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Sunday, October 31, 2010

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Journeyetc


8 of the Maddest Hotels to Stay in for your Halloween Bash

Posted: 30 Oct 2010 09:56 PM PDT

Halloween is all about costumes and parties and pampering yourself with candies. Of course, when you're an adult, "candy" takes on a totally different meaning. Whether you're up for a trick or a treat, these are eight of the best hotels you should book your stay in this Halloween's Eve. Do justice to your super hot outfit by being in the right place at the right time.

Surrey Hotel in Manhattan

The Surrey Hotel definitely falls under "treat" this Halloween. Check out the gourmet caramels they'll give you at the reception. This is also a pet-friendly hotel, as you can see. They won't forget about your pooch as they give him or her doggy goodies. Are you booking your stay with kids? No problem. Surrey Hotel understands that Halloween is as much the parents' party as well as the children's. They get satisfying treats for their tricks too.

While the kids and dads are away, trick or treating, moms get their much-deserved break. Surrey Hotel is also offering a twenty percent discount for an hour's worth of spa-treatment. The room rates for Halloween this year aren't bad at all. For as little as $499 a night, you can book your stay over the Halloween weekend.

Hilton in the San Francisco Financial District

Of course, when you're looking for a hotel that's dressed to impress in terms of giving out treats, you should really be looking up the Hilton, particularly the branch in the San Francisco Financial District. Aside candies, you'll be treated to free movies, restaurant coupons, sugarfree food, and free points for the Hilton HHonors.

Want more? Just be there with the most wicked costume you can come up with and you might even win a free stay over the weekend. Some might find this unnecessary, though, as the room rates for the Halloween weekend start at only $155 a night.

Circus Circus in Las Vegas

If you're looking for more than just candy, the Circus Circus in Las Vegas will satisfy your Halloween needs. This is more than just a party place and a cheap hotel to spend the only weekend of the year when it's legal to scare people. It's the best place for hardcore tricksters and people who are looking for some serious scare.

Yearly, the Circus Circus plays host to what could be the scariest haunted domed theme park in the country. Among the favorites are the Chainsaw Massacre  and the Hillbilly Hell. Every October, the Fright Dome opens from Thursdays through Sundays. The admission fee is reasonable at $34.95, but you get $5 off if you stay for at least two nights.

The hotel also offers a cheap $80 a night rate for the Halloween weekend. It's the perfect getaway for you and your buddies.

Park Hyatt in Washington D.C.

Some people love Halloween because they're either kids at heart or they love dressing up their own kids. If you like dressing up your pets during Halloween, though, the best hotel for you is the Park Hyatt in Washington D.C. The Halloween Bash for pets isn't on Hallow's Eve itself, though. Make sure that you book a room on October 20. From 6PM to 8PM, there's going to be a competition at the Park Happy Hour hosted by PAWS.

Owners also get to play "dress up" because the competition has a "best couple" category. The $12 fee to enter the contest covers tickets for two servings of wine or beer. Candies and doggie treats are also thrown in the bag. To stay at the hotel with your pet during this event, you just need to shell out $499.

Ramada Plaza Hotel at Font du Lac, Wisconsin

Ramada Plaza Hotel is a rather cozy hotel. Walter Schroeder, the man who built this place, makes sure that he meets most of the guests here. Now, that statement would have appeared rather warm, especially in such a normal-looking hotel as the Ramada Plaza, except for the fact that Walter Schroeder is not the late Walter Schroeder, and the Wisconsin hotel was built way back in the 1920s.

The hype about this haunted hotel is so strong that its staff keeps a close record of all the paranormal activities in the property. Among them ate TV sets that switch channels on their own, apparitions, mysterious screaming and banging, faucets and lights being turned on and off on their own, etc.

The truly brave may want to book a night this Halloween on room 717. This is, by far, the most haunted of the hotel's rooms. A scary weekend here would cost only $109.65 a night.

Hotel Provincial in New Orleans

This isn't a list of the best hotels for Halloween if New Orleans is left out of the picture. The Hotel Provincial is as authentic as you can get if you're looking for some good old fashioned southern haunting. The Big Easy room has given many honeymooners quite a scare with apparitions, among other things. With or without the apparition, though, the Victorian decor of the room is bound to give you goose bumps during your stay.

Hotel del Coronado in San Diego

Probably one of the creepiest (and the most classic) haunted tales you'll here always has something to do with unrequited love. The Hotel del Coronado in San Diega has a tale just like that, which is why it attracts a lot of scaremongers during Halloween. We're talking about the urban legend of Kate Morgan who stayed in the hotel to meet an estranged husband. The legend tells us that the husband never showed up.

Kate Morgan, with her heart broken, killed herself on the beach. She died of a gunshot. A lot of people believe that her spirit still haunts the hotel as they feel odd noises and cold breezes in the most unlikely places. It seems that Kate Morgan isn't the only one haunting the hotel, though, as a lot of ghostly apparitions have been reported.

Whether you believe in haunting or not, the Hotel del Coronado is a good place to spend your Halloween weekend in if you're a romantic at heart. If anything, the scaremongering is weakened only because the place is so beautiful.

The Stanley Hotel in the Rockies

If you're a Stephen King fan, then there's no other place to spend your Halloween weekend on other than the Stanley Hotel in the Rockies. This place is where the famed horror story writer wrote "The Shining". The writer stayed in room 217 which must have shown him a ghostly activity or two, but if you're brave, you'll book a night at room 418. This appears to be the most haunted room in the hotel.

The most famous ghost in this hotel is Flora Stanley who happens to be the owner's wife. She likes to play the piano at night, and is reported to be very visible when she decides to show herself to guests. In room 408, guests have also heard laughing children outside their hotel doors. When they check, there's no one there.


Seven Spooky Spots to Visit this Halloween

Posted: 30 Oct 2010 09:40 PM PDT

Are you tired of the same old costume parties and trick-or-treating you go to every year? Why don't you make this Halloween extra special by going to seven of the spookiest places you can find on Earth? Below is a list that would simply blow your mind.

Bermuda Triangle

If you dare, you can sign up in a cruise that's bound to Neverland or wherever it is that the Bermuda Triangle sinks its ships into. For centuries, people have mysteriously disappeared they have had to pass by this oceanic abyss. Sucked in by what seems to be a washing machine's swirl in the movies, none of the lost ones have turned up alive.

Until recently, the Bermuda Triangle was the stuff of science fiction and fantasy. While the great mystery was "solved" by scientists this year, it's still eerily referred to as the "Devil's Triangle". If you're not very religious, though, you might be one of those who believe that this is a portal used by aliens to beam up human life for observation.

Scientists say the phenomenon is caused by electromagnetic forces, which sounds less scary than the "Devil's Triangle" and beam-me-up-Scottie theory, but in all actuality, you can still lose your life here if you're not careful. Proceed with caution and traverse this path only when you have nothing to lose.

London


What better way to spend Hallow's Eve than to go through a great, old fashioned English ghost hunting? London is famous for a lot of things including its tea, Victorian culture, and royalty, but if you want to get the authentic London experience, you wouldn't pass up the chance to see a headless knight if you can. Join the London Ghost Walk this Halloween and discover what lies in the underbelly of this prim and proper city.

The walk comprises of churches, alleyways, and courtyards. While most of them are prettied up now, the brutal historical events which took place in these areas will never really leave this realm peacefully. For starters, you get to trace back the footsteps of Jack the Ripper as you go through this tour. If that's not spooky enough for you, maybe you'll run into the headless apparition of Anne Boleyn.

New York


While most people claim that New York is actually quite frightening the entire year, it has an added creepiness to it every Halloween. Watch as the city's most eccentric join the yearly Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. There's also the Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of Ghouls. In Coney Island, you can see the creepiest theme park set up during this season. Small costume parties are also happening everywhere.

While you're probably sick of costume parties back home, New York just does it so much better. If you want to be seriously spooked out, go to Webster Hall and party the night away. Hopefully, the mad clown buying you a Martini isn't wearing actual malice in his smile.

Salem, Massachusetts


What could be a creepier place to go to than Salem, Massachusetts? It doesn't take a history whiz to know that this was where the massive witch hunt happened in 1692. According to legend, the town is still haunted by the restless souls of the women who were burnt at the stake.

For the entirety of October, Salem recounts the gruesomeness of its history with the Haunted Happenings festivals. At the very least, you'll find the enthusiasm of the locals a little bit creepy. The costume balls are amusing, though. So are the street fairs and ghost tours.

Sign up for the Salem Historical Tours, too, so you can visit Salem's local cemetery. You might also want to stroll down to the nearest haunted house during Hallow's Eve, instead. The local ghosts would be sure to show you some hospitality by saying hello.

Savannah


Not very far behind Salem in terms of spookiness is another town in the Southern parts of the U.S. Make sure that you visit Savannah, Georgia one of these Halloweens. This town has been through a lot—from famines to the civil war, to all forms of disaster leading to the demise of most of its locals. It's no wonder that most of its public establishments were built over cemeteries.

You can take the pretty tours during the day, but once the sun's out, you'll feel the chills coming in. Get into the mood by joining the Ghosts of Savannah, a walking tour which takes you through the cobblestone streets of the town.

The Carriage Tours of Savannah and the Creepy Pub crawl are also good options for those who aren't really into walking. When you're hungry with the ghost chase, grab a bite to eat at the Pirate House. For the creepiest bed and breakfast in town, book a night at the Marshall House. This establishment saw many deaths. This used to be a hospital for injured soldiers during the civil war.

Transylvania, Romania


We don't have to spell this one out. If you're a big fan of vampires, then you shouldn't miss out on the change to visit Transylvania, Romania, on Hallow's Eve. This is allegedly the birthplace of the famed blood-sucking predators. Drop by the Bran Castle and see how Count Dracula lived it up during his time.

You can also rent out a horse and a sleigh, tour Romania's medieval villages, or go up Miklosvar where the caves are always teeming with bats. You'll probably come across a modern day vampire or two while you're on your tour.

Edinburgh, Scotland


Let's go to the underworld. Another creepy getaway is Scotland's underground maze just past the Edinburgh South Bridge. You're sure to get lost in tunnels, locked chambers, and passageways without your guide, so stick close to the light. According to legend, hundreds of Scots actually died in these vaults. It wasn't until 1985 that this Scottish underworld was introduced to the modern world.

Not surprisingly, the twenty or so vaults which have been uncovered, finally, reek of paranormal phenomenon. Some guests were even able to capture ghostly apparitions on camera. If you're interested in a spooky tour through these passageways, look up Mercat Tours.


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