Mexico City, Mexico
While Mexico City’s celebration is less for Halloween and more for El Día de Muertos, which takes place on November 1 and 2, it’s still an enchanting celebration. The city has long celebrated the holiday, but the huge parade is a new addition, inspired in 2016 by the James Bond movie Spectre. The parade includes floats, musical stars, hundreds of dancers and acrobats, and thousands of participants, many dressed in brightly colored costumes. Skeletons will be on full display.
If you have children, Orlando can be a great place to go for Halloween. There is a range of parties from kid-friendly Disney parties to genuinely frightening events for adults. Disney offers Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, while at Universal Studios, there’s Halloween Horror Nights. There’s something for everyone in Orlando; plus, these events run for months, so you don’t have to be there exactly on Halloween.
Salem, Massachusetts is notorious for the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Because of this, the city is still sometimes called Witch City. The town’s history draws tourists all year round, but there’s something special (and sinister) about visiting at Halloween. Salem offers Salem Haunted Happenings, a series of Halloween events that capitalize on the spookiness of the location. Many even dress up for the occasion!
If you’re a fan of spooky tales and macabre, London is the place to go for Halloween. It’s famous for its Victorian-era murderers like Jack the Ripper as well as its fog, which can give the city a spooky atmosphere. The city also embraces the more fun aspects of Halloween. You can join the 5k and 10 k Halloween runs through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and dress up in costume and then go to the numerous parties (or pubs) that will be available throughout the city.
Dublin is actually where Halloween has its origins. The holiday began as the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced ‘sah-win’), which celebrated dead ancestors. The ancient Celts believed that at Samhain, the dead who lived in the underworld would have access to the world of the living and could come back. While back then, they would stay inside their homes in order to avoid any spirits that might have returned, Dublin now has Halloween parties and other events you can attend, including a costume parade and fireworks.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Sleepy Hollow is only 30 miles north along the Hudson River from New York City, but don’t let its proximity to the big city fool you. This town is known for being the setting of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which told the tale of the Headless Horseman. Sleepy Hollow offers Halloween-related events, including a tour of the town and the cemetery that’s conducted by lantern light.
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