Home to one of the earliest permanent Moravian settlements in North Carolina, Winston-Salem has earned the reputation of being one of the most haunted cities in the state. The Camel City has a spooky past, and this new tour, set to kick off in late September, will dig deep into the city’s grave history. Learn the story behind the doomed and forgotten Hotel Zinzendorf, and find out what goes bump in the night at Tart Sweets and Bernardin’s Restaurant, two local establishments.
Nightly year-round, times subject to change. Saturdays: 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Other evenings: 6 p.m., 8 p.m. Adults $13 when booked online. Children ages 7 and younger, free. (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com.
Recognized as one of the best ghost tours in the nation, Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington has a lot of stories that draw on the port city’s gruesome history. Stops on the tour can vary each night, but you’re guaranteed to walk away spooked. Hear tales like the ones about Gallows Hill, people being buried alive, and a friendly ghost who leaves dimes in the pockets of passersby.
March through October: Nightly, 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. November: Nightly, 6:30 p.m. December through February: Thursday-Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Adults $13. Children ages 6 and younger, free. (910) 794-1866 or hauntedwilmington.com.
With its extensive Revolutionary War and Civil War history, it only makes sense that the Gate City has attracted so many ghouls. Luckily enough for revelers looking for a good fright, many of the buildings in downtown Greensboro have been excellently preserved, so it isn’t difficult to imagine the chilling events that once happened where you now stand. “It’s right there for you to touch,” tour guide Dan Riedel says. He organizes ghost tours in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. “The history is still there right in front of you.” The stories about the Blandwood Mansion alone are haunting enough.
Nightly year-round, times subject to change. Saturdays: 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Other evenings: 6 p.m.Adults $13 when booked online. Children ages 7 and younger, free. (336) 905-4060 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com.
Of all of our cities, Charlotte is the most modern, but that doesn’t mean the past is buried deep here. On second thought, actually, it is. Charlotte predates the United States as country, and this is most apparent at the Old Settlers’ Cemetery, which delivers the biggest scares of the evening. “Everything in Charlotte has built up around it, but this place has always stayed the same,” Riedel says.
Nightly year-round, times subject to change. Saturdays: 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Other evenings: 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 8 p.m. Adults $13 when booked online. Children ages 7 and younger, free. (704) 699-7959 or carolinahistoryandhaunts.com.
This family-friendly tour provides an overview of New Bern’s grimmer history, detailing aspects of the Revolutionary and Civil wars and the yellow fever epidemic. “We did research our stories very thoroughly,” says Joyce O’Callahan, who runs Ghosts of New Bern alongside her husband, Joe. For those looking to extend the witching hour, consider getting a room with a boo. The O’Callahans partnered with the purportedly haunted Harvey Mansion Historic Inn & Restaurant to offer a package that includes the ghost tour and a stay at the inn.
Wednesday-Saturday, October 18 – November 4, 7:30 p.m. Exception of October 27-28, 9:00 p.m. Adults $12. Children ages 11 and under, $6. (252) 571-4766 or ghostsofnewbern.com.
If you don’t want to simply hear about ghosts, learn how to hunt for them yourself in Asheville. The final stop on Joshua P. Warren’s classic walking tour is at the Asheville Mystery Museum, located in a Masonic temple, which features a trove of paranormal investigation equipment. During the tour, you’ll learn the stories of The Pink Lady at the Grove Park Inn and the apparitions at Helen’s Bridge.
Nightly through October 31; Thursday-Sunday year-round, 8 p.m. Adults $20. Children ages 9-14, $15. Children ages 8 and younger, free. hauntedasheville.com.
As our capital city, Raleigh is bound to have a few things that go bump in the night. Learn the folklore and take a walk (the brisker, the better) through the City Cemetery of Raleigh, which was Raleigh’s first burying ground. Tobacco Road Tours offers ghost tours in other spots around the Triangle, too.
Beaufort is North Carolina’s third oldest town and was home to the infamous Blackbeard, so it’s bound to have some ghastly tales. Join your pirate guides for a spooky saunter around Beaufort’s streets and waterfront as they delve into a treasure trove of stories about ghost ships, haunted houses, and local folklore.
Katie Compton doesn’t consider herself a paranormal person, but then again, buying a hoop skirt from the local flea market and starting your own ghost tour isn’t, per se, normal. After graduating college with a degree in Southern antebellum history and oral interpretation of Southern literature and culture, she created Old South Tour Company. Compton recognizes that storytelling — balancing historical content and town folklore — is an art. “I let the graveyard speak for itself,” Compton says. “It’s creepy Southern gothic at its finest.”
Year-round, Tuesday-Sunday, 8 p.m., or by reservation. Adults $10. Children 7 and younger, $7. (910) 713-2072 or oldsouthporttourcompany.com.
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