From the ghastly and the ghoulish to the truly hair-raising, flight search engine WhichBudget devised a devilish list of the spookiest places to visit this Halloween (31 October).
With its origins in Ireland’s Celtic past, All Hallows Eve marks a time where restless spirits and specters can pass the veil from the spiritual realm to walk the earth, seeking revenge for earthly grievances; so what better place to spend Pagan new year than Ireland. Guaranteed to give you goose bumps, visitors to St Michan’s Church in Dublin have reported a strong ghostly presence, hearing the raspy whisper of hushed voices, muffled screaming and even the shocking touch of ice-cold fingers on their necks. For somewhere to stay, try The Castle Hotel, an elegant and spacious Georgian three-star hotel right in the centre of Dublin that offers welcome relief from the ghosts and ghouls from just €89 per night.
Read also: Top 10 things to see and do in Dublin
Referred to as the Empire of the Dead, Paris’ Catacombs are not for the faint hearted. Ghostly visions and paranormal encounters are not unheard of as visitors descend underground through dimly lit passageways and eerie, labyrinthine tunnels, sometimes never to be seen again… If you survive, treat yourself and stay the night at the four star Hotel de l’Abbaye, from €240 per night where you can spend All Hallows Eve sipping wine and enjoying a French gourmet twist on pumpkin soup.
Read also: Travel Guide: 48 hours in Paris
A location as enchanting and timeless as the vampiric legend it spawned, visit Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania, this Halloween and explore one of folklore’s most famous landmarks. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a bloodcurdling and bewitching tale of a terrifying nocturnal monster who feeds upon the blood of the living. Based upon legends of Vlad Drakuya, otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler; who is said to have torturously murdered his enemies, the novel is a truly horrifying read that perfectly captures Transylvania’s unearthly cloak of mysticism. Casa Cranta in nearby Brasov, offers boutique style accommodation from €70 per night.
Shadowy figures of lost souls lurk in the depths of Edinburgh Castle. With a phantom piper and a headless drummer among the resident ghosts, visitors to the 900-year old fortress have the chance to come face-to-face with what really goes bump in the night. Flickering lights, moving appliances and mysteriously locked doors mean scares don’t stop at the Learmonth Hotel, where poltergeist activity is frequently reported by guests.
Read also: Travel Guide: 24 hours in Edinburgh
An enduring legacy of Ancient Rome, the Colosseum is home to a tremendously macabre history of gruesome slaughter and gory battles. With many meeting particularly grizzly ends within its walls, it is little surprise that guides and visitors have frequently reported witnessing ghostly goings-on; the most common of which being the silhouette of a Roman Soldier silently standing guard. Paranormal activity ranges from the sudden appearance of cold spots and unexplained whispering, to the haunting sound of swords clashing and the thunderous roar of a lion. Discover the Colosseum’s bloody history this Halloween and stay at the Forum Hotel (from €240 per night) and home to a rooftop restaurant that overlooks one of the most beautiful sites in history.
Read also: Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Rome
Prague may be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but its stunning gothic architecture and winding medieval lanes hide a spine-chilling history that is far more mysterious. As an alchemic centre in the Middle Ages, Prague is teeming with ghoulish legends of soul-eating water goblins, headless horsemen, wandering skeletons and, most frightening of all, the tale of The Golem; the giant brought to life by Rabbi Loew to protect the Jewish population, only to turn into an uncontrollable monster. Get lost in a world of mysticism this Halloween and stay in surreal Hotel Jewel (U Klenotníka) in Prague’s centre from €99 per night.
Read also our review of The Nicholas Hotel Residence, Prague