Mind-Blowing Pumpkin Carvings

These aren't your average jack-o-lanterns, kids. Take a look at the amazing artistry of pumpkin carving – these pumpkins have been carefully sculpted by pro pumpkin-gutter Scott Cummins.

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ScareHouse (Pittsburgh, PA)

ScareHouse (Pittsburgh, PA)

ScareHouse is the place to be this year, especially because it has an exclusive partnership with Legendary Entertainment to help create the scariest Halloween to date. Featured attractions include The Summoning, Pittsburgh Zombies: Black Out and The Basement. This Halloween haunt offers a big-budget sensibility without losing its hometown appeal. “ScareHouse is my pick because sociologist and ‘fear expert’ Margee Kerr is always on staff to research and develop new ways to truly disturb visitors,” says geek culture and paranormal pop-culture expert Aaron Sagers. 960 1280

ScareHouse  

Fright Dome (Las Vegas, NV)

Fright Dome (Las Vegas, NV)

Located in Circus Circus’ Adventuredome, the Fright Dome is one of Las Vegas’ largest and longest-running Halloween attractions. With 6 new haunted houses, the theme park is transformed into a pitch-black, lights-out, haunted spectacle – easily making it the scariest on the Strip. The 5-acre theme park also includes 25 rides and attractions, multiple live shows at night and 4 new scare zones, including the Clown Overload Zone. “My personal nightmare of clowns with glowing eyes surrounding me came to life,” says Zak Bagans, lead investigator of Ghost Adventures. “I had the worst panic attack. Needless to say, I’ll go back again, because it was badass!” 960 1280

  

Netherworld (Atlanta, GA)

Netherworld (Atlanta, GA)

With more than 200 animated monsters and 100 live actors, Netherworld is one of the nation’s most famous attractions. Having been featured on TV and in movies such as Zombieland, this spooky attraction has amazingly detailed sets. “And unlike other Halloween attractions, Netherworld’s creepy characters greet patrons in the parking lot before they purchase tickets, scaring them off before they even enter,” says Larry Kirchner, owner of HauntWorld.com and Halloween Productions. 960 1280

  

The 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The 13th Gate is one of the most, if not the most, elaborately detailed haunted houses in America, thanks to a construction crew that includes award-winning set designers, lighting and sound technicians, and special-effects artists. Sets are over-the-top and feature live animals, including snakes and gators. In each of the 13 themed indoor and outdoor areas, more than 100 professional actors and 12 special makeup artists help bring the horror to life. “Hollywood production companies have rented the attraction multiple times to film movies such as The Reaping,” says HauntWorld Magazine owner Larry Kirchner. “The 13th Gate is, without any doubt, one of the best haunted houses in America.” 960 1280

  

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Haunted House (Weston, WV)

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Haunted House (Weston, WV)

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is one of the most memorable haunted locations for Ghost Adventures lead investigator Zak Bagans, who completed a live 7-hour investigation with the Ghost Adventures crew. The spirits that roam the asylum’s halls are extremely active, and tours are offered to see how the mentally insane lived and died within these walls. “It is undeniably the scariest overall haunted attraction that I’ve been to in the US, outside of the Fright Dome,” Zak says. Additionally, visitors can participate in zombie paintball, a fall festival and the Asylum Ball, which includes a costume contest. 960 1280

  

13th Floor Haunted House

13th Floor Haunted House

The 13th Floor Haunted House is the largest and longest indoor haunted attraction in Colorado. It was renovated this year with 2 new attractions. “Watch evil take control of unwilling bodies in Undead: The Possession, or run for your life as terrifying ghouls and monsters come alive as you walk through Dwellings of the Dead,” says TravelChannel.com video project manager Arthur Hsu. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as Microsoft Kinect, the robotic monsters are more than capable of frightening the victims who dare to venture into the 13th Floor. 960 1280

  

Bennett’s Curse (Jessup, MD)

Bennett’s Curse (Jessup, MD)

This haunted spectacle outside Baltimore is one of the top Halloween attractions in the mid-Atlantic region. It features 3 terrifying haunted houses — Medieval Underworld, Inferno 3D and Sanctuary of Insanity — and the owners of this popular haunt continue to add monsters and twists to keep the attractions exciting for new and returning visitors. Arthur Hsu says, “Not only has Bennett’s Curse been featured on Travel Channel’s America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3, but it has consistently been ranked by several sources as one of the best Halloween attractions in the US.” This spooky spot is also among the first to frighten its victims with the latest cutting-edge technology. 960 1280

  

Halloween Horror Nights (Orlando, FL)

Halloween Horror Nights (Orlando, FL)

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando should be at the top of anyone’s Halloween bucket list, especially fans looking for big-budget scares. Aaron Sagers says, “Movie industry experts craft haunted houses so loaded with detail that visitors walk through and feel like they’ve been dropped into an episode of The Walking Dead or the movie From Dusk Till Dawn.” Other popular attractions featured at the theme park include Bayou of Blood, Dollhouse of the Damned and Roanoke – Cannibal Colony. Those willing to face their fears can also enter, at their own risk, the Halloween house for a face-to-face meeting with Michael Myers, the iconic masked slasher from the movies. 960 1280

ROBERTO GONZALEZ  

Festival of the Dead (Salem, MA)

Festival of the Dead (Salem, MA)

Salem, MA, is historically known for the 1692 Witch trials that left 20 people executed. This year’s Festival of the Dead includes 2 weeks of events and parties designed to bring out your inner Witch. Attend a séance to speak with the dead, share your stories with others at the Mourning Tea, pick up new ghost-hunting techniques or learn about death’s macabre customs and strange rituals. Finish the festival with the Official Salem Witches’ Ball on Oct. 31, and you’ll leave this town spellbound. Author, TV personality and paranormal expert Jeff Belanger says, “This town will cast a spell on you.” 960 1280

Chad Champoux  

Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)

Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)

The Queen Mary was built in the early 1930s as a luxury trans-Atlantic ocean liner, but it was pressed into military service to carry troops during World War II, when hundreds died in and around the ship. This Halloween, the haunted ship is offering its Dark Harbor tours with 4 new attractions: the Soulmate maze, the B340 maze, Voodoo Village and Monster Midway, which features a freak show, a mechanical monster and a new ride, the Sinister Swings. “Keep your eyes open, because those ghostly apparitions you see may not just be another special effect,” says Jeff Belanger. And before you go, make sure you check out the Ghost Adventures’ lockdown and investigation of the Queen Mary. 960 1280

  

Fan Favorite: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Louisville, KY)

Fan Favorite: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Louisville, KY)

We asked and the majority of the people who responded on Twitter and Facebook told us that Waverly Hills Sanatorium, in Louisville, KY, should be the fan favorite pic for Travel’s Best Halloween Attractions 2014. Built in 1908, the original building was designed to accommodate up to 50 tuberculosis patients. Today, it’s the site for paranormal investigations, tours and creepy sightings. Add it to your must-see spooky spots on Halloween. 960 1280

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Photos

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Perhaps the most well-known gargoyles in the world hover on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Technically known as grotesques (true gargoyles have waterspouts as mouths), these monstrous creatures glare ominously down on the City of Light. 960 1280

Moyan Breen, flickr  

Ulmer Munster, Ulm, Germany

Ulmer Munster, Ulm, Germany

Ulmer Munster’s steeple is the highest church steeple in the world, soaring 530 feet high. Dominating the skyline in Ulm, Germany, the church’s steeple is adorned with Gothic-inspired gargoyles, designed to ward off evil spirits. 960 1280

zemistor, flickr  

Duomo di Milano, Milan

Duomo di Milano, Milan

The largest Gothic cathedral in the world, Duomo di Milano is one of Europe’s most impressive architectural wonders. For the hale and hearty, climb the 170 stairs to the roof for a closer look at the Gothic gargoyles. 960 1280

Getty Images  

National Cathedral, Washington, DC

National Cathedral, Washington, DC

Washington National Cathedral’s English Gothic architecture is adorned with gargoyles. More modern in look, these gargoyles (including one famous Darth Vader!) were carved over the last 50 years, with designs determined by their donors and artists. 960 1280

dctim1, flickr  

Eastern State Penitentiary, PA

Eastern State Penitentiary, PA

Two gargoyles, Frank and Carson, are perched atop Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. The 2 were added in 2005 to ward off the evil spirits of some of the world’s most notorious criminals who are believed to still roam the crumbling cellblocks. 960 1280

Vincet Brown, flickr  

Merton Chapel College, Oxford

Merton Chapel College, Oxford

Gargoyles peer down from the chapel roof of Merton College, one of the oldest colleges in Oxford, England. 960 1280

bronndave, flickr   

Dragon Bridge, Slovenia

Dragon Bridge, Slovenia

Dragon statues guard Ljubljana’s Dragon Bridge, known by locals as the "mother-in-law" bridge due its forbidding and fiery guard. Dragons are seen throughout the capital city, as its patron saint St. George slayed dragons, according to Catholic legend. 960 1280

Michael Daines, flickr  

Chrysler Building, NYC

Chrysler Building, NYC

Manhattan’s iconic skyscraper, Chrysler Building, was originally designed as the automobile maker’s headquarters in the late 1920s. Architectural details, such as the building's gargoyles, were modeled after Chrysler automobile products, such as the Plymouth hood ornaments. 960 1280

Chibcha, flickr  

Westminster Abbey, London

Westminster Abbey, London

The grotesques that hover on London’s Westminster Abbey are true gargoyles, with waterspouts for mouths. They’re also a creepy counterpoint to the statues of saints also on the church’s exterior. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Puente del Reino, Valencia

Puente del Reino, Valencia

Four gruesome, Gothic-inspired gargoyles stand guard at the Bridge of the Kingdom in Valencia, Spain. 960 1280

Eduardo Ales, flickr  

Eikan-do, Japan

Eikan-do, Japan

The highly ornate Japanese architectural ornament “onigawara” literally means “demon tiles.” Like Western stone grotesques, they were traditionally believed to ward off evil 960 1280

Getty Images  

Batalh, Portugal

Batalh, Portugal

The Monastery of Batalha in Portugal is an impressive work of Gothic architecture, adorned with monstrous gargoyles and other elaborate carvings. 960 1280

Tintazul, flickr  

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague

Located within the Prague Castle complex, Saint Vitus' Cathedral is an imposing Gothic church that holds the tombs of Bohemian kings and Holy Roman emperors. Beyond being utterly monstrous, the gargoyles nestled on this cathedral have a functional purpose -- they spew rainwater from the building's roof at an angle that keeps it from running down the walls. 960 1280

Aconcagua, flickr  

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