Traveling in late October can be off-season for many places around the world, making it a great time to pull off a last minute or budget trip. This time of year also happens to be the perfect season to go searching for the supernatural. If you’re on the hunt for ghouls and goblins or are just looking for an epic costume party, here are some of our favorite spots around the world to celebrate Halloween.
This island country of green pastures and friendly faces may not seem like the epitome of eerie but Ireland is actually the birthplace of what we now call Halloween. Known locally as Samhain Night, the now international candy-coated holiday originated from the traditional Gaelic harvest celebration. This pagan genesis is still around today with rowdy parties, parades and general revelry seen from the streets of Dublin to the quaint countryside every year for several days from October 31st to November 1st.
This location conjures up the mystic and magical and should be on the bucket list for every Halloween lover. The birthplace of Dracula offers tours of the Bran Castle, the legendary location where Vlad the Impaler displayed his enemies on wooden stakes for all to see, immortalizing his reputation for millennia. The city capitalizes on its terrifying past with live music, great food and a multitude of options to explore the area.
Los Angeles, USA
Costumes are essential here with scores of large parties around the city to get your freak on and ring in the holiday with style. Thousands fill the streets in West Hollywood to celebrate the annual Halloween Carnival with vendors, music, entertainment and many local shops and restaurants offering specials. Universal Studios turns into an unreal and undead haunted amusement park every year. For a taste of true ghostly encounters, head to the docked ship Queen Mary in Long Beach. This old cruiseliner rivals the Titanic in size and is said to be actually haunted with staff and visitors reporting an odd assortment of sightings over the years. They play up the image the entire month of October offering terrifying mazes and staff dressed the part.
Mexico celebrates Halloween not as a day for spooks and sorcery but as a vibrant celebration of lost loved ones. Dia de Los Muertos is a multi-day fiesta that incorporates many elements of traditional Mexican culture into a lively and joyful celebration of the dead. Nearly every inch of the country participates in the partying but Oaxaca is well known for keeping the traditions intact and full of life (or death!). The entire town transforms into a merry street party with decorated skulls and golden orange Marigolds billowing from every nook and cranny. The main plaza here hosts drinks and dancing all night – a scene to be seen.
New Orleans, USA
This southern city is known for is lively reputation and has a party atmosphere almost any time of the year. Ghost and paranormal tours happen year round here and Halloween offers the chance to truly scare yourself and then party the night away to ward off evil spirits. Voodoo culture is alive and thriving and many practitioners and wannabe enchanters come out of the swamp and take to the streets as the city bumps and beats its dark heart.Written by Caleb Summeril