfield Ghost Town is situated in Apache Junction, Arizona. It’s a reconstructed 1890’s town that used to be a gold mining town located on the Apache Trail. The town consisted of three saloons, a general store, a boarding house, a brewery, a meat market, a schoolhouse, and a blacksmith shop. Today there are many attractions, you can explore many shops and historic buildings, walk down Main Street, visit the Goldfield museum, go gold panning and gem sluicing at Prospector’s Palace. Check out Goldfield Ghost Town’s Walking Ghost Tour as you take a walk through the historic mining town at night embracing and discovering the spirits, legends, and curses that are within the town. Take a tour in the Goldfield Mine Tour which is an underground guided tour taking you back in history to 100 years ago. Immerse yourself in the history this town has to offer as well as the many ghosts.

I hope you enjoyed this article on haunted small towns, have one that we missed? Drop it in a comment below or explore other travel articles.

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Howdy, I'm Megan deFabry, I grew up in Reno, Nevada & I now reside in Austin, Texas. I'm very passionate about digital marketing and journalism, especially within the Western industry. I'm driven by faith, and have a love for the outdoors, agriculture, rodeos, country music, and maintaining the Western way of life!

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