Top 20 Best Places to Celebrate Halloween in the US (+ Parties, Parades & Festivals)

Last Updated on April 25, 2023 by Nikki Jain

We've often argued that there is no place better in the world to celebrate Halloween than the US. Sure, this is a holiday that has been around for centuries, but it is America that made modern Halloween.

You know, the type of thing with epic scares around every corner and lots and lots of candy. So, it comes as no surprise that the country is brimming with Halloween events and parties.

No matter where you are in the country, you'll probably find countless lists of the best places to visit for Halloween.

We can guarantee your town, large or small, always has somewhere amazing to see. We're going to go a bit further than your town, though.

We will look at the best places to celebrate Halloween in the US. We're taking things national and glad you're along for the ride.

Best Halloween Celebrations in the USA

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1: Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts
Dreamstime/Sunburntblogger

Salem, Massachusetts, has to be right at the top of our list of the best places to visit for Halloween.

As you probably know, this town once hosted some of the most famous witch trials in history. Salem still leans into this part of history to this day (even outside of Halloween).

When Halloween rolls in, though, the entire town of Salem changes for the spookier. Parties and events galore, many of those that ‘celebrate’ the history of the town. 

From August onwards (we told you they take Halloween seriously), the town comes alive with spooky shenanigans.

Think scary circuses, ghost tours, events related to the witches, Vampire Balls (essentially dress up like a vampire and dance), and pumpkin picking events.

Everybody should go to Salem at least once in their life for Halloween. They won’t regret it.

Recommended tours:

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Salem

2: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
Dreamstime/Roberto Galan

September is when the ball really starts to roll on the St. Louis Halloween events. It all begins at Six Flags in St. Louis, which really goes all-out on the Halloween fun.

The amusement park transforms into a spooktacular, suitable for both kids and adults.

Although it is the early part of the day when the kids will be kept amused, and in the evening, all sorts of creepy monsters will start wandering the park looking for their next victim.

Away from Six Flags, you have the Eureka Fear Farm, which is 100 acres of trails through ‘haunted’ woods. Corn mazes, haunted hayrides, and demonic spirits are there to terrify you.

Head further into the city, and you have music events, major parties, attractions at the zoo, and more. This makes St. Louis one of the best places to go for Halloween.

Also Read: Top Attractions & Things To Do in St. Louis

3: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
Dreamstime/Thomas Carlson

New Orleans has a reputation for being one of the most haunted cities in the United States, and this is something that the city leans into heavily. It has always been a place of spookiness, ghosts, voodoo, and more.

As one of the best places to celebrate Halloween, New Orleans will have no shortage of events during the spooky season.

Think ghost tours through the French Quarter, voodoo shops where you can learn about this ancient practice, and walks through cemeteries lined with celebrities.

Oh, and New Orleans has some of the largest Halloween street parties in the US. If you want to join the fun, we're sure you'll have no trouble tracking down a costume or two from the stores to rock out.

Finally, New Orleans hosts the largest LGBTQ Halloween gatherings in the US, so if you're part of that community, it may be worth heading to the city.

Recommended tours:

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in New Orleans

4: Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas
Dreamstime/Ritu Jethani

You wouldn't think Dallas is one of the best cities to celebrate Halloween. It isn't a place that has really leaned into the creepy vibes. But trust us on this one; there are few places in the US that do Halloween better.

Dallas boasts some of the top haunted houses in the United States. In fact, one of them, The Boneyard, holds the record for the world's largest haunted house.

It is included in the Guinness Book of World Records and everything. It is insanely creepy and certainly not a place where the faint of heart should wander around.

If you are not a fan of haunted houses, then there are a few events at Dallas Zoo at the end of October, as well as movie nights on Main Street (Hocus Pocus in 2023), for those looking to keep the kids entertained.

The Dallas Arboretum will often have an event or two.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Dallas

5: Anoka, Minnesota

Anoka, Minnesota
Anoka Halloween

How many of you had Anoka as one of your choices of the best places to celebrate Halloween? Not many of you, right? Well, this is, without a doubt, one of the most important Halloween destinations in the world.

Do you know all of the jovial Halloween excitement that we have nowadays? You can thank Anoka in Minnesota for that.

It is the 'world's capital of Halloween' because it was Anoka that held the first proper Halloween parade and made Halloween into the more commercial event that we have today.

It is certainly not one of the spookiest places for Halloween, but if you are looking to get into the history of modern Halloween, then we don't think there is a better place in the US for that.

Plus, the fantastic parades held each year are incredible amounts of fun!

Visit Website

6: St. Helens, Oregon

St. Helens, Oregon
Flickr/Amy Meredith

St. Helens is located about 45 minutes from Portland, and this is a place that goes all out for Halloween, and we mean all out.

Most of the Halloween attractions throughout the United States have opening hours. Not St. Helens. The entire town is converted to Halloween decor, and you can wander the haunted streets 24/7.

Interestingly, St. Helens started its haunted history fairly recently, and it isn't down to ghosts or anything like that.

Those that grew up in the 90s may remember a Disney movie called 'Halloweentown'. Well, St. Helens was converted over to Halloweentown for that movie, so the town decided to celebrate that every year.

Lots and lots of events happen on Halloween Night, and if you’re a fan of 90s ‘made for TV’ movies, then you’ll probably love St. Helens.

7: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
Dreamstime/Russ Ensley

Atlanta, Georgia, is your typical Halloween City. We're talking haunted attractions, parades, costume shops, Halloween parties, and more.

However, there is one event that we really want to draw your attention to here. It is the Little 5 Points Halloween Parade…and is anything but little!

The Halloween Parade attracts around 35,000 people each year, making it one of the most-attended Halloween Parades in the United States and possibly the world. Music, costumes, and fun are the name of the game here.

If you're looking to have your socks scared off of you, you may want to head to the Netherworld Haunted House but bear in mind; it is creepy.

Really creepy. It is said to be the most immersive Halloween haunted house experience in the country, and it is. The costumes will terrify you. You really will feel like you're being chased by a demon.

Also Read: Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Atlanta

8: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Dreamstime/Aruns911

Spooks and candy. Two of the things that people most associate with Halloween, right? Well, what if we told you that you could experience both at once in Seattle?

Seattle Chocolate offers a great experience and is one of the best Halloween events in the US, especially for children.

Every Halloween, Seattle Chocolate's Factory will transform into a spooky haunted house. If you can brave the 'terrifying' haunted chocolate factory, you'll get a delicious treat at the end of it.

If you want a scare while also exploring the history of Seattle, we suggest you keep an eye out for the Seattle Underground Tour.

You won't be going underground, don't worry! Instead, you'll be exploring the places with historical mob ties, e.g., the old speakeasies, gambling dens, and drug huts (none are active). Later in the evening, the tours will turn to ghost hunts instead!

Also Read: Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Seattle

9: Sleepy Hollow, New York

Sleepy Hollow, New York
Dreamstime/James Kirkikis

You've probably heard of Sleepy Hollow. The town was the setting for a scary book and then a movie starring the terrifying Johnny Depp.

Fictional legend believes that Sleepy Hollow is haunted by the ghost of the headless horseman. A legend that the town clings to, making this the best place for Halloween in the USA if you want to experience a town that lives and dies by its spooky literary fame.

Street fairs, gothic mansions, parties, and more make Sleepy Hollow a tremendous place for Halloween as it is.

However, one of the more exciting things is the 10K Halloween Run (which is US famous), where people run, for charity, in their Halloween garb.

Do bear in mind that because this is one of America’s best places to celebrate Halloween, the events sell out quickly.

A lot of haunted houses are booked up a month or two in advance, so if you want to head to one of the best Halloween destinations in the US, then make sure that you book early.

Also Read: Top New York State Attractions & Things To Do

10: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia
Dreamstime/James Pintar

Savannah is one of the oldest cities in the south of the United States, so it has always been a hotbed of ghost-hunting activity, and not just during Halloween.

It happens throughout the year. Although Savannah really cranks it up a notch during the spooky season.

If you’re a fan of alcohol, then there are haunted pub crawls. You’ll be tackling multiple spirits if you know what we mean! Perfect for adults that have all their Halloween gear ready to roll. 

If you're not drinking or have kids in tow, you'll want to check out the Ghosts and Gravestones tour. This spooky tour is ideal for those 6 years and up. You'll go through many of the haunted Savannah locations.

Other events include hearse tours and the historic 7 pm bike ride through Savannah (suitable for families).

Recommended tours:

Also Read: Top Savannah Attractions & Things To Do

11: Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia
Dreamstime/Joe Benning

Williamsburg has a reputation for being one of the most haunted locations in the United States, and there are plenty of pictures to prove it. Blurry pictures, mind you. A picture is a picture, though, right?

Williamsburg, Virginia, actually has the second oldest ghost tour in the United States, 'The Ghosts of Williamsburg', which manages to attract a lot of buzz around Halloween, and for good reason too.

It is scary! It isn't the only ghost tour happening in the town, either. You'll find plenty in the lead-up to Halloween. It is like the entire place just wants to show off how spooky it is!

Other events include movie nights, adult-only Rocky Horror Picture Show performances, events at Busch Gardens, and a whole lot more. Trust us; you are not going to be hurting for fun in Williamsburg.

Recommended tour: Williamsburg Haunted Ghosts, Witches, and Pirates Tour

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg

12: Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada
Dreamstime/Kobby Dagan

Sin City never sleeps, and that is especially true when Halloween rolls around. Obviously, Las Vegas will be filled with the usual horrors of gambling, drinking, and $1 lobster deals. But, many of the places go all-in on the Halloween fun.

Expect costume parties, escape rooms, haunted houses, and more. There'll be a lot of parties, and many hotels & casinos will run special events for those in the mood for a dash of intense partying. They go on for a long while, and the events are ticketed.

You’ll also find some ghost tours and some mob attraction tours. After all, Las Vegas only got big because of the mob.

Also Read: Top 30 Attractions On the Las Vegas Strip

13: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Flickr/Jason Paul Smith

Chicago is fast becoming one of the best cities to celebrate Halloween, especially if you have a family in tow.

Many of the awesome Halloween activities that happen in the windy city are 100% free to attend, and most are suitable for children.

Chicago will be rife with Halloween parades, ghost tours, haunted museums, and more. If you are in Chicago for Halloween, then make sure that you head to the Navy Pier. You’ll always find one or two amazing activities to dabble in there.

One of our favorite events happens at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, where, every Halloween, the place is decorated with countless pumpkins, all lit up. It is better than looking at a Christmas tree!

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Chicago

14: Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado
Dreamstime/Jeremybjanus

Telluride is an old, Victorian mining town, and you know how the Victorians were when it came to creepy stores! They lived for them, so many legends have certainly grown up around Telluride.

One of the best events is the Halloween film festival (Telluride Horror Show), where new and classic horror movies are screened. You'll also find lamplight cemetery tours.

However, oddly, the most exciting part about Telluride isn’t the Halloween adventures.

It is that you are right there in the Rocky Mountains, and this is one of the best times of the year to hike if you want the changing colors of Fall.

Also Read: Best Party Cities in the USA

15: Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Dreamstime/Stuart Patterson

Orlando is the theme park capital of the world, so it makes sense that this is one of America’s best places to celebrate Halloween.

All the theme parks will have some sort of Halloween event going on here.

If you’re in the mood for childish scares, then the best Halloween festivals in the US will happen in Disney World (mostly The Magic Kingdom), where Halloween Horror Nights (a separately ticked event) will have you wandering around in Halloween costumes while riding on Halloween-decorated Disney rides.

It is scary, but not so frightening for children.

If you're after the scariest stuff for adults, Universal Studios is where you need to head. Their haunted houses are absolutely terrifying once the night starts to roll in. We're getting shivers just thinking about it!

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Orlando

16: New Hope, Pennsylvania

New Hope, Pennsylvania
Dreamstime/Chris Kelleher

New Hope is another place that probably wouldn’t be on your list of the scariest Halloween cities in the US, and that’s fine. Sure, it isn’t as terrifying as some of the other places in the United States, but it has some unique events.

Think along the lines of murder mystery parties (in 2023, one of them is, strangely enough, focused on the Golden Girls), haunted hayrides, ghost tours, and more.

You'll also find a few adult trick-or-treating events around the winery, which, thankfully, will mostly be delicious alcoholic treats.

If you're in New Hope, you'll almost certainly want to take a cemetery tour when the Fall evening starts to set in.

It is crazy scary wandering around the spooky, old gravestones with nothing but lamplight to guide you. You can't help but think of those people buried there centuries ago.

17: Keene, New Hampshire

Keene, New Hampshire
Dreamstime/James Kirkikis

As you can probably guess, Keene has a lot going on during Halloween. It is an American Halloween, after all.

However, the main reason people head to Keene for Halloween is the Keene Pumpkin Fest, where all the locals get to work carving out pumpkins and putting them on display.

There are many unique designs, and whenever we've been to Keene, we've really loved wandering through them.

There’ll be lots of events around the Keene Pumpkin Festival, including refreshments, costume parties, and more.

18: Romeo, Michigan

Romeo, Michigan
Flickr/Rodney Campbell

Romeo is a small town. It probably isn’t on that many people’s radars, but every Halloween, there is one event that seems to capture America; ‘Terror on Tillson Street’.

Terror on Tillson Street isn't a government-run event. Oh no. A long time ago, the residents of Tillson Street started to decorate their homes to keep the local children entertained.

This event continued expanding, and nowadays, the entirety of the Tillson Street neighborhood trims with some of the best residential Halloween decorations in the US.

Wander down Tillson Street in the last 2 weeks of October, and you’ll have fun. When Halloween rolls around, thousands and thousands of trick-or-treaters navigate the streets, so the candy starts to flow freely then!

19: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina
Flickr/David Mello

Asheville is a city known for its art scene, and many of the top artists come out in full force when the Halloween season is upon us.

Asheville has many unique events, including glass-blown pumpkins in a pumpkin patch (it is picking your own!), Halloween meals and trivia, drag shows, and more.

If you're after the more standard Halloween experience, that's fine too! You have countless ghost tours, driving tours around the most-haunted Asheville locations, comedy shows, and murder mystery parties.

Honestly, for such a small place, you'll always find countless events to take part in. It is one of the reasons why Asheville is up there, with one of our favorite places to be.

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Asheville

20: Independence, Kansas

Independence, Kansas
Dreamstime/Solarseven

As Independence is a large place, plenty is going on for Halloween, but we want you to pay special attention to the Neewollah Festival.

Started in 1919, it was originally designed as a festival to keep pranking Halloween children entertained, but now it has expanded into a massive amount of fun.

The 10-day festival includes countless parades, haunted shows, musicals, movie nights, marching bands, chili cookoffs, and more.

While it has expanded well beyond the original Halloween roots of the festival, it always has a spooky feel to it.

Best Halloween Parades & Festivals in the US

1. Keene Pumpkin Festival, Keene, New Hampshire

Keene Pumpkin Festival, Keene, New Hampshire

Horror stories, a bunch of magical creatures, and many other forms of entertainment are waiting for you at Keene Pumpkin Festival. Be sure to visit it on Halloween, and you'll get the whole box full of nice memories and unforgettable feelings. The schedule of the festival involves parades, food & beverages tastings, concerts and many other activities to take part in. You can choose from various costumes and dress up as wicked witches or welcome elves and participate in the costume parade.

2. Village Halloween Parade, New York

Village Halloween Parade, New York
Flickr/Peter T

The annual Village Halloween Parade has become more than the usual celebration of Halloween; it is the whole tradition of having lots of fun, surprises and amazing adventures. Thousands of spectators go outside to see this 1-mile chain of people dressed in various costumes. It is recognized as the biggest Halloween parade in the US, which include singers, bands, circus performers and puppets.

3. West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, California

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, California
Flickr/.Martin.

A lot of fun on October 31 can bring you to visit the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval, California. Thousands of people are strolling around the main streets in a huge parade dedicated to the Halloween fest. You can enjoy amazing shows, fireworks and food vendors all night long. We would advise booking the hotel room long before the festival takes place as there are so many tourists who are eager to become a part of the Halloween Carnaval.

4. Festival of the Dead, Salem, Massachusetts

Festival of the Dead, Salem, Massachusetts
Flickr/masstravel

Do you just love mysteries? Adore horror stories? Wait for Halloween with great anticipation. Then welcome to the Festival of the Dead, Salem, Massachusetts, where you will have a great opportunity to get answers to all your questions about magical rituals and the world of spirits. You can visit many paranormal workshops, travel through time, understand the souls of the dead and share your own experiences. Celebrate Halloween with food festivals, music, bonfires and the unique taste of adventure.

5. Chicagoween, Chicago, Illinois

Chicagoween, Chicago, Illinois

Another exciting place to visit for the Halloween celebration is Chicagoween in Illinois. Chicago just loves this festival, so people start preparing a long time before the actual event takes place. Streets are decorated with pumpkins, water in fountains is dyed into yellow and orange colors, and buildings are covered with witches' images, making the city even more attractive and covered with mystical spirits.

6. Las Vegas Halloween Parade, Nevada

Las Vegas Halloween Parade, Nevada
Flickr/kennejima

Join the Las Vegas Halloween Parade, Nevada, for free! Just choose your costume and enjoy the night in Nevada. The Parade is based on creativity, positivity, joy and passion. Represent your costume in the best way and win the prizes. Tourists can try the local cuisine and drinks in pubs, cafes and restaurants, participate in contests and listen to the live concerts of popular bands.

7. Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade, Atlanta, Georgia

Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade, Atlanta, Georgia

A good alternative to the usual way of celebrating Halloween can be visiting the Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade in Atlanta, Georgia. The event has a lot to offer interested tourists: live concerts, entertainment, food and drinks tastings, inspiration to create and an ideal place to have fun with your friends. It's one of the must-see parades that make you happy and involved. The festival is free and open to everyone eager to celebrate Halloween in a fun and outgoing way.

8. Anoka Halloween, Anoka, Minnesota

Anoka Halloween, Anoka, Minnesota

Anoka Halloween is a well-known Halloween celebration parade that promotes old American traditions. The event involves all interested to participate. Usually, you can see a big chain of students dressed up as magical creatures walking down the main street. This is a kid-friendly festival, so take your family with you and just go for an adventure!

9. Spooky Empire's The Ultimate Horror Weekend, Orlando, Florida

Spooky Empire's The Ultimate Horror Weekend, Orlando, Florida
Flickr/Michel Curi

Spooky Empire's The Ultimate Horror Weekend is a huge horror festival that takes place during the Halloween celebration in Orlando. Its popularity has grown incredibly during the last few years, involving interests of all ages. You can meet with your favorite scary movie actors and enjoy participating in various activities.

Address: 2659 NW 83rd Terrace, Hollywood, FL 33024

Website: www.spookyempire.com

10. Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade, New Orleans

Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade, New Orleans

You wouldn't like to miss this event! Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade is a special place where all horror stories become alive, where ancient spirits of the dead are awakened, and the state is full of anticipation about Halloween day. Kern Studio, famous for its unique 3-dimensional sculptures, will show the most amazing and unbelievably realistic figures from scary movies. Halloween is on its way!

Address: French Quarter, Central Business District, Marigny

Website: www.kreweofboo.com

FAQs about Halloween celebrations in the US

Where is Halloween celebrated the most in America?

Louisiana is probably the top place for Halloween celebrations, particularly in New Orleans. The city absolutely loves to dive into its paranormal roots, including voodoo and ghost tours.

What is the #1 haunted house in the US?

The Boneyard in Dallas, Texas, holds the record for being the largest haunted house in the world.

What cities celebrate Halloween the most?

New Orleans has a ton of Halloween events going on. For smaller places, Salem and Sleepy Hollow may also be worth checking out.

What states celebrate Halloween the most?

Utah is, supposedly, the state that gets into the Halloween spirit the most. However, the most exciting Halloween events are normally found in Massachusetts or Louisiana.

Closing thoughts on the best Halloween celebrations in the US

As you can see, when looking for the best places to go for Halloween, you'll have no shortage of places in the United States. You have beautiful Halloween cities in the US that are loaded with amazing events to enjoy, small towns that have tiny ghost tours, and amusement parks. If you want it, you certainly won't have any issues finding it during the spooky season.

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