How to Take a Road Trip, Halloween-Style

How to Take a Road Trip, Halloween-Style
October 16, 2009
Molly Edmonds

This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday. That’s exciting for those of us who want to party hearty without getting up for work the next day, but if you’re looking for plans that don’t involve sitting at home and waiting for trick-or-treaters to show up, might I suggest a spooky road trip? There are plenty of U.S. locales that will show you a scary time on Halloween.

Here are just a few suggestions:

Bell Witch Cave: Beginning in 1817, John Bell and his family were tormented by a witch who wanted to kill John and break up the engagement of his daughter. The witch was believed to be the spirit of Kate Batts, a neighbor of the Bells. The Bells endured strange sounds in their home and physical violence, which included kicking, slapping and scratching, by invisible forces. If you visit the Adams, Tenn. Site on Halloween, you can expect cave tours, haunted hayrides and psychic readings.

Borden Bed and Breakfast: When I’m looking for a place to stay, the first thing I ask myself is, “does this seem like the kind of sketchy place where I could be murdered in my sleep?” In Fall River, Mass., there’s a B&B where the odds of violent death are a little higher than most, at least for certain residents. In 1892, a married couple was found brutally murdered by means of a hatchet. The man’s daughter, Lizzie, stood trial for the crimes but was found not guilty. It’s still unknown who committed the crime, but I do know that you can have a breakfast like the Bordens did on the day they were murdered if you stay at this place. If you’re there on Halloween, you can see a play about young Miss Borden and participate in a costume contest.

Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery: Nearly every cemetery can have its moments of spookiness, but many agree that Bachelor’s Grove takes the cake. Located in a southwest suburb of Chicago, Bachelor’s Grove wasn’t always a scary place; in fact, it was a popular place for young lovers to go parking. However, in the 1960s, the cemetery was vandalized and evidence was found of black magic rituals. Since spirits have the tendency to get mad when you mess with their resting place, there have been a number of reports of apparitions and paranormal activities. There have even been reports of ghost cars and phantom automobile accidents on the road nearby the cemetery, according to Prairie Ghosts’ Troy Taylor.

Winchester Mystery House: I visited in the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif. in the middle of summer one year, and while it was eerie, I think that the best time to visit this mansion would be on Halloween, when the home offers flashlight tours. See, that is not a house where you want to get lost in the dark. Sarah Winchester kept construction going on her home for 38 years, due to a psychic that told her that she was cursed from her association with the Winchester repeating rifle. Non-stop construction was the only way the cursed ghosts would leave Mrs. Winchester alone, so without the help of blueprints, she built stairs that lead to nowhere and doors that opened onto walls. To this day, people still aren’t sure how many rooms that house has.

That’s all the space I have, folks, and I know we’ve only scratched the surface of places to go on a Halloween-style road trip. So help me out, dear readers — what spots are guaranteed to send a tingle down a visitor’s spine? And international readers, what awesome spots did I miss by focusing on U.S. landmarks?