NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - If encounters with ghosts, ghouls or vampires are your idea of fun, then Halloween is probably a favorite time. Places across the globe are getting ready to scare people out of their wits — and their money.
This list of the top 10 places to celebrate Halloween is a mixture of lists by advice and information website eHow (wwww.ehow.com) and travel website Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) and not endorsed by Reuters:
1. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem might just be the spookiest town in the United States and around Halloween they turn it up a notch. Take a walk back in time on the candlelit Witch Trial Trail and experience Salem’s dark history first hand. Get in costume for the Annual Halloween Costume Ball held at the historic Hawthorne Hotel.
2. Bran, Romania
Saturated in legend and tied to Emily Gerard’s “The Land Beyond the Forest” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” Bran is a perfect international Halloween jaunt. You can visit Bran Castle, where Dracula is said to have lived, as well as areas like Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle that were associated with Vlad the Impaler in the 15th century.
3. London, England
Experience the capital’s most blood-curdling history at The London Dungeon. This interactive museum and popular tourist attraction includes a variety of frightening tours from Bloody Mary: Killer Queen, to Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd. Other fun and spooky activities include the Highgate Cemetery, the Tower of London and William Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has a history of voodoo worship, multiple above ground crypt-style cemeteries and a knack for theater. Take a Spirit Tour and wind your way through cemeteries and the haunted Vieux Carre neighborhood. Make a pit stop at a voodoo temple that is still in use today.
5. New York, New York
Explore the dark side of the city that never sleeps by dropping by the Nightmare Haunted House for a terrorizing experience, or muster up your most creative costume for New York’s Village Halloween Parade.
6. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The Bytown Museum in Ottawa is considered one of the most actively haunted places in Canada and six ghosts have been known to call it home. Duncan McNab, who died more than 150 years ago, likes to frequent the money vault and has a knack for tampering with museum computers and typing his full name repeatedly. Don’t assume the doll exhibit is innocent. Visitors have repeatedly heard children crying and seen dolls wink and move on their own.
7. Tombstone, Arizona
Tombstone has a violent gun-fighting past that some claim has spawned a thriving ghost population. After checking out the daily reenactment of the infamous gunfight, saunter over to Boot Hill Cemetery — perhaps the most famous in America — before seeking out some real spirits in the town’s saloons.
8. Forks, Washington
Forks was an undisturbed town, frequented by locals who worked for the timber industry, until writer Stephanie Meyer came along. The cult teen series-turned-movie “Twilight” has drawn flocks of vampire-loving teens to the small Washington town. But Forks has also been known to attract visitors from yesteryear such as a lumberjack who wanders around the Forks Dam and a pregnant woman who can be seen strolling lawns at night.
9. Orlando, Florida
Halloween Horror Nights is an after-hours event that takes place in the Universal Studios theme park. It’s complete with several haunted houses and “scare zones” along with Halloween shows and entertainment. For those who are easily spooked, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, is the perfect night out.
10. Long Beach, California
In likable Long Beach, The Queen Mary transforms into the Ship of Terror with macabre mazes and some truly terrifying surprises. Other fun includes live tunes at Purgatory Park and dancing at the Dome of Doom.
Editing by Elaine Lies