Spine-Chilling Nights In National Parks

Rocío LowerNPF Blog

The cracking sound of a twig in the distance. The menacing hoot of a lone owl in the pitch-black night. The inexplicable creak of a floorboard in an empty historic building. It doesn’t take an overactive imagination to be spooked by the sometimes eerie nature of our national parks!           

This month, several sites across the country embrace fall’s ghoulish festival of Halloween as they welcome visitors for fun (and some even hair-raising) events! If you’re looking for a startling, entertaining, and educational good time, you can head to:

Marshmallows roasting over campfire

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site (Pennsylvania) — Travel to the Staple Bend Tunnel, where ghosts of the old site will return to tell their tales.

Canyon De Chelly National Monument (Arizona) —Invite the kids to join in a fun Halloween costume contest.

De Soto National Memorial (Florida) — Encounter restless spirits, zombies, and night creatures as you walk one of the largest haunted trails in Manatee County.

Gateway National Recreation Area (New Jersey) — Sip on cider as you join the American Littoral Society for ghostly tales of historic Fort Hancock.   

Homestead National Monument of America (Nebraska) — Get the family out for a fun night of crafts, walks, and the exciting experiments of a mad scientist.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site (Massachusetts) —Trick-or-treat on Beals Street for a Kennedy-themed surprise!

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Alaska) — Invite the kids to join a Halloween Carnival and explore a spooky spider maze!

Minute Man National Historical Park (Massachusetts) — Join the Guild of Historic Interpreters in a very spooky, candle-lit setting for an evening of traditional New England ghost stories.

National Mall and Memorial Parks (Washington, D.C.) — Discover the eerie and haunting stories of the Washington Monument’s tragedies.

Oregon Caves National Monument (Oregon) — Hear the creepy stories of local history and the lesser-known tales of the caves as you take a haunted candlelit tour.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (California) —Take a lantern tour of the Giant Forest and learn about the memorable figures immortalized in the park.

Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi) —Step back in time for an evening candlelit-walk through the park and meet the historical personalities that shaped the post-war years.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site (Ohio) — Learn about the unearthly origins of the “Hallows Eve” celebration from an unexpected Victorian visitor.

Women’s Rights National Historical Park (New York) — Explore a special exhibit on women in science fiction and horror, from Frankenstein to The Hunger Games.

Yosemite National Park (California) — Stroll through gravestones of Yosemite’s cemetery as you discover the stories of important park characters.

There are many ways for you to enjoy the peculiar, thrilling, and strange history of our national parks this Halloween. Be sure to check your local national park’s calendar of events for more chilling ideas if you dare!

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