Home Best of Guides 10 Spooky Northeast Towns to Visit This Fall

10 Spooky Northeast Towns to Visit This Fall

by Lauren Alberti
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The east coast is filled with historic towns and villages. From Maine to Florida, there are great spots to check out and learn about the country’s beginnings and the lives of early Americans. Towns full of history are great to visit any time of year, but the Halloween season brings about a certain kind of spookiness — from old haunted villages with ghost tours to Zombie festivals — there are some key spots that are worth the roadtrip. Whether you’re looking for a truly terrifying experience or just have some light spooky fun with the family, we have you covered. Read on for our list of the spookiest east coast towns to visit this fall. 

Croton-On-Hudson, New York

This Hudson Valley town is known for its Great Jack-o’-Lantern Blaze that lights up October nights each year. Located on an 18th century estate, the show is made up of giant art sculptures made completely out of jack-o’-lanterns. It’s a great place to wander through the grounds and take in the unbelievable carvings — plus, you can stop by the manor house for a light show and then grab some sweet fall treats before you leave. 

Erie, Pennsylvania

 

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With a name like Erie, it’s only fitting that the historic town is known for being extra spooky during the fall. Haunted History Tours offers a trolley ride through haunted sites, where visitors will hear scary stories, local legends, and ghostly tales while taking the quaint small towns and scenic country roads of Erie County, ending the tour by going through a haunted house. The annual Zombies of the Corn event acts as a real life simulation of a zombie apocalypse, and it’s up to participants to use paintball guns to save the town.  

See More: Vacation Ideas for Denver, Colorado 

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

(Photo Credit: @gettysburgnps)

As the site of one of the most historic battlegrounds from the American Civil War, Gettysburg is believed to have spirits of fallen soldiers still flying around since 1863. There are numerous ghost tours to take in Gettysburg, many of which are led by period-dressed historians holding candle lanterns to help get attendees in the spooky spirit. For the brave-hearted visitors, the Museum of Haunted Objects has tours open to the public to see haunted Ouija boards, creepy dolls, and other paranormal paraphernalia.  

Newport, Rhode Island

 

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Tourists love to spend summer weekends touring the Newport mansions and enjoying Rhode Island beaches, but spooky season in Newport is definitely worth checking out as well. The oldest and supposedly most haunted taverns in the U.S. is located in Newport: The White Horse Tavern. A few of the mansions in Newport are reportedly haunted as well. Belcourt of Newport, a 60-room Louis XIII style mansion, has a long history of supposed hauntings. Walking lantern-lit ghost tours take place all throughout the fall. 

New York, New York

There’s no need to travel very far to see some spooky sights. New York City is home to some haunting locations and rich history. Stop by the White Horse Tavern or The Ear Inn in the West Village, Landmark Tavern in Hell’s Kitchen, and walk by The Dakota apartment building — potentially the most haunted place in New York City. For a guaranteed night full of fear and libations, you can grab tickets to Madhouse on Mulberry, the city’s first boozy haunted maze. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(Photo Credit: @campusphilly)

Another major historic city takes the prize of one of the spookiest east coast locations. Philly is full of history, primarily revolving around the American Revolutionary War, and has had ghost sightings going back for centuries. It’s only natural that the city gets into character when Halloween rolls around. When planning a trip to Philly, make sure to go on a haunted ghost tour, which starts at the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” and covers the curse of the Liberty Bell, Alexander Hamilton’s ghost that haunts the First Bank of the United States, and more. Visitors will also want to take a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary and check out their Halloween festivities on the premises which includes 5 haunted houses and live music.   

Princeton, New Jersey

(Photo Credit: @hsofp)

Princeton has its annual Halloween parade that draws in a large crowd every year. There are also haunted tours and cemetery visits available during Halloween time. The ghost tours are not your typical walking tour with spooky tales told by actors. These ghost tours use actual ghost hunting equipment. Nestled between New York City and Philadelphia, Princeton is riddled with history — from the Lenape Native Americans, early British settlers, and the Revolutionary War — so feeling a paranormal presence isn’t unusual. 

Salem, Massachusetts

(Photo Credit: @destsalem)

Of course, Salem, MA has to be on the list. It’s one of the most famous spooky towns, and we are lucky to have it right here on the east coast. With its gruesome history of the Salem Witch Trials, it’s no mystery why the town is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country. Visitors can walk through the old streets of the Witchy City, visit haunted spots, historic landmarks, and eat at award-winning restaurants. Choose from a slew of walking tours offered within the city and learn about the 200 accused witches and 19 hanged in Salem in the 1690s, see the Hocus Pocus filming locations IRL, and go shopping on Essex Street. During the month of October, the Haunted Happenings events include parades, parties, and other special events.

Read More: The Best New Jersey Spots for Festive Fall Foliage

Sleepy Hollow, New York

 

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Hudson County residents are lucky to be a quick drive away from Sleepy Hollow, just across the river in Westchester County. The birthplace of the Headless Horseman does not take Halloween lightly. The entire community shows up during this time of year and embraces the spooky lure. There are weekly festivals and parades that include fun and games for all ages. Spend the day wandering around the town’s numerous historic locations — including the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, and the TaSH Farmer’s Market — then spend the evening getting spooked at the famous Haunted Hayride

Pro Tip: Don’t just stop at Sleepy Hollow — Tarrytown is just a short drive away and has tons of spooky Halloween vibes to offer as well!    

 

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