From ghost tours of Edinburgh to Dracula's creepy castle in Transylvania, we've found some spooktacular places to visit this Halloween.
Ghost Tours, Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh has a long and gruesome history - from torture, plague and witchcraft to Burke and Hare, the infamous body snatchers who killed their victims and sold their bodies to the local medical school – all brought to life in a variety of ghost tours. Whether you fancy a spooky candlelit tour of the underground vaults (Mercat Tour), graveyard tour (City of the Dead) or amble through the eerie streets of the Old Town (Cadies and Witchery Tours), you're sure to find something suitably scary for Halloween.
Catacombs, Paris, France
It may be the City of Lights but Paris has a dark side – and what better time to explore it than Halloween? Home to the remains of six million people, the bone church located in the Catacombs, a vast network of tunnels running below the city, is not for the faint hearted. See huge halls and caverns created out of carefully arranged bones taken from condemned cemeteries – like the heart-shaped outline formed with skulls embedded in surrounding tibias or the room displaying various skeletal deformities.
Few places are more fantastically creepy than Transylvania's Bran Castle – and it's easy to see why Bram Stoker chose to set the fictional Dracula Castle there. While you're unlikely to come across any fanged monsters, the castle has a dark history. It was once home to Vlad Dracul (Vlad III of Wallachia, 1431-76), a Romanian national hero who fought against the Ottoman Turks. He earned the nickname 'Vlad the Impaler' for his fondness for barbaric punishments – including impaling thousands of his victims on stakes.
Ghost Tour, Prague
Prague is said to be one of the most supernatural cities in Europe, with a history rich in magic, murder and the mysterious. With its dark Gothic architecture, a night time amble through the narrow cobbled alleys can be eerie at any time of year, but there's something even more magical about Prague at Halloween. A tour is a great way to discover the dark side of the city. McGee's Ghost Tours start from £10 per person and take you to ancient churches and monuments where you will hear about alchemists, murderers, executioners and the unfortunate souls who lived there.
Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Whether you're intrigued by the idea of witchcraft or fascinated by history, Halloween is the perfect time to visit Salem, Massachusetts, famous for the witch trials of 1692. The town is home to several museums, such as The Witch House (home of Judge Jonathan Corwin) and runs a variety of tours – and thanks to America's enthusiasm for Halloween, the New England town comes alive with costumes, parades and parties at this time of year.
Village Halloween Parade, New York, USA
No one does Halloween like the Americans, and no city does it better than the Big Apple. If you get excited at the prospect of dressing up on October 31, NYC is the place to be. Every year more than 50,000 people join the Village Halloween Parade along Sixth Avenue – keen to show off their scary, innovative and often hilarious costumes. With giant puppets, zombie armies and raucous bands, the ghoulish revelry is an experience not to be missed.
Have you visited somewhere creepy for Halloween? Leave a comment below...