As much as I love Halloween, I am absolutely terrible at finding suitable (read: comfortable) costumes, and I always wait until the last minute. Every year, I find myself wishing that I could just get outta town, forget about the whole dressing up and collecting candy affair, and get out into the world to have a really unique Halloween experience.
Here are my top travel destinations for Halloween (in no particular order):
The best thing about Budapest, and the reason it was the first place I imagined, is because of its Labyrinth. Beneath Buda Castle and Castle Hill, the Budapest Labyrinth takes you on a tour through the city's fascinating and tumultuous history through subterranean tunnels and caverns with mysteries around every corner! The caverns are lit sparsely, and you may find yourself frequently walking through dimly lit passageways only to suddenly come face-to-face tall, frightening men--only to realize that they are only statues; the guardians of the labyrinth. The labyrinth's Renaissance Hall is a charming respite from fear; it is a bright room with a fountain in the center where dark red wine flows, giving the room a tangy, somewhat comforting smell. Stone benches are placed in the room to allow you a brief moment for contemplation before venturing back into the darkness.
|Art of Funerals|
This sparkling city can fulfill your every Halloween desire: from trick-or-treating at the zoo and costume contests to cemetery soirees and haunted bayou, New Orleans has it all! Be sure to stock up on your voodoo accoutrements at voodoo shops and at Marie LaVeau's place. Just be sure to watch for stray spirits, and beware of the tangled webs of voodoo magic before you weave!
In Oaxaca, travelers have the opportunity to visit craft marketplaces where you can purchase your very own catrinas (shown on the right), or pottery and other crafts. You can also wander the streets and markets to absorb some of Oaxaca's beautiful sights and history until the sun goes down and the candles burn brightly. Visit cemeteries to see carefully adorned gravestones, and bring candles and marigolds with you to help decorate! The key to enjoying this day is to support cultural traditions by supporting and respecting the locals, and if you're a shutterbug like me, be sure to know when and what is appropriate to photograph.
Immerse yourself in the colors and soul of Dia de los Muertos, and you may live more vivaciously!
|An Ostentatious Tour Display|
Go on one of the Ghosts of Gettysburg tours (the original Gettysburg Ghost Tour!) to hear some of the frightening Civil War spirit encounters had by locals and tourists alike. And when you're finished having the poltergeists scare the pants off you, I recommend dinner at the Dobbin House, which is my all-time favorite historically spooky basement tavern. The tavern is lit mainly by candlelight, so your mind can wander anachronistically with the flickers of the flames, and you can imagine yourself in that chilly basement carousing with Civil War soldiers (or their ghosts!). Gettysburg is the perfect place to walk the once bloodsoaked battlefields in search of the paranormal, but don't be too afraid when you feel that distinct supernatural chill in the air; it's autumn, after all!