Halloween Travel and Terrifying Tourism
Is it Halloween and you want to embark on some Halloween travel? Or do you just need a frightful fix any other time of year? Either way, I have a Top 6 Sites for you this week! Most of the locations and “terrifying” tours in this post are available through Viator. I’ve greatly enjoyed their tours over the years. You can view their available tours (including these locations – type in the search bar) by clicking here! (This is an affiliate link and I may earn a commission at NO cost to you to support this blog. I never promote businesses I don’t use personally and endorse.) Now don your costume and let’s go!
Salem, Massachusetts may be most well-known for the legendary Witch Trials. The city has been populated since 1626. And the Witch Trials, as described in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, took place in 1692. In honor of these infamous events, there are many spooky witch-themed attractions to visit. The most notable of these include the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Salem Witch Museum, and the Witch House. When you’re all witched-out, pay your respects at the Old Burying Point Cemetery. Fort Pickering Lighthouse, stunning at sunset, has been guiding ships since 1871. The creepy House of Seven Gables, which played a starring role in the witch trials, has stood since 1668. Finally, the Friendship of Salem is a replicated version of a 1797 trading ship. Salem is dripping with horror-filled, and hallowed, history! As Bostonians would say, Salem is “wicked” cool!
Savannah, Georgia is well-known as a hub of supernatural activity. In fact, the American Institute of Parapsychology gets more reports about Savannah than any other city. The local travel industry is capitalizing on this eerie reputation with a wide selection of spooky tours. There’s haunted pub and mansion tours. And a candlelit ghost tour. Or a ghost and gravestones trolley tour. Alternatively, take an independent tour on your own. However you do it, there’s so much spooky to see! Don’t forget your favorite “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” sites like Bonaventure Cemetery! And stroll block after block of public parks in Savannah, the Spanish moss dripping from the trees in the moonlight. It’s a classic Halloween scene!
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Made famous by the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, Sleepy Hollow is one sleepy city where the dead don’t rest in peace! 30 miles north of New York City, this will be a great day trip option for people in the Greater New York City area. Here you can visit tributes to the Headless Horseman, a revolutionary war soldier who lost his head and battle and scoured the town donning a jack o’ lantern searching for his lost head. For more excitement, search for Washington Irving’s ghost in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, see the Tarrytown Lighthouse rising out of the mist, or tour the Lyndhurst Gothic Revival Mansion from 1838. Rich with history, Sleepy Hollow is so much fun the departed don’t want to disappear!
The Transylvania region of Romania may be the most well-known creepy travel destination in the world! It’s familiar due to the Dracula mythology connected to it. This castle is proclaimed to be the residence of the infamous main character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Sadly, this connection is accepted as being alive in legend only. Vlad the Impaler, another creepy character and actual historic figure, also is credited with a connection to this castle. You can tour Bran Castle, or, better yet, castle-hop your way around the region. Don’t forget your garlic necklace! The impressive, tower-spiked Corvin’s Castle in particular is worth a detour.
More to Do in Transylvania
There’s more in store in Transylvania. For a kitschy adventure, there’s always a Dracula-themed tour, or shopping for gaudy Dracula-inspired souvenirs in the cities. But the Biertan Village, a UNESCO Historic Site, is a must-visit. This quaint Saxon village is credited with being founded in the year 1283, and if you’re in search of old souls this is definitely a place to look. If you catch Biertan when the mists are swirling among the city’s spires it will be a particularly spooky delight.
The Day of the Dead celebration, commemorating All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, is also famous worldwide. Oaxaca, Mexico is one of the finest places to enjoy it. Be aware that the actual dates are November 1st and 2nd, not October 31, So make sure to mark your calendar accordingly. Watch the gauntlet of parades during the festival. Shop for sugar skull souvenirs from street markets. And visit the cemeteries, vibrant with life from the colorful flowers adorning the grave sites. Make a detour to the Monte Alban Archaeological Site and ponder the ancient sacrifices of old in the safety of our modern times.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is replete with ghostly history, and the eerie attractions are seemingly endless. Start with a French Quarter tour by horse and carriage, and see New Orleans’ greatest treasures, like St. Louis Cathedral. You can also take a cemetery tour here, or a haunted history tour. The Voodoo Museum will give you perspective on another tradition that terrifies some. You can venture outside city limits for a scary swamp adventure. (Watch out for crocodiles!) And your Halloween tour wouldn’t be complete without two other hallowed traditions: costumes and candy! To cover costumes, be sure to visit the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture. Here you can see the famous floats and cool costumes from the Mardi Gras celebration. And since Halloween wouldn’t be complete without treats, stop at one of New Orleans’ many confectioners for some fresh-made pralines, a local specialty!
More Halloween Travel
I hope you have a horrifying Halloween (whether it’s Halloween on the calendar or not!) Be sure to check out my Halloween destinations YouTube video at the top of this post! And if you’re looking for a great Fall road trip to enjoy the foliage, check out my Epic Michigan Fall Road Trip here! How are you spending Halloween? Leave a comment!
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