If a spooky getaway is your favorite way to spend Halloween, here are some ideas for destinations that will provide plenty of thrills and chills.
Salem, Massachusetts, north of Boston, is a bewitching spot full of New England charm, including the brick-and-cobblestone lined Essex Street. It’s also the city where the Salem Witch Trials took place in 1692. You can get a glimpse into that infamous chapter in American history by touring the Jonathan Corwin House, home to the judge who investigated the claims of witchcraft.
The city really gets into the spirit of Halloween, with lots of events on Oct. 31 including ghost stories presented by the Salem Haunted Magic Show, a Witch’s Brew Tea and a fireworks finale.
The weekend before Halloween is a fun time for a Las Vegas trip, with the center of activity along the Fremont Street pedestrian mall. The 2019 Sin City Halloween 5K starts things off in the evening on Saturday, Oct. 26, followed by the annual Halloween Parade, a Hearse and Scary Car Show and to cap off the festivities, a Halloween Block Party.
Another scary option is the haunted house experience called Vegas Fright Nights. Billed as “not for the faint of heart,” it takes place weekends, as well as on Halloween.
The whole family can get into the Halloween spirit at the Salt River Fields Spooktacular Balloon Festival in Arizona. It takes place Oct. 25-26 in Scottsdale, a half-hour from Phoenix. More than 20 colorful hot air balloons will illuminate the evening sky. There’ll be tethered balloon rides, costume contests for kids and adults, music, a Spooky Trail, candy stations for trick or treating and a fireworks display. The Phoenix Zoo holds its Howl-O-Ween party the same weekend, with both merry and scary activities.
In Southern California, the West Hollywood Carnaval, held on the evening of Oct. 31, is dubbed the world’s biggest Halloween street party, with plenty of outrageous costumes and lots of live music at several stages set up along Santa Monica Boulevard.
For fans of “The Walking Dead,” the Long Beach Zombie Fest will take place Oct. 18-20. Activities include a scavenger hunt, makeup workshops and costume contests. Each evening kicks off with a zombie walk.
The Queen Mary, berthed in Long Beach, offers a Haunted Encounters tour that relates the ship’s ghostly legends.
To celebrate Halloween with a literary twist, head to Sleepy Hollow, in New York’s Hudson Valley. It’s the setting for Washington Irving’s 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which tells of Ichabod Crane and his encounter with the Headless Horseman.
This fall’s events include evening lantern tours of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, haunted hayrides and The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, with more than 10,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins on display. New this year is a musical retelling of the “Sleepy Hollow” story, which will be performed in October in Irvington, New York.