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8 Halloween Haunts To Spice Up Your Spooky Season

Whether you refer to it as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, Day of The Dead, Samhain, or All Saints Day, this amalgamation of traditions, rooted in superstition, end-of-year harvest festivities, and religious observance, provides an excellent opportunity for travel.

We’ve chosen a selection of our most beloved eerie destinations to awaken your longing for Halloween-themed journeys in the years ahead.

1. Mexico - Mexico City & Isla de las Muñecas

We couldn’t start this list any other way than with Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). 

Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where families welcome the souls of their deceased loved ones for a brief stay in the land of the living, full of celebration, food, and drink. Celebrated annually from 31st October to 2nd November, this holiday has routes in Mesoamerican & European Spanish culture. Visit Mexico City for a festival experience you will never forget. 

If you’re looking for something more spooky than celebratory, Isla de las Muñecas, or the Island of the Dolls, might be just the place you’re looking for. Just south of Mexico City, this small island has a sad history and a very eerie ambience. Home to hundreds of dolls with severed limbs, decapitated heads, and blank eyes, said to be possessed by the spirit of a young girl who drowned mysteriously close to the island.

2. Northern Ireland - Derry~Londonderry

Known as Europe’s biggest Halloween celebration, Derry Halloween started as a humble fancy dress party 35 years ago and has transformed into an international celebration full of stories, art, and performances that welcomes over 100,000 visitors to the historic city. 

This city-wide celebration gets its routes in the Celtic festival, Samhain (pronounced sah-win), which marks the beginning of the ‘darker half’ of the year on 1st November. This Celtic festival was co-opted by Christianity and became All Hallows Day, making 31st October All Hallows Eve, which over time became Halloween.

For the nights leading up to the big day, you’ll find light shows, street performances, incredible food, and iconic Celtic storytelling throughout the city. Whilst you’re in town, a tour of the city walls is a must-do, especially if you can pair it with a walking food tour, or a Derry Girls tour! 

Being in Northern Ireland, travel is easy, and more wallet-friendly than some of the places on this list, leaving you with more time and money to perfect your costume!

3. Czech Republic - Kutná Hora

Bizarre Decoration From Human Bones

Do you like unusual places? Then you absolutely must visit the complex of the former Cistercian Abbey in Sedlec near Kutná Hora. A visit to the UNESCO-listed Cathedral Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist and the world-famous Ossuary of the Cemetery Church of All Saints is an amazing experience in its own right.

If you visit these places late in the evening, you will be accompanied by guides dressed in the habits of Cistercian monks. The premises of the cathedral and ossuary are lit only by candlelight and you have a great opportunity to listen to some Gregorian chant and the sound of the cathedral organ.

The Gothic Cathedral of Saint Barbara is a unique building, thanks to which your visit to this royal city will become a powerful experience. This architectural and church gem was built by local master builders over the course of more than 500 years.

4. USA - Salem, Massachusetts

Salem has a captivating history intertwined with the spirit of Halloween. The tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692 set the stage, where 19 innocent lives were lost due to Puritan beliefs. Arthur Miller’s 1953 work, “The Crucible,” and the 1992 Salem Witch Trials Memorial further revived this dark history.

Today, Salem embraces its modern witches and Pagans, who celebrate Samhain each October, marking the end of the harvest season. It’s a unique place where these communities can share their beliefs with both locals and tourists.

Whether you seek history, thrills, shopping, live music, or a vibrant food scene, Salem offers a memorable October adventure in the Halloween spirit.

5. Romania - Brașov, Transylvania

Halloween in Romania, particularly in the enchanting city of Brasov, nestled in the heart of Transylvania, is a truly unique and captivating experience. With its rich history and deep-rooted connection to Gothic folklore, this charming town offers a perfect backdrop for celebrating the spookiest night of the year. As the crisp autumn air sweeps through the picturesque Carpathian Mountains, Brasov transforms into a realm of mystery and wonder. Visitors can wander through the cobbled streets adorned with eerie decorations, explore medieval castles like Bran Castle, often associated with Dracula’s legend, and partake in ghostly tours that unveil the region’s haunting stories. The fusion of Romanian traditions and Halloween festivities creates an unforgettable blend of culture and the supernatural, making Brasov, Transylvania, an enticing destination for those seeking a Halloween experience unlike any other.

6. Hong Kong - Yue Lan Festival

Halloween in Hong Kong is a fascinating fusion of tradition and contemporary celebration, highlighted by the captivating Yue Lan Festival. This vibrant city comes alive with a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences during the spooky season. The Yue Lan Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, is a significant part of Hong Kong’s Halloween, where locals pay homage to their ancestors and wandering spirits with colourful offerings and elaborate ceremonies. As the night falls, the city transforms into a spectacular display of lanterns, incense, and burning paper money, creating a mesmerising ambience. Visitors can explore the bustling streets, adorned with traditional decorations and experience the thrilling spectacle of locals practicing ancient customs alongside more modern Halloween festivities. It’s a rare opportunity to witness the mystical side of Hong Kong’s culture during the Halloween season, making it a captivating destination for those seeking a culturally enriched Halloween experience.

7. Scotland - Edinburgh

Halloween in Edinburgh, Scotland, is an otherworldly adventure deeply rooted in the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain, and the Samhain Fire Festival perfectly encapsulates this mystic celebration. As the historic city’s winding streets and centuries-old architecture provide an evocative backdrop, the Samhain Fire Festival offers a mesmerising journey into the supernatural. This immersive event, inspired by Celtic folklore and mythology, brings forth a mesmerising spectacle of fire, drumming, and enchanting performances. Attendees are invited to don costumes and become part of a vivid, immersive experience, where ancient rituals blend seamlessly with modern Halloween celebrations. The festival’s unique fusion of tradition and mysticism offers an exceptional way to embrace the essence of Samhain and Halloween in one of the most enchanting settings in the world, making Edinburgh a must-visit destination for those seeking a truly magical Halloween experience.

8. Italy - Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo

Halloween in Palermo, Italy, offers a truly spine-tingling experience, with a visit to the eerie yet fascinating Capuchin Catacombs at its heart. Located within the ancient city, these catacombs are a resting place for the mummified remains of the deceased, many of whom appear strangely well-preserved, adding an air of macabre mystique to the occasion. As Halloween approaches, the catacombs take on an even more haunting aura, inviting visitors to explore the eerie corridors and pay their respects to the long-departed. With flickering candlelight casting eerie shadows, the Capuchin Catacombs provide an otherworldly atmosphere that perfectly captures the spirit of Halloween. This unique experience in Palermo, Italy, is a captivating blend of history, culture, and the supernatural, making it an unforgettable destination for those who seek a truly chilling Halloween adventure.

Book Your Halloween Escape Today!

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with our team of expert travel agents to book your Halloween escape today! Don’t forget you can donate 5% of the price to the charity of your choice when you book with us. 

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