14 of the best Halloween experiences for 2019

Looking for terrifying amounts of fun this Halloween? From trick or treating, petrifying parades to showstopping jack-o-lanterns, the USA knows how to do Halloween in style. Wherever you go, you’ll find a fun Halloween experience or event to delight you or give you a fright. Here’s our lowdown on the best Halloween experiences in the USA to try out this year. 

Halloween on 5th Spooktacular, Paradise Coast, Florida

Love a bit of fancy dress? Join more than 30,000 ghoulish creatures on the Florida town Paradise Coast for the free Halloween Spooktacular. Expect kid and pet dress up contests, live music, games, street dancing and trick-or-treating.


Haunted house Halloween immersion in Orlando

Halloween is such a big thing in Orlando that the city has named itself the 'Halloween Vacation CapitalSM'. Expect to have the fright of your life at a series of brand new immersive experiences from now until end of November. Universal Orlando Resort is hosting Halloween Horror Nights until November 2, with 10 haunted houses inspired by 80s cult horror movies, five scare zones and live entertainment as well as the creepy “Stranger Things” house and new “Depths of Fear” experience that taps into a fear of deep water. 

Creepy cocktails at Cocktails & Screams, Orlando 

Stay in the spooky season's spirit into the night with a round of cocktails at Cocktails & Screams, Orlando’s only Halloween-themed bar. Expect creepy music and a sinister atmosphere. Signature cocktails include Frogs Breath and the Jack & Sally, inspired by “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” 

20 years of Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, Florida

After two decades of hosting Howl-O-Scream, Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and in easy reach of St Pete/Clearwater, Florida, has Halloween theme park thrills nailed. The theme park is celebrating '20 Years of Fear' with 300 acres of horrifying entertainment, all open until 1am. Highlights include nine new scare zones with horrifying haunted houses and thrilling rollercoaster rides through the dark. In the eerie immersive Carpe Noctem zone, set in a gothic Romanian cemetery you can even climb into a coffin to get a feel for the nightlife of the undead. Terrifying! Until 2 November 2019.


A petrifying prison experience in Philadelphia

Take a terrifying tour of an ex-prison in the Terror Behind the Walls experience at EasternState Penitentiary. Zombies and creepy characters loom and lurk in the six spooky areas of this live haunted house experience in the prison - closed since 1971 - where notorious gangster Al ‘Scarface’ Capone was once locked up. Tickets for Terror Behind the Walls start from £20 ($24) per adult.  


Family friendly thrills in Orlando

Travelling with little kids? You'll find plenty of harmless Halloween fun in Orlando. At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (until Nov. 1), at Orlando's Magic Kingdom Park, expect jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating with Mickey and Minnie, not-so-scary costumed characters and a new “101 Dalmatians”-themed experience featuring popular badger-striped villain Cruella de Vil. You'll find more family-friendly celebrations at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular (until Oct. 27). This year’s events include the Pet’s Ahoy Halloween show, a Halloween Dance Party with under-the-sea friends and the opportunity to meet mermaids in their colourful grotto. Over at LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Brick or Treat there are larger-than-life LEGO Halloween character models, a scavenger hunt, trick-or-treating, a pirate-themed fireworks show and more. 


West Hollywood Halloween Carnival, West Hollywood, California

As you'd expect, Halloween night is pretty theatrical in Hollywood. Its annual Halloween Carnival on Santa Monica Boulevard is one of the largest Halloween gatherings in the world. It's a dream for people watchers, with people dressed in all sorts of dramatic and spectacular costumes. 


A hair-raising hayride and hotel in Philadelphia

Creepy clowns and ghastly ghouls - for nearly 30 years, the Haunted Hayride at Arasapha Farm has been scaring visitors with a ride through the farm’s dark forest, just outside of the city of Philadelphia. This living hell includes a 100-foot long drive through insane asylum, a full-scale mockup of a New England church and a 200-foot long cave. You can also check in to the Bates Motel, a terrifying haunted house packed with high tech special effects, digital soundtrack and lighting. ‘Combo’ tickets for the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride cost from £33 ($40) per adult. 


Pumpkins Are the Stars of The Show at Jack’s Pumpkin Glow

What could be more atmospheric than the sight of 5,000 hand carved jack o’ lanterns lit up in a pumpkin patch? That’s what you’ll find at Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Jack’s Pumpkin Glow offers a spectacular display with pumpkins that have been artistically and intricately carved for hours, with some displays up to 30 feet in height. Guests are invited to pick a pumpkin to take home from the field at the end of the visit. Jack’s Pumpkin Glow costs from £14 ($16.99) for children and £18 ($22.99) for adults.

Go mad for horror in West Virginia

Zombies are waiting for you at the creepy Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia. This historic museum goes all out with Halloween activities, including a family-friendly autumn festival with food and craft stalls, karaoke competitions, games and a costume contest. For more serious frights at the asylum there are flashlight tours, a haunted house and a Zombie Paintball experience.  

The amazing pumpkin house in West Virginia

There’s one house in West Virginia that has thousands of pumpkins each Halloween. In the 1970s, Ric Griffith placed a few pumpkins on the porch of his Victorian-style home and called it a happy Halloween. Since then, the number has grown each year. Each year, he and a cast of dedicated carvers turn pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns that adorn the window ledges, front steps or eaves of his home. Grab a hot chocolate at one of the vendors parked in front of the Pumpkin House in Kenova.

Go ghost busting in West Virginia

Take a candlelit Lewisburg Ghost Tours through Lewisburg Historic District, which is said to be a hotbed of paranormal activity. You might also meet the famous Greenbrier Ghost, also known as Zona Heaster Shue, a murdered woman whose ghostly appearance helped convict her killer husband in court. A historical marker commemorating the famous ghost is located on U.S. 60 in Sam Black Church near the I-64 entrance ramp. Or head to the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, which is said to house a number of restless spirits dating back hundreds of years. On an evening Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry  you’ll hear stories about a woman dressed in 18th century fashion, peering from the window of Harper House or about ghosts of wounded soldiers and a priest at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, which served as a hospital during the Civil War.

Join the witch hunt in Salem, Massachusetts

The town of Salem - famous for its association with the sinister and historical Witch Trials - celebrates Halloween throughout the month of October, with ghost walking tours, horror fests, haunted attractions, family film nights on Salem Common and more. 

Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, at Roger Williams Zoo, Providence, Rhode Island

For a fully festive display you can’t really beat the Roger Williams Zoo Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, in the picturesque historic coastal town of Rhode Island. You’ll be able to stroll by 10,000 carved and lighted pumpkins displayed on the quarter-mile Wetlands Trail at the Roger Williams Zoo. (until 3 November 2019).




Posted on: 25/10/2019

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