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Southern Stranger Things: A Paranormal Tour of Kentucky

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Kentucky is world famous for its bourbon distilleries, rolling hills and horse farms. But there’s a lesser-known paranormal current running through the Bluegrass State that features alien visitations, abandoned sanatoriums and haunted hotels.

And, according to a new travel advertising project, the sites are best explored under cover of night.  

Kentucky After Dark, a first-of-its-kind effort that wraps a dozen far-flung destinations under one spooky banner, debuts today with a marketing campaign that includes in-theater ads in multiple surrounding states, unskippable digital spots and creator content.

The program—shepherded by independent ad agency Coomer for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet—taps into the burgeoning interest in all things spectral and unexplained. 

Haunted attractions alone are estimated to reach $300 million to $500 million in ticket sales, per the partners, while true crime and supernatural TV shows and movies are among the most-watched entertainment.

The timing of the launch is no coincidence, since Americans spend $10 billion annually on Halloween, per the National Retail Federation.

Witches, aliens and ghosts, oh my

A custom website introduces the concept of Kentucky After Dark, which includes a passport for visitors to chart their progress around the state. Among the eerie locations and experiences are the historic Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, the Kelly Green Men Alien Encounter in Hopkinsville and the Battletown Witch Festival in Brandenburg.

The project intends to speak to “travelers eager to get out and explore places they haven’t been before” and exercise their “strong interest in thrill-seeking adventures,” according to Robbie Morgan, director of the Lawrenceburg-Anderson County Tourism Commission and a prime mover of the effort.

Haunted hotels, abandoned sanatoriums and other creepy sites are part of the Kentucky After Dark tour.Coomer

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