Got Room on Your Boo-cket List? The Halloween Capital of the World Is Located in the US

You can sense it in the air and feel it in your bones: the lead-up to Halloween never disappoints. As the weather changes, the countdown begins, and another season of bone-chilling festivities casts a much-anticipated shadow on the upcoming months. In preparation for the holiday, costume planning, movie watching, and decor shopping take over to-do lists, with one list oftentimes forgotten: the bucket list. Halloween was founded on chilling stories and spooky towns that held the magic and traditions of years long ago, and visiting those places is one way to ring in the season of hauntings and horror.

While many people add towns like Sleepy Hollow and Salem to their Halloween must-visit list, there's a lesser-known city that's worthy of the number one spot on every list: Anoka, MN. Believed to be the first city in the United States to put on a Halloween parade, Anoka is coined as the Halloween capital of the world. As legend has it, the town put on a Halloween celebration to distract kids and teens from pulling pranks, and it worked! The first celebration was held in 1920 and featured a parade down Main Street that was filled with children in costumes, candy and treats, and a tradition that has lived on. By 1937, the city's website says, "12-year-old, Harold Blair, donning a sweater embellished with a Halloween Capital insignia, carried with him to Washington, D.C. a proclamation naming Anoka the Halloween Capital of the World."

Since then, the town has put on massive Halloween celebrations each year, all more frighteningly fun than the ones before. With everything from costume contests to celebrity appearances, Anoka is home to Halloween spirit all year long. Whether you want to add a new tradition to your list or you've got an open spot on your bucket list, make this Halloween town the next stop on your way to happy hauntings. Watch the TikTok video above to learn more.