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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween 2023

Every year in October, I run 31 days of Halloween posts on my Facebook page. I love posting about cool, creepy, haunting things you can do (or avoid) on your travels and October is the best time to really post all those things. If you missed any of my posts or just aren't on Facebook, I like to do a round-up here for all those things. Enjoy 31 Halloween posts:
Every year in October, I run 31 days of Halloween posts on my Facebook page. I love posting about seasonal things you can do (or avoid) on your trips
1: Whatever happened to the Bermuda Triangle? For a long time, we heard a story every few months of people disappearing into it. Between that and quicksand and killer bees, I feel like a lot of horror stories from our younger days weren't actually anything.

2: You probably already know that I love a good cemetery. By "good", I mean old and interesting. I've been to a lot of unique ones, but none as colorful as many of these unique cemeteries across the world. 

3: There's nothing scarier than being robbed on vacation. If you get pickpocketed, you should do these things immediately. It won't - and shouldn't - necessarily ruin your whole trip. Being knowledgeable and prepared is important.

4: What are some awesome things to do in October? Well, whether you're looking to get scared, go on an adventure, snuggle up at home, or get outdoors, there's a whole list of destinations that specialize in your travel style for fall.

5: Watch your back and your children in Australia, because there's a child-eating monster stalking the wetlands. It's called the gu-ru-ngaty, the mirree-ulla, the banib, or more commonly the Bunyip and it has origins in Aboriginal stories. It's blood-curdling scream might be the last thing on hears or can haunt you for the rest of your life.

6: Have you ever heard of a ghost island? It's on maps, but doesn't actually exist! They may have existed at one time or been fabricated by the mapmaker, but why are they still on modern maps?

7: I love to read a spooky book, and like other books, they can really give you some travel vibes. If you just finished a book with a great backdrop to the story, maybe you want to pack a bag and go visit the place the book was set. You can! Here are 12 places from popular fiction

8: This time of year we think a lot about the supernatural, ghosts, and spirits. If you want to expand your mind with some magical places that are hotbeds of spiritual activity, here are 12 destinations to put on your list.

9: Corn mazes can be fun and challenging and good exercise. I avoid the nighttime ones where people are trying to scare me when I'm already scared, because it's dark and the corners are full of strangers. If you enjoy being scared and want to really test your limits, here are the scariest corn mazes to get lost in in America.

10: Do you visit every National Park while traveling around America? They can have some gorgeous views, interesting history, and cool animals, but they can also be downright spooky. Get creeped out at these 8 National Parks.

11: People have always thought blood was either a cure or a cause of plenty of things. Shockingly, this has endured, especially people using blood as a medical solution. Don't try this at home, but one of these cures includes making and consuming blood jam, first notated in 1679. Sounds really iron-y to me and also makes me glad we have doctors who know things now instead of trying to "balance your humors" and blame things on miasma (bad air).

12: Paris may be known as the most romantic destination, but it also has a bloody and creepy history. Nothing confirms this more than all the scary things that have been pulled out of the Seine and other French rivers. You'll absolutely never look at the city the same way again after reading this.

13: Friday the 13th came and went this year, unlike these passengers on on this Swedish train. They say "Only the dead get off at Kymlinge." This abandoned Metro station is now steeped in myths, one of which claims that The Silver Arrow train that stops there. Though the station is usually locked, because it might still be finished at some point, you can still visit it from the nearby village.

14: Hell isn't real. Or is it? Many cultures believe in the underworld and demons and such, and most have their own version of it, including how to get there. There are 17 places that are said to be the actual Gates of Hell, and maybe you want to go check them out yourself. I've been to the St. Louis Cemetery in Louisiana, but unless it's markedly more scary at night, when you can't actually visit, I wouldn't believe it belongs on this list more than any other destination.

15: Not all creepy things happen in October. In fact, some happy during the prettiest part of the year: Spring. The sun is out and so are the monsters. Start planning your trip now, unless that movie Midsommar scared the you-know-what out of you. Supposedly, that was meant as a dark comedy to the guy who wrote and directed it. I'd hate to see what he considers actual horror.

16: I live in the middle of Bigfoot country. Do I believe he's real? Maybe. I saw Harry and the Hendersons growing up and I saw how well they could hide at the end of the movie. So many sightings can't possibly be all faked, could they? There's an entire show devoted to finding the elusive creature(s). If you also believe he's real, you can go on your own hunt on this tour. 

17: The Blair Witch Project was actually based on a real legend, or more specifically, several different legends, but one in particular was a big contributor. The legend of the Bell Witch. I remember my father telling me about the Bell Witch of Tennessee and being glad I hadn't heard about it sooner. 

18: Argentina has a lake monster, like Loch Ness. This one is found in Patagonia's Nahuel Huapi Lake and the plesiosaur-like creature is called Nahuelito. While it may or may not exist, it's fun to think we have some cool dinosaurs that survived all this time.

19: Imagine getting ill on vacation and having no idea why and not getting better, because doctors misdiagnose you and then you almost die. This is some good info to remember if this happens to you and doctors don't know what they're looking for. You might have a bacterial infection called H. Pylori.

20: The ways cops get people to confess to crimes now can be cruel and/or unethical, but it's nowhere near as odd as when they used a skeleton to scare people into telling them everything. It's so crazy, but also effective. 

21: Across the world, and throughout history, there have been some real interesting things used as currency. One of the weirdest, in my opinion, was when Medieval England used eels to pay for things, including rent. 

22: One of the places I've wanted to go after I visited the Paris Catacombs was Portugal's Chapel of Bones. A portion of a larger 16th century chapel, this one has walls and a chandelier created from bones. 

23: Forests are mysterious places and can often be scary if you aren't familiar with it. You may have heard of the suicide forest in Japan, but not the haunting ghost forests of Maryland's eastern shore

24: One of my worst fears is being scammed on vacation and getting stuck in a destination with no way of getting home or having no money for the remainder of my trip. Well, this tour operator is scamming travelers and this is how you can avoid being a victim.

25: A pristine beach that you can throw down a blanket or towel and just lounge as much as you want sounds lovely for most people, but what if you rolled up to your favorite beach, or the nearest one to your vacation accommodation, only to find out a ton of dead fish had just washed up on shore, making it impossible to enjoy? That's what's happened in Texas.

26: I've driven through Tonopah, Nevada at least a handful of times on my way to or from Las Vegas. The little city is cute and has a great cemetery (sorry), so nice places to stop and eat and/or shop, and a few hotels, including the crazy Clown Motel. I've never stopped, because I don't love clowns. A friend stayed there and the photos ensured that I would never stay there, because having a painting of Reagan from Poltergeist on an entire wall is a no go. If you're intrigued, check out this video of the ghosts of the Tonopah Clown Motel.

27: October is a month to acknowledge spooky, mystical, and ghostly things. Many people are superstitious, at least on some level. Every culture has their own specific superstitions and there are so many that involve water. Have you heard of any of these water superstitions and do you believe in any of them?

28: Books can take you to a lot of places: your favorite magic school, the den of anthropomorphic woodland creatures, into outer space...the hospital. Wait, what? In the 16th and 17th century, wallpapers, clothes, and even book covers were dyed with questionable substances, one of which was arsenic. 3 books that were tainted with arsenic were found in a Danish library could have some not so great consequences if touched or breathed near.

29: Ghosts can be found haunting plenty of places, including hotels and schools, but some places are teeming with spirits. These historic hotels, abandoned penitentiaries, and ancient lighthouses are all said to have some supernatural residents roaming the grounds. They are the most haunted places in every state, so no matter where you are, you can go ghost hunting.

30: Everyone knows the story of Dracula. In fact, you can sign up for Dracula Daily and read the book one chapter at a time, directly to your email (almost) each day. But who knows the actual origins of Dracula? Forget Vlad the Impaler. A 19th-century cholera outbreak in Sligo may have been Bram Stoker’s chief inspiration.

31: Happy Halloween!  Real horror stories generally have their roots in reality. You can be part of your own scary story if you don't do some good research before you book a place to stay. For the record, I still use vacation rentals with high success, but there are a lot of failures. Here are the worst Airbnb horror stories from Reddit.

I hope you enjoyed this series, because I always enjoy putting them together and learning some things along the way, too. Enjoy some candy and costumes today, if you celebrate. If you don't, enjoy whatever else you're doing instead.

Share a spooky travel story of your own in the comments.

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