DALLAS, Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Every town has a ghost story, but some destinations embrace their haunted pasts in a way that attracts an influx of tourism during the Halloween season. The travel experts at Hotels.com® have named the five best Halloween travel destinations stemming from spooky literature, film and folklore and picked the hotels in those cities that offer the best Halloween festivities and packages.
- Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.: Home of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" author Washington Irving, this quaint Hudson River Valley town one hour north of Manhattan transforms into a festive Halloween celebration in October. Visitors can tour Irving's Sunnyside estate, hear live readings of the short story and visit the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery that served as its setting. The Tarrytown House Estate (4.4 guest rating), which is made up of several 19th century mansions across 26 acres, offers central access to all of Sleepy Hollow's Halloween activities, as well as the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze in nearby Croton-on-Hudson.
- Salem, Mass.: Infamous for the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century, this city outside of Boston draws visitors year round with various tours, museums and a thriving witchcraft culture. The festivities are amplified in October, when the annual Haunted Happenings celebration offers a variety of attractions, including haunted houses, theatre performances, films and parades. Stay at the historic Hawthorne Hotel (4.5 guest rating), which hosts its annual Mardi Gras Masquerade on October 25th.
- New Orleans: While most tourists visit New Orleans for its nightlife and music scene, the city is also renowned for its vampire folklore, which has inspired a number of novels and films. In addition to various vampire walking tours that are offered around the French Quarter year round, New Orleans also hosts several vampire-themed events around Halloween, including masquerade balls, cocktail parties and book signings. Visitors can stay at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center (4.3 guest rating), which hosts Undead Con, a four-day event put on by the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club.
- Estes Park, Colo.: Located at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is famous for being home to The Stanley Hotel (4.1 guest rating), which inspired one of the most popular modern horror novel of our time. The hotel offers haunted tours to the public and hosts a number of Halloween events, including a masquerade ball and a murder mystery dinner. Visitors can also try the Redrum Ale at Estes Park Brewery or get dressed up for the Estes Park Community Trick-or-Treat event downtown.
- Charleston, S.C.: In addition to being South Carolina's oldest city and having a rich haunted history, Charleston also has connections to Edgar Allan Poe. Bulldog Tours offers a private tour of locations that purportedly inspired Poe's work, including the Unitarian Churchyard that is said to be haunted by the subject of his last completed poem – Annabel Lee. Nearby Sullivan's Island, where Poe was stationed in the military, is home to the Edgar Allan Poe Library and Poe's Tavern, where diners can order from an extensive themed menu. Visitors can stay at the Belmond Charleston Place (4.6 guest rating), which features a portrait of Poe in its lobby.
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