This undated photo provided by shows a scene from the ScareHouse Halloween attraction near Pittsburgh, Pa. One of the more extreme experiences offered by ScareHouse is called The Basement and involves placing hoods over the heads of visitors. It’s an example of a trend among Halloween attractions to offer scarier and more intense visitor activities. (AP Photo/Undead Productions, Rachellyn Schoen)

Rachellyn Schoen

There are supposed haunted places all over the country.

According to the National Retail Federation, 20.3 percent of Americans plan on visiting a haunted attraction this fall. Research further shows that many thrill-seekers carefully plan vacations and weekend getaways specifically around visiting America’s top haunted attractions.

Here are some great ideas for a haunted vacation, from the Haunted Attraction Association.


The City of Brotherly Love is well known for its history, arts and culture, but every fall Philadelphia becomes a Halloween Hot Spot. Among the must-see attractions is Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary — a massive haunted house featuring six attractions inside a real abandoned prison.

Also, some of the top hayrides are only a short drive from the city including Shocktoberfest in Reading, Field of Screams in Lancaster and Frightland in Middletown, Del.

While you are in town, refuel at Eulogy Belgian Tavern, where locals come for the largest beer selection in town. You will want to make a reservation for the “coffin room” — a small room in the back of the second floor where three coffins double as tables.


Often associated with its historic witch hunts during the 1600s, New England is full of Halloween fright. Begin your terror trip at Nightmare New England in Litchfield, N.H. The history of the notorious Bishop family is the story behind The Bishop Legacy attraction. A reclusive family, known to be devoted to dark rituals, the Bishops were blamed when members of the Litchfield community started to go missing. Today, many of the remains of the missing are still unaccounted for. Can you survive this haunted attraction?

If you make it out in one piece, Salem, Mass., which gave its name to the witch trials back in 1692 to 1693, is the next place to be. According to local officials, each year more than 250,000 people head to Salem in October. Salem Haunted Happenings include a Grand Parade, the Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, costume balls, ghost tours, chilling theatrical presentations and more.

Round out your trip by exploring historic Boston, Mass. Step through the shadows and discover the chilling and ghastly tales of murder and revenge with a walking tour of Boston led by Haunted Boston. The tour takes you through the historic and haunted streets of Boston in search of the countless ghosts rumored to haunt the city

More Haunts in New England:

— Trail of Terror, Wallingford, Conn.

— Barrett’s Haunted Mansion, Abington, Mass.

— Witch’s Woods, Westford, Mass.

— Fright Kingdom, Nashua, N.H.

— Ghoullog, Jackson, N.H.

— Haunted Overload, Lee, N.H.


There is a clear winner when it comes to the sheer number of haunts in one state: in Michigan, there are more than 60 attractions throughout the Southeast Michigan down to Northern Ohio.

Top haunt Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, Mich. is not a haunt to miss with its one-of-a-kind “Slice of Time” feature, new for the 2013 season. Thanks to the careful positioning of 45 cameras in a single room, leave the haunt with a “Matrix”-style 180 degree image of yourself, in all your glory, screaming your head off.

If you are looking to celebrate fall with a timeless tradition, no one can resist the apple cider and cinnamon spice donuts at nearby Franklin Cider Mill.


Can “America’s Dairyland” provide us with a haunted twist? The answer is yes. Considered by many to be the number one must-see haunted house in America, Wisconsin Fear Grounds is located in Waukesha, just outside of Milwaukee. Visitors can experience three times the terror by entering Morgan Manor, Carnevil: A Freak Show of Terror and Unstable — it’s three haunted houses, all in one location.

Afterward, visitors can enjoy a drink back at Milwaukee’s Shaker’s Cigar Bar before daring to sign up for a ghost tour of the establishment. Over the years, many staff members and customers have been scared away from Shaker’s by their spiritual encounters. There could be a ghost or two awaiting your arrival — don’t say you were not warned.


Known as America’s most haunted city, NOLA is the perfect destination Halloween spot. Celebrating 21 years of terror, The House of Shock is fully renovated this year with an expanded outdoor swamp site. Whether looking to enter the haunted house, ride a giant spider or enjoy free live music, The House of Shock has become a true Halloween festival.

To continue your spooky quest, dine at Muriel’s in Jackson Square. While enjoying the Creole cuisine and culture of New Orleans, beware: you may be dining with a few ghosts. Many paranormal investigations have occurred over the years, specifically in Muriel’s Seance Lounge, due to reports of strange shadows, inexplicable knocks and voices.

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