Almost every major city in the U.S. now offers a ghost tour, especially around Halloween. Some of these tours develop from the popularity of TV shows like Ghost Hunters or American Horror Story, and the growing market for fantasy and horror fiction written by the likes of Stephen King, Jim Butcher and Sherrilynn Kenyon. But ghost stories have been with us for a long time.
The post-Civil War era in the U.S. saw a huge rise in Spiritualism as a philosophy, as people tried to cope with the losses of war. The combination of heart-wrenching history and popular love for ghostly fiction – all the way back to the Gothic novels of the early 19th century – has helped build a cultural love of the haunted.