Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it’.Rita Rudner
Don’t worry, I’ll do a worldwide post about this next week! But for now, we’re covering spooky weekend trips in the USA. I’m covering ones you can probably guess and others you might not know about. All are great options for anyone who loves Halloween or some good ole haunted fun.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, well you have homework to do. Then once you’re done read this. Finished? Awesome. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is set in an actual town in New York, making it the perfect place to visit during Halloween.
The town holds month-long celebrations that are nothing short of spook-tacular. Cemetery tours are a must here. You can tour the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery from the story where the author is buried, but don’t miss the Old Dutch Cemetery which is one of the oldest in the United States.
Once you’re done mingling with the dead, you’ll need to visit Philipsburg Manor which is transformed into a terrifying haunted house known as the Horseman’s Hollow. The star event is the Blaze featuring over 7,000 gourds lit up and carved for the occasion.
You can’t have a Halloween destination list without Salem on it. As the location of the infamous witch trials in the 1600s, the town is synonymous with anything and everything witches. Every October the town embraces its sordid history and takes flocks of tourists through a number of attractions.
Take a candle-lit haunted tour of the city? Don’t mind if I do. A Witch Trials Memorial and the Salem Witch Museum? Yes, please. The town doesn’t stop there. You can visit the Witch’s Ball and a Psychic Fair & Witchcraft Expo. How cool is that? You really won’t find anywhere else more witchy during Halloween.
Philly is home to some of the creepiest destinations for Halloween. Historical by day, but haunted by night, Philadelphia knows how to scare people. You can keep it tame with a candle-lit tour of the historical parts of the city.
Then you can ramp it up a notch with a visit to the macabre Mütter Museum where you can see slices of brain, a wall of skulls, and many more spooky sights. Eastern State Penitentiary is considered one of the most haunted places in the city and gives off Halloween vibes even during the day. During Halloween season they add an extra evening event where the prison/museum is turned into a haunted house, complete with jump scares.
The haunted houses don’t end there. Philadelphia has the scary attraction called The Bates Motel. It was named one of the best haunted house attractions in the United States, so come prepared to be terrified.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans knows how to throw a party and its Krewe of Boo parade shows off just how creative the city can be. The Big Easy is known for its ghost tours as it’s considered one of the most haunted places in the country. Ghost tours run year-round but are especially spooky during October.
The city hosts a zombie run and its Halloween parade is unparalleled anywhere else with its floats, costumes, and celebrations. Don’t miss their world-famous cemeteries that are bigger, grander, and just all around impressive during the day time but amp up your fight-or-flight response at night during tours.
Add a dash of voodoo that the town is known for and you have an epic Halloween combo.
Long Beach, California
Long Beach might be a great beach trip during the summer, but it transforms itself during Halloween into one of the creepiest attractions you can find. Docked right off the beach is the cruise liner Queen Mary which, during Halloween, is designed to scare the pants off you.
There are 6 haunted mazes nearby with over 200 ghosts and other characters to scare you inside. The Queen Mary itself started life as a luxury cruise liner and was repurposed during World War II where it became known as the Grey Ghost. Today the ship is retired and spends life as a hotel and event venue as well as the home to several ghosts year-round. During Halloween it becomes a magnet for lovers of anything Halloween. You can even spend the night on board if you dare!