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This is a list of the 11 best Halloween towns in the United States.
There is one Halloween movie that outranks every other Halloween movie: the most iconic movie Hocus Pocus! It has gone down as one of the most loved Halloween movies of all time. The coolest thing is you can visit the Hocus Pocus house in a very real Halloween town. That town was my inspiration behind this post, the 11 Best Halloween Towns.
- Best Halloween Towns: Franklin, TN
- Best Halloween Towns: Salem, Massachusetts
- Best Halloween Towns: Sleepy Hollow, New York
- Best Halloween Towns: Buena Park, California
- Best Halloween Towns: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Best Halloween Towns: Anoka, Minnesota
- Best Halloween Towns: New York City, New York
- Best Halloween Towns: Independence, Kansas
- Best Halloween Towns: Savannah, Georgia
- Best Halloween Towns: St. Helens’ Oregon
- Best Halloween Towns: Romeo, Michigan
Best Halloween Towns: Franklin, TN
Franklin, TN fully embraces the spirit of the holiday and gives the quintessential Halloween experience. Instead of limiting the celebration to just a day, they make an entire weekend out of it with their annual Pumpkinfest celebration. Visit their historic downtown for face painting, picture booths, scavenger hunts, costume contests, live performances, and so much more.
Trick or Treating in Downtown Franklin, TN
On the big day, visit the residential part of Downtown Franklin for the ultimate trick or treating experience. Houses are elaborately decorated [some are converted to actual haunted houses] with special treats at every house. Streets are limited to pedestrian traffic so you [and the ghosts] are able to roam about freely!
Click here for more things to do in Franklin, TN!
Best Halloween Towns: Salem, Massachusetts
Hocus Pocus Tour
A quintessential New England town and the home of the movie Hocus Pocus You can start by taking a guided tour of the Hocus Pocus houses, landmarks, and other places that were featured in the iconic Halloween movie! [This best of the Halloween towns is a great option for kids!]
Salem Witch Museum
If you are looking for more educational fun, head over to the Salem Witch Museum where you can learn about witchcraft, the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and the “witch hunt” that is often still around today!
Main Street Festival
If Salem is your travel destination, try to visit in October. [Book early as hotels go fast!] This is the most spooky month of the year around here. Salem Haunted Happenings hosts its annual Halloween festival in October. This festival is great for all ages and there is so much to do, including ghost tours and trick-or-treating.
If you are 21 or older, check out the Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball. A must-go for any Halloween lover!
Best Halloween Towns: Sleepy Hollow, New York
If you are looking for Halloween activities like no other. Take a trip to Sleepy Hollow, NY. New York’s Hudson Valley comes alive during this time of year and Sleepy Hollow, home of the Headless Horseman, does not disappoint.
Great Jack-o’-lantern Blaze
Every year they host the Great Jack-o’-lantern Blaze. Thousands of pumpkins are ablaze in the most beautiful scenes and displays. This event is perfect for kids and adults of all ages.
There is also Jay Ghoul’s House of Curiosities, Legend Behind the “Legend” and more.
Some other haunting events available in Sleepy Hollow during the fall are haunted hayrides and Irving’s “Legend” are just a few scary activities sure to please young teens and adults.
Best Halloween Towns: Buena Park, California
Known as the Halloween capital of SoCal and transforming into “Boo-uena Park”. This town does Halloween right. In Buena Park, you will find yourself surrounded by all things fall events.
The longest-running theme park Halloween party in the country! Knott’s Scary Farm [ages 13 and up] and Knott’s Spooky Farm [perfect for littles] have been running for 45 years and they each are now one of the largest Halloween events in SoCal.
You can also enjoy Rock & Brews Monster Beer Fest [who doesn’t love a good Halloween brew?] or the Silverado Days Festival, a family-friendly festival with activities like arm wrestling, live music, hog calling, eating contests, and more!
Best Halloween Towns: New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is the home of Mardi Gras and voodoo. No way was it not going to make this list. Halloween is the second most celebrated holiday here. [I bet you can guess the first.]
Haunted and Paranormal Tours
There are so many haunted tours to take through New Orleans I could not just pick one to showcase here. Every corner will have a haunted house or haunted street and you will be easily able to find one to fit your style!
New Orleans has a reputation for voodoo. You can visit the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum and learn all about the history of Louisiana voodoo. Another very popular voodoo attraction is Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. New Orleans offers several voodoo tours, Congo Square and Bayou St. John are also worth a visit.
Best Halloween Towns: Anoka, Minnesota
Anoka, MN gives off small-town vibes and is one of the best towns to visit for Halloween. But it is the self-proclaimed “Halloween Capital” of the United States. Credited for hosting the first-ever Halloween event in history, year after year this town does not disappoint.
Instead of tossing their pumpkins into the garbage, the town brings all of their pumpkins to the pumpkin smash. They then throw the pumpkins into a huge compost bin where they are used for new soil and other great things for the town to use!
If you’re into Halloween but also very competitive, make the trip to Anoka. Every year they host a Gray Ghost 5k. The best part of this race is that most participants dress in costumes for the run!
Halloween Activities For Kids
Anoka hosts mostly family-friendly events which are perfect for people traveling with children. These events include coloring contests, A Halloween Ambassador contest, a preschool costume contest, and even a bingo night!
Best Halloween Towns: New York City, New York
NYC does not disappoint on the party front, whether it is Halloween or any other time of the year. But during Halloween, New York City really comes to life! In the fall and near Halloween, you will find countless Halloween parties and haunted attractions.
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade
This parade is not your average parade. Started in 1973 by a mask maker named Ralph Lee. The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade has become the largest Halloween celebration and parade in the United States. It starts at dusk and continues throughout the night. You will be competing with an average of over 2 million people for the best costume!
Best Halloween Towns: Independence, Kansas
Another one of the great small towns in the United States, Halloween, is done right in Independence, Kansas! They don’t let the fun stop in just one night. They celebrate for 9 days!
One of the best small-town Halloween festivals is held annually in Independence, KS. The Neewollah Festival is the largest annual Halloween event in the entire state. If you didn’t notice, Neewollah is Halloween spelled backward. Over 75,000 people attend the festival annually. It is full of fun events for families and individuals. Dozens of activities are available from different parades, carnivals, food festivals, haunted houses and so much more!
Best Halloween Towns: Savannah, Georgia
Savannah is known as one of the most haunted cities in the United States. It is very similar to Salem. Savannah has been around for a long time and is also one of the oldest cities in Georgia.
Bonaventure Cemetery Tours
The Bonaventure Cemetery Tours in Savannah, GA bring the city’s history and scariness together. These cemetery tours run year-round but visiting a graveyard closer to Halloween is way more fun.
Creepy Crawl Haunted Pub Tour
If you are 21 or over you are in for a very fun night! You’ll visit local bars and other creepy and haunted Savannah sites. The Creepy Crawl is a fun and boozy activity, and everyone gets a souvenir to-go cup koozie!
Best Halloween Towns: St. Helens’ Oregon
Heading back to Halloween movie territory, St Helens’ Oregon is the home of the Disney movie Halloweentown. Being one of the many famous cities for Halloween, they filmed many of the scenes right in St. Helens and they keep the Halloween spirit alive even years after all these years!
Giant Pumpkin Festival
This is an annual event where the town gets together and lights the giant pumpkin in front of the town hall. [Like the pumpkin in front of the town hall in Halloweentown.]
Spirit of Halloweentown
This event lasts a little over a month and is full of festival activities. The Spirit of Halloweentown festival includes a scavenger hunt through the woods, tarot card readings, haunted houses, and a dance!
Best Halloween Towns: Romeo, Michigan
The last midwestern Halloween town on our list, and it does not disappoint. Some cities, towns, and neighborhoods have over-the-top Christmas displays every year, but not Romeo. This is one town that goes all out for Halloween.
Terror on Tillson Street- During the month of October, many [if not all] homeowners created some creepy and spooky [and seriously detailed] displays on their front lawn. Since the neighbors started this tradition, the town has been a Terror on Tillson Street ever since. You won’t have to pay admission to a haunted house when you can walk around the neighborhood and enjoy all the spookiness for free.
With so many famous cities for Halloween and small towns, which outdo their size during this spooky season. It may be hard to choose where to travel. But, wherever you decide, bring your best costume, and love for Halloween because you’re gonna need it