October is one of my absolute favorite times to travel. Summer crowds have dispersed but the cold winter weather has yet to creep in. The only thing I don’t like is I feel like I miss out on fall festivities at home in New England, especially surrounding Halloween. So I have put together some of the best places around the world to celebrate Halloween.
Come on, guys! I specialize in Disney Destinations of course this is the first on the list. But Disney actually isn’t the reason I added it. Universal Halloween Horror Nights are a must do for any fans of scary movies and Haunted Houses. If you are like me and love Halloween but hate to be scared, or have school aged children Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party is so much fun. Both require an additional ticket But Disney and Universal aren’t the only ones to get into the game SeaWorld and Legoland both get into the spirit. Their Halloween celebrations happen during the day, are included in the price of your park ticket and perfect for little ones.
The town made famous by Washington Irving’s spooky legend embraces its most famous resident… the headless horseman. Horsemans Hollow is the ultimate Halloween event where one of the old mansions turned into the an incredible haunted house with the grounds full of activities. On top of that there are countless theatrical retellings of the Washington Irving Ghost Story. Don’t forget to check out the haunted hayrides and many ghost or cemetery tours.
A list of Halloween destinations would not be complete without “The Witchy City.” Made famous by the 17th Century Witch Trials the city has embraced its tragic past and has become the Halloween capital of the world. Throughout the month of October the area celebrates “Haunted Happenings” which includes festivals, parades, and events. The city is spooky any time of the year with witch and pirate museums featuring dioramas, wax figures and artifacts from the historic trials. During October you can find a costume party every night and dozens of Haunted Houses. There are plenty of activities for kids (or scaredy cat adults like myself) and definitely worth a visit. Go earlier in the month to avoid crowds.
Charleston is considered one of the countries most haunted cities and is the filming location for many horror films with ghost tours offered all year round you have to know they are going to amp it up for the spooky season. A haunted horse drawn carriage tour is a must. The other can’t miss is Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens which transforms its grounds into South Carolina’s largest haunted event. You can choose from four different attractions there, including a haunted corn maze and hayride.
If you ask anyone the best places to experience the Day of the Dead in Mexico, Oaxaca is going to on the top of the list. Markets are filled with sugar calaveras (skulls) and items to decorate the colorful altars. Festivities include music and dancing and you definitely want to check out the feasts among the tombstones.
New Orleans looks for any excuse for a party and Halloween is the perfect reason to celebrate. If you are into history and haunted tours you can take one of the many haunted tours through the French Quarter but the highlight is Krewe of Boo, a Halloween parade that feels like a mini Mardi Gras. The floats feature things like trolls on horseback and dancing witches and of course there are a ton of street parties full of the Over the Top Costumes that make this city famous.
The region of Romania is home to centuries of vampire lore but Bram Stoker’s Dracula brought it to the rest of the world. You are not going to find colorful decorations and fun costumes here but the town is still rooted in the spooky folklore. Here you can visit haunted castles and learn the countries haunted history. Vampire themed restaurants and a Halloween Party at Bran Castle (home of Dracula) top off the trip.
In addition to costume parties that you associate with Halloween in Dublin you can experience Samhain celebrations. Samhain is the pagan new year and the precursor to many of our Halloween traditions. Bonfires celebrating the history of the holiday can be found around the country. In Dublin the Samhain festival is one of music and light, complemented by rich harvest-inspired food experiences and storytelling.
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