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Start Planning Your Terrifying Halloween Travels

September 23, 2008

Halloween is one of the best times of the year to get out of the house and find something different to do. You’d be hard pressed to find a corn maze around Easter, and there’s hardly any point at all in visiting Salem in July. Here’s a rundown of things you can do to make the most of October and the spooky season.

Haunted Happenings in Salem, MA
Salem wasn’t the only place to hold witch trials, but it’s the most famous. Whether you’re seriously into the Wicca thing or you just want to see masses of people dressed up and eating caramel apples, Salem is a great place to spend the holiday. There are arts and crafts, haunted houses, psychics, games, and even a pirate museum. Yar! I spent a couple of Halloweens here when I was a student in Boston, and it was always a good time.

Voodoo and Beignets in New Orleans
For a truly terrifying trip, why not combine a graveyard adventure with vampires and voodoo down south in New Orleans? The above-ground tombs, built to prevent the dead from floating away when the water levels rise under this below sea-level city, are like nothing you’ve ever seen. If you escape the cemetery, you can lurk around Anne Rice’s house and attend the Witching Hour Ball put on by her fan club. Learn more about gris-gris and the voodoo priestess who made it famous (Marie Laveau), or visit Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant, NOLA (Sure, the food is heavenly, but those prices? Yikes!). Catch some jazz in the French Quarter to mellow out afterward, and use your ISIC for discounts on tours, lodging, and meals.

All Over the Map
Want something dark and dank? Try Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern in Chattanooga, try out one of 600 corn mazes in North America, or use www.hauntedhouseonline.com to find a haunted place near you.

Out on the West Coast
There’s nowhere eerier, and nowhere with a better view of San Francisco, than the former island prison of Alcatraz. Is that the Birdman I hear, or just some seagulls? Head south to L.A. for a visit to Knott’s Scary Farm, and have a scream on their ghoulish roller coasters.

Sun and Rum
If you prefer to plan ahead, check out Fantasy Fest 2008 in Key West, held from October 17 through 26. There will be street parties, costume balls, beach games, a pet parade, plus all the usual spring breakish activities, but you get to wear a mask.

Finally, if none of these suggestions work for you, well, you can go to Hell. (It’s in Michigan.)

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