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11 Spooky Destinations To Visit if You Love Halloween

These days, Halloween isn’t just for kids. Just about everyone loves to celebrate, and instead of staying at home answering the door to trick-or-treaters or going to the same party you’ve been attending for years, why not plan a trip around the haunted holiday? From small-town charms to big cities with tons of activities, these destinations are particularly unforgettable for a Halloween escape.

Salem, Massachusetts Salem Witch Museum in Salem, MA
Credit: Salem Witch Museum in Salem, MA by © Jiawangkun | Dreamstime.com

Salem, Massachusetts

Halloween in Salem is a month-long event showcasing all sorts of ghoulish happenings, like the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, ghostly tales, plenty of witches, vampires, and much more. Over two dozen people were once tried and put to death in this town simply for being called a witch. Today, Salem is considered one of America’s top Halloween vacation destinations for its celebration of witches on their most important night of the year. There are lots of haunted spots to explore as well as fireworks and witch’s circles. The Hawthorne Hotel also holds its famous Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball.

Ireland Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland
Credit: Ross Castle, Killarney, Ireland by © Hakbak - Dreamstime.com


Ireland is home to practically an endless number of castles, and with many centuries-old, there are lots of haunted tales to go along with them, making a castle-visiting experience through the Emerald Isle a fantastic trip for late October. Ross Castle, built in 1563, offers overnights in this medieval castle where guests have been known to wake up hearing voices or the sound of doors shutting on their own. Some have even felt the presence of a spirit at the edge of their bed. If sleeping in a haunted castle sounds like a bit much, you can tour Malahide Castle, reportedly home to at least five ghosts, including a 16th-century caretaker known as Puck. By making arrangements with its famous musician owner Sean Ryan, you may be able to tour Leap Castle too, known as one of the most haunted in all of Europe, as the scene of many dreadful deeds in the past, known today for its rather eerie apparitions.

Savannah, Georgia Oak-lined road at Wormsloe Historic Site
Credit: Oak-lined road at Wormsloe Historic Site by © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is known as one of the most haunted towns in the United States, offering an array of spooky experiences. Ghost hunters across the globe come to Savannah to catch a glimpse of its famous paranormal activity. The Marshall House, in particular, is considered to be one of the most haunted places to stay in the U.S. as a former hospital during the Civil War and yellow fever epidemics. The ghosts of children and other apparitions in the hallways have often been reported. Families can come and partake in the fun at Plant Riverside District, where a dog costume contest called “Costumes on the Woof” and a Halloween party at Electric Moon are held. This area is nicknamed “Savannah’s Entertainment District,” stretching across Savannah’s iconic riverfront to a 4.5-acre entertainment destination. Stay at JW Marriott Savannah and explore the dozen restaurants and lounges, high-end shops, and galleries while you immerse yourself in the spooky city.

New Orleans, Louisiana Saint Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter
Credit: Saint Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter by bigstock.com

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans‘ second most celebrated time, after Mardi Gras, is Halloween. Its long history of voodoo, endless haunted spots, and an infamous party scene make it an ideal destination to celebrate Halloween. Explore the French Quarter to wander through voodoo shops and learn more about the centuries-old practice, and take one of the many haunted tours that include visits to the world-famous cemeteries where the dearly departed are buried in tombs above ground. An after-dark tour of Manchac Swamp is a must – the creepy experience includes tales about the hundreds who died in a tidal wave here.

London, England Autumn in Hyde Park, London
Credit: Autumn in Hyde Park, London by © Irishka777 | Dreamstime.com

London, England

Perhaps one of the world’s most haunted cities, London is home to a number of places where ghosts are known to roam. Take an after-dark ghost walk and visit graveyards and legendary murder sites, or embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Richmond Park for the hour-long special Halloween tour to learn all about the ghosts that haunt its grounds. The Tower of London, once home to political prisoners who were tortured and subsequently executed, also offers rather fascinating tours that include ghostly tales. If you want to stay in the city’s most haunted hotel room, book Room 333 at the Langham Hotel, which has seen numerous literary greats like Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain as well as several ghosts like the apparition of a silver-haired man wearing Victorian attire who makes appearances only in the month of October.

Deadwood, South Dakota Deadwood, South Dakota
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Deadwood, South Dakota

Even the town’s name evokes a haunting image, and some believe Deadwood is America’s most haunted town. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it’s worth visiting around Halloween for its rich and colorful history as well as its “Deadweird” events that include the Monster Ball, costume contests, and more. The two-day celebration is typically held the Friday and Saturday closest to October 31st. For more haunts, stay at the historic Bullock Hotel, which was owned and built by Deadwood’s first sheriff, Seth Bullock. Though he died nearly a century ago, in 1919, it’s said that he still plays host at his beloved hotel.

Newport, Rhode Island White Horse Tavern
Credit: White Horse Tavern by White Horse Tavern

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is one of Rhode Island’s most beautiful coastal destinations, but it’s also the location of Hocus Pocus 2. Aside from a filming location, this city is supposedly home to the most haunted tavern in the United States – the White Horse Tavern. It opened back in 1673 when it served as a courthouse and a meeting place for Colonists, British soldiers, pirates, sailors, and founding fathers, and lastly, a private residence. In addition to serving fresh seafood from Narragansett Bay, many say they’ve seen ghosts occupying the tavern, with some accounts of being tapped on the shoulder and footsteps, overheard from nearby empty rooms. The spirits are said to include an elderly man in Colonial garb, a seaman who previously died on the premises, and a female reported floating above one of the dining tables.

Tombstone, Arizona Tombstone, Arizona
Credit: Tombstone, Arizona by © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

Tombstone, Arizona

If you want to take the kids on a Halloween vacation, Tombstone may be a great choice. A fun place all year round, during Halloween, it hosts pumpkin carving and costume contests, ghost stories around the fire, and lots of other activities. Adults who are looking for haunted thrills will find lots to indulge in, including visiting Boothill Cemetery after dark to watch for the specters that have often been seen wandering the old wooden grave markers. Though you may not want to tell the little ones, multiple sightings of ghosts have been reported throughout this Old West town, including at the Bird Cage Theater and Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. The dusty streets themselves are said to be the walkways of many lingering spirits.

Cripple Creek, Colorado Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek
Credit: Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek by Cripple Creek, Colorado

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Stepping into Cripple Creek feels like a trip back in time, into the former gold rush town where old mine shafts, headframes and cabins dot the hills that surround it, and numerous spirits are said to linger. They’ve been reported everywhere, from the cemetery to the turn-of-the-century hospitals turned B&Bs, hotels, casinos and even the historic Butte Theatre. The Cripple Creek District Museum offers ghost walk tours at night, which is especially ideal for Halloween. Stay at Hotel St. Nicholas, a former hospital during the town’s peak mining days with many mysterious incidents reported in Room 11, like spirits that seem to be using their care-taking skills in the afterlife, watching over guests while they’re in bed.

Laredo, Texas Laredo, Texas
Credit: Laredo, Texas by © Barna Tanko | Dreamstime.com

Laredo, Texas

The San Agustin Historic District in Laredo, Texas, is a host of paranormal activity. The city’s La Posada Hotel has a storied past, having served as an elementary school and a convent for the Sisters of Divine Providence. A little girl with pigtails has been seen skipping through the lobby, and rumor has it there’s at least one nun haunting the grounds. Security cameras have even captured footage of the dark figure floating about 10 feet above the ground. Next door, the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum features a cradle that, at times, especially in the cold, rocks itself. Even more creepy, the museum’s voice boxes that require pushing a button to activate are reported to turn on with no one being even close to the button. In downtown Laredo, you can take the San Agustin Ghost Walk Tour or grab a copy of the “Haunted Heritage – Myths and Legends of Laredo” book and discover Laredo’s treasure trove of ghost stories.

Prague, Czech Republic Kutna Hora, Czech Republic with its skull and bone church
Credit: Kutna Hora, Czech Republic with its skull and bone church by bigstock.com

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague in the Czech Republic is famous for its magnificent Gothic architecture, and it also happens to make for an unforgettable Halloween destination. There are many ghost tour options and guided night walks throughout the city, as well as multiple attractions like the Torture Museum, Charles Bridge with its creepy-looking statues, St. Vitus Cathedral and its gargoyles, and Old Town, the setting of many local legends and ghoulish stories. In Kutna Horna, under an hour east of Prague, you can visit Bone Church. A kind of bizarre skeletal art gallery, inside the Gothic chapel are the skeletons of around 40,000 plague victims plastered from top to bottom.

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