Coosaw Creek in Charleston, SC
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock Lynn Maggio, mom of six (including three current trick-or-treaters), moved to this gated community this year, but is already up on all the buzz surrounding the Halloween traditions. These include themed activities at each house, golf carts to get from house to house, and special activities for the younger kids at the community clubhouse. “It’s truly a unique experience that only a tight-knit southern community can offer,” says Maggio, “and people plan for months in advance.” Maggio plans on having a palm reader (who will invariably tell the kids, “stay off your iPad because it’s rotting your brain,”) at her house, along with a popcorn machine, bobbing-for-apples, and, of course, “candy, scares, laughs, and chills!”
A haunted jaunt to Dallas
f11photo/Shutterstock Although Dallas actually made Zillow’s top-20 trick-or-treat cities, former Dallas City Council member, Ann Margolin, says that Dallas is also known for having some of the best haunted houses around. One of them, the Cutting Edge, is consistently ranked one of the largest and most terrifying haunted houses in the country. Located in an abandoned meatpacking plant, it boasts an “unnervingly realistic setup” that combines live actors with lifelike mannequins and special effects. “When my kids were little, we just did the walking the block trick-or-treat thing,” Margolin notes, but things have definitely changed since then. Here are some of the many other Halloween activities you can do in Dallas. Here are the 20 best haunted houses in America.
Columbus for costuming
f11photo/Shutterstock Columbus also made Zillow’s top 20, and Columbus resident and professor Rebecca Haidt, couldn’t agree more with that ranking. “What we see here is a lot of upscale suburbs hosting trick-or-treaters from less-than-fortunate neighborhoods. It’s only partly about the candy. It’s also about the super-safe and welcoming community feel.”
Haidt also recommends the legendary HighBall Halloween, which is billed as “the nation’s most elaborate costume party.” “Staged in the fashion capital of Columbus,” the website states, “this yearly event for the Halloween season bridges runway style with the culture of the Short North Arts District. Be a part of the HighBall Halloween street spectacle and model yourself on High Street. At HighBall Halloween, you are what you wear.”
There’s also the amazing Circleville Pumpkin Show, which features some impressively enormous gourds. One of Haidt’s students requested an absence for it “because she grew one whose enormity merited entry into the show.”