Spooky Haunts

Posted by: Donna Smith - Contributor on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 9:00:00 am

The signs of fall have arrived and with it come thoughts of witches and goblins!

I have friends who go all out for this spooky time of year.  Some celebrate with decorating, others with costume parties, some bob for apples and a few who visit haunted places.

What could be more fun at Halloween than visiting a scary place?  If you love to travel as much as I do, we should check out a few haunts to get the adrenalin flowing!  Here is my spine-chilling list:

New Orleans, Louisiana has a dark side and is well known for voodoo lore, ghosts and vampires.  The St. Louis Cemetery is said to be haunted.  The above-ground tombs and mausoleums give the place an authentically creepy vibe. There you’ll stumble upon the tomb of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. This African form of witchcraft is still widely practiced in New Orleans. There are plenty of shops selling gris-gris amulets, herbal potions and voodoo dolls. There is also a vibrant vampire culture in the city, as any fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles can attest. While the books and movies are fictional, they do have some inspiration in truth.

Why not spend Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, at the center of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials? There are museums, graveyards, haunted houses, and dungeons to investigate. Halloween is one of their busiest times of the year with parades, performances and pumpkin carvings during the month of October.

Off the coast of San Francisco is Alcatraz, home of many hardened criminals and felons. No longer in use, it is open to tourists. It is believed to be haunted by former inmates and attempted escapees. Reports of strange happenings have been reported by rangers and visitors. Guided night tours of Alcatraz are offered for those looking for a chilling experience.

I have a friend that once spent Halloween at Bran Castle in Romania for New Year’s Eve of the Vampires. It is the fictional castle of Count Dracula in Transylvania made famous by the 1897 Bram Stoker novel “Dracula”.  My friend had to climb the cobblestone cliff to reach the enormous medieval castle, built in the late 1300s, that sits majestically at the top. Attendees are required to be in costume.  According to my friend, these costumes are very elaborate horror attire. Special effects, music, dance of the wicked fairies and spirits of the night make this the ultimate Halloween gathering!

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