Fall is just around the corner, which means it’s almost spooky season! Fans of ghost stories and historic sites will absolutely love these haunted places in Virginia, perfect for a day trip from Natural Bridge.
Looking for more fun things to do on your trip? Browse our FREE Vacation Guide and gain access to the best places to dine, eat, shop, and explore in Natural Bridge, VA.
1. Pocosin Mission
Location: Shenandoah National Forest | Distance from hotel: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Are you looking for a hiking trail and ghost town in one? Look no further than Shenandoah National Forest. This easy, two-and-a-half-mile hike winds through the abandoned ruins of Pocosin Mission. This location is not too far from Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and Conference Center, so it’s the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains while still enjoying comfortable elegance when you return.
2. Swannanoa Palace
Location: Afton | Distance from hotel: 1 hour
Swannanoa Palace is perfect for a half-day getaway for fans of historic architecture and spooky stories. Featured on the show R.I.P. Files, Swannanoa Palace is a haunted estate in Afton, VA. Formerly owned by Civil War veteran and millionaire, James H. Dooley, this Italian Renaissance Revival mansion is rumored to have ghost sightings, spectral orbs, disembodied voices, and more. Take a trip and see if you can witness any of these yourself!
3. The Martha Washington Inn & Spa
Location: Abingdon | Distance from hotel: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Built in 1832, this beautiful, historic hotel has hosted famous guests from Eleanor Roosevelt to Elizabeth Taylor. Since the hotel was once used as a makeshift hospital during the Civil War, it’s seen its share of gruesome injuries and fatalities. Guests have reported eerie, uneasy feelings in some of the rooms, as well as sightings of a strange woman wandering the halls. Others remark of bloodstains appearing from time to time where a confederate soldier was once shot.
4. St. Albans Sanatorium
Location: Radford | Distance from hotel: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Allegedly the “most active location on the east coast,” St. Albans Sanatorium is not for the faint of heart. From its earliest days as a competitive school where bullying was encouraged to a sanatorium filled with abuse and suicide, it’s no surprise that this site has troubled spirits. Schedule a tour or visit them during Halloween for the full experience.
5. Bacon’s Castle (The Arthur Allen House)
Location: Surry County | Distance from hotel: 3 hours and 30 minutes
For those who don’t mind a longer adventure, travel to Surry County to see the historic Arthur Allen House, more popularly known as Bacon’s Castle. With more than 360 years of history, this house is sure to have its ghosts. If you’re visiting in October, don’t miss Bacon’s Castle Haunt Nights!
While you’re in the area, stop at historic Jamestown and explore the first permanent English settlement in America. At less than an hour’s drive, it’s a manageable add-on for fans of American history.
After a long day of travel and exploration, you’ll want a comfy bed in a beautiful hotel (that is NOT haunted). Choose from Main Inn Rooms, Premium Second-Floor Balcony Rooms, Guest Rooms on Cottage Hill, and Veranda Rooms. All rooms also feature access to convenient amenities, and our hotel is within walking distance from local attractions. Browse our availability and book your trip today!