It’s time to don your scary mask, stock up on holy water and carve a pumpkin – yes its Halloween! From the story of Dracula to the legend of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, there’s an event out there that will scare your socks off!
Sleepy Hollow Legend Weekend, New York, USA
The village of Sleep Hollow comes alive (ha ha) from 6-28 October for the annual Sleepy Hollow Legend Weekend. Set in the Hudson Valley on the east Bank of the Hudson River the village will celebrate Halloween in its own way over four weekends with the legend of the Headless Horseman. The freaky legend will thrill and terrify all ages. The legend Of Sleepy Hollow short story was written by Washington Irving and published in 1820. The fable was brought to a whole new audience with the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci and directed by Tim Burton. Visitors can explore the old Philipsburg Manor which will be lit only by candlelight and sightings of witches, trolls and the Headless Horseman himself! During the day visitors can explore Sunnyside where Washington Irving lived.
Bram Stoker Festival, Dublin, Ireland
The Bram Stoker Festival celebrates the life and works of novelist Abraham “Bram” Stoker (who was born in Ireland) in Dublin from 27-28 October. Bram Stoker of course penned the famous 1897 Gothic novel ‘Dracula’ which was set in Transylvania. The festival will be a combination of film and literary events centered around the world’s most famous horror novelist.
If ghosts and ghouls are your thing then why not take a Halloween ghost tour in keeping with the theme! From the Brown Lady in Norfolk, UK to former presidents haunting the White House in Washington DC, there’s something spooky happening across the world!
Fright Nights at Thorpe Park, Surrey, UK
From the 12 – 21 October Thorpe Park theme park presents its Fright Nights with spooky fun and eerie entertainment. There’s a Circus of Horrors show with ghouls and freaks and also three horror mazes – enter if you dare!
Treatsylvania at Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
The Lee Martinez Farm in Fort Collins, CO, invites children to participate in Treatsylvania (love the play on words) from 22-24 October. Here children can hone their ‘trick and treat’ skills at special booths operated by local businesses – sounds a bit like a Halloween Apprentice! Aimed at kids under ten there are also hayrides, treats and cookies.
Fetish and Fantasy Halloween Ball, Las Vegas, USA
Something for the adults; The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas hosts the Fetish and Fantasy Ball which continues until 4am. The annual Halloween Ball invites partygoers to dress up in naughty and scary outfits. There’ll be wild stage shows, fire performers and a serious nightclub ambience with world-class DJs performing across the main dancefloor and an old-skool arena. A word of warning – if you’re not dressed appropriately (think wild and outrageous) you’ll be turned away!
Another suitably spooky activity this Halloween is a cemetery tour – there are hundreds of cemeteries across the world each telling their own stories. The most interesting cemeteries feature various notable people such as Jim Morrison, John F Kennedy and Eva Peron.
Fort Amherst Paranormal Investigation, Kent, UK
During the month of October travellers can investigate paranormal activity at Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent. Fort Amherst has been a hotbed of local paranormal activity for thousands of years with Saxon burial grounds nearby. Be prepared to stay up all night though at the tours run from 8pm to 3am.
Day of the Dead, Mexico
Join in the Day of the Dead celebrations from 1-2 November in Mexico, specifically Oaxaca where the dead are remembered. El día de los muertos is where people commemorate their ancestors in a joyous and moving celebration. People decorate cemeteries, pray, sing, eat and drink throughout the night.
Enchanted Halloween, Vancouver Island, Canada
Heritage Acres on Vancouver Island comes alive each October with Enchanted Halloween, a vintage-inspired Halloween event for all the family. Dressing up is obligatory and themed decorations, lights and settings will play host to special performers with theatrical and musical performances.
By Julie Bowman