Like Americans, Europeans celebrate Halloween, but not everyone in Europe celebrates Halloween in the same way. While many cities look upon Halloween as a good excuse for a party, the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain is still honored in parts of Scotland and Ireland. In the east, Romania puts a twist on proceedings with its Dracula-inspired festivities held in Transylvania, whereas many countries forgo Halloween altogether, focusing instead on the Catholic tradition of All Souls' Day (Day of the Dead) on November 2nd.
Costumed trick-and-treaters will be out in masses throughout the UK and Ireland as the weeks of pumpkin-carving, Halloween-cookie-baking and haunted-house-visiting come to a head. There will also be plenty of adults-only fun to be had, with riotous fancy dress parties and groups hitting bars and nightclubs. Those wanting to get in the mood can walk in the footsteps of the notorious Jack the Ripper in haunted London; brave the eerie underground vaults of haunted Edinburgh or sip a Guinness at the Gravediggers’ Pub after a tour of haunted Dublin.
Across the channel, there are plenty of equally spooky sights that will send shivers down your spine. The City of Light shows its dark side for Halloween, with ghost-hunters descending on Paris’ most haunted attractions like the Paris Catacombs and the Montparnasse Cemetery. Over on Dutch soil, ghost tours pass through the Amsterdam Dungeon, Dam Square (once used for witch burnings) and Bloedstraat (Blood Street); whereas Prague’s witch walking tours cast a light over the city’s murky past. Even romantic Venice gets a creepy makeover, with ghost walking tours telling the stories of the cursed Poveglia Island, the alleyways ominously named ‘the Assassins’ and the ‘House of No Return.’