Who doesn’t love Halloween? It’s a fun time for both kids and adults to enjoy. From Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and Costume Contests to terrifying Haunted Houses and gobs of candy, those who enjoy Halloween are as diverse a group as anyone can imagine. And, despite what kids think, it’s not all about Trick-or-Treating. No, there are so many wild Halloween Events across the nation that cater to every possible Halloween desire. You can find everything from the tame to the unspeakably terrifying. Following is a list of the nation’s Best Halloween Events in the US!
Mostly, I love Halloween because it’s the birthday of our youngest child, Coby!
But I also love Halloween because I have an insatiable sweet tooth and now that I’m too old to go trick-or-treating, I have a plethora of kids who are either well within the acceptable age or who at least look as though they are.
So, until recently, I was content to simply trick-or-treat. But literally, after 43 years of doing the exact same thing on Oct 31, I’m feeling the need to mix things up. And, as a full time traveler, I’m blessed to have friends across the country to whom I turned for their advice and expertise on the Best Halloween Events in the US.
Without further ado, feast your eyes on these epic and the utterly Best Halloween Events in the US …
1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa – Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Dubbed as America’s most haunted hotel, the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa is located on 15 acres in Eureka Springs, AR has quite the spooky history. Eureka Springs has been featured on shows like Haunted Road Trips, The Today Show, Ghost Hunters, and My Ghost Story because of the supposed paranormal activity.
With Haunted Shows, Ghost Tours, a Zombie Parade and so much more in the city, there is something for everyone.
The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa itself offers it’s own set of Haunted Shows, Ghost Tours, Ghost Stories, even a special Halloween Seance and more. With such a wide array of fun for the whole family, the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa finds itself in our list of the Best Halloween Events in the US!
13 Stories Haunted House – Atlanta, GA
So, there’s a rumour that there is a haunted house in Atlanta that is so scary, so terrifying, so unspeakable, that you need to sign a waiver in order to enter. Right there, count me out. I don’t want to be touched, and the waiver specifically states that during the Sacrifice Haunt, within the 13 Stories Haunted House, you may be “pushed, pulled, shocked, wet, yelled at and worse!” My older kids are totally down for this time of nonsense, but I am not.
However, on a lesser scale of terrifying is the original 13 Stories Haunted House. Terrifying, yes, physically and mentally tormenting, no. There are no age limits, but I think it is reasonable to take your child into consideration as it is described as “intense”.
And, know that 13 Stories Haunted House was voted as the Best Extreme Haunted House Attraction in the US, which obviously is why it made my Best Halloween Events in the US list! 🙂
Paxton Manor – Leesburg, VA
My brother, the real Sean McGrath, claims this scare ground is “scary as heck”. And having grown up in the DC area I found myself in awe that I had never been, but again, I’ll reiterate the notion of my insatiable sweet tooth …
Paxton Manor has the distinction of being Northern Virginia’s only real Haunted House and is known as the destination for Halloween entertainment in Leesburg, Virginia as well as the entire DC area.
Although Paxton Manor is famous for it’s Halloween attractions, it is also well documented for it’s paranormal activity. Leesburg, VA. From Algonquin Indians practicing shamantic rituals to the ghosts of dead soldiers from the Battle of Ball’s Bluff during the Civil War, it is quite the ideal spot for a Haunted House and it definitely earns it’s distinction as one of the Best Halloween Events in the US.
Paxton Manor’s two haunted attractions are not for the faint of heart, as the organizers have rated this annual event as “PG-13 Scary Fun”.
The Ohio State Reformatory, Columbus, OH
It is no secret to those who know me that I am absolutely fascinated by prison culture. Not fascinated in a “wish I could be there” way, but more of a psychological way. So, when Dan’s amazing cousin, Dinah, whose husband happens to be a DOC officer, sent me this I was adamant it would make my list for the Best Halloween Events in the US!
The Ohio State Reformatory is open year round and it offers many tours, shows, even programs. There are Educational Visits, a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, paranormal programs and more.
After browsing the various tours, I was intrigued to see the “Inmate Tour”. This tour is given by Michael Humphrey, who spent 14 months behind bars at the Ohio State Reformatory! He leads you through a normal day for an inmate and relays stories that will stick with him the rest of his life…definitely worth visiting for this alone!
But, at Halloween time, there is “Escape From Blood Prison”, the Ohio State Reformatory’s crack at a haunted experience – 13 years and older and be prepared to prove your child’s age.
I can’t speak to the value as a Best Halloween Event, but the year round events are absolutely worth awesome and are why the Ohio State Reformatory made this short list!
The Furnace Tour – Birmingham, AL
Featured on Ghost Hunters, USA Today, Fox’s Scariest Places on Earth, Beyond Chance on Lifetime, Sports Illustrated and more, Sloss Furnace is documented as a paranormal wasteland and visitors flocks here year round. See why it made the Best Halloween Events in the US … it has REAL ghosts!
But, during Halloween, they take it to the next level. Floss Fright Furnace takes you to otherwise closed to the public areas, including the Boiler Room, known for it’s extremely active paranormal activity. There is a 3D maze, you will see killer clowns and according the website, you will “run from deranged serial killers, crawl through cockroaches, and try to escape chainsaw wielding hillbillies”.
All ages are welcome, but proceed with caution when it comes to your children!
NetherWorld Haunted House – Atlanta, GA
Possibly the most famous Halloween Event on our list as it’s been recognized by Yahoo!, Travel Channel, Top Haunts Magazine and more. With two terrifying attractions, plus an Escape Room, there really is something for everyone here, which is why it made the list of the Best Halloween Events in the US!
Netherworld has two Haunts. Primal Scream, where nature takes revenge upon the evil of the world. And, Mr Grendel’s 3D Funhouse of Horrors, where you don 3D glasses and crazy clowns, scary monsters and weird aliens abound!
Netherworld Haunted House is open to everyone 5 years of age and older, but extreme caution should be exercised when bringing young kids!
Stanley Hotel – Denver, CO
Nationally recognized as one of the most “spirited” hotels in the country, the Stanley Hotel is an obvious choice for our list of the Best Halloween Events in the US.
Made famous by Stephen King’s, The Shining, The Stanley Hotel has no less than four regular spirits that roam the hotel’s hallways, Lucy, Paul, Eddie and Elizabeth.
And during, Halloween, The Stanley Hotel steps up with adult entertainment, that is more on the tame side. Events include a Murder Mystery Dinner, The Shining Ball (21 or older), and a Halloween Masquerade Party (21 or older). The hospitality is where the terror is found…