Top 10 BEST Halloween destinations 2024 (for an epic celebration!)
When your love of travel is matched only by your love for Halloween – you know it’s time to level up those October travel plans! So why not head out on an adventure with a spooky twist this Autumn? Here are the top 10 BEST Halloween destinations, guaranteed to leave you positively hyped for Halloween mania!
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1) Salem, Massachusetts – USA
Starting our best Halloween destinations top 10 off strong with everyone’s favourite bewitched destination, Salem!
Like most millennials my introduction to witchcraft was through TV shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed. But it was Disney’s cult classic, Hocus Pocus that really peaked our generation’s interest in witches and especially Salem!
Salem of course is where the infamous 1692 – 1963 witch trials took place. A group of young girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft.
Belief in the supernatural and the devil’s practise had first emerged and gained traction in 14th century Europe. Belief was widespread amongst colonial New England which only fanned the flames of superstition.
After panic spread throughout colonial Massachusetts, a special court convened in Salem to trial the incriminated.
More than 200 people were accused, with thirty found guilty and nineteen executed by hanging.
With such a dark history, Salem has become quite the magnet for curiosity seekers.
There’s lots of activities you can do throughout the year but especially on Halloween!
There are various tours you can take that include information about Salem’s history with witchcraft, the occult and ghosts (listed below).
You can also wander through the old cemetery, explore the Salem Witch Museum and visit the witch house which is the last remaining structure with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials.
Best tours of Salem for Halloween:
- Salem Ghosts, Witches and Warlocks Guided Walking Tour – hear tales of witches, secret tunnels and a cursed sheriff on this bone-chilling haunted Salem walking tour. Stop at the Old Town Hall, the Old Burying Point Cemetery, the Witch House and more!
- Salem 1692 Witchcraft Trials Walk – take a walking tour to find out more about the dark events that led to the Salem witch trials.
- Salem Witches, Witchcraft and the Occult Walking Tour – dive into the spellbinding history of witchcraft on this tell-all walking tour of the one and only “Witch City,” Salem.
- Salem Haunt and History Guided Night Tour – discover the most haunted historic sites and hear ghost stories in Downtown Salem that have made the Salem witchcraft hysteria infamous.
- Salem Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour – take an hour and a half tour around the city of Salem. Discover the cemeteries, buildings and homes where paranormal activity has taken place. Hear ghost stories about accidental death and murder and explore Salem through its supernatural history.
2) New Orleans, Louisiana – USA
Halloween is only second to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Which makes it one of THE best Halloween destinations!
Thousands flock to the city for their horror adrenaline fix and there’s lots of devilish fun to be had!
New Orleans is one of the oldest cities in the US and has one hell of a dark history.
With legends like the torture chamber slave house, haunted plantation, voodoo and pirate connections and its labyrinthine of cemeteries; this city would give the cast of Most Haunted a real reason to scream!
New Orleans even has its own Museum to Death and House of Shock!
On Halloween, you can enjoy ghost tours in the historic French Quarter, a parade, a voodoo music and arts festival and week-long Halloween party.
If you’re looking for something a little extra, there are loads of haunted houses holding events too.
There is said to be that much activity at places like the Mortuary Mansion that even the tourism board advises against taking children!
Best tours of New Orleans for Halloween:
- New Orleans Ghosts, Vampires and Voodoo French Quarter Tour – hear tales of vampires, voodoo, and witchcraft on this city walking tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Listen as your guide brings this neighbourhood’s lively and haunted history to life.
- New Orleans Cemetery Bus Tour at dark with exclusive access – explore New Orleans after dark with the only company to have exclusive access to a private cemetery at night. You’ll also go into two different cemeteries and learn how to use an EMF reader!
- New Orleans Night Cemetery and Ghost BYOB Bus Tour – explore multiple cemeteries in New Orleans at night by bus! Whilst travelling with EMF readers and dowsing rods, your guides will regale you with chilling real-life stories of the graveyards.
- New Orleans Tombs and Mansions of the Garden District Tour – soak in the stunning architecture, breathtaking greenery and dramatic history of the New Orleans Garden District on this tell-all walking tour.
3) Brașov, Transylvania – Romania
Grab your garlic and wooden stakes kids, we’re heading to Transylvania – one of my ultimate Halloween bucket list visits!
The city of Brașov feels like it was designed for the business of horror. With its cobbled streets, medieval Saxon walls and towering gothic Churches – it has quite the spooky ambience.
But none more spooky than Dracula’s real-life 13th century fortress, Bran Castle!
Based on Vlad the Impaler – the notorious 15th century ruler who was known for his violent and tortuous methods of control is arguable Transylvania’s most famous former resident.
Around one million tourists flock to Transylvania every year to hear the horrifying legend of Vlad the Impaler.
Romanians also celebrate “Day of the Dead” on 1st November. So, it’s well worth staying for a few extra days to enjoy all the events and celebrations. Especially in the capital, Bucharest!
Best tours of Transylvania for Halloween:
- Transylvania: Dracula’s Castle and Birthplace Tour – get closer to the Dracula legend by visiting Dracula’s castle in Bran and birthplace in Sighisoara to learn more about local history and traditions.
- Sighisoara: City Walking Tour and Dracula House Visit – enjoy a walking tour through the only inhabited medieval town in Europe. Explore the most iconic sights of the city including the Church on the Hill and The Scholars Staircase.
- Bran Castle Guided Tour (skip the line) – embark on an insightful tour and learn the history of the ancient Bran Castle. Enjoy access with skip-the-line tickets, explore its rooms and hear the scary stories surrounding this building.
4) Hollywood, Los Angeles – USA
Hollywood – the place, the myth, the legend. The original dream factory where beneath the glitz and glamour lurks a seedy underworld of mystery and spooky goings-on.
Hollywood is absolutely teeming with haunted houses, hotels and venues. So, is it any wonder that movie idols and would-be stars are still trying to avoid obscurity by getting the attention of the living from beyond the grave?
Top haunted locations include: The Roosevelt Hotel where Hollywood legends Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift are said to still walk their old stomping grounds and the The Comedy Store where mobsters took care of “business” in the basement.
Even the iconic Hollywood Sign isn’t left out of Hollywood’s haunted history.
It’s known to be a hotspot for paranormal activity which has been linked to the death of a struggling young actress who committed suicide there in 1932.
There have been numerous sightings of a blonde woman dressed in 1930s period clothing who appears to be gliding around the trails in Griffith Park in a daze.
Access to the sign has been forbidden for years but it hasn’t stopped people trying their luck.
Anyone up for a night hike?
But it’s not just the tales of ghostly goings on that attracts Halloween fans to Hollywood. It boasts one of the world’s largest Halloween street parties, West Halloween Carnival!
Half a million people take to the streets every year along Santa Monica Boulevard dressed in their ghoulish best.
There is also the fantastic Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios that Halloween fanatics will love!
Watch your back and prepare to scream as you make your way through terrifying mazes and face creatures from your darkest nightmares.
With live entertainment and an entire horror overhauled theme park to explore – it’s the perfect way to spend an adrenaline-filled Halloween!
Best tours of Hollywood for Halloween:
- Haunted Hollywood Walking Tour (true crime and creepy tales!) – explore the dark underbelly of Hollywood. Follow expert guides down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams to visit haunted hotels, theatres and landmarks on this two hour walking tour.
- Los Angeles Dark History and Haunted LA Bus Tour – explore the dark side of the City of Angels and hear chilling tales from the past on a haunted Los Angeles bus tour. Hear stories of ghosts, serial killers and the paranormal on an evening tour in LA.
- LA Ghosts, Terrors of Tinseltown Tour – experience Tinseltown’s dark and twisted history in vivid detail on this bone-chilling haunted walking tour by US Ghost Adventures.
5) London – England
London offers bone-chilling tours and attractions all-year round thanks it’s gruesome history.
From the London Dungeons and Jack the Ripper Murder Walks to the menacing Tower of London and terrifying London Bridge Experience. Every inch of London seems to have a dark origin with a ghastly story to match!
You can pack in quite the grisly itinerary at any given time of the year. But for Halloween, London seriously levels-up with tonnes of special tours and events taking place.
Whether it’s dining and duelling with Death Eaters at Warner Bros Studios, seeing the horrifying “Surgeon” show at London Dungeon or experiencing the terrifying nightmares at No Escape, escape rooms – there is plenty to see and do on Halloween in London!
There are also plenty of Halloween parties happening at bars and nightclubs all over the city. Just be prepared to have one hell of a hangover!
Best tours of London for Halloween:
- Jack the Ripper Guided Walking Tour – travel back in time to the murderous streets of London’s Victorian past. Enter the secret, boozy world of violence and prostitution menaced by the infamous Jack the Ripper and learn about London’s dark history.
- London Ghastly Ghosts Walking Tour – sneak through the dark streets of London on a ghastly ghosts tour and hear spooky stories of the ghouls that creep through the city’s back alleys after dusk. Enjoy a spine-tingling walk from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
- Secrets of the London Underground Walking Tour – join an expert guide for a fantastic walking tour of the world’s oldest underground system. Learn all about the haunted history of the tube as you travel through time in one of London’s original stations.
- London Haunted Pub Walking Tour – hear chilling tales of murder most horrid and explore some of London’s most haunted taverns on this haunted pub walking tour.
6) New York – USA
New York goes all out for Halloween. Not only do they have several famous haunted locations, they’re home to the biggest Halloween parade and celebration in the world.
Renowned as, “the city that never sleeps” – New York lives up to it’s infamous reputation with gusto on Halloween!
There’s countless haunted events at your favourite New York hot spots, fancy dress parties and autumnal street fairs taking place throughout the city.
But best of all is the incredible Greenwich Village Halloween Parade!
Starting at dusk and continuing well into the early hours the following day, the parade is now the largest Halloween celebration in the US.
Over two million people take to the streets in a whole host of different costumes. From the inventive to the down right terrifying!
Everyone’s favourite spooky town, Sleepy Hollow is also just over an hour away from New York.
The ghosts and headless horseman that made this 17th century Dutch settlement famous are a work of fiction. But the town itself is a beautifully preserved historical town with built-in Halloween vibes that is well worth a visit.
Best tours of New York for Halloween:
- New York City Gangsters and Ghosts Walking Tour – explore NYC from the perspective of its ghosts and gangsters. Take a two-hour history-based guided tour and discover the city’s best gangsters and ghost stories. Uncover the city’s dark side as you walk through world-famous neighbourhoods.
- Greenwich Village Ghost Tour – discover what goes bump in the night in Greenwich Village on a spooky ghost tour after dark! Check out some of the most haunted places and hear spine-chilling stories from a local guide.
- New York City Catacombs by candlelight – discover the secrets hidden beneath the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral Little Italy. Enter areas of the church grounds that are otherwise barred from the public.
- Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Tour – delve into the history of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord on this group tour. Explore notable gravesites and use that as a starting point to learn about the fascinating people who lived and died in Concord.
7) Oaxaca – Mexico
Mexico, Mexico – home to the ultimate spooktacular festival: Day of the Dead!
Although not strictly a Halloween celebration, Day of the Dead (or Dia de los Meurtos) is a huge festival which takes place across Latin America from 31st October until 2nd November. With Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico tipped to be the most spectacular!
Day of the Dead traditions go back over 3,000 years when Aztecs believed that life and death coexisted. Death is to be embraced rather than feared.
It’s thought that during Day of the Dead those in the afterlife can return to Earth to be with their loved ones once again.
The streets are decorated in colourful papel picado and flowers with carnival-like processions. There are parades, street stalls and candle-lit vigils take place in the ultimate celebration of life!
Cemeteries also come alive as families decorate their loved ones’ graves with flowers, candles and photos.
They spend their nights socialising, playing music and toasting with lots of tequila for their deceased loved ones.
Best tours of Oaxaca for Halloween:
- Oaxaca Day of the Dead Tour – take part in the Day of the Dead celebrations and immerse yourself in Mexican culture. Join a guided experience to the local pantheon or a traditional community with food tastings.
8) Corinaldo – Italy
Being a predominately Catholic country, you wouldn’t think that Halloween would be a popular holiday in Italy! But most Italians celebrate All Souls Day and All Saints Day on the two days following Halloween.
However, in recent years Halloween has become more popular, with lots of festivities for horror fans to check out.
Corinaldo in particular evokes major Halloween vibes with its medieval streets, defensive towers and dovetail battlements.
But the city is best-known for its Festa delle Streghe (Night of the Witches) which draws over 60,000 people every year!
The festival runs from 27th to 31st October with the entire town turning into a ghoul’s playground. Complete with a haunted houses, horror shows, live concerts and Halloween market.
On Halloween, the prettiest witch is elected “Miss Strega” (Miss Witch) and crowned “Witch of the Third Millennium”. Could it be you this year?
9) Derry – Northern Ireland
Derry might not seem like an obvious choice for Halloween destinations but it boasts serious spooky credentials!
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to Celtic celebrations in Northern Ireland. So it’s no surprise that the Irish celebrate Halloween in fantastic style!
Many of the activities associated with Halloween today such as trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and ghost hunting actually stem from the Celtic holiday of ‘Samhaim’ starting over 2,000 years ago.
October 31st marked the end of the harvest season and was believed to be when the veil between this life and the next was at its thinnest. Sound familiar?
Ireland’s Derry City hosts the biggest Halloween festival in Europe, the Banks of Foyle Halloween Carnival.
Enjoy ghost tours, haunted houses and spooky parades! As well as the more relaxed Spirits of Meath festival in Meath, which features pumpkin carving contests.
In 2015, Derry was even named the world’s best Halloween spot in a poll by top American newspaper USA Today.
Miss it at your peril!
10) Hong Kong – China
Known for being the Halloween Capital of Asia, Hong Kong is one of the best Halloween destinations for 2024!
Hong Kong truly encapsulates the spirit of the spook season, beginning with their traditional ‘Hungry Ghost Festival’.
The festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month, usually in August or September. Similarly to Halloween it’s believed to be the one day of the year that the dead can return to Earth.
Public spaces are usually packed with people giving gifts to the returning spirits. Burning incense and money, as well as offering food along the streets.
Chinese Opera and dramas are also performed with seats in the first row kept empty for any wandering spirits who want to enjoy the show too!
On Halloween, theme parks such as Disneyland and Ocean Park host their annual Halloween bashes. Complete with costumes, haunted houses, trick-or-treating and live music!
But the real place to be is Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong Halloween Street Party. Dress in your Halloween best and enjoy live music with tonnes of themed food and drinks.
It’s definitely worth the stinking hang over the morning after!
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Which best Halloween destinations are your favourites? Comment below if I have missed any great Halloween destinations that you love! 😊
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