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Halloween Getaways Around the World

Always wanted to celebrate Halloween in a Gothic castle? Get down and dirty in an ossuary full of plague victim remains? Navigate your way through crypts that look like they haven’t seen sunlight since the days of Vlad the Impaler? Our guide to the best Halloween getaways around the world will ensure that you get your fill, and more. Romania, Poland, Jamaica, and France… just a few of the top destinations to get in touch with your ghoulish roots this October.

Transylvania, Romania
Romania is one of of Europe’s hidden gems. Stunning architecture, breathtaking scenery, and absolutely lovely people make it the kind of place that has you planning a return trip before you’ve even gone home. Another major draw? It’s home to Bran Castle, home of Vlad the Impaler, reputed to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While it may boast an especially gory history, the castle is now open to visitors and features a particularly impressive Halloween tour that promises to separate fact from legend in the spookiest way.

Montego Bay, Jamaica
If ghost stories light your fire, you don’t want to miss a trip to Rose Hall, the former home of Annie Palmer. Palmer, the wife of a plantation owner, had the reputation of being a sinister witch who tortured slaves, practiced voodoo, and committed all sorts of murder. Nowadays, vacationers are invited to take a tour of Rose Hall where rumours of eerie voices and unexplained phenomena have been reported. In some rare instances, the ghost of Annie Palmer herself has been seen.

Kutna Hora, Czech Republic
Skeletons don’t spook you out? How about 40,000 of them, all contained in a single ossuary. The remains of plague victims are stacked, hung, plastered, and incorporated into macabre works of art in what is commonly referred to as Bone Church where, in 1870, woodcarver Frantisek Rindt was assigned the unenviable job of organizing the remains. Examine his masterpieces and try to suppress the shivers that will inevitably run down your spine.

Edinburgh, Scotland
Attracting the attention of professional ghost hunting groups worldwide, Mary King’s Close has a storied past rife with accounts of murder, disease, and all sorts of sinister happenings. This maze of hidden streets tucked below Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is such a perfect setting for everything spooky that it’s almost hard to believe it’s real. Whether you believe that the reported hauntings are a product of biogas escaping from a nearby marsh or the manifestation of unhappy plague victim ghosts, you’re going to leave the close a lot more jittery than you were upon arrival.

Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland
Only in Kudowa-Zdrój will you find the Chapel of Skulls, a magnificent memorial to the victims of the Silesian and the Thirty Years wars. A partnership between a priest and a gravedigger, this incredible creation features thousands of skeletons and took almost two decades to construct. In addition to the chapel, an adjacent crypt features even more remains though these ones aren’t as artistically rendered.

Paris, France
Between the catacombs and the famous cemeteries, it’s no wonder that Halloween enthusiasts find themselves drawn to the City of Lights. Visit Père-Lachaise, the final resting spot for several famous individuals including Edith Piaf, Marcel Proust, and Jim Morrison. Celeb spotting not your thing? It’s worth the trip just to take in the incredible tombs and funerary art. Next on your list should be the Catacombs of Paris, a series of underground urban ossuaries that contain the bones of approximately 6 million individuals. There is nothing quite like taking in walls upon walls of skulls, especially when you’re in an enclosed space. Certainly not for the faint of heart.

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