A skeleton looks down on visitors from a cage at Burg Frankenstein's Halloween 2009 exhibit.

A skeleton looks down on visitors from a cage at Burg Frankenstein's Halloween 2009 exhibit. (Mark Patton/Stars and Stripes)

Visit Frankenstein's haunt for HalloweenAccording to German historian Walter Scheele, U.S. soldiers stationed at Cambrai-Fritsch Kaserne in Darmstadt, Germany, after World War II started the now-famous Halloween party at nearby Frankenstein’s castle. On one Halloween, the soldiers were partying so loudly at the base that the commander told them to take their fun somewhere where they wouldn’t disturb the families also living there. So a group headed to “The Home of the Monster,” got permission from the Frankenstein Inn manager to use the castle ruins and promoted the first Halloween festival.

The party has become an annual event, run by a group of Germans with local sponsors. This year’s party runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 7 Fridays through Sundays and its theme is “The Plague in the Middle Ages.” Within the four areas of the castle ruins you’ll find stage shows with druids and vampires, a cemetery with zombies, werewolves and witches, a re-created medieval torture room and a “monster-free” zone with refreshments and music.

Although the Oct. 29-31 dates are sold out (with the exception of Sunday’s children’s party), the weekends of Oct. 22-24 and Nov. 5-7 are still open. For children, special Halloween parties are scheduled Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Costumes aren’t obligatory but do add to the fun.

Buses run up the hill to the castle on all days, with car parking at the bottom. They depart Fridays from 7 p.m., Saturdays from 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. (starting with the children’s party). Tickets cost 18 to 20 euros for ages 14 and older, and 9 euros for ages 7-14 at the children’s party. Children younger than 7 enter free. The parking fee and bus transfer are included in the price.

For ticket sales, go to and click on the Halloween tab on the home page. The website is in German only.

Egypt at ChristmasCruise the Nile and see the mysteries of Egypt during the Christmas holidays on a trip organized by Meyer Travel from Dec. 19-25.

In addition to evening entertainment on the five-day Nile cruise, the itinerary includes stops at the Temple of Karnak, Temple of Luxor, Valley of the Kings and Queens, Temple of Horus, Temple of Sobek and Temple of Haroeris and the Aswan Dam. The stay in Cairo includes visits to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities (with artifacts from the Tomb of Tutankhamun), the Khan el-Khalili bazaar, the pyramids in the Giza complex and Memphis.

The cost is $2,399 per person, double occupancy, and includes round-trip flights from Frankfurt, Germany; four nights in an outside standard cabin on the cruise; three nights’ accommodation in a five-star hotel in Cairo; some meals; sightseeing fees per itinerary; in-country flights, transfers, bus transportation and services of a professional guide.

See or contact Katie Meyer in the States at (916) 786-3708 or by email at

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