Halloween is my absolute favourite time of year, so naturally, I have a section of my Bucket List devised solely for Halloween. One side for costumes and the other for things to do and places to see that are related to Halloween before I die. I’m not going to share the costumes here, however, what I will say, is that I’m determined to dress up as my favourite spooky characters, while still having a green Halloween. These five things on my Halloween bucket list are mostly in America, with a few things set at home. Although Halloween and the traditions such as pumpkin carving originated right here in Ireland, America seems to go all out for spooky season which Iove!
Here’s are five things you (and I) have to do for Halloween before you die:
1. Spend Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
Notorious for the witch trials of the 17th Century, I think Salem is a must-see for any Halloween enthusiast. Every year there’s a Halloween Ball, historical and ghost guided tours, a parade, film nights, and loads more. I’m not sure if the Sanderson sisters will make an appearance, but you’d be guaranteed an unforgettable, and historically educational, Halloween.
Although it seems a bit gimmicky with the tours and a ball, what happened during the Salem witch trials was a tragedy and a crime against innocent civilians. A lot of people do show up to pay their respects. Even though they weren’t actually witches, I for one, wouldn’t suggest disrespecting these sites.
Halloween is a busy season for Salem, so I wouldn’t mind going at a different time of year, so long as the witchy attractions are still open. I live every day like it’s Halloween, so it’s always spoopy season.
2. Visit Halloween Town in St Helen’s, Oregon
I adore Halloween Town, it’s always been a childhood favourite movie so imagine my excitement when I discovered that Oregon reconstructs the set every year. There are Halloween celebrations every weekend of October and a ceremony to light the Great Pumpkin in the city plaza. This year Kimberly J. Brown, who played Marnie, came to the Spirit of Halloween Festival. I’m not gonna lie, I was willing to sell my soul to go.
Oregon has a lot of offer all year, but like Salem, October is busy season. I think I’d actually get emotional seeing the real Halloweentown pumpkin in real life.
This spot would also feel a little less heavy than Halloween in Salem. The town hosts pumpkin carving competitions, scarecrow competitions, and more spooktacular events.
3. Disneyland during Spooky Season
I always want to go to Disneyland, but I especially want to go around Halloween. There’s a happy haunts tour, Mickeys Halloween Party, trick-or-treating, and photo opportunities with Disney’s greatest villains and spookiest characters. The autumnal spoopy decor around the park is to die for, and all the characters get cute little Halloween costumes!
Both Hocus Pocus, and Halloweentown are Disney movies so it’s only right to be spending a Halloween at Disneyland. When I was a kid I had a vampire Donald Duck plushie I took trick or treating with me every year. Donald Duck isn’t even my favourite character, I just liked that we matched because I was almost always a vampire! I’m sad I lost it at some point, so I’d love to get a replacement one day.
Who doesn’t want a picture with Jack Skellington!? I know this is childish, but my inner child is at its peak during the Halloween season. I’m not picky about the specific Disneyland/world for this one, just as long as it’s during spooky season.
I’d also love to see Disneyland during Christmas, but Halloween is more important!
4. Go to a pumpkin patch
While I believe Ireland does actually have Pumpkin Patches, this is more of an American tradition so I’ve never been to one. Realistically there’s probably only a handful of pumpkin patches in the country. Here we generally just pick up the pumpkin at some point before Halloween in Tesco while buying groceries, so it’s not really special. I want to spend some time choosing which pumpkin I’m gonna gut instead of just throwing one into a trolley. Generally, the pumpkins are just medium-sized generic orange ones. I see so many varieties at pumpkin patches from white pumpkins, to funny shapes, and both tiny and huge ones.
I also love the idea of going all out at a pumpkin patch and finding one with a corn-maze too! As I said earlier, I love how America goes all out for Halloween!
Edit: as of October 2018, I got to go to fulfill my dream of going to a pumpkin patch. Read all about it here.
5. Go to a Haunted House
Again, I’m pretty sure Ireland does actually have Haunted Houses, I’ve never gone to one. I’ve been on the “haunted” ghost train rides at funfairs, but never something you actually get to walk through. Locally we have Scare Factory, but it doesn’t have the old school haunted house feel to it.
For clarification, I mean a cheesy spoopy Halloween haunted house, not a house that’s actually haunted. I’ve seen enough horror films to know that’s a bad idea.
I may be a chicken shit and predict myself walking through the whole thing with my eyes shut, but I still want to experience a tour of a haunted house or mansion, all in the name of Halloween spirit of course. I might actually surprise myself and be brave, either way, I’ll be getting a blog post out of it.
Last time I was in Disneyland (Paris), not only was the Phantom Manor closed for construction, but they had no Halloween stuff out yet despite the fact that Disneyworld Florida and Disneyland California were already in full spooky mode! Turns out this Halloween bucket list may be a little tricky to finish!
Have you a Halloween bucket list, or is it just me? If you do, what’s on it? Have you done any of the things on mine?