6 creepy Halloween getaways

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When it comes to Halloween, there are usually two types. There are those who love to get the bejesus scared out of them — being chased out of a haunted house with a chain saw and reveling in ghost stories. Then, there are those who live for leaf-peeping excursions, cute pumpkin patches and have a closet full of flannels. But occasionally, they overlap, and fall is loved for being spooky and cozy, ghosts with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.

So, no matter which version of Halloween you prefer, there’s a Halloweentown in the U.S. worth visiting. Here are six spots to put on your list for a scary-good time (or, you know, just some really great pumpkins and witch sightings.)  

Estes Park, Colorado 

Estes Park is a bit of a choose-your-own fall adventure. Love the paranormal? Take a ghost tour or spend a night at The Stanley Hotel, which is known as a “Disney”
for ghosts because of all of its paranormal activity. It’s also the hotel where Stephen King was snowed in when he had a nightmare that inspired him to pen “The Shining.” But Estes is picturesque, too, and located on the front porch of Rocky Mountain National Park. Fall is mating season for elk, which means visitors can hear the animals’ bugling (mating calls) throughout town and see these beautiful creatures (from a distance) take over golf courses and occasionally stop traffic. Leaf peepers, there’s something for you, too: Enjoy a unique vantage point by zipping through the trees on the Mustang Monster Coaster.

See: The best affordable little cities to live in America

Half Moon Bay, California 

Located along the craggy coast of Northern California, Half Moon Bay is absolutely gourd-geous in the fall. The coastal community, about 35 minutes south of San Francisco, is regarded as the pumpkin capital of the world, with local growers producing more than 3,000 tons of pumpkins every year. You can pick your own pumpkins or blow your own glass pumpkin at a glassblowing studio, plus enjoy pumpkin beers on tap. Restaurants also showcase pumpkin dishes on their menus, with chefs at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay featuring savory lobster pumpkin bisque and decadent pumpkin mousse cake. 

Check out: seven off-the-radar places worth stopping on a California road trip

Romeo, Michigan

Some towns are known to go all out for Christmas. But Romeo, Michigan, wins Halloween. More than 25 homes are decorated to the max for the beloved “Terror on Tillson” tradition in Romeo, a small village where homes date to the 1850s. Many of the homes adopt themes, from pirate ships to Harry Potter scenes to graveyards and a ghost dance hall. The community event attracts 75,000 visitors from around the country, and over 2,000 trick-or-treaters descend on the neighborhood on Halloween night. Homeowners estimate that 75,000 pieces of candy are handed out each year. Volunteers from the high-school football team walk the streets in bright-colored safety vests and with flashlights to help with crowd control. In all, the event scares up $80,000 that’s donated to local students and veterans. 

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Sleepy Hollow, New York 

Just 25 miles north of New York City, along the Hudson River, is Sleepy Hollow, the real-life setting of the 1820 short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Visitors to Westchester County can take a self-guided tour of many landmarks, including the statue of the Headless Horseman that chased schoolmaster Ichabod Crane. This Halloweentown really leans into its reputation with a calendar full of festive events, like hayrides, a horsemen-themed haunted house, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze that features more than 7,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins, and, new for 2023, a twirling pumpkin Ferris wheel. Sleepy Hollow Hotel, Tarrytown House Estate and the Castle Hotel & Spa are all great spots to spend the night, especially as the latter two have their own haunted tales.

See: Six towns worth visiting for their historic downtowns

Cody, Wyoming 

You can expect some inherent quirk in an Old West town like Cody, Wyoming. But what you may not have seen coming is the Mummy Cave. Just north of the Shoshone River, a resident discovered the cave with remains of an eerily well-preserved 1,200-year-old man whom locals refer to as Mummy Joe. He was buried under the overhang of a volcanic cliff, which provided the ideal climate for preservation.

While you may not stumble across any mummies while in town, there’s still tons to see and do, including a visit to Yellowstone National Park, where you can spot elk and the gemstone-colored Grand Prismatic hot spring that looks like it belongs on another planet. The Irma Hotel was built by Buffalo Bill Cody in 1902 and named for his daughter, Irma. If you’re looking for a harrowing stay, Room 35 is believed to be haunted by her ghost, with guests reporting water in the bathroom turns on and off by itself and belongings move around the room. 

Also on MarketWatch: How Halloween became a huge money-maker for Disney

Macon, Georgia 

Georgia is considered the “Hollywood of the South,” with spooky shows like “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead” filmed in the Peach State. For a fun Halloween getaway, head to Macon, which has hauntings like the historic Hay House, Rose Hill Cemetery, and the Big House where the Allman Brothers lived. In fact, there’s so much ghostly activity here that Rocky Candy Tours leads a “Macon Macabre Tour ” through downtown. But one of the very best things to observe is the annual “Witches Float,” when 100 or so participants dressed like witches and warlocks float down the Ocmulgee River in canoes and on paddleboards to raise money for charity.

Read the original article on Livability.

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