Everyone seems to be a fan of autumn — the beautiful foliage, the cool weather, pumpkin spice lattes and most notably, my favourite holiday, Halloween! The decorations, the small-town feels, the scary costumes…it’s all so fun. Halloween isn’t just for the kids anymore. So, if you’re a Halloween lover like me, you’re going to want to check out this list of the best cities to visit if you love Halloween!
Of course, number one on this list has to be Salem. It is quite possibly the most famous Halloween town in the United States, due to its witch trials dating all the way back to 1692! There is so much to do in this city — go for a walking tour, visit the Salem Witch House, check out famous Hocus Pocus filming sites or take a candlelit ghost tour!
Sleepy Hollow, New York
This is a quaint little town just 30 minutes outside of Manhattan, famous for its legendary mascot, the “Headless Horseman”. Did you know that this town used to be called North Tarrytown, but changed its name in 1996 after Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was released? One of the best places to visit is the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery — you’ll even get to see Irving’s grave!
New Orleans, Louisiana
This city is famous for many things: amazing nightlife, bachelor/bachelorette parties, great food, and best of all — being one of the most haunted cities in North America! New Orleans knows how to celebrate Halloween, with activities for both kids and adults such as the Krewe of Boo, a petrifying parade on October 22nd through the streets of the French Quarter.
Estes Park, Colorado
If you’ve watched “The Shining”, then you may (or may not) want to visit the American town that inspired its conception. Estes Park is home to the historic Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King stayed with his wife, Tabitha for one night right before the hotel closed for the winter. Sound familiar? The month of October is full of Halloween-themed events throughout the town for those of all ages!
If you want Halloween to last forever (okay fine, not forever, but nine whole days!), then come visit Independence, Kansas this October. Known for its Neewollah festival (Halloween spelled backward), this event draws in more than 75,000 guests per year. You’ll get to participate in costume contests, food festivals, parades and more!
Other than being home to one of the most beautiful national parks in the country, Banff is also home to the Banff Springs Hotel, a haunted castle nestled in the Canadian Rockies. Rumour has it that two ghosts haunt the halls. One named Sam Macauley who was a bellhop and the other, a bride who broke her neck on her wedding day.
Located on the south shore of Lake Ontario, this town has owned the reputation of “Canada’s Most Haunted Town”. It has a dark history, including a violent war and a completely burned-down village in the 1800s, which all makes for loads of ghost stories. If you think you can handle it, spend one night at The Angel Inn and live to tell the tale!
Savannah is one of those cities that the American Institute of Parapsychology gets the most reports about — it’s quaint, yet terrifying. In Bonaventure Cemetery, visitors report hearing conversations, laughter and a pack of dogs haunting the grounds. Several ghost sightings have also been reported at Fort Pulaski, a Civil War fort in the 1860s.
Written by: Sacha Vincent-Toskin