Spooky destinations perfect for halloween
In the spirit of Halloween, I decided it would be fun to do a post about spooky destinations. Growing up on the East Coast there were a lot of really cool haunted attractions within an easy driving distance. Here are a few of my favorite spooky destinations for Halloween. Feel free to share your own in the comments section. There are so many great haunted attractions all around the United States and elsewhere. Below is a list of my all time favorites.
Kilmainham Gaol –Dublin, Ireland
One of the most amazing (and creepy) places I have ever visited was Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Ireland. This castle-like prison sits in the middle of Dublin and has an eery sense to it. The prison held many children during the potato famine. Many women and children purposely stole so that they would have food to eat during the winter months. During this time, the prison was so full that people were sleeping in the hallways and did not have a cell.
In 1916 the fourteen leaders of the Easter Uprising in Dublin were executed by firing squad in this jail’s stone breaker’s yard. Walking around the outside of the yard is unsettling, and you can feel the strong energy trapped in the stone walls from this event. Two black crosses in the spot of the executions stand as a constant reminder of the tragedy that occurred here.
Bate’s motel — Glen mills, Pennsylvania
One of the scariest halloween attractions I have ever been to is Bates Motel in Glen Mills, PA. This haunted attraction has been around for 27 years as of 2017. There is a haunted hay ride, haunted trail and a haunted house on the property. You can buy tickets for all attractions, or just one. In recent years they have added four different “escape rooms” each with a creepy theme.
One of the best things about this property is the special effects. Not only are there real actors, but there are also animatronic monsters. This is an area favorite and they offer a lot of great deals during the season including military and college discounts. This one involves a lot of strobe lights and pyrotechnics. I wouldn’t recommend this attraction for anyone suffering from epileptic illness.
Eastern State PENITENTIARY –Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Eastern State Penitentiary: Terror Behind the Walls is another spooky destination that I highly recommend. This is one of the oldest prisons in the United States and even held a few celebrities. Al Capone, a gangster who organized the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, IL is among one of the most famous. At night during halloween time you are given a flash light and let loose in the halls of the penitentiary. There are actors in creeping through the halls and in the cells that seem to come out of nowhere.
The Eastern State Penitentiary is a haunted attraction when the sun goes down during the Halloween season, but it is a historical landmark year round. You can take guided day time tours all year, and it is still quite creepy since there is no sunlight that gets inside these walls.
Mickey’s not so scary halloween party –disney world
If you have young children (and even if you don’t) Disney World is a great place to visit during Halloween. Get your tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and get excited! All your favorite characters are there to celebrate the spooky time of year. If you’re lucky you might even get to see the headless horseman ride through just before the parade and fireworks!
Make sure that you pack your costume for the party because EVERYONE gets dressed up. The lines for all the rides are super short and the best part is all the trick-or-treat stations for the kiddos. Be prepared to come home with A WHOLE LOT of candy because almost every ride has a trick-or-treat station. Don’t forget to ride the haunted mansion while there and make sure you stop into Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square for a Jack Skellington cake pop that is absolutely killer.
Fright Fest — Six Flags
As a season pass holder for Six Flags: Great adventure in South Jersey as a teenager, I attended fright fest every year. There are many six flags across the U.S. and these parks do an outstanding job scaring the crap out of people like me. One year I actually had a man with a chain saw chase me around the entire park for about 4 hours. He would follow me in line for rides and then be waiting for me to come off. Later I found out that my friends actually paid him to do this, but none-the-less these parks are awesome.
You don’t need to dress up and even though the parks are exceptionally crowded you can take advantage of haunted trail walks and other Halloween specific attractions. Some of these parks also do nights where they invite a hypnotist and you can see a show. Fright fest is a spooky destination that is definitely a lot of fun, but not all that terrifying.
Halloween horror nights –Universal Studios Los Angeles, Ca
Universal Studios at first reminded me of fright fest, but on a completely different level. The haunted maze attractions and the actors inside them at horror nights are absolutely phenomenal. Everything from make up to the special effects are stunning. The best part is there are actors everywhere hiding out waiting for you to come around the corner. No one is safe and everyone will get a thrill. I would not recommend bringing small children. Young adults and teens seem to be the main focus group for this attraction. If you are in the Los Angeles area in October this is a must see.
Hotel of horrors –Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania
If you find yourself in the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania around Halloween be sure to stop at this 200 year old Hotel of Horror. The abandoned hotel formerly known as The Lake House Hotel is well known in the area for it’s paranormal activity. The best part about this tour isn’t just the live actors who literally come out of walls to scare you, but the fact that the place is actually haunted. You might encounter a ghost (or two) while wandering the hotel in the pitch black. It wouldn’t be a surprise to have someone tap you on the shoulder while you are walking through, only to find no one was behind you.
The walkthrough starts in the basement and ends on the ground floor and takes you in and out of rooms as you walk up and then down the entire hotel. If you have any heart conditions, this one might not be for you.
Have a favorite haunted attraction that I didn’t mention? Let me know about it in a comment and you might see it on my 2018 list!