6 Halloween hotspots in the USA
Date Posted: 13/10/2015
Pictured: Cellblock 5, Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia. Photo credit: Elena Bouvier, 1998.
While it might be a little late for flying across the pond to celebrate Halloween this year, take a look at some of these spooky attractions and halloween hotspots for next year’s inspiration.
1. Reding Farm, Oklahoma
Reding Farm owns the largest maze in the state of Oklahoma, spreading across 35 acres. While it’s only open each year from late September to early November, there is plenty for groups to do during that short time regardless of whether you’re going at Halloween or not.
The Haunted Maze ‘harvest of fear’ is available to enjoy on Fridays and Saturdays between dusk and 10pm during the month of October. Experience the risk of bumping into spooky spectres at every turn as you try to find your way out of the maze.
Group rates, which are avilable for the rest of the attraction's opening season, are not available for this particular creepy night-time maze experience. However, you can combine it with a haunted hayride on a tractor in the dark.
2. Sleepy Hollow, New York
Considered by many to be one of the most haunted towns in the US, Sleepy Hollow is known for the creation of that infamous spectre, the Headless Horseman, which was imagined by one of the town’s residents, Washington Irving.
Pictured: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Photo credit: Matt Hill.
A trip to Sleepy Hollow isn’t complete without a visit to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, in which is buried many of the town’s famous inhabitants, including Irving, as well as Elizabeth Arden, Brooke Astor, Andrew Carnegie, and William Rockefeller.
The cemetery is complete with 18th century death’s head tombstones, twisting narrow roads, majestic mausoleums and magnificent statuary; and if you want more than a nose around, enrol in a Sleepy Hollow Cemetery guided tour which run from April through to November.
3. The 13th Gate, Louisiana
It’s not recommended for the feint-hearted or those with a weak bladder; in fact, the 13th Gate is recognised as one of America’s most extreme haunted house attractions.
The 40,000 square foot house is made up of 13 terrifying realms, ranging from a real snake-infested Louisiana Swamp and claustrophobic cellars, to hidden subterranean passages and a prehistoric ice cave.
During Halloween season, over 160 professional actors, 40 crew members and a team of special effects makeup artists work together to bring the terrifying show to life each night.
The house is open all year round, and group rates are available for parties of 20 or more when pre-booking.
4. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Eastern State was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in a ruin of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers.
Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this prison’s vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America’s most notorious criminals, including bank robber ‘Slick Willie’ Sutton and Al Capone.
Groups visiting today can opt for guided historic tours and see art installations, or opt for a more extreme experience, aptly named Terror behind the Walls. This involves making your way through the prison at night, through six frightening areas.
Discounted tickets are available for groups of 20 or more
5. Salem, Massachusetts
The historic seaport city of Salem is famed for the Witch Trials in 1692, when a group of people, predominantly women, were executed for supposedly having supernatural powers.
Pictured: The Salem Witch Museum.
A visit to the town around Halloween means your group can enjoy a month of 'Haunted Happenings'. Events include séances, terrifying candlelit tours and masquerade balls, as well as a series of activities including wand-making and watching films on Salem’s Common.
If you’re not planning to visit in October, never fear: a series of haunted walks and guided tours are available in Salem for groups throughout the year.
6. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia
This former state hospital for the mentally insane is part history site, part hotbed of paranormal activity – supposedly, ghosts of Civil War soldiers and former patients are present in the two and half miles of hallways.
The asylum originally housed 250 residents at a time, but at its peak in the 1950s, more than 2,000 patients called this place home.
Trans-Alleghany stopped treating patients in 1994, but brave thrill seekers can roam the halls on any number of special guided tours including a night-time flashlight ghost hunting experience. Group booking is available.