While Seattle hosts haunted houses aplenty, the rest of the state creeps itself out, too. Halloween-themed events are ideal for showing off crumbled old historic artifacts or unsettlingly empty small towns, or just getting weird with pumpkins.
Just up the shores of Lake Chelan from the town of Chelan, Manson is best known for a sleepy vibe and winery scene the rest of the year. On weekends throughout October, it pulls out various fall-themed activities like wine barrel rides and a dog costume contest, plus a pumpkin floating competition at the water's edge. Visitors can vote on the best scarecrow in town, which makes finding them all a scavenger hunt.
The Victorians loved themselves some ghost stories, and Port Townsend's endless fancy architecture must be home to a ghost or three. This one-weekend Halloween event focuses on paranormal investigations of some of the most notable turrets and parlors, particularly Manresa Castle, plus readings from a psychic.
With a name like that, it makes sense that Bellingham's horror short film event is celebrating its 11th year. Films are screened at the Pickford Film Center downtown on October 28–30, though the festival includes an online component too. The indie flicks embrace the bloody and scary aspects of the season, so it's not one for young kids.
The old military installations that ring the entrance to Puget Sound are creepy on the best of days thanks to big concrete structures with dark tunnels. Whidbey Island's Fort Casey just outside Coupeville offers tours with a spooky twist for two weekends starting October 22, plus family-oriented games. Tickets help fund lighthouse renovations.
Okay this one is a little niche. Only certified scuba divers can take part in the Adventure Sports underwater art in Hoodsport on Hood Canal, though the event includes a judging on land and a barbecue after. Participants—again, you have to have paperwork in order—can only use a dive knife as they attempt the underwater feat, which can make for some strange creations.
The historic town outside of Kingston leans into its slightly abandoned feeling with an annual salute to the paranormal. Taking place in early November, it rides the holiday wave and good chance of dreary drizzle for the 13th annual event. Talks include ones on the history of spirit guides and the science of hypnosis, plus the appealingly named "paranormal vs. para-nonsense" talk.
A true Pacific Northwest ghost wouldn't hang out inside any more than the rest of us do; they'd hike. Located on the Key Peninsula south of Bremerton, the Vaughn haunted experience performs a medieval take on the spook performance, complete with dragons. The all-outdoor walk is about a mile long, filled with actors and props, and the first hour of the night is more kid-friendly.