Texas Chainsaw Maze - Houston, Texas
This free Houston attraction is based on the B movie classic and stars Leatherface, the Old Man, the Hitchhiker, and other terrifying personalities. If you have any screams left after navigating the maze you can visit paid haunted houses here, including the Sanitarium, the Castle of Doom, and the Haunted Woods.
Keene Pumpkin Festival - Keene, New Hampshire
Each Halloween, Keene's picturesque streets are aglow with towers of jack-o'-lanterns. The festival was a longtime Guinness World Record holder with over 28,000 pumpkins lining the streets. Boston has since beat the record, but it can't match the small-town atmosphere: Keene has 24,000 inhabitants. Citizens are encouraged to create their own pumpkins in a celebration of community spirit.
Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade - Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta's eclectic Little Five Points area packs 'em in to celebrate the year's spookiest holiday with a music-fueled street bash that draws up to 35,000 revelers. The highlight is a parade of crazy and creative costumes—and hearses, of course.
Central Park Pumpkin Festival - New York, New York
This New York City celebration is chock-a-block with absolutely free events, including the Circus Berzerkus Haunted House, a scarecrow competition, hayrides, puppet shows, and arts and crafts. You can even score a free pumpkin from the Central Park patch.
Anoka Halloween - Anoka, Minnesota
This Minnesota town, which bills itself as the Halloween Capital of the World, launched official celebrations as early as 1920. They were meant to deter pranksters from freeing cows and turning over outhouses. Ninety years later the more wholesome events on and around Halloween here include pumpkin carving, bonfires, house decorating contests, and one of the state's oldest and largest parades.
West Hollywood Halloween Carnival - West Hollywood, California
Halloween in West Hollywood must be seen to be believed. Among L.A.'s annual events the carnival is second in size only to the Rose Parade—but that's pretty much where the similarities between the two end. Santa Monica Boulevard fills with half a million or so costumed revelers after the kids have (hopefully) gone to bed.
Festival of the Dead - Salem, Massachusetts
Witches have made a comeback in Salem, Massachusetts, and the Festival of the Dead their time to shine. On the town common, the Salem Witches Magic Circle celebrates the witches' holiday of Samhain, during which the line between this world and the next is blurred.
Chicagoween - Chicago, Illinois
Chicago's Halloween celebration reaches its peak during the last week of October when the city's famed Daley Plaza becomes “Franken Plaza.” Free attractions there include the tame-but-tasty Farmers Market and the high-flying excitement of the Midnight Circus.