The Spookiest Towns to Celebrate Halloween in America
One night is never enough for the Halloween obsessed. These towns take “Halloween-ing” to the next level, organizing, decorating, and partying in proper spooky style.
Tampa, Floridavia bush gardens
If a horror-filled evening is your way of getting in the holiday spirit, you need to take a trip to Tampa. Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream event is the city’s biggest Halloween event. For a total of 19 days, beginning in late September and running through the end of October, the amusement park transforms into a mental madness, with plenty of screams to be had. From the haunted houses to the exciting live, interactive entertainment, and the best thrill rides in the dark, you’ll enjoy guts, gore, screams, and laughter galore. (If you love amusement parks, but hate the lines and money, you’ll want to check out these helpful tips.)
Salem, MassachusettsCourtesy John Andrews Photography
The town of Salem is a bedrock of history, most notably the location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, and it takes Halloween seriously. Witch museums, trial re-enactments, and magic shops fill the town, and when Halloween rolls around, the residents pull out all the stops. There are 10 walking tours, six haunted houses, and about 20 costume parties that range from ’80s to steampunk. There’s even a website dedicated to the holiday, giving you all the options you need to eat, stay, and play to get in the spooky spirit. Feeling festive? Turn your house into a Halloween haven with these cheap Halloween decorations.
Franklin, TennesseeCourtesy Brian Meneguzzi
The historic town south of Nashville, Franklin, enjoys getting in the Halloween spirit. Check out the actor-led cemetery walking tour Grave Matters: Stories Behind the Stones or the Ghosts of the Battlefield tour that visits the 1858 Lotz House. For the whole family, check out Pumpkinfest. Middle Tennessee’s largest family fall festival that will return in its 34th year, over 65,000 people attend the Main Street event in downtown. Costume contests, live entertainment, food and beer street vendors, pumpkin carving, a chili cook-off, and so much more are sure to thrill. Get in the Halloween spirit with these creative pumpkin carving ideas.
Buena Park, CaliforniaCourtesy Knott’s Berry Farm
Another amusement park transformed from sweet to scary, Knott’s Berry Farm turns into the infamous Knott’s Scary Farm each Halloween season. Originally a three-night affair that started in 1973, the annual event is now a month long, and is among the largest and most haunting Halloween experience Southern California has to offer. The entirety of the 160-acre park is transformed into a horror zone, where you’ll find 13 original haunted mazes and attractions, sinister shows, and more than 1,000 creepy creatures lurking in the fog, prepared to jump out and make you scream when you least expect it. When you’re all tuckered out from the thrills of the park, head home and try to get through this list of the scariest movies of all time.
Savannah, Georgiacourtesy Chris Allen
Savannah, Georgia, has a well-deserved reputation of being one of the most charming cities in America, but it takes on a much spookier life come Halloween. One of the town’s go-to Halloween attractions takes place in none other than the Sorrel Weed House, the most haunted home in Savannah. There, guests can participate in the epic Ghost Hunting Event, which lasts a whopping four-and-half hours! And, yes, ghost-hunting equipment is provided. If your inner ghostbuster is already itching with excitement, snag tickets early because the event is limited to 15 people per night, and it’s for four nights only. Happy hunting!