Historic Virginia Travel

17 Haunted Places in Virginia: Our Favorite Spooky Towns, Bridges, and Cemeteries

By: Author Katie

Posted on March 20, 2022

Virginia is a historic place, and with history comes… ghosts! Those historic Virginia towns you love all have a spooky side, and if you come back after dark, you’ll learn all about ghosts from Colonial and Civil war-era Americans who frequented these locations during their lifetime.

Some of the most haunted places in Virginia are towns, roads, bridges, and cemeteries. This list is a complete guide to all the haunted spots in Virginia that you can visit for an unforgettable experience.

👻 If you’re visiting in the fall, be sure to read our guide on what to do in Virginia this autumn.

collage of 3 spooky images with text overlay

The most haunted places in Virginia:

Whether you believe in them or not, all these spots are fun to visit. Here are our favorites.

1. The Martha Washington Inn & Spa

large brick home with green room and white trim

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa is a historic hotel in Virginia that has been featured on Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” Some of its rooms are said to be haunted by the ghosts of Confederate soldiers who were treated in the makeshift hospital during the Civil War. Guests have reported eerie feelings and bloodstains appearing from time to time in some of the rooms. The Yankee Sweetheart has also been seen on camera as a white mist walking the halls of the hotel.

2. Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery

statue of stonewall jackson surrounded by iron fence

The Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery is a historic site located in Lexington, Virginia. This cemetery is home to the graves of many famous people, including Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

This cemetery is often visited by tourists during Halloween because it’s said that you can sometimes see the ghosts of these two famous Confederate generals walking around. In fact, the Lexington Ghost Tour offers haunted tours of this cemetery specifically!

Aside from the ghosts, this cemetery is also known for its beautiful scenery. It’s set in a picturesque location and contains many wildflowers. There’s also a sculpture mourning over the grave of Stonewall Jackson, which has been vandalized in recent years.

Lexington is a historical city with many haunted locations, but few are as creepy as the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery

Tip: If you’re in Lexington during October check out “Haunting Tales” an entertainment company that offers spooky tours. The tour visits historical sites and concludes with a visit to the cemetery, where entertainers dressed in old-fashioned attire take you through ghost stories from Lexington and its surrounding areas.

3. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

historic brick building on street corner

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum in Old Town Alexandria is the site of one of the most curious mysteries in Virginia history. In 1796, John Wise purchased a lot and opened the bar. The young woman contracted a disease on her journey, which led to an infection and ultimately death at Gadsby’s Inn. There is an unknown woman buried at St. Paul’s Cemetery who is supposedly haunted by a ghost with the name of “Female Stranger”.

The couple that arrived in room 8 requested anonymity and was wealthy. The man was described as both handsome and strangely unwell. The woman died, and the husband erected a memorial to commemorate her life as “The Female Stranger.”

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum is a popular tourist destination in Alexandria, Virginia. The hotel boasts the spirit of one woman who had lived there all her life and was never portrayed as bad or hostile.

4. Hollywood Cemetery

stone statue of woman crying

Hollywood Cemetery is a popular tourist attraction in Richmond, Virginia. This historic cemetery is well-known for being haunted by the spirits of Confederate soldiers and other deceased residents of Richmond. Perhaps the most famous ghost at Hollywood Cemetery is that of President James Monroe, who is buried there.

One of the most interesting graves at Hollywood Cemetery is that of a Newfoundland dog named Sailor. The story goes that a young girl named Alice died tragically in 1862 and her grieving parents had her buried with her beloved dog. To this day, visitors to Hollywood Cemetery report seeing the statue of the Newfoundland dog guarding over Alice’s small grave.

Another allegedly haunted spot at Hollywood Cemetery is W. Poole’s tomb. Some people claim that you can hear strange noises and see shadowy figures inside the mausoleum-style grave, but there is no concrete evidence to support these claims. Nevertheless, Richmond residents still refer to it as “the Vampire’s Grave.”

5. St. Albans Sanatorium

St. Albans Sanatorium is a haunted location in Virginia and the east coast of the United States. The site has been known for its troubled spirits from the earliest days as a competitive school to its more recent history as a sanatorium filled with abuse and suicide.

The most vulnerable patients at the sanatorium were subjected to cruel experimental treatments which often lead them to be permanently disabled or even die from shock therapy or induced comas. Many patients would die due to these torture methods and/or take their own lives just to escape the abuse they faced.

Albans Sanatorium was a mental institution that closed in the 1990s after severe understaffing and unlivable conditions. The site of St. Albans has long been associated with ghostly apparitions, shadow figures, and hearing footsteps during visits. Many people who have visited St. Alban’s have reported seeing cannon fire and gun-power smoke from the Civil War era when it was still an active mental institution

6. Bacon’s Castle (The Arthur Allen House)

brickk manor house surrounded by white fence

Bacon’s Castle is a historic house in Surry County, Virginia. The home was built in 1665 by Arthur Allen and it is now known as Bacon’s Castle after Nathaniel Bacon seized it during the rebellion of 1676. If you’re visiting in October, don’t miss Bacon’s Castle Haunt Nights! This event is jam-packed with spine-chilling fun, including ghost tours, psychic readings, and more!

Jamestown is a historic site less than an hour away from Bacon’s Castle that makes for a rewarding add-on to the trip. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Make sure to check out the replica of John Smith’s ship while you’re there!

Bacon’s Castle is a historic house with ghosts who have been known to sometimes move objects, shoving visitors, and clamping noisily down the stairs. The castle is said to have been haunted for over 300 years. Some believe that this may be due to the fact that Nathaniel Bacon seized it during the rebellion of 1676. The house is old, and it has a lot of turbulent history. Paranormal Research and Investigation has been investigating the property for six years and they have found that there have been reports of sounds, cries, laughter, and footsteps made by ghosts who inhabit the location. If you’re brave enough, make sure to visit Bacon’s Castle Haunt Nights in October!

8. Wise County Orphanage

The Wise County Orphanage is a place where there isn’t much information, but the creepiness surrounding it is felt almost instantly. Daring explorers have heard disembodied giggling of children and seen floating lights from within the abandoned building. People have reported seeing ghostly figures in the windows of the abandoned orphanage, which is rather frightening.

Many people are interested in the paranormal and claim to hear youngsters giggling and see bouncing balls and floating lights when they visit this location. The orphanage is said to be haunted by spirits left behind after they were abandoned there.

9. The Public Hospital in Williamsburg

The Public Hospital was built in 1773 and is the oldest standing hospital in America. It’s also one of the most haunted places in Williamsburg. The hospital was used to treat both British and American soldiers during the Revolutionary War, and it’s said that many died there from their injuries.

One of the most common paranormal activities reported at the hospital is disembodied voices. Visitors have also claimed to see shadowy figures walking the halls, and some say they’ve even felt hands touch them. There have been numerous reports of objects moving on their own, as well as strange noises coming from inside the building.

If you’re looking for a truly spine-chilling experience, then be sure to visit The Public Hospital in Williamsburg!

10. Public Gaol in Colonial Williamsburg

reproduction of small brick jail with chimneys

The Public Gaol was built in 1719 and served as a jail until 1885. It is now a museum that is featured on Colonial Ghosts ‘ comprehensive tour of Williamsburg. The jail’s inmates during colonial times included the city’s most vicious individuals and pirates. The conditions at the Public Gaol were as bad as its occupants – freezing cells, terrible food, and widespread typhus. The jail is said to have had chains moving on their own and screams coming from cells while touring the prison. There are a lot of rumors about this building being haunted.

11. Bunny Man’s Bridge (Clifton in Northern Virginia)

The legend of Bunny Man Bridge is an urban legend. It’s possible that other escaped inmates could be hiding on or near the bridge. The story likely originated in October of 1970 when the Washington Post reported police were searching for a man who likes to wear a “white bunny rabbit costume” and throw hatchets through car windows.

Bunny Man Bridge was created in the 1970s, and it’s located at 6497 Colchester Road in Clifton. The residents of the Bunny Man Bridge are typically not happy to have people visiting it, so please be respectful if you choose to go!

12. Boxwood Inn Bed & Breakfast

The Boxwood Inn was originally built in 1897 as a family home. It is now a popular bed and breakfast that is said to be haunted by a ghost named Lizzie. The attic is the most likely place for her to haunt, and she is known to make herself quite chatty with guests!

Many people believe that the Boxwood Inn is one of the most haunted places in Virginia. This may be due in part to the fact that it saw so much bloodshed and violence during the Civil War. There’s even a room at the inn named after its famous ghost!

13. Elbow Road

Elbow Road is said to be haunted by the spirits of an old woman and a child. Drivers have seen the old woman walking while bloodied and battered, searching for her home. If you stop on Elbow Road at night, wet footprints of a child may appear walking towards you.

14. Captain Timothy Hill House

virginia ghost towns

The Captain Timothy Hill House is said to be haunted because of a tragic love story that occurred there. The house is one of the most famous landmarks on the island and can be found in Chincoteague, VA.

The Captain Hill House was built in 1800 and is located on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. This house is one of the creepiest haunted houses in Virginia. Jennie’s presence remains a haunting mystery.

15. Swannanoa Palace

stained glass window of woman at top of stair landing

The Swannanoa Palace was constructed in 1912 and named for the nearby town of Swannanoa. The property is a vacation house for James H. Dooley’s wife Sallie, who died two years later from a stroke before she could enjoy it.

A paranormal investigation took place at the palace in 2008 and 2010, with no evidence found to support the claims made by tourists about seeing ghosts on site.

Sallie, the ghost of a young woman, has been spotted on the third level of Swannanoa Palace. The spirits have been seen and heard throughout this mansion that seems to be caught in a state of limbo.

16. Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus

large metal battleship docked at shore

The Battleship Wisconsin is said to be haunted by the spirits of former military servicemen. Guests have the opportunity to learn about the history of the ship and meet with the spirits of former military servicemen who once called it home. These ghosts are said to be some of the most active on the ship, and they can often be seen or heard by visitors.

17. Ferry Plantation House

The Ferry Plantation House is a beautiful plantation home that’s nearly 300 years old. This property has been witness to many different events throughout its long history, and it’s now one of the most haunted places in Virginia Beach.

When you visit this house, you’ll be able to see the ghosts of colonial- and civil war-era Americans who frequented the house during their lifetime. Some of these spirits include shipwreck victims, a former painter who called it home, an 1810 death of one of the house’s former owners, Henry, and Sally Rebecca Walke who mourns her Confederate soldier fiancé.

What makes this plantation so haunted? It could be because it’s been in so many different hands over the years. With each new owner comes a new story and a new ghost. So visitors will have to contend with many different spirits when they come here!

18. Bracey General Store

The Bracey General Store was originally opened in 1900. The general store provided staples, furniture, and dry goods for residents of the town.

Disposable coffins were sold at the local general store from travelers passing through town – who also came to purchase supplies for their homes on their way out of town.

The Bracey General Store has been visited by restless travelers who may have taken a wrong turn.

Enjoy these haunted spots (if you dare!)

If you want to explore some of the scariest haunted places in Virginia, we’ve got a list for you! Whether it’s your first time or tenth time visiting these spooky locations, there are plenty of opportunities to see ghosts and experience paranormal activity.

Urbex Underground

7 Ghost Towns In Virginia [MAP]

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Urbex Underground

If you’re searching for ghost towns in Virginia, we’ve got you covered! Below are 7 different ghost towns you can explore across Virginia along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

We rate ghost towns in Virginia based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

  • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers .
  • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone .
  • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
  • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families .
  • Semi-Abandoned : Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
  • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.

2. Upper Pocosin Mission

3. elko tract, 4. lorraine, 5. matildaville, 7. jamestown, the anarchist’s guide to exploration.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of urban exploration, this book is for you. Learn how to uncover more abandoned places and the techniques used to capture their beauty.

37.483333, -78.326972 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

Kicking off our list of ghost towns in Virginia is the town of Ca Ira. The town was founded in 1796, but soon fell into disuse after the American Civil War. Before the American Civil War, Ca Ira was a small farming community in Cumberland County. The General Assembly named the town Ca Ira, based on a popular French marching song. This reflected the popular enthusiasm of the French Revolution in Virginia.

What’s Left?

Today, it is home only to an old Grace Church and a handful of houses. Historic artifacts from the Ca Ira Mill’s former dam and canal can be found in the surrounding area.

38.401124, -78.481991 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

The community that lived in Pocosin Mission once flourished as a small mission with a schoolhouse and chapel. However, as better opportunities presented themselves, the community declined – and it has been abandoned since the late 1800s.

Today, you can see the ruins and crumbling walls of this ghost town in Shenandoah National Forest. Pocosin Mission is one of the more remote ghost towns in Virginia, so be sure to prepare accordingly when visiting.

37.4868, -77.2379 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

Elko Tract was a decoy airfield built in the 1940s to trick German bombers into wasting their munitions while preserving the legitimate airfields.

The tract was first put up for sale by the State Hospital Board in the 1950s, but that deal fell through. The state rejected bids to develop the tract, and its infrastructure was in danger. The state finally put it up for sale in 1963, but sadly the development never came to fruition.

Now urban explorers can check out the old airfield buildings, and abandoned water tower, and walk along the old overgrown streets. Of all the ghost towns in Virginia, Elko Tract is my personal favorite.

37.567222, -77.62 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

Lorraine is one of the least known ghost towns in Virginia. Lorraine was settled in the late 1880s and named after Edward Lorraine who was the chief engineer of the nearby canal. The town became a station stop along the Richmond and Allegheny Railroad which helped kickstart its population.

However as time went on, the rail line eventually discontinued their route to Lorraine by the 1950s.

While not much remains, vigilant explorers can still find ruins between the James River and along Tuckahoe Island.

38.995064, -77.255430 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

Matildaville, Virginia was incorporated in 1790 by the General Assembly. It served as the headquarters of the Patowmack Company and housing for laborers.

This town was sixty feet below the bedrock. It was named after the first wife of Virginia governor, Henry Lee III, who planned to establish an industrial town with northern investors. By the late 1790s, most of Matildaville’s structures had been razed, and the only remaining structures are the ruins of buildings.

Today history lovers, hikers, and photographers can explore the only remaining ruins of Matildaville by taking the path south of the Great Falls Visitors Center.

36.11717, -92.14212 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

During its heyday, Lignite was home to a company store, churches, a school, a post office, and a main street theater. In the early 1900s, the Alleghany Ore and Iron Company moved operations to neighboring Coachville, Pa., where Lukens Steel Company remained, leaving the town without a source of income.

Today, Lignite is a part of the Jefferson National Forest with only the main street and theater ruins left behind.

37.209167, -76.7775 Status: Abandoned

virginia ghost towns

Jamestown is easily one of the most historic ghost towns in Virginia, with a history dating back to the 1600s. Jamestown is one of three towns that make up the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia.

There’s tons to explore in Jamestown including old homes, the ruins of the Jamestown Church, numerous mass graves, and preserved artifacts in the local museum.

Go out and explore!

That concludes our list of ghost towns in Virginia but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places , or explore other ghost towns across the country .

Similar Posts

6 Ghost Towns In Vermont [MAP]

6 Ghost Towns In Vermont [MAP]

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Urbex Underground If you’re searching for ghost towns in Vermont, we’ve got you covered! Below are 6 different ghost towns you can explore across Vermont along with their status and exact GPS coordinates. We rate ghost towns in Vermont based on their status. Here’s how our system works:…

10 Abandoned Places In Southern Ohio

10 Abandoned Places In Southern Ohio

Last Updated on March 14, 2020 by Urbex Underground There’s no doubt that Ohio is full of great stuff both abandoned and historical to explore, but what about southern Ohio? In this article we’re going to look at the top 13 abandoned places in southern Ohio. Here’s a quick list of 10 abandoned places in…

12 Ghost Towns In West Virginia [MAP]

12 Ghost Towns In West Virginia [MAP]

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Urbex Underground If you’re searching for ghost towns in West Virginia, we’ve got you covered! Below are 12 different ghost towns you can explore across Illinois along with their status and exact GPS coordinates. We rate ghost towns in West Virginia based on their status. Here’s how our…

22 Abandoned Places In California [MAP]

22 Abandoned Places In California [MAP]

Last Updated on January 17, 2022 by Urbex Underground If you’re looking to explore abandoned places in California, I got you covered. Below are 22 of my favorite abandoned locations all across the state. Abandoned Places In California 1. Murphys Ranch 34.07036, -118.51458 History: A sanctuary established by Nazi sympathizers is located in Pacific Palisades,…

13 Ghost Towns In Minnesota [MAP]

13 Ghost Towns In Minnesota [MAP]

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Urbex Underground If you’re searching for ghost towns in Minnesota, we’ve got you covered! Below are 12 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Minnesota along with their status and exact GPS coordinates. We rate ghost towns in Minnesota based on their status. Here’s…

15 Abandoned Places In Hawaii [MAP]

15 Abandoned Places In Hawaii [MAP]

Last Updated on May 18, 2022 by Urbex Underground Hunting for abandoned places in Hawaii? You’re in the right place. Below are 15 of my favorite abandoned places across the islands of Hawaii! Abandoned Places In Hawaii 1.  Coco Palms Resort 22.04983, -159.33529 History: An abandoned hotel on Hawaii’s oldest island’s east shore is slowly…

THE BEST Virginia Ghost Towns

Ghost towns in virginia.

  • Historic Sites
  • Points of Interest & Landmarks
  • Churches & Cathedrals
  • Ghost Towns
  • Good for Couples
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Big Groups
  • Honeymoon spot
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
  • Hidden Gems
  • Adventurous
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

virginia ghost towns

1. Crimson Lane Vineyards


2. Red Hill General Store


3. Union Level Ghost Town


4. Nike Missile Control Site N-85

What travelers are saying.

Donna H

  • Things to Do
  • Top 25 High Schools
  • Best of NoVA
  • Best Restaurants
  • In This Issue

Ghost Towns of Virginia

Northern Virginia has a population that grows exponentially every year, but there are areas in Virginia where the only thing left are the shells of towns and their histories that are ripe for exploration. –SR


Rosewell Plantation

Rosewell Plantation, once an example of Virginia wealth, was home to the Page family for more than 100 years.

The owner, John Page, who was peers with Thomas Jefferson at The College of William and Mary, eventually wrote a letter to Jefferson regarding the Declaration of Independence so poignant that he was quoted by George W. Bush more than two centuries later in his 2001 inaugural address.

Page went onto become the 13th Governor of Virginia. His wife, Margaret Lowether Page, was an early American poet who hosted literary salons at the mansion. The Rosewell Plantation’s vibrant facade was only matched by the elaborate balls that were celebrated inside through the 18th and 19th centuries.

The estate remained a towering and beautiful presence in Virginia until a fire tore through the mansion in 1916 and left only a shell. What remains now are only the magnificent ruins of the rich colonial history.

The substantial ruins are open for visitation Monday-Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. / pentagonmemorial.org/explore/design-elements


In 1942, the U.S. government constructed a decoy airfield outside of Richmond in hopes that should the Nazis attempt to bomb a base, nobody would be injured. The base was deactivated in 1945, and there were plans to turn Elko Tract into a mental health site for African-American children, but the funding eventually fell through and Elko Tract slowly became a “lost city.”


Pocahontas hasn’t been entirely abandoned, but much of it has. A booming coal town in the early 20th century, the town was ravaged when the mine shut down. The high school has shut down, and many of the historic 19th-century buildings now fall into ruin. The rows of street fronts that once boasted a prosperous coal mining town are now just faded facades.


Union Level

Union Level used to be a bustling stop in Mecklenburg County. In the 1800s it was along the horse and carriage line, and then later in the 1900s, it was along the rail line. Churches, storefronts and homes were all erected, but once the rail line left, so did all of the occupants. The buildings are standing but have been taken back by nature and are slowly falling to ruin.

While There: Walk along where the sidewalks used to be, take a picnic in the street, and snap photos inside some of the remaining stable buildings.

(August 2015)

Ghost Towns of Virginia Northern Virginia has a population that grows exponentially every year, but there are areas in Virginia where the only thing left are the shells of towns and their histories that are ripe for exploration. –SR

virginia ghost towns

  • Skip to right header navigation
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to secondary navigation
  • Skip to primary sidebar

Southern Trippers Logo

Discover the best that Southern USA has to offer! Hidden gems, vibrant cities and more!

with so much history, there are so many haunted places in virginia to visit!

12 Haunted Places In Virginia That Will Creep You Out

June 22, 2021 //  by  Follow Me Away

So, you’re looking for some haunted places in Virginia? Well, you have come to the right place! Many of us love to be spooked, we know that we do, and with Virginia having so much history, it’s no surprise that some of that history has remained. You pretty much can’t walk in any direction without stepping on American Revolution Battlefield or a Civil War Site.

With so much history, there comes with an eerie side effect: over 170 haunted site claims. From graveyards to museums, and Castles and Hotels, we are certain that you will find your perfect haunted location to explore. You may even get some paranormal evidence of your own!

If you’re looking for some more haunted locations in Southern US, we have a haunted places in the south blog post for you to check out!

Swannanoa Palace

Swannanoa Palace, located in Afton, is know to be one of the most haunted places in Virginia. There’s said to be many spirits that wander the halls.

Swannanoa Palace is a beautiful, grand building that was built in 1912 by James H. Dooley, a millionaire, philanthropist, and Civil War Veteran. He built it as a summer house for him and his wife, Sallie Dooley. Whilst Swannanoa Palace has started to decay overtime, you can still see the artistry that has gone into making it. It took nearly 8 years and required over 300 artisans to complete the Dooley’s vision. Sallie is particular was known to absolutely adore Swannanoa Palace

Sadly, the Dooleys died in the 1920s and Swannanoa Palace was sold. It has worn many faces in its lifetime, from a country club to a university. The current owner is James Dulaney who has spent millions of dollars restoring the property and has since opened it up to visitors. Weddings, photoshoots, and paranormal investigations have all taken place as Swannanoa Palace.

The most prominent ghost that is said to be at Swannanoa Palace is Sallie Dooley herself. Her spirit is often seen walking the halls of her beloved summer home, with James Dulaney himself believes that she is still here as his cats refuse to go on the third floor. Mrs Dooley is said to have hated cats. Other spirits of groundskeepers and servants have been heard in the form of whispers.

The library is thought to be the most haunted room in the palace, but you have over fifty rooms to decided if that statement is true!

Although beautiful, Swannanoa Palace is said to be one of the most haunted places in virginia

Bacon’s Castle

Bacon’s Castle, also known as The Arthur Allen House is undoubtedly one of the most haunted places in Virginia. It also happens to be one of the oldest! Bacon’s Castle dates back to 1655 and is one of the only remaining examples of Jacobean Architecture, and Bacon’s Castle has a long enough history to fill a book. From its role in Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, to tales of comet sightings, affairs, secret romances, hundreds of slave abuse, and raids, it’s really no surprised that some of these tortured souls remain here.

If you visit Bacon’s Castle and the beautiful gardens today, do not be surprised if you hear disembodied voices and footsteps, objects to move on their own, see floating heads or firey balls of light. Super Creepy!

Bacon's Castle dates back to 1655 and is one of the only remaining examples of Jacobean Architecture, and Bacon's Castle has a long enough history to fill a book

The Martha Washington Hotel & Spa

To stay in one of the most haunted hotels in Virginia, book a room at The Martha Washington Hotel & Spa located in Abingdon.

The hotel was originally built in 1832 by General Francis Preston as a retirement home for his family (which included 9 children). The building would later serve as a hospital for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, with romantic stories between the soldiers and nurses still being told to this day. After the Civil War, The Martha would become a woman’s college and eventually become the hotel that it is today.

Many soldiers died in the hotel during its time in the civil war, and it is said that some of their souls never left. There has been instances of disembodied voices and wails, phantom horses, and bloodstains appearing on carpets. The most well known ghost of The Martha Washington Inn is known as the ‘Yankee Sweetheart’ who romans the halls looking for her deceased lover. She has been known to appear as a ghostly white mist who has even been caught on camera. The Martha Washing Inn is definitely a great place to stay if you’re looking for the most haunted places in Virginia!

Book a Room on Hotels.com

Many soldiers died in the hotel during its time in the civil war, and it is said that some of their souls never left making it one of the most haunted places in virginia

St Albans Sanatorium

St Albans Sanatorium is known as not only as one of the most haunted places in Virginia, but the entire eastern US. The sanatorium has an absolutely horrific past, haunted by stories of abuse and mistreatment. All that is left of this place is broken children’s toys on the floor, rusty wheelchairs abandoned in corners, rusty bathrooms and decaying walls. The atmosphere at St Albans is super dark, heavy, and upsetting so is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Before it was a sanatorium, the building was actually a Lutheran boys school and was a terrible place to go as bullying was encouraged within the competitive student body. Many of the boys took their lives as a result of the bullying.

After the school was shut down, it was turned into St Albans Sanatorium in 1916 and was advertised as a more ‘idyllic’ asylum, boasting a rooftop garden, bowling alley, and a small farm.

But living conditions were far from the paradise that was advertised. The vulnerable were subjected to cruel experimental treatments which often lead them to be permanently disabled or even die from the lobotomies or induced comas. Other torture methods such as electroshock therapy and hydrotherapy were used on patients. Many would die from these treatments, or take their own lives just to escape the abuse. The sanatorium was finally closed in the 1990s after severe understaffing and unliveable conditions, which patients outnumbering staff 48 to 6,509.

Many people who have visited St Albans have reported seeing ghostly apparitions, shadow figures, and hearing footsteps during their visit. Reports of cannon fire and gun-power smoke have been said to be seen and smelt from the time when it was a site of a Civil War battle.

Many people who have visited St Albans have reported seeing ghostly apparitions, shadow figures, and hearing footsteps during their visit.

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Located in Alexandria, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum makes our list of haunted places in Virginia because of the mysterious past that it has.

The story goes that in 1816, a young woman travelled to Alexandria with her husband and booked room 8 in the City Hotel. But soon after checking in, the woman’s health began to deteriorate and a few days later she was on her deathbed. Before she died, she made everyone promise not to reveal her, or her husband’s identity. Her wish was honoured and she was buried with her name listed as ‘Female Stranger’.

To this day, nobody knows who the identity of woman or her husband. And with the unknown comes speculation as to why the woman didn’t want anyone to know who she was. Theories go from a woman running away from her husband with her lover, to the woman being Theodosia Burr, the daughter of Aaron Burr.

The unnamed woman is said to still be at the museum. She is described as a gentle soul who doesn’t want to cause any harm to the living, she just wants to enjoy the beauty of the place. She is often seen in an evening gown and liked to crash events in the ballroom. She is often seen in her old room, Room 8, and in the dining room waiting to be seated – she has startled several waitresses by manifesting right in front of them!

Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Tours

If you’re looking to go on some ghost tours in Virginia, we highly recommend Colonial Ghost Tours in Williamsburg. They are ranked in the top 10 ghost tours in the US and the #1 ghost tour in Colonial Williamsburg.

The tour takes you on some of the creepiest locations in Colonial Williamsburg and lasts approximately an hour and a half, they take place at night to add the eerie feeling that you will definitely get on one of these tours!

On the tour, you will hear up to 18 ghost stories that have been carefully researched and constantly adding stories that have never been heard before. One of the places you will visit that has countless stories is the College of William & Mary, where footsteps have been heard and even apparitions have been sighted.

Book Your Tickets Now

Virginia is known for having some of the best haunted ghost tours in the US

Old House Woods

Virginia is known for having miles and miles of gorgeous forests have have been around for centuries. But some of them are known for being mysterious and creepy, and that is why Old House Woods has become known as one of the most haunted places in Virginia.

Nestled in Chesapeake Bay is the little town of Diggs. Branching away from Diggs is Haven Beach Road which leads to a 50 acre patch of dense pine woods and marshland. Don’t be fooled by how small it is, this small remote forest is a hub of activity with many different legends surrounding it!

The history of the woods dates back to the 1700s, where many pirates and soldiers would enter the woods seeking refuge amongst the trees. There was once an abandoned home there known as The Frannie Knight House which, even back then, was known to be haunted! There were tales of it setting itself on fire and putting itself back out again, only for it to catch fire and burn to the ground.

Supposedly, there is a large amount of treasure buried somewhere in these woods, and there have been many sightings of ghost ships and figures in the water and amongst the trees. There have even been accounts of skeletons in armour walking up to visitors in the woods asking where their ship is. If that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, I have no idea what will!

Old House woods has a bizarre history of sightings of skeletons in armour!

Wise County Orphanage

Just past 9619 Turkey Branch Road lies the abandoned Wise County Orphanage on Suffolk Road. It is known as one of the most haunted places in Virginia, and it seriously gives us the creeps!

The building was abandoned in the 1920s after serving as an orphanage for abandoned and orphaned children. It has since been left the crumble and decay, with nature claiming it back as its own over the years. From the outside, it even looks like your typical haunted house!

Not much is known about the Wise County Orphanage other than the ghosts that were left behind once it was abandoned. Daring explorers have said they have heard disembodied giggling of children, bouncing balls, and seen floating lights. From a distance, ghostly figures have been seen in the windows of the orphanage. Seriously creepy!

Virginia Beach locals will warn you not the stop on Elbow Road, as over the years it has become known as one of the most haunted places in Virginia Beach.

The story goes that a restless spirit walks Elbow Road searching for her home. This spirit has become known as Mrs. Woble, who is said to have been murdered and her body never recovered. Drivers on Elbow Road have spotted an old woman, bloodied and battered, walking on the road searching for her home.

There are also tales of a second spirit on Elbow Road of a little girl who drowned in a nearby lake. It is said that if you stop on Elbow Road at night and sit on the hood of your car, wet footprints of a child will appear walking towards you! Are you brave enough to try that out?

Elbow road has many terrifying stories that make it one of the most haunted places in virginia

The Winery at LaGrange

Located in Haymarket, The Winery at LaGrange is know for it’s mischievous spirits and has subsequently become known as one of the most haunted places in northern Virginia.

The staff are very aware of the spirits at LaGrange, and have several traditions that they do in order to honour them. On the mantel behind the tasting room counter, you will see a glass of wine that is never empty. If the wine gets moved, then the internet goes out. The wine glass is filled daily, but the wine in it seems to disappear more quickly that simple evaporation allows. The wine glass is an offering to Benoni Harrison, who was once a past owner.

There is also the story of one of the children who used to live at LaGrange and the soldiers. The child is thought to be Mary Harrison, who would bring food and supplies to a solider in the woods. She would signal that it was safe by lighting a candle in the parlour room window. Today, there is an electronic candle kept in the room to honour her which is often found turned on even though nobody has touched it. Unusually, the current owner says they are unable to have any trees in the Parlour window as they are always found lying on the ground the morning after they put them up.

The bottom level at The Winery at LaGrange used to be a cellar, and is now is a beautiful seating area for guests, but it is thought to be the most haunted part of LaGrange. Shadow figures have been seen, along with hearing voices and wine glasses clinking together when nobody was there!

Even though the experiences at The Winery at LaGrange, the owners say they mean no harm and are just mischievous who like to pass their time by playing tricks on unsuspecting guests.

Ferry Plantation House

The Ferry Plantation House dates back to 1642, but the house that stands today was built in 1830 after the previous house burnt down. With such a long history, there is no surprise that so many ghosts haunt the house, making it one of the most haunted places in Virginia Beach.

When visiting Ferry Plantation House, there a number of spirits that you could run into. Victims of a 1830 shipwreck are said to still be here, as well as a painter who used to own the house, a former lady of the house who tragically died by falling down the stairs, a former slave named Henry, and Sally Rebecca Walke who mourns her confederate solider fiance. It’s a little crowded here!

Visitors of the house have heard footsteps and voices in their ears. Some have also seen apparitions of ghostly figures in the halls!

Captain Timothy Hill House

Located on Chincoteague Island, the Captain Timothy Hill House gets its name for being one of the haunted places in Virginia from the tragic story of Timothy Hill and his family.

The house was built in the 1800s and is the oldest house on the island. The house avoided demolition in 1980 when the owners moved it from it’s original location, but the story of the home’s past can still be felt by visitors.

The story that lead the house to be haunted is that of Captain Timothy Hill and his daughter, Jennie. Timothy Hill is said to have favoured Jennie and wanted her to marry a wealthy-man, but she fell in love with her childhood friend, Tom Freeman. Timothy Hill refused to allow the marriage, and this is where the details get unclear. Somehow, Timothy Hill ends up shooting Jennie and his wife in a field. Whilst the wife recovered, Jennie never did and tragically died from her injuries. Tom ended up taking his own life.

It is believed that Jennie is still in the house, searching for Tom. She has been seen in the form of apparitions many times!

It is believed that Jennie is still in the house, searching for Tom. She has been seen in the form of apparitions many times!

And that is our list of haunted places in Virginia! We hope that you have found the perfect place to visit. If you’re looking for a scare, these places are bound to deliver.

Cypress Trees with red leaves on the floor around a lake

Ghost Towns In Virginia

Ghost Towns In Virginia, United States Ghost Towns

On June 25, 1788, Virginia was the 10 th state to join the United States. The state was named after the Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth I.

There are 19 ghost towns in Virginia.

The first president of the United States, George Washington, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia on February 22, 1732. Eight other presidents were also born in Virginia. Covering 42,769 square miles, Virginia is the 35 th largest state.

At one time, West Virginia and Virginia were one state under Virginia’s name. During the Civil War, Virginia joined the Confederacy, but the western part of the state remained loyal to the Union and began the separation process that created West Virginia .

Ca Ira, Virginia

Ca Ira, Virginia , started as a small farming community, and the General Assembly formally established a town in 1796. Named after a popular French marching song, Ca Ira meant “the Revolution will triumph” and reflected the French Revolution happening in Virginia.

A milestone was reached around 1836 when the town was reported to have a population of 310, three mercantile stores, a tobacco warehouse, a merchant mill, two taverns, a non-denominational church, a masonic hall, and around 40 homes.

Other highlights of the time included mail delivery three times a week, and there were two blacksmiths, wheelwrights, plow manufacturers, and tailors. In 1825, the Willis River canal was completed and improved residents’ health and tobacco transporting and trading.

Before the canal was finished, the stagnant pond that was in its place was infamous for diseases and bacteria that caused fatal illnesses that nearly took everyone’s lives in the town not once but twice. As the town and all the surviving town members recovered from the diseases that had struck, Ca Ira had $40,000 worth of annual sales at the mercantile stores, ground nearly 30,000 bushels of wheat, and received an estimated 300 to 500 barrels of tobacco.

It was the 1850s when Ca Ira was operating at its highest and could add a bank to the list of town buildings and businesses. Unfortunately, following the Civil War, the town suffered from a decline in trade, and residents left, abandoning the town.

By 1906, a handful of houses were still standing, along with the post office, two stores, a warehouse, and the church. Today, the church is still there, and a few newer houses have been added to the area, but there is not much left to showcase the town that used to be.

Elko Tract, Virginia

Elko Tract, Virginia , is one of the most famous ghost towns in all of Virginia. Located just outside Richmond, Virginia, the town was a small farming community before World War II. When the U.S. military took over the land, an elaborate plan was formulated to create the ultimate battle scheme.

Elko Tract became a decoy city with roads, houses, businesses, and even a landing strip resembling Richmond’s layout. The town never had any residents since it was used to protect Richmond from German and Japanese air attacks.

Eastern Virginia would alert the Richmond area of night attacks from enemy bombers when they were spotted overhead. Richmond would then cut the power to residents and businesses, create a forced blackout, and then turn on power set up at Elko Tract to trick the bombers into bombing an uninhabited town instead of Richmond.  Luckily, the war ended without Elko Tract being attacked, and the land was turned over to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The next plan for Elko Tract involved a mental hospital meant to serve African American children and communities. Construction had begun on the treatment facility but did not get more than halfway completed before the government pulled funding for the project. A water tower and sewage treatment plant were completed, but that was as far as the project made it.

The site was open to the public in previous years. Visitors could walk through the town that looked like an eerie vacant movie set. Today, visiting the site may be harder since the road leading into the decoy town has been blocked and marked with No Trespassing signs. The water tower is visible and peeking through the trees if you can find a good spot to look from. 

Lignite, Virginia

Lignite, Virginia , was an iron ore mining town founded the mid to late 1800s. The Allegheny Ore and Iron Company owned the town with the only purpose of mining the iron ore. Before being mostly abandoned in the 1920s, when higher-grade iron ore was found in the Great Lakes area, the town consisted of churches, a post office, a company store, and even a theater.

Some residents remained in Lignite until the 1950s. Today the town is part of the Jefferson National Forest. Remnants of the old mining town have since been reclaimed by nature.

Westham, Virginia

Westham, Virginia , was established in 1750 under the ownership of Beverley Randolph, who inherited the land from his father, William Randolph II, after his passing. Upon inheriting the family plantation and all the land associated with it, Beverley made plans to create the town of Westham and offer a location for trade transactions.

Unexpectedly, Beverley suffered from sudden death, leaving the land to his younger brother Peter. Peter continued the work his older brother had started before his death, and the town of Westham renamed Beverley in honor of his late brother, was completed.

Due to the James River location, it was the ideal spot to create a trading town. Richmond, Virginia, was built on the other side of a fall line along the river, which prevented river passage past Westham. Before canals and railways connected the two towns, Westham was the first and only stop along the trade route.

That worked out well for Westham, making it the first destination point for the iron used during the Revolutionary War.

During the Revolutionary War, a Virginia merchant bought Oxford Iron Works, which supplied iron to a Westham metal casting company. The company, known as a foundry, would melt the iron, pour the hot liquid into molds, and create various castings for use.

When word came in of a British raid to happen in Richmond, the iron supplier had to recall all the Westham supplies to avoid any loss. Thomas Jefferson, then governor, asked to rebuild the foundry, but the supplies were moved to reconstruct the Point of Fork Arsenal, which was destroyed in a raid on June 5, 1781.

In 1790, the entry point of the Kanawha Canal was built. The canal was used to transport boats around the fall line that prevented passage from Westham to Richmond. Three locks were used to connect parts of the river to the canal to ensure safe passage into Richmond. In 1851, a plank road was constructed to connect Richmond and Westham.

The road eventually became Cary Street, which is used today. In the 1880s, Westham station was established, and railroad tracks were laid along the James River and Kanawha Canal to further connect the towns. The Westham Bridge that crosses the James River was built in 1911.

Westham eventually became part of Richmond. A neighborhood was built on the site of the original Westham that goes by that same name. The area was established in the 1930s. One of Westham’s oldest homes is just outside the original town borders, built in 1827. The Westham station was relocated in 1961 to a park in Richmond.

Other Ghost Town Areas of Interest In Virginia

In 1790, Matildaville, Virginia , served as the headquarters location for the future Potomac Canal. The canal was designed to go around the Virginia side of Great Falls, making Matildaville a commercial stop for passing ships.

The town consisted of multiple homes, taverns, a market, a sawmill, a grist mill, boarding houses, worker barracks, a foundry, an inn, and even an icehouse in its heyday. Dickey’s Tavern, built in 1797, was a frequent destination spot for tourists and local fishermen. It was the last remaining building of the town before it was destroyed in a fire in 1950.

The idea for the canal was brilliant. However, low water levels kept the canal from functioning as intended. The canal closed in 1828, and Matildaville saw a rapid decline in sustainability. In the mid-1800s, a Great Falls company tried to reinvent the town as a textile manufacturing community, but with no canal, that attempt failed too, and the residents relocated.

Now part of the Great Falls National Park, the once main road of Matildaville is used as a hiking trail to see what is left of the few remains of the old town.   

In False Cape State Park , an old settlement is known as Wash Woods. The date of the first inhabitant or when the community was founded is unknown. It is estimated to have been during the 1600s or early 1700s.

Stories have been shared that the community started when sailors were shipwrecked off the coast and were forced to call the new land home. The sailors survived by fishing, growing crops, hunting, and living off the land. It has been said the small community once rose to the size of 300.

By the late 1800s, many men born and raised in the settlement served with the United States Life-Saving Service, now known as the Coast Guard. Remaining a strong community for hundreds of years, devastating storms in the 1920s and 1930s started the move away from Wash Woods.

A massive storm in 1962 known as The Ash Wednesday Storm was the final storm to drive out the last of the residents, leaving the town deserted. Today, remnants of the town include an overgrown cemetery and a church steeple.

A religious quest in the late 1800s is the background for Pocosin Mission . Frederick Neve, an Episcopal minister, believed the mountain folk of the Blue Ridge Mountains were in desperate need of saving. The minister vowed to build a mission every ten miles along the mountains. Pocosin was one of those missions Neve made. In 1902, two sisters known as the Towles sisters were assigned to Pocosin.

They lived in a small mission house and maintained the schoolhouse and chapel built on the mission site. The sisters ministered for years before leaving the mission, and the community thrived for twenty years after being forced out as the Shenandoah National Forest was developed.

Using a fire road and driving for one mile into the forest, a cemetery, old barns, and crumbling walls can be seen marking the Pocosin Mission’s location.

Castles, kings, knights, and even pirates once filled the Sherwood Forest area at the Virginia Renaissance Faire . The Faire did not last long, only operating from 1996 to 1999, but the deserted place and empty buildings offer quite an eerie experience.

The Renaissance Entertainment Corporation had an excellent idea offering a chance to travel back in time and walk among those from the past.

Still, the Fredericksburg, Virginia, location was ill-suited for success. Poor weather conditions and the swamp-like terrain that featured many unliked bugs kept ticket sales low. The Renaissance Entertainment Corporation could not maintain the property with more loss than profit, so they packed up everything but the empty buildings and moved to a new location in 2004.

As much fun as it would be to see this site, no trespassing signs are posted to keep unwanted visitors out.

List of Ghost Towns in Virginia

Related Posts

Ghost towns of virginia.

Ghost Towns Of Virginia, United States Ghost Towns

Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

The 10 Most Haunted Places in Virginia to Visit

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial & privacy policies .

Most Haunted Places in Virginia Guide

  • The Boxwood Inn  (Newport News VA)
  • Glencoe Inn  (Portsmouth VA)
  • The Natural Bridge Hotel  (Natural Bridge VA)
  • First Landing State Park  (Virginia Beach VA)
  • Old House Woods  (Diggs VA)
  • Ferry Plantation House  (Virginia Beach VA)
  • George Wythe House  (Williamsburg VA)
  • Ball’s Bluff Battlefield  (Leesburg VA)
  • Cold Harbor Battlefield  (Mechanicsville VA)
  • Clifton Haunted Trail  (Clifton VA)

READ MORE: The 15 Most Haunted Places in Tennessee to Visit

Haunted Hotels in Virginia

Haunted hotels in Virginia - Historic Boxwood Inn

1. The Boxwood Inn 

Official Website

Staying at this stunningly luxurious bed and breakfast in Newport News VA will transport you back to the late 1800s, when this classic southern mansion was built.

Simon Curtis and his wife Nannie were the first owners of this house , but Nannie is said to be the benevolent specter at the center of our story. 

This haunted house  in Virginia was on the brink of demolition before the Lucas family bought it in 1995.

During its restoration, Mrs. Lucas broke a nail and exclaimed that she needed an emery board. When she turned around, there was a nail file right there ready for her to use.

To test her luck, she exclaimed that she needed $100. Almost immediately she felt as if she’d stepped on something, and found a gold tooth stuck to her shoe. When she took it to a local pawn shop, she was given $100 dollars for it. 

These kind acts were thought to be Nannie’s way of thanking the new owners for rescuing the haunted house . But Nannie is reportedly not the only spirit hanging around the place!

The subject of several reported hauntings in Virginia , the home has created claims of new batteries draining too fast, doors being knocked on in the mornings, and an elderly gentleman with a cane wandering the halls. 

READ MORE:  10 Best Virginia Mountain Towns to Visit

Haunted Hotels Virginia - Glencoe Inn

2. Glencoe Inn 

If you visit Portsmouth VA, you can stay the night at this delightful Victorian-era B&B/ Inn , which was built in 1890 and overlooks the Elizabeth River. 

The Glencoe Inn has a beautiful rose garden that is allegedly still tended by the spirit of an elderly lady.

It has been said that when this lady enters the house, she brings with her an overwhelming scent of roses that fills the main hall.

This has reportedly happened even in the depths of winter , when the scent of rose is very much out of season!

Recent guests of the Inn have also reported seeing the apparitions of other Virginia ghosts around the hotel .

READ MORE:  10 Great Romantic Getaways in Virginia for Couples

Natural Bridge Historic Hotel in Natural Bridge VA

3. The Natural Bridge Hotel

Located about 14 miles south of Lexington VA , the Natural Bridge is a 215-foot tall stone bridge in a picturesque limestone gorge that was carved out over countless centuries by Cedar Creek.

Now protected as Natural Bridge State Park , the 157-acre parcel of land was originally purchased by Thomas Jefferson in 1774. The bridge itself is said to have a “GW” carved into its base by George Washington. 

Jefferson built a 2-room log cabin to be used as his personal getaway , and in 1833 the subsequent owner built the Forest Inn to keep up with the area’s growing demand for lodging. 

By the 1880s there was a resort on the property, which was eventually expanded into what is now the Natural Bridge Hotel. 

But local legends suggest the previous hotel owner went insane and murdered his wife and children there. Ever since then, visitors have reported seeing apparitions of the man and his family wandering the hotel’s halls. 

READ MORE:  The 15 Best Things to Do in Lexington VA & Natural Bridge VA

Haunted Forests in Virginia

Haunted places in VA - First Landing State Park

4. First Landing State Park

Located in Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park is the site where the first English colonists arrived in the New World in 1607.

It’s hardly surprising that this is the most visited Virginia State Park , with its 20 miles of hiking trails and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beachfront. 

The park also has its fair share of scary folklore , and some locals claim its maritime forest is one of the most haunted places in Virginia Beach.  

Famous pirate Blackbeard and his shipmates are said to have hidden out here, burying their treasure along the beach before fleeing into the state of North Carolina .

But their treasure has never been unearthed, and some say that Blackbeard’s spirit (which sometimes appears headless ) now roams the park, guarding his hidden treasure. 

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Staunton VA

Haunted Forest in Virginia - Old House Woods 

5. Old House Woods 

Deemed by no less an authority than the Virginia Department of Forestry to be one of the most haunted places in VA, Old House Woods is steeped in spooky stories and terrifying legends . 

The forest along the Chesapeake Bay is dense, with barely a peek of the sky visible from deep within it. It is said that these haunting woods have seen their share of robberies and murders through the centuries. 

It’s called Old House Woods because there was an old house  right at the heart of the forest back in the late 1700s.

After being abandoned, the house allegedly caught fire spontaneously, then extinguished itself just as quickly.  Years later, the house finally burned to the ground, leaving behind its ghostly inhabitants. 

Visitors to the area have claimed to see everything from British Revolutionary War soldiers mining for gold  and ghost ships floating in the distance to a headless cow!

READ MORE:  The 10 Best Caves and Caverns in Virginia

Haunted Houses in Virginia

Haunted Houses in Virginia - Ferry Plantation House

6. Ferry Plantation House 

In 1642, the Ferry Plantation was named for the Ferry Boat Service that ran across the Lynnhaven River. The house that stands there now was built in 1828 by George and Elizabeth MacIntosh, using bricks from the original manor house. 

It stands on land that was cleared by indigenous people back in the 1500s. Since then, the property has seen a tumultuous history that included  witch trials, the enslavement of African people, shipwrecks, and other tragedies. 

So it’s hardly surprising to learn that this is thought to be one of VA’s most haunted sites, with a reported ghost count that currently stands at 11.

There’s Sally Rebecca Walke, an enslaved African woman, who lost her fiancé to war. She planted a magnolia tree in his memory and is still reportedly seen wandering the gardens in mourning. 

Then there’s ghost of Henry, an enslaved man, whose spirit has been seen coming up from the house’s basement and kneeling on the kitchen floor as if he was doing some kind of chore. 

Other reported hauntings include the ghosts of shipwrecked souls, an artist painting at the top of the stairs, and the spirits of many children who lost their lives too early.

The Ferry Plantation House offers one of the best haunted tours in Virginia, and spooky sleepovers are also available!

READ MORE:  The 10 Best Virginia Wineries to Visit for Wine Tastings & Tours

Haunted Williamsburg Virginia - Wythe House

7. George Wythe House 

If you ever find yourself in Colonial Williamsburg, don’t miss a chance to visit the George Wythe House.

Built in the 1750s, this National Historic Landmark  was the home of George Wythe, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 

On guided tours of this haunted Williamsburg VA building, visitors can get a sense of what 18th century life in America was like for both free and enslaved people. Those hoping for a more paranormal experience won’t be disappointed, either. 

George Wythe was murdered with arsenic at the age of 79 by his scheming grand-nephew, George Sweeney , and some visitors say that he still haunts the building.

Others are more convinced by the apparition of Lady Ann Skipwith. She fled for the Wythe House one night after having a row with her husband, but she broke and lost her shoe along the way.

When she got to the house, she fell on the steps, and is said to have died there from her injuries. She has since been seen admiring herself in a mirror and searching for lost shoe. 

There are plenty of other ghoulish Williamsburg stories to keep ghost-hunters busy and spookily satisfied!

READ MORE: The 10 Best National Parks in Virginia

Haunted Battlefields in Virginia

Haunted VA - Balls Bluff Battlefield

8. Ball’s Bluff Battlefield 

On October 20, 1861, a Civil War battle at Ball’s Bluff ended in a lopsided victory for the Confederate Army.

There were over 1,000 Union casualties to just 155 Confederate ones. 

Although there is plenty here to occupy history lovers and those seeking hiking trails or a great spot for  camping , there’s also rumored to be plenty of supernatural activity to watch and listen out for 

There are 54 soldiers buried at the National Cemetery, and not all of them are believed to be resting in peace.

Visitors have reported startling sights of uniformed Civil War specters wandering the park at night.

So unless ghastly ghosts are your idea of a good time, you might want to rethink that Ball’s Bluff camping experience!

READ MORE:  The 10 Best Campgrounds in Virginia

Most haunted place in Virginia - Cold Harbor Battlefield

9. Cold Harbor Battlefield 

The Battle of Cold Harbor (which lasted from May 31 to June 12, 1864) saw another win for the Confederates, with over 12,000 Union casualties and around 4,000 Confederate casualties. 

If you’re searching for haunted places in Richmond VA, the Cold Harbor Battlefield should be #1 on your itinerary, but keep in mind that the park closes as darkness falls.

This park encompasses 50 acres that include a network of hiking trails , Civil War trenches, rifle pits, and a National Cemetery.

Cold Harbor Battlefield is widely considered one of the most haunted battlefields in the country. Of all the haunted attractions in Virginia , this has to be one of the most creepy sites.

It is said that a mysterious fog encircles the Civil War battlefield , often rising and dissipating just as quickly.

The ghost of a little girl supposedly haunts the cemetery and Garthright House, which is right across the road. 

READ MORE:  The 10 Best Civil War Battlefields in Virginia to Visit

Haunted Trails in Virginia

Haunted Trails in Virginia - Clifton Haunted Trail

10. Clifton Haunted Trail

Official Website  

Located 10 miles east of Manassas, Clifton VA is a Civil War-era Virginia town that saw many bloody battles.

A number of the small town’s buildings and residences are said to be haunted, but the weirdest thing to come out of Clifton is the legend of “ The Bunny Man .”

This creepy figure is said to haunt a  Virginia bridge  called the Colchester Overpass, which was used by the Southern Railway . 

There are myriad versions of the story, with variations on the Bunny Man’s name, motives, weapons, victims, etc. But he’s generally believed to be responsible for the deaths of two children, as well as the mutilations of a number of animals. 

Two reports about the Bunny Man were made to Fairfax County Police in 1970, but both investigations were eventually closed for lack of evidence.

Today, the Clifton Haunted Trail is visited by thousands of people every Halloween, and the Bunny Man (or at least someone who looks like him) is virtually guaranteed to make an appearance.   -by Emma Gallagher

The 10 Most Haunted Places in Virginia including Haunted Hotels, Haunted Forests, Haunted Houses, Haunted Civil War Sites & Haunted Trails. | haunted places in va | haunted williamsburg | scary sites | ghosts of virginia | creepy sites | haunting in virginia | haunted va | haunted virginia | haunted hotels in virginia | haunted hotels virginia | haunted attractions in virginia | roanoke hauntings | haunted forest in virginia | haunted trails in virginia | haunted mansion virginia beach |

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the  Leave No Trace   principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

Emma Gallagher

Born in Britain, writer/photographer Emma Gallagher lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC on a permaculture homestead with her husband, Jonathon. While traveling the world for 13 years, she fell in love with the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge region when she lived at an artist retreat in Burnsville NC before moving to Brevard. Today Emma lives near Stone Mountain State Park and Doughton Park volunteers at the Surry County Fiddlers Convention, and cares for the gardens at the Reeves Downtown School of Music in Elkin. She's also a volunteer for the Elkin Valley Trails Association, which maintains segment 6 of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

This Haunted Road Trip Will Lead You To The Scariest Places In Virginia

virginia ghost towns

A lifelong Virginia resident, Beth loves exploring different parts of the world and currently resides in Charlottesville. She holds a degree in English Literature and one of her short stories has been featured in the Shenandoah Review. Other interests include hiking, songwriting, and spending time in the mountains.

More by this Author

Virginia has a countless number of haunted places, and they can be found in just about every area of the state. For the brave of heart who dare venture into some of these most haunted locations, we’ve mapped out a road trip that conveniently makes its way to seven of them. In just under six hours, you can make a circular route through the Eastern portion of the state, passing through Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and other notoriously spooky towns. Venture to the most haunted places in Virginia. This road trip will certainly make your evening all the more memorable…for better or for worse! For the interactive Google Map, click here .

virginia ghost towns

Related Stories

These 8 Amazing Road Trips In Virginia Are An Absolute Must-Take

These 8 Amazing Road Trips In Virginia Are An Absolute Must-Take

This Family-Friendly Road Trip Through Virginia Leads To Whimsical Attractions, Themed Restaurants, And More

This Family-Friendly Road Trip Through Virginia Leads To Whimsical Attractions, Themed Restaurants, And More

The Ultimate Virginia Hidden Gem Road Trip Will Take You To 7 Incredible Little-Known Spots In The State

The Ultimate Virginia Hidden Gem Road Trip Will Take You To 7 Incredible Little-Known Spots In The State

virginia ghost towns

Have you visited any of the most haunted places in Virginia? Be sure to share your experience in the comments!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Want more Virginia in your inbox?

Get the latest on things to see, do, and eat around Virginia!

Thank you! You'll receive your first newsletter soon!

An error occured.

More to Explore

Most haunted places in virginia.

What is the most famous ghost story from Virginia?

The most famous Virginia ghost story takes place at Ingles Castle in Radford. According to legend, the image of a woman is burned into one of the mirrors housed inside the castle. It’s believed to be Anne McClanahan Bass, a frequent houseguest of the Ingles family. One night, the building was struck by lightning. The drastic shock caused Anne’s image to become seared to the glass. She is thought to linger around the castle to this day. 

What is the most haunted town in Virginia?

Staunton is considered to be the most haunted town in Virginia. Many of Staunton’s charming buildings have stood since the 18th century, and some of its early residents never wanted to leave. Visitors can take a 90-minute walking tour through the streets to learn about the spirits lingering at Mary Baldwin College and the Staunton Train Depot. Are you brave enough to embark on this spooky adventure? To learn more about Staunton, read our feature article here . 

What is the creepiest abandoned place in Virginia?

Professor Cline’s Haunted Monster Museum, located Natural Bridge, is the creepiest abandoned place in Virginia. This building was once a popular Halloween attraction, but it burned down in 2012. Today, all that remains are remnants of the structure and debris. Even without the monsters inside, this building is a terrifying destination. 

Related Articles

  • The Christmas Lights Road Trip Through Virginia That's Nothing Short Of Magical
  • 9 Unforgettable Road Trips To Take In Virginia Before You Die
  • Take This Road Trip To The Most Charming I-81 Attractions In Virginia
  • Take A Thrilling Road Trip To The 6 Most Abandoned Places In Virginia
  • This Creepy Day Trip Through The Spookiest Places In Virginia Is Perfect For Fall
  • A Haunting Road Trip Through Virginia Ghost Towns That You Surely Won't Forget
  • Virginia's Holiday Shopping Road Trip Will Take You To Antique Stores, Holiday Markets, And Festive Local Shops
  • The Magical Road Trip Will Take You Through Virginia's Most Charming Christmas Towns

Explore The South

Family Travel In The Deep South

10 Haunted Places In Virginia To Visit If You Dare

a ghost shadow walking past an open door

Are you hoping to explore some haunted places in Virginia? If so, read on for some spooky places you’ll love to check out!

10 Haunted Places in Virginia

Virginia is one of the oldest colonies and is considered by many to be the most haunted state in America. A place of beauty, with sweeping trees, beaches, and an abundance of life.

You would never expect Virginia to be a place where ghosts outnumber the living.

But history runs deep in Virginia. From old government buildings to plantations and more, there are many haunted places in Virginia worth exploring, and a lot of ghost tours available as well. 

To get you started, here are 10 of the most haunted places in Virginia!

This article contains affiliate links.

Haunted Virginia Beach

Ferry Plantation Virginia Beach Virginia at night

Ferry Plantation House

There is little doubt that the Ferry Plantation House is haunted. What isn’t completely understood is why?

Some believe that the old brick house, once known as Old Donation Farm, is built on a former Native burial ground.

The area was definitely a hunting ground for the Chesepian people who once lived here, judging by the number of arrowheads found in the ground. But that only explains some of the eleven spirits who are believed to reside here. 

Ferry Plantation House was built in 1830 and since then, it has been a home and plantation, a school, and a courthouse. Currently, it is a museum and is open for tours. Including ghost tours.  

Be sure to check their website to learn more about the Ferry Plantation and tour availability. And even if you don’t visit, if you sit outside the house for a while some night, you never know what you might see.

Lights reportedly come on in the middle of the night, especially on the third floor. And you might even see balls of light on the roof. Could it be the spirits, dancing at a party that only they can see?

Ferry Plantation House, 4136 Cheswick Ln, Virginia Beach, VA.

The Cavalier Hotel

When money is no object and you have dreams of staying in a luxurious hotel where as many as ten Presidents have walked, the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach is waiting to welcome you.

This beautiful hotel offers rooms and suites designed with you in mind. It’s the sort of place where, once you check-in, you never really want to leave. 

However, it is said that the 6th floor is quite haunted. Some guests have reported seeing a bellman on the 5th floor, warning them that there are “ghosts ahead”.

But it may be the hotel staff that suffers the most since desk clerks report getting calls from the sixth floor regularly, even when the rooms are empty.  

The historic Cavalier Hotel offers every comfort you can imagine, especially if you stay in one of their beautiful heritage suites. But if you want to have a good night of sleep while you are there, you might want to avoid the 6th floor .

The Cavalier Hotel, 4200 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA.

Old Coast Guard Station Tower at Surf and Rescue Museum

The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum is a fun place for kids and adults alike. There are all kinds of cool exhibits, a souvenir shop, and even scavenger hunts. You can learn all about the history of the building, the Coast Guard, and more.

There’s even a cool collection of things that have washed up on shore over the years. You might never suspect it as being one of the most haunted places in Virginia. 

But this is a place filled with history The building dates back to 1903 and was once used as a resting place for deceased victims of the sea until their families could claim them.

Visitors say that they have seen shadow figures, heard voices, and felt people walk up behind them only to find that no one is there. 

The Surf and Rescue Museum is open year-round, and if you happen to be there in October, be sure to ask about their ghost tours!

Surf and Rescue Museum, 2401 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA.

Princess Anne Country Club

If you are looking for a relaxing good time in Virginia Beach, the Princess Anne Country Club is the place to be.

This private club has been around since 1916 and is known as a happy place where you can enjoy the ocean breeze, play a little golf, and relax with friends. Members stay members forever because they feel like family . 

And if the rumors are to be believed, we really do mean “forever”. The Princess Anne Country Club is said to be haunted by several spirits. 

The club is only open to members and their guests, but if you decide to explore the possibility of joining, just know that this Country Club offers more spirits than the ones you will find in the bar!

These haunted places in Virginia are all great places to visit, even if you aren’t interested in communing with the spirits. But if someone mysteriously whispers in your ear, try not to jump!

Princess Anne Country Club, 3800 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach

Haunted Alexandria Virginia

Gadsby’s tavern museum.

When America was new, many decisions had to be made regarding how the country would be run. And many of those decisions were made at Gadsby’s Tavern. 

This iconic establishment dates back to the late 1700s and is associated with many of the names you know from your childhood history books.

When you walk in Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, you walk where men like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison once stood.

It is no wonder that buildings as old as the two that make up Gadsby’s Tavern are haunted, but people aren’t certain who the spirit might be.

Referred to as the Female stranger, the ghost of a beautiful young woman has been seen by many guests, only to vanish before their eyes. 

Gadsby’s Tavern is an important part of American history. Be sure to visit in person when you can. This is one haunted location you just don’t want to miss!

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA .

a spooky looking small house on a hill

Haunted Williamsburg

Colonial williamsburg.

If you have ever dreamed about experiencing what Colonial life was like when America began, you need to pay a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. 173 acres of streets and buildings dating back to 1699, you can wander, attend special events, and so much more!

But there is another side of Colonial Williamsburg – the haunted side – and later in the day, there are special tours just so you can learn all about the ghosts that are said to reside here!  

For the complete Williamsburg experience, take one of these Ghost Tours if you dare.

Haunted Chincoteague Island

Captain timothy hill house.

Built on Chincoteague Island in 1800, the Captain Timothy Hill House may not look like much. But this house is a very important part of architectural history, and the story behind it is fascinating – as is the mystery of who carved the beautiful ships into the wood.

Some say it was children who did it while watching ships out in the water. But it isn’t certain.

Nor is it certain why the house is haunted. It is believed, however, to be haunted by Captain Timothy Hill’s daughter Jennie, who was murdered by a suitor in 1885.

It’s a tragic story of love gone wrong. So if you visit, be sure to keep your eyes open for the young woman who some say is still searching for her lost love!

Ghosts, legends, and more are covered in the island tours offered by the local Chamber of Commerce .

Chincoteague Island. Contact: History Keepers, LLC – 106 South Main Street, Yardley, PA.

Haunted Abingdon Virginia

The martha hotel and spa.

If you love the elegance of classic design, the Martha Washington Inn & Spa is worth a look. This beautiful and historic hotel is elegant and modern, with timeless beauty.  

The hotel dates back to 1832 when it was the private home of the family of General Francis Preston. But things change over the years.

During the Civil War, the hotel was used as a hospital for the wounded soldiers. One of the ghosts said to reside here is a young nurse who loved a soldier who died here. But she is only one of a number of spirits said to be in residence.

Probably the spookiest thing of all is the bloodstain that stains the carpet at times. No matter how much they clean the carpet or replace it. Not only is that spooky – constantly replacing carpeting gets expensive!

The Martha Hotel and Spa, 150 W Main St, Abingdon, VA.

old cemetery at night in the moonlight makes a haunted place in Georgia

Haunted Richmond Virginia

Hollywood cemetery.

The Hollywood Cemetery dates back to 1847 and is as famous for its beauty, and for some of the “guests” who reside here.

This garden-style museum consists of 135 acres nestled along the James River. The hilly terrain features beautiful trees, gardens, statues, and scenic views all around.

You can pay your respects to Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler while you are there. 

But there is something just a bit creepy about Hollywood Cemetery, too.

For all the beauty, there is a slightly spooky atmosphere that makes it very easy to believe it when people report strange experiences.

There are at least three well-known entities said to haunt the place, including the infamous Richmond Vampire. And if you walk by the Pyramid while you’re there, you just might hear someone whispering . 

If you do, will you respond?

Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S Cherry St, Richmond, VA.

Haunted Gordonsville Virginia

The exchange hotel civil war medical museum.

The Exchange Hotel Museum has been through a lot in its 150-year history. It started out as a luxury hotel.

But during the Civil War, it was taken over as a hospital where the harshest realities of war were faced every day by brave doctors and nurses.

After the war, it became a Freedman’s Bureau, helping to give freed slaves a good start in their new lives. And that’s only the beginning of all that this building has been.

It’s no wonder that it seems almost to have a spirit of its own. Nor is it a surprise that the Exchange Hotel Museum is famously haunted.

Visitors report seeing everything from orbs to full-size human apparitions of medical staff and wounded soldiers .

Doors are said to open and close on their own and occasionally, screaming can be heard. The activity is so well known here that they regularly offer tours at night so you can experience the spooky side of things for yourself . 

Just make sure you’re ready for the experience!

The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum, 400 S Main St, Gordonsville, VA .

Virginia ranks near the top of the most haunted places in America . It’s no wonder given the history which has occurred here. Visit these 10 Haunted hotels, museums, and cemeteries in Virginia and get to know more about those who haunt the visitors.

Follow Explorethesouth.org on Pinterest

More Places To Visit in the Deep South

  • 10 Haunted Places To Visit in Georgia
  • 10 Haunted Places To Visit In South Carolina
  • B ig List of Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches in Virginia
  • Big List of Corn Maze Or Pumpkin Patches In Georgia 202 3

9 Historic Lighthouses In Virginia To Visit

  • 11 Best Virginia Day Trips

virginia ghost towns

Books on haunted places in Virginia

Virginia Mystery Series for children by Steven K. Smith . This series follows Sam, Derek, and Caitlin on their adventures across Virginia.

Haunted Historic Colonial Williamsburg by Tim Scullion

Hampton Roads Murder and Mayhem by Nancy E. Sheppard

50 Real American Ghost Stories: A Journey Into the Haunted History of the United States-1800-1899 by M. J. Wayland

Ghosts of Yorktown: A Haunted Tour Guide by Jeffrey Santos

a ghost shadow walking past an open door

Similar Posts

Southeastern Beach sunrise from hotel balcony

7 Best Southeastern Beaches For Families

Corn mazes and pumpkin patches in Virginia

Big List of Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches in Virginia 2023

9 Virginia Lighthouses


Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!

The best things in life are free.

Sign up for our email to enjoy your city without spending a thing (as well as some options when you’re feeling flush).

Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive emails from Time Out about news, events, offers and partner promotions.

Love the mag?

Our newsletter hand-delivers the best bits to your inbox. Sign up to unlock our digital magazines and also receive the latest news, events, offers and partner promotions.

  • Things to Do
  • Food & Drink
  • Time Out Market
  • Los Angeles

Get us in your inbox

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Bodie, CA

16 eerie ghost towns in America you can actually visit

You might actually see a spirit at these long-forgotten, abandoned ghost towns in America

America is home to hundreds of ghost towns and abandoned settlements. While they’re dotted across the county, they are ubiquitous in regions like California, Nevada and Colorado that experienced the boom and then bust of industries like mining.

Visiting ghost towns in America is a chance to step back in time, taking in life as it once was. Picture tumbleweeds rolling down Main Street, once-bustling stores now sitting in eerie silence, and faded signs that hint at lives lived long ago. You can wander through old homes, buildings and streets to get a snapshot of the past, taking in stories of pioneers, prospectors, and dreamers. Like the name suggests, you may even spot a ghost along the way.

If you're interested in a glimpse into the past, we've rounded up the most fascinating ghost towns in the US to discover America’s hidden history. If spooky travel is your thing, don’t forget to visit the scariest real-life haunted houses , take yourself on a ghost tour or pay your respects at the most hauntingly beautiful graveyards .

An email you’ll actually love

Ghost towns in America

Centralia, PA

1.  Centralia, PA

An underground mine fire gone seriously wrong led to this modern ghost town northwest of Philadelphia. In 1962, a fire accidentally spread to the town's old, underground mines, creating sinkholes that spewed smoke and toxic fumes across the community. In 1983, most of the town was evacuated, and in 1992, its real estate was claimed under eminent domain and condemned by the state (delivering the final blow, the ZIP code was officially recalled in 2002). Even though Centralia's fire is still burning today—and expected to burn for another 250 years—four residents still live in the doomed town as of 2020 (sounds like they’re playing with fire, if you ask us). Only five homes remain standing in this town. 

Custer, ID

2.  Custer, ID

The population of this gold mining town, located deep inside Idaho's Challis National Forest, peaked in 1896. Home to a massive stamp mill, it had eight saloons and a tiny Chinatown complete with laundry services, a shoe store, and a joss house (a Chinese place of worship). But just 15 years after its boom, Custer's mills shut down and its residents had no choice but to leave their remote mountain home; by 1911, just two families remained. However, most of the town still stands, and in 1981 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Its buildings are open seasonally for visitors and the original school now serves as a museum.

Bodie, CA

3.  Bodie, CA

This Gold Rush-era town near Yosemite has stood eerily untouched for almost 100 years. Although it already showed signs of decline with dwindling numbers at the start of the 20th century, a series of fires forced the remaining residents to flee the town, leaving it almost exactly as it was in the early 1900s. Dinner tables are still set, shops are still stocked with supplies, and the schoolhouse still has lessons on the chalkboard. Be warned: bad luck is said to befall anyone who steals anything from the site while visiting. 

Kennecott, AK

4.  Kennecott, AK

This preserved-in-time copper mining town is located at the end of a 60-mile-long dirt road in the middle of Alaska's Wrangell–St. Elias National Park (the largest national park in the USA). In its heyday, from around 1910 to 1940, Kennecott processed nearly $200,000,000 worth of copper. By 1938, however, the mine was empty and the Kennecott Copper Corporation abruptly abandoned the operation, leaving everything behind. Today, with St. Elias Alpine Guides, you can take a two-hour guided tour (the only official way to get into the town with its 14-story mill). Make sure also to visit the Root and Kennecott glaciers, too.

Rhyolite, NV

5.  Rhyolite, NV

This ghost town near Death Valley National Park was once a bustling ore mining community. In 1904, gold was found within its quartz (rhyolite is a silica-rich volcanic rock that contains quartz, hence the town name), and the game was on with 2,000 claims in a 30-mile area. Soon, Rhyolite boasted a hospital, an opera house, and a stock exchange. In 1906, Charles M. Schwab spent several million on its Montgomery Shoshone mine. Unfortunately, following the 1907 financial panic, businesses were shuttered and residents began to move out. In 1916, light and power were turned off, and the town went ghost. Today, Rhyolite is perhaps best recognized as the set for ScarJo's 2005 sci-fi thriller The Island .

Cahawba, AL

6.  Cahawba, AL

Cahawba was the state's first capital from 1820 to 1825, situated at the junction of two rivers. After the war, the legislature was moved to Selma and the town lost business and population—and periodic flooding wreaked havoc. Today, it's visitable as Old Cahawba Archeological Park, which honors the history of the Native American presence there and the years when many freedmen and women lived there. You can see abandoned streets, cemeteries and building ruins—just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the ghostly 'orb' that's been known to appear in the garden maze at the home of C.C. Pegues.

Glenrio, NM/TX

7.  Glenrio, NM/TX

Straddling the border between New Mexico and Texas, Glenrio was an action-packed stop on Route 66 for decades. From the 1940s until the 1960s, the tiny town's gas stations, diners, bars and motels were packed with road-trippers passing through the Southwest. But when I-40 was built in the 1970s, drivers no longer stopped in Glenrio, and the town fell into disrepair. Not all is lost, however: the Glenrio Historic District includes 17 abandoned buildings.

St Elmo, CO

8.  St Elmo, CO

Like many ghost towns in the US, St. Elmo (originally called Forrest City) was once a thriving gold and silver mining community. When the gold and silver ran out and disease stalked the town, the population dwindled. The nail in the coffin ended the train service to Chalk Creek Canyon in the '20s. Surprisingly, a general store and Ghost Town Guest House are still operating, which means visitors can spend the night in this ghost town even if the scene is a little  unlively .

Nelson, NV

9.  Nelson, NV

Early Spanish settlers found silver in Nelson (then Eldorado) in the 1700s. It took another hundred years for other prospectors—many of them Civil War deserters—to find gold, creating the largest booms Nevada had ever seen. All hell broke loose when they did: disputes over the Techatticup Mine, the town's most notorious site, frequently led to murder. Nelson's mines remained active through the 1940s. An infamous 1974 flash flood destroyed the town of Nelson's Landing, five miles away. Nelson's buildings remain today—the ghost town is now a popular location for photo, film, and music video shoots.

Bannack, MT

10.  Bannack, MT

Paranormal enthusiasts may already know about this desolate former mining town in Montana—it’s featured in the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures . The Gold Rush-era city was known in its time for being a little rough (holdups, robberies, and murders were well documented on the route to nearby Virginia City) and the sheriff of Bannack was a rumored outlaw. The town was abandoned by the 1950s, but more than 50 of its original 1800s structures still stand and can be explored now that it's a state park.

Santa Claus, AZ

11.  Santa Claus, AZ

Sure, the middle of the Mojave Desert isn’t the first place you’d look for jolly old Saint Nick—and yet that didn’t stop this now-abandoned town in Arizona from dedicating itself to all things Christmas. Realtor Nina Talbot founded the town in 1937 to attract buyers to the desert, and while Santa Claus was popular with tourists for a bit, all the Christmas spirit wasn't enough to convince enough folks to move in. The decline of Route 66 sounded a death knell for the playing of Jingle Bells. You can still see rundown red-and-white buildings and forlorn tinsel for yourself (it’s not maintained, but you’re free to visit).

Thurmond, WV

12.  Thurmond, WV

In the early 1900s, the railroad kept this West Virginia town humming as a thriving depot for coal. Thurmond had it all as a major stop on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway—hotels, banks, a post office, and more. Sadly, the Great Depression, followed by the invention of the diesel train in the 1950s, ended Thurmond's prosperity. Today, the National Park Service has restored the depot, and the town is on the National Register of Historic Places; you can take a self-guided tour of the now quiet town. Reach it by driving seven miles down a narrow, winding road.

Calico, CA

13.  Calico, CA

Calico once thrived with its busy silver mines, beginning auspiciously in 1881. But in the mid-1890s silver lost its value and the inhabitants skedaddled. Walter Knott purchased some of Calico’s buildings to disassemble and move them to Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park near Disneyland. He returned to buy and restore Calico itself, which he later deeded back to the county; it’s now a county regional park that’s an accurate-looking ghost town if not wholly literal. There were once 500 mines here and now you can tour the Maggie Mine and 30 structures—shops, saloons, schoolhouse—and stay in a tent, bunkhouse or cabin overnight. In late October, watch for the “Ghost Haunt” weekend events.

Goldfield, NV

14.  Goldfield, NV

This was your authentic Gold Rush mining camp, established in 1902, which was once the largest city in Nevada. The mines went bust and a flash flood spelled the town’s decline ten years before a fire put things to a conclusive end. Yet, about 250 people still live here among the remnants of the town with saloons, slanting homes, deserted hotel and shacks. It’s worth a visit to poke around this “living ghost town;” we especially recommend the said-to-be-haunted Mozart Tavern, where locals treat visitors with special kindness. Paranormal ghost tours take place here regularly, and the Goldfield Days in August temporarily fill the town back up to its boomtown population.

Goldfield, AZ

15.  Goldfield, AZ

There’s more than one Goldfield Ghost Town in the U.S., and this one in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains may provide less of that quiet contemplation of ruin and abandon than a ghost town usually provides; things are hopping here and the latest addition is a zipline. But there are tours of a legitimate century-old mine, a narrow gauge railroad, a walking ghost tour at night, seasonal historic gunfights over the contents of a Wells Fargo box, the typical gold-panning, and the not -typical chance to talk with a ‘floozy’ at Lu Lu’s Bordello. Bring the kids?

Castle Dome, AZ

16.  Castle Dome, AZ

This place is enormous, with 80 buildings and 300 mines (not all are safe to enter). It represents a salvaging of the once-booming mid-1800s settlement (only seven buildings are original), with reconstructions harking to the gold and silver mining claims enacted here. The tales here are impressive, with an 1863 mine owner attacked by 180 Apaches and left in an arroyo to be half-eaten by coyotes, and the wild chain of events that followed, including an opium overdose, a stagecoach robbery and a fellow being shot trying to stop a lynching. There’s much more: an $800 million fluorescent minerals wall and a doomsday cult that wintered here, but we’ll just say it’s worth the visit.

[image] [title]

More on Halloween

Discover Time Out original video

  • Press office
  • Investor relations
  • Work for Time Out
  • Editorial guidelines
  • Privacy notice
  • Do not sell my information
  • Cookie policy
  • Accessibility statement
  • Terms of use
  • Copyright agent
  • Manage cookies
  • Advertising

Time Out products

  • Time Out Worldwide


15 Most Charming Small Towns To Visit In Virginia

S ure, bucket-list vacations to bustling metropolises are great, but where's the love for the little guy? Small towns can make for a spectacularly relaxing getaway, especially in Virginia, where you'll find that no two places are at all the same. From island towns to communities nestled in the mountains, there is a whole lot of charm in Virginia soil, you just have to know where to look.

The Old Dominion is quite the nature lover's paradise with natural wonders hidden across the state. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachians rest to the west and the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean are to the east. Mountain peaks, rivers, hiking trails, estuaries, and cave systems are all found in Virginia with communities built around them. Considering nearly a third of Virginia's population lives in NOVA — or northern Virginia — that leaves a lot of the state open for smaller pocket communities to be planted within and throughout all that nature.

For all these reasons, Virginia has some of the best small towns and communities in the country. Whether it be for their revitalized Main Streets and downtown districts; their historical relevance and dedication to preservation; or the nature surrounding them, these contributions to small-town America stand out for the better.


It's nearly impossible to drive through Gordonsville during the holidays without a smile on your face. The tiny central Virginia town takes great care in stringing each tree along Main Street with lights during the holiday season, creating an illusion of endless lights. The whole town is illuminated as the shops along Main Street also have their fair share of holiday decorations and festive display windows.

Speaking of the small town's Main Street shops, every one from the curated antique shops to the wide-ranging eateries oozes charm with each detail chosen with intention. Well-humored wine lovers can head to Well Hung Vineyard for a dinner-and-wine pairing while coffee lovers will find solace at Krecek Kakes Bakery & Coffeeshop. Businesses that contribute variety and creativity to both the town and Main Street include Folking, a vintage and handmade clothing store, and Stokes of England, which is a custom blacksmithing shop with an in-house forge.

In addition to the many shops on the town's main strip, Gordonsville holds a makers' market every first Friday of the month as well as sporadic seasonal markets. Attending a holiday market under twinkling fairy lights strung from trees is an absolute vision, and travelers who are partial to a Hallmark holiday should certainly put Gordonsville on their small-town bucket list.


No matter which direction you're coming into Sperryville from, the view is immaculate. In the spring and summer, you can expect lush rolling hills while autumn brings canopies of bold, vibrantly colored trees. Wintertime in the mountain foothill town is no ugly stepsister either, as she bares all and creates a gorgeous landscape of nature's artfully crafted trees and ridges.

Sperryville is just a blip on the map, but the town of just under 300 people is one of the most interesting small towns in Virginia. The town has an eclectic mix of residents and businesses. While there are extensive horseback riding and golf scenes in the area, Sperryville would also appeal to many more crunchy and creative lifestyles. In the approximate square mile that is the main part of town, there are various galleries and art-centric shops including an artists' co-op. For the traveler guided by more spiritual means, Abracadabra Massage and Wellness is a popular holistic and metaphysical spa on Main Street.

The tiny town offers a respite for hikers and outdoor adventurers, as Sperryville is situated near some of the most popular trails in Virginia. Old Rag Mountain is right down the road, though you'll want to be a relatively experienced hiker for the viral hike. Taking the opposite route out of the town will deliver you directly to the entrance of Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most popular National Parks sites in America .

Just on the other side of the mountain from Sperryville is Luray, and here tourism is king. The small town is home to Luray Caverns, one of the largest caverns in the United States and an attraction that people from all over the world come to see. While Luray is on the map due to the caverns, it's becoming quite the hot spot with its Main Street quickly developing into one of the most charming in the state. It includes a local brewery; the town's very own historical, intricately decorated first-run theater; and a number of other locally owned businesses, quite a few of which are owned and operated by members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Luray is also quite the destination for hikers and river rats. Located in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Massanutten Mountains, Luray is practically surrounded by hiking trails. With the Shenandoah River running through the area, residents and visitors are also fond of tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing on the river.

For a small town, Culpeper has quite a lot going on. Rather than a central, simple Main Street, their collection of eclectic shops, restaurants, and breweries extends a few blocks to create a downtown that rivals that of a lively city neighborhood.

As a steadily growing town, Culpeper is developing its downtown district relatively quickly and a visit here could easily fill a full day with walking the area and visiting anything that catches your eye. You'll find two local breweries in this area: Far Gohn Brewing Company and Beer Hound Brewing, which are just two blocks from one another. Bakeries, coffee houses, and ice cream shops are also in the area with plenty of shopping destinations scattered in between. Botanical Dwellings, Poppy + Chalk, Green Roost, and Le Monkey House are popular shops that may hold the perfect takeaway.

The central location of the town puts it in perfect alignment for a lot of different routes through Virginia, so if you're taking a road trip and passing through the state, chances are you can easily fit in a stop in Culpeper. Whether it's just for a cup of coffee, a full meal, or a stroll through Main Street and its connecting streets to stretch your legs, a pitstop here is well worth it if you find yourself in its vicinity.


Located in southern Virginia and under a half hour from Fairy Stone State Park, Martinsville is an oasis of activity smack dab in the center of a whole lot of natural wonder. With the state park to the northwest and Smith River to the south, visitors can choose between heading into the wilderness or traversing the water.

There are still draws for those who would rather keep out of the woods, though, as Martinsville is home to its own speedway, which is the shortest track on NASCAR's circuit. If you're a fan of racing, the town's track brings the audience closer to the action and it's worth planning a visit here around the attraction's major race weekends.

The antiquing opportunities around Martinsville are enormous as well, with a number of businesses dedicated to vintage clothing and relics from times gone by. Junk and Disorderly is a great stop for those looking for refurbished furniture with a mix of farmhouse and antique decor. Fieldale Antiques is 10 minutes away in nearby Fieldale, and is a necessity for those who love everything retro, as the shop is found within an old Shell gas station and still has original features, like the pumps out front. No matter what you choose to do in and around Martinsville, though, you'll have a charming time.

For the traveler looking to have a cultural experience while also becoming one with nature, Abingdon is a great choice. Art in all of its forms can be found here, from local artisans to live theater in a historic playhouse. Quite a few artists in the area also like to incorporate nature found here into their creations, and it's really no wonder why, as the area is stunning.

This historic town's perfect mix of old and new paints such a picturesque view that it almost seems unreal. Abingdon's charm is certainly real, though, and exploring Market District and its many unique businesses will give you the full effect. Swing by The Arts Depot for a peek at what local artists have to offer, and the farmers' market for fresh, locally sourced produce and crafted items available from locals.

The district, as well as the town itself, leaves you slightly off-kilter, as it appears like it's from another decade while still offering all the modern accommodations. Instead of off-putting, though, the contradictory traits just add to Abingdon's appeal and are all the more reason to visit this little southern town.

While not an official town, the hamlet of Lucketts in Loudoun County has more charm than it knows what to do with. Actually, it's creative and innovative enough to make use of practically anything, as made evident by the many vintage shops. The little community is certainly one of Virginia's hidden gems, and a must-visit for anyone interested in antiquing.

One of the biggest and best shops in the area is simply The Old Lucketts Store . The shop is so substantial that you will think the hamlet was named after it instead of the other way around. Decorated gorgeously, the three-story shop constantly changes its inventory and rearranges for regular seasonal and holiday markets. The markets are so popular that tickets must be distributed in order to keep the shop from becoming overcrowded, and they typically go quickly. The antique shop almost doubles as an experiential attraction, and even if you walk out empty-handed, you'll be glad you strayed into the lovely store. Plus, there are plenty of other antique markets in the area to discover as well.

If Virginia is for lovers, Staunton is for history buffs. While the vast majority of towns in Virginia are rich with history, Staunton practically smells of it. The town is made up of six historic districts that have their own personal flair, but admirable architecture that is from the 18th and 19th centuries. Not only does the town have a number of niche historical museums, but also an authentic Shakespearean playhouse.

The American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse is the only recreation of Shakespeare's indoor theater of the same name and great care has been taken to get many details historically accurate to how productions were presented back then. With the tagline, "We do it with the lights on," the playhouse displays performances in full light and even offers select seating right on stage with the actors.

As the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson, Staunton naturally has plenty of homages to the historical figure. What may not be expected of the town is its love of all history, as there are museums dedicated to antique cameras, fire engines, and plenty of art. Art lovers will appreciate the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art , which has a wide range of art offerings. This is just the tip of the iceberg in what Staunton has to show history lovers, though, as its full historic contributions can only be appreciated in person.

South Boston

Before you even ask — yes, the town is named after the city in Massachusetts and no, we do not know why. The two destinations don't have much in common, except for their considerable charm. The town in southern Virginia manages to appear both quaint and impressive with a downtown of older buildings that center on a town hall that stands tall and acts as the perfect focal point.

South Boston has been actively revitalizing its downtown and historic district, and their success in the endeavor clearly shows. A number of new businesses have started up, adding to the clear enchantment and homegrown vibes that the small town gives off. Mother Cluckers and Wister's are both attractive shops with curb appeal that will naturally have you gravitating toward them.

Aligning a trip with the annual South Boston Harvest Festival where various local vendors display their goods is a great way to make the most out of visiting the town, especially if you're bringing the whole family. It can get a little crowded, though, so if you're looking to experience South Boston in its simplest, quietest form, stick to any other time of the year. The summer farmers' markets may be a happy medium.

As with a lot of towns in Virginia, Saint Paul's backyard is lush with trails and water sports. Saint Paul provides access to Spearhead Trails, a southwest Virginia trail system that makes it easy for explorers to traverse the wilderness and mountains via foot, bike, or ATV. If you're not up for a grueling hike, though, the town of under 1,000 residents also boasts numerous water activities thanks to its vicinity to Clinch River.

For such a small town, Saint Paul has a good amount of local eateries to fuel your outdoor adventures. Fat Boy's BBQ and Giovanni's Pizza are both local staples and there are a couple of coffee shops that can be found within the town as well.

Summer is the best time to visit Saint Paul to experience the active outdoor scene, as Clinch River Adventures is seasonal and the best way for non-locals to hit the river on tubes or kayaks. Adventures on the river can last 2 or 7 hours with the company, and it's a great way to insert yourself into nature and relax at the same time.

Winchester is one of the most populated towns on the list and, naturally, the northwest Virginian town has more of a city feel than the otherwise tiny towns mentioned here. That's not to say that the town isn't charming, though, as Main Street and downtown are both absolutely stunning.

Old Town Winchester is home to a number of shops, dining establishments, and family-friendly activities that will make sure the whole family has a great time. The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum includes three indoor floors and a rooftop of activities, making it a destination that a child could interact with for hours. The Old Town Winchester Splash Pad offers a way for kids to cool down in the summer months.

The shopping in the main district is eclectic and diverse, with something for everyone among the many local businesses spread throughout the area. Art is also an important aspect of Old Town, with the ArtScape program inserting local art throughout the district and two live theaters located in the area. There is so much to discover in Old Town Winchester alone, and with the town being much more expansive than its downtown district, you could spend quite a lot of time exploring the charming not-so-little town.

Not only have locals dubbed Ashland the "center of the universe" (with a local brewery named after the motto), but the central Virginian town is also only just up the road from Virginia's capital of Richmond. This makes a visit to Ashland pretty prime for travelers who want a small-town experience with access to a large, open-minded city.

Ashland has a history of being a railroad town and although it is still very much built around the industry, now it's booming for other reasons besides the railroad. Walking tours and ghost tours are popular in the town, a lot of which focus on the (sometimes dark) history of the tracks. Community is strong in Ashland and visitors can very easily mingle with locals by patronizing bars like Andy's Restaurant & Lounge or attending one of the Ashland Street Parties. The little town exudes charm and is a perfect destination for those who value art, music, and history.


The eastern part of Virginia is home to numerous coastal towns, estuaries, and tiny islands. Chincoteague is one such island and is famous for the wild horses that can be found here and on nearby Assateague Island. The horses' origins are obscured by the past, but some say the current horses are descended from those that survived a Spanish shipwreck. Whatever their true history, though, the horses are things of legend and people come from all over to see them.

Once a year the horses swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague — and it's kind of a big deal! Locals and visitors gather to watch the Chincoteague Pony Swim, and then a number of younger horses are sold to the highest bidders in an effort to keep the herd from getting overpopulated. The Chincoteague Pony Auction benefits the local volunteer fire company, and the event is celebrated with games and vendors, making it an ideal time to visit the little island. Though, you will not be disappointed with a trip to Chincoteague any other time, either. Water sports, cute shops, and great views are among the many things visitors can look forward to in the small island town.

Kilmarnock has one of the most bustling small-town Main Streets in Virginia. The town has over 50 businesses for visitors and locals alike to busy themselves with during a day walking the Steptoe's District. As wonderful as the lively town itself is, the surrounding area is full of exciting outdoor attractions as well.

The small town is a part of Virginia's River Realm, a collection of communities where the Chesapeake Bay and the Rappahannock River meet. Naturally, there are plenty of opportunities for locals and visitors alike to get out on the water. Boating, fishing, and kayaking are all popular on the Chesapeake Bay, as well as learning about conservation.

Kilmarnock itself looks like the picture-perfect community, and downtown is the place to be. With various businesses focusing on unique home decor and clothing, there are nearly endless options for what you can bring home from the town. Whether you want to spend a day on the water or explore downtown, Kilmarnock is a sweet slice of small-town Virginia and shouldn't be overlooked.

Located in the coastal Hampton Roads region, Smithfield is a beautiful city. The historic architecture keeps the town's classic look while improvements to downtown have created a community space where locals and travelers can gather. Very much a water town, Smithfield sits on the Pagan River and is a stone's throw away from the Chesapeake Bay. Unlike with a lot of popular river towns in Virginia, the land around Smithfield's Pagan River is more akin to wetlands and water activities are less appealing here than in other towns throughout the state. 

That doesn't mean residents don't take advantage of their assets, though, because many activities and festivals use the water as a backdrop to elevate any experience. Smithfield is all about hosting events and festivals for the community to enjoy, whether it be music, food, or holiday festivals. Before you head to Smithfield, take a look at what is going on locally and try to plan your trip to overlap one of the town's many happenings.

Read this next: Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful Photos Of America

winding road in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Virginia City Tourism

Hunt for Spirits in one of America’s Most Haunted Towns

Hunt for Spirits in one of America’s Most Haunted Towns

Hauntober is back in Virginia City!

To say everything is haunted in this old mining town is not too far from the truth. Virginia City, Nevada, noted as one of America’s most haunted towns, takes it one step further by officially dubbing October as “Hauntober” and offers up numerous ways for visitors to get their spook on. Haunted places to stay, saloons to have a cold one, creepy tours and even lighted evening trains, the town becomes an epicenter of the supernatural.

Hauntober 2021

Haunted Hotels

For the ultimate thrill-seekers, there’s no more complete way to do it than stay the night in one of Virginia City’s haunted hotels. There’s plenty to choose from, including:

  • Gold Hill Hotel – Nevada’s oldest operating hotel with abounding stories of the ghosts of children running the halls and the scent of roses that appears randomly when a spirit is said to be present. Visit net to book.
  • Silver Queen Hotel – allegedly haunted by one or more of the working women who did business in the hotel, this establishment was built in 1876 and is considered one of the most haunted locations in town. The hotel offers paranormal investigations for an additional fee. Go to net to book.
  • Mary’s Art Center – Originally built in 1875 as Virginia City’s hospital, this majestic building offers 16 guest rooms for artists retreats, or anyone looking to stay in Virginia City. Paranormal investigations are offered monthly or can be booked as a private tour and the building is reported to have very active paranormal spirits. Visit StMarysArtCenter.org for details.
  • Tahoe House Hotel – Dating back to 1859, this property offers plenty of tales of paranormal encounters from guests over the years. Renovated in 2020, it features five rooms with balconies overlooking C Street, along with a lobby bar, great room and courtyard. Book at com .

More lodging options are available here .


Looking to get your fill of spirits? Yes, that kind. Check out Virginia City’s plentiful saloons. During its heyday, more than 100 saloons lined the streets of the mining town. Today a solid 12 remain, not bad for a town with a population of fewer than 900 residents. The Washoe Club offers haunted tours and for some, just walking into the Bucket of Blood, Old Corner Board, or the Silver Dollar, is like stepping back in time. For a complete list of saloons, click here.

Take home a bottle of Cemetery Gin , Virginia City’s own distilled spirit. Bottles can be purchased at the Visitors Center and locations throughout northern Nevada. Drinks featuring the tasty gin spirit are available at the Virginia City watering holes or stop by the Visitors Center for a sample.

halloween parade

Haunted Adventure Pass: Spooky adventures in Virginia City start at the Visitors Center where visitors can get their Haunted Adventure Pass for discounted access to Virginia City’s Hauntober attractions. The pass includes a Bats in the Belfry Ghost Tours, access to the Haunted Washoe Club Museum and a tour of Piper’s Opera House. Purchase passes at the Visitors Center, 85 South C Street. Available only Wednesday-Sunday.  Reservations for the Bats in the Belfry must be made separately in advance by calling 775-815-1050. Washoe Club Tours must be made separately on a first come first service basis. Reservations may be made in advance for 20 or more participants by calling (775) 847-4467.

Bats in the Belfry Guided Ghost Tours : If you want to know where the most haunted locations are in Virginia City, this is the tour for you. Take a walk around this historically haunted town and learn about the lively souls that still occupy it today. Visit VirginiaCityGhostTours.com .  Reservations must be made in advance. Available only Wednesday-Sunday.

Paranormal Investigations at St. Mary’s Art Center, Oct. 16, 29-31: Explore the halls of the historic St. Mary’s Art Center with paranormal investigations led by one of the area’s leading ghost experts. Reportedly one of the most haunted buildings in Virginia City, the Art Center was originally built as the town’s hospital.

V&T Railroad Pumpkin Patch Train, Oct. 16 & 17 and 23 & 24, 11:20 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.: A pumpkin patch is fall’s ultimate playground for kids so why not make an adventure of it with a train ride to the Gold Hill Pumpkin Patch. Purchase train tickets at VirginiaTruckee.com .  


“Art of the Grotesque” at Gallery of the West, Oct. 23-31, 11 a.m. – 4 pm. – Discover works from fine artists throughout the region, featuring odd, grotesque and downright creepy works. This display is not for the faint of heart. Learn more about Gallery of the West at VirginiaCityGalleryoftheWest.com .  

Haunted Virginia City Escape Room & Haunted Ghost Town – all month-long thrill-seekers have the opportunity to try their hand at the Haunted Virginia City Escape Room. All new and revamped for this year, this escape room is one of the most challenging in the area. For more thrills, take a stroll, or maybe run, through the Haunted Ghost Town. This walk-through attraction is sure to give an adrenaline rush. The Virginia City Escape Room must be booked online in advance at VCEscapeRoom.com . The Haunted Ghost Town is just $4 per person and can be paid onsite.

Mackay Mansion Haunted House and Paranormal Tours – Investigate one of the town’s most haunted locations, the Mackay Mansion, with special paranormal tours and haunted tours throughout the month. For details and reservations, call 775-847-0156. Click here to view Mackay’s Event Calendar.

Washoe Club Haunted Tours , offered daily, times vary – Featured multiple times on “Ghost Adventures,” The Washoe Club and Haunted Museum offers daily ghost tours. Private, overnight investigations can also be booked. Get details at TheWashoeClubMuseum.com .

Comstock Cemetery

Halloween Weekend Events

Electric Halloween Steam Train of Lights, Oct. 30 & 31, 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.: Get in the haunted spirit with a ride on a spooky evening steam train from Virginia City to Gold Hill. A special adult-only train departs at 7:30 p.m. and provides adult beverages to enjoy on the way. Celebrate Nevada Day and the harvest season by coming “all aboard” the V&T Railway for a Halloween train ride and festive scavenger hunt Sat. and Sun, Oct. 30 & 31! Upon arrival to Eastgate Depot, receive a special treat for wearing your spookiest costume then embark on your journey to Virginia City behind the historic Engine 18. Choose between the “Family” or “Adults Only” themed scavenger hunts for a chance to win one of 2 grand prizes via raffle of completed hunts. Both hunts take participants on an adventure both on the track and throughout Virginia City. Tickets available online .

Fourth Ward School Museum’s Victorian All Hollow’s Eve Ball, Oct. 30, 7 – 10 p.m. – Disneyland’s European Haunted Mansion is a copy of this historic building. Explore it on the eve of Halloween with this adults-only evening, including music and dancing, a costume contest, flashlight tours, a fortune teller, light snacks and drinks. For tickets visit FourthWardSchool.org .

Cemetery Gin’s Hunt for the Spirits, Oct. 31, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. : Embark on Cemetery Gin’s Hunt for Spirits, a fun and tasty scavenger hunt through town. Participants must use their historic Virginia City knowledge to solve clues and unscramble a secret message of Virginia City’s past, learning more about this historic town while sampling tasty spirits along the way. This is a 21+ event. Purchase tickets online .

Halloween Tricks, Treats and Art for Kids, St. Mary’s Art Center, Oct. 31. : Bring the kids for fun games, prizes, fun art projects and treats in the spookily decorated halls of the historic hospital property. Get tickets here .

Hauntober Parade, Oct. 31, 5 to 6 p.m.: Goblins of all ages dressed to scare are invited to participate in the Hauntober Parade on Halloween night. Check-in and costume contest starts at 4 p.m. at the Virginia City Jerky Company.

Hauntober Safe Trick-or-Treating, Oct. 31, 6 to 8 p.m.: Stick around after the parade for safe trick-or-treating at the many shops along the boardwalk.

Virginia City Cemetery, Oct. 31, 5:30 to 11 p.m.: Once a year, on Halloween, the gates to the old Silver Terrace Cemetery stay open for visitors to stroll past dusk. Here, souls rest in peace but their stories live forever. Take a self-guided tour with the downloadable audio tour, available online . Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. Proceeds benefit the Comstock Cemetery Foundation. For more information, visit online .

For more information on all Virginia City’s events, visit our events page .

Virginia City Nevada

About   |  Resources   |  Media   |  Connect With Us

Virginia City Tourism Commission 86 South “C” Street • P.O. Box 920 Virginia City, NV 89440

775-847-7500 [email protected]


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

virginia ghost towns

Your browser is not supported for this experience. We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari.


visitors guide


Sign up for our



  1. Thurmond Is The Creepiest Ghost Town In West Virginia

    virginia ghost towns

  2. Ghost Towns of America: Thurmond, West Virginia

    virginia ghost towns

  3. Pin on Country Roads Take Me Home

    virginia ghost towns

  4. Amazing Ghost Town Abandoned in Union Level Virginia

    virginia ghost towns

  5. America's Coolest Ghost Towns

    virginia ghost towns

  6. These 7 Ghost Towns in Virginia Are Hauntingly Beautiful in 2020

    virginia ghost towns


  1. I went back to this ghost town in illinois, things were changed

  2. Thurmond west Virginia abandoned railroad town. #ghosttowns #abandoned #railroad

  3. WEST VIRGINIA TRAPS : Abandoned Ghost Town Deep in Appalachia

  4. Most terrifying places in Virginia, USA

  5. Virginia Ghost Town!

  6. Haunted West Virginia


  1. These 7 Ghost Towns in Virginia Are Hauntingly Beautiful

    1. Matildaville, Great Falls National Park Linda Thomas / flickr When Henry Lee III, a.k.a. Light Horse Harry Lee, signed a 900-year lease on the land that was to host a booming community on the newly constructed Potomac Canal, he may have gotten just a wee bit ahead of himself. Named after his late first wife, he had high hopes for the town.

  2. 17 Haunted Places in Virginia: Our Favorite Spooky Towns, Bridges, and

    1. The Martha Washington Inn & Spa Kinda spooky right? The Martha Washington Inn & Spa is a historic hotel in Virginia that has been featured on Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures." Some of its rooms are said to be haunted by the ghosts of Confederate soldiers who were treated in the makeshift hospital during the Civil War.

  3. 7 Ghost Towns In Virginia [MAP]

    1. Ca Ira 2. Upper Pocosin Mission 3. Elko Tract 4. Lorraine 5. Matildaville 6. Lignite 7. Jamestown Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Urbex Underground The Anarchist's Guide To Exploration If you're looking to dive deeper into the world of urban exploration, this book is for you.

  4. List of ghost towns in Virginia

    Henricus Hickory Ridge Howrytown Jamestown Joplin Kopp Lackey Lignite Lorraine Magruder Matildaville South Lowell Warwick Westham Notes and references [ edit] [1]

  5. An Abandoned Ghost Town In Virginia: Union Level

    Here's a closer look at the Union Level ghost town, Virginia's lost town that many people don't know about: When most people think of abandoned ghost towns, they conjure up images of the Old West. Fewer realize that Virginia is home to an abandoned ghost town where you won't find any tumbleweeds, but plenty of remnants of time gone by.

  6. A Haunting Road Trip To The Most Abandoned Ghost Towns In Virginia

    1. Matildaville. Christin Boggs Peyper / flickr. Rocky A/flickr. This haunted road trip to abandoned ghost towns in Virginia begins in Great Falls National Park with the abandoned town of Matildaville. This area was chartered by the Virginia General Assembly in 1790, as headquarters for the construction of the canal.

  7. 5 Truly Grim Ghost Towns In Virginia

    5 Truly Grim Ghost Towns In Virginia Advertisement Virginia Attractions | Small Towns What You'll Discover In These 5 Deserted Virginia Towns Is Truly Grim By Beth | Published May 31, 2016 There's something so alluring about ghost towns. They're a blend of tragedy, history, and strange beauty that stand as a testament to days long gone.

  8. THE BEST Virginia Ghost Towns (Updated 2023)

    1. Crimson Lane Vineyards 4 Gay Bars • Cemeteries Open now By BigDrop Crimson Lane is an extraordinarily beautiful winery of character near the top of a mountain with ascending vineyards... 2. Red Hill General Store 6 Speciality & Gift Shops • Ghost Towns By USAmultitrip

  9. Virginias Ghostly Haunts

    Ghosts and Haunted Tours. Virginia ranks at the top of the National Register of Haunted Locations with nearly 170 spooky sites claim paranormal happenings. In addition to the haunted sites open to the public, several Virginia communities and sites offer ghost tours year-round. Find your next paranormal adventure below!

  10. 12 Haunted Sites in Virginia with True Ghost Stories

    The Martha Hotel & Spa—Abingdon. For an overnight stay in a haunted house, book a room at The Martha Hotel & Spa in Abingdon. The building served as a hospital for wounded soldiers from both sides during the Civil War, and many unfortunately never left the hospital to return home. The Martha is said to be haunted by a few of these phantoms ...

  11. 8 great ghost towns to explore in Northern Virginia

    8 great ghost towns to explore in Northern Virginia Ghost Towns of Virginia Northern Virginia has a population that grows exponentially every year, but there are areas in Virginia where the only thing left are the shells of towns and their histories that are ripe for exploration. -SR Allison Stec Bell/Shutterstock.com Rosewell Plantation

  12. 12 Haunted Places In Virginia That Will Creep You Out

    Swannanoa Palace, located in Afton, is know to be one of the most haunted places in Virginia. There's said to be many spirits that wander the halls. Swannanoa Palace is a beautiful, grand building that was built in 1912 by James H. Dooley, a millionaire, philanthropist, and Civil War Veteran. He built it as a summer house for him and his wife ...

  13. Ghost Towns In Virginia

    There are 19 ghost towns in Virginia. The first president of the United States, George Washington, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia on February 22, 1732. Eight other presidents were also born in Virginia. Covering 42,769 square miles, Virginia is the 35 th largest state.

  14. 6 Abandoned and Forgotten Ghost Towns in Virginia

    Jamestown is likely the most famous ghost town in Virginia. It was the first permanent English settlement in America and was established in 1607 and served as the capital for the colonies from 1616 until 1699. #1 Elko Tract Elko Tract was a decoy airfield that was built during World War II.

  15. The 10 Most Haunted Places in Virginia to Visit

    4. First Landing State Park. Located in Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park is the site where the first English colonists arrived in the New World in 1607. It's hardly surprising that this is the most visited Virginia State Park, with its 20 miles of hiking trails and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beachfront.

  16. 7 Virginia Ghost Towns

    January 16, 2017 Ghost Towns, Recent Posts Virginia is a state ripe for treasure hunters to explore historical settlements, buildings, and entire ghost towns. Silent and empty, only the scraps of communities the witnesses to where life once lived.

  17. This Road Trip Takes You To The Most Haunted Places In Virgina

    1. Wythe House (Williamsburg) 101 Palace Green St, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA. The Wolf Law Library/flickr. We begin this road trip to some of the most haunted places in Virginia at the Wythe House. The historic estate known as the George Wythe House was constructed in colonial times, circa 1753 as a place for the elite to stay.

  18. 10 Haunted Places In Virginia To Visit If You Dare

    10 Haunted Places in Virginia. Virginia is one of the oldest colonies and is considered by many to be the most haunted state in America. A place of beauty, with sweeping trees, beaches, and an abundance of life. You would never expect Virginia to be a place where ghosts outnumber the living. But history runs deep in Virginia.

  19. Ghost Towns of Virginia

    Ghosttowns.com-the best source of information on ghost towns in the U.S. Ghost towns are listed by state & include biographies, pictures, and other detailed ghost town info. ... VIRGINIA BOOKS; VIRGINIA LINKS; VIRGINIA THINGS TO DO GHOST TOWNS. Ca Ira- 4 ; Lignite- 4 ; Portugee Road - 5 ; Wash Woods - 5; BACK TO VIRGINIA. BACK TO GHOSTTOWNS.COM

  20. 16 Creepy Ghost Towns in America You Can Still Visit

    , Clara Hogan & Erika Mailman Tuesday September 12 2023 America is home to hundreds of ghost towns and abandoned settlements. While they're dotted across the county, they are ubiquitous in...

  21. 15 Most Charming Small Towns To Visit In Virginia

    Sperryville is just a blip on the map, but the town of just under 300 people is one of the most interesting small towns in Virginia. The town has an eclectic mix of residents and businesses.

  22. Hauntober America's Most Haunted Town

    October is Hauntober in Virginia City, Nevada. As one of America's most haunted towns, there's no better place to spend October than immersed in a slew of events taking place throughout the month with a focus on our town's haunted past. Hauntober highlights include The Spirits Made Me Do It Saloon Crawl, Bats in the Belfry Guided Ghost ...

  23. Hunt for Spirits in one of America's Most Haunted Towns

    The Haunted Ghost Town is just $4 per person and can be paid onsite. Mackay Mansion Haunted House and Paranormal Tours - Investigate one of the town's most haunted locations, the Mackay Mansion, with special paranormal tours and haunted tours throughout the month. For details and reservations, call 775-847-0156.

  24. Union Level Ghost Town

    Union Level Ghost Town. Once a bustling stop on the horse and carriage line in the early 1800's, then rail line in the later 1800's and early 1900's, this unique remnant of times past was deserted once the rail line left. An entire line of store fronts and a church still line the country road here, surrounded by beautiful agricultural farms.