Spooky Destinations to Visit This Halloween
If you're looking for ghost towns, haunted houses, and creepy attractions to visit this fall, look no further than these destinations below. From dark local histories to paranormal investigative hot spots, there's something for every Halloween enthusiast looking for a perfectly frightful October getaway.
Hear witchy stories in New England
One of the most quintessentially "Halloween" towns is Salem, Massachusetts, thanks to its unique history. New England, in general, offers a great destination for fall getaways, too. Along with the autumn colors and fantastically crisp weather, this part of the country has some of the oldest buildings as well as key historic sites from early American military conflicts (a perfect combination for hauntings!). For a classic Halloween activity, Better Than Fiction's Salem Walking Tours offers tours around witchcraft as well as dark local tales beyond the infamous trials.
Step back into the Old West at this ghost town
Along the Wood River near Meeteetse and situated on U.S. Forest Service land is Kirwin, one of the most intriguing abandoned places in Wyoming. During the 1890s, Kirwin had 38 buildings and approximately 200 residents, many of whom journeyed to the settlement during its gold and silver boom. In the winter of 1907, a massive snowstorm caused an avalanche, taking lives and thus beginning the slow deterioration of the town itself. In the 1930s, the land became part of the Double Dee Guest Ranch, visited by Amelia Earhart and her husband, George Putnam. A cabin was under construction for Earhart when she disappeared during her around-the-world flight in 1937 that was never completed.
If you wish to explore the ghost town and its potential haunting, you want to make sure you have four-wheel drive. You can book private tours or snag an ATV for an off-road adventure. View the remnants of her cabin, which are visible about a mile from Kirwin, as well as an old hotel, small log structures, and mining machinery at this old West ghost town.
After visiting Kirwin, be sure to stop the Irma Hotel in nearby Cody, Wyoming. In 1902, Buffalo Bill opened the Irma Hotel, naming it after his daughter. Stay a night in Room 35 if you're brave—known as the Paul Stock room, it is one of the original 15 rooms in the hotel and has been the scene of the most ghost stories in the hotel. Elsewhere, down the hall in Room 16, many guests have reported seeing an apparition of Irma Cody Garlow sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of the room. She died of influenza and pneumonia in the hotel when she was 35, and just a few days after her husband and hotel manager Fred Garlow died of pneumonia. Employees of the hotel have even said they've seen Buffalo Bill wandering the hallways at night, or have heard the jangle of spurs in the bar when it's closed for the evening.
Uncover Civil War haunts and more in Tennessee
Just outside of Nashville, in Franklin, Tennessee, is the Lotz House. It is considered one of the most haunted places in the country, and with its history, one can easily see why. The house, which has been on the National Historic Register since 1976 is located at “ground zero” of the Civil War's Battle of Franklin. Historians describe the fighting that took place at the Battle of Franklin and in the Lotz front yard “some of the most severe hand to hand fighting during the four year long war.” Ten thousand Americans were killed, wounded or missing. The Lotz House served as a hospital for the wounded soldiers on both sides until the following summer. Book a special evening ghost tour and take a chance to experience the spirits and other unexplained phenomenon that are said to haunt the historic home.
Tennessee is home to several other great spooky attractions that visitors can add to their itinerary. Nearby, in Nashville on October 27th, visitors can also plan a trip to experience The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, an interactive one-man play about the classic horror tale at The Hermitage with showings at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. In Manchester, the Manchester Zombie Walk and Halloween Faire takes place on Friday, Oct. 13 at Fred Deadman Park will feature vendors, face-painting, axe throwing, food trucks, live bands and a spooky good time.
Head to New Orleans for pirates and voodoo
Crescent City is full of creepy sites. This city offers the highest number of haunted hotels and ghost tours, and ranked number 5 overall in the best cities for paranormal activities. Used as a hospital during the Civil War, Hotel Provincial allegedly houses a few ghostly guests. Spirits spotted at the Old Absinthe House include infamous pirate Jean Lafitte, Andrew Jackson, and Louisiana Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. Visit sites iconic to “The Vampire Chronicles” author on the Unofficial Anne Rice Tour.
Encounter the paranormal along the Pacific Coast
This, Los Angeles, California was ranked the #1 city to visit for paranormal activity by LawnLove. Their metrics show that the City of Angels has the most paranormal conventions and events, the 5th most ghost tours, and the most haunted sites; interestingly, it is also the second best city to visit for witches and 4th best for vampires, according to additional LawnLove studies. California also comes in as the best state to look for UFOs.
Ghosts seem to haunt the City of Angels with a dramatic flair at performance venues The Comedy Store and Pantages Theatre. Book a night at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for potential encounters with the star-studded spirits of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. In nearby Burbank, find oddities and interactive exhibits for paranormal activity lovers and horror fans at the Mystic Museum.
Nearby, San Diego took 4th place in the best paranormal cities rankings. Book your own paranormal investigation at the Whaley House, the self-proclaimed “America’s Most Haunted House.” A short drive from Downtown San Diego, a ghost reportedly haunts the beachside Hotel del Coronado. Learn more about the phantoms haunting Downtown San Diego at the Ghosts of the Gaslamp weekly walking tour.
Also in California is Willow Creek, the so-called Bigfoot Capital of the World. Learn more about the Pacific Coast Bigfoot at the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton, or search for it yourself in the Redwoods.
4 Scariest Halloween Celebrations in the Northeast
Fair warning: These Halloween celebrations are not for everyone. With screams, (fake) blood, and surprises worthy of a Hollywood thriller, these haunted attractions are perfect for those who like to be scared out of their wits at least once each October. 1. Halloween Nights at Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA Delirium at Halloween Nights - Courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary A weekend or overnight to Philadelphia this time of year may offer the most terrifying Halloween thrill in America. Eastern State Penitentiary was closed long ago for its horrific treatment of inmates, and the fright fest they put on each fall is even scarier the that. With 5 different hauntings from Creepy clowns to vampires and even a 3D haunting - be prepared for a sleepless night! 2. 13th Hour Haunted House, Wharton, NJ 13 Hour Haunted House - Courtesy of 13thhour.com This haunted house in New Jersey gets high marks for re-creating the feel of an actual run-down old house. You don’t feel as if you are visiting a theme park attraction, and that makes the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies all the more terrifying. 13th Hour offers a variety of experiences, including one in which you throw hatchets in the dark with glow in the dark hatchets and targets. And, 13th hour is also famous for its “escape room” experience. 3. Blood Manor, Tribeca, NYC Blood Manor - Courtesy of BloodManor/Photo Credit BPS Productions You don’t have to leave NYC to experience a haunted house. Blood Manor, in TriBeCa, is one of the hottest tickets in town. Some of the ghouls and zombies have a decidedly "downtown" goth vibe and look as if they shop at the iconic Trash & Vaudeville punk/both boutique in the East Village to be honest. Be sure to check out Lights Out, where you explore the manor in complete darkness with nothing but a glow stick to light your path. This is only offered on 2 nights so be sure to book tickets. Other attractions are a wake for a character named Baby Face, and a Killer Clown room that I, for one, will not be entering. 5. Reapers Revenge, Blakely, PA The Lost Carnival at Reapers Revenge - Courtesy of Reapers Revenge This haunted house will torture you with five intense attractions featuring clowns, cannibalistic mutants, and hayrides that will have you sweating with fear as you venture deeper into the realm of Reaper’s Forest. Consistently voted one of the top 10 haunted attractions in the US every year. After experiencing these nightmares you will want to sleep with the lights on for a long time!
Pioneers in small ship adventure cruising, UnCruise Adventures, recently unveiled their latest 'Aloha Days' Hawaii deals, where every booking is a step towards supporting Maui recovery. For every new booking made during 'Aloha Days' until September 28th, a portion of each deposit will directly contribute to Maui Strong, an initiative to rebuild and rejuvenate Maui and Lahaina town. UnCruise Adventures itineraries are deeply woven with the communities and lands they touch. This is especially true for Hawaiian adventures. The real essence of Hawaii lies not just in its breathtaking landscapes but in its people, traditions, and the stories they share. With the recent events affecting Maui and Lahaina town, this is a reminder of the profound interconnectedness of our adventures with the wellbeing of these communities and the importance of supporting them. The sun shines on the horizon in Kona, Hawaii by Peter Luo - Unsplash “Aloha Days' is not just about offering unbeatable seasonal offers to our guests. It's about embodying the true spirit of Aloha. By supporting a return to travel we can also contribute to the recovery and discovery of the very essence that makes Hawaii so special,” commented UnCruise Adventures, Owner and Captain Dan Blanchard. “Come, join us, and let's make a difference together. This itinerary comes from my heart and each time I visit I'm reminded of why I created this adventure.” The current campaign offers deals on cruises including: Waived Single Supplement: Solo adventurers come aboard. No single supplement on select dates for all Hawaii 2023 sailings and early 2024 sailings. Group Incentives: For every group of 12 paid guests, one sails free. Combine with other savings for even more benefits. Some restrictions apply. Valid for all Hawaii 2023 sailings and early 2024 sailings. Unbeatable Cabin Savings: Get $1,500 off per couple or $750 off per person. Stack this offer with other select savings. Some restrictions apply. Valid for all Hawaii 2023 sailings and early 2024 sailings. Double Kids in Nature Savings: Receive $1,000 off per child, with two paying adults. Normally $500 per child. Can be combined with selected offers. Some restrictions apply. Valid for all Hawaii 2023 sailings and early 2024 sailings. Jellyfish near Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands by Jake Houglum - Unsplash These seasonal offers apply to the 7-night Hawaiian Seascapes Adventure that explores from Kona to Molokai or reverse, Molokai to Kona. The 2023-2024 season runs from Nov 18th, 2023, to May 4th, 2024. This includes Hawaii's breathtaking landscapes, volcanic wonders, and rich culture. Guests embark on multi-activity adventures daily, from hiking volcanoes to swimming with manta rays. The all-inclusive week-long itinerary embarks on the Safari Explorer, a 36-passenger vessel built for adventure. Enjoy fresh cuisine, no extra onboard costs, no lines, no crowds, and plenty of adventure.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th until October 15th—and it just so happens, that the fall season is one of the best times to visit western North Carolina. The Latinx community is the fastest-growing demographic in the Asheville region, including more than 20 Latin American cultures represented. This Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize, honor, and celebrate the many contributions of the Latinx/Hispanic community. Here are a few recommendations for new and notable ways to celebrate Hispanic heritage in Asheville this month and year-round: Explore art, dance, and music There's plenty of Latinx art to see in Asheville - courtesy of ExploreAsheville.comEl Mercadito, the newest gallery addition to The Refinery AVL, is a collection of drawings, sculptures and mixed-media artwork by Luis Alvaro Sahagun centered on Latinx narratives. As the grandson of a curandera, or healer, Sahagun calls his artmaking “a mystical instrument” that forges a spiritual connection to heal wounds of conquest, colonization and capitalism. Visitors can check out El Mercadito and The Refinery's 20 artist studios every first Friday of the month. Upcoming first Fridays: October 6 and November 3. A bright purple mural celebrating Latinx heritage debuted this summer across a wall along Coxe Ave., near downtown. The artwork, titled “Eres Un Orgullo Latino” (which means “You Are Latin Pride”), was designed and painted by Leslie Reynalte-Llanco as part of Buncombe County's Creative Equity Mural Project.Every Friday and Saturday night, Ritmo Kultural transforms Citizen Vinyl into a Latin dance party. DJ Malinalli and DJ Manukaru spin cumbia, salsa, and reggaeton records, and the cafe kitchen serves up fresh tacos from 7-11pm. In West Asheville, DJ MTN VIBES presents Latin Night at One World Brewing every Wednesday. The evening kicks off at 8:30pm with an all-levels dance lesson, and open dance continues on until midnight.Interdisciplinary artist and rapper Bocafloja will screen the documentary “Bravado Magenta,” followed by a performance and afterparty at Citizen Vinyl. Hosted by Ritmo Kultural, September 30. Doors open at 7pm, program starts at 8pm. Attend special events The Latin Business Council is putting on a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in the River Arts District. The event at Black Wall Street features discussions, Latinx vendors, food and Zumba. October 14, from 12-4pm. The Weaverville Community Center is hosting a Día de los Muertos fundraiser for Asheville sister city committees in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas and Valladolid, Yucatan. The event includes a procession along Lake Louise honoring the deceased, a photobooth, and a large ofrenda or altar. Ticket price includes a traditional Dia de los Muertos meal, think cochinita pibil and mole negro, and a glass of wine or beer. October 19, 4-8pm. Eat amazing cuisine from Hispanic-owned restaurants Chef Santiago Vargas creates Peruvian-fusion dishes at Mikasa Criolla - courtesy of ExploreAsheville.comLittle Chango – Owner Iris Rodriguez runs this small eatery in South Slope that specializes in arepas honoring food traditions and flavors from across Latin America. The cardamom-infused tres leches cake is not-to-be-missed. Pupuseria Patty – Patty Saenz' menu is a reflection of her heritage that straddles two countries – Nicaragua and El Salvador. Patty's generously-sized pupusas are served with homeland curtido (fermented cabbage) and are made to order with a variety of fillings, like black beans, chicken, and loroco – an edible flower. Mamacita's – This family-run taqueria in downtown Asheville is a local favorite, consistently voted best burrito in town. Their soft corn tortillas are made fresh daily, and their seasonal taco specials ensure no two visits are the same. Guajiro Cuban Comfort Food – A red food truck anchored in the River Arts District serving classic Cuban fare, like lechon asado and pastelitos. Guajiro is the childhood dream of owner and founder Christian Barroso, a second-generation Cuban American who grew up cooking authentic Cuban meals with his grandmother, Nana. Mikasa Criolla – Chef Santiago Vargas is passionate about sharing food traditions from his native Peru, to include Chinese and Japanese influences from a wave of migration in the 19th century. Mikasa pairs Peruvian classics, like aji gallina, and Santiago's unique creations, like shrimp and grits empanadas. Located inside the S&W Market. —For more information on Latinx businesses, events and dining in Asheville, be sure to check out this guide.
The Ultimate Guide to Orlando's Halloween Celebrations and Theme Park Events
Orlando, Florida—sometimes called the "Halloween Vacation Capital"—invites visitors to celebrate the spooky season with a full lineup of frightful and family-friendly experiences throughout the destination. Visitors can enjoy hair-raising, spooktacular events, such as horror movie brunches, paranormal-themed escape rooms, haunted botanical gardens, kid-friendly trick-or-treat trails, and an adults-only vampire bar. “Orlando lives up to its reputation as the Halloween Vacation Capital with nearly three months of festive celebrations for all ages,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “Halloween fanatics, horror movie enthusiasts and costume-loving families can enjoy the multitude of special events across our theme parks, attractions and beyond.” While many of the events are focused around special theme park celebrations, there are plenty of other attractions happening beyond DisneyWorld and Universal that are equally amazing. Below are some of the top highlights for this fall season. Spooky Theme Park Events Howl-o-Scream at SeaWorld - courtesy of Visit OrlandoMickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort (select nights, now through Nov. 1) makes a frightfully fun return at Magic Kingdom Park. The family-friendly, all-ages event features eerie entertainment that includes the “Hocus Pocus” Villain Spelltacular! at Cinderella Castle, Disney's Not-So-Spooky Spectacular, Disney Junior Jam for young partygoers, Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, the Trick-or-Treat Trail, Disney Characters in costume, and more than 20 favorite attractions with a Halloween twist. Guests are also invited to wear costumes, with some restrictions. Universal Orlando Resort's Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida (Sept. 1 – Nov. 4) returns for a record-breaking 48 nights featuring 10 new, movie-quality haunted houses featuring “The Exorcist: Believer”, “Stranger Things 4” and “The Last of Us” along with five scare zones filled with creatures lunging from the shadows, and two live shows. At SeaWorld Orlando, guests can experience two Halloween-themed events: Howl-O-Scream (select nights, Sept. 8 - Oct. 31) returns to terrorize guests at SeaWorld Orlando. Offering 24 nights of fully immersive fear, the event will feature fright-inducing haunted houses and scare zones; thrilling nighttime coaster rides and experiences; an interactive bar; and an electrifying live show. Additionally, little ones can dress up in their favorite costumes to trick-or-treat and meet colorful Halloween characters at the SeaWorld Spooktacular (weekends, Sept. 16 - Oct. 29), a family-friendly daytime event included with regular theme park admission.Brick or Treat Presents Monster Party at LEGOLAND Florida Resort (weekends, Sept. 16 – Oct. 29), a signature Halloween event included with theme park admission, will feature a trick or treat trail with candy, live entertainment and shows, never-before-seen exclusive LEGO characters and an all-new cinematic experience to create the ultimate family Halloween celebration. Family-Friendly Frights Beyond the Theme Parks Gatorland's Halloween events - courtesy of Visit Orlando The centerpiece of many Orlando trips will often be one of their popular theme parks, but that doesn't mean you have to limit the fun there. There are many more unique, kids-friendly events happening in September and October to experience. Screamin' Green Hauntoween at Crayola Experience (Sept. 24 – Oct. 31) celebrates the Halloween season with a lineup of spooky happenings included with admission, such as a themed scavenger hunt, spook-tastic crafts, character photo ops, trick-or-treating on the weekends and more. Guests craving more can add-on activities like pumpkin decorating and slime making. Gatorland's “Gators, Ghosts and Goblins” Halloween event (weekends, Oct. 14–29) returns for its fifth year of family fun and fright. The all-ages daytime event, included with regular admission, will feature an all-new haunt zone and exhibit, interactive characters, animal meet-and-greets, candy giveaways, a children's Halloween costume parade and more. Pirates Dinner Adventure will offer “Vampirates: When the Blood Moon Rises” (Sept. 19 – Oct. 31), a limited time Halloween-themed dinner show suitable for all ages. Guests will Embark on a spooktacular journey filled with aerial artistry, swordplay, death-defying stunts and dynamic duels. Happy Frights at Harry P. Leu Gardens (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31) is an all-ages, family-friendly trick-or-treat adventure through 12 immersive worlds. The event will give guests an opportunity to meet a dancing bridge-troll, walk through a garden of sunflowers, explore a neon-light maze, climb up a giant hay-pyramid, celebrate Dia de Muertos and so much more - all while visiting eight trick-or-treat stations along the way. The German American Society of Central Florida will host Halloween Oktoberfest (Oct. 28), a combination of the well-renowned German autumn festival and a Halloween celebration. The family-friendly event will feature authentic German food, a Biergarten, live musical entertainment, a kids play area, a traditional flag parade and more. Lake Nona Town Center will host the family-friendly Lake Nona Graveyard Smash event (Oct. 28). Mortals will be able to party with ghosts and ghouls; participate in trick-or-treat stations; experience live music; and take a journey through inflatable courses. This event is free and open to the public with no ticket required. Gaylord Palms Resort's annual Goblins & Giggles weekends (Sept.9 – Oct. 29) features family-friendly events including a spooky scavenger hunt; live shows; dance and costume parties; a haunted escape room; character experiences; pumpkins; movies and more. The resort will feature a “Fall Into Family Fun” vacation package, which includes an overnight stay with premium views, $50 nightly resort credit, one scavenger hunt booklet and two Halloween-themed crafts in the Adventure Kids' Clubhouse. Thrilling, Adults-Only Experiences Cocktails & Screams - courtesy of Visit Orlando While Orlando is known for being a fabulous family destination, there are plenty of events for date nights and adults-only crowds. For Halloween fun all year long, The Bureau features Possession at Haddon Heights, a paranormal themed escape room that forces guests to confront an evil entity at an abandoned school. Renaissance Theatre Company will present the return of “Nosferatu" (Sept. 15 – Nov. 5) at the Ren. The re-vamped, 90-minute adults-only horror experience offers an entirely new concept from last year's event, where each patron has a unique experience as the cast of 32 vampires lead the audience into hidden corners of the building playing out engaging scenarios. Later in the evening, “VBar”, the elevated Vampire-nightclub, opens its doors to guests with separate admission. Harry P. Leu Gardens will host Haunting Nights (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31), an artful, elevated Halloween event, brought to life by Creative City Project, featuring thrilling surprises for guests 13 and older. The immersive event will feature jump scares as guests encounter several characters throughout the journey that will provide a heightened level of thrill. Teatro Martini, the Vegas-inspired adult dinner show, will host its annual Halloween Revue (Sept. 29 – Oct. 31) this fall. The show will feature lyrical pole dancers, comedians, magicians, jugglers and limited-edition themed cocktails throughout the season. Scream n' Stream Drive-Thru Halloween Experience, a haunted Halloween drive-thru event, will return for its third year featuring seven horrifying zones to drive through complete with monsters, music, lighting and special effects Friday through Sunday from Oct. 6-29. Cocktails & Screams in Downtown Orlando is an only Halloween-themed bar, featuring live music and an extensive list of creative cocktails. On Sundays this fall, guests can experience the Cereal Killer Brunch from noon to 5 p.m., among other themed events throughout the season. And on Oct. 31, new cocktails and entertainment will debut during the HallowEMO Night event, featuring a complete lineup of local bands to celebrate Halloween. Vampires, ghastly revenants, and banshees come to life in Phantasmagoria XIV: “Tales of the Undead” (Oct. 26-28). For three nights only at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, guests can experience the original tales of the critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe “PHANTASMAGORIA” and the haunting stories of world-famous authors including Edgar Allen Poe, H.G. Wells, Penny Dreadfuls and more. The Halloween Pub Crawl (Oct. 27) returns to downtown Orlando for another year of killer-drink specials and a chance for guests to show off their hauntingly best costumes. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Halloween fans will have access to all participating venues, four complimentary drinks, drink specials and more.