Stone wall with cannon.
Experience the Awakening of the Walls interactive theater experience along the city's 17th century walls.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

9 Places to Go for Halloween That Are Filled with Thrills & Chills

Derry, Northern Ireland (Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival)

Halloween actually originated in the United Kingdom so they don’t skimp when it comes to planning spooktacular festivities. In Derry, North Ireland, they host an annual Halloween Festival all weekend long complete with street carnival, parade, live music and fireworks.

Multiple venues around the city host festive activities and performances celebrating Samhain, the Gaelic festival and harvest season that became what we know as Halloween. A one-of-a-kind experience with ancient origins, make sure to experience Awakening the Walls, a themed, interactive theater experience along the city’s 17th-century walls.

White mill house with bridge over millpond.Over Halloween, Philipsburg Manor transforms into a haunted location featuring none other than the Headless Horseman.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Literature buffs can’t miss taking a Halloween vacation in Sleepy Hollow, NY. Follow the path of the legendary Headless Horseman at Philipsburg Manor where you’ll encounter all kinds of ghosts and ghouls along a haunted trail. A block party during Halloween weekend features a haunted hayride, vendors, food and music.

However, the highlight of Halloween here is just a short drive away at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Definitely something you need to see to believe, The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is a breath-taking spectacle of festive lights that keeps the Halloween spirit alive and well.

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Two women with skull face paint.Painting your face with a decorative skull design is a popular way to celebrate La Calaca Festival.Photo Credit: Getty Images

San Miguel de Allende, México

Mexico celebrates the Dia de los Muertos holiday, which honors the lives of the dead and acknowledges the inevitable fate that awaits us all. In San Miguel de Allende, during the La Calaca Festival, revelers dress up in costumes or sometimes as a deceased loved one, wearing masks or painting their faces with a decorative skull design.

Traditionally, towns host a nighttime, candlelit parade that often ends at a public square, garden or cemetery. Elaborate public art and altar installations will also be on display during the festivities including the Pyramid of the Dead, a massive tribute to healing, which premiered at Burning Man in 2017.

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