Halloween is nearly here, but rather than throwing on last year’s outfit and heading to the local party, or staying in with a stack of scary films, why not take a trip away for the fright of your life?
For fans of horror, you’ll know some scary films and Halloween parties just don’t cut it. However a Halloween holiday, with new destinations, trepidation and thoughts of the unknown could be enough to fill you with dread on the only horror holiday of the year.
There’s a reason the third series of American Horror Story is set here. St. Louis Cemetery is apparently haunted by Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau in several incarnations, including a black cat with red eyes; that could have you doing the dead Voodoo Queen’s evil bidding. The graveyard is also claimed to be the resting place of murderous socialite Delphine LaLaurie. So take a chance and wander the area for an ultimate fright fest. Is there anything scarier than a graveyard at midnight on Halloween? Well perhaps a voodoo cat!
For a more traditional approach head to Big Easy’s Halloween bash. With several events like the Ghoulish Gala, the Endless Festival Night and the Anne Rice Fan Club Party, you could experience Halloween in one of the world’s creepiest places.
Head to Salem, Massachusetts and revel in the eerie aftermath of the Salem Witch Trials, which still intrigues 300 years later. Salem’s dark past can be felt throughout the year at several museums including ‘The Witch House’, which houses memorabilia such as witch pins, and bottles containing finger bones. Keep a look out for the ghosts of the witches who still haunt the town too – they could be around any corner!
Throughout October, the people of Salem go all out to commemorate All Hallows Eve and their bewitching past. With trials and hanging re-enactments, witches’ circles, parades and tours of infamous spots, you can relive the witch trials yourself – just don’t be caught with a pointed hat and a wand in your hand. The Festival of the Dead, organised by ‘witch elders’, shouldn’t be missed as you go on a Celtic voyage to the underworld, and a voodoo ceremony that ends with the Salem Witches Halloween Ball.
Head to Romania and relive the blood-curdling tale of Dracula in the ever creepy Transylvania. Although a fictitious character, there’s much scarier things afoot in Dracula’s hometown. Based on Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian Royal has gone down in history for impaling his enemies during the 15th century.
Follow Vlad’s footsteps and wander the forests where he did his evil bidding, or visit his supposed gravesite, Snagov Monastery. Then visit the ruins of his home, Poenari Castle, in the South region of Romania; often considered one of the most haunted places on the planet. Is there a better time to head to the Vampire capital of the world?
We’ve had fictitious killers, medieval mentalists, witchcraft and voodoo on the list, but what about real life horror?
Head to Beechworth in Victoria, for a side of Australia you never knew about. Here you’ll find the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, where many went in but very few came out. Opened in 1867 it’s estimated around 3,000 people died within this prison, many of whom didn’t need to be inside the facility. It’s a real hot-bed of terror and not for the faint hearted.
You can experience this yourself on a Beechworth Ghost Tour, where you’ll be taken through the terrifying building to look for former patients, doctors and nurses who haunt the halls. Sounds pretty scary to us.
Where will your Halloween haunting take you this year?