October is here, and this means warm colours, rainy days, and also… Halloween! On October 31st, many people in a lot of countries put their scary costumes on and sign up for horror movie nights, trick-or-treating or spooky parties. Others simply enjoy the city decorations and prepare lots of candy for the children. We have thought of 4 top places to visit for Halloween that you won’t forget easily – check out our list and choose the option that best suits your liking!
1. London, England
The first place we recommend you is a great classic for a lot of reasons. There’s a huge amount of spooky stuff to do in London on Halloween, so if you decide to go there you definitely won’t be disappointed… probably just really scared – in a good way though! You should start with a tour of the city in the places where you can find the perfect atmosphere – start from a visit at the Tower of London and the gruesome London Dungeons, proceed to discover the special Halloween features at Madame Tussauds, and also don’t forget to check the latest events planned at pubs and night clubs in the city centre.
Jack the Ripper’s murders
Moving on, you may know that London is also famous for many assassin stories. You’ve most likely heard of Jack the Ripper, the serial killer who murdered multiple women in London in 1888. Though his identity was never confirmed, this case has stayed opened for years. Still nowadays, it draws the attention of many who wonder who hid behind the mask of this mysterious killer and what his real motive was. You can’t skip a visit at Whitechapel, the district where he struck his victims – you can follow the map of the murders and see where the crimes actually took place, and eventually stop at the Jack The Ripper Museum on 12 Cable Street to discover more about the story, see the recreation of some of the significant locations and of the tools and weapons the murderer used for his grisly means. A spine-tingling experience!
2. New York, New York
Village Halloween Parade
You’ve probably watched tons of scary movies set in New York, so we can’t leave it out of the list of the places to visit at Halloween. The Americans didn’t start celebrating Halloween until the early 1900s, but now that they do they make a very big deal of it, spending millions of dollars every year in decorations, costumes, sweets, event planning and parades. New York’s famous annual Village Halloween Parade on Sixth Avenue is an unmissable event if you find yourself in the City around October 31st. It’s been a tradition for almost 50 years now! Every year it features a new theme, new games, new performers and costumes. Don’t forget to bring your own costume – be creative and have FUN!
Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla
Another typical Halloween activity is the Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park. During Halloween week, hundreds of newyorkers meet up at the Pool – often wearing a costume, too – with their homemade carved pumpkins. They then light them up and let them float in the Pool, creating an awesome spectacle for everyone. Perfect for families with children as well as for groups of friends!
Hounted Houses and parties
Eventually you can visit some haunted houses in Manhattan that will give you the scariest experiences, such as Blood Manor, the Bane Haunted House and the Jekyll & Hyde Haunted Asylum. Or, if you don’t like to be that scared, you can simply check out Halloween parties all around the city. You will always find plenty of costume and themed parties at pubs, night clubs and so on.
3. Transylvania, Romania
The very heart of vampire stories
What better place to visit at Halloween and get in the perfect spooky mood, if not the home to the most famous vampire stories ever? Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula living in a castle in Transylvania is a classic novel known everywhere in the world. Bran’s Castle has always ben associated to the story. Also in this area of Transylvania it’s very common to hear about the local beliefs concerning ghosts, evil spirits and vampires which inspired Stoker and many other authors for their grim stories and tales.
How to reach Bran Castle
If you visit the region, you will undoubtely perceive its ghostly atmosphere, while also being able to discover amazing landscapes. You can visit the Bran Castle everyday and at a very accessible price – the tickets’ cost vary from 1€ to 9€. You can easily reach the castle from Braşov. The best option is to travel by car, but you can also take a bus or a taxi or book a guided tour which also includes transport services.
4. Dublin, Ireland
In Halloween’s homeland
Last but not least, how not to mention Ireland in the list of places to visit for Halloween? The country actually is the homeland to this celebration, as well as to the story of Jack o’ Lantern’s carved pumpkin, which now is the symbol of the festivity. Nowadays this celtic celebration precedes the Western Christian’s All Saint’s day. Its actual home was an old Irish village, which was seen in the past as a passage to the evil spirits’ underworld. If you choose Dublin as your Halloween destination, you can’t go wrong: the Irish capital always has a lot to offer during this season. Traditional activities like wearing costumes, going trick-or-treating and going to theme parties are a must, and you will find plenty of places and occasions to do it during your stay.
Traditional Halloween food
We also recommend you to try two traditional Halloween dishes: colcannon and Barrnbrack. Colcannon mostly consists in curly kale and potatoes. A coin is hidden inside of it, meant to bring luck to its finder. The Barrnbrack is, on the other hand, a kind of bread with candied fruit in which you have to look for a ring instead. This will be a sign that love is on the way for the person who found it.
Finally, don’t forget to check the dates for the Big Scream Festival, where you will find lots of Halloween-themed entertainment. Plus, to recall our previous recommendation, also look up the Bran Stoker festival. It celebrates the Irish author of Dracula, and hosts lots of events in great locations, including the Dublin Castle, a necessary stop during your stay in the city!