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Halloween Travel Guide: Spooky Places to Visit in the U.S.

City Slicker

Halloween Travel Guide: Spooky Places to Visit in the U.S.


It's that spooktacular time of year when fear fever spreads and everyone is looking for a good fright! Whether you’re frantically navigating a field of horror or screaming your way through a haunted penitentiary, one thing is for certain – everyone has their own idea of scary. If you’re looking for the ultimate Halloween adventure to fill your fear-o-meter, read on to find a “Spooky Place to Visit” near you.



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Not every hotel embraces the ghost stories associated with it, but The Stanley goes above and beyond to host the ultimate haunted experience. Creepy accommodations include a stay in a haunted room, plus complimentary REDRUM spooky swag

(a nod to the fact that Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after spending the night here). For a separate fee, the hotel also offers guided tours, including a Night Ghost Tour of various basement rooms and other “haunted spaces” where paranormal things have been known to happen. For more on The Shining, see Oregon on this list.



If you’re looking for a haunted place to stay in Savannah over Halloween weekend, we’ve got just the place. The Marshall House is more than happy to immerse you in stories of its haunted past, perhaps in part because the property is certain its “ghosts are of the friendly variety.” Savannah in general has quite the reputation as a haunted city – among the essential stops here for fans of the paranormal are The Pirate’s House and Colonial Park Cemetery.



Weather-wise, New Orleans is quite pleasant in autumn and if you want to time your visit for a weekend of funky music, artwork and food (fried duck quesadillas with Tabasco, anyone?) then check out Voodoo Fest (or what the kids simply call Voodoo) at City Park in New Orleans from Oct. 27-29. If you’re able to make a week of it, get to town a few days earlier to catch the Krewe of Boo Halloween parade when it rolls through the French Quarter on Oct. 21.


While in town visit the Bourbon Orleans Hotel  to see if you glimpse any of the ghosts that reportedly reside there. Also plan a side trip to The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, which describes itself as “one of America’s most haunted homes.” You can explore Myrtles by a guided or self-guided tour.



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You can’t do a round-up of spooky destinations without including Salem (I mean you can, but it would be wrong), site of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, when 19 people were hanged for bewitchment. The city celebrates its history to an all-encompassing, all-ages degree, with spooky walking tours offered day and night, a re-enactment of one of the witch trials, historical sites such as Witch House and various museums, including the Salem Witch Museum and Salem Wax Museum.


Also worth a look is an unassuming brick house, the Joshua Ward House, a residence-turned hotel built on the site of a jail where prisoners suspected of being witches and warlocks were tortured and murdered. Stories of sightings of apparitions of the executed, as well as of the executioner, Sheriff George Corwin, are still told today.



On the southern slope of Mt. Hood stands one of the most beautifully-situated hotels you’re ever likely to see, Timberline Lodge. The lodge cannot claim a spooky history… unless of course you count the fact that exteriors of the hotel were used in the film version of the The Shining. Having heard this ahead of time I spent a rather restless night in my perfectly roomy, rustic and un-spooky room, but couldn’t shake that “Shining feeling” and peeled out of the hotel parking lot at dawn. For more on The Shining, see “Colorado” on this list.



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With its many tours and exhibits, Eastern State Penitentiary is popular year-round as an offbeat attraction and perhaps can be considered scary enough just by virtue of being an 11-acre abandoned prison. But the jail really ups its game during fall evenings with Terror Behind the Walls, a six-attraction spectacle within the prison walls. For the fearless Halloween-goers, you can opt to wear a glow-in –the-dark necklace, giving actors permission to haul you away to secret passageways, separating you from the group. If you decide the frightening experience is too much, simply pull your necklace off and drop it to the ground. This will notify actors not to approach you during the tour.



What is the scariest destination you’ve ever traveled to on Halloween? Share in the comments!




*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Paul Eisenberg and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.