These scary small towns should make for lots of Halloween terror.
Even though Liz Lemon couldn't make it work with Floyd there, there's still plenty to do in The Cleve--especially when Halloween is involved. It definitely has its share of spooky stories and haunted legends--and they're all available to you thanks to some ghoulish entrepreneurs.
Start with a tour of some of the Cleveland's oldest buildings and likely hiding places for supernatural beings. A five-hour long Ohio City and Beyond Ghost Tour will even take you into Franklin Castle, a real haunted house.
If you're more of a marine thrill seeker, drop some cash on the Burning River Ghost Tour. You'll step aboard the USS Cod submarine docked on Lake Erie as you look for the serviceman who died trying to protect his ship. Even if you don't spot any ghouls, you'll finish off the tour at a local brewery--so you can wash away any disappointment.
Although we've already confirmed that zombies are taking top billing over pirates this Halloween, we can still occasionally provide a little love to the pirate fans. This year, those brave enough can get get a first-hand glimpse of the Hammock House--the supposed home of legendary swashbuckler, Blackbeard.
The Beaufort Ghost Walk, on North Carolina's east coast, takes ghost hunters through the historic downtown while sharing some haunted tales. Your pirate guides, dressed to the nines in the buccaneer regalia, let you in on the town's many secrets and legends. The town was founded in 1709, so you know there's a lot of good stuff to share.
Besides Blackbeard's crib, you'll do your best to navigate through the nearby 300-year-old cemetery--the final resting place for those without watery graves. Make sure you bring your camera, as many have captured the spirits on film. Reservations for the $15 tour are required--so plan ahead.
· Beaufort NC Ghost Walk [Official Site]
· Pirate Trend Going Strong; Divisions Emerge Between Old Schoolers and Jack Sparrows [Jaunted]
· Spookiest Small Towns Map [Jaunted]
[Photo of Your Ghost Hosts: Beaufort Ghost Walk]
If there's no other town around to refute their claim, then we just may have to agree that Anoka, Minnesota is in fact the Halloween Capital of the World. Pretty much forever ago (the 1920s!) the town decided that it would welcome Halloween celebrations instead of waking up the next morning to a town full of toilet papered trees and egged cars. It was a success, and the treats, rather than tricks, continue to flow.
They kill for food, and they're coming for us: Zombie parades are the new pirate parties, and the ghouls lurch among the good folk of Gadsden, Alabama on Saturday, October 18.
The Gadsden Public Library takes on larger and better-made-up parades in San Francisco and Helsinki with the 4th Annual Zombie Parade, to be followed by a marathon of zombie movies from the family-friendly ("Fido") to the cutting-edge consumerist critique ("Dawn of the Dead"). Don't go into that mall!
Get your head together before Halloween by devising the perfect costume and amassing at 3:30 pm in the parking lot of the Pitman Theatre, which will spend all the proceeds from the zombieathon on restoration. Ah, small towns: Even their brain-eating is for a good cause.
[Photo of a Lego zombie uprising: dunechaser]
Salem is to Halloween what Whoville is to Christmas. Thankfully, only one of these places is fictional. Every October, visitors flood the Massachusetts town for what its tourism board calls "Haunted Happenings."
Between car shows, craft fairs, pet costume competitions, radio station car giveaways and multiple theater productions, it may be difficult to decide on just what to do.
Thankfully, we have an idea...
Whatever, that's just a re-enactor... OR IS IT?
Tales of the famous historical events in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania are creepy enough by day: The Civil War's most famous battle produced one amazing speech but heavy casualties for both Union and Confederate brigades. These are not the kind of ghosts who will helpfully make you breakfast or cause your Goth stepdaughter to dance to Harry Belafonte.
Chill seekers will want a guide to look for ghosts in local sites like the Daniel Lady Farm, used as a Confederate fort and military hospital during the battle.
With Ghosts of Gettysburg, you can decide whether it's more horrible to see an undead gravedigger or get caught in an eternal reenactment of Pickett's Charge.
Sleepy Hollow was the real-life home of author Washington Irving and the fictional town where Ichabod Crane ran from the headless horseman. It's also a short half-hour drive from New York City and a nice Halloween-themed weekend trip.
Whereas Salem weathered some seriously dark times--and gave us the term "witch hunt"--all this small Westchester town had to do to earn its spooky association was provide a respite from NYC to the 18th century author.
Now, it maximizes its famously frightening name every year during the month of October. This weekend and next, the society that preserves Washington Irving's home opens it up to the public. At night, search for the headless horseman with one of several haunted hayrides or venture to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where Irving himself is buried.
We don't know of any famous creeps from Niles, a Southwestern Michigan town two hours from Chicago. But scare aficionados appraise its Scream Park as one of the best pop-up haunted houses for miles around because of its breadth of horrors.
Want to be chased by crazies? Try the chainsaw maniacs in the Field of Screams. Watched "28 Days Later" enough times that you're convinced you could fight off a zombie invasion? Test your mettle in All Hallows Evil.
And unlike the major theme-park fright nights, this one is open to you for just $22. Which is great 'cause you may have to buy new pants afterward.
What could a sleepy farming community buried in Central Wisconsin have up its sleeve to titillate visitors? Don't be lulled by its generic name or grassy knolls--a really nasty serial killer once lived here. And if you've seen "The Silence of the Lambs," "Psycho" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," you've probably experienced Plainfield's, ah, handiwork.