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).

Halloween Kid Party Planning

The one big difference between planning Halloween kid parties and other children’s parties is keeping the degree of scariness consistent with the comfort level of the age group. This is not always readily apparent. For example, younger children can be quite sensitive to Halloween sound effect CDs with their creaks, rumbles of thunder and “evil” laughter, even the most fake-sounding ones. When in doubt, go with the less scary option!

Outside of the degree of tolerated scariness, Halloween parties are the same as other kids’ parties in that one of the biggest challenges is keeping young guests occupied just right.

We recommend having something to start off imaginative play right from arrival with wigs, pirate hooks, face paints or other wearables from our costume accessories department. Alternatively, you can select from one or more of nearly two dozen Halloween designs with our Create-a-Funtoo option for temporary tattoos.

When all the guests have arrived, start with the most active games to help burn off excessive excitement – outdoors if you can! Balloon-popping games, relays and treasure hunts are all good choices.

If trick-or-treat will be part of the party fun, consider checking with your local fire station to see if the firefighters will welcome trick-or-treaters. Many of them do, and such an outing would constitute an extra treat for some age groups.

Be sure to include glow stick favors with lanyards as party favors if you’re planning outdoor fun.

When the party’s end looms, start bringing the activity level down a notch with pumpkin painting and party crafts.

The right timing and balance of active vs. quiet activities is the key to success in Halloween kid party planning. Schedule plenty, and always have an extra trick (or treat) up your sleeve!

Create Fall Harvest Fun with a Haunted Hill Tableware Ensemble

Haunted-Hill-Tableware-EnsembleOur Haunted Hill tableware is a fantastic choice if you want to create a Halloween party table that features festive fall colors and a spooky cometary scene. This tableware ensemble is great for Halloween parties for offices, classrooms, or family and friends.

To create a festive fall table for Halloween, try our Haunted Hill Tableware Ensemble (pictured at right). The print on the tableware features a fall harvest-colored sky paired with a haunted cemetery scene. The smiling Jack O’Lanterns and skeleton, however, keep the design from being too spooky for kids. The Huanted Hill Tableware pattern is available in dinner plates, luncheon napkins, hot/cold cups, and invitations and coordinates well with our orange and purple cutlery.

The Haunted Hill Kit-N-Kaboodle includes plates, napkins, cups, invitations, cutlery, orange and purple balloons, an orange table cover and orange curling ribbon. The deluxe kit also includes a 10”x30” banner, a Jack O’Lantern mylar balloon, candles, and purple and orange streamers.

To begin your Haunted Hill table decorations, cover the table with an orange plastic tablecover or with a spider web table roll. Adding a sprinkling of black star confetti or Spiders & Cobwebs Embossed Confetti.

In the middle of the table, place a Pumpkin and Ghost Cascade Centerpiece or a Sweet-Station Halloween Centerpiece for displaying festive Halloween baked goods. A great centerpiece makes your table decorations really pop!

Set the table with the Haunted Hill tableware and create cutlery bundles by wrapping the cutlery in the Haunted Hill napkins or in our fantastic personalized napkins with your party details printed right on them. Tie the bundles with coordinating curling ribbon or with milky way garland.

For a spooky dessert, try our Gory Brain Mold. Fill the mold with gelatin for a creepy dessert kids will get a kick out of.

Check out all of our Halloween Party Supplies and decorations and tell us about your Halloween party!

Halloween Craze Tableware Creates Fun Halloween Tables for Kids

Spider-Web-TablecoverOur Halloween Craze Tableware has a fun, kid-friendly table at your Halloween party. Use these Halloween table decorations to create a fun table setting both kids and adults will love at your Halloween party.

Start by covering your tables with a spider web tablecover (shown right) for creating a fun base for the tableware. For a simpler option use a solid orange or black tablecover or our spider web gossamer.

Over the top of your tablecover, scatter Spiders and Cobwebs Confetti. If you plan ahead, you can even put some of the confetti in the envelopes with your invitations for a coordinated feel to your party.

In the middle of the table, place the Halloween Craze Centerpiece, which features an accordion style accented with ghosts, bats, and spiders! Our Pumpkin and Ghost Cascade Centerpiece is another festive choice.

Our Halloween Sweet Station is a fantastic decoration for your buffet table! You can place cupcakes, brownies, and other Halloween treats in an awesome arrangement around the Sweet Station for a fun accent to your table.

Set the table with Halloween Craze Tableware including dinner plates, dessert plates, napkins, and cups with a pattern featuring spiders, ghosts, and bats and a jovial polka dot print.

Check out all of our Halloween Decorating Ideas and Halloween Party Supplies!

Add Halloween Lights to Lessen Frights!

Lights aren’t just for Christmas! Add some shine to your Halloween decorations this year with spooky light strands, lanterns and other lighting effects.

A strand of creepy critters electrical lights is a great accent for your doorways, banisters or bushes. The light set features jack o’lanterns, pumpkins and bats with bright colors sure to make a splash.

A lighted spider web makes a frightfully good accent. Hang it near a doorway or in a dark corner to add a spooky glow.

A pumpkin lighted sign is a great accent for your lawn this Halloween. The metal and glass lighted column is 48” high and features arrows pointing the way to the Pumpkin Patch, Bat Bayou and the Goblin Garden. It’s fun for use all fall long, not just for Halloween.

Add a rustic look to your Halloween décor with Halloween lamp posts. The plastic lamp post is 6’ high and features a candle light bulb that you plug in. Accent the lamp post with some illuminated grim reaper columns for an extra scary touch.

For a simpler autumn look, use Halloween lanterns on your porch or in your house. The orange paper lanterns are 9” x 10” and are available in witch or bat patterns.

Add a fantastic lighting effect to all of your Halloween decorations with a special lighting effect such as a black light or a strobe light.

Check out all of our Halloween decorating ideas and tell us about your plans for Halloween!


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