It’s that time of year when ghosts, goblins and ghouls rule. Beware: These five places may send a chill down your spine.
1. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta. Through mid-November, guests of this nonprofit museum are invited to explore the shadowy world of woodland spirits. The new outdoor experience features a variety of ghostly figures created by the museum and Laura Lewis, a local artist. There also will be Ghostly Gatherings on Sundays in October.
2. The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California. Former passengers, from sailors to socialites, met their demise aboard the 314-room Queen Mary and determined to return and keep their spirit alive. Take a self-guided tour or explore with the resident paranormal investigator. Ask about Dark Harbor, a Halloween extravaganza with monsters, mazes, entertainment and rides.
3. Ghostly Virginia City, Montana. The town that once served as home to as many as 10,000 residents, lively saloons and dance halls and carried the title of Capitol of the Montana Territory is a shadow of its former self. But travelers who make their way to this well-preserved treasure are treated to old-time theater, music, history tours — and ghost stories.
4. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado. This historic inn served as the inspiration for scare-master Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Don’t miss the history and ghost tour, and ask about master magician Aiden Sinclair’s “Illusions of the Passed!," which introduces guests to the world of penny dreadful during a theatrical seance. Children must be 5 or older. Reservations required.
5. Hotel Alex Johnson, Rapid City, South Dakota. Lights flickering. Startling sounds. Even actual ghost sightings. It’s all reported in the historic hotel’s "ghost journal" kept by front-desk staffers to record supernatural activity experienced by guests. Named after its founder, a railroad executive, the Alex Johnson offers ghost adventure packages for those brave enough to dig deeper.