Calling all my ghouls, goblins and witches!
This list is perfect for anyone who wants an extra spooky Halloween. From voodoo to pirates, the United States, with it’s vibrant and diverse history, is the perfect place to celebrate Halloween. These haunted getaways are full of frightening stories, haunted locations, and ghoulish delights. If you choose to travel to any of these Halloween destinations you are sure to have a boo-tiful time! Stay tuned to see how many Halloween puns I can fit in one article ?
5 Haunted Getaways for an Extra Spooky Halloween-
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the United States, and perhaps one of the spookiest to visit during Halloween! The history of the city dates back to 1565, and is rich with stories of ghostly mirages and paranormal presences!
To coincide with the city’s haunted history, there are myriad night tours of various structures and areas of the city that have an otherworldly focus – such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The nightly tour of the lighthouse, which was featured in Season 1 of Ghost Hunters, is a frequent location of ghostly sightings of a young woman who passed away on the location more than 100 years ago.
Fort Matanzas – also called Castillo de San Marcos – is the national monument which guards the inlet coming into St. Augustine from the Atlantic. It’s also perhaps the most famous single location in St. Augustine for spooky experiences. In fact, visitors on the Fort Matanzas haunted night tour frequently catch the image of a ghostly pirate during their excursions – many believing the ghost to be that of former pirate Andrew Ranson.
With this history in hand, St. Augustine comes alive each Halloween with numerous celebrations and festivals opening across the city. The Holler-ween Festival is a kid-friendly Halloween event that is sponsored by the city each year for two weeks leading to Halloween and features hayrides, pumpkin patches, hot cider, and all types of family favorites at Halloween. If you’re looking for a more adult-appropriate type of event, St. Augustine’s Dia De Los Muertos is one of the best in the country and seasonal tours of various paranormal locations open to visitors!
From Justin & Tracey of A Couple for the Road
Disney World, Orlando, FL
If you are looking for a fun and family-friendly Halloween destination, Disney World is it! From late August to early November, the Magic Kingdom is decked out in Halloween decorations and has lots of deliciously spooky treats to try.
The best way to experience Halloween at Disney World is to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The party has special parades, shows, character appearances and more. It’s also one of the few times that guests are allowed to visit the parks in costume. So grab your #squadghouls and dress up as your favorite Disney villains. Some of the can’t miss highlights are the Boo to You Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular and meet & greets with rarely seen characters like Elvis Stitch!
The party runs from 7 PM to Midnight on select nights from late August to early November. It’s best to book a weekday earlier in the season to avoid large crowds. Tickets are $75 for those ages 10+.
If you are already planning a trip to Disney during this time, make sure not to miss the Epcot Food & Wine Festival! The perfect combo if you there for the booze and the boos!
Sleepy Hollow, NY
If you plan a visit to Sleepy Hollow, James from Travel Collecting says you can’t miss the spookiest (family- friendly) place to go for Halloween– the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze! Over 7,000 pumpkins are carved and arranged into huge vignettes. There is an enormous dinosaur, a field of open coffins, a giant spider web, a group of owls, a medieval castle, a Statue of Liberty, a windmill, a field of spooky plants, zodiac symbols, a huge sea snake and more… all made out of carved pumpkins! There is synchronized lighting and accompanying spooky music to add to the atmosphere. The pumpkins are carved by hand, but most of them are synthetic, so they can be reused each year. Consequently, it gets bigger every year as they make more displays. This is not just for kids – the displays are really quite spectacular.
The Blaze is set up in the grounds of a historic house, Van Cortlandt Manor. It takes place late September-late November every year (September 28 – November 24 in 2018) and you need to buy a timed ticket (but can stay and walk around as long as you like). Tickets do sell out, so you should book well in advance. ($22/$16 for adults/ children and $27/$20 Friday and Saturday nights).
New Orleans, LA
What better place to spend a spooky Halloween than a city known as “The Most Haunted City in America”? New Orleans, the city that brought voodoo, love potions, and zombies to the American consciousness, is the perfect spot for a wild All Hallow’s Eve.
NOLA is known for a flamboyant, raucous scene, and Halloween is no exception. Creep and crawl through the bars and joints on Frenchman’s Street for music and revelry, or join the LGBT crowds celebrating on Bourbon and St. Anne’s streets, a tradition since the AIDS era. If you dare, guide yourself through the infamous Mortuary Haunted Mansion, which creates a different horror experience every year (this year it looks like the Purge is coming to life, so choose your friends wisely!). Though tiny, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum unlocks the mysteries and secrets of the art and practice of voodoo, and brought a chill to my neck despite the Louisiana humidity. Follow that up with a trip to Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo, where you can buy yourself a love potion, luck charms, and voodoo dolls. Held on the Saturday night before Halloween (October 20, 2018), the official parade, The Krewe of Boo is a rolling sight to behold—full of costumes, lights, and gigantic 3-D monsters—and best enjoyed with a spirit in hand (yep, drinking on the street is legal in New Orleans!). For some daytime haunting, take a cemetery tour and let the dead teach you this spooky city’s history.
From Gabrielle of Up And Gone Blog
Ever have that feeling on the back of your neck? A presence you can’t see but only feel is lurking near you? Perhaps you heard a voice…barely a whisper beckoning you to ‘come and play’… All of these are daily occurrences around Savannah Georgia!
This charming historic town is one of the most haunted cities in America. Tainted by devastating fires, disease, and piracy, this town has had its share of gruesome deaths that have left the spirits rather unsettled. Learn about the bodies in floorboards at a popular hotel, or the children who met an untimely death in the fireplace in a beautiful mansion. Walk through the Squares where the guilty were hung in public display. Halloween is especially spooky in Savannah. Consider booking your Haunted Pub Crawls and Ghost Tours through Ghost City Tours. The Ghost City Tours website also outlines the most Haunted Places in Savannah so you can plan out where to stay, dine and play to best encounter a spirit! Don’t forget that this spooky city welcomes spirits of the drinkable sort…Savannah is an open container city, so grab a spooky cocktail to go as you prepare for your haunted walk. Savannah is definitely one of the best places to enjoy All Hallows Eve!
By Kristin of Sippin Gypsy
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Happy Haunting! Let me know where you would travel for Halloween in the comments.