Top 10 Halloween Cities in America

It’s that time of year when the ghosts and goblins arise from their dark lairs to rattle their chains and whisper their creepy hauntings. But where in America will the hairs on the back of your neck stand the tallest? Shindigz, Where the World Comes to Party, set out on a quest to find the top 10 cities for celebrating Halloween.

Although Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday of the year (surpassed only by Christmas), there’s more to Halloween than just the decorations. Some U.S. cities are known for their “authentic” haunted locations and ghostly history. Others are known for their Halloween tourist attractions and trick-or-treating. When searching for the absolute best Halloween cities in America, Shindigz monster-mashed all of these factors together to compile a list of ten cities where visitors can experience the best of what Halloween has to offer.

10. Cleveland, OH: Even though Zillow ranked Cleveland at #17 on the list of best places to trick-or-treat in America, it made the Shindigz top ten list for many other reasons. The Fear Experience, Cleveland’s scariest haunt, actually puts a warning on their website that discourages visitors from touching the animals. Enough said. You can also take a Haunted Cleveland Ghost Tour of the Torso Murders that re-traces the timeline and cites of one of America’s very first serial killers.

9. Charleston, SC: Despite Charleston leaving much to be desired on the haunted attractions side of the business, a city with so much REAL haunted history doesn’t really need attractions to make it creepy. The Battery Carriage House Inn and the Dock Street Theatre are thought to inhabit the ghosts and spirits of Civil War Soldiers, African Gullahs and headless spirits. This combined, with its family-friendly Halloween festivities, gives Charleston a spot on the top ten.

8. Las Vegas, NV: Vegas, the “city of lights,” has turned to the dark side with two attractions being featured this year on Macabre Theater. The Asylum and Hotel Fear are two of Nevada’s scariest attractions and are quickly gaining national notoriety. Zillow lists Las Vegas as the 9th best trick-or-treating city in America. Finally, The Flamingo Hotel is where former owner and well known gangster Bugsy Segal is said to roam the Presidential Suite and pool of his hotel between cut-throat games of blackjack.

7. Chicago, IL: Chi-town is on the Shindigz, list not only for its great trick-or-treating suburbs, but also its history. The Great Fire and stories of gangsters including Al Capone have given Chicago quite a haunted reputation. In nearby Aurora, IL visitors can see an attraction called “Basement of the Dead.” This frightening haunt in the basement of an old laundry company is known for its large cast of adult actors, costumes, decorations and visual effects. When you’re done at the “Basement of the Dead,” you can take a tour of the haunted Bachelor’s Cemetery and try to catch a glimpse of the “White Lady.”

6. Atlanta, GA: One word: Netherworld. This 15-year-old haunted attraction is recommended for adults and brave teens only. Its different houses and dark themes give it a uniqueness that keeps visitors coming back for more. Atlanta also carries the title of being the 15th best city for trick-or-treating according to Zillow and houses more than ten allegedly haunted locations including Antebellum Plantation and Oakland Cemetery.

5. Portland, OR: Portland, and surrounding areas like Richmond and Northwest Heights, provide all the little ghosts and goblins with some of the country’s best trick-or-treating. This, combined with the hair-raising, world famous Shanghai Tunnels and Pittock Mansion, gives Portland a central spot on Shindigz’ list of Halloween’s best cities.

4. San Antonio, TX: The haunted, historic stories behind the Alamo, the Governor’s Mansion and Menger Hotel, combined with its annual “Nightmare on Grayson” haunted attraction and its listing on Zillow as one of the country’s best cities for trick-or-treating, San Antonio takes the #4 position in our list. Stop by the Crown Plaza St. Anthony where there have been numerous stories of sightings of strange shadowy outlines, feelings of a presence in some rooms, and the opening and closing of doors.

3. San Francisco, CA: This city, synonymous with Alcatraz Prison, takes the #3 spot on Shindigz list of Best Halloween Cities in America. The creepiness of Alcatraz aside, San Francisco took Zillow’s #2 spot for best trick-or-treating in America. Take a drive out of the city over the Bay Bridge at night on the lower deck towards Oakland and you may also experience what drivers say are ghosts knocking on your vehicle’s windows. Some also say that they’ve see a headless man running next to their cars.

2. Denver, CO: Denver is host to one of the most well-known haunted attractions: The 13th Floor. This attraction is not for the faint of heart. Its realistic effects and “unlucky” name give it a creepiness all its own. Denver is also known for its festive and decorative trick-or-treating neighborhoods like Cherry Creek, Hilltop and Congress Park. Lastly, its haunted history includes sites like The Brown Palace Hotel, Buckhorn Exchange and the famed Cheesman Park.

1. Philadelphia, PA: Philly takes first place on the Shindigz list of Best Halloween Cities in America. Its haunted sites like Fort Mifflin and Eastern State Penitentiary give it an eeriness that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, arms AND legs. The former capital of the US is also a hot trick or treating spot in areas like Manayunk, Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square. But more than anything, Philly made its way to the top of the list thanks to Pennhurst Asylum. This spine-chilling attraction is set inside an old abandoned mental institution and has been featured on the SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters on more than one occasion. An attraction built on the actual site of a sinister and frightening mental hospital? That was the proverbial nail in the coffin (which is good in this case).

Ladies Night Out – Your Marilyn Monroe Party

Ladies, it’s time to break away from your weekly routine for a glamorous night out! Whether you are celebrating a special occasion with your girlfriends, or searching for a fun ladies night out theme, a Marilyn Monroe party is the ticket! The Marilyn Monroe party supplies are perfect for this blonde bombshell iconic theme.

When you send out invitations, choose a glitzy design like the black and silver personalized Hollywood star invitation. An entertaining approach to get everyone involved in the theme is to suggest that each lady dress up in their best interpretation of Marilyn Monroe. Have the ladies nominate the best Marilyn look-a-likes and give the top three ladies a special prize, such as the Marilyn Monroe bath suit notebook.

Fashion a dramatic background for your venue by hanging sets of black metallic foil party curtains, or use a set of foil curtains to hang in a doorway as the entrance to your party area. Choose either the Marilyn red dress personalized banner or the Marilyn white dress personalized banner to announce your party and set the tone. Form a proper walkway for your famous guests with a red carpet aisle runner and the Hollywood rope scene setter to pave the way.

Select from four beautiful Marilyn Monroe standees and place one near the entrance to the party, use another one as a focal point in your decorating scheme, and then place the other two around the room to take pictures with the star of the evening with her starlets. Glam up the walls with amazing Marilyn Monroe canvases to highlight her different poses. Bring some life to the chairs by tying a red feather boa to adorn the back of each guest’s chair, providing each lady with a boa to enjoy for the evening and take home with her when the evening comes to an end.

Make your tables sparkle by covering them with black liquid metallic fabric. Design gorgeous centerpieces using a combination of materials. Start with the reflecting mirror centerpiece, and then add the rose topiary centerpiece in the middle, accent the mirror by placing red, black, and silver dots confetti on the glass, along with several tea lights. As a final touch, drape pearl beads on the glass around the topiary. Red lipstick is Marilyn’s signature color, so pull that in to your tables with the classic red plastic kit-n-kaboodle table setting.

Party Favors
Don’t send your guests away empty handed, fill silver drawstring bags with Marilyn Monroe favors: mint tins, playing cards, and personalized chocolate candy bars.

Party and Event Guide Blog Takes The Cake

Being in the party business for as long as the internet has been around, we here at Shindigz have seen our fair share of party blogs. There is an endless online concoction of ideas, planning, directories and services of all things party related. The blog you’re reading right now serves to simplify the hunt and provide all this information in one simple and easy location. It was recently brought to our attention that we have some competition!

Keep your enemies close, right? Not exactly. When we had the opportunity to welcome Party and Event Guide into our Shindigz affiliate program, we were impressed right off the bat (and we ARE the party experts so impressing us is no easy feat)! The gang over at Party and Event Guide have a nicely designed page with easy navigation and some very cool features.  From party ideas and real party photos to a complete vendor guide and a weekly featured theme, among other visually stimulating goodies. We would like to focus today’s blog post on two specific features of Party and Event Guide that really set it apart.

First is the Party Forum. This page of their blog allows users to post their own party ideas, questions, tips and suggestions.  As of right now, the forum is separated out by state allowing users to geo-target fellow partiers and network in a way that allows for more relevant answers and suggestions. We have a feeling this feature of their blog will branch out into many other topics and categories and will eventually be a very useful party resource. We encourage you to visit this page and begin posting your party questions, ideas and tips!

The other part of Party and Event Guide that we find to be a very nice tool is their “drinks” tab. It’s a bartender’s dream come true. Even more, it’s a party hosts dream come true! There’s always that one party guest who tries to impress the others by ordering some off-the-wall drink that no one (including the bartender) has ever heard of.  As a party host, you’ll be on top of the order with this extensive and detailed drink directory.  With literally hundreds of drinks in the directory categorized by spirit of choice, you’ll be mixing up drinks like a pro before happy hour.

Party and Event Guide truly is a one stop party blog. Users can even submit their own parties or drink recipes to be featured on the site! But fair warning: Party and Event Guide is very visual with very bright and colorful pictures so not just any boring old party will do! The standards of their featured parties are much like the standards of their site: Top Notch.

Big Top-Circus Party Ideas Have Come to Town

No one likes to clown around more than you & your friends! Ok, maybe your kids take the cake, but no matter who is into the fun, a Big Top Circus party is for you! Try these quick & easy tips to create the big top for your school carnival or in your party space:

Decorate Your Winter Wedding Like a Pro

Traditional or trendy, you can decorate your winter wedding like a pro with the right color scheme, attention to design, and key wedding party supplies and products.

Give White a Green Light
White can help you incorporate a holiday, season or special wedding theme. Though it is a tradition to use white at weddings, the right accent color can give you a twist on that tradition with a modern, chic look.

Lots and lots of white will look ethereal, dreamy. Use a bit of pastel blue or lavender, or a metallic, as an accent to keep the effect of floating on a cloud for a fairytale theme such as Castle in the Sky or wintry Ice Castle. You can also use your non-white accents to highlight focal points at your wedding or reception.

Alternatively you can pair white with stronger colors as contrast, a visual surprise. We like a cranberry and a citrus green as a modern salute to the holiday season, or to use white along with the still-trendy brown-and-blue winter scheme.

Vary a very white look by introducing contrasting sizes, shapes and textures in decorations, and consider a symbol or emblem of your winter wedding, such as a snowflake or seasonal flower.

Achieve a Professional Look with Fabulous Fabrics
Start by utilizing the room-softening properties of decorating fabrics by draping and covering large areas such as walls, ceilings and tables. We especially like gossamer for its value, its perkiness in bows, and its overall versatility and for this purpose suggest a peek at a snowflake gossamer. Shimmera, taffeta and chiffon will give you iridescence, shine or glitter. Whatever your choice, decorating fabrics will lend elegance to the venue.

Wind fabrics around balusters, arches, canopies and other large decorating pieces. Cut them into table runners and create expensive-looking centerpiece arrangements by first wrapping ordinary glass canning jars (or other cheap but sturdy containers) in pouches made of a posh fabric.

Bring it Home with a Nod to Mother Nature
Remember the contrasting shapes and textures we mentioned above? There’s no better way to introduce them into your elegant wedding party decorations than with organic and outdoor forms.

For large decorations with height, select trees and boughs. Christmas trees, willow branches bundled snugly with strong raffia or twine, or one of our own 7-foot LED lit winter tree decorations create instant focal points, especially when used in groupings or rows.

Decorate canopies with lots of natural twig garland, and use seasonal fruits and flowers (cranberries, amaryllis, paper whites) on tables. Shimmering twine LED lanterns intriguingly combine the rustic with the ultra modern; hang them over tables or use them in centerpieces with a sprig of holly or other greenery and a handful of pine cones.

More Decorating Quick Tips

  • Check out the white, blue and gold of the Dream Come True decorations and the Mr. & Mrs. collection in brown, blue and white for a winter palette

  • Bring pastel blue accents to a white palette with LED lighting options

  • White Party collection banners, invitations and wedding party favors bring an easy elegance to a white-on-white winter wedding look

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