It’s nearly Halloween so we’re taking a look at some spooky options for your next trip…
Take a trip to Transylvania, Romania, to walk in the footsteps of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired the character of Bram Stokers vampire Dracula. The fictitious character dwelled in Bran Castle, which is now surrounded by souvenir stalls selling vampire-inspired wares. Poienari Castle, nestled on a mountaintop, is actually listed as an official residence of the historical figure. Along with Lake Snagov, his rumored resting place, it’s now hotspot for visitors who are fascinated by the character.
The winding streets of Whitechapel in East London, are notorious for having once been the hunting ground for the serial killer of prostitutes who was dubbed Jack the Ripper by the press. London Walks offers some Ripper-themed strolls in the neighborhood.
Chapel of Bones, Evora, Portugal
The walls and columns of this chapel are covered in designs composed from the bones of more than 5,000 exhumed skeletons. Ribs and tibias are used to form the decoration around arches and columns, and skulls and other bones are squeezed into gaps in the stone or between other bones.
Le Manoir de Paris, Paris, France
Even the City of Light has its dark corners, and the Manoir de Paris relishes in scaring its visitors with the most macabre stories from the French capital, from the Phantom of the Opera to the Vampire Cave, the necrophiliac Sergeant Bertrand (who inspired the novel The Werewolf of Paris) and the ghost of the Jardin des Tuileries. The venue has set up a special Halloween tour.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA
Stephen King made this hotel famous. Room 217 at the Stanley inspired the cult classic “The Shining” and to this day a steady stream of guests claim to see apparitions all over the place. You can book a room here and find out for yourself.
Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh, Scotland
For years the hidden underground closes of Mary King’s Close, in the Old Town area of Edinburgh, Scotland, have been shrouded in myths and mysteries. In 1645 the plague struck this little community and there is a tale that the local council decided to contain the plague by incarcerating the victims, bricking up the close for several years and leaving them to die inside. Reopened a few years ago visitors can now see what life was like here hundreds of years ago…and of course spot some of the famous ghosts said to haunt the area.
Salem, Massachusetts, USA
In 1692 and 1693 Salem and several of the surrounding towns prosecuted more than 150 people who were accused of witchcraft. Some were hanged or crushed to death under heavy stones. Today there is a month-long celebration of parades, spooky tours and spirited events in Salem. For more information visit Salem’s Haunted Happenings.