September 27, 2021

Traveler’s Guide to the Best Halloween Towns in the U.S.

Front view of Halloween themed setting against the window in day time

Leaves are falling, and so are temperatures as the U.S. welcomes a new season. With autumn in the air, there are a few unique towns across the nation that are gearing up for a frightfully fun, hair-raising Halloween, and they embrace all the ghouls and goblins – or even healthcare travelers – who come to visit.

Salem, Massachusetts

While superstitions ran wild in the Witch Trials of 1692, modern-day Salem welcomes the witch-y business. Salem celebrates October with Haunted Happenings down every dark alley and a Festival of the Dead to unearth the history of strange rituals humans practiced to remember spirits long gone. Healthcare travelers who visit Salem can step back in time with a tour of historic sites from the Salem Witch Trials or surrender to nostalgia when visiting film locations from the cult classic “Hocus Pocus” and other seasonal favorites. To embrace the thrills and fun, don your witch’s hat and dance the night away at the Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball.

New Orleans, Louisiana


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See the undead come to life as the streets of the Big Easy boil over with vampires, ghosts, and zombies during the Krewe of Boo parade. New Orleans beckons you to embrace the paranormal at Voodoo shops in the French Quarter or shapeshift into your favorite creature at a costume shop. For a quieter night, spirits await you in the above-ground cemeteries known as the Cities of the Dead, which you can tour with a group or all alone.

Sleepy Hollow, New York


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The autumn air stirs the supernatural in Sleepy Hollow, New York. As legend would have it, the town remains the home of the cloaked rider – the Headless Horseman. Feel the chills as actors retell Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and face the Headless Horseman for yourself. If you’d like a light to guide your way back home, make your way to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, where thousands of intricately hand-carved pumpkins flicker in the moonlight.

Savannah, Georgia


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Do you dare visit America’s most haunted city – Savannah, Georgia? Underneath the beauty of this coastal town lies a history of hauntings. Keep your senses alert when you tour the spookiest places in Savannah – you could spot ladies in white, hear the laughter of ghostly children, or witness a spirit in the halls. If you’re brave enough, you can confront the paranormal by spending a night in one of Savannah’s haunted hotels. For something less ominous, bring your family or friends to a fun-filled day at Oktoberfest, or sip a potion of your choosing on the Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl.

Independence, Kansas 

Kansas is home to more than Dorothy and Superman. The “Neewollah” festival (Halloween spelled backward) is the oldest and largest celebration in the state and a frightfully good time. This multi-day event includes a medallion hunt across the town, food stands, the Neewollah Carnival, parades, and the crowning of Queen Nelah.

Estes Park, Colorado


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During fall, the aspens blaze a brilliant yellow in Estes Park, but that’s not the only reason travelers visit this Colorado town. People near and far come to embrace the horrors of the Stanley Hotel, featured in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” with a spirited night tour. If you aren’t dead tired, dress in costume and dance the night away at one of the hotel’s lively Halloween balls. As you explore the rest of Estes Park, be sure to fill your cauldron at the Rocky Mountain Craft Spirits Festival, and pick your pumpkins at the Pumpkin and Pilsners Festival.

Anoka, Minnesota

The “Halloween Capital of the World” welcomes all healthcare travelers with a season of family-friendly events. View a dazzling display of floats in the Light Up the Night Parade and gather afterward at the community bonfire. Giant pumpkins take their turns on the scale in the pumpkin weigh-off. People dress to impress in the scarecrow contest or carefully carve out their designs in the pumpkin carving contest. There are also activities for the littles throughout the month – including a coloring contest, costume contest, parades, pancake breakfasts, and more.

Ready for a season of chills and thrills? Search TNAA’s job openings to find the adventure you’ll go on next.