Last Updated on October 18, 2022
For some people, autumn is all about the hot drinks, cozy sweaters, and trees blazing with color. For others, however, it’s more about indulging in spooky season. Haunted houses! Pumpkin carving! Ghost stories! We want it all!
Whether you’re a casual fan of Halloween or someone who goes way overboard, this article is for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best Halloween attractions across the country. Some of you will live by these places, and others will have to go on a road trip, but there’s something here for everyone. Let’s get going.
Knott’s Scary Farm is one of the most famous Halloween attractions in SoCal, and for good reason. Normally, the farm is Knott’s Berry Farm, but it turns much more sinister during October nights. The Scary Farm features haunted houses, mazes, and tons of spooky rides. There are over a thousand monsters waiting to jump out at you.
Want to make your experience even more spine-tingling? You can buy one of the attractions’s hotel packages so that you can stay just a few feet away and stay out as late as you like. Or you could book a “Boo-fet” and have a special spooky dinner. It’s up to you!
The Wisconsin Feargrounds are not one, not two, but three of Wisconsin’s most famous haunted houses: The Compound, Sketchy’s Chambers, and Contagion. One ticket covers them all, and the Feargrounds are open on Friday and Saturday nights in October. You’ll walk directly through all three as you go––no end to the chills and thrills.
One benefit of this particular attraction is that part of your ticket will go to charity. The Feargrounds are supporting Heroes’ Hunt for Veterans and The Lupus Foundation of America this year.
The Headless Horseman is Washington Irving’s most famous character, and his haunted nighttime ride is set in New York’s Hudson Valley. Every October, the town of Ulster is filled to the brim with scary midnight walks, spooky hayrides, and creepy haunted houses––all centered around Irving’s tale. If you go, try to contain your terror…you don’t want to lose your head!
4. Haunted Happenings in Salem, MA
Salem is most famous for its witch hunts, so it makes sense that this Massachusetts town doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to Halloween. It’s packed with spooky-season events all through the month of October. There’s so much stuff to do that there’s even a Salem app to help you keep organized. There are museums! Haunted houses! Walking tours! Trolley tours! There’s even a psychic fair, if you want to see into your future. Whether you’re in it for the more contemporary thrills and chills, or whether you’d like to dive into Salem’s history, there’s something for everyone.
5. Haunted Happenings in Lee, NH
This haunted attraction is situated on DeMeritt Hill Farm in New Hampshire, and it’s one of the very best. It’s based on the story of a town cursed by a demon, full of decrepit buildings and twisted creatures. Huge monsters loom over the crowd, some over thirty feet tall. There are jack-o-lanterns absolutely everywhere, blazing against the rustic autumnal backdrop.
Haunted Overload is a choose-your-own-adventure situation: you can pick exactly how scary you’d like your experience to be. There are three levels. One is during the day, so there are no actors and there’s none of the spooky stuff––you’re free to enjoy the props and other artistry at your own pace. There’s one night dedicated to a lighter experience, also with no actors, so you can enjoy the atmosphere without any heart palpitations. For the bravest folks, there is the main experience, which runs over a dozen times, full of screaming monsters and all the creepy-crawlies you’ll ever want.
The Disney Channel hit Halloweentown was filmed in St. Helens, OR, and every October, the town celebrates that with a packed schedule of spooky events. It’s been featured everywhere from Vogue to Buzzfeed because of how popular it is.
There’s so much to do: You can meet some of the stars from Halloweentown, Twilight, and other spooky movies. Join a parade, shimmy your way through a dance party, or whip out your wallet for the Scary Goods sale. Make sure to check out the site’s calendar, because there are special events throughout the month.
This Michigan town really goes all out for Halloween, creating an entire village for visitors to stroll. Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village takes place over 16 nights in October. Amble through the village at your own pace––what you do is entirely up to you. Your options include a ride on the Halloween Express, ghost story readings, a Halloween fairytale feast, and much more.
There’s also a lot of history in Dearborn itself: if you want to, you can visit the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation and the Ford Rouge factory while you’re there.
8. PumpkinFest in Franklin, TN
If you love a good jack-o-lantern, this one’s for you. On October 29, PumpkinFest draws over 70,000 people a year to downtown Franklin in Tennessee, where the festival stretches along both sides of the street. There are pumpkins galore, yes, and there’s also a costume contest and a scarecrow contest. When you’re done wandering the hundreds of vendors, you can catch some live music from the main stage. There’s no end to the fall festivities.
New Orleans is well known for its love of celebrations such as Mardi Gras, but it also goes all the way for Halloween. There are haunted tours in the French Quarter, live music and art shows, plenty of spooky cemetery experiences, and tons of costume shops where you can pick out the perfect getup. This famous city definitely has some of the best Halloween attractions in America.
10. Halloween in St. Louis, Missouri
This city is just bursting with the Halloween spirit. St. Louis has a long, long list of Halloween activities for pretty much everyone. By using their categories list, you can pick out exactly the type of attraction you’d like to take part in. Some of the most popular ones include the Halloween festival at Six Flags, the Fox Ghost Tours, the Booterfly House, and the haunted wagon rides.
If you like Halloween, hopefully you enjoyed this list of some of the best Halloween attractions in America. Although Halloween will be more toned down this year, these cities and towns have long-standing Halloween traditions, and hopefully they’ll be able to kick back in next year. Don’t forget to check out the nearby rental properties on Dwellsy if you’re looking for a new home!
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