Halloween is celebrated around the world in many forms but in the U.S., it takes on a different persona. From scary haunted houses to parades that may even incite a few laughs, there's really no wrong way to observe October 31st. Each state has its own traditions but there are some that most definitely stick out among the rest.
While cities such as Salem or Sleepy Hollow may have honed their Halloween craft for centuries, there's some competition this year from various cities in other parts of the country. And when it comes to doing the most for the spooky season, they're showing the world that Halloween far exceeds dressing up and going trick-or-treating.
10 St. Helens, Oregon: The Spirit Of Halloween Festival
Some might recognize St. Helens as the place where the beloved Disney movie Halloweentown was filmed, and the town seems to have upheld its festive atmosphere since then. The town is only 30 minutes outside of Portland which makes it a great, easy day trip for those who are already in Oregon. During October, the town transforms into a real-life Halloweentown, complete with the giant pumpkin that's lit for October 31st. A 'haunted' hearse, monster fun run, car show, pumpkin parades, and haunted houses are all part of the month's weekend festivities.
9 Salem, Massachusetts: The Festival Of The Dead
Salem is well-known for its ~spooky~ atmosphere in general, but the town absolutely comes alive from September through November. Simply visiting this seaside city during any one of those months is an activity in itself, and visitors are sure to find themselves enjoying any number of historic Witch museums or roaming the city's many shops. One of the main events is the Festival of the Dead, which includes festive fireworks, haunted houses, ghost tours, and even psychic readings.
8 Laconia, New Hampshire: Pumpkin Festival
Laconia is not an extraordinarily large town but it is home to one of New Hampshire's best Halloween festivals. When it comes to all things Halloween - and especially pumpkins - not many places are doing it better than this. Featuring a tower of Jack O' Lanterns that spans at least 34 feet high, the crowning jewel of this festival is its impressive gourd handiwork. Combine that with its Pumpkin Beer Festival Garden, corn hole and other lawn games, hayrides, Pumpkin Dump Derby, and pumpkin lighting, and it's a surefire winner of an event.
7 Orlando, Florida: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Adults are not the only ones who celebrate Halloween, in which case, Orlando's Disney World offers a fun, kid-friendly alternative. Magic Kingdom is where all the, well, magic, takes place, and it starts by setting the scene with fireworks, family-friendly Halloween decor, fun costumes, parades, and music. The great thing about Mickey's parties is that they start in August and continue straight through November.
6 Sleepy Hollow, New York: Various Halloween Festivities
Sleepy Hollow is home to one of the most famous legends on the East Coast: The Headless Horseman. While visitors aren't likely to witness the restless spirit of the horseman himself, they might just be privy to an actor pulling off a really good impression of the apparition. Throughout October and the weekend closest to Halloween, this small town in the Hudson Valley throws numerous festivals and is home to one of the best haunted walks in the state.
5 Indianapolis, Indiana: Irvington Halloween Festival
The Irvington Halloween Festival lasts for a solid week in Indianapolis, giving visitors plenty of chances to get in on all the spooky fun. The festival itself has been going on for more than 70 years and features a masquerade ball, street fair, zombie bike ride, various street vendors, a vampire run, and more interesting - albeit unusual - events.
4 Louisville, Kentucky: Louisville Zoo Halloween Party
This festival sees thousands of visitors each year, making it one of the largest Halloween celebrations in the country. While scary spooks are not typical of this event, it is a family-friendly way to celebrate Halloween at a place that's already so much fun to visit. With its various Halloween decor, the Louisville Zoo has managed to create an atmosphere that's whimsical and a bit magical.
3 Manitou Springs, Colorado: Emma Crawford Festival
For those who take their Halloween celebrations a little less seriously, Manitou Springs is the place to be. The Emma Crawford Festival is one that errs on the side of silly and humorous more so than scary, and it's well worth the trip to Colorado. Visitors to this small town will have the chance to witness coffin races (each uniquely designed by the teams that enter) among other unusual events during the month of October.
2 New York City, New York: The Village Halloween Parade
New York City is famous for its parades and the Village Halloween Parade is arguably one of the best in the state. Visitors will see an array of costumes ranging from uber scary to hilarious comical, along with floats and decor that's unique to New York. The after-parties are perfect for those looking to soak up the best of the city's nightlife, as well - just don't plan on getting any sleep.
1 New Orleans, Louisiana: The Crew Of Boo
New Orleans also takes its Halloween celebrations fairly seriously, and the Crew of Boo is one of the best. During the celebration, visitors can take part in events such as an annual Halloween parade, a zombie run, and various food entertainment. This is also a great chance for people to show off their unique Halloween costumes, of which there are many to see.