The 10 Best Halloween Towns in the US

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Scary skull costume in New Orleans
©Shawn Fink
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Terror on Tillson Street
©Tom Ford/Terror on
Romeo, Michigan

Terror on Tillson Street draws legions of the undead—trick or treaters—and others to this magnificent display put on by one street in Romeo, Michigan, each year. Decorating is not a requirement to live there, but who wants to be "that guy?"

3 / 11
Salem Witch House
©Viaggio Routard/Flickr, Creative Commons
Salem, Massachusetts

The home of the legendary Salem Witch Trials celebrates Halloween with a monthlong festival of events. Take a Witch Walk with true Salem witches or embark on historical walking or graveyard tours. Walk through Frankenstein's Castle or the Witch House—the former home of Witchcraft Trials judge Jonathan Corwin.

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Pumpkins on a railing at Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
©Jennifer Mitchell
New York City

New York offers plenty of options for fright night or any night through October. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is an electrifying meander through the grounds of an 18th-century manor set to spooky music. Philipsburg Manor retells "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" as guests wander through a haunted trail.

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Skull float in New Orleans
©Richard Nowitz/NOCVB
New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans loves a good party, and Halloween is second only to Mardi Gras in The Big Easy. Partygoers in elaborate costumes celebrate at the street party on Frenchmen Street. The Krewe of Boo parades 3D Halloween characters through the French Quarter while a more family-friendly option is Boo at the Zoo.

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Float in the Halloween Parade, Oakland, Maryland
Courtesy Oakland City Hall
Oakland, Maryland

This quaint town celebrates all things fall with an Oktoberfest Celebration, followed by the Autumn Glory Festival and a corn maze. But Halloween takes a delightfully spookier turn with a haunted hayride through Broadford Park. For real spook lovers, the nearby B&O Railroad station is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Civil War soldiers.

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Ghouls at Dark Harbor
Courtesy The Queen Mary
Long Beach, California

Most of the year the Queen Mary is a step into the past, offering the authentic experience of a one-time world-class ocean liner. But at Halloween, it takes a more sinister journey into the Dark Harbor. Ghouls, monsters and other creepy surprises await through seven shipboard mazes. It's the scariest thing going in Long Beach, but for more Halloween fun, enjoy the Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade

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The Stanley Hotel
©John Reese/Flickr, Creative Commons
Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park doesn't need help being spooky. Its Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining" and is considered one of the top 10 haunted hotels in the United States. The hotel plays host to The Shining Ball and a masquerade party in October. Family- friendly activities take place in town, where little ghouls, goblins and pets trick or treat at the shops.

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Headstones in Anoka, Minnesota
©Brett Whaley/Flickr, Creative Commons
Anoka, Minnesota

This Midwestern town calls itself the Halloween Capital of the World. The days leading up to Halloween are full of activities including murder mysteries, pumpkin carving contests and haunted houses. 

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Spanish moss in Savannah
©Neal Wellons/Flickr, Creative Commons
Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is creepy in its own right as one of the most haunted cities in America and draped in Spanish moss. It boasts ghost tours in hearses that pass buildings reported to be haunted every day of the year. At Halloween, though, visitors can also join a jaunt through Poppell Farms Corn Maze and Haunted Forest, or partake in Crawl-O-Ween through the best bars on River Street. 

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Skull with cigar
©Troy/Flickr, Creative Commons
Austin, Texas

Austin celebrates the spooky holiday with ghost tours, a Halloween parade and a game of Disappearance; loved ones turn up missing and participants go on a quest to find them. The city's proximity to Mexico means the city also celebrates Dia de los Muertos

By Lisa Kaylor on 10/12/2017

For many, fall means Halloween fun. It's a time when cities and towns put on their creepiest show. Some are lighthearted and family-friendly, some play up their eerie pasts and others are ghoulishly terrifying. These 10 towns are among our favorite places in the country to celebrate the spooky holiday.