Whilst Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in Australia, it has definitely grown in popularity in recent years. Let’s face it, we all love an excuse to dress up!
Although we have fun with our own celebrations, a lot of us dream of going all out like we see on the movies. So here are my top tips for where you should set your sights for an epic Halloween when it’s safe to travel.
Just the word Transylvania is enough to invoke Halloween images of castles, vampires and bats. But is it even a real place? It sure is! You can find it in the heart of Romania. Few castles are as iconic as Bran Castle. It’s the only castle that matches Bram Stoker’s depiction of Dracula’s castle hence why people simply refer to it as Dracula’s castle. What’s even better is that every year, G Adventures host an epic Halloween party on the grounds of Bran Castle. Check out the video below to see why this makes it on my list but you might want to make sure you don’t have kids looking over your shoulder!
2. Salem, Massachusetts
The name Salem, is synonymous with Witch Trials dating back to 1692. So it seems only fitting that they host a Halloween Witches Ball every year, each with a different theme. The Ball is hosted at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel – voted 4th most haunted hotel in America in 2007. The town itself hosts a lot of attractions around witches and ghosts which they of course take up a notch around Halloween! Check out the video below to get an idea.
3. New Orleans
New Orleans is known for its Mardi Gras celebration every year but their Halloween celebrations come a close second. It has unique cemetaries, a history of Voodoo and the status as America’s most haunted city. The city was used as a setting for a number of supernatural TV shows and Movies such as True Blood, American Horror Story: Coven and Interview with a Vampire. New Orleans puts on a city wide celebration with loads of spooky attractions to check out. Below is a video showing the parade (known as a krewe) with the Krewe of Boo!
4. Edinburgh, Scotland
It might seem strange to celebrate Halloween in Scotland as most of us probably think of it as an American thing. The truth is that the Celts have been celebrating Samhain or Samhuinn (Summer’s End) for more than 2000 years. Every year, the Beltane Society put on a Fire Festival with a procession starting on the Royal Mile. In addition to that, there are ghost tours, Edinburgh Dungeon and a host of other spooky activities to partake in. Typically Edinburgh has a tendency to be a little spooky anyway with it’s gothic architecture, Edinburgh castle and a gruesome history, so it makes sense for this to be on the list.
5. Derry, Northern Ireland
Another country with Celtic history, Ireland also celebrates Samhain and no Irish city does it bigger than Derry. Every year there is a different theme. The main event is a huge parade through the city with costumes, performers, music and more. The festival includes a lot of events and attracts around 80,000 people each year! Check out the video below to get a feel for the celebrations.
There are of course many other places that are fantastic to celebrate Halloween but these five stand out to me for their histories and the way the whole city gets involved and creates such festivities. Don’t the videos just make you want to be there?
If you’ve experienced any of these places on the 31st October then I’d love to share a quick story.