As the calendar flipped from September to October you could almost hear the sounds of creaking doors and sinister laughter in the distance as Halloween season is now upon us!
With the release of Michael Jackson’s new album Scream being released for Halloween.
That’s your spooky playlist sorted, now all you need to decide is where to spend your favourite haunted holiday.
Even though the festival of All Hallows Eve was originally a Celtic harvest festival, it has now evolved into a mainstay of American culture.
Therefore, for a truly spine-tingling evening, there is no better choice than spending Halloween in the United States of America.
New Orleans (Louisiana)
New Orleans, famous for it’s voodoo and as the main location in the Anne Rice, Vampire Chronicles books, is an perfect choice to spend Halloween.
The city of New Orleans is jam packed with haunted houses and cemeteries, for you to book tours around, including the oldest and most famous, St Louis Cemetery
No. 1, where you can find the final resting place of Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen.
For the Anne Rice fans, you can visit the vampire Lestat’s fictional grave in the Lafayette Cemetery, explore some of the fascinating tombs before visiting the Vampire Ball that is part of the Halloween festival Endless Night that runs from 28 to 29 October.
There is also a Voodoo Festival taking place over Halloween weekend, so there is plenty to get your fangs into in New Orleans.
The theme parks in Orlando are notorious for their elaborate holiday celebrations, and Halloween is no different.
The festivities kicked off in Disney’s Magic Kingdom way back in August! So early, that I think that might be pushing it, even for the most diehard Halloween fan.
The Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a family-friendly extravaganza, complete with Boo-to-You Halloween parade, an un-dead barbershop quartet, a Scream-o-Ween dance party and a Happy HalloWishes fireworks display.
Laconia (New Hampshire)
It isn’t Halloween unless you have a carved pumpkin or Jack-o’-lantern on display in your home. Preferably, having as many as possible without causing a serious fire hazard.
Take a visit to Laconia, the home of the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival.
On 13 October the festival will take place, jam-packed with events, like the pumpkin parade, carving demonstrations, a pumpkin walk/run, a pumpkin express, PumpCANALly and the infamous pumpkin tower.
The festival holds the current world record for the most lit Jack-o’-lanterns on display, at an astounding 30,581.
The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival will definitely put a jagged smile on many an orange face.
The town of Salem may seem like an obvious choice, which is exactly why you should visit it this Halloween.
Salem does Halloween. Notorious for the witch trials back in 1962, Salem is definitely the place to go for any weird and witchy goings-on.
The entire month of October becomes a celebration of haunted happenings, from the Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, watch Ghostbusted — a show running at the Haunted Dinner Theatre, or performances at the House of the Seven Gables, visit the Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball and a huge party on Halloween night.
There are also many haunted houses, including the famous Corwin House for you to explore.
Sleepy Hollow (New York)
The village of Sleepy Hollow in New York State is famous for its role in the Washington Irving short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
The village, formerly known as North Tarrytown was reinstated as Sleepy Hollow in 1997.
The festivities in the village include a fright inducing evening with the Headless Horseman in the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor, visits to the graves of Washington Irving, William Rockefeller and Elizabeth Arden.
In nearby Croton-on-Hudson you’ll find another manor, in the Van Cortlandt Manor, you can appreciate an amazing display of 7,000 illuminated, hand-carved pumpkins.
Let’s just hope you bump into Christopher Walken, with those stubby teeth… You’d never get over those nightmares.
New York City (New York)
The Big Apple is known for making everything bigger and better, and that is the same for Halloween too.
The Village Halloween Parade takes place on the 31 October and is open to all. Don your best costume and join in the fun.
Marching along Sixth Avenue down to 16th Street. The parade starts at 7pm but it’s best to arrive early to grab a spot if you want to watch the hundreds of giant puppets, bands, artists and dancers.
Anoka is known as the Halloween Capital of the World. So what better place to enjoy the festivities than here?
Anoka was the first city in America to host a Halloween parade in 1920. It was in an effort to keep the children in the area occupied and not up to tricks and mischief during Halloween.
The Halloween season in Anoka starts with a traditional football game, known as the Pumpkin Bowl. Other events in the city include pet costume contests, a bonfire, pumpkin carving contests, a Spooktacular Carnival and several parades, including the main Grand Day Parade on 29 October.
Chicago, and the areas surrounding it go crazy for corn mazes around the Halloween period. Perfect for those fans of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.
Some corn mazes open as early as September.
The worlds biggest corn maze, in Richardson Adventure Farm, is a whopping 33 acres and will leave you trying to escape for hours. But if rows of corn don’t chill you to the bone there is always the Heap’s Haunted Corn Maze.
Here, ghosts, ghouls and other scary creatures fill this night time maze.
Visit the haunted Congress Plaza Hotel for their Haunted Halloween Ball on 28 October. On Halloween night itself, you can join the infamous Northalsted Halloween Parade.
Seattle is offering horror movie fans a chance to completely terrify themselves for an extended period of time.
Because, why not? The 31 Days of Horror film festival is exactly what it says in the title – 31 days of horror in the EMP Museum.
The Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film exhibition has some of the most iconic props from horror movies including the axe from The Shining and the interrogation chair from Hostel. Why not go all out and visit the Fashionably Undead Prom with it’s Under the Sea’ theme.
For those who prefer to see some real sea creatures, explore Seattle Aquarium, the weekend before Halloween they are offering events such as Underwater Pumpkin Carving and Ominous Octopus Feeding.
The ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ at the Hollywood Universal Studios is most definitely for kids. Horror film-maker, Eli Roth has created a new Halloween attraction called the Terror Tram. Here, visitors will meet Hollywood Harry, a murderous clown.
There are also scare zones of famous horror productions, like Saw, The Shining and American Horror Story.