You don’t have to stay at home to celebrate Halloween on 31st October. Head to one of the following locations and you’ll get a lot more than trick-or-treaters or jack-o-lanterns…
Edinburgh’s mass of dark buildings and cobbled streets make it the quintessential setting for a spot of gothic horror. The city’s long, and at times bloody, history means that it has formed the backdrop to many a grisly tale, which you can hear about either at the city’s famous Dungeons, or on one of the Auld Reekie Tours. One of the city’s most infamous, and shockingly, factual, stories is that of Burke and Hare, two Irish immigrants who coupled their menial day jobs with the more lucrative night-time activity of grave robbing and murder.
Venice has a reputation for being a very romantic destination, but you want to grab hands for another reason this month. This ancient labyrinth of a city is the setting of many a ghost story, and taking a ghost walk will make you see the narrow passageways and pretty canals in a much more spooky light! You’ll learn about legendary sea monsters, ancient cemeteries hidden beneath the streets of modern-day Venice, and even a secret about Marco Polo’s wife…
Paris is another beautiful modern-day city, whose charming aesthetics make its bloody history easy to forget. The city’s most famous tour, The Paris Ghost Tour, covers the city’s catacombs and how they came to be, the satanic conspiracies of the 17th-19th centuries, the true Sweeney Todd of Paris and, last but by no means least, the Vampire of Paris – a real life cannibal and suspected serial killer.
Prague is often hailed as the most haunted city in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. Prague’s ancient buildings and narrow streets conceal many a tale and mystery, including mass executions, murderous thieves, and gothic creatures. The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague dates back to the 15th century and is one of the largest in Europe – because of the lack of space, though, the graves had to be put one on another, somewhere even in twelve layers. It is somewhere that is generally considered to be quite a peaceful place, but still not somewhere you’d necessary feel comfortable after dark!
Surprisingly perhaps, Palermo is also a city with lots to offer the horror-buff! The Capuchin Catacombs is a little-known, but exceptionally grizzly spot, where you will find thousands of preserved mummies from the last 500 years suspended from the walls in their Sunday best. Definitely not the activity for anyone in search of a lesiurely museum trip at the end of a relaxing Mediterranean break…