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Around the World: Head to the Northeast’s Haunted Places for Halloween

Jennifer Merin on


With Halloween fast approaching, celebrants who crave more than trick and treat are contemplating titillating adventures to haunted places for thrilling ghost encounters.
 
Although the presence of paranormal phenomena is not restricted to the period around Halloween, the bewitching holiday is the most popular time of year for ghost hunting tourism. It’s usually mixed in with local history and can be quite educational. And, it’s a lot of fun.
 
When it comes to experiences with the paranormal, people have different expectations. Some seek an enlightening glimpse into the spiritual realm, others just want to enjoy a super spooky scare that they can relive and laugh about while they’re safely enjoying drinks at a nearby saloon.
 
Others really want to know more about what serious paranormal research is all about. Travelers with such serious intent might want to contact a paranormal research society for basic information as well as lists of haunted places and how to access them.  For example, the Paranormal Research Society of New England (aka PRSNE) has a list of famous hauntings on its website, but you’ll have to seek access on your own because the society engages in research, not tourism. But, if Halloween raises your curiosity about ghosts and hauntings, you will benefit from the information before setting out on your tourist adventure.
 
If you’ve ever encountered a ghost, it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget. And it’s one you’re quite likely to recount to friends and family, endowing the experience with your own unique storytelling spin and philosophical perspective. A ghost hunting adventure is richly rewarding, whether it’s deemed to be authentic or understood to be a well-staged set up. It always provides a good story to tell to others.
America boasts a vast number of haunted places – houses, theaters, hotels, cemeteries and woodland trails that are located in every corner of the nation.  Most of them welcome visitors with special tours and events for Halloween. Most are very popular attractions, so if you’re planning to go ghost hunting this Halloween, make your reservations as soon as possible.
 
Here are some legendary New England locations that are pleasers for paranormal seekers. Note, though, that none of them guarantee encounters with ghosts. Seeing – or sensing – spirits is in the eye of the beholder. But sometimes, sightings are staged just for fun.
 
Salem, Massachusetts is a quaint New England town where witches were tried and killed during colonial times. Now, Salem boasts ghosts and guided tours to haunted places. You can walk around town on your own, stopping at places listed in tourist brochures, but for a more spectacular experience take the Haunted Footsteps Ghost Tour, a foray into Salem’s haunted history with a knowledgeable guide recounting documented past encounters with specters in the cemetery and other ghostly spots. More information: https://www.salem.org
 
Another New England ghost adventure is on tap at Haunted Overload at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, New Hampshire. But the encounters are all staged on an outdoor trail through woods where massive sets are populated by a cast of actors whose sole purpose is to terrify you. And, terrify you they do. So much so that this fully immersive experience is not recommended for the faint of heart or for children. But, Haunted Overload does offers gentler options for both of these vulnerable groups. More information: http://www.hauntedoverload.com
 
In New York State, historic Hudson Valley is another prime pick for ghost hunting in legendary Sleepy Hollow and with the Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted House tours in Ulster Park, where a 250-year-old farm is transformed into a spectacular Halloween scare show, with a 1-mile haunted hayride, a twisting corn maze and seven different haunted places including the Lunar Motel, the Horseman’s Tomb, Dr. Dark’s Black Spider Circus Sideshow and others. The scares can be so intense they provide escape rooms for anyone who’s freaking out. More information: https:/headlesshorseman.com
 
In Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary, a fasinating historical landmark and museum by day, stages a Terror Behind the Walls spook show during evening hours in the period leading up to and immediately following Halloween. The former prison, a chilling warren of dank halls and cells, is believed by some to be haunted by inmates who were once incarcerated there. But, actual ghosts are unlikely to appear during the Terror Behind Walls show –perhaps because they, too, are too scared! The event features six different haunted environments, where truly ghoulish ghostly characters actually approach you and talk to you and touch you. They may even surround you, isolating you from your friends and family. If you’re not up for the immersive experience, you can don a glowing necklace that will warn ghosts and ghouls to keep their distance. If you’re wearing a glowing necklace and a ghost does approach you, you’ll know that it’s not an actor! For more information: https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/node/3.

 

Copyright 2019 Jennifer Merin
 

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