Do your kids like a good thrill? Are you as into Halloween as Claire Dunphy on Modern Family? If so, it is time to plan a spooky fall getaway that will give the whole family spine-tingling thrills. Here are some ideas for East Coast haunted holidays:
White Mountains, New Hampshire
The White Mountains are full of frightening fun and some of the best fall foliage in the country. Cranmore Mountain’s “Ghoullog,” an annual fright fest with indoor and outdoor elements including a Haunted Playground. Adventurous souls can enjoy the mountain coaster, giant swing and soaring eagle zip line at night. Santa’s Village in Jefferson also transforms its amusement park into a mix of spookiness for older children and fun areas for younger kids with its “Silly Spooky Halloween” on October 17th and 24th, 2015. You can also check out the “Scarecrows of Sound” at the Hobo Railroad in Lincoln from September 19th through October 18th, 2015. If you are looking for a family-friendly place to stay, I’d recommend the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort to chill out at the indoor Kahuna Laguna waterpark.
With its unfortunate history around the Salem Witch Trials, Salem Massachusetts has become a go-to place for chilling fun. For the entire month of October, Salem’s Haunted Happenings take over the town with a festive celebration of Halloween and fall in New England. More than 250,000 people come to Salem Haunted Happenings each year to take part in events such as a Grand Parade, the Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, Family Film Nights on Salem Common, costume balls, ghost tours, haunted houses, live music, and chilling theatrical presentations. See what else there is to do in Salem in the fall for those that aren’t as into the spooky stuff.
Catskill Mountains, New York
The Walking Dead comes to life (sort of) at Hunter Mountain’s Zombie Hunter Wars. This macabre must pits humans versus zombies in a theatrical, interactive game of paintball warfare for ages eight and up. Fall and Halloween festivals can be found across the region from the Tannersville scarecrow contest and Halloween parade on October 25th, to the Children’s Halloween Monster Mash Party at the Brookside Campground on October 3rd and 10th, to the Halloween Bash Weekend at The Blackthorne Resort, with a trip through Massacre Mansion, hayrides, and more.
Newport, Rhode Island
This old sailing capital has seen its share of history and retains its share of ghosts. Take a lantern-led ghost tour down historic Newport, Rhode Island’s shadowy lanes and discover the ghosts, ghouls, and legends of the haunted city by the sea. You can also get spooked at the Griswold House. On Saturdays through Halloween, guests can attend a “murder mystery” theme party set in the late 1890s. Also head up to nearby Providence for a visit to Roger Williams Park Zoo’s Jack-o-Lantern Spooktacular.
Frederick County, Maryland
Did you know that Frederick is Maryland’s Most Haunted City?? Neither did I but their master storytellers will take visitors on a candlelight tour through Frederick’s historic district, leading guests through dark streets and alleyways, weaving together historical accounts and documented stories of the paranormal.
What could be more eerie than Erie? This lakeside town offers ghost walks and cemetery walking tours for the brave and daring. Those a bit less courageous can enjoy the ZooBoo! or haunted hayrides and corn mazes. Erie even offers a Eerie Horror Film Festival from October 16-18, 2015.
The Pocono Mountains are beautiful in the fall and there is so much to do for families, plus great family-friendly hotels like the Kalahari, Camelback Lodge, and Great Wolf Lodge with their indoor waterparks. For those that need more than a fast waterslide to give them a scare, a visit to the Old Jail Museum might do the trick. The Museum is best known for housing and executing the Molly Maguires in the 1800s. Before his hanging, one man left his dirty handprint on the wall proclaiming it proof of his innocence. That handprint is visible today, though the wall has been washed, painted, and replastered — creepy.
Richmond has a whole host of scary attractions, from Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt to a ghost tour of Richmond’s historic neighborhoods or the Goblins & Gourds exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Visitors can take in a performance of “The Cask of Amontillado” at the Poe Museum or experience an evening of spellbinding tales at Haunted Henricus.
With over 2,000 Confederate graves, it isn’t hard to believe that Lynchburg is haunted. See for yourself during the October Candlelight Tours at the Old City Cemetery and Arboretum. Knees still not knocking? Maybe the stories of enslaved spirits at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest with guided, lantern-lit tours will do the trick.
From its annual Oktoberfest to Tybee Island’s Pirate Festival, Savannah is a great place to visit in the fall. For those that are looking for thrills, Sixth Sense Savannah Ghost Tours cover paranormal and haunted story topics of poltergeist, hags, exorcism, missing cemeteries, disembodies spirit forms, and haunted hotels.
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Do you have a spooky fall family getaway to recommend?