It’s that time of year when the leaves change, the weather cools, and pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns return to front porches. It’s Halloween weekend, people! Halloween has a long tradition of paying tribute to the deceased. And now, the North American custom of dressing up in costumes for Halloween has gained popularity overseas. Halloween really has its roots in Ireland, where ancient pagans celebrated Samhain on the day the dead would reanimate and walk the Earth more than 2000 years ago. Here are 10 eerie and exciting locations to visit around Halloween around the world.
Boyne Valley, Ireland
What better location to celebrate Halloween than where it all began? This Halloween, the historic Boyne Valley, which includes the counties of Meath and Louth, calls for a quick getaway. It’s the ideal location for a spooky family vacation, offering scares, thrills, and plenty of seasonal delicacies. The ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain is where the Halloween custom got its start. Little has changed from its inception, when people would dress up to stave off spirits. The Puca Halloween Festival, which marks the Celtic new year with music, art, and lots of sweet delicacies, is one of the events that Ireland now holds throughout the month of October.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations are big business in Oaxaca. It’s a celebration for the dead, but it’s not a scary event. Over the course of two days, families decorate the graves of their departed loved ones and create elaborate altars at home as an additional gesture of respect. Travelers may participate in the celebrations by attending parades and events held all across San Miguel de Allende, which continue through November 2.
During the month of October, Salem transforms into a full-fledged Halloween destination. Among these activities are re-enactments, tours of the famed witch trial sites, fireworks displays, magic performances, and more. The Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball, which will feature a night of magic, music, and potent rituals with special guests, is another event held at The Hawthorne Hotel. For those who live nearby or desire a weekend escape, this will be a must-see whether you love Halloween or even the narrative of the Salem Witch Trials.
Venice and Borgo a Mozzano, Italy
Italy isn’t exactly known for its Halloween celebrations, but Venice is one city where you can have a lot of spooky fun. It is also a popular location for ghost hunters, particularly on the island of Poveglia. The island was formerly a quarantine area for plague victims and even served as an insane institution in the early 20th century, making it a veritable hotbed for eerie behaviour. The location of the gatherings is the town of Borgo a Mozzano, which is located close to Lucca. On the aptly called Devil’s Bridge, a sizable Halloween party is held there every year.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Our list of the greatest Halloween vacation spots in the US would not be complete without New Orleans, which is said to be one of the most haunted towns in the US. It’s a terrific idea to spend Halloween in New Orleans, not only because of the city’s haunted locations, intriguing parades, and history of voodoo magic (there is even an entire museum dedicated to this), but also because New Orleans is one of the most charming places in the country.
Another big European city that puts on fantastic Halloween events and has some of the most haunted locations in the continent is Edinburgh. Edinburgh is also one of the most stunning old towns on the Old Continent, as well as the capital of Scotland. Scottish people, like Irish people, have a tradition of celebrating Samhain, and they include traditional aspects of this holiday in their Halloween celebrations. This is another good incentive to go to Edinburgh during this time of year.
Transylvania is renowned for its dark past and the creation of the legendary Count Dracula, in addition to being one of Romania’s most picturesque areas. Transylvania is home to several eerie-looking historic castles, seemingly frozen-in-time towns, intriguing tales, and much more. Halloween isn’t a huge issue in Romania, but what better way to mark the occasion than with a unique, unsettling adventure in the “vampire stronghold” of Europe.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Sleepy Hollow, which is about an hour from New York City, is a lively community that certainly knows how to enjoy Halloween. Sleepy Hollow, a charming tiny hamlet in the Hudson Valley, changes into a lively, festive metropolis with lots of Halloween-related activities and events at this time of year. The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, where you can watch tens of thousands of spooky-looking pumpkins light up in the night, is Sleepy Hollow’s most well-known festival.
There’s a good reason why Chattanooga is frequently listed as one of the top Halloween vacation spots in the world. The city is well known for the Chattanooga Choo Choo, but it also has a few haunted locations, the most well-known of which are the Winnepespookah, the Dread Hollow, and the Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern. Additionally, Chattanooga is the subject of several ghost stories, and many of the city’s ghost tours effectively explore its sinister side.