The hometown and inspiration place of John Carpenter, the mind behind the cult-classic horror film Halloween – has some of the best haunted attractions in the South. From slasher movie driving tours to haunted hayrides to family-friendly fall activities in a cave, Bowling Green, KY, is a hot spot for everything Halloween.
Traveling for haunted Halloween events is extremely popular in the US. 53.57% of people surveyed said they planned on traveling for Halloween last year, while a whopping 93% of Americans plan to celebrate the Halloween season this year.
The ‘Scariest Haunted Attractions in Kentucky’
Every weekend from September 24 through Halloween, guests of Skeleton’s Lair Scream Park will experience the “scariest haunted attraction in Kentucky,” according to Fodor’s Travel. This attraction includes the trademark Haunted Woods, a haunted hayride, a two-story haunted house, and a 3D maze. With live actors, animations, pyrotechnics, and special effects, Skeleton’s Lair is guaranteed to scare even the most seasoned haunted house visitors.
For Horror Film Fanatics
Bowling Green offers the self-guided “Reel Sites, Real Scary: A John Carpenter Driving Tour” for Halloween fans, and there’s no better time to visit the streets and locations mentioned in Carpenter’s films than now.
Fun fact: while Carpenter was attending WKU, he went on a field trip to a mental institution that inspired his creation of Michael Myers, one of the most iconic fictional serial killers of all time. Brochures provided during the tour note the exact time a Bowling Green reference is made and in which film, so this is a must-visit haunted attraction for horror movie buffs. Check out this video from when “Michael” paid Bowling Green a visit in 2008.
For Haunted History Buffs
From now until October 31, Downtown Bowling Green comes to life through the spooky Unseen BG Haunted History tours, disclosing histories, mysteries, scandals, and haunts from BG’s past. Guests can choose from three tours this year: Downtown Mischief and Murder, The Murder Mansion tour rooted around the infamous Murder Mansion killings, and the 21+ Pauline Tabor’s XXX Tour.
Scare-free Fall Fun
Beginning the last weekend of September and every weekend through the end of October, experience family fun at Jackson’s Orchard with the Pumpkin Festival. The festival features wagon rides to the pumpkin patch and corn maze, pick-your-own pumpkins and apples, a petting zoo, pony rides, and more, not to mention all the amazing local food, including KY Proud BBQ.
Family-friendly Halloween Trail
Lost River Cave’s trails will come alive from October 1-23 with unique scarecrows created by local businesses, organizations and families. Guests can come to check out the wacky designs at the 11th Annual Scarecrow Trail or even submit their own scarecrow for the chance to win prizes. Other fun family Halloween activities include the corn maze at Chaney’s Dairy Farm, pumpkin picking at Just Piddlin Farm, and the 8th Annual Bowling Green Halloween Concert on October 28.
Whether you’re looking for a scare or just some fall fun, Bowling Green is the place to be this Halloween season. The Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau adds, “Bowling Green is a small-town getaway built on southern charm. Fall, and specifically Halloween, are some of our liveliest months in Bowling Green. Visiting thrill-seekers and film-buffs join locals each year for frights and fun at our most-loved landmarks and local businesses.”
There are plenty of hotels in Bowling Green to choose from when you’re planning your haunted attractions vacation. Hyatt Place and Candlewood Suites are two budget-friendly options for lodging in Bowling Green. For a more luxurious experience, The Lodge at Old Stone has 12 Kentucky-inspired guest rooms and a renowned golf course.
Traveling To Bowling Green
Bowling Green is an easy 1-hour drive from the Nashville International Airport (BNA).
You don’t need to book a flight to see the haunted attractions in Bowling Green if you live in one of these eight US cities. For road-tripping travelers, Bowling Green is just a few hours’ drive from the below hubs:
- Nashville, TN: 1 hour
- Louisville, KY: 2 hours
- Lexington, KY: 2 ½ hours
- Chattanooga, TN: 3 hours
- Huntsville, AL: 3 hours
- Cincinnati, OH: 3 ½ hours
- Knoxville, TN: 3 ½ hours
- Indianapolis, IN: 3 ¾ hours
So if you’re looking for a spine-tingling good time this Halloween, be sure to visit Bowling Green, KY. You won’t regret it. In fact, you may just find yourself planning a return trip for more haunted attractions next year.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.
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