By Jason Heidemann for the Orbitz Travel Blog
Boo! Did we scare you? Probably not, but it's that time of year when thousands don their scary best and hit the streets in search of tricks, treats and frightening fun. If you're looking for this year's biggest events and best shivers, here are the best Halloween parties of 2015.
Haunted Happenings: Salem, MA
The Salem Witch Trials were no joke, but somehow the tiny Bay State town has found a way to turn tragedy into tourism with Haunted Happenings, a month-long fest celebrating both Halloween and autumn that attracts more than a quarter million visitors each year. Highlights include an interactive recreation of the trial of Abigail Bishop (in which visitors are the jury), nighttime ghost tours, multiple haunted houses, The Salem Witches Halloween Ball, a memorial dedicated to the tragic events of the Salem Witch Trials and even a Golden Girls parody done completely in drag (talk about scary!).
High Heels Drag Queen Race: Washington, DC
Prepare yourself for a hundred drag queens racing through the streets of the nation's capital. This annual event actually happens the Tuesday before Halloween (in this case October 27) and gathers together more than 100 men in drag who zip--as best they can--through the streets of DuPont Circle while more than 100,000 spectators look on and local businesses ply them with drink, food and retail specials.
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Orlando, FL
If you've ever been to the iconic Orlando theme park you've already seen plenty of costumed characters, but on Halloween visitors are encouraged to join in on the action by dressing for the occasion and joining in family-friendly nighttime activities that happen not just on Halloween itself but on select dates throughout September and October. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party includes the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Mickey's "Boo-to-You" Halloween Parade, a fireworks display hosted by classic Disney villains and all your favorite characters dressed in fun costumes.
New Orleans Halloween: New Orleans, LA
All Hallows' Eve in the Crescent City isn't just one event; it's many. A city that is no stranger to celebrations, New Orleans Halloween offers something for everyone, including the kid-friendly nighttime experience Boo at the Zoo, a massive street party along celebrated Frenchmen Street in the Marigny, a weekend of festivities at the corner of iconic Bourbon and St. Ann streets in the French Quarter that bring out the city's LGBT community and benefits an AIDS-related charity and a smorgasbord of haunted houses. Did we mention the average daily high in Nola in October is 80?