Halloween. You breathe Halloween. Thing is, you do the same stuff
every year and you want something new. You want to rejuvenate
your Halloween appetite with new inspiration. Look no further.
I've got 10 ideas that I think may give you that extra jolt to
make you venture out of your Halloween stagnation and maybe into
a new annual Halloween tradition. I tried to cover as much of
the country as I could but you will notice I have focused on certain
regions of the country more than others. You may say, "Hey,
I've been screwed! There's no place for me to go to. I live in
(enter state here)". Well, YOU better give me a shout and
let me know what's going on in your area so I can tell others.
Anyway, here we go...
1. Visit New Orleans
New Orleans is more than just Mardi Gras.
New Orleans has gobs of cool cemetaries to tour. One of note is
Tour in the courtyard of the Cafe Beignet. There are no reservations
required and the daily tours run rain or shine. The
Haunted Tour ( a walking tour) will take you through the French
Quarter after dark and give you a chilling history lesson. The
nightly tour meets at O'Flaherty's Pub on Toulouse Street. If
you take a tour of New Orleans, no trip is complete without visiting
two homes owned by author Anne Rice. These are located at 2301
and 2524 St. Charles Avenue.
2. Visit the "Most
Haunted House in the U.S."
Located at the intersection
of San Diego Ave. and Harney St. in San Diego, California, the
Whaley House is considered the most haunted house in America.
Visitors claim to see various apparitions including an executed
man and Mr. Whaley himself. The house itself was constructed around
1856 by Thomas Whaley. The last of his residing children passed
away in 1953 and the house soon fell into disrepair. Near demolition,
the house was saved in 1956 and became a historical museum. The
operating hours are from 10am-5:30pm and a small fee is required
for entrance. For more info on this and other haunted houses visit
3. Go bat watching
In Austin, Texas from March through November,
folks come out to the Congress Avenue Bridge to witness over a
million and a half Mexican free-tailed bats take flight and suck
down some 15 tons of insects nightly. This has got to be a bat
lovers paradise and a nightmare for anyone remotely afraid of
the little critters. Call the Bat Conservation International "Hotline"
at 512-416-5700 for updates or visit www.batcon.org
for more infomation on bats.
4. Visit a real Mystery
Not so much a haunted house as much as an
architectural marvel, the Wichester
Mystery House has been a tourist favorite in San Jose, California
for years. Sporting some 47 fireplaces, 40 staircases (some lead
nowhere) and 40 bedrooms, the Winchester House is a must see.
As the story goes, Sarah L. Winchester began construction in 1884.
Being extremely supersticious, Sarah believed she wouldn't die
if she kept construction of the house going. And she did...for
38 continuous years until her death. Tours are given daily and
there are special "Flashlight Tours" of the house usually
on a Friday the 13th and during Halloween.
5. Visit a haunt that's
open all year round
Kingdon in Orlando, Florida was the first haunted house I
discovered that was open all year-round (aside from the carnival
related dark rides). I guess I must have been living under a rock
my whole life. The great thing about Skull Kingdom is that this
place is really well done. I've been in a lot of haunts over the
years and I can say that this is in my top 5 of all time haunts.
Another plus is that that they also do shows for younger children.
Since I've last visited, the haunt has added a horror show and
a Chamber of Magic show with dinner. If you live in Florida and
haven't been...why not?
6. Take a trip to
Disneyland or Disney World
Why would you want to take a trip to either
World resorts around Halloween? The Haunted Mansion naturally.
Although you can really go anytime, why not check out the mansion
to kick start your Halloween frenzy. And if you've never been,
you're really missing out. The Haunted Mansion is my favorite
ride at the park. It just gets me into the right mood for Halloween.
It's also tame enough that some kids will get a kick out of it.
Just don't bring your very small children inside, it's still pretty
intimidating in the dark. And every year starting in the Fall,
The Haunted Mansion is transformed into the Haunted Mansion Holiday,
based on the Tim Burton film "The Nightmare Before Christmas".
It supposedly was going to be a one shot deal back a few years
ago but it turned out to be so popular that the attraction is
held annually through Christmas.
7. Check out a real
Mummies are definately very interesting
and nothing like they are in the movies. Not all are from Egypt.
Many are from South America, Mexico and other regions of the world
and not all mummies are people. Animals over the centuries have
been mummified by their owners to take that long journey with
has info on museums with mummies in several states. The
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium in San Jose,
California is special though (not just because I live here) because
it houses 6 mummies. That's more than any other museum in the
U.S. that I know of. It also has a life-size tomb replica one
8. Take a Vampire
If you're in the San Francisco area, why
not stroll through historic Nob Hill with Mina Harker as she guides
you through the vampire legends of the area. Tours are given Friday
and Saturday evenings and reservations are required. The tours
are available all year but are extremely popular around October
for reasons I need not discuss. For more info, go to SF
9. Attend a pumpkin
Pumpkin festivals are a great way your family
can spend the day checking out monster pumpkins, eating pumpkin
flavored foods, and picking ou that perfect Jack-O-Lantern. Festivals
are all over the country. Some noteworthy festivals are the Barnesville
Pumpkin Festival in Barnesville, Ohio, the
Keene, New Hampshire Pumpkin Fesitval and the Halfmoon
Bay Pumpkin Festival in Halfmoon Bay, California. So why not
load up the kids and check out a 700 pound monster squash this
10. Tour Salem, Massachusettes
I never knew there was so much to see and
do in Salem. Then again, I never really thought of taking a trip
there at Halloween. I figured they were just famous for burning
people that fly on brooms. This is the line up in October. Several
Halloween Balls such as the Vampires'
Victim Ball, the Vampires'
Masquerade Ball, the Salem
Witches Halloween Ball and the
Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo will all try to cast their
spell for your attention. If partying hard at Halloween isn't
in the cards (because of kids), there's also the Salem
Witch Museum where you learn about the witch trials of 1692.
That's it. I'm sure there's plenty of other
frightning things to do. If you know of some, why not
let me know so I can use them in a future story. Heck , if
I get enough stuff, I'll have to have a part two to this story.
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