“Ghost town” doesn’t always mean simply abandoned, people claim some are truly haunted by spirits of old… Here are the 5 eeriest ghost towns in the West you can visit to discover mystery, folklore, legends, and more.
There are lots of things to do at this ghost town in Calico, California, which was once the home of the largest silver strike in California in 1881. Calico Ghost Town is open daily 9-5 except Christmas and is located 126 miles northeast of Los Angeles and roughly 12 miles southwest of Barstow.
You can take a ghost tour, ride a train, visit the old Maggie Mine, which was a working silver mine in the 1880s, see how miners lived in some truly unique buildings, including one made out of bottles, and pan for gold.
One of the most entertaining experiences is the Calico Mystery Shack, where water runs uphill, a broom stands by itself, and observe other strange and confusing things that occur. Admission and attractions have separate fees. Accommodations can be found in nearby Barstow, or in 250 camping sites nearby.
The most infamous town of the Wild West, Tombstone was a booming mining camp when silver was discovered in 1887. Technically, while the “town too tough to die” nearly became a ghost town, it persevered, largely due to its legendary status. There is a lot to do here, admission is free, and the street is lined with attractions, shops, and restaurants.
There are re-creations of the famous shootout at the okay corral, museum tours, walking tours, stagecoach tours, Boot Hill Cemetery and so much more. For those seeking haunts, there are numerous ghost tours, including a gunfighter ghost tour, nightly ghost tours at the famous Bird Cage Theater (which also offers daily tours).
Approximately 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas sits the old mining town of Goodsprings, currently home to roughly 200 people. It’s also home to the Pioneer saloon, built in 1913, which locals claim is haunted by the ghost of 1930s movie star Carole Lombard, who died nearby in a plane crash.
Many movies were filmed in the saloon. You can take a Haunted Lockdown tour, which also reenacts some of the experiences the “Ghost Adventures” TV show filmed there in 2013, U.S. News reports.
Known as the “Gateway to the superstition Mountains,” that alone should tell you this place is loaded with spooky folklore. There is a lot to do in this ghost town located about 40 miles east of Phoenix. In the 1890s, the town was home to multiple saloons, a blacksmith shop, a boardinghouse, a general store in a schoolhouse.
You can relive the old West touring a local goldmine, zip-lining, horseback riding, watching a live reenactment of a gunfight, and even doing some target shooting of your own. Accommodations can be found at Santa Maria Place, a 4-bedroom home roughly 33 miles away, check the rental website ThirdHome Rentals.
Roughly 90 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park, you can spend the night in an authentic pioneer cabin, or if you prefer swanky digs, stay at the historic Nevada City hotel, a former 1860s stage stop. Things to do include a 20-minute train ride between Nevada City and Virginia City. Also at this former gold-mining town, you can view original log structures, as well as a collection of antique music boxes, player pianos, and calliopes.