As a traveler, I've always been delighted by age-old traditions that take place here in…
One of the things I love about my job is getting all dressed up. With a few wardrobe and make-up adjustments, I have transformed into Rockette, geisha, clown, roller derby girl, trapeze artist, and pussy cat doll. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.
If you’re still planning your Halloween adventure, here are several great places to go on a haunted tour or just hang out for a long weekend:
Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze: Croton-on-Hudson, NY
This festival is well worth the journey; you might just find that your family will want to return to the “Blaze” every Halloween. It might not be the biggest Jack O’Lantern festival out there, but it’s got to be one of the most elaborate and creative. Open to the public for 25 nights, your kids will ooh and ahhh over the giant spider web, slithering snakes, sea serpent, and the popular collection of dinosaurs in its own Jurassic Park. Pumpkins are created by the pros at the new Museum of Pumpkin Art. Last year the event sold out, so get your tickets and treat your family to some unforgettable Halloween fun.
Bonaventure Cemetery: Savannah, GA
I really enjoy the tour of the Bonaventure Cemetery, the creepy and haunted cemetery featured in the novel and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” If you decide to spend the weekend in Savannah enjoying all the festivities there, and be sure to travel the extra 10-15 minutes to experience Bonaventure. You’ll hear the voices and the tales of Johnny Mercer, Harry Hervey, Little Gracie, Conrad Aiken, and the many others that haunt the cemetery. The tour guides will impress you with their spooky stories, details of the sculptures and the history of Bonaventure. You do need reservations, so book ahead of time and don’t miss this incredible tour!
Haunted Vegas Tours: Las Vegas, NV
I bet you never thought of Vegas being haunted, but according to paranormal “experts” there is a lot of unsettled business in the area. Experience the Sin City version of dark and creepy starting with a 30-minute show before boarding a bus for a spirited look back in time. On the Haunted Vegas Tour you’ll hear tales of celebrities such as Bugsy Siegel, Liberace, Redd Foxx, and Elvis Presley. The ghoulish tour is a late-night experience, starting off at the Royal Resort at 9:30 pm and finishing up around midnight. One of my favorite things about the tour is the ghost-hunting gadgets you receive (EMF meters, temperature guns, and dowsing rods), making the eerie experience very interactive.
Ghosts of Charleston Tour: Charleston, SC
History buffs will enjoy this 1/2-hour tour as it takes you through Charleston’s most historic (and haunted) areas, including the Unitarian Church graveyard, to which this tour has exclusive after-hours access. Sighting of local spirits have been reported, and reviewers have also commented to state how much history is shared throughout the experience. This tour departs every day at 7:30, and 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost approximately $25 for adults. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and children. Tour Charleston also offers several historical tours that highlight the city’s heritage.
Haunted Bars and More: Chicago, IL
First, catch a black Chicago Hauntings Ghost Bus for a tour of Chicago’s most visited haunted spots, including the setting for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and the house of horrors created by mass murderer H. H. Holmes that was featured in the book “The Devil in the White City.” The tour’s most common stops include murder sites, disasters, a serial killer’s body dump, gang sites, haunted houses, and abandoned graveyards. You’ll hear tales from the Great Chicago Fire and the Gangster Era of the 1920s and 30s. It’s a great way to tour the city and learn about Chicago’s dark past. After the tour, head over to Simon’s Tavern, a haunted bar that features a jilted lover ghost who hangs around the mural in the bar. And just for fun: If you spot the five hidden animals in the mural, you’ll get to drink free for the rest of the night!
Do you like haunted houses and exploring ghostly places? What is your favorite of all time?