The Satzvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany, hosts Halloween parties on Oct. 29 and 31 that are not for the faint of heart.

The Satzvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany, hosts Halloween parties on Oct. 29 and 31 that are not for the faint of heart. (Michael Goehre)

Ghosts and ghouls, dressing up in costumes and colorful autumn décor— small wonder Halloween traditions have caught on in many parts of Europe. Here are just a few places to celebrate the season of screams and scares.

Czech Republic

Prague’s Incheba Arena will host the city’s first-ever Halloween festival Oct. 28-29. The Luna Festival features live music, fire and dance shows, a costume contest, themed decorations, a pillow fight and a high-powered soundtrack served up by well-known DJs. Visitors can choose from single-day tickets or weekend passes; prices begin at 548 Czech koruna (about $21.60) when bought online. Online:


Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen opens its doors for Halloween-themed festivities Oct. 13-Nov. 6. By day, younger children will appreciate tame pranks, but as darkness falls, the thrills delivered by monsters and zombies become a bit more spine-tingling. All can appreciate the autumnal ambiance of one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. The park’s assortment of rides will be in full swing as well. Adult entry to the park costs 145 Danish Kroner on weekdays and 155 DKK on weekends. Tickets for children ages 3-7 go for 65 DKK. Online:


The London Dungeon gets into the Halloween spirit with a haunted house-themed makeover. From Oct. 15-31, a new show offers examines some terrifying and unexplained happenings dating as far back as the 1850s. Adult ticket prices for the standard tour and show start at 28 pounds when booked online in advance. Online:


The village of Corinaldo in the Le Marche Region is known far and wide for its “Festa della Streghe.” Each year on Halloween itself and the weekend preceding it, the best assets of this sleepy medieval town are decked out to create an eerie mysterious underworld. Street artists, a crafts market, a haunted tunnel and torchlight illuminations are amongst the features that have delighted visitors over past years. Online:


Europa-Park in Rust gets into the holiday action with its Traumatica – Festival of Fear. This horror-house like experience depicts a post-apocalyptic world peopled with folk who will stop at nothing to instill panic in unsuspecting visitors. The experience is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings through Nov. 12; tickets cost 28 euros and up. Online:

At Holiday Park in Hassloch, Halloween Fright Nights are back on the agenda. Visitors are welcomed to the amusement park on all Saturdays in October, as well as the night of Halloween itself. Five horror houses, music played by DJs, fun rides and a spectacular fireworks display are amongst the event’s draws. The Scare Zones are recommended for visitors age 16 and up. Adult tickets go for 35.50 euros when purchased online in advance. Online:

The moated 12th-century Satzvey Castle in Mechernich is a fitting venue for this lively party and scare-fest. On Oct. 29 and 31, brave visitors are promised spine-tingling experiences from the moment they are greeted by an eerie ferryman and led into the courtyard, where they can experience a labyrinth of horror before watching the on-stage show and dancing to DJ music. The wearing of costumes is encouraged. Online ticket prices begin at 17 euros for adults and 11 euros for children. Online:

Just south of Darmstadt lie the ruins of a medieval castle made famous by the story of Frankenstein, an ideal setting for a party conjured into life by American GIs back in the 1970s and still going strong. Zombies, monsters and other gruesome beings come frightfully near to all who dare enter into the various zones. The event takes place outdoors, so dressing warmly, costumed or not, is essential. The entrance fee includes all shows and attractions, as well as shuttle bus transfer from the parking lot to the castle high on the hill. From noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday afternoons, the Halloween festivities are geared to younger visitors. Regular, fast lane and VIP tickets are available at prices ranging from 33 to 111 euros. Entry on children’s Sundays costs 20 euros. Online:


Dublin’s Bram Stoker Festival takes its name from the author of the classic horror novel “Dracula.” The event veers off in a new direction in 2022 with the staging of Borealis, a light and sound experience that takes its inspiration from the Northern Lights. The free event will play out from 6:30 p.m. each evening between Oct. 28 and 31 at Dublin Castle’s Upper Courtyard. Online:

Northern Ireland

Derry/Londonderry, unique in the fact that its ancient city walls remain largely intact, has slowly emerged to become what’s considered one of the world’s leading cities in which to celebrate Halloween. From the evening of Oct. 28 through Halloween itself, magic and mayhem rules at festivities that find their inspiration in the Gaelic festival of Samhain. The city’s upbeat spirit peaks on Oct. 31 with a costume parade, followed by fireworks at 8:15 p.m. The wearing of costumes is encouraged here. Online:


Edinburgh’s Samhuinn Fire Festival, celebrated on Halloween itself, brings otherworldly creatures out to play in the city’s Holyrood Park as drummers, acrobats and fire artists stage an epic battle between summer and winter. Festivities begin at 7 p.m., and preregistration on the event website is essential. Online:

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