Oct. 20, 2009 -- Halloween this year falls on a Saturday night meaning a long weekend of goulish celebrations for all and the travel industry is taking full advantage.
offering up a number of activities from ghost tours to special drinks all to celebrate the holiday.
"Halloween is an extremely visible holiday," said Gabe Saglie, senior editor at travel deal site Travelzoo. "With the onset of fall, it's the next opportunity to come up with creative marketing."
Bill Miller, senior vice president of operations at travel site CheapOair.com, said that there are some good deals for Halloween this year and that more and more people are pegging their trips to some type of activity.
"We're seeing more of a trend towards event travel. Flying to go to sports games or surrounding trips around a major event or holiday is becoming more popular," Miller said. "Halloween over a weekend allows for a full itinerary over two to three days."
Most Halloween travelers tend to stay within a few hours of their home, according to Sadlie.
"I don't think you are going to find a lot of people hopping on a plane and traveling across the country to stay at a paranormal hotel," Saglie said.
But for travelers looking to take advantage of some holiday getaways this year, here is a list of some of the spookiest Halloween destinations.
Join the Stanley's experienced tour guides on a spooky sojourn through time. Enjoy stories highlighting the history of the hotel, the hotel's connection to "The Shining," hear about ghost stories and visit the most haunted places in the hotel. You can even tour the hotel's underground tunnel. The tour costs $13 per person.
Spooky Halloween Get-Aways
Ghosts Amongst Us When the sun goes down, Williamsburg, Va., has a haunted history to tell. Colonial Williamsburg: offers a one-hour walking tour of sites known for their supernatural inhabitants. The $12 tour is available Mondays through Saturdays through Nov. 26, but is not appropriate for young children.
There are several other spooky events in Williamsburg this season. During the Cry Witch program,, guests can question witnesses, weigh evidence and determine the guilt or innocence of the "Virginia witch," Grace Sherwood, who was tried for witchcraft in 1706.
In another program called Crime and Punishment, guests can step back in time and meet three people from the past who are intimately familiar with the crimes and punishments of colonial justice. Guests hear of sentences handed down from 18th-century Virginia courts and decide for themselves how effective they were.
This year marks the ship's 15th Annual Halloween Terrorfest. The ship has five different terrifying mazes, including a vampire village, the graveyard, an isolation ward, a pirate maze and the paranoia's house of horror. Tickets start at $29 per person.
Haunted Hotels for Halloween
From 1851 to 1990, the site was home to the infamous Charles Street Jail, and these halls were walked by some of America's most ruthless high-profile criminals. The building reopened in 2007 as a luxury hotel, but has retained much of the original architecture -- including several cells.
The Liberty's Halloween party, "Nightmare on Charles Street," will leave guests terrified and elated. The event is centered on The Liberty's very own haunted house. After being freightened, guests can celebrate with Scream Cocktails -- featuring Double Cross Vodka -- and then dance the night away. Tickets to the Halloween night even are $25 and include one Scream cocktail.
The McPike Mansion, pictured here, sits atop Mount Lookout Park, the highest point in Alton. Believed to be haunted, thousands of visitors and paranormal investigators have visited the grounds, claiming spirits still roam the property.
Also in town is the Mineral Springs Hotel, once an elegant hotel and spa with a history filled with tragedy, murders and suicides. The legends claim there are several different ghosts that haunt the corridors and rooms of the Mineral Springs. The first is said to be an itinerant artist who was unable to pay his hotel bill back in 1932 and now allegedly haunts the former hotel bar.
The Civil War brought more than 10,000 confederate prisoners to town, all held at the infamous Alton Federal Military Prison. Many died during a small pox outbreak, their bodies left out in the woods. Their ghosts now supposedly haunt a local area around Hop Hollow Road.
Legend has it that one evening decades ago a houseman investigating noises coming from the hotel's dining room encountered a quartet of formally dressed musicians practicing their music. The houseman was not amused as it was long past closing time. "You're not supposed to be in here," he said. They replied, "Oh, don't worry about us. We live here."
Then there is Mrs. Louise Crawford Hill, who ruled Denver society and lived in room 904 of The Brown from 1940 to 1955. Hill was one of several permanent guests who lived in 20 apartments located on the hotel's top two floors. Years later, during renovation of these floors, the hotel historian conducted a series of tours which included stories about the apartment residents -- including Mrs. Hill. Once stories about her life and heartbreak over a lost love were recounted on the tours, the hotel's main switchboard began receiving calls from room 904. When answering the calls, the hotel operator heard only static on the line. The calls were a great mystery, because room 904 had been stripped of all furniture, lights, wallpaper, carpet and telephones during the renovation. The historian took Mrs. Hill's saga out of the tour and the calls from room 904 ceased.
Today the hotel still runs historic tours as well as seasonal ghost tours.
The Red Widow is a mysterious mixture of Skyy Infusions Citrus, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and pomegranate juice, garnished with Twizzler ropes, a lemon wheel and candy corn. The Trick 'R' Treat is a creepy cocktail made with white rum, lime juice, simple syrup and Midori, topped with a lime dimple and featuring assorted Halloween candy.
The other two Halloween-themed drinks being offered by Omni are the Bond's Eye, a drink made for the martini lover. It fuses Plymouth Gin, Ketel One Vodka and Lillet finished with a Lychee "Eyeball" stuffed with a blueberry. And the Red Eye, a mixture of Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Grand Marnier, orange juice and strawberry puree; also garnished with a Lychee "Eyeball" with blueberry and strawberry puree.
That sure beats the Snickers bars you used to get as a kid.
Drink recipes can be found at: trickandtweet.com