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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Perfect Halloween Destinations

by John Morgan
The Cauldron List

Halloween Travel

But not just any travel, mysterious forces have cast a strong spell on us that requires us to solely focus on those destinations that celebrate the rich tradition and spirit of Halloween. These are the enchanting locations that we would like to experience - at least once - before we do any haunting of our own.

Here is The Cauldron List’s top Halloween Travel Destinations:

The Real Dracula’s Castle

And you thought Ravens and Crows got a bad rap when literature refers to them as a “murder of crows” or an “unkindness of ravens.” How would you like to go on and discover that you are related to Vlad the Impaler and his father Vlad II Dracul from order of the House of the Dragons?
Many attribute Vlad the Impaler as the real life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s immortal Dracula.

OK, things are never as easy as they seem. There are actually three castles in modern-day Romania that claim to be “Dracula’s Castle”: Bran Castle, Poenari Castle, and Hunyad Castle. Although it's worth pointing out the Stoker’s own notes state that he invented the castle and placed it on an empty mountain top.

We figure it is not every day we get sojourn through the rugged Transylvanian and Wallachian terrain so why not visit all three. Just make sure to drop by the local Romanian Leu Store to pickup plenty of garlic, crucifixes, and wooden stakes – along with greeting cards, batteries and helium balloons (what else does one go to the Dollar Store for?).

Festival of the Dead
Salem/Danvers, Massachusetts

Talk about Halloween sensory overload: witches, necromancy, séances, Celtic ceremonies and dramatic fall foliage all in one - better make that two - locations!

Just like in Dracula’s Castle, time seems to cloud the record, as various parties claim to be the real fright deal in order to entice you to spend your boo bucks in their locations. In Massachusetts, both Salem and Danvers claim to be the sight of the original witch trials of 1692 and 1693.

It appears that Mrs. Hickok, my eighth grade history teacher, must have had a broom in the game for promoting Salem, because she never once called it the Danvers Witch Trails. Where do the lies end Mrs. Hickok? Was the Boston Tea Party really a Gloucester Espresso Soiree?

Just like the curtain between the physical and spirit world grows thinnest around Halloween, perhaps you will become clairvoyant enough to decide which witch community has rightful claim to the historic witch trials. Either way, a trip here will leave you enchanted.

Sleepy Hollow, New York

Finally, a Halloween location that exists without much controversy. After all Halloween is not worth losing your head over - just don’t tell the Hessian I said that!

There is plenty to see and do in this small community to celebrate Halloween. Although there are parades, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and various festivals and events held throughout the community approaching Halloween, the one can’t miss event is the annual Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor (tickets are required and they do sell out quickly).

Sleepy Hollow is a fantastic destination to celebrate Halloween. You will experience the same spooky locations that inspired Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. You might even be unfortunate enough to sight the Headless Horseman himself. If you do, just make sure you can outrun the person next to you. That should be enough to ensure that you come out head and shoulders above the rest of the Halloween revelers.

Stonehenge, Hill of Tara, and an Irish Pub
Great Britain

The foundation of today’s Halloween celebrations can directly trace its origins back to the Ancient Druid, Roman and Catholic traditions and beliefs that blended in the melting cauldron that is Great Britain. As such, Great Britain is a dream location to celebrate Halloween!

Visit to Hill of Tara and other Druid locations where Samhain festivals were originally held. Warm yourself by a bonfire, the likes of which brought some of Halloween’s most recognizable symbols of the bat and owl to become indelibly linked with the holiday.

Then find a warm pub, enjoy a pint or two and recount the legend of “Stingy Jack.” Who tricked the devil in an Irish pub and in the process became the inspiration for the modern-day jack-o-lantern.

So those are our recommendations for perfect Halloween destinations that celebrate the spirit of Halloween's rich history and traditions. As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.


  1. All the above are tempting, but for me and many it HAS to be Whitby (UK) for the Goth Weekend. 31st Oct. to 5th Nov It`s a great place anytime, but for WGW it`s everything.

    1. Thank you for your recommendation! I will gladly defer to your local knowledge and experience. Here is a link for the Whitby Goth Weekend - Great recommendation and it looks like an incredible event!

      Make sure to check out Abb'y Talk's great blog at

  2. Sorry ...Stuck here in Marshville.... we wanted to Thank You for joining us here at the "Crypt"... Just posted a couple of old horror films for my viewers...just finished watching "Chamber of Horrors" (All 10 parts)...

    1. Thank you doctor, we'll have to get you some solvent to get unstuck from Marshville. At least you have plenty of good old horror films to keep you busy.

  3. Hello! Nice to meet you. Greetings from Brasil.

    Bindi & Ghost

    1. Nice to meet you both as well. Greetings from the Sacramento, where we like to celebrate Halloween season by still warming up to nearly 100 degrees.

      Of course, since you live in Brasil, which is right on the equator, I guess I shouldn't complain about our seasons.

      Thanks for visiting!

  4. Those are all great places to visit for Halloween! I enjoyed reading about them.

    1. Thanks Sherry! I look forward to visiting all myself.

  5. Great blog, loved it!
    Cheers from Argentina.

  6. Thank you HD! Pumpkin spiced cheers from California.

  7. I made a post about a year ago about wanting to travel to both Salem and Sleepy Hollow for my 35th birthday. Well, it's coming up in a week, and there will be no trip to the states this year... But I keep on dreaming :)
    Thanks for following!

    1. First of all - Happy Early Birthday! As my gift to you I'll try to use more purple in my blog; hopefully, I'll get lucky and use the right shade.

      You'll eventually get over here to see Salem and Sleepy Hollow. Living in California, I still haven't visited either location myself, but I'll make it happen!

      I enjoy your blog and thanks for visiting ours!

  8. Olá estou retribuindo a visita ao meu blog.

    amei o seu blog e já estou seguindo vc.



  9. Great blog and post. These are all very awesome places. I was actually born in Sleepy Hollow, but have been abroad for many years. Dracula's Castle in Romania is probably the one that I'd most like to visit. I had a friend who went and she loved it there.

    1. Thanks! That's awesome that you were actually born in Sleepy Hollow. Dracula's Castle is definitely on my short list of must see Halloween travel destinations. I am sure your friend had quite an adventure!