Skip to main content

Eerie escapes: 15 best places to visit for Halloween

One of the best places to visit for Halloween is a hauntingly beautiful church, its steeple piercing through the dense fog.

As spooky season hits, you might be wondering what the best places to visit for Halloween are. While the holiday is biggest in North America, this time of year is one in which many different places around the world also look to the afterlife, especially in the northern hemisphere.

From ancient cities which are literally built on bodies, to spots that run haunted houses, ghost tours, and have Halloween parties at this time of year, there are numerous great options for an eerie escape, each with its own unique take on celebrating the creepiest holiday of the year. 

Read on to see our take on the 15 best places to visit for Halloween!

10 of the spookiest Halloween traditions around the world

10 of the spookiest Halloween traditions around the world

Amy Bonifas
by Amy Bonifas Oct 29, 2019

Oaxaca, Mexico

Few places around the world have Halloween-esque traditions that are as famous as the intensely colourful Mexican Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. While this holiday is celebrated around the country, nowhere does it quite like Oaxaca, especially in the state capital of Oaxaca de Juárez. With street parties attended by locals and tourists alike, the city buzzes during the week leading up to the celebration, which officially takes place across November 1 and 2. 

The holiday is more about welcoming back the spirits of loved ones than being chased by ghouls, but the scary outfits and millions of candles that fill cemeteries give the city an eerie feel, which is nicely juxtaposed against the festive atmosphere. Plus, in a country known for its incredible food, Oaxaca is often seen as the best culinary city in the nation, so don’t be surprised to fall in love with every meal you have.

Savannah, Georgia

While a lot of U.S cities take Halloween celebrations seriously, few have embraced it quite like Savannah, Georgia. There are a number of Halloween parties going on throughout the late October period here, with everything from haunted pub crawls to some of the most impressive trick or treat routes in the country. 

The Savannah Moose Lodge’s Haunted Forest is a particular highlight, although Savannah is considered one of the most haunted places in the U.S in general (just ask guests at Marshall House, used as a makeshift hospital for seriously deadly events like Yellow Fever outbreaks and wars), so you’re sure to get a scare anywhere you go – just more reasons why this is one of the best places to visit for Halloween.

5 Spooky Places to Visit Around the World

5 Spooky Places to Visit Around the World

by Vy Spear Oct 26, 2015

Salem, Massachusetts

Possibly the creep capital of the United States, Salem is most famous for the Salem witch trials that once blighted this seemingly quaint town. Over the course of a year, paranoia and score settling between enemies led to multiple state-sanctioned deaths, with over two hundred people (mostly women) accused of witchcraft, and dozens killed. 

The Salem Witch Museum gives an intriguing and important account of this gruesome history and should be a part of any trip here during the spooky season. Outside of that, Salem really embraces its witchy reputation during this time of year with special events like seances and potion-making classes, making it one of the best places to visit for Halloween.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh’s latest tram project was delayed because the people working on it kept finding ancient corpses every time they dug into the street to lay down infrastructure, which says everything you need to know about how creepy the Scottish capital can be. 

The city is known for its abundance of graveyards, and on Halloween (or Samhain, as it was called in ancient Celtic times) locals and visitors alike gather in them to have a few drinks and wander through the mist. The city also offers plenty of haunted tours, with the best ones taking you through famous graveyards and the famous Edinburgh vaults. The haunted bus tour is also a perfect blend of scary and informative.

Palermo, Italy

The violent history of the mob is intrinsically tied to the Sicilian capital of Palermo, but that bloody past isn’t the only thing that makes this one of the best places to visit for Halloween. The Catacombe dei Cappuccini, or Palermo Catacombs, are known as “the place where the living meet the dead.” This name exists for a good reason, with lots of creepy remains stacked up throughout these gloomy tunnels which run under the city. Although it’s definitely not a place for the faint-hearted, at least you know that you can reward yourself with some of the best food in the world after your tour of these famous tombs.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known as one of the best party towns in the United States, and if you choose to celebrate Halloween here you’ll see that designation is one hundred percent true. Add in the fact that the city has a pretty spooky past thanks to numerous deadly disease outbreaks and its famous links to supernatural practices like voodoo, and you have the perfect destination for this time of year. The Halloween parade is one of the biggest and best in the country, too, so make sure you catch at least some of it as it winds through the famous French Quarter.

Transylvania, Romania

Though Bram Stoker had never actually visited Transylvania when he decided to make it the home of his infamous character Dracula, he was right to think it was a spooky place with plenty of ghoulish folklore. 

There are Halloween parties across the region, with many taking place in ancient castles with plenty of creep factor. Even beyond its gothic architecture and association with Dracula, Transylvania remains one of the best places to visit for Halloween.

Knott’s Berry Farm, California

This famous amusement park lets out its sinister side during their annual Halloween festival. Every October, this SoCal institution transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm, with thousands making the trip to see haunted mazes, spooky shows, and lots of creepy characters lurking in the shadows, ready to give you the fright of your life. If you want to get the adrenaline pumping, then there are few better places to head for Halloween.

15 epic foreign horror movies to get you in the Halloween mood

15 epic foreign horror movies to get you in the Halloween mood

by Chantal Ford Oct 04, 2019

Sleepy Hollow, New York

The tale of the Headless Horseman is one of the most well known scary stories in the world. The fable, penned by Washington Irving, is set in this idyllic seeming New York town, and locals have embraced their famous fake son and all the horror that entails. 

It doesn’t all have to be violent ghosts if you visit for Halloween, though, with haunted hay rides, old mansions to explore at night, and all kinds of great, themed entertainment put on by local authorities during this time of year. No matter what you’re looking for in a Halloween trip, you’re sure to find it here, which is why it’s one of the best places to visit for Halloween.

Anoka, Minnesota

The story goes that Anoka was the first place in the world to put on a Halloween celebration, in the hope of stopping its youth population from pulling pranks. The city leans heavily into this past, and caters for every kind of spooky season tourist. For the younger folks there’s giant pumpkins, candy corn galore, and a famous Halloween parade. More mature Halloween lovers can enjoy costume parties and attractions like haunted houses. There’s even a “ghost run,” with people in costume or makeup racing around the city, usually for a good cause.

9 Scary AF Walks You Can Do Around The World… If You Dare

9 Scary AF Walks You Can Do Around The World… If You Dare

by Danielle Kirk Aug 03, 2017

London, England

The English capital city might not have organised Halloween parades or similar, but it’s still packed to the brim with celebrations and events during the month of October. Even without those goings-on, it can be a truly eerie space thanks to its centuries of history, which includes battles, mass graves, and lots of political murders. Pretty much all royal residences have lots of haunting stories around them, but the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace are two of the most creepy, with lots of modern visitors claiming to feel and even see ghostly presences while visiting.

Williamsburg, Virginia

The historic city of Williamsburg is one of the oldest in the United States and has seen its fair share of bloodshed, something that’s impossible to miss during the widespread Halloween celebrations here. With lots of all-age events held throughout October, even the little ones can have a great Halloween, but don’t be put off by that tame part of the city’s celebrations. There’s a number of attractions here that will chill you to the bone, including a visit to Fort Magruder haunted hotel, known for its eerie goings-on.

Paris, France

French people aren’t quite as big on Halloween as most English-speaking countries, but the capital Paris is full of spooky spots and haunted locations, most notably the extensive system of catacombs that zigzag under the city. Tours of these skeleton-filled tunnels can freak out even the most rational-minded visitor, and when you add in the massive cemeteries that dot the city, you have plenty of places to visit to catch a fright. If you’re here during the Halloween period you’ll also get to see the French celebrate All-Saints day, a solemn remembrance of the dead.

St Helens, Oregon

St Helens, just a short drive from Portland, is undoubtedly the spooky capital of the state, which is why it’s one of the best places to visit for Halloween in the entire country. The reputation has always been there, but after Disney filmed most of Halloweentown in St Helens, locals really embraced the associations. From mid-September the small city is transformed into one big Halloween attraction, with a parade, numerous shows, and haunted houses and train rides to enjoy.

Prague, Czech Republic 

Prague is without a doubt one of the best places to visit for Halloween thanks to the famously historic and haunted buildings in its ancient Old Town. The city has several themed events running throughout October, including storytelling festivals and pumpkin carving workshops, but if you really want to get into the spirit you need to make the short drive to Sedlec Ossuary. This church is decorated with the bones of somewhere between 40-70,000 people, so if you’ve got a skeleton phobia, you might want to stay away. 

Up next

Stop dreaming and make sh*t happen!