With less than 100 days until Halloween (84 to be exact) and costumes beginning to pop up in stores, it is time to start planning for all of the scares that we are going to attend!  This is my bucket list of haunted houses since I haven’t traveled too far from home.  I have gone to tons of local haunts and even gone to ones that were out of town when traveling for other reasons, but the haunts on this list deserve their own trips.

Haunted House Sleep Overs

I am all for a ghostly encounter and real haunts are so much better than the fake stuff, IF you are a lucky one.  With multiple sightings and a rough history, you are sure to get something out of a night spent in one of these hotels or asylums.  I cannot wait to find a vacation buddy that is willing to step foot in one of these places.

The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, CA

While the reviews are horrible for this one, I would still make the trip if given the chance.  The Cecil Hotel has been renamed Stay on Main Hotel and Hostel, but still holds it’s dark history.  Known for multiple murders and suicides, you’re likely to get some chill bumps walking the halls of this one.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia

While there may not be much sleep going on at this one, you can actually pay to go through this 242,000 square foot asylum at night!  The asylum built to house around 250 patients, but packed in over 2,000 in the 1950’s.  Due to overcrowding, treatment and sanitation were most likely neglected.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

As the alleged inspiration for the movie The Shining, this one is sure to excite any horror fan.  I will make it here one day and would probably pay thousands to stay in the infamous Stanley Hotel,  but luckily I won’t have to.  I checked prices and a Halloween stay in the Stanley Classic King room is only $279.

Waverly Hills Sanitarium in Louisville, Kentucky

Designed to treat tuberculosis patients in the 1900’s, death became so common that a tunnel was built to secretly bring dead patients out of the building.  While a 6-hour public tour is only $75, big spenders can book a private overnight tour for $1000+.

The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts

If you haven’t heard of Lizzie Borden, you need to do your research.  If you have heard of Lizzie Borden, then you’ll definitely want to stay in her house.  Prices range from in the $200s for a room to over $1000 for an entire floor or the whole house.

Haunted Vacation Spots

I always take my paid vacation time during Halloween.  If you do the same thing, you could make a whole vacation out of a trip to one of America’s most haunted cities.  With real haunts around every corner, guided tours, and local houses, these cities are sure to keep you on your toes.

New Orleans, Louisianna

Everyone already knows that there is some history in the The Big Easy making it one of the most haunted cities in America.  A melting pot of cultures and known voodoo practitioners, there are endless possibilities to the sightings and spooks you can gain from a vacation in the city.  Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, The Hotel Monteleone, St. Louis Cemetary No 1, and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum are all on the top of the list to visit when you go.

Portland, Oregon

Known as the weird capitol of America, Portland also has plenty of spooks to keep you up at night during your visit.  The Stone House, The White Eagle Cafe & Saloon, Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetary, and the Shanghai Tunnels are all places to add on your to-do list when you make the trip to Portland.

Chicago, Illinois

With the help of Al Capone and his gangsters, there are plenty of strange mists and gunshot noises to go around.  The main attraction is 2122 North Clark Street, where Al and his crew gunned down seven men on Valentine’s Day in 1929.  You can also visit Bachelor’s Grove Cemetary and Pond and the Congress Plaza Hotel.

Just the Houses

While real haunts are great, haunted houses serve up the perfect amount of horror in a short period of time.  Usually, with a minimal cost, these are great last-minute splurges that will get you right into the Halloween season.  These houses are different than regular local haunts, though.  With waivers and professional actors, don’t go into any of these without being prepared.

Netherworld in Atlanta, Georgia

Netherworld has won multiple prizes for highest rated haunts and America’s best haunted house.  I have only ever seen the best about Netherworld.  This year’s theme is The Awakened and doors open in October.

Basement of the Dead in Aurora, Illinois

Basement of the Dead is another award-winning haunt that is sure to have you screaming.  Another haunt with a dedicated team that works to make sure that you have the time of your life and are scared shitless by the end, Basement of the Dead is a winner.

USS Nightmare in Newport, Kentucky

While this is ANOTHER award-winning haunt, this one IS different.  USS Nightmare is held every year on a former steam-powered dredging vessel.  This year’s tickets are now available for sale and doors open in September.

Theme Parks

Theme parks are everywhere and supply huge haunts during the Halloween season.  I have been to one or two Halloween events at theme parks and they never fail to impress.  The haunts are movie-grade and they are around every corner.

Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights

Busch Gardens: Howl-O-Scream

Walt Disney World: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Six Flags: Fright Fest

Wild Adventures: Terror In The Wild

Knott’s Berry Farm: Knott’s Scary Farm

Cedar Point: HalloWeekends

Hersheypark: Hersheypark in the Dark