13 Fun Places to Celebrate Halloween

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HORSEMAN’S HOLLOW, SLEEPY HOLLOW, NEW YORK. Welcome to the real-life Sleepy Hollow Country, where you’ll find the New York City area’s most bone-chilling Halloween event, Horseman’s Hollow, where an exquisitely creepy pumpkin-headed scarecrow sets the tone for your visit. Be warned: the Headless Horseman is eerily realistic. 
— Jennifer Mitchell
Ichabod Crane is easily the star of Horseman’s Hollow. You can check out his schoolhouse as well as trace the ride he took with the Headless Horseman through the blazing autumn finery of Rockefeller State Park Preserve. For further thrills, there's a lantern-light cemetery tour (if you dare), a tour of gorgeous and inspiring Historic Hudson Valley sites like Sunnyside (where Washington Irving, the author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” once lived) and Philipsburg Manor (site of the Horseman’s Hollow celebration) along the river, and chow down at one of the great nearby eateries in Tarrytown.
— Jennifer Mitchell
Yup, even the guides at Horseman's Hollow will give you chills.
— Tom Nycz
GREAT JACK O’LANTERN BLAZE, CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK. A few miles up the road (Route 9) from Horseman’s Hollow, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at historic Van Cortlandt Manor is another one of the New York City area’s eerie attractions this time of year, with intricately carved and illuminated pumpkins and other mind-bending displays.
— Jennifer Mitchell
The “Blaze” started more than a decade ago, and the 2016 celebration is bigger than ever, with more than 7,000 (yes, you read that right) fiery jack o’lanterns.
— Jennifer Mitchell
Sure, the "Blaze" goes back only about a decade, but that doesn't keep prehistoric terrors like a T-rex from joining the fun.
— Jennifer Mitchell
BUSCH GARDENS HOWL-O-SCREAM. This scary theme park celebration is haunting Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg, Virginia, through October 30.
— Courtesy Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens features haunted houses, creepy characters, and dark corners. Here, a spooky scene from the Williamsburg, Virginia, celebration.
— Courtesy Busch Gardens Williamsburg
If the Howl-O-Scream fun at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia (above) whets your appetite, don’t miss the all-new Colonial Williamsburg Curse of the Sea Witch.
— Courtesy Busch Gardens Williamsburg
The popular Falcon’s Fury at Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa is bone-chilling.
— Courtesy Visit Orlando
This year’s Evil Encore theme at Tampa’s Howl-O-Scream includes two new haunted houses and the creepy Fantastic Fiends Show.
— Courtesy Visit Orlando
ROGER WILLIAMS PARK ZOO JACK-O-LANTERN SPECTACULAR, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. Providence plays host to an incredible display of more than 5,000 carved and illuminated pumpkins, the handiwork of the artists and craftsmen of Passion for Pumpkins.
— GoProvidence.com
Providence’s family-friendly Jack-O-Lantern celebration takes place along the Roger Williams Park Zoo’s wetlands trail.
— GoProvidence.com
NEW ORLEANS. Sure, the Crescent City is always a good idea, but its Halloween celebrations are second only to Mardi Gras for extravagant costumes, decorations, and partying. After all, it’s “The Most Haunted City in America,” with haunted tours of the French Quarter, creepy above-ground cemeteries known as Cities of the Dead, and even voodoo shops where you can learn ancient spells!
— Rebecca Ratliff
The Saturday before Halloween is typically the day of the Krewe of Boo parade (this year, it took place on October 22), winding its way through the French Quarter with impressive floats and lots of spooky fun.
— Paul Broussard
COLUMBUS, OHIO. Yup, the Midwest’s hippest city is a fun place to celebrate Halloween, with great craft beer, cutting-edge cuisine, and one of America’s most open-minded, fashion-forward populations. One notable example: The city hosts the stylish HighBall Halloween costume party each year.
— Courtesy HighBall Halloween
This year, Columbus’s legendary HighBall Halloween happened the weekend before Halloween, reflecting Columbus’s sense of style and showing off some of the finest costumes you’ll see anywhere. Learn more about everything Columbus has to offer (not just for the holidays but all year long), at experiencecolumbus.com..
— Courtesy HighBall Halloween
Revelers go all out at Columbus's HighBall Halloween costume party.
— Courtesy HighBall Halloween
FEDERAL POINTE INN, GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA. Considering that Gettysburg was the site of one of the most bloody battles of the Civil War, it’s no surprise that the town has a rep for being haunted. At the epicenter of the lore is Federal Pointe Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member.
— Courtesy Federal Pointe Inn/Ascend Hotel Collection
Gettysburg’s historic Federal Pointe Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, was once a schoolhouse, and it has been restored to complement the town’s rich history. Walking distance from downtown, you can take a spooky candlelight walking tour.
— Courtesy Federal Pointe Inn/Ascend Hotel Collection
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS. Ready for nine all-new haunted houses with characters from thrillers like The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and American Horror Story?
— Courtesy Visit Orlando
No, Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights are not for the squeamish, but if you like your Halloween chills on the screamy side (as in Friday the 13th), this celebration is for you. A new virtual reality horror experience, The Repository, and monsters prowling the park’s streets round out the terrifying offerings.
— Courtesy Visit Orlando
KEY WEST FANTASY FEST. This party is legendary for wild antics and fabulous costumes.
— Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau
Over the course of more than a week, Key West Fantasy Fest plays host to masquerade balls, costume contests, parties (like the annual Headdress Ball and Toga Party), and a grand parade.
— Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau
Key West + Halloween = party!
— Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau
THE PEERY, SALT LAKE CITY. The city’s oldest hotel dates back to the 19th century, offering a rich history, including Prairie-style architecture and sleek modern amenities reflecting a recent remodeling.
— Courtesy The Peery Hotel/Ascend Hotel Collection
Guests at The Peery, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, have reported seeing ghosts in the elevator, and have heard unexplained thumps and even seen items slide across the floor. Enjoy the spooky fun in a swanky setting near Temple Square and the Capitol Theatre.
— Courtesy The Peery Hotel/Ascend Hotel Collection
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY. The Magic Kingdom is alive with jack-o-lanterns, characters, and entertainment. Dress up in your Halloween finest and go trick-or-treating through the park, where you’ll meet your favorite Disney characters.
— Courtesy Visit Orlando
At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you can get your dance on at the Scream-O-Ween Dance Party with Monsters, Inc. characters, revel in Disney villains’ songs at the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular (above), and, of course, say goodnight with an unforgettable fireworks show.
— Courtesy Visit Orlando
CAMELBACK RESORT KARTRITE’S KURSE. This all-new haunted house in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains is family-friendly and intended to gently scare kids ages 6 and up. Using animatronic technology, the “expedition” includes pirates, skeletons, and creepy creatures. Camelback Resort offers an array of rides and kid-friendly entertainment that’ll keep every member of the family happy.
— Courtesy Camelback Resort
ADMIRAL FELL INN, BALTIMORE. Before it became a coveted boutique lodging in Baltimore’s historic Fell’s Point district, the building that is now Admiral Fell Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, was a boarding house for seamen dating back to the 1700s.
— Courtesy Admiral Fell Inn/Ascend Hotel Collection
Guests at Admiral Fell Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, have reported seeing floating sailors and disappearing butlers knocking on doors. Get a dose of history and some harmless chills at this beautiful property.
— Courtesy Admiral Fell Inn/Ascend Hotel Collection

For some people, Halloween isn’t all about handing out candy to the neighborhood kids. It’s about hitting the road to find spooky fun in a great travel destination. Here, some of our favorite places to get pleasantly terrified.

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