You may think that when it comes to Halloween, you've done it all -- high-end costumes, parties 'til dawn, eating yourself sick on candy corn. But to qualify for perpetual Halloween bragging rights, you'll need to travel. The following list of spooky, spine-tingling and downright raucous destinations will hopefully give you a leg up in your quest to be the hippest Halloween cat around.
Las VegasNo, there isn't a naughty nurse convention in town every October. It's Halloween in Las Vegas, when hotel nightclubs host over-the-top costume blowouts and it becomes quite difficult to tell scantily clad tourists and paid escorts apart. Of course, the town's hottest bash is always the annual Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball, where the only costume prohibited by the dress code is your birthday suit.
If your leather bustier is at the cleaners, instead join Haunted Vegas Tours on a hunt for the ghosts of Liberace, Bugsy Siegel and Elvis. If rocking out is more your Halloween scene, get your ghoulish groove on at the Vegoose music and arts festival, held annually on the grounds of Sam Boyd Stadium. Big name headliners -- from Tom Petty to Rage Against the Machine -- top eclectic lineups loaded with hip-hop, indie rock and jam bands. A costume contest, bizarro burlesque show and giant spinning jack-o-lantern in the middle of the crowd make this a regular Halloween-a-palooza.
Savannah, GAAccording to legend, several areas of historic downtown Savannah, GA, are built on top of cemeteries. With so much bad juju underfoot, it's no surprise every day feels like Oct. 31 in Georgia's sultry capital of the supernatural. The city's River Street bars are the place to sip spirits on Halloween night as bands of locals and tourists go pub crawling in costume.
Before heading out, dine at The Olde Pink House restaurant, frequented by the specter of James Habersham, builder of the 1771 mansion. Delve deeper into Savannah's afterlife by joining one of the city's ubiquitous ghost tours or visiting the Mercer Williams House, site of the murder in the true crime novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil.
If you dare, stroll among the moss-draped oaks and gravestones of the creepy Bonaventure Cemetery. Later, lay your head at the 17-Hundred-90 Inn, where lovelorn Savannahian Anna Powers committed suicide by leaping to her death from the third-floor balcony. Her ghost awaits you in room 208.
West Hollywood, CADrag queens, devilish divas, men in chaps -- they're all mainstays of the annual West Hollywood Costume Carnaval, which draws nearly half a million party people to one of the country's biggest Halloween street festivals. What began as a primarily gay and lesbian event now attracts all walks of Southern California life.
With Santa Monica Boulevard closed to traffic for the night, the crowd cuts loose, bumping, grinding and boogying down a one-mile stretch of what was once Route 66. Live music and costume contests lead up to the evening's climax, the crowning of the honorary "Queen of the Carnaval." Recent honorees include 1980s mall-pop sensation Tiffany.
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