These are the best places in the U.S. for a spooky Halloween vacation

These vacation hotspots are scary good

Why Do We Carve, Pumpkins for Halloween?.Modern Halloween is derived fromthe Irish festival, “Samhain,’ which marksthe passage from summer into winter. .During the traditional bonfires of the festival, it was believed that evil spirits lurked in the surrounding shadows. .To ward off these evil spirits, rudimentaryfaces were carved into hollowed-out turnipsand placed in windows and alongside roads. .They also used the turniplanterns to light the way fortravelers and good spirits. .This Irish tradition was latercarried over to America byimmigrants in the mid-1800s.Pumpkins quickly became the staple for carving, as they wereabundantly available and theeasiest fruit to work with. .From there, pumpkins grew intoa multi-million dollar industry, withJohn Howden developing the idealcarving pumpkin in the 1960s. .The Howden pumpkin is the most popular Halloween pumpkin, as its thin flesh and shallow ribs make it perfect for carving.

While summer vacations are all the rage, and Christmas getaways are a common tradition, a Halloween vacation can be just as exhilarating. With a scattering of ghost story-filled towns with supernatural myths galore, the U.S. is full of spooky places worth visiting for that next vacation.

This October, consider checking out one of these hotspots for a frightfully good time.

Salem, Massachusetts

When it comes to American tourist hotspots with a dark past, it doesn’t get much darker than Witch City. Home to the infamous Salem witch trials, Salem, Massachusetts, has a number of attractions that are sure to grab the attention of any Halloween lover.

The Salem Witch Museum, Salem With Dungeon and Salem Pioneer Village are just a few of the town’s tourism hotspots, according to USA Today. The town is also home to the world’s largest Halloween celebration, featuring parades, parties, ghost tours and more.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana may be most famous to tourists for its Mardi Gras celebrations, but the spooky season of October is a great time to take a trip to the Big Easy. The city is full of parades, parties and wonderful decorations during each year’s Halloween celebrations, according to Travel and Leisure.

The French Quarter also hosts a number of frightening ghost tours for those looking for a little scare.

Sleepy Hollow, New York

The setting of Washington Irving’s classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Sleepy Hollow, New York, is full of charm and spookiness in equal parts. According to, the town’s main attractions are the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, Philipsburg Manor and the famous Sleepy Hollow itself.

Tourists can visit the graves of Andrew Carnegie, William Rockefeller and Washington Irving within the hollow’s cemetery, as well as enjoy the nearby paths that lead through eerie wooded areas and open fields.

Dallas, Texas

Just outside of Dallas, Texas, there is a Halloween-themed amusement park worth a visit. Screams Halloween Theme Park features five haunted attractions, paintball, karaoke and much more. According to, the attractions include Zombie Wasteland… Apocalypse, Cursed… The Witches of TerraMythica Castle, Klownz in 3-D, Hotel D’Feers, and Time’s Up… Maze.

For those looking to fill their vacation itineraries with fun activities, rather than beautiful sites, this theme park has much to offer.