Many Arizona ghost hunters and paranormal investigators hit the highways and travel to haunted locations and Halloween attractions around the country during the month of October. What are the most popular spots? Travelchanel.com has recently named the 2013 “Travel’s Best “Halloween Attractions”…and they claim these destinations are not for the faint of heart.
The 2013 “Travel’s Best” Halloween Attractions expert panelists included: Scott Cummins (Artist & Pro Pumpkin Carver); Elvira (Mistress of the Dark); Nick Groff (Paranormal Investigator, “Ghost Adventures”); Ed and Marsha Edmunds (Owners of Distortions Unlimited, “Making Monsters”); and Aaron Sagers (Geek Culture & Paranormal Expert).
“Travel’s Best” Halloween Attractions for 2013 is listed in alphabetical order by state.
Knott’s Scary Farm (Buena Park, California) In late fall, Southern California’s Knott’s Berry Farm morphs into Knott’s Scary Farm, one of the most-attended Halloween attractions in the world. In addition to such heart-stopping rides as “GhostRider” and elaborately-themed mazes including the brand new “Trapped: The New Experiment,” Knott’s Scary Farm showcases six sinister live shows including Elvira’s Sinema Séance – all of which add up to the ultimate horror experience!
Disney's Haunted Mansion (Anaheim, California & Orlando, Florida) With its beautiful sets and wonderful illusions, Disney’s Haunted Mansion is a classic family attraction. Whether visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, CA or Magic Kingdom in Orlando, FL, travelers experience Halloween year-round. The mansion is fun and spooky, but not so scary for children to enjoy.
Spooky Empire's Ultimate Horror Weekend (Orlando, Florida) Spooky Empire is a horror convention that takes place in Orlando, FL every October. With the likelihood of being surrounded by such horror icons as George A. Romero, John Carpenter, Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Bruce Campbell and Elvira, the convention can feel like a three-day Halloween party full of treats.
Markoff’s Haunted Forest (Calleva Farm in Dickerson, Maryland) Ask anyone in the Washington, D.C. area for a Halloween pick, and they will be directed to Markoff’s Haunted Forest, where visitors have been enjoying thrills for over 20 years. Haunted hayrides, zombie hunts and a walk through the “Not-So-Fun House Maze” are just a few ways the creepy adventure will unfold.
Salem Haunted Happenings (Salem, Massachusetts) Salem’s notorious history is an indescribably tangible addition to any one of the town’s attractions for history and Halloween enthusiasts alike. The Halloween spirit ramps up as the date nears with everything from Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery to tours of the Salem Witch Museum.
Twin Cities’ Zombie Pub Crawl (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota) Whether it’s to support a charitable cause or simply for fun, zombie crawls are organized for the public to dress as zombies and gather together. There are zombie crawls held all over America. The largest one in 2012 was held in the Twin Cities with an estimated 30,000 in attendance, making it the largest gathering of zombies according to Guinness World Records.
KC West Bottoms Haunted Houses (Kansas City, Missouri) The West Bottoms area is made up of several late 19th-century buildings that were seemingly made to be haunted houses! This “village of the damned” has four epic haunts: The Beast, The Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe, The Edge of Hell and Macabre Cinema. Added attractions include the world’s largest python and two terrifying multi-story “slides to hell.”
The Haunting of Lemp Brewery (St. Louis, Missouri) The 100th episode of “Ghost Adventures” was filmed around Lemp Brewery in St. Louis. The building alone is considered quite creepy, and now that a haunted attraction has been built inside, it’s an absolute must-see.
Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England (Litchfield, New Hampshire) There is a variety of haunted attractions offered at Spooky World with activities for all ages. One popular offering for visitors is shooting zombies with paintball guns.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Terror Behind the Walls (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) The abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the most well-known haunted locations in the country, and for six weeks every fall, “Terror Behind the Walls” transforms the prison into a massive haunted house. For the first time in the event’s history, visitors will be confronted with a critical decision: should they explore the prison and watch the action, or should they mark themselves to truly interact with the denizens of the cellblocks? Those who opt in for true interactivity may be grabbed, held back, sent into hidden passageways, removed from their group and even occasionally incorporated into the show.
So, grab your suitcase, fill it with your costume and paranormal gear, and make your flight reservations. Wishing you happy travels with a fright factor attached!
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Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner: Debe Branning firstname.lastname@example.org.