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Travel Experts Find Destinations Frightfully Ideal for Halloween Enthusiasts
SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As candy lines store shelves and jack-o'-lanterns make their front porch debut, people of all ages know it's time for a few frights. To help Halloween devotees celebrate, Travelocity's travel experts have identified 13 destinations for a ghastly getaway either at home or abroad.
- New Orleans, La.: Considered by many as the most haunted city in the U.S., a trip to New Orleans on Halloween wouldn't be complete without seeking out some lost souls and spirits! From ghost tours in the Garden District to costume balls and a brand-new parade in the French Quarter, this city is sure to offer plenty of spooks and thrills.
Where to Stay: If you're brave enough, try staying in a haunted hotel like the famous Hotel Monteleone. Just be on the lookout for child-like spirits.
- Chicago: More than a one-day celebration, the city of Chicago transforms itself in 'Chicagoween' offering a slew of spooky events and activities. For those curious to learn about the city's eerie past, paranormal pub crawls and creepy cemetery tours give a glimpse into ghouls, gangsters and unexplainable deaths.
Where to stay: The Congress Plaza Hotel, a posh hotel on Michigan Avenue was rumored to once be owned by notorious gangster Al Capone. Apparitions, moved objects and unexplained noises coming from the hotel ballroom have been reported.
- Salem, Mass.: Halloween enthusiasts flock to this bewitching city every year. Well known for paranormal activity, restless spirits and the Salem Witch Trials in the 1692, thrill-seekers are in for a fearsome time. A number of spooky tours resurrect legendary stories of the witches, spirits and ghosts which are sure to send chills up anyone's spine.
Where to stay: Hawthorne Hotel, located in the heart of Salem, residents and guests alike have reported strange occurrences especially in room 325 and suite 612.
- Portland, Ore.: The underground passageways in Portland are rumored to be quite haunted. The legend of the Shanghai Tunnels says that when sailors, loggers and others came to Portland to find work, many were "shanghaied" or kidnapped, smuggled through the tunnels to the waterfront and sold to sea captains. Walking tours are ideal for sinister lovers as they explore the myths behind the legend.
Where to stay: The Benson, A Coast Hotel, a handful of spooky sightings have been reported including a ghostly man walking down the hotel's grand stair case and the ghost of the hotel founder, Simon Benson himself.
- Denver: Host to one of the most notable haunted attractions: The 13th Floor, Denver has a variety of haunted activities come October. Goosebump-seekers can visit scary sites like Buckhorn Exchange, the famed Cheesman Park or even take a short drive to Estes Park and visit The Stanley Hotel – the inspiration behind Stephen King's famous novel, "The Shining."
Where to stay: The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, located in the heart of downtown Denver, is not only favored by celebrities and presidents, but reportedly ghosts, too, not to mention paranormal activity.
- Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON: There are so many stories about this famously haunted and historic town. And with experiences recounted in the majority of the town's homes and businesses, it's no wonder Niagara-on-the-Lake is considered to be one of the most haunted place in Canada. You can snuggle up with your sweetie to brave a haunted ghost walk.
Where to stay: After that spooky walk, curl up with room service and a breathtaking view of the world famous Niagara Falls at the Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls Fallsview.
- Montreal, QC: It's no surprise that one of Canada's oldest and most historic cities is steeped in stories of the paranormal. There is more than 200 years of history in Montreal with everything from hangings, torture to murder. If you're feeling brave you can book a ghost walk or ghost hunt with Fantomes Montreal Ghosts which takes guests on a journey through time and brings you face-to-face with the ghosts of Old Montreal's past. You'll hear their stories, learn of the legends and more.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of the historic District, Le Petite Hotel is surrounded by picturesque streets, art galleries, boutiques, cafés and perhaps ghosts? The hotel is right in the heart of old Montreal making it easy to get home after your ghost tour – you'll thank us for that detail later.
- Vancouver, BC: Death, murder and mayhem. Vancouver has seen plenty of each, and rumor has it that at this time of year is when those spirits are the most active. From the hitchhiking ghost of UBC to the haunted and historic Mountain View Cemetery there is no shortage of scares in this city.
Where to stay: At the very heart of this scenic city's core is the landmark Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, noted for gorgeous architecture it's also said that the elevators sometimes make unscheduled stops on the 14th floor, and upon the doors opening, a lady dressed in red floats down the hallway.
- Ottawa, ON: Locals and newcomers alike are fascinated by the glimpses into the darker history and haunting of the nation's capital. From the haunting of the Bytown Museum, Grant House and Chateau Laurier there is a healthy supply of spooky sites. You can even take a ghost walk with the haunted walk of Ottawa tour guides who are now operating in their 18th season as they will be sure to highlight the haunted history of this famous city you never expected.
Where to stay: The Fairmont Chateau Laurier celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. With plenty of famous visitors, artwork and beautiful architecture this hotel is a must see, so why not stay the night! But be careful – numerous guests have reported seeing the ghost of Charles Melville Hays.
- London: With its gloomy dungeons, haunted sites and bloody past, where better to spend Halloween than in the glamorous British capital? Frightful attractions include the London Tombs where zombies and other unspeakable creatures lurk about the haunted catacombs. Be sure to catch a glimpse of The London Eye at night to see its mysterious transformation. For the more morbidly curious, Jack the Ripper tours await and will take you into the murderous world of the world-famous serial killer.
Where to stay: The Langham London, situated in the heart of London's West End, this luxury hotel has been visited by literary greats including Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde, and it has also reportedly been frequented by a number of ghosts particularly in room 333.
- Sydney: Sydney has its fair share of haunted places and superstitions, which makes it a great destination for ghost admirers. For a frightening experience, meet at the Quarantine Station on North Head – the city's first line of defense against contagious disease in the 1800s – for an unsettling ghost tour…
Where to stay: The Russell Hotel, a charming bed and breakfast hotel, is situated in the heart of the Rocks, one of Sydney's most historic haunted areas, and was formerly a sailor's hostel. Stay in Room 8 for those who have no fear.
- Derry, Ireland: More than 50,000 revelers pack the streets of this small town in Northern Ireland come Halloween weekend. Complete with fireworks, Ireland's largest street parade and a costume ball, this holiday is taken so seriously that local pubs have been known to refuse pints to those who don't dress up. Visitors with a more frightful appetite are in luck as Ireland is home to many castles speculated to be haunted some of which are within driving distance of the town.
Where to stay: City Hotel Derry is situated on the banks of the River Foyle and provides partygoers an ideal location to access all the festivities not to mention gorgeous views of the city.
- Bran, Romania: Legendary for Bram Stoker's "Dracula," Bran is scarily perfect for a Halloween expedition. In the heart of old Transylvania, Bran Castle is where Dracula is said to have lived. A number of tours offer vampire buffs the chance to discover the chilling truth and myth behind this unique legend.
Where to stay: Why the House of Dracula, of course. Resembling a castle, the atmosphere is blood thirsty as Count Dracula himself will greet guests upon arrival with a cup of blood no less.
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