Halloween – a holiday filled with mischief, magic, and malevolent spirits. Initially brought to the US by American colonists, it is now a widely-celebrated holiday across the States.
If you’re wondering where to go for Halloween, look no further! We’ve got all the best (and spookiest) places to visit listed right here in this guide. Keep reading for some of the best places to visit for Halloween in America.
Best Halloween Towns in the USA
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We’re breaking down some of the best Halloween destinations in the US.
Aptly dubbed “The Witch City”, Salem, Massachusetts, is known the world over for its infamous witch trials. Salem’s eerie history makes it one of the best places to visit during Halloween.
Salem’s Witch House
Start your tour of the city with a visit to the Witch House on Essex Street. This historical landmark was once home to Jonathon Corwin, one of the judges involved in the 1692 Witch Trials. It is also the only remaining structure from the time with a direct connection to the Salem Witch Trials.
The house offers an intriguing look into the tragic history of Salem and its inhabitants. The walls are plastered with fascinating information highlighting the Corwin family, the witch trials, and life in the 17th Century. Visitors can choose to explore the house on a self-guided tour or make use of one of the knowledgeable guides.
After immersing yourself in the town’s haunting history, it’s time to have some fun. Salem’s “Haunted Happenings” is a month-long annual celebration of Halloween. This festival offers everything from kid-friendly magic shows to ghost tours, psychic readings, haunted harbour cruises, costume balls, and more.
The Salem Witches’ Ball
Speaking of costume balls, what is Halloween if not an excuse to get dressed up? The Salem Witches’ Ball is the biggest in the city, hosted at the Hawthorne Hotel. Every year, a new theme is revealed and the hotel is transformed into a witchy wonderland.
Guests are encouraged to don their most wicked costumes and enjoy the various activities on offer, from séances to psychic readings.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Don’t let the name fool you. There are plenty of things to keep you busy in this mysterious village during the month of Halloween.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
This village has become synonymous with Halloween largely due to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Headless Horseman. It is also said to be one of the most haunted places in the country, making it one of the best places to go for Halloween.
Visit Horseman’s Hollow for a spine-chilling Halloween experience. The Philipsburg Manor is transformed into the Horseman’s lair, where you’ll find an array of ghoulish creatures waiting for you in the shadows. The attraction makes use of professional actors and highly realistic special effects, so you’re bound to be appropriately spooked!
Hop on the Haunted Hayride for a hair-raising trip through the woods and into the Sleepy Hollow Cemetry. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the legendary Headless Horseman.
Following the ride, calm your nerves and stay to enjoy the free block party on Beekman Avenue.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
This unique spectacle is one of the largest Halloween extravaganzas in the whole country and is perfect for the entire family. Boasting more than 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins illuminated against a historical backdrop, this is a Sleepy Hollow must-see.
Orlando is home to some of the country’s best amusement and theme parks, including Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, and Legoland. These parks go ALL OUT for any themed holiday, making them some of the best places to go during Halloween.
Universal Orlando Resort
Join the world-renowned Universal Studios for their signature Halloween Horror Nights. Visitors will be treated to various exciting attractions including horrifying haunted houses, scream-inducing scare zones, and radical rides.
Walt Disney World Resort
Journey to the Magic Kingdom for Disney’s After Hours Boo Bash. This limited-capacity event is family-friendly and great if you’re not a fan of massive crowds.
Guests both young and old are encouraged to dress up for the occasion and enjoy trick-or-treating around the park. Once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, take advantage of some of the bewitching attractions on offer.
Be captivated by the Halloween-themed cavalcades popping up throughout the night, featuring the likes of Mickey Mouse, Disney Villains, and Maleficent (as a fire-breathing dragon!).
Best Places to Go For Halloween – For Adults
Who says Halloween is just for kids? If you’re looking for a real fright, we’ve put together a list of some of the best places to spend Halloween – for adults only.
New York City
What better place to spend an adults-only Halloween than ‘The City That Never Sleeps?’
The Village Halloween Parade
New York City plays host to one of the largest Halloween parades in the world. Over 2 million people take to the streets of The Big Apple in their most spooktacular costumes, with a different theme every year. You can expect to see zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and all sorts of monstrous creatures taking part in this spooky march.
This Is Real
Get ready for the fright of your life with this interactive horror experience. Find yourself immersed in a horrific theatrical world, where guests are kidnapped and given one chance to make their escape. Sound like a nightmare? That’s the point.
The Blood Ball
Indulge in your deepest, darkest desires and fantasies at this extravagant masquerade ball. Held at the Diamond Horseshoe Nightclub in the historic Paramount Hotel, this event promises a night of luxury and PG13-rated thrills.
In between sipping on cocktails and getting freaky on the dancefloor, attendees will be wowed by mind-bending circus acts and burlesque performances.
Known as one of the most haunted cities in the United States, New Orleans is one of the best places to go on Halloween.
Join the living (and the undead) for one of the many haunted tours on offer in New Orleans. Book a tour through the infamous French Quarter, where ghosts and vampires are said to lurk and voodoo culture is rife. While prowling the Quarter streets, make sure to pop into one of the many voodoo boutiques for a Voodoo Love Potion or a palm reading.
St Louis Cemetery
Pay your respects to the dearly departed and visit the mystical tomb of the famous Voodoo High Priestess, Marie Laveau. After years of vandalisation by visitors in hopes of having their wishes granted by the Voodoo Queen, the tomb can now only be viewed on official tours.
Best Halloween Places to Visit – A Final Note
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly Halloween adventure or a grownups-only affair, we’ve provided you with the best Halloween experiences that the US has to offer.
Looking for some more October travel destinations? Check out this guide on the best places to travel during October.