October 31, 2017

5 spooky places to spend Halloween around the world

The origins of All Hallows’ Eve can be traced back to Samhain, an ancient Celtic pagan festival. In modern times it is celebrated on the 31st of October and marks the time in the year to remember the dead, including saints (the hallowed) and martyrs. The costume parties, jack-o-lanterns and trick or treating that we associate with Halloween only become popular in the late 19th century.

Here are a few ideas from our partners at The Travel Corporation on spellbinding destinations to be on Halloween…

Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic

Like the most unsettling scenes from a horror movie, the Sedlec Ossuary will be something you see in your nightmares for days to come.

Photo © AdobeStock / Alexandr Chernyshov

Also called the Church of Bones, this perplexing chapel is adorned by more than 40,000 human skeletons that make up every part of the décor, including a coat of arms and a chandelier that contains at least one of every human bone.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Sedlec Ossuary on Trafalgar’s 10-day Prague, Vienna and Budapest itinerary through four of Central Europe's epicentres of culture and arts. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.

Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania

Known throughout the world as “Dracula’s Castle”, Bran Castle has been widely purported to have been a source of eerie inspiration for Bram Stoker when writing his iconic novel Dracula (despite the author never having seen it in person).

Wander through the 600-year-old gothic fortress into dark, stonewalled secret staircases and cavernous rooms once occupied by Romanian royalty. Explore its haunting intrigue, mystery and learn about the ghosts of the fictitious undead and the cryptic local evil spirits called “strigoi” that seem to resemble vampires.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit Bran Castle on Insight Vacation’s 18-day Treasure of The Balkans journey where you’ll get to discover the myths and legends of Dracula. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.

Witches Market, Bolivia

 Boasting brews and potions that exact revenge on a cheating spouse – or aid in seeking an abundance of wealth – the Witches Market in La Paz, Bolivia, is a treasure trove of the weird, the ritualistic and the macabre.

Photo © Adobestock / Scottiebumich 

Selling their wares are the yatiri, the last witch doctors in South America, who wander through the stalls, offering to perform pagan rituals on anyone who needs a little magic in their lives.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Witches Market in La Paz on Contiki’s new 13-day Bella Bolivia adventure. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.

The Forbidden City, China

 It’s near impossible to have a 600-year history devoid of a few bone-chilling tales, and the Forbidden City is not exempt. Centuries of assassinations have made for a myriad of ghost sightings, including a weeping woman in white, long believed to have been a murdered concubine.

Visitors are invited to look into a well haunted by a suicide, but be forewarned that something blood-curdling might be looking back. Lore has it that precautions have been made against haunting ghouls in the form of high steps between doorways to “trap” spirits in a room.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Forbidden City (with a Peking Duck lunch) as a featured excursion aboard Uniworld’s 18-day Grand China & The Yangtze voyage. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.

The Colosseum, Rome

Considered a must-see attraction for visitors to Italy at any time of the year, most forget that the history of the Colosseum includes a lust for blood, gore and revenge. Thousands died in the arena after its 80 AD opening, and the ghosts of slain gladiators are said to haunt the Colosseum to this day.

Many visitors have reported hearing screaming, cheering, crying and moaning, feeling cold spots and gentle pushing – not to mention seeing ghostly figures sitting in the stands and Roman soldiers standing guard at multiple entrances.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Colosseum and all its ghoulish splendour on Luxury Gold’s 12-day Ultimate Italy journey. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.


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