7 Best Places to Visit for Halloween in the US in 2024

Best Places to Visit for Halloween in the US

Looking for the best places to visit for Halloween in the USA? I’ve got you covered!

October is the month of Halloween celebrations in the United States, and if you’re a Halloween enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. 

As someone who’s traveled to the United States multiple times in search of the best Halloween experiences, I can tell you that there’s no shortage of destinations that go all out for this spooky holiday.

The US has a variety of Halloween destinations that you can visit, each with their unique charm and spooky offerings. From haunted houses to ghost tours to scary small towns, there’s no shortage of Halloween cities to explore.

So, put on your scariest costume and get ready to celebrate Halloween in style!

Best Places to Visit for Halloween

In this article, I’ve rounded up the best places to go for Halloween in the US.

Whether you’re looking for the best Halloween towns, places to visit for Halloween, or just some spooky fun, I’ve got you covered! 

What is the best place to go for Halloween?

When it comes to the best place to go for Halloween in the US, Salem is a must!

Famous for its witch trials in the 17th century, Salem has fully embraced its spooky past and become a top destination for Halloween enthusiasts.

The city offers a variety of Halloween-themed events and activities, including haunted houses, ghost tours, and costume parties.

👻 Make the most of Halloween with this History and Hauntings of Salem Walking Tour!

One of the most popular events in Salem is the Haunted Happenings festival, which takes place throughout the month of October and features a variety of Halloween-themed events, such as parades, ghost tours, and psychic readings.

Visitors can also explore the Salem Witch Museum and the Witch House, both of which offer insight into the city’s witchcraft history.

A beautiful Salem waterfront view, one of the best places to go for Halloween in the USA

In addition to the Halloween festivities, Salem is also a charming and historic town with beautiful architecture and scenic waterfront views.

Visitors can stroll through the picturesque streets, visit museums and art galleries, and enjoy delicious seafood at local restaurants.

Overall, if you’re looking for the best place to go for Halloween in the US, Salem, Massachusetts should definitely be at the top of your list.

Where are the best Haunted Houses and Ghost Tours?

When it comes to haunted houses and ghost tours, the US has no shortage of options. Some of the best can be found in the following destinations:

The Mercer Williams haunted House
  • Salem, Massachusetts: Famous for its witch trials, Salem is a must-visit destination for those interested in the paranormal. The city offers several ghost tours, including the famous History and Hauntings of Salem Walking Tour. Visitors can also explore the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables.
  • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: As the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, Gettysburg is said to be one of the most haunted places in the US. Visitors can take ghost tours of the battlefield and explore haunted houses like the Farnsworth House Inn.
the historic Gettysburg battlefield as one of the Best Places to Visit for Halloween
  • Chicago, Illinois: Chicago is home to several haunted houses, including the 13th Floor Haunted House and the HellsGate Haunted House. The city also offers ghost tours, such as the Gangsters and Ghosts Tour in Chicago.

These are just a few of the best destinations for haunted houses and ghost tours in the US. No matter where you go, you’re sure to have a spooky and unforgettable experience!

What is the Scariest Small Town for Halloween?

There are several small towns in the US that are known for their spooky atmosphere and Halloween celebrations, but one that stands out as the scariest is Sleepy Hollow, New York.

Made famous by Washington Irving’s classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” this town embraces its haunted history and transforms into a Halloween wonderland during the month of October.

One of the main attractions in Sleepy Hollow is the annual Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, which features over 7,000 carved pumpkins that are lit up in intricate displays.

Visitors can walk through the glowing pumpkin patch and marvel at the impressive works of art.

Another popular event is Horseman’s Hollow, which takes place in the historic Philipsburg Manor and features a haunted trail through the woods, where visitors can encounter ghosts, ghouls, and other spooky creatures.

the historic Philipsburg Manor

In addition to these events, Sleepy Hollow also offers ghost tours, haunted hayrides, and other Halloween-themed activities.

Visitors can also explore the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving and other famous residents are buried.

So, if you’re brave enough to face the Headless Horseman, head to Sleepy Hollow this October!

What is the Best Halloween Destination for Adults?

Las Vegas, Nevada, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Halloween destinations, but this city has plenty to offer adults who are looking to celebrate the spooky holiday in style.

With its vibrant nightlife, world-class entertainment, and luxurious hotels, Las Vegas is the perfect destination for those who want to combine Halloween fun with a touch of glamour.

🎃 One of the highlights of Halloween in Las Vegas is the annual Halloween Ball, which takes place at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

This adults-only event features elaborate costumes, live music, and performers who push the boundaries of what’s acceptable in public.

Man in a bloody costume at Las Vegas Halloween parade

Another popular event is the Haunted Harvest at the Springs Preserve, which features a haunted maze, trick-or-treating, and live entertainment for all ages.

For those who want to take a break from the party scene, Las Vegas also offers plenty of spooky attractions, such as the Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum, which is said to be one of the most haunted places in the city. Visitors can explore 30 rooms filled with creepy artifacts and learn about the history of the paranormal.

Whether you’re looking for wild parties or spooky thrills, Las Vegas is one of the best Halloween destinations for adults in the US. So, get ready to experience Halloween like never before in Sin City!

Best Places to Visit for Halloween in the US

There is magic in the night when the pumpkins glow by moonlight. 

If you’re a Halloween enthusiast like me, then you know that there’s nothing quite like the excitement and anticipation that builds up as October draws near.

When the air turns crisp, and the leaves start to turn into vibrant shades of red, it means that Halloween celebrations are round the corner! 

Halloween treats

Everyone has great memories of “Trick or Treating” and coming back home with a pumpkin full of sweets and candies. The fun doesn’t have to stop when you get older, though! 

Grab your costume and treat yourself to a vacation at one of these Halloween destinations in the US, where you can celebrate the scariest night of the year and have a spooky good time!

1. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A Halloween Festival of epic proportions takes place every year at the Eastern State Penitentiary – a gothic, castle-like structure in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood that was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. 

Although the castle is open all year round, it’s during Halloween night that things come alive – literally

Eastern State Penitentiary a gothic, castle-like structure in Philadelphia's Fairmount neighborhood

Terror Behind the Walls is an annual event consisting of 15 attractions, including two haunted houses, immersive walk-through experiences, bone-chilling performances, themed bars, and lounges, along with opportunities to discover the prison. 

The Hollywood-quality special effects and lighting, digital sound, and the costumed actors who take their roles seriously will make this Philadelphia one of the best Halloween destinations.

2. New Orleans, Louisiana

As any local will tell you, New Orleans is a place where what’s worth doing is worth overdoing.

New Orleans is legendary all over the world for its Mardi Gras celebrations, but the beat goes on and on, and Halloween is the second most celebrated holiday in the city

Did you know that New Orleans is known as the most haunted city in the United States?

It goes without saying that it’s one of the coolest places to visit for Halloween in the world. 

The combination of its voodoo reputation and all its haunted and paranormal tours will make your Halloween experience truly unforgettable.

Ghost manor in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of the best Places to Visit for Halloween

During your visit, make sure you don’t miss a tour in the French Quarter or through one of the world-famous cemeteries. One of the best places to visit for Halloween!

Frenchmen Street is then the place to be if you want to lose yourself in the most incredible Halloween street parties in which locals and tourists take the show into the streets in a lively parade of elaborate costumes. 

3. Universal Studios, Hollywood, California

Visiting Universal Studios is always a good choice at any given time of the year. But experiencing the park on Halloween night is something you don’t want to miss. 

The most loved park transforms into a spooky wonderland of horrors featuring terrifying mazes, sinister scare zones, outrageous live entertainment, and some of the park’s most exhilarating attractions that will take your breath away. 

Halloween themed park Universal Studios

Horror-movie fans and Netflix enthusiasts will love the over-the-top special effects and scream-worthy attractions. 

Just make sure you bring plenty of friends. You will definitely need someone to hide behind!

4. Salem, Massachusetts, one of the best places to visit for Halloween

Is there a better way to spend Halloween than in the “witch city”?

The famous setting of the 1692 Salem witch trials, when nearly 20 women and men were accused of practicing witchcraft, comes back to life in October. 

Halloween is undoubtedly the perfect time to visit if you want a glimpse of the city’s darker past together with plenty of day fun.

The witch city in Salem, Massachusetts, one of the Best Places to Visit for Halloween

Salem attracts travelers seeking real-life spooky magic, and The Salem Witch Museum helps visitors understand the original perceptions of witchcraft, the interpretation of witches, and the “witch hunt” phenomenon that continues today. 

During the month of October, Salem hosts an incredible Halloween festival with family-friendly events, ghost tours, and trick-or-treating sessions.

5. New York City, New York, USA

Somewhere between living and dreaming, there’s New York. This city puts a spell on you at any time of the year, but New York City’s Village Halloween Parade is a must-do experience. 

The parade is so incredibly well-organized that it literally shuts down lower Manhattan and attracts visitors and families from all over the world. 

New York City's Village Halloween Parade

The parade has been attracting families and visitors since 1974 and features dancers, costumes, and giant mile-long puppets, and anyone in a costume is welcome to take part in this event. 

If this incredible parade isn’t enough, then head to an after-dark Crypt Crawl under the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Or join a ghost walk where you might just run into Edgar Allen Poe’s ghost, known to hang around here from time to time. 

The city is buzzing with excitement as the haunted hotels, bars, buildings, and even zoos are taking part in the spooky celebrations.

6. The Louisville Zoo Halloween Party, Louisville, Kentucky

Head to the Louisville Zoo this fall for a kid-friendly Halloween experience. 

For over 40 years, Boo at the Zoo has been transforming your zoo into a living storybook. It will amaze kids of any age with their favorite characters brought to life and fun music along with a safe place for trick-or-treating for children under 11.

Mumpkin the Giant Talking Pumpkin at The Louisville Zoo Halloween Party

Free experiences include the themed areas set to resemble iconic children’s movies and books, fun time with “Mumpkin the Giant Talking Pumpkin,” a giant hay maze, hundreds of artistically carved and lit pumpkins on display, and the renowned food trucks serving delicious donuts and warmed cider.

Optional experiences include costume contests, face painting, train and carousel rides, or a walk-through guided attraction to find the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. 

7. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida

Orlando has been a top-notch destination for families for years; it shouldn’t be any different on Halloween. 

But if you’re going to Orlando with kids, head over to Walt Disney World Resort for the Disney After Hours Boo Bash, a three-hour Halloween-themed event at the Magic Kingdom

Guests taking part in the event will enjoy spooky party music, decorations, and special character cavalcades.

Mikey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort

Like Mikey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, kids and adults are welcome to dress up in costumes for the occasion.

They can have fun while trick-or-treating, enjoy exclusive culinary offerings, spooktacular entertainment, favorite attractions, and much more!

Best Halloween Towns in the US

Some of the best Halloween towns in the US include:

Anoka, Minnesota

This small town claims to be the “Halloween Capital of the World,” and for good reason.

It hosts a variety of Halloween celebrations throughout the month of October, including a grand parade and a pumpkin-carving contest.

Sleepy Hollow, New York

This small town inspired the famous short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.

Every Halloween, the town hosts the Sleepy Hollow Halloween festivities, which include a lantern-lit parade, haunted hayrides, and more.

Salem, Massachusetts

This small town is infamous for its association with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Every October, Salem hosts the Salem Haunted Happenings, a month-long festival celebrating Halloween.

Witch House of Salem

The town is filled with ghost tours, haunted houses, and spooky happenings.

Final Thoughts

Halloween is truly one of the most fun and exciting holidays to celebrate, especially in the US.

As someone who has traveled to the country multiple times in search of the best Halloween experiences, I can attest that there are endless possibilities for enjoying the spooky season in America.

From Salem to New Orleans, and beyond, there are so many incredible destinations that offer everything from haunted houses and creepy tours to family-friendly pumpkin patches and festive costume parties.

Whether you’re looking to explore haunted houses, take ghost tours, or simply soak up the Halloween atmosphere, there are plenty of options to choose from.

So pack your bags, put on your favorite costume, and get ready to embark on a thrilling Halloween adventure in one of the best places to visit for Halloween.

🎃 Happy Halloween!

FAQ for the best places to visit during halloween

When is Halloween celebrated?

Halloween is celebrated on October 31st every year. It is a holiday with ancient roots that originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and parts of France. 

Over time, Halloween evolved and became associated with customs such as trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins, and telling scary stories. Today, Halloween is celebrated not only in the United States but in many other countries around the world.

What is Halloween Day & Why is it celebrated?

Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed on October 31st, primarily in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The holiday originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark winter months.

During the Samhain festival, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts, who were believed to roam the earth during this time.

Trick or treat Halloween composition with chalkboard

Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular holiday that involves trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, attending costume parties, and telling scary stories. It is a day when people can let loose and embrace their inner demons, while also remembering and honoring the dead.

Overall, Halloween is a fun and festive celebration that has deep roots in ancient history and continues to be an important part of modern culture.

What are the most haunted cities in the United States?

The United States has many cities that are known for their haunted history and supernatural activity. Here are some of the most haunted cities in the US:

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana – Known for its rich history, voodoo culture, and above-ground cemeteries, New Orleans is often called the most haunted city in America. Many of its buildings, including hotels, homes, and restaurants, are said to be haunted by ghosts.
  2. Savannah, Georgia – With its beautiful historic district and charming southern architecture, Savannah also has a dark side. It is said to be haunted by ghosts from its past, including Civil War soldiers, pirates, and victims of yellow fever.
  3. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – Site of one of the most famous battles of the Civil War, Gettysburg is a hotbed of supernatural activity. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions of soldiers, hearing ghostly cries and screams, and feeling cold spots and sudden drops in temperature.
  4. Salem, Massachusetts – Famous for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Salem has a long history of witchcraft and supernatural activity. Many of its buildings and cemeteries are said to be haunted, and the town hosts a variety of ghost tours and paranormal events. One of the best places to visit for Halloween!
  5. Charleston, South Carolina – With its history of slavery and Civil War battles, Charleston is said to be one of the most haunted cities in America. Visitors have reported seeing ghostly apparitions, hearing unexplained noises, and feeling sudden drops in temperature in many of its historic buildings.

Where is the biggest Halloween parade in the United States?

The biggest Halloween parade in the United States is the Village Halloween Parade in New York City. It takes place every year on Halloween night in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, and attracts over 50,000 participants and over 2 million spectators. 

Village Halloween parade in New York City

The parade features elaborate costumes, puppets, floats, live music, and dance performances, making it a one-of-a-kind celebration of creativity and spooky fun. The parade has been held annually since 1974 and is open to anyone who wants to participate in costume.

Where is the biggest Halloween celebration in the US?

The biggest Halloween celebration in the US takes place in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Known as the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, this event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is a massive street party that takes place on Halloween night and features live music, street performers, and incredible costumes. The event is free to attend and draws a diverse crowd of locals and tourists alike.

Halloween Party goers at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival

What is an interesting fact about the Halloween celebration in the US?

One interesting fact about the Halloween celebration in the US is that it actually has its roots in ancient Celtic tradition. Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, originated in Ireland and was brought to America by Irish immigrants in the 19th century.

The holiday was originally a pagan festival called Samhain, which celebrated the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on this night, the boundary between the living and the dead was blurred and that ghosts and spirits could easily cross over into the world of the living.

hunted house for Halloween in the USA

Over time, the holiday evolved and merged with other cultural traditions, such as the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day. Today, Halloween is celebrated in a variety of ways throughout the US, from trick-or-treating and costume parties to haunted houses and pumpkin carving.

What is the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain?

Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”) was an ancient Celtic festival that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was celebrated in Ireland and other parts of Europe around 2,000 years ago.

The Celts believed that on the night of Samhain, which fell on November 1st, the boundary between the living and the dead was blurred, and that ghosts and spirits could easily cross over into the world of the living. To ward off these spirits, people would light bonfires and wear masks and costumes to disguise themselves.

the tombs full of flowers during all saints day

When Christianity arrived in Ireland, the holiday was eventually merged with the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day, which falls on November 1st. Over time, the holiday evolved into the modern-day Halloween celebration that is celebrated in many parts of the world today.

Is the Dia de los Muertos celebrated in the United States?

Yes, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in the United States, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that takes place on November 1st and 2nd, and it is a time to honor and remember loved ones who have passed away. The holiday is characterized by colorful decorations, elaborate altars, and offerings of food and drink that are placed on the graves of the deceased.

Halloween Party goers at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival

In the US, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in a variety of ways, from community festivals and parades to private family celebrations. Cities with large Mexican-American populations, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Antonio, often have large-scale Dia de los Muertos events that attract visitors from all over the world.

What are the best horror movies to celebrate Halloween?

There are so many great horror movies to choose from when it comes to celebrating Halloween! Here are a few classics that are sure to give you a scare:

  • The Shining (1980) – Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by Stephen King, this classic psychological horror film follows a family who become caretakers at an isolated hotel during the winter. As the isolation takes its toll, the father begins to unravel and the hotel’s dark past begins to reveal itself.
  • Halloween (1978) – This iconic slasher film follows the story of Michael Myers, a masked killer who stalks and murders teenage babysitters on Halloween night. Directed by John Carpenter, the film has become a classic of the horror genre.
the exorcist and the demonic creepy girl, one of the Best horror movies to celebrate Halloween
  • The Exorcist (1973) – Directed by William Friedkin, this film tells the story of a young girl who becomes possessed by a demon and the efforts of a priest to save her. The film’s shocking imagery and unsettling atmosphere have made it a staple of the horror genre.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – Directed by Wes Craven, this film introduces audiences to the iconic character of Freddy Krueger, a disfigured killer who terrorizes teenagers in their dreams. The film’s creative use of special effects and unique storyline make it a must-see for horror fans.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – While not a traditional horror film, this psychological thriller directed by Jonathan Demme tells the story of a young FBI agent who must seek the help of a convicted serial killer in order to catch another serial killer on the loose. The film’s chilling performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster have made it a classic of the genre.

Where can I do the best haunted tours in the United States?

There are many great haunted tours in the United States, but some of the best include:

  • Ghosts of Gettysburg Tour, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: This tour takes you through the haunted battlefields of Gettysburg, where you can hear stories of ghostly encounters and paranormal activity.
  • French Quarter Phantoms Ghost Tour, New Orleans, Louisiana: This tour takes you through the historic French Quarter, where you can learn about the city’s haunted history and the ghostly sightings that have been reported there.
  • The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado: This hotel is said to be haunted by the ghosts of former guests, and offers guided tours that take you through the most haunted areas of the hotel.
  • Haunted History Tours, Savannah, Georgia: This tour takes you through the haunted streets of Savannah, where you can learn about the city’s dark past and the ghosts that still haunt it today.
  • Alcatraz Island Night Tour, San Francisco, California: This tour takes you to the infamous Alcatraz Island, where you can learn about the prison’s haunted history and the ghostly encounters that have been reported by former inmates and guards.

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Top Places to Visit for Halloween in the USA?

Sara Rodríguez

A passionate traveler with a mission: Help you plan your next trip easily and enjoy it to the fullest.

In this travel blog you will find everything you need to get inspired and organize your next adventure. Read more about my story here.

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