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If your idea of a holiday is to explore the paranormal and maybe even catch a ghost on camera, you might be interested in a couple of offers in England.

• Haunting Breaks uses a team that carries out investigations in some of the most haunted places in the U.K. Led by experienced psychics and mediums, the tour begins with a history of the site. The group then breaks into smaller gatherings to hold vigils in the most active places, which have been determined prior to the event through temperature and electromagnetic readings. Those brave enough also can participate in séances.

Other members of the team include photographers, digital imagery specialists and Web cast specialists. The team provides recording equipment, but you are invited to join them with your own camera, camcorder and technical equipment. At the end of the evening, group members compare notes and discuss the experience.

The breaks run various dates through the year. Prices range from 110 pounds to 280 pounds (about $200-$530). Each break runs from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and includes a full introduction to Haunting Breaks paranormal investigations, three-course dinner with wine, use of crystal protection, dowsing techniques, group vigils and séances with psychics in active locations and a full discussion and debriefing before bed. Also included are one night’s accommodation and a full English breakfast.

Web site: www.hauntingbreaks.co.uk.

• Paranormal Investigations also offers weekly ghost hunts at more than 50 sites, including some associated with English Heritage and The National Trust. The organization begins with a health and safety briefing, followed by psychic and equipment workshops, ghost walks, talks with historians and experiments. The rest of the night (no sleeping on this tour!) you hold vigils and record any paranormal activity with equipment provided by the team. At the tour’s end, there are discussion sessions to compare notes.

A trip in February to Lympne Castle in Kent, for example, costs 99 pounds, and runs 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The castle, which dates to Roman times, is said to be haunted by a Roman soldier who fell from its walls. Visitors can sometimes sense the presence of a small group of Saxon warriors killed there, and a ghost in Tudor clothing has been seen.

The price includes overnight access to the castle, buffet supper, tea and coffee throughout the night, a psychic workshop, demonstration and full use of “ghost-hunting” equipment, ghost walk with a medium, mediums and experienced paranormal investigators to guide you on your investigation, late-night vigils, paranormal experiments and post-investigation discussion session.

Details at www.paranormaltours.com.

In addition, both sites offer information on the paranormal in England.

If you would prefer to be under the covers when you confront the paranormal, you might enjoy a haunted hotel room at www.hauntedhotelguide.com. It offers lodging information at 450 sites throughout the U.K., plus haunted packages.

Picasso exhibitThose who are interested in the works of Picasso may want to check out a new exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany. “Picasso and the Theater” runs Oct. 21 to Jan. 21.

The 140-piece collection explores the artist’s fascination with the theater, from which he often drew inspiration. This is evident in his figures of the commedia dell’arte, such as the harlequin, Pierrot and ballet dancers. His interest also inspired a number of famous stage sets and costumes.

The exhibition’s focus is on the period between 1900 and 1926 and also includes photographs and documentation.

The Schirn is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday and on Tuesdays, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Its Web site is www.schirn.de.

Denmark aglowOld Town (Den Gamle By) in Århus will have a historic glow during its 300 Years of Christmas celebration Nov. 11 through Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24-25), according to the tourist board, VisitDenmark.

Savor beautifully decorated period rooms from the Renaissance to 1929, see the exhibit highlighting the classic Danish children’s story “Peter’s Christmas,” and enjoy a historic collection of Christmas calendars that generations of Danish children have used to count down the days until the holiday.

The Old Town National Open-Air Museum of History and Culture encompasses dozens of authentic period buildings dating to the Renaissance, Baroque and Victorian eras. Costumed interpreters demonstrate life in Denmark as it once was: cooking in the kitchens, doing business in the shops and even brewing beer in the town’s working brewery.

Meanwhile, the tourist board also mentions that Christmas at Copenhagen’s famous theme park, Tivoli, runs from Nov. 15 through Dec. 30, also excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas. For more information, go to www.visitdenmark.com.

Best betsGERMANY: In October 1813 at Leipzig, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte battled the combined forces of Britain, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Prussia, Russia and Austria in an attempt to re-establish a hold in Germany. The result was one of the largest and bloodiest battles in European history, one in which Napoleon suffered a decisive defeat.

Today, Leipzig celebrates the victory with a re-enactment of the battle on the original field. On Friday, you can visit the historical camp, and at 2 p.m. Saturday you can watch the intense battle unfold. Admission to the field is 4 euros for adults, 2 euros for children up to 12 years. Details at www.leipzig1813.com.

SCOTLAND: Did you hear the one about …? Catch the best of the old Celtic tales at this year’s Storytellers Festival in Edinburgh, which runs Oct. 25 to Nov. 5. The dates include special ghostly presentations on Halloween and the Celtic New Years of Samhain, “the time when the veil between worlds is thin.”

Other sessions in venues throughout the city will focus on children’s stories for families, travel, love, witchcraft trials, history and humor tales, plus some with musical accompaniments. If you want to learn more about the art of storytelling, attend a workshop. Details at www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk.

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