Our mental image of the All Hallows Eve is associated with weird costumes, dramatic face dos, trick-r-treating, diabetic amount of candies and mischievous deeds. People tend to get into eerily spooky moods and go overboard in making others’ skin crawl with elaborate scare tactics. Boo! ‘Come on, please I wanna be divergent this Halloween!’ If you exclaimed, then we have a few ideas right up our alley that we can spot you.
Ever since the entire world has become engrossed in Halloween celebrations, everyone in the running is trying to show one up to the others in who’s got the biggest, best and coolest celebrations of all! So, just as us earthlings are about to descend into the All Hallows Eve madness, we decided to bring to you GoDiscoverAbroad’s very own curated picks of destinations with the best of Halloween spooks!
Here’s a list of some of the best places to celebrate Halloween honoring the holiday in all its glory-
Nobel Prize-winning writer Octavio Paz wrote that, while death remains taboo around the world, “the Mexican frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it, it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love.” Dia de Los Muertos or the Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico, Spain, and Latin America. Hispanics believe that it is a day when their deads pay them a visit and the spirits reunite with their families for a day on this eve. Spine-tingling concept right! The names Janitzio, Oaxaca, Mixquic etc. are all synonymous when it comes extravagant celebrations on these 3 days, starting from 31st of October. Locals and tourists alike flock to these places to take part in the grand processions. Heavily decorated floats, folk dancing and music, cemetery vigils and cardboard coffin parades are a few of them out of the ordinary practices. More exciting would be the affair if you get to experience it with a local in the traditional way.
The people prepare special meals for their ancestors and the dead and also set out beds and blankets for the spirits will also be resting on them. Spook alert if you feel a cold icy arm spooning you in the middle of the night! And if you’ve been wondering what’s up with so many skulls in these parades? Fancy skull art, skull printed dresses, sugar skulls are all an important part of the tradition and is a playful representation of life and death. You’d never find a bare sugar skull without any eatable decoration as the colors are used to reflect life, the thing that is celebrated through this festival. So go on, get yourself some a few good colors and practice a skull face on yourself if you wanna perfect it by the All Saints Eve.
2. Sleepy Hollow, NY- USA
Sleepy Hollow, the name itself sends a chill down your spine. The grounds of Washington Irving’s famous legend the Headless Horseman, Sleepy Hollow has been immortalized in the paranormal community through History and is one of the best places to get your spooks on during Halloween. Johnny Depp’s paranormal movie with the same name as the town paints a cold and shivering picture of the place and also glorifies the famous legend of the Horseman going around collecting heads. The creepy vibe still exists in the town. Traces of Halloween can be traced through the entirety of October in this place. Be it the 3 centuries old Philipsburg Manor or the Lyndhurst Castle, each will take you through a scary run of its own. Some other haunted activities include haunted hayrides, parades, lantern tours, fairs and also visiting some famous spirits like that of the Mummy, The Frankenstein Monster and of course The Phantom of the Opera.
Don’t forget to keep the Old Dutch Burying Ground in your itinerary for the Halloween eve. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in the USA and you will also have a chance to visit the grave of Washington Irving and live his spine-chilling legend of the Horseman all too close!! Also, a special mention to The Village Halloween Parade held in Greenwich Village which is the largest celebrations on this eve in the USA. When in NYC already, why miss out on this?
3. New Orleans, Louisiana- USA
New Orleans is one American city that is always found immersed in some kind of celebrations with parades and processions being as if a part of their daily affair. And Halloween is one of their biggest affairs! The city’s long known association with Voodoo and witchcraft has led to the creation of some timeless legends which are still lived through the locals and their beliefs. The same has been reflected on by the Television series called ‘The Originals’ set in the French Quarter. Do give it a watch if you want to get into full swing Louisiana vibe before dropping in for the dramatic Halloween celebrations. Home to one the most famous cemeteries in the world, it makes for a freaky stop on your tour of the haunted city.
With some of the best Haunted houses, paranormal tours, and the flamboyant Annual Halloween Parade, New Orleans makes for one of the best places to have an all-out Halloween experience. Frenchmen Street witnesses one of the biggest Halloween parties where people take the party to the street even. Also, don’t forget to check out the Vampire Ball and the Voodoo Music Festival when in town!
4. Salem, Massachusetts- USA
Forget about warts and broomsticks when you think of witches for Salem celebrates the coolest of witches. A town wrote down in American history for witch trials and public executions, the town celebrates its own version of Halloween with the Salem’s Festival of the Dead. If you want to take a walk down the lanes of history then you can drop in at the Witch House Museum. This site is the only building left with a direct link to the witch trials as it was the home of one of the Judges associated with it. With plenty of witchcraft fairs and shows, fireworks and parades, the town also has its fair share of infamously haunted spots that you need to keep on your to-do list when in Salem. Also, don’t forget about the Salem Witches’ Ball which is a truly a highlight of the celebrations on the Halloween eve.
5. Long Beach, California- USA
If having a hair-raising scare trip is all about the Halloween eve for you, what would be a better place than one of the most haunted places in the world? The old cruise liner Queen Mary still creaks and groans and sends chills down the spine of every one of its visitors. Permanently docked off Long Beach in California, every year October the ships hosts Halloween special events and activities called the Dark Harbor.
It is the ultimate scream fest with elaborate mazes inside the ship and with over 200 monsters lurking in the shadows of those mazes. The ship is also said to be haunted by some actual spirits of crews which further adds on to the eerie feeling aboard the old musty ship. Scaredy cats, if you dare to take on this challenge and not lose your faculties when one of the gory looking monsters jump you or when you hear a child crying from the dark corner, then this is the place for you to get your share of Halloween scares. It is a really cool experience for thrill seekers and also a unique place to celebrate Halloween.
Halloween is a night when our childish nightmares take shapes and bring us the memories of those long nights thinking about the monster under the bed. On a more somber note, it is also a day of remembering and celebrating the spirits of the people passed and a chance to reunite with lost loved ones. Amidst old customs, new fun traditions and some light-hearted scare games, Halloween has come to be one of the most popular world Holidays and thus one of the best time to explore these many destinations.
GoDiscoverAbroad’s custom holidays trips in Mexico and USA would be perfect for you to hop over to these ‘creep-stops’ and make the most of your Halloween abroad. So no more waiting, just get clicking and book your trip NOW!