Where To Go For Halloween This Year
Looking for where to go for Halloween 2019? I’ve got you! For me, Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year. I don’t know what it is about that spooky season but it has me hooked, and usually looking for terrifyingly terrific places to go. This year, we’re heading to Tivoli in Copenhagen, but there’s a whole load of other Halloween worthy destinations for 2019 to check out, and it’s not too late to book yourself a last minute scary getaway to celebrate.
I’ve collaborated with some top travel bloggers to share where to go for Halloween 2019 around the world – I hope you ain’t afraid of no ghosts…
We’ll kick off with my personal favourite, the wonderful city of Salem in Massachusetts. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to have a read of my guide to Salem with tips on how to make the most of one full day in this spooky city. Easily accessible from Boston via a train service (with cheap weekend tickets) you can hop on from Boston’s South Station and be taken straight into the centre of Salem within around 30 minutes. Home of the 1692 witch trials…and Hocus Pocus, the ‘Witch City’ is the perfect US Halloween destination. Enjoy all of the spooky boutiques, gift shops, and attractions around the city of Salem. Head by the Witch House and former home of (it’s haunted, by the way), visit the House of Seven Gables, try not to scream in the Salem Witch Museum, and you can even check out live horror shows! We visited Salem in May and it felt eery and fabulously frightening then so I can only imagine Halloween is an absolute blast!
Halloween Festival, Brussels
If you’re celebrating Halloween in Brussels, there are several spooky places where you can spend the evening. One is the Halloween Festival on October 31 which takes place in the commune of Saint-Gilles and is co-organized by the Center for Fantastic Art. The evening begins in the Pierre Paulus park where various activities like scary make-up sessions, concerts, juggler acts… will entertain the entire family. Then everyone is invited to watch and follow the Halloween parade that goes towards the Museum of Fantastic Art where Halloween Man is awaiting the crowd. Standing at the upper window of the museum, he’ll spread joy and excitement among the little ones by throwing candies around.
Afterwards, you can visit the Fantastic Art Museum: a cabinet of curiosities with objects on display that link to the fantastic, the strange or surrealism. You can also walk on to the Center for Fantastic Art, located in the former ice house of Saint Gilles. Apart from hosting a temporary fantastic art exhibition, they also organize fun activities for kids. By completing a series of spooky missions, they can prove their talent in witchcraft, and if they succeed, they’ll take home a sorcerers’ certificate. Feeling hungry? The Center of Fantastic Art provides pancakes for everyone.
Author: Sophie Lenoir at Bitten By The Bug
Granary Burying Ground, Boston
The Granary Burial Grounds, Boston’s third-oldest cemetery, is the final resting place of many famous patriots. Ben Franklin’s parents, the victims of the Boston Massacre, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine are but a few of hallowed guests. But no ghost or grave is more famous than the spectral ghost of Paul Revere. The eternal ride of Paul Revere is spotted most often on moonlight nights when the city lights of Boston fade away, and the headstones of Granary cast lunar shadows. On nights like this, visitors report a glowing figure on horseback emerging from the grave, presumably taking one more midnight ride to warn the Bostonians that the British are coming.
Burials began here around 1660 because the bodies were overflowing the King’s Chapel Burying Ground, located a block east. Some graves have more than 20 occupants to save money. In total, more than 5,000 souls were laid to rest here, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine. Nearly 5,000 people have been laid to rest in the Granary Burial grounds since it opened in 1660. Some plots have more than 20 bodies entombed to save money, and less than half of the occupants have headstones.
With all this history, it’s not surprising that the Granary Burial Grounds are one of 16 stops on the Boston Freedom Trail. The Trail features other spooky stops including the cemeteries at Kings Chapel and Copps Hill and the memorial at Bunker Hill battleground. If you’re searching for something a little macabre, consider walking the Boston Freedom Trail, including Granary Burial Grounds and other spooky spots.
Village of Stull, Kansas
If you’re looking for a spooky place to spend your Halloween night in 2019 and you’ll be near Kansas City, you should head to the tiny village of Stull, Kansas. Located about halfway between Lawrence and Topeka, this town is so small you’d be forgiven for not noticing it at all. However, its the center of one of the spookiest legends in eastern Kansas, and all the mischief supposedly takes place on Halloween night!
Many Americans believe that there are a number of gateways to Hell that the Devil uses to enter the world. One such portal is rumored to be the tiny village cemetery in Stull. The legend goes that the devil had a mistress in Stull in the nineteenth century. Together, the two had a baby. He returns every Halloween to visit their graves here.
The actual portal was believed to be under the old church, which was mysteriously demolished.
If you do choose to come spend your Halloween evening here, be aware that the townsfolk do not appreciate strangers coming in to try to stir up a bit of Devilish fun. However, you certainly won’t be the only outsider interested in seeing for yourself if the Devil appears here on Halloween.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
Located in Edinburgh in Scotland, Greyfriars Kirkyard is the most haunted graveyard in the world. Over Halloween, this macabre spot transforms into a popular hangout where you can wander along historical trails and discover the secrets of epitaphs etched on mossy, aged tombstones alone or join a ghost tour and unearth the haunted history behind Greyfriars Kirkyard with others. You can tag along on one of many ghost tours throughout October and visit the infamous Black Mausoleum. During your visit, you’ll gain a profound knowledge of the tomb and its history, helping you understand why you’re filled with a sense of foreboding uneasiness as you pass by.
The late George Mackenzie, once a cruel and ruthless judge, continues to cause chaos in the graveyard, even after his death. Some say his ghost was awoken when a man broke into his mausoleum to escape a storm. His malevolent spirit has been tormenting graveyard visitors ever since. The unnerving atmosphere which permeates the Black Mausoleum can make anyone feel uneasy. Many people have reported feeling weak and some have even fainted when passing George Mackenzie’s resting place. Others have been pushed and scratched by the invisible poltergeist on ghost tours which pass through the graveyard each night.
Whether or not you find yourself face-to-face with the malicious poltergeist, Greyfriars Kirkyard is the perfect place to visit this spooky season and your experience is sure to leave you feeling unnerved.
Dracula Castle, Transylvania
Transylvania, famous as the home of the bloodthirsty vampire Dracula, is a real region within Romania. Of course count Dracula is a fictional character created by Irish author Bram Stoker. Stoker based his character on Vlad III Dracul, known as Vlad the Impaler, and sometime ruler of Transylvania. The clue about his notorious personality is that word, “Impaler!”
Stoker never visited Transylvania himself. He learnt about Vlad from Romanian folk tales. And he could not possibly have realised what an impact his book was to have on Romania’s reputation and tourism.
Now Romania and especially the Transylvanian region has become a destination not only for its natural beauty but by Dracula lovers who follow the steps of the notorious Count from one castle to another. Around Halloween, there are even special events in several of the castles in Transylvania. Two of the most famous are Bran Castle (aka Dracula Castle) which offers spooky parties with wicked fairy dances, and Sighișoara where the real Vlad Dracul was born in 1431.
Author: Ania from The Travelling Twins
Universal Studios, Orlando
Every year Universal Studios theme parks around the world start closing early in the months of September and October. An hour later they open again, transformed. Gone are the backstage glimpses into popular films, and in their place are spooky backdrops, dark lighting, and startling sounds. There is a certain musky smell, a combination of fake fog, sugary treats, and costume latex. That’s when you know that Halloween Horror Nights is officially in season.
In the past five years, Universal Studios has given their guests between seven and ten haunted houses. Usually around half of them are created by Universal Studios, and the other half are based on popular horror movies. Recently we’ve seen Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, American Horror Story, Freddy vs Jason, a variety of Blumhouse films, and countless others. Along side of the haunted houses, there are also scare zones in the park’s streets. It is not possible to get to a single attraction without going through at least one zone. They also can be derived from films, or the Halloween Horror Nights creative team. The streets are less structured than the houses, but equally as immersive. As an added bonus, typically there are shows interspersed into the event. Some rides will be open, but typically the wait times are similar to daytime wait times, so I recommend focusing on the Halloween specific events.
Ticking options range from one night tickets, with different prices depending on how popular the night is, to tickets that work for a few weeks, to tickets that work for the entire event. They’re separate from the regular park admission tickets, one won’t work for the other.
Author: Ash at Dashin’ Ash (photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywood)
Haunted Pub Crawl, London
Hudson River Valley, New York State
There are some cities and towns that go all out for Halloween. But if you want to find an entire region that goes nuts for the holiday, head to the Hudson River Valley in New York State. Almost every town in the area does something special, but the three best celebrations are in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, and Croton-on-Harmon. They are easily reachable by car or by Metro-North train from New York City. Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown are both connected through Washington Irving, the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow about Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. His most famous story takes place in Sleepy Hollow and his home is in Tarrytown, so both towns put on major Sleepy Hollow shows every Halloween. Sleepy Hollow even turns the Philipsburg Manor into a spooky replica of Horseman’s Hollow. Younger children who might be frightened by the performances can visit Washington Irving’s house during the daytime and participate in quieter activities like drawing their own jack-o-lantern.
But the most exciting event is the Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze. In Croton-on-Harmon, they turn the entire Van Cortlandt Manor into a home of the most extraordinary jack-o-lantern pieces of art. You can see giant clocks, dinosaurs, unicorns, and spiders, all made of jack-o-lanterns. My personal favorite is the replica of the Tappan Zee Bridge that you can walk across. (Naturally it’s called the Pumpkin Zee Bridge.) Just be sure to buy tickets ahead of time. They sell out fast!
Author: Stella at Around The World In 24 Hours
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
If you are looking for spooky places to visit for Halloween this year, consider going to the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Not only does Eastern State Penitentiary have a Halloween haunted house called Terror Behind the Walls, but the whole history of the place is also terrifying. Eastern State Penitentiary is one of the first jail systems to implement something called solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a new form of imprisonment where the inmates would live in solitude. That means that they would eat alone, sleep alone, and never have any social interactions between anyone else. In fact, even when the inmates were going out for walks, they would have to cover their heads with a paper bag. Obviously, without the essential social interactions, many of the inmates became insane. Screams, cries, and other horrible things you can imagine became a normality in the Eastern State Penitentiary. It was at a point where ESP was both a jail system and a mental asylum.
As a result of these horrible treatments of the inmates, the inmate that died never “found peace”. It is believed that the Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted and paranormal activity investigations are being held every year.
Author: Sean Lau at Living Out Lau
Dun Cow Pub, Shrewsbury
If you want some chills and thrills this Halloween, head to Shrewsbury, a picturesque town in Shropshire, England. Located 150 miles northwest of London, it’s one of the most haunted destinations you’ll find. Or so legend says. Start at the historic Prince Rupert Hotel, where tales are told of a rejected bride hanging herself in her room, and a jilted young man who took his own life there after his loved one left him for another man. It’s not all ghosts and tragic tales, however. This medieval town on the Severn River has a lot of appeal. It has a number of eye-catching black and white timbered buildings that date back centuries, an inviting Old Town and an abbey built in 1083. Nonetheless, the shiver-inducing stories are hard to resist.
If you like to have a beer while you’re getting spooked, the Dun Cow Pub is a good stop. Just watch out for the spirit of the Dutch soldier who killed a man and paid for it with his life. He was hung in the stables outside and is now known to smash glasses and burn out light bulbs. You might even see him walking towards a staircase that was torn down years ago. Another place to visit is the historic Lion Hotel, where an older lady in grey loiters by the stairs to the ballroom. Finally, you can walk through Barracks Passage. As you go through, keep an eye out for some of Henry VII’s soldiers who are known to linger here. Between the town’s heritage attractions and its ghostly anecdotes, there is no better place to spend Halloween.
Author: Carol Perehudoff at Wandering Carol
The Vampire Museum, Paris
The Vampires Museum of Paris, is the only museum in the world dedicated to vampires. It was founded by Jacques Sirgent, profession vampirologist, who turned his passion for vampires into his way of living thanks to the museum and his books and world conferences on vampires. He also organizes guided visits of Père Lachaise Cemetery where he strongly believes Dracula (the real one) is buried.
The museum is located in the family house, in Les Lilas. Jacques Sirgent, inherited the house from his grandfather who hanged from the tree in the garden. Since then, according to him, the house is haunted.
The Vampires Museum is actually just one big room packed with Jacques Sirgent’s collection of objects related to vampires. There are posters, masks, Dracula videos, vampirology treatises, and other curiosities. The most precious object in the museum is a kit to fight against the vampires from the 19th century.
We visited the Museum of Vampires during a special event organized for Halloween. After drinking a special sweet, red potion (made of cherry, according to him), Jacques Sirgent showed us his most cherished objects in the museum. Then the conference started and we all learned about the origin of vampires and some vampire facts and curiosities. Did you know that vampires cannot enter your house unless you invite them? After all, they are not that bad!
The museum is located at 14 rue Jules David, Les Lilas (93). It is a private museum, so apart from these special events it is only open by appointment only. You can email Jacques Sirgent directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Elisa at World In Paris
Fort Gorazda, Kotor, Montenegro
An abandoned fort lies high above the bay of Kotor in Montenegro. Best visited on a stormy day for the ultimate spooky experience! As you leave the pretty town of Kotor you head upwards enjoying spectacular views of the Mediterranean fjord. Park you rental car and continue on foot. As the clouds close in you are about to enter a very spooky place. The rumbling thunder in the distance provides the perfect soundtrack to this eerie location. A grey structure covered with vegetation stands forbodingly on the mountain top. There is a dark entrance. Enter the gloomy darkness of Fort Gorazda if you dare.
Fort Gorazda was one of the Austro-Hungarian Fortresses built in Montenegro between 1884–86. It was used as a fort in World War I and the Yugoslav Army used it as depot as recently as the early 1990s. Inside you can explore the damp passages, dark corridors and ominous staircases. The occasional clap of thunder makes you jump as you weave your way through the fort complex. See if you can find your way onto the roof for gorgeous views of the bay of Kotor far below. There are many spooky places to visit but see if you can squeeze in a visit to this secret, abandoned fortin Kotor if you can!
Author: Anna Liddell at My Travel Scrapbook
I hope you enjoyed my guide of where to go for Halloween in 2019! Do you celebrate Halloween season? Which one of these spooky Halloween destinations for 2019 would you visit for a weekend of scares?
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