These days, when we think about Halloween, what often comes to mind are spooky costumes, scary decorations, and lots of sweets. However, there’s so much more history to this holiday than we realise. In fact, Halloween originated in Ireland more than 2000 years ago, when the ancient pagans celebrated the Samhain festival on the day the dead would return to walk the Earth.
Turn off the lights, take a seat on your cozy sofa and get ready to take a tour around the world with our ideas for the best destinations to celebrate Halloween.
As we mentioned above, Ireland is where Halloween originated, so it’s no a surprise that the Irish celebrate Halloween in great style. Traditions often include bonfires, fortune-telling, eating fruitcakes, and, of course, dressing up. The biggest Halloween festival in Europe is hosted in Derry City, where you can enjoy haunted houses, costume parades, horror-story telling and, of course, people of all ages dressed with the spookiest costumes.
Much like Ireland, Scotland has Celtic roots and also many traditions related to Samhain. Halloween is such an important part of Scottish culture that it has become the subject of many poems, most famously ‘Halloween’ by Robert Burns. If you plan to visit Scotland for Halloween, make sure you don’t miss Edinburgh. Edinburgh is considered to be a haunted spot in Scotland, with many ghost tours to join and also plenty of horror tours taking you to graveyards and undergrounds of the city.
What better place to celebrate Halloween that the home of the world’s most famous vampire, Dracula? The Bran Castle is located in Transylvania, near the city of Brasov. This spectacular castle is a must-see place in Romania. You can attend a party at Dracula’s castle with a night tour and dinner. In nearby Brasov, there is also a Dracula film festival and a Zombie walk. With fairytale castles, rolling black hills and ancient cathedrals, Transylvania is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Halloween.
NEW ORLEANS – USA
Considered one of the most haunted cities in America, New Orleans is famous for its spooky locations. With a deep connection to the occult, New Orleans is the perfect Halloween destination. There are various events and parties to enjoy across the season, including the famous Vampire Ball, the Voodoo Music Festival and the Halloween Spooktacular Family concert. Don’t miss the parades on Bourbon Street and the ghost tours of the historic French Quarter!
SALEM – USA
Well-known for its 17th-century witch hunts, Salem has attracted fans of the macabre for many years. This coastal city celebrates Halloween in style, with events spread out across the entire month, starting with a fabulous parade in early October and ending with a fireworks display on Halloween night. There are also a lot of carnival rides, paranormal tours and other family-friendly events. Visitors can also participate in the festival of the dead and attend the famous Witches’ Halloween Ball.