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Time for a spooky getaway?

7th October 2013

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The nights are slowly beginning to draw in and people have actually had to start wearing coats again this week, meaning it must be creeping up to winter, and with it, the spookiest night of the year.Whilst for most Halloween is just an excuse to get dressed up, eat sweets and have a party, there are some far more interesting ways to spend your student loan and enjoy something a bit more out of the ordinary this year.

Throughout the world there are numerous tales of ghosts, ghouls and monsters. From haunted houses across America to the ancient myths of bloodsucking Vampires in Transylvania, there are a wide range of spooky destinations that are perfect for a getaway this October.

Mexico, Xochimco - the Island of the Dolls

Like something out of a horror film, Mexico’s Island of the Dolls is one of the spookiest destinations you could choose. Just south of Mexico City,this creepy little island in the canals of Xochimco is a popular tourist attraction for those looking for a truly haunting experience.

The tale goes that the island is dedicated to the lost soul of a little girl who lost her life drowning in the murky waters. After her death, the villagers fled the island, believing they were being haunted by her spirit. Years later however, one man returned and began hanging dolls from the trees as a shrine for the little girl who continued to torment him. After 50 years, the old man ironically drowned in the same canal as the young girl, and now the island has been presentedas an altogether creepy attraction. Mutilated dolls hang from the branches and are rumoured to move when you are not watching.

Paris – the Catacombs

For a frightening experience slightly closer to home, Paris ticks all the boxes. Famous for being the most romantic city in the world, some may argue that it is also one of the most terrifying. The Catacombs of Paris is an incredible underground ossuary, made up of caves and tunnels filled with the human remains of miners transferred here in the 18th century due to the overcrowding of Parisian cemeteries.

Stacked to the ceiling with over 7 million skulls and bones, it is a truly creepy place to visit and not for the faint hearted! Maybe go with a group of mates to this one – a new girlfriend might not appreciate this dark side of Paris quite so much!

Transylvania – Bran Castle

Better known as ‘Dracula’s Castle’, Bran Castle is the home of one of the most famous vampire tales of all time. Back in the 18th century, the Count Dracula legend was born and many still believe it is true up to this very day. Vlad the Impaler (who Dracula was based on) lived in Bran Castle,and with a maze of labyrinthine hallways and dark cornersit provided plenty of hiding spots forthe bloodsucking monster! If you still want to dress up then maybe take your fangs and cape and see if you can scare the other visitors while you’re there!

Guatemala - Day of the Dead Festival

If you do want to stick to a more traditional Halloween celebration then Guatemala is a great place to visit. On November 1st, the town hosts the ‘Day of the Dead’ festival as a way to honour friends and family that have passed away that year. This carnival-type celebration through the graveyard is, in fact, not quite as morbid as it sounds, and instead is a very colourful affair. Famous for some of the most extravagant kites around, you will find yourself lost in a sea of brightly coloured tissue paper and spooky costumes.

So why not put that student loan towards something a bit more exciting than a Halloween night down the Union this year!

Guatemala image by David Dennis on Flickr -

Paris image by Julian Fong on Flickr

Mexico image by Bec Plumbe on Flickr

Transylvania image by Horia Varlan on Flickr

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