Excited for spooky season, but want a change of scenery? If you’ve already visited every haunted attraction in North Carolina and are looking to thrill-seek out of state this Halloween, hop on a plane and visit one of the three locations below for a ghastly adventure.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Known as the world’s first true penitentiary, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is notorious for its history and eerie architecture. The penitentiary’s Halloween Nights festival is ideal for thrill-seekers who are looking for the ultimate Halloween horror experience. Inside the cellblocks, guests can purchase access to 15 different attractions, including two haunted houses, four not-so-scary walk-through experiences, themed bars and lounges, and more. Visitors looking to get up close and personal with VIP admission can upgrade their festival experience by gaining access to the Speakeasy at Al Capone’s cell, in addition to express entry into various attractions. Visitors can choose to partake in a 20-minute After Dark CB3 Tour, where guests are guided by flashlight through the penitentiary’s Cell Block 3, known as the Hospital Block. Even better—admission prices for the After Dark CB3 Tour include the flashlight as a souvenir. Festival dates run from late September to mid-November, with general admission tickets costing only $34 per person (group ticket rates available as well). Visit www.easternstate.org/halloween/ to buy Halloween Nights tickets and to read more about what Eastern State Penitentiary has in store.
Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, CA
Year-round, tourists reserve rooms at the picturesque Hotel Del Coronado, lining the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, and enjoy participating in the hotel’s Haunted Happenings Tour to learn about why the spirit of the mysterious hotel guest Kate Morgan, who allegedly never checked out of the hotel since her arrival in 1892, still haunts guests to date. In addition to teaching visitors about Kate Morgan, Hotel Del Coronado offers exclusive Halloween-themed activities, including scary movies on the beach, a “Ghost Roast,” where guests enjoy ghost stories and s’mores over a bonfire, and pumpkin carving on the beach deck. Frequent travelers can take advantage of their Hilton Honors points when booking reservations, as Hotel Del Coronado is a Hilton property with easy online booking. Check out the property’s website at www.hoteldel.com for more information on Hotel Del Coronado’s rooms, dining options, and Halloween activities.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO
Although Estes Park is a must-see alone, due to its stunning mountain views and proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, the charming Stanley Hotel also draws in ghost-hunting visitors to the small town. First opened in 1909, The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration and film location for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining, which prompted guests to report paranormal experiences following the release of the ever-popular 1980 horror flick. While accommodations in the coveted Estes Park area can be pricey (I suggest booking a hotel room in nearby Loveland), visitors fortunately don’t need a reservation at The Stanley to participate in the hotel’s 60-minute nighttime tour, in order to learn more about the hotel’s haunted reputation after dark. Some tours include access to the hotel’s limestone and quartz underground cave system, previously used by employees to get quickly around the massive property. Guests most frequently request Room 217, due to its haunted reputation from the fictional Overlook Hotel in the Stephen King novel. It’s been reported that even actor Jim Carrey became so frightened inside Room 217 that he ran out of the room wearing next to nothing in the middle of the night throughout the filming of Dumb and Dumber. Additionally, fourth floor guests have reported hearing children running and playing, although no children were on the floor. If you visit The Stanley Hotel in October for Halloween, you will likely be lucky enough also to witness the stunning autumn colors of the Rockies. To book a tour or reservation, visit www.stanleyhotel.com.
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