In the dark of night, there is a certain chill in the air, one that makes your bones rattle. Old and new tales of witches, ghosts, zombies and vampires have you on your toes. A passing black cat and constant caws of crows aren’t unordinary occurrence. Not tonight. Not on Halloween!!!
Halloween is my favourite holiday. Once October rolls around, my excitement cannot be contained as I begin to think of what I will be this year. This is the time of year when it is completely acceptable to dress up as bizarre or creepy as you wish. In fact, the more intense your costume, the better! So, where are the best places to celebrate this time of year? Let’s take a trip around the world and find out:
Transylvania, Romania – The birthplace of the famous Dracula
Transylvania is said to sit on one of the earth’s strongest magnetic fields, and it’s people are said to have extra-sensory perception. But don’t take my word for it…go and experience it for yourself! There is a tour company that offers a week long Dracula tour that includes a fun Halloween party, killing of a vampire, a witch trial, a chance to be turned into a medieval knight by the famous medieval Knights of Sibiu and my favourite.. spending the night in the city where the famous Dracula was born.
Salem, Massachusetts – Where the 1962 Witch Trails took place
In 1692, Salem was a place that persecuted those claimed to practise witch craft, now the city embraces its witchy past. None of us were alive for the Witch Trials…unless of course you are a GHOST..but you can experience a re-enactment of the trials. Salem also offers haunted historical tours and witch museums. There are even events that can teach you how to become a paranormal investigator or psychic reader. Then there is the famous Salem Witches Halloween Ball.
Ireland – Where Halloween is said to originated
To-day Halloween is celebrated all around the globe but the Halloween Holiday has its history firmly planted in Ireland. During Halloween in Ireland you’ll find some ancient traditions and customs still practised today. Here are a couple you can try:
Barnbrak: A Halloween tradition you can bite your fangs into. Barnbrak is a traditional fruit cake that has various things baked inside of it such as a coin, a rag, ring and thimble!
Bonfire: Bonfires are a huge part of the Halloween festivities in Ireland, so don’t be surprised to see many lit in both rural areas and towns throughout the country. It is said that the Halloween tradition of the bonfire in Ireland originated during Pagan times when the Celts lit huge fires on the hills so the spirits could find their way and also keep away evil spirits. It is also said that if you through a piece of hair into the flames and dream of your future wife or husband, you’re dreams will come true! So, grab a hair and head to a bonfire and find love this Halloween!
Trick-or-treat: When many of us in North America think of Halloween, we think of trick-or-treating as a kind…or as an adult. Centuries ago, this old Irish Halloween custom came to be when the poor would go round to the rich peoples houses and ask for food or money. Today, children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door trick or treating and get candy and chocolate in return. The times have changed, but not by much. It just got a lot tastier.
Where in the world are you celebrating Halloween this year?
Photo credit: Hanna Horwarth for the jack-o-lantern featured photo.
Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.