Travel Picks: Top 10 spookiest destinations for Halloween

Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:35am EDT
 
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San Francisco (Reuters) - Ghosts and goblins will roam the streets and haunt your doorstep in the hope of some treats next week on Halloween. In honor of the ghoulish festival whose origins are said to stretch back to ancient harvest festivals online travel adviser Hotwire.com (www.hotwire.com) has compiled a list of its Top 10 spookiest destinations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA

The city of Hollywood is so glamorous that even spirits have a hard time leaving it behind. In fact, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift are just two of the many ghosts rumored to dwell in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Meanwhile, B- and C-list celebri-ghouls are believed to haunt some of Tinsel Town's other famous landmarks including Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood sign. If you're in the mood for some guided fright-seeing, the Dearly Departed Tour will steer you through 50 years of Hollywood murders including those of Sharon Tate, Janis Joplin and the infamous Black Dhalia.

2. SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS

Though tragedy struck Salem, Massachusetts over 400 years ago, the essence of the "witch hysteria" still lingers over this small town. The Witch Trials of 1692 accused more than 150 people of witchcraft and condemned 19 to the death. Visitors can check out the full story behind "Witch City, USA" at the Salem Witch Museum and then venture onto the haunted grounds themselves. And because of its history, Salem has also become a world-renowned meeting place for enthusiast of the dark and creepy, which has helped create a whole new generation of spookiness.

3. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Put down your Mardi Gras beads and prepare yourself for ghosts, voodoo and vampires. Commonly referred to as "the most haunted city in the United States," New Orleans definitely lives up to its frightening reputation, with voodoo shops, museums and wickedly cryptic tales of Marie Laveau, the "Queen of Voodoo." But the spooky adventures don't end there. Come face to face with the paranormal on one of the many ghost and cemetery tours, or step into Anne Rice's world of vampires and demons in the French Quarter.

4. SLEEPY HOLLOW, NEW YORK   Continued...