Best USA Destinations to Celebrate Halloween

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

Before I get to the best international destinations for celebrating Halloween (that’s next week), we’re keeping it closer to home this weekend. There are tons of destinations that are perfect for spooky season, ghost tours, and Halloween celebrations. No matter how you love spending Halloween, there’s somewhere that is perfect for your vibe. Check out these popular spooky cities to give you inspiration for your Halloween travels.

Salem, Massachusetts

Let’s start with the obvious. Salem is famous for the infamous witch trials and is the number one destination in the United States when people think about Halloween or spooky season in general. Millions of tourists flock to Salem each year and the town has fully embraced the holiday like no other. Salem Haunted Happenings is a full-on celebration complete with a parade, costume ball, film nights, and more! The events last all throughout October, so no matter when you go, you’re going to experience something unique to Salem.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Burying Point Cemetery
  • The Witch House
  • Proctor’s Ledge
  • Howard St Cemetery
  • Old Salem Jail
  • House of the Seven Gables
  • Haunted Pickman House
  • Joshua Ward House

Savannah, Georgia

Known as the most haunted place in America, Savannah, Georgia isn’t always on everyone’s radar when it comes to Halloween. However, it absolutely should be. It has a rich history, tons of cemeteries, and plenty of historical buildings that make it a prime location for hauntings and Halloween happenings. From host tours on old-time-y trolleys to scary film festivals to bar crawls and haunted houses, there’s something for everyone. There’s even a Halloween dog event if you’re traveling with fur family.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Hamilton Turner Inn
  • Marshall House
  • 17 Hundred 90 Inn and Restaurant
  • Kehoe House
  • Moon River Brewing Co
  • Factor’s Walk
  • Graveface Museum
  • 432 Abercorn Street
  • Wright Square

New Orleans, Louisiana

Everyone knows Nola can party and Halloween is no exception. The town known for Mardi Gras parades throws down just as hard with Halloween parades and celebrations during spooky season. New Orleans also has a deep connection to the dead with their elaborate cemeteries and voodoo to put you even more in the Halloween vibe. Catch a ghost tour in the French Quarter to see the most haunted parts of town or party at the infamous Vampire Ball.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Old Absinthe House
  • The Mortuary Haunted Mansion
  • Beauregard-Keyes House
  • Voodoo Museum
  • Killers and Thrillers tour

Sleepy Hollow, New York

When you’re done in NYC with one of the largest Halloween parades in the world and exploring what the big apple has to offer, head over to Sleepy Hollow. While it’s a much, much smaller town, Sleepy Hollow lives and breathes Halloween. Since it’s home to the legend of the headless horseman, it’s no surprise they fully embrace spooky season. They have a ton of unique events like the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze featuring over 1,000 carved and lit pumpkins.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
  • Lyndhurst Mansion
  • Washington Irving’s Estate
  • Tarrytown Music Hall
  • Octagon House

Reading, Pennsylvania

Photo from Shocktoberfest.com

Reading, PA is really only famous for its railroad thanks to Monopoly, but things are changing for this small town. If you love haunted houses and hayrides, Reading is one of the best places with over 10 happening at once throughout the season. It’s claim to Halloween fame is Shocktoberfest, a premier haunted scream park. It’s been around for 31 years and keeps growing every season. Once you get your screams in at the park, venture out to Philly for a variety of historical and more haunted attractions!

Nearby Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Eastern State Penitentiary
  • Fort Mifflin
  • Graeme Park
  • Absecon Lighthouse

Chattanooga, Tennessee

From family-friendly events to adults-only horror nights, Chattanooga keeps flying under the radar for Halloween, but it deserves more hype. With a name like ChattaBOOga, who wouldn’t love to celebrate there? Chattanooga doesn’t do Halloween like everyone else and that’s why I wanted to feature it. Divers dressed in Halloween costumes in the aquarium? Yep. Costume ball and trick or treat with non-profits? Yeah. Paddling down the Tennessee River in witch/warlock/wizard costumes? Hell yes. An entire mansion turned escape room? Yes. Don’t forget the ghost tours and haunted houses too.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern
  • John Brown’s Tavern
  • Underground Chattanooga
  • South Pittsburg Hospital
  • Greenwood Cemetery
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo
  • The Hunter Museum/Hunter Museum of American Art
  • The Read House Hotel

Which Haunted City Would You Visit?

I’m honestly intrigued by all of the for very different reasons. I feel like Salem and Sleepy Hollow are going to be on my list for next year’s travels. Chattanooga sounds like a ridiculously fun and quirky trip though that I’m going to have to take. Let me know which ones you like the best in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Best USA Destinations to Celebrate Halloween

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