Events & Festivals
Top 10 Spooky Halloween Spots in America
Halloween is on par with a national holiday in the United States of America and no, not just because of a common, collective affinity for sugar. Come to think of it, however, with childhood rates of diabetes as recklessly high as they are in the country, maybe parents should nix the trick-or-treat ritual and pay a visit to some of these spooky spots.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans – Photo credit
10. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
A dank, dark, clammy cave system full of bats, crawly insects and pointy stalactites? Perfect for Halloween. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site 475 km from Santa Fe (go to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum) and 490 km from Albuquerque (take the Breaking Bad tour, also perfect for Halloween).
Where to stay: Fairfield Inn & Suites Carlsbad
9. The Omni Parker House, Boston
The Omni Parker House is a linchpin of heritage ghost walks in Boston, of which the city has many. Original owner Harvey D. Parker apparently haunts the place and former guests include Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and John F. Kennedy. Malcolm X was a busboy in the 1940s and Ho Chi Minh, incredibly, a baker in the early 1910s.
Where to stay: Boston Omni Parker House Hotel
8. Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, Philadelphia
You can visit the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore (take The Wire tour) but the poet wrote “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” in Philadelphia.
Where to stay: Palomar Philadelphia Kimpton Hotel
7. The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
Alas, Stephen King’s muse for The Shining did not figure in Stanley Kubrick’s film version (the Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood, Oregon did) but The Stanley in Estes Park chills nonetheless. Tune in to Channel 42.
Where to stay: The Stanley Hotel Estes Park
6. Chinatown, San Francisco
Other than Roman Polanski’s classic film noir, what is so grim about San Francisco’s famous Chinatown? A lot, apparently. Take a ghost tour of the eminent district and find out for yourself.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
5. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
Mammoth Cave, the most extensive cave system in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, is ominous at the best of times. The National Park Service offers special tours of the park on Halloween.
Where to stay: The Brown Hotel Louisville
4. Village Halloween Parade, New York City
The best Halloween parade north of Key West will scare up big crowds on 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street from 7:00pm to 10:30pm on October 31.
Where to stay: Warwick Hotel New York
3. Savannah, Georgia
Anyone who owns a copy of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil can tell you that Savannah is a weird, wild place. Take a tour of the heritage district, past epic landmarks like the Pink House, Sorrel Weed House, Green-Meldrim House, Mercer-Williams House, Colonial Park Cemetery, Laurel Grove Cemetery and Bonaventure Cemetery.
Where to stay: Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront
2. Key West, Florida
Fantasy Fest, the most infamous Halloween bash in the U.S., is less scary than kinky. Ten days of adults-only, wanton fun in the former home of Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.
Where to stay: Crowne Plaza Hotel Key West-La Concha
1. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, New Orleans
From Anne Rice to Voodoo Queens, New Orleans has a strong claim on the Halloween top spot. The Big Easy’s Saint Louis Cemetery complex, however, is the best place to be on October 31.
Where to stay: Maison Perrier