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For many towns across the U.S., Halloween isn’t just a night of trick-or-treating for the kids—it’s a month-long celebration of spooky history and traditions!
So if you’re in the mood for a vacation that includes some extra frights this year, these 8 Halloween-obsessed towns are the perfect place to be.
1. Sleepy Hollow, NY
Do you remember the chilling tale of Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? This classic tale by Washington Irving is set in the real-life town of Sleepy Hollow, NY! The town runs various cemetery and ghost tours year-round, but everyone gets involved for Halloween.
During October, Sleepy Hollow comes alive with haunted hayrides, lots of spooky tours, a costumed 5K, street fairs, over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins, and – of course – Headless Horseman sightings. If you want to be one of them, we recommend this Headless Horseman Costume!
There’s something on the schedule every single day in October, so you can pack your Halloween vacation full of happy hauntings.
2. Savannah, GA
Aside from being an absolutely gorgeous city in the day, America’s 13th colony has quite the ghoulish reputation as one of the country’s most haunted cities at night. For a terrifying Halloween trip, stay at the haunted Marshall House, which once served as a Civil War hospital and is still “occupied” by former patients and ghostly children. At night, be sure to eat dinner at the Pirates’ House, where many unfortunate sailors were shanghaied and now come back to haunt diners.
And of course, no Halloween trip is complete without ghost tours to the Sorrel-Weed house and Moon River Brewing Company, two of the most haunted places in town.
3. St. Helens, OR
If you grew up watching Disney’s Halloweentown, you’d probably enjoy a trip to the movie’s filming location in the fall.
Each year, St. Helens, Oregon, throws a “Spirit of Halloweentown” festival that turns this small town into a spooky party from mid-September to the end of October!
Visitors can enjoy self-guided walking tours of the filming locations for both Halloweentown and Twilight, trek through the Haunted Hotel, shop at the Dark Market, see artisan-carved pumpkins, and more! What a fun destination for a Halloween vacation.
4. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is a hot spot for paranormal activity and a spooky good time. Add a touch of voodoo to your ghoulish celebrations in New Orleans’ ultra-haunted French Quarter.
Or tour a conglomeration of haunted hospitals, churches, homes, cemeteries, and swamps! There are enough haunted locals to keep you busy for several days. When you need a break from ghost-hunting, check out the Krewe of Boo Parade, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, (un)haunted houses, and the elaborate Halloween New Orleans costume party!
5. Salem, MA
If you’re looking for something on the darker side, consider a visit to Salem, MA. Salem is well-known for its historical involvement in the witch trials of 1692. While this makes for a pretty tragic past, the town leans into its reputation, making it a hotspot for witchy happenings. During your visit, you can learn all about the witch trials and witch culture as you visit the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch House, the Witch Dungeon Museum, and the Salem Witch Village. But be sure to join in on some of the October-only events, like the Witches’ Halloween Ball at the Hawthorne Hotel, the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, the Ghosts and Legends Trolley, scenic Halloween on the Hill, and more!
6. Williamsburg, VA
As one of America’s oldest towns, Williamsburg in Virginia has plenty of creepy history to share. Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum from colonial times, complete with costumed actors and working craftsmen. They focus on some of the darker sides of the town’s history during the Halloween season with ghost tours, recreations of pirate and witch trials, and even some haunted home tours.
But don’t stop there – Busch Gardens Williamsburg is just a few minutes away with its annual Howl-O-Scream event! During September and October, this entire theme park is transformed into a spooky festival!
Enjoy several haunted houses, concerts, ghoulish creatures roaming the streets, and plenty of fun rides in between scares.
7. Tombstone, AZ
For a different kind of Halloween, consider a trip to Tombstone, Arizona. This wild-west town known for several of the most famous outlaws in history celebrates Halloween a little differently. Take part in unique activities like ghost stories around the fire, Gunfighter & Ghost tours, or Ike Clanton’s Haunted Hotel and Ghost Hunting Academy. For those traveling with kids for Halloween, we recommend HALLOWEEN TRUNK ‘R TREAT – the yearly special Tombstone Halloween Event for safe kids fun.
There is also a costume contest at the Oriental Saloon, tours of Boothill Cemetery, and the supposedly haunted Bird Cage Theatre.
8. Buena Park, CA
Every September and October, Buena Park, California, becomes a terrifying town of haunted celebrations – but the fun kind. Knott’s Scary Farm is the largest Halloween event in California. This theme park transforms into an eerie playground, complete with spooky mazes, scare zones, and more.
Don’t miss the city’s Fall Spooktacular at the end of the month, with a pumpkin patch, carnival games, and food trucks. And if you fancy a (witch’s) brew, be sure to stop for a drink at The Cauldron Spirits & Brew.
Of course, for those hoping for an extra touch of Halloween magic, The Disneyland Resort is a mere 12 minutes away, with spooky twists on all its festivities and rides. It’s a great place for pure Halloween fun without any real hauntings on the line. If you decide to go, we recommend some fun Disney Halloween Costumes.
What is JUST as exciting as planning that vacation you’ve been waiting for this 2021? The days leading up to it! Start your travel countdown with the Vacation Countdown App!