Get Into the Spirit in These 7 Halloween Cities

Affinity Travel, Magazine Features

The Northeast is a great place to enjoy some scares, and these famous Halloween cities know how to celebrate

The Fall is such a crisp transition time from the heat and traffic of the summer easing into the cool nights of September and October. The colors are in full swing, the leaves are falling, and pumpkin spice is everywhere you look. With this new season also comes a holiday that some count down the days to and some fear, Halloween! This holiday can be misunderstood in so many ways and might be the best time for you and your group to travel and see a new place during this time. We have picked out the best Halloween cities to visit during the Halloween season that may just be the perfect fit for your group travel itinerary.

Salem, MA

SalemMA_Zombies-Bewitched statue_photo John Andrews Halloween cities

Photo courtesy of John Andrews

Our first stop would be the obvious Salem Massachusetts, home to where the witch trials took place and now thrives during the spooky season. There are so many different places and attractions to visit here you would definitely need a long weekend to conquer them all. One of these attractions is the Witch house. Contrary to its name, this eerie home housed one of the judges involved with the witch trials, Jonathan Corwin. There are self-guided and guided tours amongst this rumored haunted house.

Just a short distance from the Witch House is the Salem Witch Museum. The museum gives an overview of the history of this infamous town. There are two main displays amongst the museum, the first narrates the events of the Salem witch trials, while the second dives into the word witch and the connotation behind the word the following years after.

Another huge attraction for this area is witch shops. These unique shops draw many tourists in, but beware as some shops are more genuine than others. They have everything from jewelry and art to crystal balls and tarot cards to purchase in the stores, many things you will not find anywhere else. One of these shops include Pentagram Witchcraft and Magick Shoppe whose owners claim to be witches and psychics.

To continue the house of the seven gables is a great history lesson and fulfills the thrill seekers with a little spook. It is said this house is possibly haunted as the inspiration of the book the House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. There are guided tours amongst the house and time to explore the grounds surrounding the house.

Something that is family friendly and nostalgic is the Hocus Pocus walking tour where the 1993 Disney Classic was filmed. There are paid tours available or you can wonder about the set yourself!

Lastly, if you are into the spookier side of Halloween time Salem offers nighttime tours of the towns spots that are said to be the most haunted. Here you will hear terrifying stories, tales of odd and creepy local happenings and more about the history of the town. They also offer these ghost tours during the day for those not as daring but still interested in the afterlife.

Chatham, MA

This town gives that same major Halloween spirit but without the major crowds like Salem, as it was named in the top 18 towns to visit for Hallowen along with Salem according to Trips to Discover. Many people forget this place but it still has a lot to offer for those who have a special love for the holiday of Halloween. One of their biggest events held is the Pumpkin People in the Park. It is a yearly tradition that goes on for a couple weeks where throughout the park and in recent years on the main street, there are all people made of pumpkins. It is a fun attraction for all ages and on the less scary side.

Another fun activity done here is Oktoberfest that is held in a park within the town where adults can enjoy beverages in the Devil’s Purse Beer Garden. There is also live music, lots of food and games, and much more to offer for the rest of the family!

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Like Salem, Sleepy Hollow is notorious for being haunted and having many attractions for those looking for a thrill. Following along with the trend of their fame for being haunted and having haunted spots within their town, cemetery tours are largely popular among visitors in Sleepy Hollow. There are all different kinds of tours for the day time and night time if you are up for it. There are ones focused on the history of the town, ones that dive into the murder and mystery of certain areas and ones that dive into the mysterious and intriguing parts of the town.

Lastly, Sleepy Hollow offers a haunted hayride that goes through the exact route of Ichabod Crane fleeing the Headless Horseman!

Princeton, NJ

Princeton is not the typical place you might think of to visit for Halloween. However, the season of fall in full swing, New Jersey is one the prettiest places to visit in the fall and even better for Halloween. More specifically, Princeton holds an annual hometown Halloween Parade. People dress in their best costumes for this tradition held by the Arts Council of Princeton. After the parade there is many activities like fun games, and food for the rest of the night! This event is free and open to all as well.

Erie, PA

Just by its name alone, Erie Pennsylvania is another great option as a place to spend and celebrate Halloween.

For those who truly love horror and scaring themselves, Eeriebyss Factory of Terror that is the former Griswold factory, is unrecognizable. It claims to have “over half a mile of terror, all under one roof.”  This attraction is not for the weak stomached as it is filled with lots of jump-scares and heart-stopping sights.

Ghost Lake at Conneaut Lake Park is another great attraction for Halloween lovers. With their 13 Levels of fear they have all kinds of attractions included in this event during the spooky season. These can include the Blood Moon Meat Market, Carnival of Rust, Rott’s Emporium, St. Lucien’s House of Evil, The Devil’s Playground, and many more. This is definitely a spot for the kids to be left at home and maybe even some adults!

Something family-friendly is the Port Farms Fall Festival that includes a corn maze, slides, a ball zone, hay rides, animals, and more at this amazing place!

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Museum-of-Pumpkin-Art-Tom-Nycz-for-Historic-Hudson-Valley Halloween cities

Photo courtesy of Tom Nycz for Historic Hudson Valley

The Great Jack O Lantern Blaze is the area’s largest Halloween celebration. This event has over 7,000 hand-carved, lit up pumpkins along Van Cortlandt Manor’s 18th-century buildings. This year they even have a pumpkin ferris wheel you do not want to miss! The Blaze has its own soundtrack that the pumpkins are synchronized with, like nothing you have ever seen before.

Laconia, NH

New Hampshire has one of the largest pumpkin festivals around! Down the streets of Laconia for two days, there will be all pumpkins and pumpkin spectators. There are so many different attractions here including The Runaway Pumpkin 5K/10K, pumpkin displays all around to look at, live music and even a pumpkin cornhole tournament! There is also a zombie walk and a costume parade for children to join in on the fun!

Wherever you chose to spend your Halloween, none of these options are the wrong one, and each have so many different attractions and reasons to visit their celebration of this special holiday!

By Alyssa Mastando

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