The spooky season has arrived! Halloween is a time of fun and fright that’s celebrated in so many ways, from carving pumpkins and dressing up in costumes for trick-or-treating to feeling the fear at haunted hotels and haunted houses.
To find the best ways to make the most of Halloween, we asked an expert panel to nominate their favorite places to go and things to do across seven categories, from haunted houses to pumpkin patches. Our readers then voted for their top picks to determine the winners.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Escape Room: Enchambered in Sacramento, California
Test your skills at Enchambered’s four different escape rooms — Photo courtesy of Enchambered
Sacramento-based Enchambered operates four different escape rooms. Containment Breach challenges players to solve the mystery of a locked laboratory where a teleportation experiment went terribly wrong. In The Whispering Halls, players enter a Victorian manor with a paranormal problem, while the Skull Witch traps visitors in a cabin deep in the swamp. For something less intense, Patches the toy bear needs your help to make and deliver toys in Trouble in the Toy Shop.
Full list of winners: Best Escape Room »
Best Ghost Tour: Mysteries of Hawaii in Oahu, Hawaii
See another side of Oahu on a tour with Mysteries of Hawaii — Photo courtesy of Tanya Kapanui
Mysteries of Hawaii offers four different walking tours, including a Ghosts of Old Honolulu Tour, Honolulu’s Haunted Crime, and the Waikiki Night Marchers. The business is Native Hawaiian-owned and -operated, and tours are as educational as they are fun.
Full list of winners: Best Ghost Tour »
Best Haunted Destination: Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada
Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum wins Best Haunted Destination for fourth year in a row — Photo courtesy of Zak Bagans’ The Haunted Museum
This quirky Las Vegas museum showcases original collectibles from supposedly haunted destinations around the United States in a 1938 property that is itself believed to be haunted. Explore more than 30 rooms filled with artifacts — and keep an eye out for spirits roaming the halls.
Full list of winners: Best Haunted Destination »
Best Haunted Hotel: Fainting Goat Island Inn in Nichols, New York
Fainting Goat Island Inn is the Best Haunted Hotel for second consecutive year — Photo courtesy of Â©Amityphotos.com
Guests of Fainting Goat Island Inn, a former railroad hotel built in the late 1800s, have reported numerous ghostly encounters, like being woken in the night by voices or seeing two women sitting for tea in the Fainting Room. Others report hearing footsteps on a staircase that doesn’t exist or finding a child-sized chair next to the bed in the Nubian Room.
Full list of winners: Best Haunted Hotel »
Best Haunted House / Attraction: Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas
Nearly an hour of fights awaits at Cutting Edge Haunted House — Photo courtesy of Cutting Edge Haunted House
More than just a haunted house, Cutting Edge Haunted House begins its entertainment the moment guests enter the parking lot. Located in a historic area of Fort Worth, Texas, known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” this 100-year-old abandoned meatpacking plant takes visitors on a 55-minute haunted experience with its twisting corridors and multiple stories of live actors and special effects.
Full list of winners: Best Haunted House / Attraction »
Best Pumpkin Patch: Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, Maine
Head to Maine’s Treworgy Family Orchards for the best pumpkin patch in the U.S. — Photo courtesy of Treworgy Family Orchards
When visiting Treworgy Family Orchards, you may want to hop aboard the hayride or take a horse-drawn farm tour so you can get a good look at the expansive pumpkin patch. After all, it covers 8 miles of rows! Once you find the pumpkin you want, you can visit the goats or celebrate with ice cream.
Full list of winners: Best Pumpkin Patch »
Best Theme Park Halloween Event: Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld
Enjoy Howl-O-Scream events at SeaWorld locations across the country — Photo courtesy of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment
Frights await at SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream. Each spooky season brings a collection of elaborate haunted houses, darkened thrill rides, immersive scare zones, and darkly entertaining live shows. Parkgoers can even knock one back in one of the many themed bar experiences.
Full list of winners: Best Theme Park Halloween Event »
Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.usatoday.com daily to vote in our other Readers’ Choice Awards contests.