Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
It’s nearly Halloween! So today we’re looking at some of the best places around the world to celebrate!
London Dungeons, London
Submitted by Hannah Megan Canavan, Adventure Travel Family
With hundreds of years of London’s grim and gruesome history behind it, the London Dungeons are an excellent place to really get into the Halloween spirit. Step into a terrible time machine as you revisit murky medieval life and become immersed in the perils of an ancient underground lift to the effects of The Plague that swept the city and killed thousands. Explore the pitch black rat-infested tunnels that Guy Fawkes once used in his ill-fated murder plot and walk the same treacherous paths as Jack The Ripper used to stalk his victims.
The Dungeons have multiple rides, shows and experiences ranging in spook-factor from one skull (not too bad) to five skulls (seriously scary) so you can properly plan which parts of the attraction you will enjoy.
Submitted by Lerato Bambo, Life from a Bag
Have you ever wondered where Halloween originated from?
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now known as Ireland, celebrated their new year also known as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) on November 1.
This day marked the end of summer and the beginning of harvest season. The Celts also believed that the night before the new year (31 October), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
In an attempt to ward off ghosts they built huge sacred bonfires, where people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. This was the birth of what is now celebrated as Halloween. The best place to spend Halloween in Ireland is at Loftus Hall on the Hook peninsula in County Wexford.
Loftus Hall is a 22-bedroom mansion set on 60 acres of land in County Wexford. It was abandoned over three decades ago and overlooks a lonely stretch of the South East coast. It used to be known as Redmond Hall – the home of the Redmond family since 1350. Locals claim it’s haunted by the devil and by the ghost of a young woman and the Halloween tours are not for the fainthearted.
Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, UK
Submitted by Justine Jenkins, Wanderers of the World
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, haunted castles are definitely spooky. They are normally archaic and draughty and come complete with dark dungeons and dingy cellars. My favourite haunted castle and a great place to celebrate Halloween is Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England. Every Halloween, Sudeley holds special events to mark the day – from ghost tours and scary storytellings to magic shows and illuminated garden trails. But what sets this castle apart from any other is that it was once home to Katherine Parr (Henry VIII’s sixth wife) and the castle’s church is actually her final resting place. It’s said that she glides the castle’s corridors as if she’s still alive and roaming about her home – spooky!
Submitted by Stephanie Craig, Sofia Adventures
One of the spookiest places to spend Halloween is in Transylvania. This region in Romania boasts the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler – the inspiration for the vampire in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula!
While the real Vlad was no vampire, you can tour Bran Castle, the inspiration for the castle in the book, which has earned it the nickname of “Dracula’s Castle.” If you’d prefer a special event, they hold a Halloween party at night. Can you imagine a spookier place to spend your Halloween?
While I suggest visiting the region for a few days to see the towns of Brasov, Sibiu, and Sighisoara, you can visit Bran Castle from Bucharest as a day trip.
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Submitted by Daniel James, Urban Abroad
Whilst looking for the best places to celebrate Halloween, be sure to add Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen to your list. For the months of October and November the spooky amusement park located in the center of Denmark’s capital is turned into the type of scene you’d expect to find in a haunted graveyard movie set. Here you’ll find everything from moving spiders, cats, scarecrows, to more than 20,000 pumpkins on display. The smart city of Copenhagen really knows how to scare its visitors, the park also offers the opportunity for visitors to connect with Virtual Reality Experiences designed to add extra spookiness to your night.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Florida
Submitted by Catherine D’Cruz, We Go with Kids
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom celebrates Halloween in style each year with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Even if your family doesn’t attend the separate ticketed event which features special entertainment and candy stations, the Park is decorated in its Halloween finest, which gives extra excitement to the Happiest Place on Earth. We visited when our boys were one and three, and the trip was truly magical. They were particularly excited to wear their Halloween costumes on vacation and celebrate the holiday in an unforgettable way.