I love Halloween, and I can say that it’s my favorite holiday. Traveling in October is also a great time for bargain travel deals, and that’s why I often go on a trip at Halloween. Yet, it hasn’t stopped me from celebrating the holiday with the vigor I would do at home. If you’ve been thinking of doing something unique for Halloween this year, but not sure what to do, then follow these seven tips to make the most out of All Hallows’ Eve whether at home or on vacation.
1. Stay at a haunted hotel
Thinking of staying in one this year to experience a ghostly encounter? Do some research, and you’ll discover that you’re spoiled for choice. The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, the Marshall House in Savannah, the Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio, and the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park are just examples of the string of accommodations in the US that are famous for the spectral residents who often make their presence known.
Although you can stay at a haunted hotel at any time during the year, booking a room for Halloween makes the holiday even more exciting. I once stayed at a historical hotel in San Diego and experienced several paranormal events in my room, but I wasn’t the only one. I also learned later that the hotel is well-known for such occurrences.
2. Enjoy a murder-mystery dinner
I went to one of these while looking for a theater/dinner combo evening and had a great time. As it was also close to Halloween, they also added a ghostly theme. These dinners are entertaining and interactive, with everyone working together to solve the murder. You, too, may find yourself named as a suspect for a character’s death and subject to an interrogation, or you might discover a fellow dinner guest at your table is in on the murder too.
3. Attend a theater production
Find out if a local theater group is going to put on a special performance for Halloween. I went to a production in which the actors pretended to be ghosts from accounts of real murders. It was creepy for sure to see actors take and touch members of the audience.
4. Go for a haunted drive or hike
While on vacation in Virginia one year, my son and I were recommended to take a drive along Highway 60 from Williamsburg to Richmond, an area that’s rich in US history and boasts plenty of accounts of paranormal activities. Combined with a day spent visiting historical plantations and hearing the tales of bloody Civil War battles that took place there, the drive on that pitch-black, foggy night turned out to be the scariest two hours of my life.
If you love to spend time in the great outdoors for your holiday, you’ll also find hiking trails in America that have led individuals to experience encounters with the dead. For example, the spirit of a woman, who jumped to her death from the Hollywood Sign in 1932, continues to haunt the trails in Griffith Park.
5. Tell good ghost stories
There’s nothing like a good ghost story that sends chills up your spine. If you can’t remember a story from those days of sitting around a campfire under a starry-night sky, you can easily search online to find one that will make your friends’ hairs stand on end. To ensure that you have your audience’s undivided attention, practice reading the stories out loud in advance. Having a few glasses of wine helps with creating a spooky effect—just sayin’.
6. Visit a local graveyard
Lets face it, graveyards are scary places at any time of the year. It’s not hard to imagine a bunch of unhappy or unsettled spirits just waiting to spook the bejesszus out of someone who dares to wander around a cemetery dotted with headstones. For an eerie, bone-chilling experience, there are plenty of cemeteries to choose from. Those that are renown for being haunted in the US include, among many others, Howard Street Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts, Stull Cemetery in Stull, Kansas, and Bachelor’s Grove in Chicago.
7. Go on a haunted city tour
You’re always guaranteed a good time on a haunted tour through a city. When I was in Denver I went on one that was for two hours and learned about the city’s darkest secrets. The scariest one I’ve ever been on, however, was in Lexington, Virginia. It affected me so much that I had trouble sleeping that night.
Whatever you do this Halloween, have a great and safe time. If you have additional tips for celebrating All Hallows’ Eve, feel free to leave a comment.