Smell that pumpkin latte? Catch that last fall foliage report? Sick and tired of the hot, sticky weather that seems to never go away? Have no fear! October is finally here and with comes all the spooky fun we can muster up. So just how do we travelers get a chance to celebrate? Well there are lots of spooky travel options out there and we are ready to give you a sampling of all the dark travel industry has to offer. History of Halloween starts in Ireland. (Check out our show!) And there are plenty of tricks and treats to be had there. But we’ll leave the pumpkins and candy corn for the kiddos. In the mean time, let’s trick or travel!
There are so very many aspects of dark travel. From Madame Toussad’s death masks of famous criminals to walking the Spanish moss decorated cemeteries of the South, people have sought out the morbid corners of cultures around the world. What makes us so interested in the shocks and scares out there? We’ll leave that to the experts. In the meantime we have plenty tips and suggestions to keep you properly shakin in your shoes! Our first tip? Travel guides always have a spooky option.
Cemeteries worth exploring!
Take the the walking tours in famous cemeteries. They have never been a disappointment and they have always been full of the most interesting stories. Not sure where to start? Check out this article about the 199 Cemeteries to see before you die. Or read on for a few of our top picks for cemeteries and more!
- Pere Lachaise Cemetery is a popular walk just outside of Paris. There are plenty of famous people buried here including Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Oscar Wilde to name just a few. Use this Pere Lachaise Cemetery audio guide from Rick Steves to explore on your own!
- Merry Cemetery in the Maramures Region of Romania is famous for its witty and often funny epitaphs on the graves of local residents.
- Bone House at St. Michaels in Hallstatt, Austria provides a look at what happens when there is very little space for a cemetery in town.
- The Kutna Hora Bone Chapel in Prague, well, just watch this video. Whew!
- Rome‘s Capuchin Monks and their crypts: These monks have a unique way of taking care of their dead. It seems that hanging them up to mummify is what they think is the best course of action. Don’t believe us? You can check it all out yourself. These monks may give you a bit of a shock but they also provide you with the name of one of your favorite beverages: cappuccino!
- Paris‘ Underground Catacombs: the French Revolution created all kinds of uprisings including those of the bone type! It seems that the non-religious revolutionaries forced churches to dig up all their dead and take them out of the city limits. The result? The catacombs are stacked with thousands of Parisian remains.
- Westminster Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland is the home of the Screaming Skull. It seems the minister was murdered here and every night his skull would start screaming.
- Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia is home to plenty of eerie experiences. You may run into the roaming girl, Gracie Watson, who died of pneumonia at 6 years old. She has been seen playing between the tombstones and her statue has been known to cry tears of blood.
The BEST Ghost Tours!
Check out all the different tours offered in castles and palaces sometimes they have great spooky themed tours at night when hardly anyone is there.
- Salem, Massachusetts has so many walking tours for all ages and interests (and spook factor) that we’ll just leave you with a link to their clearinghouse of options. Our one piece of advice? Don’t go see the Hocus Pocus House. It’s overrated.
- St. Augustine Haunted Pub Crawl
- London’s Jack the Ripper Tour is a crowd favorite with an in depth look at the sensationalism surrounding the case.
- Bremen, Germany’s Night Watchman Tour is one of the most famous in Europe as it has been featured by our old pal, Rick. Check out his take here:
Those spooky Scots!
The British Isles have plenty of Haunted Castles, priest holes and murder holes to keep any dark travel junkie busy for months! Look for Edinburgh to have great ghost tours and plenty of closes to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. I’ve yet to visit a castle that doesn’t have a ghost story attached to it somewhere along the way! Scotland certainly wins the spooky travel award in my book!