What is in your luggage?

Shirts?  Check.

Jeans?  Check, check.

Ghost repellent?

If you are among those who enjoy vacations with a bit of paranormal activity, there are plenty of American places you can enjoy a spirited good time.

The Myrtles Plantation of St. Francisville, Louisiana is considered by many to be one of the most haunted houses in America.  With its wispy strands of Spanish Moss hanging from boughs of gently swaying live oak trees, the antebellum mansion, near Baton Rouge, is a great combination of old Southern charm and gothic tales.

Built during the latter 18th century, a number of supernatural stories have risen over the years.   Sightings of a turban-wearing slave named Chloe have been reported near the corner of the house.  Perhaps she is looking out for the law or an antidote for the poison she supposedly used to kill members of the family.

Her victims have been seen peering back at modern visitors through an antiques mirror, while the staggering ghost of the Myrtles’ murdered owner, William  Winter, has been witnessed dying repeatedly on the 17th step of the front stairs.

Now on the National Register of Historic Places the Myrtles Plantation is a bed and breakfast that makes sleeping with the spooks easy.

Louisville, Kentucky is renowned for its hospitality. Its century-old Waverly Hills, a former tuberculosis sanitarium welcomes both dead and living enthusiasts.

Tours occur regularly including half and full night visits.  Among the highlights is a stop in Room 502, where the spirits of two suicidal nurses supply plenty of cold shivers.  The sudden whiff of fresh baked bread followed by the fast clatter of footsteps has been reported in the now dilapidated kitchen.

Having extra batteries in your backpack (the Kipling Seoul Daypack is an excellent choice with plenty of space to store your ghost chasing goods)  or tote bag is advisable when you enter the pitch black Body Chute.  Here the bodies of TB victims were winched down the hill to waiting hearses.  The Chute’s stone walls eerily bounce echoes of voices.  Deciding if they are all human is your decision.

Writing about human foibles was where author Edith Wharton excelled.  From her bucolic home, the Mount, in Lenox Massachusetts she gave the world books such as “The House of Mirth”.  The Mount was a meeting place for a glittering array of people including actors, writers to robber barons and European aristocracy.  Such illustrious gatherings required the assistance of maids, butlers and other assorted household staff.

Time at the Mount was said to be so enjoyable some of the guests and staff never wanted to leave…and they have not.

From late summer until Halloween, seekers of clairvoyant chills are given flashlights and taken on tours of the house and gardens.

This is not an activity for children under the age of 12, partly due to the hilly landscape, but also because of the documented snoring heard in empty bedrooms, cold spots along the back stairway…and then there is the stable.

Massive in the Georgian Revival style, it has housed horses, carriages and a series of automobiles starting in 1904.  Aside from vehicles, a vicious ghost is said to haunt the building.

More misanthrope than merry-maker, it is said to appear to scare away repairmen and other workers.  Some claim it is a disgruntled stable boy while others say a pregnant maid, deserted by her lover, strung herself up in the rafters and is still hanging around.

Anna Corbin‘s spirit continues to lurk in Preston Castle’s kitchen of Ione, California. While the victim was found bludgeoned to death, the cook’s killer remains a mystery, however, there is no doubt to the spine tingling chills you will feel upon arriving at the former reform school for their bi-monthly tours.

Gargoyles leer from towering turrets and inside the destruction left by years of disuse only amplify the long-gone voices of staff and residents.

Boyish whisperings are heard among the rusting metal bed frames while cameras malfunction near Anna’s old kitchen and rocks have been witnessed rocketing down empty corridors.

Packing light – or just stuffing everything into a baggallini Baby Hampton Bagg might be advisable when touring these scary spots.

It will allow you to run away quicker.

Join the adventure next week as we head to Islay, Scotland where Whisky, without the “e” is made with love and plenty of smoke.

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