The Best Place To Celebrate Halloween in Every State

Jack-o-Lanterns displayed during Halloween. (photo via iStock/Getty Images E+/eli_asenova)
Rich Thomaselli
by Rich Thomaselli
Last updated: 9:00 AM ET, Tue October 19, 2021

Halloween Fun in Every State

Halloween can be many things to many people at many ages. The great thing is, there's always something to do around the holiday, perhaps even more so than usual.

So that's why we've assembled a mix of family-fun, creepy, haunted and downright scary places across the U.S. to help you celebrate.

Here is every state's best place to celebrate Halloween.


Arx Mortis in Killen - great name, right? - is open every weekend in October and, wow, is it frightening. There are two attractions here. Covington Clinic is set up as a former asylum with the theme centering on a psychotic doctor. Cell Block 9 is more intense, where you have to escape a prison.


Anchorage actually has quite a few events for Halloween but one of the neatest is the holiday-themed displays at Alaska Botanical Gardens. Expect a lot of orange.


Halloween with an old western theme. Tombstone is a great place to visit at any time, but Halloween makes even those campfire stories even better - especially if you happen to spot one of those legendary apparitions that appear at Boothill Cemetery.


Born last year in Little Rock out of seeking an alternative celebration because of COVID-19, 'Shadows at Sixth' is a unique experience. It's a drive-through - not necessarily inventive. But it's driving through a multi-level parking garage - totally different. Along the way there are lights and displays and a festive atmosphere.


Be sure to head to Culver City so you can visit Mr. Bones. It's not an actual person, but a place - Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch. This one is definitely family-oriented with activities, games, face-painting, pumpkin carving demonstrations, and tons of pumpkins and gourds to take home.


In Manitou Springs, it's the Emma Crawford Coffin Festival. We kid you not. Ghost tours, horror movies, food and drink are just a few of the events. Normally, the festival ends in a coffin race - again, not kidding - but that's one piece of the event that won't happen this year because of COVID-19.


In Waterbury, the Nightmare on Wolcott Street advises patrons that anyone who is pregnant, has a heart condition or not in generally good health to avoid this attraction. Yeah, that's how scary it is. Chainsaws, creepy sounds, animatronics, live characters and more.


As if Rehoboth Beach isn't a cool enough summer vacation spot, it also hosts the three-day Sea Witch Festival at the beach. It features a terrific nautical-themed parade through town, as well as a costume parade for people and dogs.


Does anybody do holidays better than Orlando? Trick or treat throughout the parks while celebrating the Boo Bash at Walt Disney World, aka the Most Magical Place on Earth. If you prefer the scarier side of Halloween though, be sure to hit up Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights as well.


The beautiful antebellum city of Savannah is considered one of the most haunted in the U.S. You can take one of the many walking ghost tours throughout or hop on one of the haunted trolley tours. Or, you know, if you're up for it, explore on your own.


Despite all the rules and regulations going on in the most heavily restricted state in the country when it comes to COVID-19, Oahu is still set for its annual 'Nightmare Honolulu' month-long celebration that began on Oct. 1. It's a series of events that take place all over the city in a family atmosphere.


Head to Boise and The Old Idaho State Penitentiary, often referred to as the most haunted place in Idaho. Former inmates, some of whom died during prison riots or executions, are not only said to haunt the place, but some visitors say they have felt something brush up against them.


One of the most fun Halloween atmospheres is found in Sycamore, and the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. It's part carnival, part parade, part craft festival, and all pumpkin.


Haunted Hills Hospital in Columbia City. Think again if you think this is just some kiddie thing. If you want to really show you have what it takes to survive, buy a ticket for one of the attraction's ''blackout days," where you explore the empty hospital in complete darkness.


There are several different features at The Slaughterhouse in Des Moines, but the newest attraction is 'The Game.' Start on Level 1 in Purgatory, where you and up to six friends have 60 minutes to find and save 'the victim.'


The small town of Independence puts on a big show with a nine-day celebration of Neewollah - that's Halloween spelled backward. This is a totally fun, totally family-oriented event with parades, carnivals, food and beverages, games and more.


Now this is fun. For the last 18 years, the city of Lexington has hosted its "Thriller Halloween" celebration and it's everything you think it is - an homage to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' complete with people dressed as zombies as well as the King of Pop and dancing to their heart's content.


Everything is larger than life in New Orleans, including the annual Krewe of Boo Parade. As if The Big Easy isn't spooky enough - its cemeteries are tourist attractions - the parade features incredibly elaborate floats.


OK, so since Maine is the setting of virtually every Stephen King novel, the entire state is haunted if you ask us. Like The Strand Cinema in Skowhegan. It's a 100-year old theater where some employees have reported power tools turning on - without being plugged in - while others say a ghost roams the building and likes to smear his or her handprints all over the screens.


Bennett's Curse in Dundalk is legendary. The all-indoor attraction features the Ultimate Fear Experience, with asylum patients running amok, monsters and more. Bennett's Curse is well known in the world of haunted houses.


Salem is the spot to be, of course. The town of witches celebrates the holiday with its annual Festival of the Dead, featuring the graveyard conjuring of spirits and the famous Witches' Halloween Ball the night before Halloween.


Do you like taking a drive at Christmastime through all the neighborhoods to see the lights? Then head to the town of Romeo, where homeowners put on one of the most fantastic residential displays in the Midwest, if not the country.


The whole idea of celebrating Halloween goes back almost 100 years in the town of Anoka, which bills itself as the "Halloween Capital of the World." Hey, if you got it - and Anoka does with everything from balls and parties and Halloween-related contests and more - go ahead and flaunt it.


Tupelo might be the birthplace of Elvis Presley, but it's also the home of Haunted Hill, the longest-running haunted house in the state. It's an old, creepy structure and, well, what can you say when you're greeted by two hearses parked out in front before you even enter?


Welcome to the town of Fenton, which, for October transforms itself into one of the most terrifying towns in the state known as Creepyworld. There are 13 different attractions to walk through which will likely leave you hoarse from screaming after going through such places as Slaughter & Son Funeral Home and Saint Lucifer's Hospital.


The Moss Mansion in Billings is a year-round attraction that is said to be haunted by some of the Moss family members who died there. While the mansion is open year-round, it comes alive at Halloween with various attractions, including the Haunted Escape Maze.


One cool thing about haunted attractions for Halloween is the names they come up. One such place in Omaha is known as Bloodrush, Forest of Terror. It's billed as the longest - a mile jaunt through the woods - and most terrifying attraction in the state. Don't walk alone.


Ever hear of Tonopah, Nev.? It's about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno. Go ahead. Stop overnight. And stay at what has been called the country's scariest motel - the Clown Motel. There are more than 2,000 of them scattered throughout the property, including in your room. Good luck with that.

New Hampshire

So, let's assume you're of the ilk that you actually enjoy having the ever-living stuff scared out of you, and that Halloween isn't Halloween without a true exploration of the most haunted places round, and that any proper devotee of the holiday would want to be in such a place on Oct. 31. Then head to the Gilson Road Cemetery in Nashua, where people have reported seeing a hooded figure and that they sometimes get the feeling that someone is pushing against them and holding them back. Lovely.

New Jersey

The small town of Jackson is known for its big park - Six Flags Great Adventure park, that is. Welcome to Fright Fest where, on select days through October, the park is transformed into scare zones, including a zombie takeover.

New Mexico

Look, there are plenty of fun and scary places to celebrate Halloween in New Mexico. But if you really want something out of this world, head to Roswell, the acknowledged home of the most Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings in the world.

New York

We got two places for you within 10 miles of each other. No doubt you've head of The Headless Horseman, yes? Well, go and live it for real in Sleepy Hollow in suburban New York City's Westchester County. Barely 20 minutes away is the spectacular Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, a display of more than 6,000 lit pumpkins.

North Carolina

Asheville is one of North Carolina's great cities, with a thriving craft beer and foodie scene that rivals any other place in the county. As such, Asheville also has an extensive list of Halloween activities ranging from fun, family-friendly events to ghost tours throughout the city.

North Dakota

Just outside of Fargo is the town of Leonard, where you will find Acres of Terror. This is an outdoor attraction and, trust us, a stroll through the woods or the corn field or wandering around the old Leonard High School - and all the creatures you'll meet along the way - will prove to be a frightening experience.


Ready to get your inner and outer zombie on? The Fairborn Halloween Festival and Zombie Walk in the city of the same name is where you should be. For a full weekend, each night turns into The Living Dead as people walk the streets. It's ghoulish, campy fun.


At Daze in a Maze in Enid, there are six colored flags, an observation bridge and numerous exits to help you avoid getting stranded. You might need them as you navigate more than 300,000 square feet of land. Take the kids to the petting zoo and the pumpkin patch once you're out of the maze.


If the town of St. Helens looks familiar to you, then you've probably seen the Disney movie 'Halloweentown.' Well, in real life, St. Helens celebrates the holiday just like the movie. There are a ton of events for the Spirit of Halloweentown Festival, including a large pumpkin lighting.


If your fancy is having the you-know-what scared out of you, head to Shocktoberfest in Reading. This is one of the scariest attractions in the country, drawing thousands of people on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout October. Let's just say you need to keep your eyes open for anything. And even that won't help.

Rhode Island

When it comes to being scared, the town of Hope leaves little to the imagination. Scary Acres is actually three different attractions, each scarier than the next and what is likely the longest 90 minutes of your life.

South Carolina

Just like Savannah, the city of Charleston is filled with southern charm and a great deal of history. Oh, and haunted as heck. Among the many ghost tours, make sure you catch the one that visits a Revolutionary War-era dungeon. You'll get chills.

South Dakota

On Oct. 29 and 30, the legendary town of Deadwood transforms itself into 'Deadweird' to celebrate Halloween. This is one of the coolest, most eclectic celebrations of the holiday that you will ever experience, including live music, a Monster Ball, costume contests and more.


The historic town of Franklin has several great Halloween events, including Pumpkinfest on Main Street in downtown. But the real fun is the Ghosts of the Battlefield tour that visits the 1858 Lotz House. Yep, ghosts from the Civil War.


Good Golly Miss Molly, Fort Worth is quite the destination when it comes to haunted places. Like Miss Molly's, the oldest inn in the city and one of the most haunted places in the state, if not the country. A visit to the inn is part of the Stockyards Ghost Tour.


Park City is the home of the annual 'Howl-O-Ween' celebration and, as you probably guessed from the title, the ski destination has a fondness for our four-legged friends. After people trick or treat along Main Street, enjoy the parade of costumed dogs.


For the 61st time, Vermont's best-known Halloween parade steps off in Rutland. But this isn't some lackluster parade of people walking and holding banners. This is a full-blown parade of lavish, elaborate and whimsical floats, all done up in the spirit of Halloween.


Just like Disney World, Busch Gardens Williamsburg really does Halloween well. Take the tour of haunted homes and areas, and definitely stroll through the village and learn about witch trials that also took place here centuries ago.


Now why hasn't anyone else thought of this? A haunted house, at a real-life morgue. Patrons at the Georgetown Morgue in Seattle are charged with investigating the fictional story of how and why nine morgue workers were forced into the crematorium chamber and burned to death.

West Virginia

Lots of big parks and areas have pumpkin festivals with thousands of the big orange things. In the towns of Ceredo and Kenova, which host a double celebration of the holiday, there's the "Pumpkin House." Yep one house, 3,000 pumpkins.


Milwaukee is known for beer. You might need some if you stay at the Hotel Pfister. It's certainly one of the most elegant hotels around, but also one of the most haunted. Numerous guests, including Major League Baseball players, have reported seeing apparitions in the hallways.


Cheyenne is the place for the Knights of Pythias "Nightmare on 17th Street" Haunted House. This place is so elaborate that organizers start working on it in May to prepare the 20 different rooms you will enter during your visit.

You want fun? Creepiness? Spooky? We have all three and more.

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Helping leisure selling travel agents successfully manage their at-home business.

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Agent Specialization: Group Travel

Laurence Pinckney

Laurence Pinckney

CEO of Zenbiz Travel, LLC

About Me