The Best Places to Visit Halloween

Written By: The Planet D

Canadians love Halloween and we love seeking out spooky travels. Here’s our list of great Halloween places to visit around the world.

There are a lot of places I would love to spend the night for a good scare. We’ve been to the cities and spaces below, but we have yet to celebrate in them during Halloween.

Places to go for Halloween

The places listed below have our vote for the scariest and creepiest destinations to celebrate Halloween.

1. Dublin and Derry – Ireland

best places to celebrate halloween | dublin

Did you know that Ireland is where Halloween originated?

From Wicklow to Wexford and Dublin to Derry, Halloween is celebrated with gusto in the land of haunted castles and ancient tombs.

With winter coming, it was often associated with death and it was on this night that they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

It began at night of October 31 and went into the following day.

Like many places around the world, Ireland celebrates Halloween with costumes and candy, but Dublin still celebrates Samhain, and Derry holds a Halloween Carnival that lasts 9 days!

With Ghost Tours and Ghouls, a dark history and historic castles, Ireland is the places to be!

2. Edinburgh – Scotland

best cities for halloween | edinburgh graves

Halloween originated in Celtic Culture?

Halloween dates back to a Celtic festival known as Samhain (Samhuinn) celebrated on October 31 to November 1 to mark the end of the harvest and end of summer.

Scotland and Ireland both have the original bragging rights.

Both have similar traditions when it comes to Halloween.

Edinburgh, in particular, is considered a haunted spot in Scotland (and all of Europe) with many a ghost tour to join in the historic city.

It celebrates on the night of October 31, with the Samhuinn Fire Festival mixing Celtic traditions with modern entertainment.

There’s a battle between the winter and summer kings to mark the beginning of the long dark nights ahead.

3. Transylvania – Romania

best halloween places | draculas castle transalvania

When I think of Halloween I always think of Dracula and what better place than to visit Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania.

The Bran Castle, near the city of Brasov, is Romania’s national monument. It may be one of many castles linked to Dracula, but it is definitely the most famous. How did the legend of Dracula begin?

Well, ruler Vlad Tepes was known for his brutality where he impaled, skinned and boiled those who were against him. He became known as Vlad the Impaler.

When you kill upwards of 100,000 people this way, well a gruesome legend is bound to follow.

4. New Orleans – USA

best cities for halloween new orleans cemetery

New Orleans is the most haunted city in the United States and it is perfect for a good scare.

Take a Haunted New Orleans ghost tour to learn of the haunted hotels and voodoo history and beautifuly scary cemeteries.

St. Louis Cemetery calls for a visit to the tomb of the Voodoo Queen Laveau. If you touch her grave and make a wish, it comes true!

If anyone can come back from the dead, she can!

New Orleans is filled with legends of vampires.

It’s only open until 3:00 pm, but that’s ok, you can visit the cemetery by day and hit the Endless Night Vampires Ball voted the number 1 ball in the world!

See our New Orleans Haunted tour

5. Day of the Dead – Mexico

best places to go for halloween | mexico

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In Central America, Halloween is a huge part of the culture.

In Mexico, the two days following Halloween are a big event known as the Day of the Dead – Da de los Muertos.

Day of the Dead is a holiday where family and friends come together to remember loved ones that have died. Although a somber occasion, it is a day of celebration where it is believed those who have passed are celebrating with them.

It is celebrated throughout the country, but, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and the Yucatan, in particular, observe it with more color and flare than the more subdued rural areas.

It is in connection with the Catholic holiday All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2).

6. Catacombs of Paris – France

where to go for halloween catacombs

Nothing spells death like the sight of bones piled atop on another. The Catacombs of Paris holds 6 million bones from the 1700’s it certainly has an eerie feel. Graveyards were overrun in the 18th century

Paris and bodies had to be moved to old quarries to protect the city’s inhabitants from the plague.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you can look past the bones, you’ll be amazed at the artistry.

7. Tower of London – England

where to go for halloween | tower of london

Beheadings, executions, prisoners and royal intrigue. If it’s a bloody past that makes a scary Hallowe’en haunt, the Tower of London fits the bill.

Queen Elizabeth was imprisoned here but had a better fate than the martyr Anne Askew who was burned at the stake.

Poet Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded here but nothing sounds worse than Sir Everard Digby who was hung, drawn and quartered. Ew, what does that mean?

The Dungeon is a great interactive tour to join and be terrified, and make sure to take a haunted London walk where you’ll be spooked by the many executions that took place in this bloody city.

8. Niagara Falls – Canada

nightmares  niagara falls | halloween places

Clifton Hill, the famous street in Niagara Falls, Canada filled with wax museums, haunted houses and restaurants is filled with kitsch but is oh so much fun.

It is here that you will find Nightmares and is a must for anyone that loves a good scare. It is scary alright, legend has it that it was built on the site of an old coffin factory.

The proprietor was killed in a prank gone bad and has haunted the halls ever since. If you become too scared inside the maze of nightmares you can chicken out.

Don’t feel bad if you do, over 112,000 people have chickened out over the years.

9. Ottawa – Canada

best places to go on halloween | ottawa jail

The Ottawa Jail – Want a real fright night? Try staying over in a jail cell.

When the Ottawa Jail closed in 1972 due to its inhumane conditions. Hostelling International purchased and converted it into a hostel allowing people to “spend a night in jail.”

Many unmarked graves were found in excavations and it was here that one of  the last public hangings (if not the most famous) in Canada took place.

It is said that the ghost of Patrick J Whelan still walks the grounds and haunts the walls of the hostel. Imagine the scary stuff that went on in here.

See more things to do at our top Ottawa Attractions

10. Chateau d’If – Marsailles

marseilles spooky travels

There was little hope for prisoners of Chateau D’If once they were sent into exile off the coast of southern France.

All they could do was look longingly; that is if they were lucky enough to have a view at the beautiful port city of Marseilles.

Torture and suffering went on year after year. Made famous by Alexander Dumas in the Count of Monte Cristo, when you visit Chateau d’If, you will be treated to showings of the Count of Monte Cristo

11. Cimetiere Pere la Chaise – Paris

spooky travels halloween france

Everyone loves a good cemetery on Hallowe’en and Pere La Chaise is one of the most famous.

Housing the remains of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Moliere and Edith Piaf. Its giant mausoleums, decrepit graves and ornate statues make for an extraordinary if not creepy experience.

12. Salem – USA

Re-live the terrifying experience of the Salem Witch Trials. Oh, what those poor women must have gone through.

One of the first witches accused and sentenced to death was by the owner of this house, Benjamin Abbot. Martha Carrier was accused by a mob of women and this awful man leading to her death by hanging in Salem.

From September to Halloween, Haunted Happenings runs recounting the events with theatre, and tours.

13. Cuchi Tunnels – Vietnam

vietnam things to do cu chi tunnels

I don’t know how the Vietcong survived in this 200 km tunnel system for so many years. It is scary without a war going on, imagine how people felt during the Vietnam War.

The original entrance is tiny and the crawling is tinier if this doesn’t scream horror movie, nothing will!

If the thought of close spaces gives you a fright, consider the Cuchi Tunnels in Vietnam. We were there in the middle of December, but it gave me a fright as we crawled through the original caves.

Let me leave you with my favorite picture of Dave at Halloween playing a zombie

best places for halloween featured image

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best halloween places for a good scare

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

20 thoughts on “The Best Places to Visit Halloween”

  1. Transylvania is definitely a great place to horror around halloween, but in my opinion the Brad castle is a touristic trap …. there are much better places in Transylvania, away from commerce and merchandise.

    Reply
  2. From this list i prefer Transylvania because when i think of Halloween first thing that comes to my mind is Dracula so visiting Dracula’s castle will be a best option and this is one of the places in my wish list.

    Reply
  3. Hey,
    I love the list of haunted places, i would like to visit Hostel of Ottawa with my friends, if anyone visit please share their experience.
    Thank you

    Reply
  4. G’s been dying to go to Fright Night at the Winchester Mystery House (since we’re from San Jose, CA) but I chickened out. Creepy and scary is not really my thing. I’d rather stay home and watch Hocus Focus.. that’s about as Halloweeny as it get’s for me. Lol. Although I will say I’d love to visit all of the above during the day time and preferably not on all hallows eve. =)

    Reply
  5. Hung, Drawn and Quartered … not the nicest way to go!

    It basically involved being stretched by a rope that was tied to a horse, then hung until almost to the point of death, quartered which involved castration, disembowelment, beheaded and then cut into 4 pieces to be spread around the country for everyone to see. Hopefully by this time you would be dead 🙂

    Reply
  6. They image of the castle in Romania gives me the goosebumps! I have such a low tolerance for spooky stuff that all of this stuff sounds scary to me!

    Reply
    • I take it Halloween isn’t your favourite holiday then eh? I love a good scare but horror movies don’t do it for me. Well, I should say, the killing and gruesome movies like Saw and Hostel don’t do it for me. But I do love a good ghost story.

      Reply
  7. Nice touch and perfect timing of an article:) That one in Ottawa looks the creepiest, in my opinion!! Enjoy Halloween, I know it’s celebrated more over there than it is over here. Shame – I LOVE fancy dress!!

    Reply