It’s that time of year when the ghosts and goblins arise from their dark lairs to rattle their chains and whisper their creepy hauntings. But where in America will the hairs on the back of your neck stand the tallest? Shindigz, Where the World Comes to Party, set out on a quest to find the top 10 cities for celebrating Halloween.
Although Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday of the year (surpassed only by Christmas), there’s more to Halloween than just the decorations. Some U.S. cities are known for their “authentic” haunted locations and ghostly history. Others are known for their Halloween tourist attractions and trick-or-treating. When searching for the absolute best Halloween cities in America, Shindigz monster-mashed all of these factors together to compile a list of ten cities where visitors can experience the best of what Halloween has to offer.
10. Cleveland, OH: Even though Zillow ranked Cleveland at #17 on the list of best places to trick-or-treat in America, it made the Shindigz top ten list for many other reasons. The Fear Experience, Cleveland’s scariest haunt, actually puts a warning on their website that discourages visitors from touching the animals. Enough said. You can also take a Haunted Cleveland Ghost Tour of the Torso Murders that re-traces the timeline and cites of one of America’s very first serial killers.
9. Charleston, SC: Despite Charleston leaving much to be desired on the haunted attractions side of the business, a city with so much REAL haunted history doesn’t really need attractions to make it creepy. The Battery Carriage House Inn and the Dock Street Theatre are thought to inhabit the ghosts and spirits of Civil War Soldiers, African Gullahs and headless spirits. This combined, with its family-friendly Halloween festivities, gives Charleston a spot on the top ten.
8. Las Vegas, NV: Vegas, the “city of lights,” has turned to the dark side with two attractions being featured this year on Macabre Theater. The Asylum and Hotel Fear are two of Nevada’s scariest attractions and are quickly gaining national notoriety. Zillow lists Las Vegas as the 9th best trick-or-treating city in America. Finally, The Flamingo Hotel is where former owner and well known gangster Bugsy Segal is said to roam the Presidential Suite and pool of his hotel between cut-throat games of blackjack.
7. Chicago, IL: Chi-town is on the Shindigz, list not only for its great trick-or-treating suburbs, but also its history. The Great Fire and stories of gangsters including Al Capone have given Chicago quite a haunted reputation. In nearby Aurora, IL visitors can see an attraction called “Basement of the Dead.” This frightening haunt in the basement of an old laundry company is known for its large cast of adult actors, costumes, decorations and visual effects. When you’re done at the “Basement of the Dead,” you can take a tour of the haunted Bachelor’s Cemetery and try to catch a glimpse of the “White Lady.”
6. Atlanta, GA: One word: Netherworld. This 15-year-old haunted attraction is recommended for adults and brave teens only. Its different houses and dark themes give it a uniqueness that keeps visitors coming back for more. Atlanta also carries the title of being the 15th best city for trick-or-treating according to Zillow and houses more than ten allegedly haunted locations including Antebellum Plantation and Oakland Cemetery.
5. Portland, OR: Portland, and surrounding areas like Richmond and Northwest Heights, provide all the little ghosts and goblins with some of the country’s best trick-or-treating. This, combined with the hair-raising, world famous Shanghai Tunnels and Pittock Mansion, gives Portland a central spot on Shindigz’ list of Halloween’s best cities.
4. San Antonio, TX: The haunted, historic stories behind the Alamo, the Governor’s Mansion and Menger Hotel, combined with its annual “Nightmare on Grayson” haunted attraction and its listing on Zillow as one of the country’s best cities for trick-or-treating, San Antonio takes the #4 position in our list. Stop by the Crown Plaza St. Anthony where there have been numerous stories of sightings of strange shadowy outlines, feelings of a presence in some rooms, and the opening and closing of doors.
3. San Francisco, CA: This city, synonymous with Alcatraz Prison, takes the #3 spot on Shindigz list of Best Halloween Cities in America. The creepiness of Alcatraz aside, San Francisco took Zillow’s #2 spot for best trick-or-treating in America. Take a drive out of the city over the Bay Bridge at night on the lower deck towards Oakland and you may also experience what drivers say are ghosts knocking on your vehicle’s windows. Some also say that they’ve see a headless man running next to their cars.
2. Denver, CO: Denver is host to one of the most well-known haunted attractions: The 13th Floor. This attraction is not for the faint of heart. Its realistic effects and “unlucky” name give it a creepiness all its own. Denver is also known for its festive and decorative trick-or-treating neighborhoods like Cherry Creek, Hilltop and Congress Park. Lastly, its haunted history includes sites like The Brown Palace Hotel, Buckhorn Exchange and the famed Cheesman Park.
1. Philadelphia, PA: Philly takes first place on the Shindigz list of Best Halloween Cities in America. Its haunted sites like Fort Mifflin and Eastern State Penitentiary give it an eeriness that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, arms AND legs. The former capital of the US is also a hot trick or treating spot in areas like Manayunk, Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square. But more than anything, Philly made its way to the top of the list thanks to Pennhurst Asylum. This spine-chilling attraction is set inside an old abandoned mental institution and has been featured on the SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters on more than one occasion. An attraction built on the actual site of a sinister and frightening mental hospital? That was the proverbial nail in the coffin (which is good in this case).