The spookiest time of the year is upon us! People are carving up pumpkins for reasons other than pumpkin spice latte extraction, everyone is changing their screen names to something suitably grim, and everyone is ready to get their costumes on. So what fun activities in Europe can you attend instead of your office’s Halloween party?
- Bram Stoker Festival
Bram Stoker was the man who took vampires from being a bit of lore about corpses and/or repressed Victorian sexuality and made them mainstream with Dracula. So why not celebrate Halloween with a festival dedicated to father of vampires (take that, Anne Rice)?
Since ol’ Stoker was an Irish lad, the 4 day festival takes place in Dublin. What can you expect? Well, there’s going to be fun for the whole family. Watch vampire movies, take part in literary lectures, find activities for the whole family (and teens), whatever. There might even be a parade involved!
- Borgo a Mozzano
Borgo a Mozzano has probably the most famous Devil’s Bridge in Europe. Ponte della Maddalena is a marvel of Medieval engineering. Legend has it that the bridge was built with the help of the Devil, who demanded the soul of the first one to cross the bridge. The canny bridge builder sent a dog over, thus fooling the Prince of Lies.
The town of Borgo a Mozzano loves the attention their Beelzebub’s Crossing gets, and the town hosts a yearly Halloween celebration. If you ever wanted to celebrate the day of the spooks in Italy, this is your excuse.
- Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival
On the other hand, why go to Italy if you can celebrate Halloween in lovely, English-speaking (Northern) Ireland? Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival – a mouthful, I know – may just be the largest such festival in Europe.
For four days in October, it transforms the city of Derry into the spookiest place around. You’ll see haunted houses, night tours of spooky places, face painting, dances, fortune telling and more. And unlike in Belfast, the lodging prices are probably unlikely to be the most frightening part of the event!
Folks love celebrating Halloween by watching scary movies with their starring their favorite ghouls and haunters. So why not go to the source and experience the Horrornächte (gee, I wonder what this indecipherable German name means) in Filmpark Babelsberg?
Locate outside of Berlin, this film set/theme park comes undead with Halloween horror props, actors and performances. The whole thing is so frightening that persons under 16 years of age aren’t allowed in!
- Bloody Sexy Halloweekend
Bloody Sexy Halloweekend is a party in Prague (and not to be mistaken with a very similarly named event in the Netherlands). About 5000 people from all around the world (but probably mostly Czechs) come to rock out.
Presumably, the event plays more than Spooky Scary Skeletons on repeat. Aside from some funky beats, expect people revelling in costumes, as well as dancers straight out of Hellraiser (or Mad Max).
- Spirits of Meath
Getting back to Ireland here! Meath claims that Halloween started in their region as Samhain, a 2,000 year old Celtic festival, albeit they probably didn’t try to trick-or-treat Romans.
Lasting from October 6th to November 4th, the whole town is on the show. Workshops? They have it. Spooky boat tours? Yeah, that’s one the menu. And you expected just a regular walking tour of haunted places? Welp, there’s that too.
Transylvania is a region of Romania that takes place all year round. It has a very old tradition of just existing. However, we all believe it to be the spookiest area in Europe, tied to the whole vampire mythos and what not.
Fortunately, the reason is lousy with castles, citadels and other places worthy of housing ancient vampires. While the towns and villages might be putting on shows for Halloween, it’s basically the perfect self-guided chilling tour destination.
However, since you can’t turn into mist or a bat (our marketing department ensures us that vampires don’t read the blog), you will still have to get to those spooky fests. And outside of haunted lavatories, the scariest thing in air travel are flight disruptions. If your fright holidays gets cancelled because of flight delays, cancellations or even overbooking, who you gonna call? Skycop! That’s right, we’ll drive your claim right into the dead, shrivelled heart of an airline and help you get your flight compensation!