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Terrified Travel!: The Best of Halloween

October 28, 2014
It’s okay to be scared when flying. It’s okay to be scared when spotting twin girls in the hallway of your hotel, asking you if you want to go and play with them forever. But would you travel solely for the purpose of frights?

It’s Halloween time, and that means ghouls and goblins. But whether the holiday means haunted houses or costumes and libations, Mitch-Stuart, Inc. has a charity auction travel package that can send your donors to a great Halloween destination. Celebrate – in whichever way you like – in one of these cities:

If New York can claim New Year’s Eve as its own and Boston gets St. Patrick’s Day, it may be fair to give Halloween to Los Angeles. It should be no surprise that a city filled with young people who want to play dress up and tell stories in front of cameras would celebrate the holiday with such enthusiasm. The walk down West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard on Halloween night is almost a rite of passage for newcomers, but for tourists (and those traveling with families), Universal Horror Nights at Universal Studios and Knott’s Scary Farm are favorites. And just down the road in Long Beach, the docked, 12-deck Queen Mary hosts “Dark Harbor,” with mazes, rides and ghost hunters.

Travelers looking for more of a party atmosphere won’t be surprised to find out that Las Vegas throws its share of Halloween celebrations. Nightclubs like Hyde at the Bellagio and Drai’s at the Cromwell will fill dance floors with zombies and superheroes, respectively, while Tao will go with a “Great Gatsby” theme (along with a guest appearance by Snoop Dogg). Circus Circus, meanwhile, will again turn its amusement park into the Fright Dome, with haunted houses and live entertainment. Even just walking up and down the Strip, however, can be an eye-opening experience on All Hallows’ Eve; the entire casino district turns into an open-air masquerade.

Of course, for sheer numbers of revelers it is hard to beat New York and its Village Halloween Parade. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the parade weaves through Greenwich Village and attracts a reported 60,000 or more participants each year. And with the holiday falling on a Friday this year, visitors can expect celebrations to last long into the night (and the next morning!) at bars and restaurants throughout the five boroughs. For those looking for a spookier experience, the Wall Street Walks Ghost Tour takes participants through the haunted alleys and graveyards of lower Manhattan. It combines frights with history to both inform and scare.