Pretty as they are, the leaves changing colour (want to see our picture posts on New England and Japan?) isn’t the only reason to be excited about the arrival of Autumn. Check out these 5 weird and wonderful Autumn festivals in the United States. The featured image is by osseous.
Festival of the Dead – Salem, Massachusetts
Thanks to its legendary witch trials in 1692, Salem will forever be associated with witchcraft. Salem has in many ways embraced its occult identity. There’s a neighbourhood called Witchcraft Heights. Police cars are adorned with a witch logo (oh, how the tables have turned in the past 300 years).
And throughout October, Salem hosts the Festival of the Dead – a series of macabre events that include the Witches’ Halloween Ball and Vampires’ Masquerade Ball, as well as the chance to hunt ghosts (we said hunt, not bust), foretell the future and contact the departed.Cheap Flights To Massachusetts
Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights – West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Kennywood is an old school amusement park with a great mix of classic wooden coasters and the more state-of-the-art steel hypercoasters.
They might not be the most extreme attractions in the country, but riding them in the pitch dark is a whole new level of thrills. And by thrills, we mean pulse racing, sweaty palms, and wobbly knees levels of terror. Phantom Fright Nights run late September through late October.
The Haunted Graveyard – Bristol, Connecticut
Lake Compounce has a scary attraction of an altogether different variety.
Turn up at dusk on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night and you can explore a series of haunted buildings and spaces in the dark.
For around half an hour your mind and body go on edge (we’re not joking – this is no half-hearted children’s attraction) as you wander around the “slaughterhouse”, “cemetery” and “manor”, all the while encountering werewolves, zombies, demons, vampire and witches.
Trailing of the Sheep – Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho
This honouring of the local century-old sheep industry is a bit like South Dakota’s buffalo roundup, but with sheep.
Ketchum lies on an old trail linking high summer mountain pastures with winter desert fields. Each October, a 1,600 strong flock of ewes is herded through the small town on the final leg of its annual migration up and down the trail.
It’s all a big excuse for a festival of parades, a fair, handicraft workshops and local restaurants serving up lamb specialities.
Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio
Everyone should make it to a pumpkin show at least once in their life. You’ll never see a 1,600-lb pumpkin in your local supermarket. Of course, oversized fruits aren’t the only attractions.
There is also the Pumpkin Queen parade and a pumpkin pie (apple dare not speak its name here!) eating contest, and the chance to wolf down pumpkin-based delights such as cookies, ice cream, fudge and doughnuts.
- We’ve written a round-up of pumpkin festivals around the world. Circleville makes that list too!
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…