Hey there, OTBT wanderers!
October is nearly over, and the spookiest day of the year is almost here! Between costume parties, scary movie marathons, and trick or treating with the little ones, Halloween traditions are definitely something we look forward to almost all year long. But have you ever considered spending your Halloween immersed in a cultural, historical, or even legendary experience? That’s right – we’re talking about taking a true Halloween-inspired vacation to some of the spookiest places on earth.
So, in honor of October 31st, we’re spotlighting some of the spookiest travel destinations, all based on some of the scariest legends and stories from history, literature, and even popular culture. Here’s our top five picks!
Home of the infamous Salem Witch Trials, this historic New England city is absolutely enchanting. Between the haunted walking tours, living history museums, and witchy-themed shops, Salem is the ultimate pick for historians and Halloween enthusiasts alike. Speaking of Halloween, October is when the town really comes to life – with orange and purple holiday lights, street vendors, costumed parades, and Halloween fireworks. Let’s just say, you’re in for a bewitching time!
Yep, it’s a real place. This hauntingly beautiful Eastern European region feels like a trip back in time – with its lush hardwood forests, medieval landscapes, and wildflower meadows. If you’re really looking to get into the Halloween spirit, be sure to visit Bran, a towering vampiric-looking castle that looks as if Dracula himself has taken up residence there. Alternatively, you can also explore the ruins of Poienari Citadel, which was the real-life home of Vlad Ţepeş, of whom the Dracula legend was based. No matter where you end up, Transylvania is a truly marvelous experience, with plenty of Halloween-inspired activities to sink your teeth into.
Located along the Hudson River just north of Tarrytown, this little New York village may not seem like much at first glance. But if you’re a fan of Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hallow” then you’ll know exactly how this place got its name. From the annual Haunted Hayride to dramatic performances of Irving’s ghostly story, Sleepy Hallow has tons of Halloween events you’ll definitely want to sign up for. So head on over and enjoy some fun – but watch out for the Headless Horseman!
Scotland may be beautiful, but the real thrill lurks deep below the waters. Just 20 miles southwest of Inverness lies Loch Ness, the infamous freshwater loch best known for its alleged sightings of the legendary Loch Ness monster. From its scenic shores, you can see the ruins of Urquhart Castle, a historic fortification with its own legends and myths. If you’re interested in learning more about the ubiquitous monster, however, you’re definitely going to want to check out the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition to read up about Nessie’s many sightings. And while you’re at it, be sure to visit the nearby theme park, Nessieland. You’re sure to have a monstrously good time!
Our last entry on this list may not seem terribly spooky in and of itself. (After all, what’s so scary about Rocky Mountain National Park?) But look closer, and you’ll realize that it’s tied to one of the greatest horror classics of the modern era. This town is home to Stanley Hotel, more commonly known as the Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s 1977 novel, The Shining. This historic 142-room hotel became the inspiration for this ghostly tale, after King and his wife booked a stay for the night and discovered they were the only guests there. Since then, the hotel has embraced its haunted reputation, offering nightly spirit tours, murder mystery dinners, and masquerade balls during the month of October. So go on and book your stay, and remember – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Which of these spooky locales enchants you the most? Let us know the comments below!
Happy Halloween, OTBT wanderers!
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