Top Ten Iconic Places to Celebrate Halloween

Things to Do for Halloween Around the World

Halloween is a fun and frightening festival that is widely celebrated around the world. It is a one-of-a-kind festival that celebrates horror while also providing an excellent opportunity to travel. It’s fascinating to see how different places and cultures put their own spin on Halloween, which is primarily a Western holiday.

The term “Halloween” derives from the old European celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, the night before the Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day (also known as All Saints’ Day). People celebrated the hallows (saints, not magical objects!) during this festival. People would dress up as saints and go door to door reciting songs and requesting “soul cakes” – the origin of today’s Trick-or-Treating.

While Halloween has a long and complex history, many places celebrate it in a dynamic and colorful way. Here are a few of the best places to celebrate Halloween this year around the world.

Where to Celebrate Halloween in the US

While much of the rest of the world regards Halloween as primarily for children, Americans of all ages take the celebration very seriously. If you visit the United States during this haunted season, you’ll find both charming and creepy Halloween events everywhere you go.

Want to travel to celebrate Halloween? Check out the top ten destinations in the United States and internationally to celebrate this spooky day!

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, famous for its 17th-century witch hunts, has long drawn fans of the macabre. The seaside town celebrates Halloween in grand style, with events spanning the entire month, beginning with a tremendous parade in early October and concluding with a fireworks display on Halloween night.

There are tons of activities to do, from ghost tours (a must-do) to visiting the Salem Witch Museum. The entire “downtown” is very walkable, with a bunch of shops, all decorated in a very festive manner.

Salem Witch Museum Halloween
Salem Witch Museum at Halloween image via Wikimedia/Fletcher6

Salem Witch Museum

19 ½ N Washington Square, Salem, Mass

There are two exhibits in the museum. The first exhibit is a half-hour presentation of several dioramas depicting Salem Witch Trials scenes that are lit up one by one while a recorded narration explains each scene. The second showcase is a guided tour of dioramas and wall exhibits about the history of paganism and witch hunts that lasts about 10-15 minutes.

Sleepy Hollow, New York

When you hear “Sleepy Hollow,” do you immediately think of headless horsemen and gigantic, creepy mansions? Head out to Horseman’s Hollow to learn about the legend, but be warned, this is a very scary event and not appropriate for children. For a more “family-friendly” activity, check out the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze!

Horseman’s Hollow
Horseman’s Hollow, Sleepy Hollow, NY image via facebook

Horseman’s Hollow

Philipsburg Manor, 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow NY 10591

Return to Sleepy Hollow, a cursed 18th-century village driven insane by the Headless Horseman! Enter the ominous gates and proceed through haunted landmarks such as the cemetery, tavern, and Old Dutch Church. Take care on your journey! The undead, evil, and insane rule this frightening landscape at Horseman’s Hollow, all paying tribute to the Hessian who everlastingly hunts his head.

New York City

If you are looking to spend Halloween at a gigantic costume party, then you need to head to NYC and attend the Village Halloween Parade! Check out some of the most creative costumes as a spectator or join in on the fun and march. There are also a bunch of haunted houses all over the city, plus cemetery tours, family-friendly Halloween movies at public parks, and “Boo at the Zoo” at the Bronx Zoo.

Village Halloween Parade
Village Halloween Parade; image via flickr/Steven Pisano

Village Halloween Parade

Greenwich Village, New York

Every year on Halloween, the Village is transformed into a spooky and frightening wonderland! This year’s Parade honors the children of New York City who were unable to celebrate Halloween last year. Participate in the festivities by dressing up and parading through Greenwich Village.

Savannah, Georgia

As one of the oldest and spookiest cities in the south, Savannah has a lot to offer for Halloween. Take a tour of the Sorrel Weed Mansion, one of the most haunted houses in the country, or just wander around the city at night! You can also visit the Moon River Brewing Company, which is known to have active spirits!

Sorrel Weed Mansion, Savannah
Sorrel Weed Mansion; image via Yelp/Hilary K.

Sorrel Weed Mansion

6 W Harris St, Savannah, GA 31401

The Sorrel Weed House is widely regarded as one of America’s most haunted locations. The home’s paranormal activity is said to be the result of the tragic death of Francis Sorrel’s second wife, Matilda. His first wife, Lucinda, died of yellow fever in 1827, and Francis married her sister Matilda two years later.

Relive the Old South’s antebellum era. Experience the rich and extraordinary atmosphere of southern history, fine antiques, and outstanding architecture at this Grand Savannah Home.

New Orleans, Louisiana

If you can’t make it for Mardi Gras, definitely head to New Orleans for Halloween! The French Quarter is teeming with voodoo shops, there are world-famous cemeteries to explore, and plenty of haunted houses.

Halloween in New Orleans draws 1000s to the Quarter for devilish entertainment while vampires, zombies, ghosts, goblins, and just about everything else parade up and down Frenchmen Street displaying the city’s legendary wit and creativity in their carefully crafted costumes, second only to Mardi Gras. All Hallow’s Eve in New Orleans is an absolute blast for both the living – and the undead.

Halloween in New Orleans

If you are looking for a costume party, hit the Frenchmen Street Party. If you are feeling fancy, listen to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra play “Ancient Spirits.”

Disney World/Disney Land

Have children or just want to feel like a big kid yourself? Check out Disney for Halloween! Think plenty of seasonal treats, amazing Halloween decorations, and a bunch of people running around in creative costumes!

If you want to do a little something special, you can get tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World, or the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney Land. Plus, as always, there is an amazing fireworks display!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Orlando, FL 32830

Trick-or-treat stations, such as “Alice and Mad Hatter’s Treat Party,” can be found throughout the park. “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade” includes players dressed in Halloween regalia, as does the special fireworks show. Happy Hallowishes fills the air with the sounds of the Ghost Host and other Disney villains. The villains show up at the Diamond Horseshoe, which has been renamed “Club Villain.”

Oogie Boogie Bash

Disney California Adventure, 1313 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

Disneyland’s 2024 Halloween Party will be held once again at Disney California Adventure. Oogie Boogie Bash 2024 features exciting entertainment, attractions, and candy while you dress up in your Halloween costume inside California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort.

Where to Celebrate Halloween Around The World

Although most Americans celebrate Halloween by dressing up and going trick-or-treating, other countries have their own traditions. Countries around the world have their own festivals celebrating the afterlife, and the practices vary greatly from one another.

Transylvania, Romania

I bet you automatically thought of Dracula, right? Vampires go perfectly with Halloween! You can visit the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula, and visit the ruins of his castle. Bran Castle is the most popular “vampire” site in Transylvania, so you cannot miss stopping there! Or, you can spend the night at Corvin Castle, where Dracula was once a prisoner. They even host a Halloween party!

Bran Castle

Str. General Traian Mosoiu, nr. 24, Bran, Romania

Given its striated history, Bran Castle offers several myths of the castle’s expansive story. For 40 LEI (about $9 USD), you can purchase entry to the castle museum, which will walk you through the many pivotal events that took place in and around the castle. You’ll even get a look at the role Vlad the Impaler played in the castle’s history. Shiver.

Bran Castle
Bran Castle, Romania – image via

For a grizzlier experience, pay an additional 10 LEI (about $2) to get access to the medieval torture exhibit. This one is both fascinating and disturbing – and definitely not for young’uns. You’ll get a first-hand look at the devices used to puncture, crush, break, and skewer prisoners throughout the Middle Ages.


Halloween isn’t hugely popular in Mexico, but you have to experience the Day of the Dead. Mexicans welcome back the souls of their departed loved ones, with beautiful decorations and dressed-up skeletons. Head to San Miguel de Allende for a 5-day festival, or to Oaxaca for a different spin on the holiday.

Day of the Dead in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Anywhere you go in San Miguel de Allende, there is a celebration, and each one is festive, colorful, and scenic beyond your wildest imagination. You’ll find yourself returning to town again and again. “La Calaca” is an incredible display of participatory art and culture dedicated to Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” celebrations, which seeks to honor, publicize, and explore the traditions and themes of Dia de Muertos, emphasizing the tradition’s capacity to evolve loss into celebration.

Wexford, Ireland

Did you know that Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic tradition of Samhain? This is a time of transition, where spirits move on to the next life. Not everyone is aware that this commercialized holiday, celebrated by millions around the globe, is premised on an ancient Celtic festival. Halloween, originally known as ‘Samhain,’ was a time of year when pagans honored their gods and commemorated their dead. It also functioned to divide the year, signaling the end of the bright period of summer and the start of the dark period of winter.

Things to do in County Wexford, Ireland - Wells House & Gardens - Dare to Scare Tour - The Werewolf - YourDaysOut

Halloween Tour of Wells House

Wells House and Gardens, Ballyedmond, Gorey, Co. Wexford Y25 CF96

Hear the whispers of the past as you take a tour of the darkness in Wells House. This family-friendly activity is made even more exciting by the presence of a werewolf that is known to roam the woods around the house. You can join the Hunter on his mission his mission to track down his prey, but watch out, because the werewolf might get to you first!

London, England

London has a pretty spooky history, which you can learn all about at the Tower of London and the Museum of London. To experience a real haunted house, head to the Hampton Court Palace, the former home of Henry VIII. Or, take a ghost bus tour!

Hampton Court Palace ghost
An early postcard of a ‘ghost’ in the Horn Room. Catherine Howard, King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, is represented by the ghost. The young queen was placed under house arrest at Hampton Court after being charged with adultery. According to legend, she managed to flee her rooms and run to the Chapel where the King was attending Mass. Before she could reach him, she was apprehended by guards and dragged screaming back to her rooms. Her ghost is said to still haunt the palace today. image via via

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court, East Molesey, England KT8 9

For many years, tales of ghosts and hauntings have enthralled the minds of residents and visitors alike in the palace’s gloomiest nooks and spookiest corners. Discover the stories of Catherine Howard in her chambers, a grey shrouded lady named Sybil Penn, haunted portraits of the damned, and many others in a brand new self-guided trail. This Halloween, come explore some of the strange occurrences that have earned Hampton Court Palace its eerie reputation.

Final Word

Despite the fact that I am easily frightened and am not a huge fan of the horror genre, I enjoy Halloween. It’s difficult not to get into the holiday spirit. It’s so much fun to cuddle up with my friends and watch horror movies that I wouldn’t dare to watch alone. What events do you most look forward to? So how do you plan to celebrate Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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