It’s finally October, which means the countdown to Halloween is officially on. You might not be as thrilled about the spooky holiday as we are, but some part of you wants to reminisce about the hysterical costumes of your youth, and where better to share some spook-inspired memories than at the local haunted watering hole?
While we love the creepy decorations that most of the country's bars have started to don, that’s nothing compared to the truly haunting bars that American cities have to offer. It may come as a surprise to some, but many American bars have quite a history to them, and with history comes haunting. Some of the bars on our list have even seen their way through Prohibition, an era when gangsters and mobsters ruled the bar scene.
We’ve been getting creative in the kitchen with spooky cocktails and creepy small bites that will be a hit at Halloween parties, but we know that some like to hit the bar scene hard on this haunted holiday, so we came up with a list of 20 creepy bars in America that you can hit up if you want an extra scare. What a better place to go than Salem, Mass., where the witch trials and hysteria occurred, or maybe New Orleans, where the entire town seems to be haunted? And if you’re someone that needs a little extra spook, you can go to The Bridge Café in New York City, where it’s rumored that a 6-foot-tall pirate carried unruly patrons out by their ear with her sharpened teeth.
Halloween is all about the scare factor, and we’re sure these haunted and eerie bars will send a shiver down your spine this Halloween eve.
1. One Eyed Gypsy, Los Angeles
This Los Angeles gem is spooky for many reasons (one being the haunting décor inside) but according to legend, One-Eyed Gypsy was once a brothel that burned down to the ground, killing everyone inside. Employees have claimed that the bar is haunted by the mistress who ran the brothel, but we say the happy hour specials look good enough to brave the potential ghosts and ghouls.
2. Ear Inn, New York City
The oldest working bar in New York City, Ear Inn has been around since before Prohibition, and the upstairs apartment was previously a boarding house, a smuggler’s den, and a brothel. Ghosts have been seen and heard around the property, in particular one "Mickey," a sailor, rumor has it, who's still waiting for his clipper ship to come in.
3. Jean Lafitte's Old Absinthe House, New Orleans
This bar is in the heart of French Quarter, and the building dons the name of Pirate Jean Lafitte, who is rumored to have met with Andrew Jackson to plan the victory of the battle of New Orleans on the second floor —Lafitte reportedly still haunts the bar, so visitors beware.
4. The Pirate’s House, Savannah, Ga.
The Pirate’s House is a Southern haunt with a ghost in residence. A very rare edition of the book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson hangs on the walls of two rooms in the bar, in reference to the fact that some of the story's action is supposed to have taken place in The Pirates' House. It’s rumored that Captain Flint, who originally buried the fabulous treasure on Treasure Island, died in an upstairs room of The Pirate’s House. Patrons swear that the ghost of Captain Flint haunts the bar on moonless nights.
5. The White Horse Tavern, New York City
This West Village bar is known as the spot where poet Dylan Thomas had his last round. Thomas reportedly took down 18 whiskeys at the bar and was then driven to St. Vincent’s Hospital and pronounced dead. Employees have reported that Thomas still haunts his favorite writing table in the middle of the tavern.
6. The Old Tavern, Unionville, Ohio
While the Old Tavern isn't open for business currently, there is a society dedicated to the preservation of the building. The tavern was reportedly a stop on the Underground Railroad and it’s rumored that the ghost of a runaway slave haunts the building and its underground tunnels.
7. The Gallows, Boston
This joint in downtown Boston is named after the haunted ground it’s built on, which was once the location of a number of 17th-century public hangings.
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