North America may be Halloween's heartland — Salem, Massachusetts was recently voted in a USA Today poll as the best place in the world to get spooky. After all, this east cost city hosts a month-long Halloween party in October that the city calls 'Haunted Happenings'. But should you want to sample Halloween somewhere else, here are five destinations that put on a good scare!
1. Bran Castle, Transylvania, Romania
The region in central Romania made famous by Bram Stoker in his 1897 classic, the name Transylvania itself is enough to send an icy chill down the spine of even the most fearless adventurer. Now imagine being there — in person! Originally the home of Vlad 'The Impaler' Tepes — better known as Dracula — the castle hosts an epically exclusive Halloween party limited to just 100 lucky guests, making it the toughest Halloween ticket of the year. Prices range from €3,700 for single guests all the way up to €10,000 for the premium tickets — making this 'treat' a little 'tricky'. But if you’ve got that kind of cash, this is one party you will never forget. For the rest of us, the nearby town of Bran holds many cultural events to mark this spooky occasion.
2. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, USA
One of the most haunted hotels in the US has a very eerie history. The hotel lays claim to five resident ghosts who haunt its historic grounds in the pristine Rockies. The hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s horror masterpiece The Shining. The weekend prior to Halloween, the Stanley Hotel puts on two incredible events — a murder mystery dinner and The Shining Ball. Both events are for attendees 21 years of age and older—and you’ll be sure to witness some pretty amazing costumes (and maybe a ghost or two).
3. Day of The Dead, Oaxaca, Mexico
This is one of the world's greatest festivals, period — even though it takes place two days after traditional Halloween, which has been graining in popularity among Mexicans over the last 40 years. Imagine, Halloween first — then the Day of the Dead! Cemeteries on this day are packed not with mourners but with revellers. People dance, clap their hands and swing their hips long into the evening. Countless events go on through out the day, but if you’re a partier, get plenty of rest — the cemetery parties go on all night.
4. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
There may not be a more fun place to hang out during Halloween than New Orleans. If you think Mardi Gras is this city's only claim to fame, think again. Halloween is a big deal in the Big Easy. Sure, the city offer lots of options for kids like 'Boo at the Zoo' and trick-or-treating in a museum — but let's face it, New Orleans is known for its over the top street parties! One of the biggest festivals occurs on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny. If you’re serious about Halloween, the Endless Night Vampire Ball is the place to be for all things vampire and goth.
5. The Ten Bells, London, England
Why not grab a pint or two before hitting the town for one of the many events that go on in London on Halloween? There’s nothing that special about the Ten Bells — bar it most famous patron and the world's most infamous serial killer! According to legend, Jack the Ripper was a regular here. In 1996, the landlord claimed The Ten Bells had been taken over by the ghost of Annie Chapman, murdered and mutilated by the Ripper in 1888. The staff of this old pub still say a lot of weird stuff happens here. Still fancy a pint, guv'nr?
G Adventures runs a number of departures all over the world, encompassing a wide range of dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips.