Halloween is one of those holidays that either you love or you tolerate. In my case, I love elements of the celebration. I am not fussed on the gory or scary side of it. I’m more into the supernatural and whimsical side. To put it in another way, I prefer the Halloween happenings that come with Hocus Pocus, Hotel Transylvania, and the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown more so than the Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, zombie type of stuff. The world has a flurry of haunted and spooky landmarks that bring out even the closet Halloween enthusiasts to see if they will come face to face with a ghost, a goblin, or poltergeist. Here’s our ultimate list of halloween happenings to check out across the world to get that spook factor into your October and fulfill your Halloween bucket list.

The ultimate list of spooky Halloween happenings around the world
The ultimate list of spooky Halloween happenings around the world

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Spooky and Haunted Halloween Happenings around the World

Head to Salem Massachusetts

Recommended by Fill My Passport

Salem is such a quirky city to visit in Massachusetts! It has all the fun things you could want for a memorable Halloween celebration, mixed with a humbling history that brought innocent people to their untimely demise through misunderstanding and speculation. Salem is the setting for the infamous Witch trials of the 1600’s that left victims dead for the public thinking they were witches. While in the city, make sure you ride the trolley, tour the House of Seven Gables where the book of the same name and the Scarlett Letter were written, learn the history of the trials at the Witch Museum, pay respects at the cemetery, do a Hocus Pocus pilgrimage with seeing the filming locations of Disney’s epic tale of the Sanderson Sisters, and have a witchy potion drink at the Witch’s Brew. Bewitched fan? Check out the Hawthorne Hotel where you can see original photos of the cast when they stayed on site filming the Salem Saga, and pose with Samantha Stephens at the end of the street.

With Samantha Stephens in Salem Massachusetts
With Samantha Stephens in Salem Massachusetts

 

Salem Witch Memorial. Pay your respects within the many Halloween Happenings in Salem Massachusetts
Salem Witch Memorial. Pay your respects within the many Halloween Happenings in Salem Massachusetts

Check out the Queen Mary in California

Recommended by Jennifer and Ed of Coleman Concierge

Time Magazine declared the Queen Mary the World’s Most Haunted Ship for many good reasons. Today, she is anchored off the California coast in Long Beach Harbour. You can book a room for a night or come to one of their specialty themed ghost encounters based upon the reported hauntings on the ship.

Check out the Halloween Happenings on the Queen Mary this year
Check out the Halloween Happenings at the Queen Mary this year
Credit: Coleman Concierge

Even though the Queen Mary was built to be a luxury liner (she was the sister ship to the Titanic), her first duty was as a troopship in WWII. Her first duty was as a troopship. She would ferry US soldiers to England and German POWs back to America.

Occasionally, Winston Churchill himself would take the Queen Mary for important wartime meetings. During one of these trips, The Queen Mary sliced the light cruiser Curacoa, one of her support vessels, in half. Since she was carrying “important cargo,” she couldn’t slow down to offer aid. This event is why supernatural experts believe the bow is the most haunted place on the ship.

Other haunts include the boiler room, the first-class pool, and room B340. These haunted tales come to life during the Halloween spectacular Dark Harbour and the year-round hi-tech Ghosts and Legends Tour. Between the ghost stories and the gilded age elegance, there’s plenty to see on the Queen Mary.

 

Visit Jim Morrison at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Recommended by Carol of Wayfaring Views

So much of Paris is pretty- pretty museums, pretty streets and pretty cafes. It’s worth putting Pére-Lachaise cemetery on your Paris itinerary so that you can experience the grittier, darker side of Paris.

The Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
Credit: Wayfaring Views

The cemetery reads like an epic historical novel, presenting a conflicting mix of love, loss, neglect and nature. It’s a moody setting with mature trees climbing out of the carefully tended graves and crumbling crypts. Pere-Lachaise houses a ghostly panoply of the Parisian artist class, with poets, philosophers, writers, singers and painters taking up residence. You’ll find Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Moliére,  Balzac, Camille Pisarro, Isadora Duncan and 100 other notable creatives living out their eternity in the graveyard.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery- Jim Morrison's grave. The lead singer of the band The Doors
Pere Lachaise Cemetery- Jim Morrison’s grave. The lead singer of the band The Doors

These artists didn’t go peacefully into the night. Oscar Wilde died of meningitis after being imprisoned and exiled from Ireland for being gay. Jim Morrison had heart failure from a heroin overdose. Poor Isadora Duncan was strangled by her own scarf in a bizarre car accident. You can’t hide from your mortality at Pére-Lachaise, but the lovely peaceful setting there is a good place to help you face it.

 

Check out the Halloween Happenings in New Orleans

Recommended by Samantha of My Flying Leap

New Orleans’ reputation is a city that knows how to party, but there’s a darker side lurking below the surface as it’s also known as the most haunted city in America. Many cities challenge that distinction but only New Orleans has the added lure of voodoo to spice it up.

Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, was a practitioner of voodoo in the early 1800s. She earned notoriety for saving condemned men from the gallows, telling fortunes, and healing the sick.

Visit New Orleans this Halloween
Visit New Orleans this Halloween
Credit: Monica Sorensen

People claim to see her walking down the street where she once lived in a long white dress wearing her trademark turban headdress. She has also been seen in the cemetery where she was buried, among other places.

Visitors leave offerings of coins, beads, and candles at her grave marked with XXX, and many believe her spirit may be invoked to grant a wish by knocking three times on the slab.

Was Marie a voodoo priestess that still haunts New Orleans? New Orleans is beckoning you to find out.

 

Head to Whitby in North Yorkshire

Recommended by Faith of XYU and Beyond

In 1890 Bram Stoker made a fateful visit to Whitby in North Yorkshire. Stoker was returning from an exhausting tour of Scotland and was working on a new novel called Count Wampyr set in Styria, Austria.

Stoker could not have missed the atmospheric ruin of Whitby Abbey sitting high on the windswept hill above Whitby. The haunting ruin which could only be reached by a climb of 199 steps sits beside an ancient parish church and is reputed to be haunted by a Benedictine nun who might have been the Anglian Princess Hild who founded the Abbey in 657.

For some fun Halloween happenings in the UK, check out Whitby in Norty Yorkshire
For some fun Halloween happenings in the UK, check out Whitby in Norty Yorkshire
Credit: XYU and Beyond

Stoker had walked the grounds of the gothic Whitby Abbey and taken those 199 steps down to the library in the town. It was here in the library that he found the story of Vlad the Impaler and the name Dracula which means “son of the dragon” from a history book.

According to the history of Wallachia and Moldovia Dracula in the Wallachian language means Devil and so the story was born and six years later the book was published.

 

Walk through the Central Burying Ground in Boston MA

Recommended by Crystal of Wandering Crystal

The Central Burying Ground in Boston is haunted. One of the oldest cemeteries in the city, it was built to deal with overcrowding and was used as a burial place for many impoverished citizens. When a destitute person died, their body would be left for eternity in an unmarked grave. This sorrow of so many anonymous burial sites fills the air as you walk along the paths.

Central Burying Ground Boston
Central Burying Ground Boston.
Credit: Wandering Crystal

During the construction of a new subway, a mass grave site was revealed close to the graveyard. Following the disrespect of displacing the buried bodies, paranormal activity began to transpire.

Many visitors have witnessed the spirit of a little girl wearing a ragged white dress. She’s often seen standing amongst the broken tombstones, watching visitors as they pass. People have reported feeling the touch of a cold hand on their skin after seeing her spirit roaming the grounds. Be sure to be on the lookout for her on your visit!

 

Visit the La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Recommended by Shelley of Travel-Stained

La Recoleta Cemetery is an incredible “city of the dead,” covering 14 acres of Buenos Aires’ affluent Recoleta district. Inside its labyrinth of streets, you’ll find almost 4700 tombs, coffins, crypts and mausolea so extravagant, it’s hard to believe your eyes. A full 94 of them are so important, they’ve been designated as National Historic Monuments by the State.

La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
Credit: Travel-Stained

Stone angels gaze up beseechingly, grand cupolas mark the sky, and marble tombs hide the remains of Argentina’s rich and famous. They include former presidents, Nobel Laureates, winning athletes, and brilliant authors, but perhaps the most celebrated of them all, is Eva Peron. Evita’s surprisingly humble crypt is hidden deep inside the heart of the cemetery, and always adorned with fresh flowers.

If your goal is to get spooked (this is a cemetery after all), look out for David Alleno’s vault. Local legend claims that you can hear the sound of the gravedigger’s keys, as he haunts the narrow streets of La Recoleta Cemetery at dawn.

 

Marvel at the Bhangarh Fort in India

Recommended by Shalini of Eager2Travel

The Bhangarh Fort is a 17th century fort built in Rajasthan, India. The fort is situated Aravali range of hills in the Alwar district. The nearest village is Gola Ka Bas and the nearest airport is Jaipur.

Bhangarh Fort in India is a great spot to visit this Halloween
Bhangarh Fort in India is a great spot to visit this Halloween
Credit: Eager2Travel

History and Architecture: The fort was built by Bhagwant Das for his younger son Mado Singh I. Apart from the main gate, there are four more entry gates. The fort is now mostly in ruins. At the main gate there are many Hindu temples like Hanuman Temple, Gopinath Temple and Mangla Devi Temple.

Legends of the fort: The beautiful princess of Bhangarh, Ratnavati got the unwanted attention a wizard. One day, he followed her to the marketplace and tried giving her love potion and she didn’t take it. She threw it on a rock, which fell on the wizard and he died. It is said that his dark spirit still roams the hall of the fort.

 

Head to the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel

Recommended by Alexa of 52 Perfect Days

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel sits on 22 acres of beachfront property, but it’s not just fun in the sun when you visit this Hawaiian paradise. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel is said to be one of the most haunted locations on the island of Oahu.
Workers and visitors both say they have witnessed the spirit of a woman in a red Mu’u’mu’ (Hawaiian dress) dancing in the hotel, wandering among the many hotel hallways, and along its nearby beach. All who have glimpsed her say she then will disappear into thin air.
The Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel as some great Halloween Happenings for travellers
The Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel as some great Halloween Happenings for travellers
Credit: 52 Perfect Days
Some people say this spirit or ghost is the fire goddess Madame Pele, while others say this is a village Kupuna (elder), as the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel sits on what was once an old Hawaiian fishing village. Others say it is the spirit of a woman who was killed on the premises.

 

The Great Jack O ’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson

Recommended by James of Travel Collecting

One of the best Halloween destinations in the world is the Great Jack O ’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson, just north of New York City.  If you are in NYC, this is an easy excursion.  The Blaze consists of more than 7,000 hand-carved jack o’ lanterns are arranged in elaborate displays.  There is a Statue of Liberty made of pumpkins, a carousel, an underwater scene, a spooky graveyard, a whirling windmill, the signs of the zodiac and many, many more.

Great Jack O Lantern Blaze just outside NYC is a great place to go for Halloween
Great Jack O Lantern Blaze just outside NYC is a great place to go for Halloween
Credit: Travel Collecting

Tickets are timed for entry, but then you take as long as you want wandering along the pathways past one incredible display after another, all accompanied by spooky music.  There is also a “Museum of Pumpkin Art” where famous paintings are recreated in pumpkins; a shop; and an eating area where you can shelter from the fall chill with cider donuts and hot chocolate.  The Blaze is open from late September to the end of November.  Check out this and other fall activities in the Hudson Valley here.

 

Head to Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh

Recommended by Nicola of FunkyEllas Travel

Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, is packed full of historic buildings, streets and monuments so its easy to see why spending Halloween here is pretty perfect. There are dungeons, castles, underground vaults and even a whole underground street and the many ghost and ghouls tours are the ideal way to see them. While these tours are created to give you a fright there are some places in Edinburgh that are naturally scary and one of those is Greyfriars Kirkyard.
For more historical Halloween Happenings, check out Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh
For more historical Halloween Happenings, check out Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh
Credit: FunkyEllas Travel
With graves dating back to the 16th century it would be weird if there wasn’t a wee ghost or two and apparently that’s exactly what you’ll find if you visit in the evening. The ornate and intricately detailed tombs and stones are fascinating and you could easily spend a couple of hours reading the inscriptions. It’s here you’ll find the grave of the real Tom Riddle from Harry Potter and the ‘worst poet in history’, William McGonagall, who’s name inspired Miss McGonagall in the books too. If you visit Greyfriars you can’t not stop and say hello to Greyfriars Bobby, the statue of the loyal little dog who lay by the grave of his owner for 13 years! He is situated right outside the graveyard but please don’t rub his nose. It won’t bring you luck, it’ll just wear his little nose away.

 

Check out the Eastern State Penitentiary

Recommended by Sean of Living Out Lau

Eastern State Penitentiary, rated as one of the top 10 most haunted places in America by TIME, has become one of the most popular places to visit for Halloween. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadpedia was the first prison to institute solitary confinement, meaning the inmates lived alone, ate alone, and did everything alone.

Check out the Eastern-State Penitentiary this Halloween
Check out the Eastern-State Penitentiary this Halloween
Credit: Living Out Lau

They were never given the chance to have any kind of social interaction with anyone else. Even when they were going for a walk, the prison guards would put a bag over their heads so they cannot see. Unsurprisingly, this type of practice had a tremendous impact on the mental well-being of the inmates, with many of them going insane. Nowadays, it is a popular tourist destination for people to visit and learn about the history of that place. Eastern State Penitentiary also provides a unique Halloween haunted house experience called terror behind the walls. It is one of the best places to take the whole family and have an amazing and unforgettable time.

Visit the Sedlec Ossuary

Recommended by Riana of Teaspoon of Adventure

If you’re interested in haunted places, you should pay a visit to the Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, just 30 minutes outside of Prague. An ossuary is a room or box where the bones of dead people are placed. But in the Sedlec Ossuary, these bones have become art. The remains of 40,000-70,000 lie in the Sedlec Ossuary as a macabre art project.

The Sedlec Ossuary is a must for any Halloween trip
The Sedlec Ossuary is a must for any Halloween trip
Credit: Teaspoon of Adventure

The church was built in the 1400s and was used as an ossuary starting in 1510. But it wasn’t until 1870 that woodcarver František Rint began turning those bones into a work of art. Today, visitors to Kutna Hora flock to the Sedlec Ossuary to see Rint’s handiwork. His art includes a giant chandelier that has at least one of every bone in the human body, a large chalice and a coat of arms. There’s also the artist’s signature, made out of bones, of course! While it sounds a little creepy, it’s actually very cool! It’s fascinating to see how the bones have been turned into art and how creatively they have been displayed. Of course, we visited during the day. Perhaps if you visit at night, things could get spookier!

 

Grab a Pint at the Shakespeare Pub

Recommended by Ana of Ana Travels

We went out for a drink after a day of sightseeing in Durham. A sign outside a pub in the city centre sparked my curiosity. One of England’s most haunted pubs? Yes, please! The ground floor room was small and cosy. We sat down and started chatting with a local man and the landlord. The building dates back to the year 1109.

The Shakespeare Pub in Durham England is a must on your Halloween trip
The Shakespeare Pub in Durham England is a must on your Halloween trip
Credit: Ana Travels

There was an inn called the Ostler and Groom here in 1468. Lots of stories and lots of people came and went through the door. I started feeling hot. The heating had kicked in of its own accord. When I mentioned that, the landlord neither confirmed nor denied the fact that no one had turned it on. Is The Shakespeare a haunted place? No idea, but it certainly feels like it.

 

Check out the Halloween Happenings on the Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour

Recommended by Vicky of Real Travels with V

Do you believe or not believe? Either way, the Eureka Springs, AR ghost tour offered at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa will have you in suspense. The hotel is known to be the most haunted hotel in America!

Each night visitors tour the Victorian hotel’s most active paranormal locations, including its morgue. You will learn the hotel’s history serving as a hotel, a college for girls, and even as a cancer “hospital!”

The Crescent Moon Hotel Ghost Tour
The Crescent Moon Hotel Ghost Tour
Credit: Real Travels with V

Most interesting is the story of Dr. Baker’s cancer “hospital”. It was a scam! They have even discovered jars of human remains which are now on display in Dr. Baker’s morgue.

You will hear spooky tales of people such as Michael; the young man who loves women! Stories of Dr. Baker’s head nurse. Hopefully, she likes you because if she doesn’t, she will pack your bags so you leave!

For an evening of haunted tales, attend the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa’s ghost tour in Eureka Springs, AR located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. To believe or not to believe? That is up to you!

 

Head to Le Cercueil

Recommended by Sophie of Bitten by the Bug

About 100 meters from Grand Place, Le Cercueil is one of Brussels’ quirkiest bars that is Halloween-themed all year long. Its façade features strange objects like a skeleton witch on a broom, skeleton newlyweds guarding their beer bottles, a skeleton dog in a wooden beer crate… There is obviously a common theme here! Come in through the dark alley to further explore this very unusual bar.

Le Cercueil is a must for your Halloween trip
Le Cercueil is a must for your Halloween trip
Credit: Bitten by the Bug

Once your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, you’ll notice there are actually no tables in this bar as they’ve all been replaced by wooden coffins. (‘Cercueil’ is French for ‘coffin’) On the walls you’ll find creepy paintings and other weird objects. As for the drinks, you can have a beer called Tête de Mort (‘skull’) in a skull-shaped glass or a beer cocktail served in a skull-shaped mug. There is also a large variety of cocktails with names like sex in the coffin, devil’s sperm, vampire blood… Which one are you having?

 

Visit the Infamous Bran Castle

Recommended by Corina of Another Milestone

If you are searching for a good place to spend Halloween, what better option do you have than Transylvania, the land of the best-known vampire of all, Dracula? And not just any place in Transylvania – the home of Dracula, the famous Bran Castle known as Dracula’s castle. Bran castle, a medieval fortress built to defend the border of Transylvania played an important role over the years. When Bram Stoker wrote his novel, Dracula, he used a picture of Bran castle as inspiration for Dracula’s castle. Since then, the castle located in the heart of Romania became a pilgrimage place for Dracula’s fans around the globe.

Visit Bran Castle - one of the most famous spots for Halloween
Visit Bran Castle – one of the most famous spots for Halloween
Credit: Another Milestone

Each year Halloween is celebrated here with a big party, creative costumes and creepy tours of the castle. Ghosts, spirits and other dark creatures dance all night long and guests all over the world come here to enjoy together the spookiest day of the year.

 

Check out Olšany Cemetery in Prague

Recommended by Dagney of Cultura Obscura

The Olsany Cemetery one of the most important Prague cemeteries  The cemetery was initially opened in 1680 to help house plague victims. However, today it is the largest and oldest public cemetery in Prague.

Olsany is a beautiful cemetery no matter when you visit. But if you are lucky enough to visit on All Saint’s Day (November 2nd in the Czech Republic), you will see the graves covered in candles as thousands of Czechs come to pay their respects to lost loved ones.

Olsany Cemetery in Prague is a must see Halloween Destination
Olsany Cemetery in Prague is a must see Halloween Destination
Credit: Cultura Obscura

The cemetery itself is actually divided into 12 sections, some for different religions (there are Christian Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim sections within), while others have to do with the military and war.

Whatever you do, though, be careful not to trip on anything, or you might be attacked Bloody Knee! Bloody Knee is a shy vampire who waits for his victims to trip and scrape their knees so he can run up and lick the blood.

 

Loftus Hall

Recommended by Catherine of Traveling with the Littles

Loftus Hall is located in Co. Wexford, on the Hook peninsula, in the southeast corner of Ireland. Loftus Hall is a mansion located on the road leading out to the Hook Head Lighthouse.  The Hook peninsula rain-battered, bleak, and is literally at the end of the earth. Loftus Hall is at the end of a long drive, and as you drive up, it has an eerie and unnerving presence. It was built in 1350 and became known as Loftus Hall in the 1650’s when the Loftus family took up residence.

Loftus Hall is a great spot to visit over Halloween
Loftus Hall is a great spot to visit over Halloween
Credit: Traveling with the Littles

Legend has it that during a storm in the 1770’s a stranger visited Loftus Hall.  One of the residents, Anne Tottenham, was particularly taken with the stranger and they spent some time together.  One evening they were playing cards, and Anne bent down to pick up a card and noticed that the stranger had hoofed feet.  Upon seeing this sight, the stranger burst into a ball of flames and shot through the roof.  Anne is said to have subsequently gone crazy, and the house is said to be visited by the Devil and haunted by Anne’s ghost.  The house is open for public tours and adult-only experiences.  They also do a Halloween paranormal event.

 

Visit The Rose Hall Great House in Jamaica

Recommended by Kacie of The Rare Welsh Bit

Highly regarded as one of the most interesting things to do in Jamaica, Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay has an eerie atmosphere that gives you that constant feeling of being watched by unseen eyes.

Built on a former plantation, this magnificent 18th Century mansion house was once home to white witch, Annie Palmer. Annie married three times and ended up killing all of her husbands while in the house, as well as having love affairs with her slaves (many of whom she also tortured).

The Rose Hall Great House in Jamaica is a must this Halloween
The Rose Hall Great House in Jamaica is a must this Halloween
Credit: The Rare Welsh Bit

Eventually, Annie met her fate when she was murdered by one of her slaves and her body now rests in a tomb in the garden. However, according to legend, Annie’s ghost still roams throughout Rose Hall and many visitors have reported sightings of her to this day.

Check out Stanley Hotel in Estes Park

Recommended by Kaisa of Glam Granola Travel

What better place to spend Halloween than a hotel that gave Stephen King himself the willies? Look no further than the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining!

As the story goes, King was suffering from a bad case of writer’s block… until he stayed at the creepily deserted Stanley Hotel in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. From the antique bathrooms, to the Victorian dining room, to the infamous Room 217 where King stayed, the world’s most iconic horror writer was eerily captivated by this place.

Stanley Hotel in Estes Park should be on your Halloween Bucket List
Stanley Hotel in Estes Park should be on your Halloween Bucket List
Credit: Glam Granola Travel

You can stay here all year round, but on Halloween there is a masquerade ball and concert. Book early for this experience; it’s obviously pretty popular, and the $150 tickets sell out quickly. 

Whether you’re celebrating Halloween at the Stanley Hotel, or want to be a Shining purist and book a room in the middle of February, check out the Historic Stanley Night Tour! You’ll see places featured on shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. And obviously, you can’t miss romping around in the hedge maze. You don’t need to actually stay at the Stanley to enjoy any of these experiences, either, which is especially great for budget travelers!

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Add these incredible haunted and whimsical destinations for some of the best Halloween Happenings on your trip
Add these incredible haunted and whimsical destinations for some of the best Halloween Happenings on your trip

 

Add these incredible haunted and whimsical destinations for some of the best Halloween Happenings on your trip
Add these incredible haunted and whimsical destinations for some of the best Halloween Happenings on your trip