What to know about Halloween

While things may be going bump in the night, Halloween is really a time for fun and excitement. For families it’s one of the most enjoyable and silly days of the year with kitsch, spooky decorations, costumes and, of course, trick or treating. Halloween has been celebrated on the 31st of October for hundreds of years and has its origins in pagan festivals honouring the dead. In modern times it was been co-opted into Christendom celebrations of the night before the feast of “All Hallow’s” – hence Halloween. Today it is a chance for celebrations of all things spooky and a chance to let our hair out with costumes, friends, family and plenty of chocolate.

Top 5 Halloween destinations

What to know about Halloween
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Yorkshire - England

England

We’ll start in our own spooky country with dark, gloomy but beautiful Yorkshire. The UK is awash with scary destinations for Halloween with castles in Wales, dungeons in London and celebrations throughout the country. However, for an experience to make your hair crawl we have to recommend Yorkshire. At this time of year the landscape take on an eerie feel with the beautiful dales and rugged coast providing the perfect setting for a Halloween escape. The best spot for a scary evening is Whitby Abbey; which was part of the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and sits isolated on the moors overlooking the Yorkshire coast. Throughout the county there are castles to explore, misty moors to walk and plenty of myths and legends to give you the chills! It’s a fun destination for all the family and well worth considering for a short Halloween escape.


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Transylvania - Romania

Romania

We couldn’t possibly leave Transylvania off our list as it epitomises horror in all its grisly brilliance. The setting of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is legendary and you can have great fun exploring the myths, legends and the facts on a trip here. This is the best romantic Halloween getaway in the world. The Carpathian Mountains create a wonderful scene around Bran Castle, the home of Vlad the Impaler, and the beauty of the region creates a stark contrast with its dark legacy. The 14th century castle is the biggest attraction but in the area you can hike, walk and enjoy moonlit dinners whilst gazing out at the bleak but elegant mountain landscape; often bathed in early snow at this time of year.


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Salem – Massachusetts

Massachusetts

Americans celebrate Halloween with a huge amount of energy and vigour. They go all out for costumes, decorations and kitsch family fun; which means the US is the best destination in the world for family Halloween holidays. Of all the great places to spend Halloween in the US Salem is the best. It was the legendary location of the Salem Witch Trials which now form the locus of Halloween celebrations in the area. There’s a parade, re-enactments of witch trials, and bonfires; as well as psychic readings, ghost tours and exhibits. It makes for an incredible historical experience and is also a huge amount of fun for families or groups as the activities on offer are incredible. Salem itself is a beautiful place and, in the local area, you can explore the Pirate Museum, the Witch Museum and a whole host of historical and Halloween attractions.


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Prague – The Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Prague may not have the overt celebrations, and over the top Halloween atmosphere, of our other destinations but it is filled with scary sights and is a wonderful, romantic and historically rich city. In terms of spooky sights you can take a ghost tour of the local area, visit the castle at night or head outside the city to the Bone Chapel at Kutna Hora – a small chapel decorated with the bones of nearly 40,000 people! Prague is a beautiful Halloween destination and perfect for a short romantic break or a family city break with its ornate bridges, looming castle and world famous clock tower.


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Disney – Europe and the US

Europe and the US

Disney theme parks put on great shows for all the biggest celebrations each year and Halloween is no different. In Disneyworld the day is celebrated with a Mickey Mouse Halloween parade; while neighbouring Universal Studios puts on a spectacular, and slightly scarier, after hours fright fest. In Euro Disney they also have a Halloween Parade which is great fun for all ages - and won’t lead to sleepless nights for anyone! The parks are great fun and you can visit the haunted mansions or just scare yourself silly on the rides!


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