Best places to spend Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up and seeing how inventive everyone can be! It’s the one time of year I don’t mind being scared and it is the only time of year I find it acceptable to watch horror movies and eat candy corn.

Because I love this holiday I thought why not put together a “best” list. Not necessarily the best cities to visit for their crazy parties, (I’m talking about you New Orleans, Salem, and Las Vegas) but the best places to spend Halloween.

Amusement Park

Clowns at Cedar Point Fright Fest

Take your pick! They really get into the spirit of Halloween. Most amusement parks will have a fright fest to help keep up sales well after everyone has gone back to school. I’ve been lucky enough to go to a few of these over the years. You can see shows, go through haunted houses and mazes and ride all of the rides you love, at night for one price! It’s also a different way to experience an amusement park.

Six Flags usually does an amazing job with Fright Fest. They take the time to include special events and great decorations. A couple of years ago I went with some friends and we had a blast. Local amusement parks can be just as fun. Cedar Point in Ohio, the self-proclaimed, roller-coaster capital of the world, has a haunted maze that I screamed my head off in. Even Disney and Universal get into the spirit with month long Halloween celebrations. Grab your friends and enjoy an evening eating cotton candy and praying that you don’t see any clowns.

Ghost Town

Nelson, NV

After living out west and being surrounded by Ghost towns, you quickly realize how fun they really are. Old mining towns have an aura about them. There is something decidedly mysterious about them. Firstly, how were they ever settled? Why were they abandoned by the living? What really remains? If you think about it, it is the perfect place to spend Halloween.

Try camping out in an old ghost town. It’s amazing how your mind will play tricks on you and your imagination can run wild. Nelson, NV is one of the coolest ghost towns I have been too. Set at the top of a canyon, there is a mine you can visit and if daring you can try to stay the night there. Most ghost towns are situated pretty far off the beaten path so you can feel very isolated if you’re there on your own. On the upside, because they are located so far from civilization, you have next to no light pollution so you’ll get to see stars for miles…depending on the clarity of the evening.

Haunted Houses/Hotels

Everyone has a haunted house or a deserted house in their neighborhood. Now I’m not talking about the haunted houses that are put together and charge an admission. Think about that spooky motel at the edge of town that everyone’s parents have a story about. Now I’m not condoning that you break into a dilapidated house, but staying in a place that has a history of hauntings can make for a harrowing evening.

Take Lizzie Borden’s house in Massachusetts. Now a bed and breakfast, you can stay in the fabled house where Lizzie’s family was brutally murdered. Newport, Rhode Island has the Jailhouse Inn. Converted from a jail, they now offer premium accommodations for anyone wanting to stay in a bit of history and hopefully not encounter their former residents. Another famous haunted hotel is the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO. The Stanley and it’s haunted history was the inspiration for Steven King’s novel the Shining. Make this Halloween one you won’t forget by staying in a haunted accommodation!

A Graveyard or a Battlefield

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh, Scotland

Talk to any occultist and they will tell you, any ground where copious amounts of blood have been shed, is bound to have some hauntings. Graveyards and Battlefields tend to have a lot of ghostly sightings. At twilight, these places tend to lean toward creepy. Why not take a tour of one on Halloween?

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania has had books written about the many hauntings that occur there, with Ghost tours to accompany them. Down in New Orleans, you can tour their above ground graveyards, hoping you don’t run into any practitioners of voodoo. In Edinburgh, Scotland at the Greyfriars Kirkyard you can take Ghost tours and learn about the creepy history of Edinburgh. Most large graveyards in major cities will offer some type of tour where you can learn the history and hear some scary stories to keep you up at night.

Take a Ghost Tour

Many major cities will offer ghost tours. The older the city the more popular ghost tours are. Edinburgh, Scotland has several to choose from including a ghost tour bus! It’s a great way to do a tour of the city while learning about it’s history.

Chicago also operates some great Ghost tours. They have a bus ghost tour that takes you to some of the worst tragedies the city has seen among them the site of HH Holmes’ Murder Castle which was demolished and now a post office sits on the site.

Sometimes the local historical society will put together a Ghost tour for the Halloween season. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for scheduled events in your area.

Anywhere can inspire the idea of Halloween

No matter what you decide to do on Halloween, know that anything can be made creepy or haunting, depending on your imagination. You could take a ghost tour, explore a historic battlefield, or stay in a haunted hotel room, either way, it will be an experience. How do you celebrate Halloween?

Until next time.

 

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