For some, Halloween is much more than a single night in October where you take the kids door to door for treats. Instead, Halloween signifies a month long celebration filled with activities, events—even travel. And for those who do travel, Halloween provides some of the more interesting and exhilarating holiday getaways: here are 5 of our favorites.
Salem, MAYou would be hard pressed to find a creepier locale for Halloween than Salem, MA—home of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. More than just important historical events, the witch trials permeate the entire culture in Salem (the Elementary School is called Witchcraft Heights Elementary School), making it feel like Halloween year-round. But from October 1st through October 31st, Salem kicks it up a notch and gets even spookier—landing it on the top of our list.
The month-long Halloween celebration consist of countless events including parades, psychic fairs, costume balls, haunted houses, ghost tours, and activities associated with the Salem witch hunt. In addition, the town’s intriguing new age shops and eerie historical sites add to the morbid ambiance that must be experienced at least once.
Must See: The Festival of the Dead
Description from the Haunted Happenings website:
“Festival of the Dead explores death’s mysteries through events that investigate the favored and forbidden ways in which people have honored, celebrated, and secretly delved into life’s inevitable destination.”
Orlando, FLOrlando is well-known for its amusement parks, with peak visits occurring during the summer months and school breaks. But what may be less known is the extent to which Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, and SeaWorld all transform into immersive Halloween experiences.
On select nights from late September through early November, you will find the following Halloween events:
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party—mainly for kids, Disney’s annual Halloween event includes parades, trick-or-treating, character appearances, and live music.
Halloween Horror Nights—Universal Studios brings horror movies to life as it transforms the park into a terrifying and interactive horror movie experience.
Howl-O-Scream—Busch Gardens takes on a new theme each year as guests encounter all-new scares throughout the park’s haunted houses and street experiences. This year’s theme is “The 13,” in which 13 evils are released into the park, including entities such as The Surgeon, The Butcher, The Psychopath, The Clown, and Voodoo Queen.
Halloween Spooktacular—similar to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, this one’s primarily for children and contains trick-or-treating and other kid-friendly music and events.
If you have to choose one event, it has to be Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. On select nights from late September through early November, Universal Studios becomes any horror movie fan’s dream experience. This year, the haunted house lineup includes The Walking Dead, Evil Dead, Cabin in the Woods, Resident Evil, and more.
And if you think you’re safe when not braving the houses, think again. The streets of the park are filled with blood-thirsty zombies, creating an intense experience the moment you enter the main gates.
New Orleans, LANew Orleans has earned its nickname “The Most Haunted City in America.” Second only to Mardi Gras, Halloween in New Orleans is an intense experience. From haunted tours of the French Quarter to Voodoo shops to multiple haunted houses, New Orleans has everything Halloween.
Must See: Street Parties on Frenchmen Street
New Orleans holds the nation’s top Halloween street parties as New Orleanians are known for their imaginative and eccentric Halloween attire. Masses of partygoers, both locals and tourists, gather in the streets for an unmatched street party experience.
Sleepy Hollow, NYSleepy Hollow is a small village in New York named in honor of author Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The story’s theme permeates the town during Halloween with an abundance of activities related to the story, the author, and the headless horseman himself.
Visitors can dig deeper into the history of story by taking an evening lantern tour of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the final resting place of Washington Irving. In addition, the town offers month long activities including haunted hayrides, farmers markets, street fairs, parades, and gothic mansion tours.
Must See: Horseman’s Hollow at Philipsburg Manor
Located in the heart of Sleepy Hollow, Horseman’s Hollow is the area’s leading haunted house attraction. The historical Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a chilling environment ruled by vampires, witches, ghosts, and undead soldiers all serving the Headless Horseman. First-rate actors and exceptional special effects make this the one attraction that would be a grave mistake to miss.
Seymour, INSeymour, IN is home to Fear Fair—Indiana’s top-ranked haunted attraction. This unique attraction features realistic movie scenes from The Walking Dead and Silent Hill, a haunted house set in the midst of a mutagenic gas outbreak, and an experience called the Cinema of fear that brings you face to face with monsters from your favorite scary movies.
Must See: Myctophobia – Fear of Darkness
This is not your typical haunted house. Forget about the comfort of moving through with others and knowing that the actors cannot touch you. In Myctophobia—Fear of Darkness, you must walk through alone while the actors touch you, restrain you, and deploy sensory deprivation methods. Taking the haunted house concept to a new level, this experience is not for the faint of heart. In fact, most don’t make it through.
What did we miss? Share with us your favorite Halloween travel destinations.
And don’t forget, wherever you end up traveling for Halloween, let Bags VIP handle your luggage so you can get right to the scares.