Make your Halloween extra spooky by spending the night in a haunted castle abroad. // © 2013 Shutterstock
For some, Halloween is the perfect time to stay home and listen to rambunctious trick-or-treaters ringing doorbells in hopes of finding the home with the best candy. This year forego the status quo, carve the pumpkin early and leave the horror movies to collect cobwebs because plenty of travel destinations are offering unique adventures to frighten and amuse even the bravest souls. Here are a few options for a spooky and memorable Halloween.
Climb of the Cursed, London
From Oct. 18-Nov. 3, London’s O2 arena turns into the dreaded Climb of the Cursed, a thrilling expedition where participants are fitted with safety harnesses before embarking in groups across the dome’s roof. Along the way, climbers hear the horrifying history of the city’s most gruesome incidents. Choose the “After Dark: Final Ascent” option and end your journey with a frightening live action experience filled with terrorizing scenes. Tickets start at $40 and include jumpsuit and shoe rental for the frightful excursion. Kids must be at least 10 years old and four feet tall in order to participate.
Ghostbar’s Zombie Prom in Las Vegas
Spend Halloween night at the Palms Resort’s Zombie Prom held in its appropriately named boutique nightclub Ghostbar. Located on the 55th floor in the resort’s newly renovated Ivory Tower, the party’s undead will come alive with a creepy costume contest. The winner with the scariest costume receives a $10,000 prize and a year’s supply of brains. So maybe the last part isn’t true, but the prize money would certainly buy a lot of food from the city’s numerous buffets. The festivities start at 10 p.m. with admission starting at $20.
Hogwarts Halloween at Ireland’s Historic Ashford Castle
This Oct. 25-Nov. 2, grab your favorite wand and enjoy the charm of Ireland’s Ashford Castle as you explore secret rooms, forbidden forests and many other spooky activities during its Hogwarts Halloween getaway. Your family will enjoy meeting Dingle the resident owl and competing in the “Hidden Garden” treasure hunt while experiencing the castle’s 350 acres located in County Mayo. Choose the one-night package for $689 per night or the two-night package for $1,305 per night. Accommodations are based on a Deluxe Family Room for two adults and two children under 12 years old. A $126 charge may be applied for any additional child added to the reservation.
The Double Dead Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Not for the faint of heart, The Double Dead Walking Tour by award-winning City of the Dead Tours takes you through the South Bridge Vaults and the Covenanter’s Prison in Greyfriars Graveyard. During the tour, you may become one of hundreds of people to encounter the chilling Mackenzie Poltergeist. Each adult ticket costs $21, while a child’s ticket is $14.50. Tour dates for Halloween start Oct. 25-Oct. 31.
Witch Trial Trail in Salem, Massachusetts
Considered Salem’s oldest walking tour, the Witch Trial Trail visits the places of the 1692 Salem witch trials. This hour tour, starting in October, revisits the haunting story of the men and women found guilty of witchcraft and sent to the gallows. Author and historian Jim McAllister leads the tour. Tickets are $12 for adults and $3 for children 7-17 years old. Because the tour accommodates all who show up, reservations are neither accepted nor needed.