Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Halloween has become one of the most celebrated holidays and our Experience This 360 Top 10 Halloween Destinations to Vacation to This Fall will highlight the best haunted attractions, theme parks and spooky destinations. Sit back, turn a light on and plan a Halloween vacation this fall!
#10 Salem, Massachusetts, United States
October is in full Halloween mode in Salem, Massachusetts where history, witches, ghosts and demons all manifest. It is in this historic town that the infamous Salem Witch Trials were carried out. You will experience top-notch guided tours of haunted and infamous spots, trial and hanging re-enactments, fireworks, parades and a modern witch’s circle. Make sure to visit the Witch House Museum, which was once home to Judge Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges in the trials and one of the only remaining buildings left in Salem that has direct links to the trials. On Halloween night there are magic shows, witches balls, séances, fireworks and many more themed activities. With plenty of accommodation options, dining options and interesting shops there will be no shortage of things to do in this spooky town.
#9 The Queen Mary Haunted Hotel in Long Beach California, United States
Docked off Long Beach in California this is one of the coolest and most unique places to celebrate Halloween. The Queen Mary is a historic ocean liner that is dubbed one of the most haunted places in the world. Dark Harbor starts October 1st each year and runs for the whole month offering terrifying experiences to those who dare to visit including a ship haunted house featuring over 200 spooks and ghouls. There is a live-dinner show featuring the ghosts of the haunted Queen Mary with rides and themed entertainment throughout the Halloween destination. This haunt is suitable for those aged 13+.
#8 The All New Haunted Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta Canada
A long-time Halloween feature in Calgary, Alberta, Haunted Calgary moved to the New Horizon Mall just on the outskirts of town in the Balzac. Here you will enter an immersive theatrical experience with over 20,000 square feet of terrifying characters, sets, and props.
With three horrifying attractions waiting for the bravest of your group and one family-friendly attraction ready to spook all ages, Haunted Calgary has something for everyone.
Haunted Calgary is a social enterprise powered mainly by the passion of dedicated volunteers who volunteer their time so a portion of profits can be donated to local charities.
#7 Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
With castles, dungeons, crypts, ghosts, and hidden underground vaults, Edinburgh is a scary place on any day of the year. The fear factor increases around Halloween when the entire town brings out their dead. Perched high above the Scottish capital, world-famous Edinburgh Castle is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Scotland and there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity over the years. Former prisoners are said to haunt the dungeons and a headless drummer, first seen shortly before Oliver Cromwell attacked the castle in 1650, has also been spotted. Although many people have heard the sound of his drums coming from the battlements, his physical appearance is rare and is said to foretell danger for the castle. Now head underground to the network of Edinburgh Vaults that run beneath the city. It's said an entire community once thrived entirely under the streets, and that the vaults were used to store illicit goods—including the victims of serial killers - Burke and Hare back in 1828. Halloween is especially busy at the demented at the Edinburgh Dungeon where you can learn about its blood-spattered past. Next search for Scottish ghosts and ghouls on a bus tour that drives around the city with a creepy conductor recounting haunting tales of torture and pain or take a nighttime walking tour and stroll the streets by the cover of darkness while hearing stories of treason and war that ended with brutal executions.
#6 New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Of several rumored haunted destinations in New Orleans, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is among the oldest and most notorious. More than 700 crumbling tombs make this eerie space feel like a city of the dead. Buried there is voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, a prominent Creole woman of the early 19th century whose practice of occult magic has earned her a legacy that continues to inspire art and culture. Hear more ghost stories during a guided ghost tour of the cemetery for $2. For those seeking another scary place to visit, look no further than the Mortuary Haunted House. Each October, New Orleanians and tourists alike flock to this opulent 1872 grand Victorian mansion, which once housed a funeral home, to experience one of the best haunted houses in the country. And try a ghost hunting tour of Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House — where General Andrew Jackson met the outlaw pirate Lafitte to discuss plans for a forthcoming British attack in the War of 1812. It is notorious for ghost sightings, including apparitions of Jackson himself. If you dare, enjoy a drink in this dark, 200-year-old tavern full of history and suspicious shadows.
#5 Orlando, Florida, United States
Halloween has become one of America's most iconic holidays. But why celebrate for just one night when Orlando, Halloween Vacation Capital, offers Halloween events spanning an entire 78 days? Starting as early as Aug. 17 and running through Nov. 3, there's something for everyone, from mild and family-friendly to wild and terrifying. This year's lineup includes a host of All-Hallows events and attractions; themed hotel packages; and the return of the largest horror convention in the nation. Click Here to Read More About Halloween in Orlando Florida from our previous blog post.
#4 Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
If you want to visit one of the most terrifying and most haunted places in the world head to the historic Eastern State Penitentiary. The city hosts the now abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary, and visitors can take a day tour highlighting the history and haunts or take on night tour, aptly referred to as Terror Behind the Walls. Terror Behind the Walls consists of six haunted attractions that create a seamless experience making it one of the largest haunted houses and one of the creepiest because it is inside an actual haunted prison. Built in 1829 with castle-like walls and imposing guard towers, it was the first prison to institute solitary confinement, with prisoners living alone eating alone and exercising alone. Visitors have reported creepy noises and even lonely wails drifting through the dark corridors, with Cell Block 12 famous for its shadowy figures and disembodied laughter.
#3 Tombstone, Arizona, United States
Tombstone, Arizona is a great place for families to visit around Halloween, offering pumpkin carving and costume contests, ghost stories around the fire and lots of other activities themed around the old-west. Adults who are looking for haunted thrills will find plenty, like the spectres that have often been seen wandering the old wooden grave markers at Boothill Cemetery or the ghosts that frequent the haunted hotels, saloons and theatres scattered throughout town.
#2 Knott's Scary Farm, Buena Park, California, United States
Knott’s Scary Farm is the largest and most haunting Halloween activity in Southern California! The fully transformed theme park features uniquely haunted houses, mazes and attractions, sinister shows, a dozen thrill rides in the dark and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures lurking in the fog and hiding in every corner of the park. Knott’s Scary Farm is far more than a collection of haunted houses and mazes. Every night, monsters spill out onto the streets and turn theme park midways into terrifying scare zones. From the world famous Ghost Town Streets to the Boardwalk area filled with evil clowns, there’s nowhere to hide in Knott’s Scary Farm, where nightmares never end.
#1 Bran Castle, Transylvania, Romania
What better way to celebrate Halloween than by having a Halloween Party in Castle Bran, or as it is widely known - Dracula's Castle. Over the years, countless numbers of fearless tourists travel to Transylvania to celebrate Halloween with costume parties, story-telling, and actors playing out Dracula inspired scenes. While some Romanians observe Halloween on October 31, St Andrew’s Night (November 30) is when the garlic is brought out as a form of protection against ghosts – a traditional superstitious act of fun that is still practised today. Transylvania. The name itself is enough to send an icy chill down the spine of even the most fearless adventurer. Now imagine being there, in person, when the clock clangs midnight… on Halloween! At odds with its creeptacular reputation, Romania ranks as one of Europe’s most charming and under-explored regions, beguiling visitors with its stunning Gothic architecture, enveloping forests, and friendly people. But as idyllic as it is by day, the real fun happens at night — particularly Halloween. Think you’re not afraid of the dark? You will be.