Warning: Not for the faint of heart or scaredy-cats! These Spooky Halloween destinations will have you screaming (with delight)
Halloween, one of the year’s most anticipated holidays, is celebrated worldwide with all types of decorations, costumes, and events. Whether you are a fan of haunted houses or ghost tours or love dressing up in creative costumes, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this holiday.
From the birthplace of the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, to the colorful streets of Mexico City, people from all corners celebrate Halloween in their unique and distinctive ways. This list will explore some of the best places to celebrate Halloween and why this holiday is truly fantastic.
Here is a list of Halloween places to visit:
- Salem, Massachusetts: Salem is the birthplace of the witch trials of 1692 and has become synonymous with a haunted Halloween. The town offers ghost tours, witchcraft museums, and costume parades.
- New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans has a long history of voodoo and magic, and it’s the perfect place to celebrate Halloween. The city offers haunted tours, Halloween-themed parties, and ghostly riverboat rides.
- Transylvania, Romania: Known as the home of Dracula, Transylvania offers spooky castle tours, Halloween parties, and even a Dracula-themed hotel.
- Sleepy Hollow, New York: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, made famous by Washington Irving’s short story, is celebrated in Sleepy Hollow with a month-long festival that includes a haunted hayride and a parade.
- Tokyo, Japan – Halloween has become increasingly popular in Tokyo over the past few years, with Shibuya Crossing becoming a spooky gathering spot for costumed revelers.
- Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh’s history is steeped in witchcraft and ghosts, making it the perfect place to celebrate. The city offers ghost tours, haunted underground vaults, and a festival.
- Mexico City, Mexico: In Mexico, the Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is celebrated in the days leading up to October 31st. The city offers colorful parades, street food, and traditional altars.
- New York City, New York: The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in NYC is one of the largest holiday parades in the world. It features giant puppets, live music, and endless creative costumes.
Did you know?
Halloween is the second-highest-grossing commercial holiday after Christmas? According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent approximately $10.1 billion on Halloween in 2020. This includes purchases of costumes, decorations, candy, and greeting cards.
This haunted holiday is a big business for retailers, with many stores dedicating entire sections for merchandise. It’s also a busy time for pumpkin farmers, who grow over 1 billion pounds yearly in the United States alone.
A little history:
Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”), which was celebrated on the night of October 31st. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, a time of year often associated with death.
The Celts believed that on the night of Samhain, the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead was blurred, and spirits could pass through to the mortal world.To ward off these spirits, the Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes made of animal skins and heads. They would also offer food and drink to the spirits, hoping to appease them and avoid any mischief or harm.
With the spread of Christianity, the festival of Samhain was eventually incorporated into the Christian calendar as All Saints’ Day, celebrated on November 1st. In the Middle Ages, the night before All Saints’ Day became known as All Hallows’ Eve, which later became shortened to Halloween. By the late 1800s, it had become a secular, community-based holiday, celebrated with parties, costumes, and games such as bobbing for apples and carving pumpkins.
The holiday is as popular today than ever, known for its spooky decorations, creative costumes, and fun-filled festivities.