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If  you’re tired of simply staying at home during Halloween, dishing out loads of candy to an onslaught of children for hours on end, how about getting out to enjoy the festivities yourself.

It should come as no surprise that America is the place to be during Halloween, with cities from coast coast hosting a variety of events.

Your years of trick or treating may be over but being and adult with money means you can now book a trip and that’s a real treat. Countless cities across America go all out every October, offering up everything from hay rides and costume parties to haunted houses and full-on Halloween festivals.

As an added bonus, traveling during the Halloween season is great for your bank account since you avoid both the September Labor Day and the Thanksgiving travel spikes.

So don’t be a country bumpkin and get out and embrace your inner pumpkin this Halloween with a trip to one of these great US Halloween destinations.

5 Spooky American Cities to Travel to This Halloween: United States’ Most Haunted Cities

Salem, Massachusetts

Pumpkin Halloween RF

Infamous for the witch trials that took place towards the end of the 17th century, Salem ironically comes alive with activity every Halloween.

Due to the hundreds of people accused of witchcraft and the 19 that were hung after conviction, there are plenty of haunted buildings and ghost stories to tell here.

Salem offers incredible guided ghost tours thanks to, where you’ll often hear creepy stories and paranormal activity from the very people that experienced it.

Spooky places to visit in Salem include Jonathon Corwin’s home (the local judge in the historic witch trials), the Ropes Mansion, and the Salem Athenaeum which is one of America’s oldest libraries.

The city loves Halloween so much that it hosts an annual Festival of the Dead, a month long celebration filled with various events and activities including a psychic fair, witches’ market, witches’ circle, and Dinner with the Dead.

There’s also a more energetic event known as the Halloween Ball that takes place at the Hawthorne Hotel which features live DJs, a costume party, and plenty of spirits in the form of cocktails.

Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte is one of the oldest cities in the country, meaning there are hundreds of years worth of hauntings and scary stories to tell.

Taking a ghost tour in Charlotte is great any time of the year thanks to plenty of haunted buildings and neighborhoods, but during Halloween you also have pop-up haunted trails and farms surrounding the city.

Some great places to seek out paranormal activity include the Queens University where students say they have seen both the ghosts of Confederate soldiers as well as of a student who had committed suicide within her dorm room.

Other haunted Charlotte locations include the nearly 100-year-old Carolina Theatre, Old Settler’s Cemetery, and the Barringer Hotel. Charlotte also boasts a large number of Halloween Bar Crawls for those not into hearing ghost stories.

Miami, Florida

Biltmore Miami by Rob Olivera

Miami is undoubtedly one of the most fun and vibrant cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most haunted.  Famous gangsters including Al Capone, the Russian and Cuban Mafias, and the Colombian Cartel all made their presence here and many ghosts still remain.

Miami is also where Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered in his mansion known as Casa Casuarina, now the luxurious Villa Casa Casuarina boutique hotel. You can be assured his ghost won’t be dressed in just a simple plain white sheet.

Another haunted site is the Biltmore, where a gangster was once murdered and cigar smoke from decades past is said to still linger. The Biltmore usually hosts a Halloween party with open bar and buffet, along with plenty of attendees in costumes.

You can check out the Deering Estate or Charlotte Jane Memorial Park Cemetery for more terrifying fun. Additional creepy activities can also be had in the nearby Everglades, attempting to spot the elusive skunk ape or rogue introduced pythons.

Image credit: Biltmore by Rob Olivera (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Los Angles, California

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While navigating LA traffic on any given day can be a nightmare, the city is also home to a large number of haunted sites including its numerous hotels and theatres. It turns out that despite being known as the City of Angles, Los Angeles is just as much all about the devils and demons as well.

Visit the Roosevelt Hotel to see the ghost of Marilyn Monroe or check out the Rosenheim Mansion which was used as the Murder House in the first season of American Horror Story.

Meanwhile, the eclectic Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group puts on the adults-only Urban Death Tour of Terror for Halloween, where you can expect some pretty explicit content including nudity.

Then there’s the annual Los Angeles Haunted Hayride in Griffith Park as well as the Magic Castle in Hollywood which is touted as the most mysterious private club in the country.

Some notable haunted landmarks in the surrounding area include the famous Hollywood sign where ghosts have been frequently seen as well as the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach.

Of course you also have Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and in nearby Anaheim you have Disneyland going all out for more family-friendly Halloween fun.

Clayton, New Mexico

For a tiny town with a barely-there airport, Clayton ranks as the most supremely haunted cities in New Mexico. At the Herzstein Museum, you’ll learn the terrible tales of New Mexico during the great depression and dust bowl.

At Hotel Eklund, you can relive Old West gunfights and learn about Blackjack Ketchum, one of the most notorious bandits in Southwest history, who was hung for his crimes and buried in Clayton. His spirit is said to live on at the Union County Courthouse and Jail.

These are just a sampling of the haunted American cities that are perfect for a Halloween getaway.

A few other locations worth a mention are Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound which is home to a 130-year-old haunted lighthouse, New Orleans and all its voodoo where you can attend the annual Vampire Ball during the Halloween season, and of course the aptly named Tombstone, Arizona where you can visit all kinds of haunted locations.

So get out there this Halloween and embrace your inner ghost hunter in one of America’s most haunted cities. If you can’t travel this season, consider looking into a live virtual ghost tour. The only truly terrifying thing would be to do nothing at all!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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