Travel

Haunts for Halloween

These real-life places are abound with human remains and supernatural mysteries

When it comes to Halloween, most revellers tend to flock to local attractions or costume parties or go trick-or-treating in the neighbourhood.

But if you are on the hunt for a truly terrifying experience, forget manufactured haunted houses, as these real-life destinations curated by travel website Expedia are spookier than anything you can dream of.

BRAN CASTLE - BRAN, TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA

(Above) Bran Castle in Romania. PHOTOS: EXPEDIA

Vampire hunters should hop straight on a plane to Romania. The imposing Gothic fortress at Bran Castle is said to have inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula. Sitting on a hill surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the site is stunning any time of the year, but it truly comes alive at Halloween.

Join a tour to uncover the castle's mysteries and myths and wind your way through dimly lit stairwells, underground passages and rooms housing centuries-old torture tools.

THE HELLFIRE CLUB 
- DUBLIN, IRELAND

Spooky sightings are everywhere in Dublin, but nothing is more terrifying than a trip to The Hellfire Club.

Once a hunting lodge, this now decrepit site sits high on a hill in the Dublin Mountains and is widely considered to be one of the most haunted spots in Ireland - a place where fact may really be stranger than fiction.

After darkness falls, explore the ghostly halls, learning of the men who once gathered there and the dark rituals that are said to have taken place.

BLAIR STREET VAULTS 
- EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND

Dive into the underbelly of Edinburgh with a journey into the Blair Street Vaults. Built into the arches of the 18th-century South Bridge, a series of chambers are believed to be haunted by the spirits of murder victims.

Tiptoe your way through the tunnels and learn about serial killers Burke and Hare and what they did with their victims' bodies.

FREMANTLE PRISON - FREMANTLE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

In a city known for its former prisons and asylums, secrets and supernatural mysteries are at every corner.

At Fremantle Prison, with a lantern the only light to guide the way, wander the grounds as you learn of the bloody riots and executions that occurred.

CATACOMBS - PARIS, FRANCE


(Above) The Catacombs in Paris, a mysterious tunnel lined with human skulls and bones. PHOTOS: EXPEDIA
 

Paris may be famous for its landmarks and lights, but it is what is below the city that is most captivatingly creepy.

Discover the darker side of the city with a journey into the Catacombs, a mysterious tunnel lined with human skulls and bones. Wind your way through the eerie underground labyrinth while learning about religion, superstition, architecture, art and the enigmatic symbols on display.

CAPUCHIN CRYPT - ROME, ITALY

With thousands of years of history, it is no wonder Rome has racked up a number of chilling sites, but nothing is creepier than the Capuchin Crypt.

Here, in a small space beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, bear witness to the bones of more than 4,000 friars laid out in a macabre display.

Also known as the Bone Chapel, the crypt is adorned with chandeliers made from skeletons - still wearing their robes.

DOWNTOWN - SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, US

(Above) Salem, Massachusetts, in the United States.  PHOTOS: EXPEDIA

If you are looking for a true party on Halloween, there is no better place to be than Salem, Massachusetts.

A city synonymous with the supernatural, since being the site of the famous witch trials of 1692, it is host to "America's biggest Halloween party" - a month-long series of events, parades and even re-enactments.

There is also a ghost tour of downtown. Join a local guide for a journey back in time to the sites still haunted by the 20 innocent men and women who were put to death from the trials.

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