Safe and Spooky: new ways to enjoy Halloween

Safe and Spooky: new ways to enjoy Halloween

Orange sun in dark clouded sky offers a great spooky background for Halloween. Photo by Abed Ismail

Posted October 16, 2023

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Halloween is around the corner and the ghouls and goblins are coming for us whether we’re ready or not. If you still want to stay clear from a safe distance, don’t worry because your adrenaline will still run high.

If you’re feeling brave we’ve found some places in the U.S. and abroad where scary creatures reside. So get ready, set and go to face them at your peril from a social distance.


Questo, the app platform for city games, is organizing safe Halloween events in 23 cities across Europe. The organizers challenge people to walk around town to discover the most haunted places and the scariest local stories. Guided by the Questo mobile app, people will follow clues and solve puzzles in a real-world city game that mixes treasure hunting and escape room elements. People can play these haunted city games at any hour, on any day. People play individually or with their group. Local storytellers across Europe gathered the most frightening stories and mapped out the scariest places across the cities.

The estimated duration of each game is 1.5 hours and the prices range from 5 to 16 Euros per team (maximum 4 people). The full list of cities the event will take place in: United Kingdom (Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester), The Netherlands (Amsterdam, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Breda), France (Paris, Lyon, Montpellier), Germany (Munchen, Cologne), Italy (Rome, Milan, Florence), Romania (Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi), Austria (Vienna), Spain (Barcelona), Hungary (Budapest).



As Halloween nears, 30 spine-tingling walks across the UK have been selected by users and the team at walking app Go Jauntly.

There are ghosts and ghouls everywhere and you’ll be looking over your shoulder. The collection of ‘spooktacular’ walks are fiendishly family friendly. There are spine-chilling walks across the UK from Scotland down to the South coast that offer a more ‘socially-distant’ spooky Halloween.

Are you brave enough to enter the cave of villainous Twm Sion Cati?    Might you discover what lies hidden in London’s Crossbones Yard cemetery or explore the secrets of the ancient tombs in Nunhead?  Step outside of your comfort zone. After all, it’s Halloween.


Celebrate Once in a Blue Moon at The Garlic Farm, Newchurch, on October 29, 30 and 31st.  Organized by The New Carnival Company (NCC) this event celebrates the rare Blue Moon that is said to occur when there are two full moons in a single calendar month. A Blue Moon only falls on Halloween once every 19 years!

Once in a Blue Moon is approximately a one-hour illuminated trail around fields and through woodlands.

The idea behind the event has really inspired local artists, schools and communities, who are busy preparing and making illuminations for the outdoor spectacle. From the Big Bang itself, through constellations and star bursts, to nocturnal wildlife and even sounds of the night. Expect tap dancing foxes in dustbins, moth screens and mirror installations, giant foxes and badgers, plenty of bats… but not a vampire in sight!

Once in a Blue Moon will be advance ticketed, with small family units or ‘bubbles’ of no more than six. Each group will be given a timetabled slot and will have a ‘tour guide’ to walk with them to help maintain social distance and safety.

It’s all outdoors and very dark, so people are encouraged to bring a torch or a lantern, or even better to make their own lantern at home with one of the New Carnival Company’s take-out kits. Tickets and Lantern Kits are available to purchase.

*Wightlink ferry crossings from Portsmouth to Fishbourne start at £77 for a car and up to 7 people.



Ghost City Tours runs walking ghost tours in multiple cities that allow people to stay safe while having spooky fun!  The outdoor tours operate in New Orleans, Savannah, Nashville, Charleston, San Antonio, Galveston, and Tombstone.

Family-friendly and adult-only tours are offered. Tour numbers are limited according to each individual state/city mandate. 



Enjoy this year’s Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at the Bonelli Regional Park (120 E Via Verde Dr, San Dimas) from the safety of your car.  This drive-up horror experience will be part drive-in movie and haunted house. Keep one eye on the rear-view mirror because creatures will be lurking. Tickets are extremely limited and pricing starts at $50 per car. 


Flicks on the Field Halloween Edition featuring Hotel Transylvania at the Pensacola Greyhound Track (951 Dog Track Rd). This is a FREE family-friendly drive-in movie! At 6pm the fun starts with a costume contest and Trunk or Treating. The movie will start at dusk on the Wind Creek Casino outdoor movie screen. Enjoy the movie from the comfort of your vehicle or bring lawn chairs or a blanket to watch while safely socially distancing. Concessions will be available at the location. 



Prepare to scream in Bowling Green. The city has a rich horror history and has become a campy destination for horror movie lovers, as it is the hometown of John Carpenter, creator of the infamous Halloween franchise. So you can get your scare on at these two events. 

  • An annual event, “The Reel Sites, Real Scary: A John Carpenter Driving Tour” offers horror film fanatics a chance to get to know the man behind the movies on a tour to 17 different locations around town including the log cabin where Carpenter lived as a boy.
  • Skeleton’s Lair Scream Park, the largest haunted adventure in south-central Kentucky, takes you through haunted woods, a two-story haunted house, and a 3D haunted maze—all while maintaining social distancing. This year, they are debuting a new theme, Krampus, A Holiday Horror Story. The Scream Park will host a total blackout event on November 1st, where the only way to explore is by flashlight. 


Get ready to get spooked – while your car gets scary clean! Load up the family and take a drive through Soapy Joe’s Car Wash (1340 West 7th Street in Saint Paul). The costumed Soapy Joe’s team will bring the bubbles and the boos during this unforgettable Halloween experience. Plus – you’ll get a clean car and candy at the end! Please bring a bag of non-perishable food items to receive a coupon for a free future car wash at Soapy Joe’s. All donations will benefit the Neighborhood House – Francis Basket program.  


Becker Farms (3724 Quaker Rd. Gasport, NY 14067) invites visitors to drive through the Haunted Forest after dark. Be witness to a variety of strange happenings and eerie encounters that spark the Halloween spirit. Guests can extend the evening with a catered private, pre-lit bonfire which includes hot dogs and s’mores for roasting, or access the grounds after dark to visit the Garden Market and Becker Brewing Company for hot cider, donuts, baked goods, and seasonal libations. The Haunted Forest Drive-Thru is geared for ages starting as young as 7 years old. Advance time-sensitive tickets required. Rain or shine event.   


Flip over the Drive-Thru Circus – Halloween Edition at TRI Community Center in Oxford (6025 Fairfield Road).  Wheel aerialist, wheel walkers, stilt walkers, fire performers and more all viewed from the comfort of your car. Children are encouraged to wear costumes and there will be a special candy surprise at the end of the circus event. Admission is FREE.


  • Acrobat-Credit-Cincinnati-Circus-Company
  • Juggler-Credit-Cincinnati-Circus-Company
  • Trapeze-artist-Credit-Cincinnati-Circus-Company


Sunshine Mill Winery (i901 E 2nd St, The Dalles, OR 97058) is hosting a Halloween Movie-thon featuring some of the most beloved classics including Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Practical Magic, Halloweentown, Halloween (1978) and IT (2017).


Celebrating another year, the walking Zombie Safari at Shocktoberfest will be a no-touch scare-fest that will have you screaming all night. The slime, zombies and frightening creatures are located off the PA Turnpike near Reading, PA, (Berks County)–an hour from Philadelphia. All guests, staff and actors are required to wear facemasks and utilize social distancing. But that won’t stop the scare tactics.



Wood Ridge Farm Brewery (165 Old Ridge Rd, Lovingston) will host a Halloween event on October 31st! Guests can come dressed in costume & make their way through the giant corn maze to collect candy at the Victory Bridge from 4 – 7pm! Then enjoy kettle corn & hot cider (while social distancing!) and watch Disney’s COCO at the outdoor movie theatre in the meadow! Come with your face mask, costume, blanket or chair and get ready for the movie at 7:15!  Purchase tickets online so that attendance can be tracked. Call Wood Ridge Farm Brewery at (434) 422-6225 with any questions. 


In Northern Virginia, the Workhouse Arts Center (9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA 22079), offers Nightmare Alley and drive-thru terror Friday and Saturday. At a cost of$60 per car you’ll be immersed in scream-worthy encounters with all sorts of creepy creatures.


Milwaukee Food Tours is offering a virtual HOME-aween experience and interactive workshop. Children can hear stories about the Halloween tradition that not many know.

Happy Haunting

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  • Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq., is a co-founder of World Footprints, a social impact travel media company that she runs with her husband, Ian. She is an award-winning journalist, global public speaker, and three-time TEDx presenter who has written for several prominent publications including the Miami Herald, AAA World, The Lens and Island Soul. Recognized as Black Travel Journalists of the Year alongside Ian, Tonya serves on several travel industry boards, including SATW, The Explorers Club (DC chapter), NATJA, and JourneyWoman. She has also been appointed to the Maryland Tourism Development Board by Governor Wes Moore.