Do you love Halloween but are tired of staring at your trick-or-treat bowl or attending less than thrilling Halloween parties year after year? If so, these spooky and fun Halloween themed events are for you.
Scattered across the U.S. these ten Halloween specific events offer everything from casual date-day attractions to spooky walk-through mazes, haunted houses, theme park rides, fundraising, runs, walks and more. From coast to coast, these attractions show how diversely Halloween is celebrated and honored across the U.S. In many areas, Halloween can be celebrated from late September through the beginning of November, allowing you to binge on all your favorite ways to stay scared.
A great haunted house can test the limits of how easily we are scared (or how fast our hearts can race) while an intricately carved Jack O’Lantern can make us stare in awe with just a hint of creepiness tacked on. Whether you want to brave a seriously scary haunted house, see a Halloween based theatrical show, learn about Halloween and the occult’s effect on a local culture or just go to the most amazing Halloween party around, these ten Halloween themed events will give you that insatiable Halloween fix.
10. Universal Studios Horror Nights
Universal Studios Horror Nights pulls out all the stops on creating a first class horror show. With events at all four Universal Studios locations (Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore, and Japan), Universal Studios has Horror Nights from mid September through the first of November. With an impressive nine haunted houses, with themes like AMC’s The Walking Dead, Freddy vs Jason, and Insidious, there is a Horror Night haunted house for any horror buff. Additional attractions include horror themed theatrical shows, rides and “scare zones” that offer Halloween entertainment for all tastes. Universal Studios Horror Nights brings out a whole new haunted and terrifying side of this iconic park.
9. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Jack O’Lanterns are a staple in the world of Halloween decor and attractions. While not as intimidating as their haunted house counterparts, Jack O’Lanterns are a marvel that any Halloween enthusiast can enjoy. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze boasts over 7,000 pumpkins on display during this annual event. These works of art push the limits of using pumpkins as a medium, creating unique and intricate designs and larger than life shapes you won’t forget like dinosaurs, Jack O’Lantern covered archways, spiders and more. Located in the Croton-on-Hudson village , this event runs from October until mid November.
8. Fright Town
When you’re searching for a serious scream fest in the pacific North western United States, Fright Town is your one stop shop for all things haunted. This annual Portland, Oregon event offers three haunted house experiences (currently named Baron Von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors, The Witch House, and The Madness) in one location. The Fright Town website notes that the event is inspired by none other than the legendary H.P. Lovecraft, who has inspired some of the world’s best horror writers. Open Wednesday through Saturday for the entire month of October, the three classically inspired haunted houses will test your wits and give you memories to last all year long.
7. Zombie Walk Detroit
If you’re someone who loves dressing up in your best zombie attire and you’re willing to do a little zombie walking for a good cause, Zombie Walk Detroit is the event for you. The Zombie Walk is an annual event that invites zombie enthusiasts to come together (in costume of course!) for their annual zombie walk. The event does not have registration or participation fees, but the walk does collect both food and cash donations that are distributed to the area’s needy. A twist on the typical Halloween event, Zombie Walk Detroit is a fun excuse to get out and get some zombie-style exercise while helping others.
6. Raven’s Night
Raven’s Night is an annual Halloween inspired event that seeks to merge all the thrills and mysterious allure of Halloween with art and dance. Located in Alexandria, Virginia (a quick ride from the Washington DC metro), this one night event offers performances, workshops and fun spooky fun for all. The Raven’s Night website notes that this year’s event will take place on Saturday, October 24th, just one week before Halloween. Whether you want to get into the Halloween spirit by watching a live belly dancing performance, or you wish to indulge in a tarot card reading and similar attractions, Raven’s Night will give just enough visual and psychological allure to get you in the mood to celebrate Halloween.
5. Texas Chainsaw Maze
Borrowing from the classic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Houston, Texas takes the fall favorite corn maze and changes things up with the annual Texas Chainsaw Maze. As part of the Houston Haunted Houses attraction lineup, the Texas Chainsaw Maze is worthy of any thrill seeker who wants a haunted house experience with the twist of having to simultaneously find your way out of a large (and terrifying) maze. You may even cross paths with the classic film’s villain Leatherface. Not for the faint of heart, the Texas Chainsaw Maze will keep your heart pounding throughout the entire maze.
4. Fright Fest at Six Flags
Six Flag’s annual Fright Fest offers a wealth of attractions that any Halloween lover will appreciate. With 13 locations across the United States and in Montreal, Canada, Six Flags Fright Fest gives you plenty of options on how to get your heart racing. From a Voodoo Curse maze where you will see the wrath of an angry Voodoo Queen, a 3D haunted house (made possible by Snickers!) with a sinister twist on Fairy Tale classics, a post apocalyptic experience, zombies, ghosts, terrifying roller coaster rides and more, there is almost nothing Six Flags hasn’t covered when it comes to frightening attractions. These are available through the month of October.
3. Halloween in New Orleans
There are few places in the world that know how to celebrate like New Orleans. This party-ready city has a pulse that can enchant even the most shy of visitors. Halloween in New Orleans is no exception to this standard. With ample celebrations and attractions, there is something in New Orleans that will satisfy all your Halloween desires. If you’re looking for a haunted tour, the French Quarter is the place to be; it offers award winning ghost and vampire tours that emphasize fun and historical knowledge. Those looking for a party need only look to Frenchmen Street where live music, stunning costume and other street party events are the norm come Halloween night. From the local music to art, tours, voodoo and of course food, New Orleans has a Halloween experience for all area visitors.
2. Festival of the Dead
Salem, Massachusetts is best known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials where several young women were tried and hanged for alleged crimes of practicing witchcraft. While the area has a vein of eeriness all year round, Halloween is when things truly get terrifying. Salem’s own Festival of the Dead offers events through the last week of October catering to all things occult and All Hallows Eve. The Festival of the Dead website notes this years events include a Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, a séance, presentations on connecting with those who have passed on and an annual Salem Witches’ Magic Circle. Shedding all shame associated with the area’s history, the Festival of the Dead offers a unique Halloween experience with true occult practices and celebrations.
1. Pumpkin Festival New Hampshire
Pumpkin Festival is an annual event in New Hampshire that attracts thousands of visitors. Previously located in Keene, New Hampshire, this annual event currently holds the Guiness World Record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at a single time, which was awarded in 2013. Thanks to vionlet riots in 2014, the event has been moved to Laconia, New Hampshire (after 24 years in Keene), where the festival’s website notes a new attempt at the record will take place this year. Jack O’Lantern artists come to display and light their creations for all to see. This first year in Laconia will feature the classic Jack O’Lantern lighting on a 35’ tower, a Pumpkin Dump Derby, a 5k and 10k Run/Walk and haunted attractions. A halloween event with attractions for all ages and tastes, Pumpkin Fest in Laconia is worth the drive in the Live Free or Die state.