Posts tagged: Halloween

Unique Places to Celebrate Halloween This Year

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By , October 22, 2014 8:33 am

It’s that time of year again…when goblins and ghouls run amok and party-goers scramble to throw together last-minute costumes and find a place to show them off!  Halloween celebrations vary from city to city and from town to town, so this is a great time of year to take a trip and see how other communities kick off the spooky holiday. If you’re looking for something a little scarier and more unique than trick-or-treaters and pumpkin carving this year, check out one of these awesome towns to celebrate Halloween.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is known for its historic witch trials, where dozens of people were put to death for allegedly being witches. The city offers tours of haunted places, infamous spots, witches circles, and hanging reenactments during the whole month of October. Don’t miss the Witch House Museum, which was once the house of a Salem trial witch judge.

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick via Flickr

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick via Flickr

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans has been called “the most haunted city in America,” and those spooky sensations only get more heightened around this time of year. There are a collection of voodoo shops around town and ghost tours are offered on a daily basis.

Estes Park, Colorado

Remember the book/movie, “The Shining?” The place that inspired Stephen King to write this horrifying tale is located right here in Estes Park. The movie plays on a channel on repeat in all of the Stanley Hotel guest rooms, and you can sip a cocktail in the haunted billiards room or music room. Aside from the haunted happenings, the hotel has amazingly beautiful views of the Colorado Rockies and there are lots of skiing and snowboarding options nearby.

Sleepy Hollow, New York

New York City’s Greenwich Village is always a hot spot for Halloween celebrators, but if you’re looking for something a little darker and spookier, head to Sleepy Hollow, New York.  The Old Dutch Burying Ground is one of the oldest cemeteries in America and the place Washington Irving is buried. Irving wrote “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and you can book a tour of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to try to get a glimpse of the iconic headless horseman.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is another city that has taken claim to being the most haunted city in America. This is a quaint and historic town that hauls curious visitors around on ghost tours in a hearse. On these tours, you’ll learn about quite a few haunted happenings around town and look at the picturesque city a little differently the next day.

Photo credit: George F via Flickr

Tombstone, Arizona

If the town’s name doesn’t entice you on its own, you’ll be pleased to know that you can visit spooky graveyards as part of one of the country’s best ghost tours. You’ll learn about historic and devastating shootouts and visit the graves of the victims, which may or may not be haunted.

Princeton, New Jersey

Skeptical about all this Halloween hoopla? Then Princeton, New Jersey is your best bet for Halloween this year. The Princeton Tour Company takes skeptics and believers out to historically haunted neighborhoods, cemeteries, and even an old battlefield for ghost hunts equipped with electromagnetic field meters, thermal meters, and dowsing rods.

But no matter where you decide to celebrate this year, have a safe and fun Halloween from all of us at FunSherpa!

Get Spooked at America’s Scariest Haunted Houses

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By , October 16, 2013 1:47 pm

With Halloween just days away, one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is by visiting a haunted house. As you’ve probably noticed over the years, not all haunted houses are created equal. Some haunted houses are quaint low-budget attractions put on by local youth groups, while others employ professional actors who specialize in creating nightmares that haunt us for weeks to come.

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Let’s explore the latter of these these two entertainment experiences, as we learn a little more about America’s scariest haunted houses.

Netherworld – near Atlanta, Georgia

Since 1997, Netherworld has thrilled and terrified visitors inside a cutting-edge, multi-attraction venue. Netherworld’s movie-quality special effects and unique themes have earned the haunted house national attention from CNN and the Wall Street Journal. This year’s themes include “The Dead Ones”, featuring twisted skeletal aberrations, and “Boogeyman,” featuring the legendary creature from childhood story tales.

House of Torment – Austin, Texas

House of Torment is Austin’s multi-level 20,000 square foot haunted house, and it’s been named “one of America’s scariest attractions” by The Travel Channel. The haunted house is located at the Highland Mall and is well-known for its horrifying scenarios and towering animatronic monsters. This year’s themes revolve around the “Blackthorne District,” an abandoned insane asylum, and “Ancients Emerge,” a realm of nightmarish tombs. A third theme, “Slaughterhouse: The Harvest,” was added to expose visitors to the aftermath of contagious serum weapon testing.

Haunted Hotel – San Diego, California 

San Diego’s Haunted Hotel is part haunted house and part theatrical experience. Located downtown in the Gaslamp District, this is the longest running haunted attraction in San Diego and has been featured on The Travel Channel. Once you step into the hotel, you’ll be faced with a “Walking Dead” dungeon, a posse of killer clowns on a subway car, and become trapped in a horrifying cellar. The special effects in this haunted house are so real that you’ll be startled by the tiniest sounds for days.

Gates of Hell – Las Vegas, Nevada

The Gates of Hell prides itself on being the only R-rated haunted house in the state of Nevada. If you’d like to be the subject of a sadistic experiment in sensory overload, then this is the haunted house for you. Ranked #1 in the Western U.S., Gates of Hell wants to get your heart pounding, make you claustrophobic, and make you face the reality of your own violent death in the underworld.

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Haunted houses have been popular for decades, but as you can see, the business of horror is still thriving. Regardless of which part of the country you’re celebrating Halloween in this year, chances are, there’s a haunted house nearby. In case you’ve forgotten since last year, we’ll leave you with a few tips for going through a haunted house and safely making it through to the other side.

Haunted House Tips 

  • Don’t bother acting tough – the whole point is to be scared
  • Listen to the rules and follow them – there’s no fun in getting kicked out
  • Don’t try to scare the actors back – that’s their job
  • Don’t touch the props – set designers put a lot of hard work into these
  • Only go through once – the elements of surprise diminish when you know what’s coming
  • Don’t take photos or videos – this makes the experience less authentic for everyone

*Photo credit: felixorwari via DeviantART; Shane Gorski via Flickr 

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