From the real Sleepy Hollow to a haunted hotel, here’s where to cap off your October travels.
It’s that time of year when ghosts and goblins rule. Beware — these are five places that might send a chill down your spine.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Check out the brilliant autumnal display while hiking, biking, visiting historic attractions and celebrating the spooky season. Take in the Jack-o’-lantern Blaze where more than 7,000 individually hand-carved and illuminated jack-o’-lanterns glow in a historic, riverside landscape. Learn more about Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow during a visit to the Old Dutch Church, Philipsburg Manor, and the spot where the Headless Horseman Bridge once spanned the Pocantico River. Pay homage to the author and the season with a visit to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where Washington Irving is buried. visitsleepyhollow.com; doralarrowwood.com.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colo.
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Some say the chilling laughter of children still fills the hallways of this 138-room historic inn that served as the inspiration for scare-master Stephen King’s popular book and film, “The Shining.” Located 6 miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, outdoor activities and educational tours abound. But don’t miss the history and ghost tour offered for families eager to hear more about Room 217, where King’s Shining story began. Ask about Master Magician Aiden Sinclair’s presentation, “Illusions of the Passed!” During an evening of mystery, the performer introduces guests to the world of Penny Dreadful during a theatrical séance. Children must be 5 or older. Reservations required. stanleyhotel.com; colorado.com.
Park City, Utah
Your four-legged friends need not be left out of the spook-fest when you travel to Utah’s popular mining community turned high-altitude hot spot. On Oct. 31, for two hours in the late afternoon, shopkeepers will open their doors to cleverly clad youngsters eager for a treat. Later, it’s time for Howl-a-ween, a Main Street event featuring costumed pups parading their finery (and the creativity of their owners) to the delight of fellow participants and observers. For more, hear spine-tingling tales of haunted buildings and mysterious wanderings during 75-minute walking tours of the historic town offered daily at 8 p.m. visitparkcity.com.
Virginia City, Montana
Perhaps it’s the ghost of Calamity Jane who saunters back into town. Or maybe it’s the gold miner whose luck ran out. No one knows for sure, but the colorful mining town is said to be “spirited.” Once home to as many as 10,000 residents, lively saloons and dance halls, Virginia City was considered the capital of the Montana Territory. Today, travelers who make their way to this well-preserved treasure are treated to old-time theater, music, train rides, living history demonstrations and tours. And, plenty of good ghost stories. virginiacity.com; visitmt.com.
Sticky cobwebs, spine-chilling music, hair-raising sights. If you dare, find a haunted place near you and go boldly into the night. During this spooky season expect fields of screams, terror in the cornfields and whole towns devoted to scaring you out of your wits. To find a chamber of horrors to suit your family’s tastes, anywhere in the United States, visit hauntedhouse.com.