You don’t have to wait for Halloween to explore the spookiest places in your state. If you’re one of those people who binge-watches American Horror Story during the holidays and owns a prized collection of Tim Burton movies, this list is for you. We’ve gathered the ultimate list of creepy places you can take a road trip to just for fun. Fair warning, though - these haunted places in California will keep you up at night.
From spirit-filled hotels to eerie ships and ghostly caverns, these spots are sure to give you the heebie-jeebies.
Price: $47.30 per adult
Location: Alcatraz, San Francisco, California
Why You Should Go: This world-famous maximum security prison is known to have known to be haunted. Visitors claim they have heard eerie sounds of the late Al Capone playing the banjo, smells of smoke, and screams have been heard.
Price: Spiral tour prices are $20 per adult
Hours: 11 am - 5 pm weekly
Location: 5350 Moaning Cave Rd, Vallecito, California
Why You Should Go: Named after the weird wailing sound that the air used to make while passing through the cave, this spot is a site for some of America's most unique historic ruins. 12,000-year-old bones have been found there. Rumor says it's home to prehistoric paranormal scares.
Winchester Mystery House
Price: Adult tours start at $39 per person
Location: 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, California
Why You Should Go: Think doors that lead to a massive 20-foot drop into the darkness, a staircase that dead-ends into a ceiling, and a house with the entire design purpose being made to confuse ghosts (aka men killed by the owner's late husband).
The Queen Mary
Price: $40 per adult for a tour; event fees may vary.
Location: Long Beach, California
Why You Should Go: This permanently-docked luxury liner was once a World War II ferry ship. While on the boat, it's not unusual to hear the sounds of ghostly children laughing and the pitter-patter of little feet throughout the long, empty halls.
Preston Castle, Ione
Price: Adult guided tours cost $20 per person
Location: Preston Castle Foundation, Ione, California
Why You Should Go: This castle's foreboding exterior makes it look straight out of a horror classic. While it's open for tours year-round, it turns into a full-fledged haunted house every October.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Price: Rates vary by night and season. Check prices here.
Location: 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California
Why You Should Go: If spotting a celebrity's ghost has been on your to-do list, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is the place to be. Guests swear that they've seen Marilyn Monroe still haunting the halls.
El Adobe de Capistrano
Price: Varies by order
Location: 31891 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California
Why You Should Go: While a Mexican restaurant is the last place you'd expect to be haunted, this little shop has quite the tale. It's located on top of the town's old jail, where the spirit of a former prisoner haunts the wine cellar (aka an old cell.
Hotel Del Coronado
Price: It's free to walk around the grounds, lobby, and ballroom. Full room prices are listed here.
Location: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California
Why You Should Go: This legendary hotel has been (g)hosting guests since 1888. You can check into 'Kate's Room' in 3312, a haunted stay where a young bride checked into in 1892 - and never checked out.
Editor's Note: Exercise caution and be respectful of your environment when you visit these places. Make sure to leave no trace.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.