Although not every country in the world celebrates Halloween the same way as they do in American movies, you can find similar celebrations taking place all over the world whether it is called Día de Los Muertos, Samhain, All Saint's Day, Dušičky, Pangangaluluwa or even Day of Dracula. So in honour of this spooky holiday, we have prepared for you a couple of destinations that are linked to old legends, ghosts, and unexplained phenomenons. Nevertheless, each of these eerie destinations also allows you to explore its fascinating history, unique architecture and breathtaking nature, so they are a great place to visit even if you are not a fan of spooky stories.
There is no better place to start than Romania – more specifically Transylvania; when it comes to Halloween destinations. Not only is it the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler – who served as an inspiration for the world-famous legend of Dracula; but it is where Hoia-Baciu Forest is located. This forest is better known as the ‚Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania’ since some believe that it is a portal that causes people to disappear. Whether you believe these tales or not, the region’s small medieval towns, which are set within beautiful and serene nature are nonetheless one of the most eerily beautiful places to visit.
2. New Orleans, USA
New Orleans is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the United States since its violent and often tragic past lead to the creation of countless legends about witches, vampires, and ghosts. The city is also intrinsically linked to Voodoo – a set of beliefs and practices connected to nature, spirits, and ancestors that are still seen throughout the city today. The epicentre of most legends lies in the French Quarter, where you will not only find eerie cemeteries and haunted houses but also gorgeous historical buildings, which are often decorated with intricate iron and woodwork. Last but not least, New Orleans is renowned for its street festivals, parades, live music, and flavourful food, which definitely makes it one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.
Although Peru might not be the first place you think of when someone mentions Halloween – it is nonetheless home to one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world – the Nazca Lines. The Nazca lines have been dated back to somewhere between 400 and 600 AD and they consist of large geoglyphs depicting various animals, plants and geometric shapes. As they can only be seen and recognised from a plane or from some of the surrounding hillsides, some believe that they are UFO markings made by aliens. Although their purpose is still disputed, it is more likely that they played a part in Nazca peoples’ religious ceremonies. As if this otherworldly mystery was not enough, you can also find one of the world’s seven wonders here – the Machu Picchu; as well as delicious food and vibrant culture, all of which makes Peru an excellent destination any day of the year.
4. United Kingdom
The next Halloween destination on our list is home to numerous ghost stories, legends as well as the world-famous ‘Nessie’. That is right, we are talking about the United Kingdom. Although you will be able to find various legends and eerie places all over the country – London and Edinburgh are especially suited for a Halloween visit. Not surprisingly many of the ghost stories are closely linked to the Tower of London and the Edinburg Castle as both have had a bloody history as prisons and execution sites. Yet both cities have much more to offer including beautiful historical sites, countless museums and rich traditions. Last but not least, while in Edinburg you can glimpse echoes of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (one of the predecessors of Halloween), London offers a wide spectrum of Halloween celebrations ranging from parades and themed dinners to club events. Either way, you cannot make a mistake by spending Halloween in one of these cities.
Our last recommendation for a Halloween destination is La Isla de las Muñecas (Island of Dolls) just south of Mexico City, between the canals of Xochimico. If you are looking for a truly eerie place to visit, this is it. On this little island, you will find hundreds of dolls and doll parts hanging from trees or scattered across the grass. Although the island is now deserted, it used to be the residence of a man who displayed these toys to ward off evil spirits after he allegedly found a dead girl’s body in a nearby canal. Even if you would rather avoid this island with tragic past and frightening exterior the Xochimico neighbourhood is nonetheless worth seeing – its well-preserved canal and chinampa system from its pre-historic past have even earned it a UNESCO world heritage site status.
So, are you ready to discover one of these eerie places yourself? Whether you would prefer to explore some of the places where old legends were born, stroll through halls where ghosts have been sighted, or see an eerie island in an otherwise beautiful setting, it would be an honour for #tucan to take you on that journey.