It’s that time of year again where I talk about the Best Halloween Travel Destinations to get in the spirit of the month of October!
Honestly, it’s a tossup for me between April (when the weather is still quite cold AND it’s my birthday month) and October (because Halloween and the cold weather, obviously), but this post is going to focus on October because, well, obviously.
It’s also the time when I get to round up all my favorite spooky ghost and haunting related posts for you lovely people to binge! Because I am THAT type of traveler, there are always at least one or two additional new posts because I always end up traveling somewhere where I do another ghost tour. This year it was Salem.
Nick told me recently, while watching Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix (watch it if you haven’t yet!), that he doesn’t believe in ghosts. But, he added, please keep making him go on ghost tours when we travel because he loves those – even the cheesy one we did in Beacon last October. (Come to think of it, I never wrote about that one either!)
Noted! Will do.
I mean, I’d even do these by myself if he didn’t want to. In fact, I’m doing a few free virtual ghost tours this week through Boroughs of the Dead and I’m super excited about it! I’m also going to do the virtual ghost tour of Tarrytown Music Hall this month too. This one is $10 but it’s a small price to pay to learn about the ghosts of this building that dates back to 1865 and support an independent institution!
I digress. Here are my past spooky-related posts:
When I think of the best Halloween travel destinations, after New York, New Orleans is always number 2.
I did two spooky things while I was visiting New Orleans in 2015. The first was a ghost tour that was basically a bar crawl with ghost stories. It had a lot of good historical elements in addition to the ghostly ones. If you take this tour, I’d advise that you don’t drink as much as we did! You’ll remember more.
The second excursion I went on in New Orleans I did on my own: visiting the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Whenever I visit New Orleans again, I’m going to take an official guided tour around this cemetery. I had one focus on this visit and that was Marie Leveau’s grave, which I found thanks to Google. I visited the cemetery during the day so nothing spooky happened, unfortunately!
New York City:
I was one on a date with a guy back in 2017 and after we had dinner at a Mediterranean place in the East Village, I pulled out a spreadsheet that I’d made earlier in the day after listening to a bunch of Bowery Boys podcast episodes (about ghosts of New York, obviously) and asked if he would want to come with me as I tracked down all the haunted locations in the village. He said sure and off we went.
He later told me it was one of the most interesting dates he ever had. I mean, I wonder how often men are led around the village and explained by their dates, “So and so was killed here and now this ghost haunts this house.”
We’re just friends now but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had many other dates with women who have said, “Can we go see these places where people died?” since.
One of the places that we attempted to see is this well that’s located in the basement of an upscale clothing shop in SoHo. The store was closed by the time we finished dinner, but I went back another time on my own. I ventured down into the basement and lo and behold, there was a 200 year old well in which the body of a dead woman was found named Gulielma Elmore Sands.
Whenever I travel to a new city in the US and take a ghost tour, they usually always claim that their city is the most haunted in the entire country and things were no different in Denver. I ventured by myself on what was actually another ghost tour / bar crawl again. I should’ve known, as the tour was the “Nightly Spirits” ghost tour. Spirits? Get it?
Alas, it was pretty creepy and walking home by myself at the end of the night was only a little spooky. Denver is an old AF city so there are definitely some good ghost stories to listen to there.
Best Halloween Travel Destination, International Edition:
In Krakow, Poland, one of the free walking tours they offer is a ‘macabre’ walking tour. It starts after nightfall at 8:30pm and is led by a historian dressed all in black. There were some ghost stories on that tour but a lot of the stories were actual human-on-human murder AND vampires! Vampire lore is apparently big in Poland.
Once again, the tour only made it a LITTLE creepy to walk back to my hostel on the edge of the Old Town by myself after. I got what I “paid” for.
Back when I was studying abroad in London in 2007, one of the first things they did to orient us (and scare us) to our new home was take us on what is known as the “best” Jack the Ripper Walking Tour in London. I have limited photos and I tried my best to use Lightroom to make them slightly better, but it is what it is. I wrote a quick history of the anonymous murderer and some photos.
I was so excited to finally visit Salem this summer!
You could say this is the most recent ghost tour that I made Nick go on. I mean, how could you visit Witch City USA and NOT go on a ghost tour?! That just seems nonsensical.
I knew this would be enjoyable for both Nick and myself because I love ghosts but this was also a tour that covered a lot of the history of Salem, too. With Nick being a history teacher, that was right up his alley. In fact, the tour was also led by a history teacher! The tour was a good two and a half hours long and we learned the layout of the city as well a ton of the history plus where all the good haunted locations were!
Lastly, I put up a post a few weeks back on where you can find all of the filming locations from the iconic movie Hocus Pocus, that, in addition to the TV show Bewitched in the 60’s, made Salem a destination to visit again (at least for a new generation).
There’s only a handful and they’re all pretty close together (save for two of them) so you can easily find them once you have your bearings in the downtown area. And don’t worry, every walking tour will definitely take you to at least Allison’s house and the Old Town Hall!
That’s it For the Best Halloween Travel Destinations.
I hope this post gave you all the help you need to go out into these cities and get your scary on. October really is the best month because of Halloween and the weather and it just feels like an amazing transitional month.
In what other month are you told that it’s OK to get dressed up in a funky costume and ask strangers for free candy? (Not this year, for obvious reasons, but usually.)
But don’t forget: If you go out into the real world in search of ghosts, wear a mask. Always wear a mask.