With the month of October comes the changing of leaves, a noticeable chill in the air and the return of Halloween spirit, complete with costumes, candy and spooky decorations. October also tends to be a slower month for many tourist destinations, with the end of summer and children starting the new school year. Especially if you are a fan of Halloween or interested in history and the unusual, now is the perfect time to plan a ghoulish getaway to one of these top seven spookiest Halloween destinations.
1. Salem, MA – The location of the Salem Witch Trials in the late 17th century, Salem Massachusetts is one of the United States’ most notorious spooky locations. Modern Salem embraces its macabre history and comes alive around Halloween. Pro tip: extend your getaway to include a two-hour road trip north to Laconia, New Hampshire for its annual pumpkin festival, which includes pumpkin carving and pumpkin recipe competitions.
2. Paris, France – A location known for its stunning views and historical and cultural wonders, Paris also has a little-known dark side. Must-see spooky attractions include the Paris Catacombs, a tunnel underneath the city that is constructed of millions of human skeletons, the Père Lachaise Cemetery, which has many graves of famous authors and musicians and the Musée des vampires, the world’s first vampire museum. Enter if you dare!
3. New Orleans, LA – A U.S. city known for its legends and haunted attractions, New Orleans, Louisiana will not disappoint as a Halloween destination. Thousands of visitors flock to the Big Easy each year for the annual Halloween parade, where dressing in costume is highly encouraged. Visitors can also take haunted tours of the city and cemeteries and explore their spiritual side by visiting one of the many Voodoo shops throughout the city.
4. Disney Parks (Orlando, FL & Anaheim, CA) – Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Disney World in Orlando, Florida go all out each Halloween by decorating the park, dressing up the characters and hosting Halloween parties and parades. A family-friendly attraction for all ages, be sure to visit the Haunted Mansion ride, ogle at all the jack-o-lanterns on Main Street and take in the Halloween-themed fireworks display.
5. Transylvania, Central Romania – When most people think of Transylvania, they also think of vampires. Long regarded as the home of legendary vampire, Dracula, Transylvania is also the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, a ruthless ruler during medieval times and thought by some to be the inspiration behind the Dracula character. If you’re brave enough, stop by Bran Castle for a terrifying vampire tour and Halloween party.
6. Sleepy Hollow, NY – The backdrop of Washington Irving’s famous 1820 novel “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the real-life location draws thousands of Halloween enthusiasts every year for cemetery tours, haunted hayrides and Headless Horseman reenactments.
7. Londonderry, Northern Ireland – Halloween, or Samhain, as it was known in ancient Celtic traditions, has been celebrated in this Irish city for more than a thousand years. In modern times, Londonderry, also known as Derry, holds one of the largest Halloween festivals in the world, attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year for parades, performances and frightening family fun.
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