“We have people pass out all the time.”
Thrill-seekers, morbid hunters, and lovers of all things dark and twisted – have we got the tours for you. These following days out are operating now and they are sightseeing with a sinister edit. Ever wondered where Ted Bundy stalked his victims in Seattle? Wanted to take a look at Jeffrey Dahmer’s house of horrors? Or felt the need to stay the night in a haunted penitentiary built on an ancient native burial ground? Well time to open your diary and get booking…
10. The Cannibal Tour
Milwaukee is well known for its breweries, the Milwaukee Bucks, Harley-Davidson’s and – oh yes, the cannibal serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. He murdered and dismembered seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991 – often preserving parts of their bodies in his fridge to gorge on later.
Amanda Morden of Hangman Tours started up her business when people would always refer to the serial killer when she mentioned Milwaukee. She said, “Whenever we told people we were from Milwaukee, they’d often say, ‘Oh, that’s where Jeffrey Dahmer’s from.’”
She claims her Cream City Cannibal tour is “so gruesome, it was banned on Groupon – twice.” You can walk in the exact footsteps of cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, where he poached 7 of his 17 victims.
The tour has caused a lot of controversies, as the horrifying crimes are still fresh in the minds of the residents. Rife with tales of caution, psychological dissection, and terrifying details, the Cream City Cannibal is not for the faint of heart.
9. H.H. Holmes Tour
Many tourists flock to Chicago to take part in a gangster tour or a prohibition style bar crawl. Then there are those who have a morbid fascination with the legacy of Dr. H. H. Holmes who is considered America’s first serial killer.
In 1893, at the time of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed specifically with murder in mind and that later became the location of many of his murders. Although he only confessed to 27 murders – the actual body count could be up to 200.
Created by Weird Chicago Tours this dark tour dives straight into the history, mystery, murder, and mayhem of the American serial killer. They take on a journey back to the “Murder Castle” in time to not only the places where Holmes sought out and dispatched his victims, but also to take a look at the remnants of the spectacular fair and to get an inside look at Chicago in 1893.
8. West Virginia State Penitentiary Tour
Moundsville, West Virginia
Imagine walking around a haunted prison in the dark on your own? If that sounds like the kind of chill you are looking for then the West Virginia Penitentiary Tour is for you.
Time magazine wrote: “Unlike most of the people who’ve previously walked through the gates of the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, you can be fairly certain you’ll be walking out again a few hours later. The imposing Gothic structure was first opened in 1876 but closed in 1995. It’s seen riots, fires and the execution of nearly 100 prisoners through either hanging or electrocution.”
Built on an ancient Native American burial ground, West Virginia Penitentiary is often labeled as one of the most haunted places in the world. A night here would surely traumatize anyone for life and is not for those who don’t like to get a fright.
7. The Shining Hotel Tour
Estes Park, Colorado
Stanley Hotel, Colorado, is such a creepy place with a cold chill in the air that it inspired Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in his 1977 bestseller The Shining.
The tour is set in the evening, taking brave guests through their most haunted spaces and introduces them to the paranormal phenomena surrounding this 100-year-old hotel. Ghost seekers can visit the basement rooms of The Concert Hall and the famous tunnel after dark where most of the paranormal activity takes place.
Every tour is guided by the hotel’s own “Scary Mary” she speaks about her own paranormal experiences and tales of the hotel’s haunts throughout the tour. She encourages guests to constantly take pictures while on the tour and then helps them analyze the results. Many times apparitions can be seen and ghost orbs sometimes show up in these pictures. It’s enough to convince any non-believer.
6. French Quarter Phantoms Tour
French Quater, New Orleans
The French Quarter of New Orleans has got plenty of grisly murders to discuss. Pictured above is the former home of Marie Delphine LaLaurie who built this mansion in 1832. She would torture and mutilate slaves in her attic and when a fire raged through the house – police found slaves tied to the kitchen stove. Marie is also accused of killing several of her slaves, and bodies of both adults and children were found in her yard. Their ghosts are still believed to haunt the area.
Not to forget the “Mad Axeman of New Orleans”, a serial killer who terrorized the Big Easy in 1918-1919. He would break into homes at random and split his victim’s heads open with an axe. The case remains unsolved to this day.
The tour is hosted by French Quarter Phantoms and Ghost Tour. The founder said, “I wanted to do a tour about some of the interesting and disturbing things that have happened in New Orleans that don’t have ghosts attached to them. I felt like these stories were being neglected and people needed to hear them. We’re telling them real stories. It’s often more frightening when it’s something that really happened.”
5. Bell Witch Cave
To understand just how creepy this tour is – you must hear “The Legend of the Bell Witch” first…
In 1804, Farmer John Bell settled with his wife and children in northern Robertson County, Tennessee. Then in the late summer of 1817, members of the family began seeing strange looking animals around the property. Then late at night, they started hearing knocking sounds on the doors and outer walls of the house. When things became intolerable John confided in a neighbor, James Johnson and he invited him to spend the night. After several nights of witnessing these strange things, Mr. Johnson suggested that more people should be told and an investigation started.
Over the next three years, the witch tormented members of the Bell family almost daily. John and his daughter Betsy were the ones who received the worst of the physical abuse. Betsy had her hair pulled, she was pinched, scratched stuck with pins and even beaten. While John Bell began suffering from spells of swelling of the throat and often had the feeling of a stick being stuck sideways in his throat. Then came the twitching and jerking of the facial muscles.
The witch finally accomplished her mission for coming to the Bell farm. On December 20, 1820, John Bell had died. It was believed that he was poisoned by the witch.
Many believe that the witch left the farm after this but she still haunts the cave. Now, do you fancy a Bell Witch Cave Tour?
4. Grave Robbers Tour
Old City, Philadelphia
From grave robbers like Dutch Pillet and Levi Chew to psychopathic killers like the “Corpse Collector,” and the “Frankfort Slasher,” this is one tour in Philadelphia that shout not be missed. The tour also features tales of yellow fever death and a close visit to the grave of up-close visits to Ben Franklin and other founding fathers.
The tour begins late afternoon just as the night starts rolling in and ends with a complimentary moonshine (If you need to settle your shaking hands down after all the stories you’ve heard!) Developed by a university professor the Grim Philly tour has been voted the best tour since it’s inception.
3. The Helter Skelter Tour
Los Angeles, California
The Helter Skelter Tour lasts three-and-a-half hours and chronicles the Manson family murders – seven high profile murders that took place during the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles. The cult’s leader Charles Manson was sentenced to life in jail for orchestrating all the killings.
Owner of Dearly Departed Tours Scott Michaels said, “It’s become a bigger thing than I thought it would be. People have a wide-eyed fascination with it. Ultimately, this is history. I remember when the murders happened. It really affected people, the fear. America made him into a boogeyman.”
The interactive tour is peppered with crime scene photographs and audio clips (including 911 calls), the tour has earned its consistent 5-star ratings.
2. The Ted Bundy Tour
Capitol Hill, Seattle
The Capitol Hill True Crime Tour operated by the Private Eye tours explore a much darker side to Seattle. You will walk in the footsteps of America’s most prolific serial killer, Ted Bundy as tour host Jake Jacobson speaks of the horrific crimes during this three-hour tour of Seattle’s hip Capitol Hill neighborhood, a place where Bundy once lived and stalked his victims. Bundy was convicted and executed for raping, murdering, mutilating, and beheading scores of women in the 1970s – mainly in the Seattle area.
Jacobson also highlights one of Seattle’s most famous musicians, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain. She said, “We feature Kurt Cobain and whether his death was a suicide or a murder. There are lots of opinions about that.” In April 1994, Cobain was found dead in his home, apparently due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head – although some believe he was murdered.
1. The Museum Of Death
Museum of Death will have you feeling quite nauseous and has plenty of warning signs before you enter describing the depravity of many displays. The museum is home to collections of serial killer artwork, grisly crime-scene photos, shocking death footage, collections of coffins, disturbing pet taxidermy, and haunting displays of execution devices. There is nothing too dark and sinister for this tour.
Artwork by notorious serial killers John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, and David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz were gifted to the museum. Co-founder of Museum of Death, JD Healy, said, “We have people pass out all the time. Visitors who step into his museum on Hollywood Boulevard get overwhelmed – despite the upfront warnings.”