If ghosts and haunted places are where you get your kicks, then a paranormal road trip along Route 66 is the ideal vacation. You won't believe all the spooky spots you can check out along this stretch of road.
McPike Mansion, Alton, Illinois
Situated on top of Mount Lookout Park, McPike Mansion was once the town's crown jewel. Abandoned sometime in the 1950s, it is under restoration and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Paranormal investigation tours and private paranormal investigations are available.
Some of the paranormal activities witnessed include orbs, apparitions of a man, woman and a child, captured EVPs, and shadow figures. Due to its current state of repair, the cellar is the only area of the house open to public tours.
However, the crypt and surrounding grounds are filled with paranormal activity, especially during October. You can participate and use dowsing rods to communicate with the spirits and attend a Dark Session with the house medium Sandy Little Lizard that's held in the cellar of the house.
This stopover is about 35 miles west of Route 66, but worth the journey. The McPike Mansion is located at 2018 Alby St, Alton, IL 62002.
Ghost Town of Avilla, Missouri
The forgotten town of Avilla is dubbed a living ghost town (circa 1856) with around 100 residents. The ghosts said to be roaming about the town include Bloody Bill (William T. Anderson), a Confederate guerilla leader killed in 1864. Along with him is the headless Rotten Johnny Reb, also known as the Avilla Phantom Bushwhacker, who searches for his missing head. According to legend, Johnny has been blamed over the decades for numerous deaths and is responsible for the townspeople abandoning Avilla.
There's also the Death Tree where these ghosts are seen hanging about. And, if that's not enough to satisfy the most curious ghost hunter, there's the abundance of shadow people seen in windows, hallways and walking about the town roads. Avilla is located right off Route 66. This is a place you can visit, although much of the town's buildings are abandoned. Still, the haunting tales of ghosts should be satisfying for a paranormal visit.
The Skirvin Hilton, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Motor on down to Oklahoma City and stop over at The Skirvin Hilton, which is known to be haunted. Numerous guests attest to these spirits wandering the hotel. In fact, the NBA New York Knicks blamed an off game on the night they spent being haunted in the hotel (2010). One Los Angeles Lakers team member, Metta World Peace, claimed more than one ghost touched him inappropriately during his stay.
In 1911, The Skirvin Hotel opened and was touted as the newest, best and finest hotel in all of Southwest. It remained a destination speak-easy throughout Prohibition. A 10-story tower, the hotel features 224 rooms and many seem to be occupied by resident ghosts, especially one, a maid named Effie, said to have been owner WB Skirvin's mistress.
When Effie became pregnant, it's rumored that WB locked her in a room. After the birth of her child, she began a downward spiral of half-crazed and depressed. One day, she took her child and jumped from the window, killing herself and her baby.
Her ghost is said to still haunt the hotel. Some of the paranormal activity includes a woman crying, an infant crying, male guests report being propositioned by a disembodied female voice and showering men have suddenly discovered the apparition of a naked woman in the shower, too. Other men, like Metta, have claimed sexual assault by an invisible female ghost. Objects float about on their own and strange sounds are reported.
Coleman Theater, Miami Oklahoma
Stop by the Coleman Theater (circa 1929) for a tour. You just might see one of the resident ghosts. You may even get a whiff of Bay Rum cologne, the favorite scent of the ghostly projectionist. The scent is often strong when the tour stops in the projection room to hear about the various sightings in the theater. When you venture backstage, you may even get a glimpse of another resident ghost that is sometimes seen getting ready for a show in one of the old dressing rooms.
The Amarillo Natatorium (The Nat), Amarillo, Texas
You'll want to make time to visit The Amarillo Natatorium (The Nat). When it opened in 1922, the building was designed around an open-air community swimming pool and later was enclosed so the facility could be enjoyed year-round. Today, the facility is an Antique Mall and rumored to have many resident ghosts.
Some of the areas you want to pay close attention to is the former gambling hall. These rooms are rumored to have sudden cold spots and the furniture is often discovered rearranged. The owners have reported hearing strange noises when no one else is in the building.
Several spirits still enjoy hanging out in the ballroom where big bands once entertained. The spirits of a dancing couple have been seen. During an all-night ghost hunt, an EVP was captured of a woman singing and a drum playing.
Monte Vista Hotel, Flagstaff, Arizona
Located just one block off Route 66, the 73-room Monte Vista Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona is a must-stop ghostly visit. If you don't want to spend the night, grab a bite to eat, a couple of drinks, or enjoy live music.
If you decide to stay over, you may not get much sleep thanks to the many resident ghosts. Known for its big cast of ghosts and paranormal activities, the hotel has hosted a wide range of famous guests, especially 1930s to 1960s movie icons, including western movie hero John Wayne who saw a ghost in his hotel room.
The hotel isn't shy about their many resident ghosts. They encourage guests to try to communicate with the ghosts and encourage their staff, especially housekeeping, to share their many stories of ghostly encounters. Some of these include a shadow man, elevator attendant, phantom bell boy, bank robber, two prostitutes, young boy, cries of an infant, meat man, a creepy rocking chair, and a dancing couple. Light bulbs are frequently found unscrewed or missing. Disembodied voices, apparitions, and shadow people are common sightings throughout the building.
Historic Flagstaff Train Depot and Visitors Center, Flagstaff, Arizona
Historic Flagstaff Train Depot and Visitors Center Railway Station (circa 1926) was known as the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway depot. Today, the Visitors Center occupies the building. There are reports of various disembodied creepy voices and sightings of an apparition of a period-dressed man who sometimes frightens visitors.
Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs, Arizona
Two hours west of Flagstaff at mile marker 115, you can visit the Grand Canyon Caverns accessed by a 21-story elevator. You can participate in a ghost tour held in the caverns. Several people have died in the caverns and there are many ghosts said to haunt the ancient caverns. Employees and visitors have reported strange paranormal activity.
The caverns were once used by Native Americans as a winter burial site. Although the interred were removed and relocated, it's said their spirits still roam the caverns, their disembodied voices are heard, especially when the lights in the caverns are turned off. Some visitors have reported seeing dancing figures and the sound of chanting.
A man, rumored to be the spirit of Walter Peck (discovered the caverns), is often spotted in the elevator shaft. Sometimes he appears in the open doors to the elevator. The scary sight of the apparition of a man who hanged himself is often seen dangling from the top of the caverns.
Colorado Street Bridge, Los Angeles, California
On the way to LA, you'll want to stop by Colorado Street Bridge known as Suicide Bridge. More than 100 spirits of documented cases of suicide haunt this bridge. The bridge was featured in the movie La La Land. Built in 1912, Colorado Street Bridge was once part of Route 66. The Arroyo Seco River flows beneath the bridge. You can stop to take a breather and perhaps meet up with a ghost on the bridge.
The Comedy Store, West Hollywood, California
Be sure to take the time to stop by The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. Formerly, Ciro's restaurant (circa 1940s to 1950s), it was a favorite hangout for the mob. Considered one of the most haunted places in Hollywood, the spirits of the mobsters are often seen or heard on the premises. Witnesses claim the spirits of celebrity comedians Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor and Any Kaufman are also frequent ghostly visitors at the club.
Taking a Haunted Road Trip on Route 66
There are many haunted places you can visit on a haunted road trip traveling Route 66. Take time out to explore little known places and learn the local ghost lore.