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Spooky Places to Visit for Halloween

This spooky season there are so many fascinating haunted locations to visit, from a popular film set to a suspected haunted hotel, here are some spooky places to visit on this creepy Halloween weekend. 


Halloween Movie House

Did you know you can visit the real house that was from the Halloween movies? We saw in the Halloween Kills filming locations the house had an interior re-vamp, but the external face remained the same. Take a trip to 1000 Mission Street, North Carolina and you can find the replica of the original house. Just make sure not to disturb the businesses that currently run out of the building!

A creepy abandoned house, looking similar to the one featured in the Halloween movies.

Hotel La Fonda (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

This haunted hotel embodies its complicated past, due to it being built way back in the Old West days. In this spooky place, it’s common for both guests and workers of Hotel La Fonda to witness gunfights between convicts who regularly hung around the gallows at the rear.

The sleeping post is where most ghostly activity occurs, and guests have claimed most spirits are the western gunslingers who occupied the area.

Roller King Skating Rink (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Sticking in the Southwest, the Roller King Albuquerque Rink was famously used as a set for the 4th season of Stranger Things. This roller rink is a great activity to participate in for Halloween, so why not dress up and get your skates on?

Stylised as Rink-O-Mania in the show, bring back the 80’s flare and give it a try. They have a daily schedule through October to fit into your own spooky plans. Make sure to keep an eye out on their website for other festive events this month.


An 80’s Roller Rink inspired the set for Stranger Things Season 4.

The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)

As soon as you arrive at the idyllic driveway of this hotel, you will realise it inspired the hotel from Steven King’s The Shining. This extravagant building plays host to both the Stanley hotel ghost tour and ‘spirited rooms’, meaning you can have a real paranormal experience during your stay! Availability is limited in these rooms, so it’s best to pre-book these as early as you can to get a glimpse of the Stanley hotel ghost.

If you can’t make it to stay overnight at the hotel, we highly recommend the Spirited Tour. This experience lasts around 60 minutes, and the night-time ambience adds to the spooky atmosphere. The knowledgeable storyteller takes you around the hotel itself and through the dark edges, leaving it the perfect place for a few scares this Halloween.

Estes Park, Colorado, USA – October 5, 2019 – Exterior of the Stanley Hotel, inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining, at dusk.


Hotel Retlaw  – Formerly Ramada Plaza Hotel (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin)

The underground tunnels once used by the gangsters of Chicago lead straight into the exit point for this hotel, which was more often than not, used as an escape route from authorities.

The hotel’s gruesome past is further enhanced, as the brutal murder of the hotel’s former owner, Walter Schroeder, happened on the premises. Hotel guests have told tales of regularly hearing the former owner yelling, banging against the walls, and causing lighting and faucets to turn on and off.

The RMS Queen Mary Hotel – (Long Beach, CA)

After the success of the Halloween Festival last year, the Queen Mary has officially re-opened post renovations for 2023. Visitors can once again experience the strange goings on at the RMS Queen Mary.

This massive ocean liner crossed the Atlantic thousands of times, but it has been permanently docked in Long Beach since 1967…where paranormal activity has become the norm. There are many Queen Mary hotel ghosts, and strange rapping noises can be heard onboard, ghostly apparitions are often seen walking the halls, and stairs have been seen on the side of the docked ship. Let’s hope the renovations haven’t scared off any ghoulish guests!

The famous ghost ship located in Long Beach, with the full moon in the background makes for a spooky setting.

Provincial Hotel (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Haunted hotels in New Orleans are quite the norm due to its rich history. The Big Easy is infamous for being inhabited by spirits, and the Provincial Hotel is no exception. Once a hospital for the fallen, the ghosts of soldiers and doctors roam freely, opening and closing doors, whispering in the halls, and some guests have even reported seeing soldiers in their rooms. Building No. 5 is believed to be the most haunted, so stay and sleep…if you dare.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Los Angeles, California)

Known for being the haunted Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the late Marilyn Monroe has often been perceived at this establishment, alongside Errol Flynn and Montgomery Clift. This Hollywood Boulevard hotel has gained quite a reputation for scares since its opening in 1927. It’s sure to be spooky fun this Halloween, so why not book a room and see if you can sleep through the night and see if there are any Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel ghost stories that prick up your ears!

Tourists surrounding the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

Enjoy a spooky stay in an airport hotel this Halloween! Pre-book now with ParkSleepFly, if you dare.


Passover Traditions Around the World

Every year, the Jewish community celebrates Passover to mark the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt.  In the Hebrew calendar, Passover begins at sunset on the 15th of Nisan and lasts 8 full days. (The Seder, or traditional Passover service and meal, is held on the first and second nights.) Although the corresponding Western date changes every year, it usually starts in March or April. Passover is a time for both celebration and reflection, and as is the case with most holidays of any faith, traditions vary around the world.

In Poland, Hasidic Jews use their living rooms to recreate the crossing of the Red Sea. Once they reach the seventh day, each Jewish family starts the reenactment by pouring water on the floor and hiking up their coats. As they walk through the water, they name each town that they would have passed during the crossing. In addition, they also give thanks to God for helping them reach Poland.

The Jewish people who live in Afghanistan have a unique tradition involving whips. During the holiday, they use scallions to whip themselves gently. The whipping process symbolizes the way Jewish people were treated by Egyptian slave drivers. Many Afghan Jews now live in Queens, New York; so, this unique holiday tradition is expanding.

Jewish celebrants in Gibraltar crush a small section of a brick into their charoset – a sweet dish of diced apples, dates, and spices served during the Seder feast and used to symbolize the mortar used in construction by Jewish slaves in Egypt. Sometimes, people also add olives to the Seder plate (shown in the photo above) to represent their wishes for hope in the Middle East. Nowadays, some activists add an orange to the middle of their plate to symbolize the need for better inclusion of women, gays and lesbians into Jewish rituals.

During the Seder feast in Spain, Sephardic Jews have a unique tradition involving the first-born son. Each family has their first-born son consume a roasted egg. The son does this to show appreciation for being spared during the 10th plague, the slaying of the first-born.

Wherever you are, a Seder is a wonderful way to celebrate Passover, or to learn about it for the the first time. Let us know how you plan to celebrate Passover by leaving a comment!

Heart Healthy Hotels

Some hotels can be hard on your wallet, but no hotel should ever be hard on your heart. February is National American Heart Health Month, so consider giving your ticker a little TLC and visit these hotels that are doing their part to keep you happy and healthy.

The Best Cozy Hotels

What we want from an overnight can and does vary from season to season. A pool, a cabana, and a cheerful hotel employee spritzing guests with scented spring water might be a slice of all right come July, but in wintertime it is all about the toddy. Well, sipping a hot toddy next to a fireplace while bundled in something snuggly and February-ready. But where does one fully get his or her toddy on come the briskest weeks of the year? There are several snug-but-swanky lodges around the country that have perfected the art of the snuggle-up chill-down.

The Resort at Paws Up: Not only does this well-known, well-regarded, and well-everything-else Montana destination boast the cutest of names, but it carries its animal-sweet aesthetic through to its popular wintertime activities. Dog-sledding is at the top of the list – an energetic, tongue-waggy team really pulls you past frozen meadows and icicle-laden trees – but horse-drawn sleigh rides are popular as well. Yep, you’ll dream of getting back to your cabin fireplace for cozy time, but snuggling up in a sleigh to a close friend is a close second.

Lake Placid Lodge: When people think “winter lodge” they tend not to think of glass and steel and ultra-modern. They want a rustic, woodsy fairyland of a getaway, warm of winter and crackling of fire. This lake-close New York State landmark is so much all of those things that it almost looks as if it sprung, fully formed, from a winter-whimsical romance novel. The quintessential Adirondacks-y activities are plentiful, including the nightly snow bonfire, but you might want to stay cuddled close to the inside logs, talking of Olympians past (Lake Placid, of course, hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1980.)

Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge: It’s one of Colorado’s most historic properties, no doubt; one glance at the hefty building’s fancy and slightly foreboding lines says this was a place built in the 1800s. Visitors come to happily hibernate in a well-built building, of course, but they also have a certain steamy very large aquatic feature in mind: Glenwood’s world-famous year-round swimmin’ hole.  A spring feeds three-and-a-half million (!) gallons into the pool every day. And swimmers care not if it is zero degrees outside; the steamy hotness of an afternoon swim keeps the wicked winter at bay.

The Ahwahnee: The Yosemite National Park stone-and-wood-laden masterpiece may have just about the best location in the annals of spectacular hotel settings, but winter visitors do indeed come to lounge in front of the oversized fireplace and linger over morning coffee in the dining room, a room that could double as the Great Hall from “Harry Potter.” Bonus wintertime cred: Designers for “The Shining” borrowed a lot of the lodge’s Native American touches. The elevators, too, are quite cinematic.

L’Auberge de Sedona: The Grand Canyon State is frequently portrayed as a hot and sunny place, but visitors to this creek-close luxe-laden getaway know differently. You want to cozy-it-up in this higher clime, when you’re not out admiring how snowflakes settle atop Sedona’s supernaturally beautiful red rocks. Fireplaces, a posh spa, and detail-driven rooms complete the winter picture. Go for the wood-burning fireplace in the Creekside Cottage.

Ringing in the New Year Around the World

New Year in Times Square
photo credit: photoverulam via photopin cc

Though some cultures celebrate the New Year in late winter or early spring, most nations celebrate January 1st as the first day of the New Year. You can thank Emperor Julius Caesar, since January was named after the two faced Roman God Janus, and Caesar felt this symbolized transition from one year to the next. William the Conqueror also wanted January 1st to mark the New Year, as it coincided with his coronation, but it wasn’t until 1582 that Pope Gregory established the modern Gregorian calendar, and January 1st took firm root as the mark of the New Year.