October 19, 2012

Five frightening destinations that go bump in the night


While Halloween is not widely celebrated in Australia, there are some parts of the world that go crazy for creepy places that go bump in the night.  So if you need to get your Twilight fix, Cheapflights.com.au has uncovered some wickedly cheap horror-days.  The only thing not to be scared of is the price tag, because www.cheapflights.com.au works with more than 300 travel partners to sort and compare the best value deals on the market.

You can't go past America for a massive dose of all things Halloween.  Salem in Massachusetts specialises in scaring holidaymakers year round, but October is definitely the spookiest time to visit with scary tours, séance events and a vampires masquerade ball.  Cheapflights.com.au has found return flights to Boston Massachusetts from $1550 including taxes.

Scarier still, spend the night of Halloween at one of the USA's most haunted hotels, The Stanley Hotel in Colorado - the hotel that inspired Steven King's novel, The Shining.  Rooms start from around $180 per night.  Add a ghost and history tour for $15 - or a spine-chilling five-hour ghost hunt at $60 for the ultimate in terror.  Cheapflights.com.au has found return flights to Denver Colorado from $1550 including taxes.

All Saints Day on November 1st is a day of festivities in The Philippines marking the beginning of the Filipino "Araw ng mgba Patay," the celebration of the Day of the Dead.   Instead of trick-or-treating, groups of singers known as pangangaluluwa, dress in scary costumes and go door-to-door to entertain in return for treats.  Family reunions are taken to the next level with families gathering in cemeteries alongside the tomb of their dearly-departed for a grave-side spruce-up and a family picnic.   Cheapflights.com.au has found return airfares to Manila from $864 including taxes.

Halloween and cemeteries go hand-in-hand, so a visit to the world's most popular cemetery, Père Lachaise in Paris, is for true enthusiasts.  One million people are buried here with the remains of a further two million stored in the ossuary and columbarium.  Since its establishment in 1804, the cemetery has become quite the place for famous people to call home, with permanent residents including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Jean de La Fontaine, Edith Piaf, Proust and Chopin among many others.  Entry to Père Lachaise is free.  Cheapflights.com.au has found return flights to Paris from $1304 including taxes. 

For some people, the scary part of a visit to the ruins Poenari Castle in Romania might be the 1,480 steep concrete steps into the place where many people were tortured, worked to death or murdered (usually by impalement – not by climbing the stairs).  Others might be more frightened by the thought of the notorious previous owner Vlad III Tepes, also called Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Draculea; - or just plain Dracula.  This castle is the real-deal (not to be confused with tourist attraction Bram Castle), it's not frequented by many tourists and was scary enough to be the only place to freak out a TV crew filming the world's most haunted locations for the Discovery Channel, leaving them running screaming from the castle.  Cheapflights.com.au has found return airfares to Bucharest in Romania from $1784 including taxes.

With a bloody history of nearly 1000 years, the Tower of London (sometimes catchily-called Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress which is home to the Crown Jewels) is said to be the most haunted building in England.  The site of many beheadings, murders, hangings, and mysterious disappearances means the tower is busy with tortured souls - including the headless body of Anne Boleyn and two more of Henry VIII's wives as well as Sir Walter Raleigh, Lady Jane Grey, child princes Edward V and Richard Duke of York, among others.   Tickets to visit the tower are $31.  Cheapflights.com.au has found return flights to London from $1332 including taxes.

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