The end of October brings darker evenings, autumn in full flow, orange and brown leaves littering parks and streets, warm winter woolies pulled from cupboards, and of course it brings Halloween.This is an excellent time to wrap yourself up and get outside walking, the autumnal scenes are breathtaking and you could find yourself a spooky travel destination to spice things up a little. Here are our recommendations:
Whitby is a beautiful town on the coast of Yorkshire, in the summer Whitby comes alive as a seaside town but in the darker, colder months Whitby has a secret; Bram Stocker spent a month staying here in July / August 1890 and it was during this time that he wrote pivotal parts of his famous book, Dracula.
During the last week of October, Whitby Abbey is illuminated and is incredible to see. This eerie light show illuminates the whole skeletal abbey and is a must see for a spooky travel destination.
There are so many wonderful walks to do in and around Whitby you will be spoilt for choice, with the Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast to the North and Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar to the South, plus the North York Moors National Park inland.
Moving on from Whitby, but not by too far, lies the Lake District, a stunning region of lakes and mountains that are so serene you can really revitalise and re-energise here. Aside from the area’s natural outstanding beauty though, there lies a darker side to The Lake District that would make it a definite spooky travel destination contender.
Cumbria has its own type of ghostly ghoul labelled a boggle which are known to be more prevalent than just normal ghosts. They can come in all shapes and sizes; Whitehaven's New Town Boggle is a howling dog that if heard outside your house predicts tragedy and disaster, whilst another boggle they have in New Town is a the tall lady who stands as tall as the church steeple who wanders the towns streets and mysteriously has a stunningly beautiful face yet no head….She was supposedly murdered by her lover and if young girls see this boggle they are doomed to live their lives as spinsters.
Halloween was first celebrated in Ireland around a thousand years ago and is believed to have its roots in the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, with around 80,000 people celebrating the festival last year in Derry.
As far as spooky travel destinations go, this one is up there. Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). At Samhain the division between this world and the otherworld was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through, and hence where the festival came from. Nowadays you can expect to find a hug Halloween parade, fireworks, music and much, much more.
Stretching on from Derry, Northern Ireland holds a whole host of reason's to make it our spooky travel destination list. Because it is steeped in a long history of conflict and bloodshed, Northern Ireland is the perfect location for some of most serious ghosts with negative energy making itself known frequently according to locals.
The Crumlin Road in Gaol, for example, has an exceptionally large amount of reported paranormal activity with the most recent being a ghostly girl walking a former jail of IRA terrorists. Newcastle Harbour is another hot-spot for ghostly sightings, the area is said to be haunted by a banshee, locals claim that this manifestation of a small woman shrieks and wails with a high-pitched voice. York Road Railway Station would also be worth a visit. There have been a number of reported sightings including that of a ghostly figure reportedly sat in the station’s canteen at night, which is locked by staff at closing time, and also reports of a figure spotted in the station’s running sheds.
If you haven’t been scared off already than we hope our spooky travel destinations have provided some inspiration and you manage to get a break this Halloween season. We’d love to hear about your spooky tales….that is if you make it back alive.