Where to Celebrate Halloween Around the World this Autumn
Chief Adventurer at CamperDays, Max Schmidt, shares some of his top places to enjoy Halloween around the world.
The approaching autumn means nights are getting longer and scarier, creating the perfect conditions for Halloween, and in every corner of the world there is a diverse range of activities to take part in to banish the ghoulies.
Max Schmidt, Chief Adventurer at CamperDays, says, “Halloween is our annual opportunity to really engage with the things we fear. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off the unknown.
“Cultures around the world have many different ways of confronting, or celebrating, the unknown. In a way, a road trip is the perfect embodiment of the unknown or the uncertain, because there is no set destination and instead we have the freedom to wander, get lost, and take the journey as it comes, which is really the best part of the holiday.
“What’s more is that availability and pricing for campervans also tend to be better in the Autumn months, as the summer holidays are over meaning fewer families are on the road”.
Read on for Max’s guide to enjoying Halloween festivities across the globe.
The Annual Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, the largest pumpkin festival on Earth
The pumpkin is emblematic of the spirit of Halloween, and, because of the harvest season, of Autumn itself. This seasonal gourd is usually orange, but pumpkins can be red, white, or even blue!
The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival at the Blühendes Barock Palace Gardens in Ludwigsburg, Germany, isn’t specifically a Halloween festival, but this year the festive event spans the whole of the Autumn season from 25 August – 3 December. The theme changes every year, but the festival consists of intricately-carved pumpkin sculptures and scrumptious pumpkin-based delicacies such as soup, waffles, sparkling wine, and local delicacy Maultaschen!
Tickets for entry are £10 for adults, £5 for under-15s, or £26 for a family of two adults and two children.*
Haunted New England
It seems that New England on the East Side of the United States creates apt conditions for a spooky Halloween holiday. It is where some of the most famous writers of scary stories such as Edgar Allen Poe, H.P.
Lovecraft, and Stephen King were born, and it is the setting of horror flicks like The Conjuring, The VVitch, and the less frightening Hocus Pocus.
The region is also the backdrop to the Salem witch trials of 1692, and you can learn all about one of the darkest times of US history at the Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts where adults are admitted for just under £14 and under-14s for just under £12.*
Also in Salem is the annual Haunted Happenings festival, which is a month-long series of family-friendly Halloween-themed activities such as haunted houses, broom decorating classes, magic potion parties, and the climactic Grand Parade.
Burrow Head in Scotland
Fans of Robin Hardy’s 1973 spooky cult classic The Wicker Man may recognise the southernmost point of the Isle of Whithorn in Scotland as the site of the film’s infamous finale.
No need to worry about cult members here – Burrow Head is home to a large holiday village with parking space for campervans or motorhomes, and you can enjoy cliffside walks and other outdoor activities such as archery, climbing, kayaking and sailing.
You can also visit other filming locations near Burrow Head such as Stranraer, Gatehouse of Fleet, and Newton Stewart.
Halloween in Amsterdam
Halloween isn’t traditionally celebrated in the Netherlands, but the worldwide adoption of the Halloween tradition has slowly but surely made its way to the country in recent years.
The Ghostwalk of Amsterdam is an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the spooky side of the city, and you can prebook a space on a small, guided ghost walk from £14 per person*. Your English-speaking ghost walker will regale you with more than 800 years of supernatural lore.
Located just a 15-minute cycle from the city centre and connected by a tram running every five minutes, Camping Zeeburg Amsterdam offers sizeable camper and caravan pitches, and you could extend your road trip outside of the city and see the UNESCO-protected windmills of Kinderdijk or the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
Whitby Goth Weekend
For years this seaside town in North Yorkshire has attracted those belonging to the Goth subculture. It’s hardly surprising, given its harrowing lore replete with witches, ghosts, and haunted shipwrecks, and let’s not forget that parts of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel Dracula are set there, too.
The Whitby Goth Weekend (WGW) is held biannually, but its second run this year will be between 27-29 October, and you can rock out to dark wave, synth pop, and gothic rock. In addition to that, Whitby is famed for its production of jet, a dark black gemstone made famous by Queen Victoria during her perpetual mourning for Prince Albert.
Pitch up in Broadings Farm or Sandfield House Farm where there are campervan and caravan pitches. When the WGW is over and done and the gothic regalia is back in the closet, head to Harry Potter filming location Goathland, or the quaint fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay.
Derry Halloween in Ireland
This year, why not go back to where it all started? Although Halloween is now an extremely commercially viable celebration, it has its roots in the Celtic tradition of Samhain (pronounced sow-un), the marking of the beginning of winter in which celebrants would perform divination rituals in an effort to cross over to the Otherworld.
Derry Halloween had its first run in the Castle Bar on Waterloo Street in Derry, Ireland, over 35 years ago, but the celebrations now take place across the entire city and Derry Halloween is one of the best known Halloween celebrations in the world.
To find out more or to book a van for your next road trip, visit camperdays.co.uk.
Notes to Editors:
Head of CamperDays and Chief Adventurer, Max Schmidt, is available for interview or comment upon request.
For further press information, please contact:
Will Challis | Olivia Hazelden-Kingdon | Elsa Findlay
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Launched in Germany in 2013, CamperDays is Europe’s leading camper tour operator, working with 150 partners in over 700 locations globally.
CamperDays facilitates access to over 35,500 vehicles available for rent worldwide, including in the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Canada and South Africa. The platform allows customers to choose from a selection of trusted providers globally via an easy three step booking process, with rentals available from just £70 per day.
Since it was launched, CamperDays customers have booked over 1,000,000 nights in vehicles rented through the site. CamperDays provides access to a broad selection of campervans and motorhomes catering to every type of traveller, with transparent pricing and no hidden costs. All vehicles come with insurance, with excess, as standard, to allow renters a truly carefree holiday.
For more information or to make a booking, visit the website: www.camperdays.co.uk.