One of the more interesting places to visit over the Halloween season is Bowling Green, Kentucky. After all, this city was a primary inspiration for the 1978 classic horror film “Halloween” by director John Carpenter. What’s more, this is where the now legendary director spent most of his formative years. While the most popular Halloween attraction might be John Carpenter movie locations, you’ll find plenty of other things to see and do. In fact, there are several outstanding Halloween attractions throughout the Greater Bowling Green area. Learn more about an October to visit this magical southern Kentucky city.
John Carpenter’s Reel Sites, Real Scary Driving Tour
Bowling Green, KY 42104
If you are a fan of John Carpenter movies, this tour will probably be the first thing you do in Bowling Green. In fact, you can see 17 local spots that have a Carpenter movie or life connection. For example, his childhood home is on this route, as well as his high school and college he attended. Speaking of that college, his father Howard was a music professor at Western Kentucky University. John Carpenter eventually went to the USC film school in Los Angeles. Also along the Real Scary Driving Tour is the town of Smiths Grove, where Michael Meyers escaped from the fictional namesake sanitorium. If that’s not enough for a John Carpenter Halloween visit, you can also see spots from another classic film, “The Fog”.
Raven’s Cross Haunted Village
907 Mammoth Cave Road
Cave City, KY 42127
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays through October, 2022
Even if Raven’s Cross Haunted Village isn’t in Bowling Green, it still deserves a mention. For one, it was voted the top Must See Haunt in Kentucky in 2019. In addition, you learn about Raven’s Cross that’s known to be haunted by victims of the Black Death plague. On the other hand, there are other things to see and do at the Haunted Village. In particular are the Raven’s Cross escape rooms and impressive collectibles collection. You can find Raven’s Cross Haunted Village in Cave City, about 33 miles northeast of Bowling Green. If you’re staying at the nearby Jellystone campgrounds, there will be several Halloween events in October.
Scarecrow Trail at the Lost River Cave
2818 Nashville Road
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Dates: Saturday, October 1 to Sunday, October 23, 2022
Not every Bowling Green Halloween attraction has a creepy, John Carpenter edge. Indeed, the Scarecrow Trail at the Lost River Cave is far more family friendly. In this case, the name speaks for itself as it’s a trail with dozens of scarecrows. Last year, 75 scarecrows designed by businesses, schools and others were on display to greet visitors. In the event you decide to go, please know that there is no admission free to walk the trail! Upon arrival at Lost River Cave, you must check in at the visitor center to get a trail map. At the same time, you can also vote for your favorite scarecrows, with awards for first, second and third place. In addition to the Scarecrow Trail, you might be interested in taking a fascinating Cave Boat Tour.
Skeleton’s Lair Scream Park
48 Locketts Dream
Scottsville, KY 42164
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, Selected Days in October including Halloween
Another top Halloween attraction in the Greater Bowling Green area is Skeleton’s Lair Scream Park. Located about 25 miles southeast of BG, Skeleton’s Lair is a Scream Park with not one, but four haunted attractions. For instance, you can walk through a haunted house and a 3D theme house. If that’s not enough, you can also wander through haunted woods and go on a haunted hayride. That’s not to mention a special appearance from stuntman/actor Douglas Tait. In case you’re not familiar with his name, you may be familiar with his work. In more detail, he has doubled for actor James Jude Courtney as Michael Meyers in “Halloween Kills”. Moreover, he has also doubled as Jason for Ken Kirzinger in “Freddy vs. Jason”. Please note that his appearances on Friday, October 14 and Saturday 15 may sell out.
Unseen Bowling Green Tours
360 East Eighth Ave.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Dates Murder Mansion Tour: Thursdays Through October
Unseen Bowling Green is a popular tour operator led by BG’s Historic Railpark and Train Museum. For the fall season, Unseen Bowling Green is hosting a Murder Mansion Tour, which may sell out in advance. The Murder Mansion is a home in BG that was the scene of a 1948 double homicide. These grisly murders are so well known in the city, the home is known as Murder Mansion. Moreover, some residents say the home might be haunted. Equally important for these tours are the appearances of author Wes Swietek”. The newspaper editor of BG’s Daily News, he will give a presentation about his book “The Cemetery Road Murders” based upon these events. Historic Railpark and Train Museum is one of the top attractions in BG. While there are only four Murder Mansion tours, railpark and museum admissions are available throughout the month of October.
Jackson’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival
1280 Slim Island Road
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Dates: Saturdays and Sundays through October 23, 2022
You won’t find Michael Meyers, Snake Plissken or any other John Carpenter character here. That is, of course unless a member of the public decides to come in costume to honor their famous BG director. On the other hand, this Pumpkin Festival is a family-friendly event and one of the best things to do in BG. As a matter of fact, this festival began September 24 and will draw crowds every weekend through October. Held annually, Jackson’s Orchard Pumpkin Festival will feature kid-friendly attractions like a children’s playground, petting zoo, pony rides and a corn maze. While there is a fee for each attraction, there is no admission fee or parking fee. In addition to these fun events, you can also pick your own apples for $18 per peck bag.
About The Author
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.