The Best Places To Visit For Halloween – US, Europe, Mexico

no matter how good your costume is or how creepy your cocktails are, sometimes the only way to really do Halloween is to go someplace spooky, scary, and fun. Fortunately, there are plenty of towns that do the holiday better than even the best-decorated house on the block.

These are the cities with roots that tie back to the pagan festival Samhain, which spawned Halloween we know today, or the Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday in which the living briefly welcome back the dead to eat, drink, and celebrate. It also includes cities with a good old-fashioned reputation for being haunted or that just really know how to do up October, filling their calendars with costume contests, dog parades (and people parades), harvest festivals, ghost tours, and more.

Below, find the 10 cities that celebrate Halloween right. — both on the day itself and all month long.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

El Dia de los Muertos (aka the Day of the Dead) is huge in San Miguel de Allende. Preparations start on October 30, and festivities go through November 2 — most of which occur in the city’s main square. Colorful altars are placed in the streets, in churches, and at restaurants and shops. There’s a pumpkin-carving contest, a parade where everyone dresses as skeletons, and plenty of partying in the streets.

Savannah, Georgia

One of the most haunted cities in America, Savannah is full of Southern charm and Southern ghosts (they’re very polite). Spanish moss drips from the live oak trees in the historic downtown, providing a spooky backdrop for an after-hours ghost tour by foot or by hearse. If you’re really brave, you can stay in one those haunted places, but there are less-spooky activities, too. Kids can go trick-or-treating in the Historic District and adults can try Oktoberfest.

Boyne Valley, Ireland

Technically, Halloween is a spinoff of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a pagan celebration that welcomes the darkness, and it all began in Boyne Valley. Today, Ireland celebrates Samhain/Halloween with a series of festivals in October, most notably Puca. It has Celtic music, Halloween markets, faery games, lectures about the history of Samhain, and haunted walking tours

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

While you can find all the usual spooky suspects (haunted houses, ghost tours, etc.), Philly’s pièce de résistance is the Eastern State Penitentiary, and it’s not for fright dabblers. An abandoned prison that shut down in the early ’70s, Eastern State is a castle-like structure that you can take a night tour of — casually named “Terror Behind the Walls.” Here, you just might see and hear what other visitors have: shadowy figures and disembodied sounds. In October, it has a slew of additional offeringsincluding five haunted houses, themed bars, and live entertainment.

Tombstone, Arizona

A town can’t be named “Tombstone” and be casual about Halloween. Rooted very much in its Wild West history, Tombstone has ghost tours year-round (try the Ghost & Murder Trolley Tour or the Gunfighter & Ghost Tour) along with an old spooky cemetery. But in October, it also has pumpkin-carving and costume contests, making it popular for families with young kids.

What are your Halloween plans? Share with us @BritandCo!

Featured photo: Tiff Ng/Pexels.

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