Halloween is my favorite holiday and October is my favorite month! I’ve been obsessed with fall since I was a little girl. So as you can imagine, I love the changing of the leaves, the crisp air (well, it’s still in the 90’s here), and the spooky yet cozy ambiance of the season.
Because I love this season so much and I love you (my readers), I am sharing 7 spooky U.S. cities to spend Halloween… or just a crisp fall weekend!
7 SPOOKY U.S. CITIES TO SPEND HALLOWEEN
- SALEM, MA
- SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY
- NEW ORLEANS, LA
- WASHINGTON DC
- DULUTH, MN
- ESTES PARK, CO
- JEROME, AZ
Home to the BEST MOVIE EVER, Hocus Pocus, duh. Salem is a Halloween lovers dream. Not only is this spooky town almost 400 years old, it’s also steeped with a dark past. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693 wreaked havoc on this New England town, resulting in the death of 19 people whom were found guilty of witchcraft. For a more light-hearted Halloween experience, visit some of the sites from the Hocus Pocus movie, including the town hall, Alison’s gorgeous mansion (much smaller in person) and the home of Max Denison.
SLEEPY HOLLOW, NEW YORK
Another classic Halloween town is Sleepy Hollow, New York. Made famous by Washington Irving’s book The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this small town is brimming with intrigue. Covered bridges, old cemeteries and legends of the Headless Horsemen make Sleepy Hollow the perfect place to explore on a foggy October day. It’s also the home of Rockefeller’s beautiful ivy covered estate, Kykuit. Tours of Kykuit are available and offers stunning views of the Hudson Valley.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA
New Orleans and Savanah, Georgia often duke it out over who’s city is more haunted. I’m giving this round to NOLA. The Big Easy is notorious for her spooky past. Most famous is the LaLaurie Mansion, which was the site of a horrible tragedy. The ruthless owner of the mansion tortured her slaves for years, until one day, a fire broke out in the kitchen, resulting in the discovery of her years of abuse. Ghostly stories and plagues haunt this popular party town. Check out my 4-Day Itinerary to New Orleans here.
When you think of spooky cities, Washginton DC might not come to mind. But it’s actually a great place to spend Halloween! The Halcyon House was built in 1787 by Benjamin Stoddert, a pallbearer at George Washington’s funeral (yes, that GW). Over 200+ years of history, this house is said to be haunted by the original owner, slaves and a mysterious unknown woman.
Stay with me on this one… Not widely known as a tourist destination, Duluth, is a perfect town to get your spook on. It’s location on Lake Superior alone is enough to send chills down your spine. Many a shipwreck happened in the waters off of Duluth. What are my favorite spots to explore? Head to Split Rock Lighthouse and Glensheen Mansion – home to a mysterious, wealthy family, who’s only living offspring was murdered in the mansion.
ESTES PARK, COLORADO
You probably recognize Estes Park’s famous Stanley Hotel as the sight of Stephen King’s The Shining. Although the book was inspired by this hotel, the movie was not filmed here. Today, thousands flock to this Colonial Revival hotel in hopes of experiencing a little horror. The hotel is located at the base of the Rocky Mountains and offers a great location for those looking to connect with nature.
The Grand Hotel in Jerome, Arizona is the most haunted place in Arizona. Although relatively new, built in 1926, this now-hotel was originally a hospital. When mining operations in Jerome began to shut down in 1950, the hospital closed and remained abandoned until it reopened as a hotel in 1994. Today you can stay in the hotel, where many people report hearing children running down the halls in the wee hours of the night (no thanks!).