The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.
From St. Louis to San Antonio, New York to New Mexico, Halloween has become one the year's most exciting parties. In local bars or city-wide parades, Halloween revelry rivals New Year's Eve. Drink specials, costume contests, even shopping for a costume has become part of the Halloween ritual. Travel providers have caught on, making Halloween travel to ghostly, ghastly and frightening places easier than ever before. If you're looking for something to do this Halloween, start right here.
Music lovers can delight in the number of concerts occurring on Halloween night. Available shows across the world include mellow Ben Harper in Frankfurt, crazy Germany, Devo in Los Angeles, scary Alice Cooper at the Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut, the always fun Red Hot Chili Peppers on Cleveland, Ohio, and Zappa Plays Zappa in Madison Square Garden where son Dweezil channels his deceased father Frank. These Halloween shows are more than just normal concerts. The crowd dresses in full costume, heightening the senses. The bands feel the energy making these full Halloween parties in their own right. For a full listing of Halloween concerts with links to the bands' websites for ticket purchasing, go to www.livemusicblog.com/news/06/08/31/halloween-concert-listing-national.php.
New York throws perhaps the most famous Halloween Parade (www.halloween-nyc.com/index.php) in the world. Every year more than a million people march in the nationally televised event. Starting at 7pm on Tuesday, October 31, 2006, this year's parade will consist of puppets, 53 different musical bands, artists, and dancers. To march is easy, and children and adults are more than welcome. Just arrive between 6:30pm and 8:30pm in costume at the corner of Sixth Avenue between Spring Street and Broome Street (there's an easy reach to Subway stop right there), find your friends or some fun marchers and just start your walk up Sixth Avenue to 22nd Street. That's it. All are welcome. The event was chosen as the "Greatest Event on Earth for the Month of October" by Events International. If you don't want to march, just line the mile-long route to watch the fun.
Not known as such a scary place, Virginia has some special Halloween events planned all over the state. With "more than forty places to freak out," Virginia's Halloween (tel. 800/847-4882; www.virginia.org/site/features.asp?FeatureID=248) takes advantage of the state's colonial and Civil War history and small but well-known ghost population. From trick or treat festivals down Main Streets to Haunted Hikes in the deep woods, Virginia intends to scare your wits away or fill your pumpkins with candy. In Alexandria, there's even a tribute to horror writer Edgar Allen Poe where an actor reads from some of Poe's most macabre works. For a rundown of Virginia's haunted locations, check out www.virginia.org/site/features.asp?FeatureID=52. Stopping at the different haunted sites from this web page can make for a very strange road trip.
For those looking to get out of the United States this Halloween for a fright, tours to Count Dracula's Castle in Transylvania, Romania are becoming more sophisticated and easy to find. A non-Dracula trip to the Romanian Carpathians searches for wolves and bears. Beyond the Forest (tel. +44 (0)1539 531258; www.beyondtheforest.com/Pages/WOLF1.html), a tour provider out of the United Kingdom has a four-night/five-day hike through the mountains promising to take you into or near the largest population of wolves on the European continent. Starting at $1,370, the trip includes round-trip airfare from London to Bucharest, all accommodations at local inns in Zarnesti, a fully-guided hike into the Carpathians, all museum and wildlife fees and some meals including a campfire barbecue. Additional nights in Bucharest are available at the beginning or end of your trip.
Romanian Discovery (tel. 617/497-1111; www.romaniandiscovery.com) has an eight-day/seven-night "Mysteries and Myths" tour starting at $2,800 for the special land-only elite educational tour. Starting in Bucharest before making the trek to Count Vlad's lair, the trip visits Saxon strongholds, ancient villages, and the alleged location of an Axis Mundi, a nexus between life on Earth and the underworld. (If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will.) Hotels are first class on this trip. Tour leaders include a National Geographic writer and a known environmentalist. Call for tour dates and special Halloween accommodations.
The Ocean Edge Resort and Club (tel. 800/343-6074; www.oceanedge.com) in Brewster, Massachusetts on Cape Cod Bay has a Halloween special "Spooky Mansion" package that actually dares guests to catch a glimpse of a house ghost. For $189 per night through the month of October, the package includes one night of deluxe accommodations, daily breakfast for two, a jack-o-lantern full of treats, free late-night coffee and a flashlight for guests who want to take a midnight stroll. If you catch a glimpse of the alleged on-premise ghost, Addie, your stay is on the house. Ouija boards are even available for guests looking for some otherworldly contact. The 429-acre resort leaves plenty of room for long walks and Addie spotting, although the most likely place to find her is in the 1912 Victorian Nickerson Mansion that houses 90 of the resorts more than 300 rooms. Rumor has it that poor Addie has been roaming the halls since 1912 waiting for her young husband who died two weeks before the couple was supposed to live in their new home, rebuilt after a mysterious fire in 1906. Addie moved in, and allegedly never left. If you don't find her, you can always bike the 26-mile Cape Cod rail trail, eat or drink in one of the resorts four bar/restaurants, hit the golf ball on the resorts championship golf course, play tennis, walk on the beach or play hoops on one of the hotel's outside basketball courts. Normal fall rates start at $290, making the Halloween special that much more appealing. Say hello to Addie.