Nowhere is Halloween more celebrated than in the United States. We’ve compiled a list of best places to go and sink your fangs into.
The Endless Night Vampire Ball in New Orleans is best described as a Venetian Masquerade Ball, mixed with a Vampire Court, topped off with the energy of a rock concert and the elegance of a burlesque cabaret. Costumes range from medieval to steampunk to fetish.Vampire couture is de rigueur. The name Endless Night comes from the William Blake poem “Ages of Innocence “ in which he states “Some are born to Sweet Delight, Others are born to Endless Night.” The fun doesn’t end at midnight on October 31, as the ball season goes on for weeks after that. New Orleans is also known for its cemeteries, which are architecturally unique. Also known as Cities of the Dead, there are 42 cemeteries in the metropolitan New Orleans area. www.halloweenneworleans.com/
The US state of Oregon is said to be one of the most haunted regions in America. The paranormal activity that is often highlighted is concentrated in the Old Town centre of the cityof Portland. Portland Walking Tours is offering a tour called “Beyond Bizarre” which leads people through these areas and tells spooky stories. They are bringing in a “ghost hunter” during the days around Halloween to lead special tours as well. There is also said to be a good deal of paranormal activity in Oregon City, a town about 20 minutes from Portland, and the first capital of Oregon. Northwest Ghost Tours offers regular “Walks with the Spirits” tours:
Out in Forest Grove (a town in the Willamette Valley, about 45 minutes from Portland), McMenamins Grand Lodge has a “ghost log” for guests to record their paranormal encounters. The most common spirit to be encountered is the “Lavender Lady,” who reveals herself walking through the halls with the scent of lavender. Queen rooms with private baths run from $US125-$US155.
Centrally located in the state of Illinois, just north of St. Louis, Missouri on the Mississippi River, visitors venture to Alton to enjoy the scenery, rich history and explore the quaint river towns. But as night falls, no trip to Alton would be complete without experiencing first hand “Haunted Alton.” For those interested in a frightening trip back in time, the ghosts come along for the ride during one of the many guided Haunted Alton Tours. A colourful past of murder, war, death and destruction has led to Alton’s haunted present.
The Stanley Hotel in Colorado – the hotel that inspired Steven King’s novel, The Shining. Rooms start from around $US180 per night. Add a ghost and history tour for $US15 – or a spine-chilling five-hour ghost hunt at $60 for the ultimate in terror.
Salem is the American town of witches, still under the spell of its past with flying witch logos adorning police cars, and even the Salem High School’s mascot is, unsurprisingly, a woman in black with a pointy hat! The Massachusetts city of 41,000 bewitches visitors.
Just across the border in Canada is Nova Scotia’s bustling and popular Five Fishermen Restaurant in Halifax, which was once a morgue for bodies recovered from the Titanic. Diners are regularly treated to the sight of apparitions. Is this the most haunted place in Canada?