This is a contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes.
Kids have so many things competing for their time these days, it can often seem like they are missing out on both the health benefits and the pleasures of exploring the great outdoors. Part of the trouble is that going out hiking can seem like a boring chore compared with the attractions of the TV or the games console.
Combining a walk with some amateur ghost hunting is a great way for the whole family to have some fun, and to get the kids out and about in the open air for a while. There are some seriously spooky haunted hiking trails across the USA. Here are a few to whet your appetite.
1. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg has to be the perfect place to combine a great walk with a good chance of encountering the paranormal. The smartest parents might even be able to teach the kids a little bit of history at the same time!
The three-day Battle of Gettysburg was a bloodbath that claimed the lives of around 10,000 men and 5,000 horses. Many of the dead never received a proper burial. Little wonder, then, that there have been reports of paranormal activity in the area for more than 100 years, including the cries of injured soldiers and the sightings of full-body apparitions marching by in military uniforms.
Many of the apparitions have even been captured on camera, most famously, the ghost of famous general Robert E. Lee.
2. Bannerman Island, New York
The ruined castle on Bannerman Island looks like something straight out of a fairy tale, and it does not disappoint when it comes to spooky stories. The island and castle are steeped in history, and by booking a place on one of the walking tours that take place every weekend, you can hear your guide recount tales of the castle’s past.
There have been numerous paranormal sightings over the years, including the ghosts of Native Americans from years gone by. But perhaps the most famous spirit is that of a young girl called Polly, who was apparently left stranded on the island and is still waiting for someone to take her home.
3. Charleston, South Carolina
If you like the ghost stories to come thick and fast, then there is no better place for a walk than Charleston. Its old City Jail and dungeon are said to be haunted by prisoners who were executed on the site, and there is no doubt that both are extremely spooky and atmospheric places.
Added to these are the circular graveyard, where a pale, ghostly figure is lurking in the shadows and Poogan’s Porch, a haunted restaurant where the reflection of former resident Zoe Armand can often be seen in a mirror, standing behind terrified guests!
No wonder Charleston is known as one of the most haunted cities in the USA.
Image from Morguefile user utoplec