The spookiest time of the year is right around the corner—and we are here for it! There’s something incredibly comforting and just the right amount of eerie about escaping the crowded city life and spending October 31 in a secluded scenic village. These charming towns with admittedly mysterious pasts are rich in history with local folk keeping the spirit (or should we say spirits) alive.
From seaside perches to dense forests, these ominous towns go from quaint and quiet to the setting of a Stephen King novel every fall. If you’re a Halloween enthusiast looking to get your spooky fix this October, we highly recommend visiting one of these towns listed below.
In the 17th century, the infamous Salem witch trials were held in this little New England town, making it one of America’s spookiest spots. Its witchy ties draw visitors from all over the world around Halloween. Salem’s dark history continues to intrigue its guests, and it has become a home to modern-day witches, paranormal experts, and psychics alike. Locals recommend travelling on the Salem Trolley for a dark history lesson—though, a broom works just as well!
Sleepy Hollow, New York
This picturesque East Coast town, located just 30 miles from New York City, is the hometown of Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman legend. From cemetery tour guides to gothic mansions, Sleepy Hollow is anything but a ghost town around Halloween. Did we mention that Irving is buried in Sleepy Hollow? Locals recommend taking a walk down the path where the Headless Horseman committed his crimes, and if that’s not enough, you could stay for the theatrical re-enactment of the tale.
St. Helens, Oregon
Did you ever dream you could visit the real Halloweentown as a kid? Well, it turns out you can. The charming burg of St. Helens is 30 miles north of Portland and is quite literally America’s original Halloween town. Most of Disney’s 1998 film Halloweentown was filmed in the town’s centre. Yes, the giant pumpkin in the middle of the town square exists! Halloweentown wasn’t the only film to take place in this small borough. Twilight fans can also check out Bella Swan’s house during their visit but beware of vampires and werewolves.
Estes Park, Colorado
The quiet mountainous village overlooking the lakeside truly is postcard-worthy. However, it is best known for the historic Stanley Hotel, the reportedly haunted location Stephen King used as inspiration for his bone-chilling novel, The Shining. King and his wife spent a night at the Stanley Hotel in 1974 as the only guests on a winter night, which undoubtedly lent to its spooky aura. Visitors can attend the Shining Ball for a murder mystery–themed dinner, costume contest, and late-night dancing throughout October.
Brooke Parker | Staff Writer