PROVIDENCE, R.I., Sept. 13, 2010 - In October when many destinations claim ghosts and paranormal activity, Providence, RI strikes a spook-tacular balance of family-friendly festivals and haunted New England history.  The unofficial kick-off to the holiday season is an ideal time to spend in Providence, where visitors in seek of spooky lore and off-beat attractions will find the historic Swan Point Cemetery, the nationally-acclaimed Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, horror film fests and more.

For those in search of the weird and wacky, the Providence Marriott Downtown offers just that with its Weird & Wacky Providence Getaway Package.  The package includes deluxe accommodations with a king bed or two double beds; buffet breakfast for two at Bluefin Grille; a copy of the book Weird U.S., a guide to the top weird spots and attractions in Providence; and an online discount for Providence Ghost Tours. Rates begin at $199 based on double occupancy and availability. For more information or to book, visit www.marriott.com/pvdri or call 866-807-2171.

A Halloween holiday in Providence is not complete without a visit to the highly-acclaimed Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, presented by Citizens Bank, at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.  From October 7-31 daily from 6-10p.m., visitors can marvel at thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns created by a team of professional pumpkin carvers.  Guests can see up to 5,000 carvings on display at one time with a rotating display of more than 10,000 throughout the duration of the festival.  This year's show, themed "A Walk Through Time," includes scenes such as "The Jurassic Era," "The Dawn of Man," "The Renaissance," "The Growth of Democracy," "The Wild West," "The 20th Century" and others, in addition to traditional Halloween characters and scenes.

General admission on Sunday through Thursday nights is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $9 for children ages 3 to 12. On Friday and Saturday nights, admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and $10 for children ages 3-12. Children under three are admitted free. For more information, visit http://www.rwpzoo.org/ or call (401) 785-3510.

            Another fall diversion in Providence can be found at the beautiful Swan Point Cemetery.  Established in 1846, the 200-acre site in the northeastern part of the city offers an off-beat experience for lovers of Halloween lore. When conditions permit, cemetery grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. when visitors are welcome to walk, slowly bike or drive the grounds. H.P. Lovecraft, the Providence-born author famously known for his work in the horror and science fiction genres, is buried at Swan Point Cemetery. In addition to Lovecraft's tomb, visitors to Swan Point can tour the well-manicured grounds and burial lots, an intimate chapel, crematory and mausoleum, as well as Memorial Grove and the Megalith, arguably the largest single stone ever to have been set in an American cemetery.

            Horror film fanatics will find the best in Providence during the 11th annual Flickers: Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival taking place October 21-24, 2010. Some of the world's greatest independent fright films will be screened along with world premieres of short and feature films including the best of films submitted in an international competition. Guests can engage in Q&A with attending filmmakers, network and in some cases audition for a future project. The Festival will also host a multi-media concert, an H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour, a book signing and meet-the-author event, special free screenings and filmmaker awards ceremony. Admission is $10 per person per show, and films are screened at the hauntingly historic Bell Street Chapel Theatre, Providence Public Library and Barrington Public Library. For more information, visit http://www.film-festival.org/Horror_ri.php.

            For the health-minded at Halloween, Providence will host a Monster Mini 5K Dash and Monster Kids 1K race on October 31, 2010. The inaugural race is a fun event where participants are encouraged to dress in costume. The race will be run in support of team competitions for corporations, colleges, family, friends and charities. The Kids 1K starts at 10 a.m. The 5K begins at 11:15 a.m. and is limited to the first 6,000 participants. For more information or to register, visit http://www.monsterminidash.com/.

To book a Halloween or fall vacation in Providence, please visit http://www.goprovidence.com/.


~ The Creative Capital ~

Providence is a vibrant and energetic destination boasting some of the country's finest educational institutions paired with a pulsating artistic landscape.  The city's history of innovation, dating back to its founding father Roger Williams, drives a strong sense of place and encourages residents and visitors alike to view Providence as a leading arts and cultural destination.  Providence seamlessly blends the urban sophistication of a big city with the graceful charm of a small town replete with internationally-acclaimed restaurants and a thriving arts scene.  Media can also visit www.louhammond.com for latest press releases and images. Follow on Twitter at LouHammondPR.