Skeletons and bones litter this Rocky Mountain town, specifically, the 150,000-year-old bones, teeth, and tusks from mastodon and mammoth fossils on view at the Ice Age Discovery Center. As you stroll down Divide Road, listen for the howls of wolves—or more likely, the sound of 250 mixed-breed huskies and malamutes employed by Krabloonik, a restaurant that offers dogsled rides. Snowmass Village also drew high marks for its friendly—and attractive—locals. Mingle over drinks at Zane’s Tavern.
Park City, Utah
Squirrels, bees, sheep with Bo Peep, and bratwursts with mustard on buns: these are a few of the elaborately costumed dogs that march with their decked-out owners in “Bark” City’s Howl-o-Ween street party. It’s part of the bewitching charm of this old silver-mining town east of Salt Lake. Park City Ghost Tours take visitors hunting for spirits while sharing ghastly tales of their lives and deaths.
Pumpkin People in the Park turn up to haunt Kate Gould Park each October. Look for pumpkin heads and bodies dressed as lobsters, knights, scarecrows, pigs, pilgrims, brides, and even as the protagonist of Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream. The Saturday before Halloween, musicians join them for an Oktoberfest event complete with donuts, pumpkin bowling, and apple bobbing. When you head back to one of Chatham’s B&Bs—a favorite amongst travelers—just be sure to check under your bed before turning out the lights.
In 1788, the Golden Stage Inn was a stagecoach stop; once it was converted into an inn, owners spotted a ghost in the attic—a ghost that doesn’t want to leave. The current owners have noticed lights, televisions, and stove burners going on and off, and contractors and housekeepers say they’ve heard ghostly footsteps. To stay in the spirit, ahem, of the season, the innkeepers decorate the B&B as a friendly haunted house. It makes a convenient base for skiing at Okemo Mountain or picking up some 18th-century-like skills at the Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts.
Princeton, New Jersey
Where do you prefer to meet ghosts: on an ivy-draped university campus, in a historic neighborhood, on a battlefield, or in a cemetery? The Princeton Tour Company supplies tools to both skeptics and believers on its various ghost hunts: electromagnetic-field meters, dowsing rods, thermal meters for sensing heat, and instructions on how to “take orb shots” using camera phones. For a more kid-friendly take on Halloween, stop by Princeton’s Terhune Orchards for pick-your-own pumpkins, a corn maze, and the Barn of Legends and Lore.
Halloween is as good an excuse as any to party in this resort town, which counts about 80 bars in a six-block area and claims the survey’s second-place title for attractive residents. It’s the one night that the private Caribou Club opens its doors to all comers—at least those in costume. Or you could spend the night out with Aspen Walking Tours, which offers Walk with the Dead and Ghosts, Murder & Mayhem tours