Friday, October 13, 2017

5 Awesome Places to Visit for Halloween

Book your plane tickets, grab your travel guides and pack your bags, 'cause we're off for a celebration of Halloween across the globe!

Hey guys! I'm here today with another Halloween special for you. But first, in case you missed my last few posts, I'm actually currently hosting a special Halloween event on the blog this month. So if you missed my latest Halloween themed posts, you can click here to read about the movies that I'll be watching throughout the month. You can also click here to see the books that I'll be reading this month. 


So for today's post, I thought I would do something a bit different and share with you a list of the places that I'd love to one day visit for Halloween. These are well-loved travel destinations that every year undergo a magical transformation to become extra spooky around Halloween time. So whether you're just hoping to add new locations to your travel bucket list or you're planning your next Halloween holiday trip, I hope you'll enjoy this post! As always, if you have other recommendations for me, feel free to let me know in the comments. 

Disney World during Halloween time (Florida, US)


Source

Disney Parks are always places of magic and wonder, regardless of the time of the year. However, during the Halloween season, the theme park undergoes one of its most magical makeovers of the year to enchant visitors even more with a deliciously spooky wonderland that would make Jack Skellington and the folks over at Halloweentown feel right at home. 

St. Helens, Oregon (US)


Source

If you're a fan of the classic Disney Channel Halloweentown movies, you probably already know this but St. Helens actually served as the shooting location of the first movie. Every year, the small town goes all out for Halloween and puts together an amazing month-long celebration of Halloween. This year the festivities will be extra special as the cast members of the movie are coming together to celebrate with the fans and also to pay tribute to Debbie Reynolds, who passed away in 2016 and who played the role of Marnie's grandma Aggie in the movies. The town's Halloween celebrations went viral in 2015 when Marnie's actress Kimberly J. Brown made an appearance to light a giant pumpkin in the spirit of a similar scene at the end of the first movie. If you are in the area and want to find out more about this year's celebrations, click here for full details of the event

Transylvania, Romania 


Source

What better than a visit to the birthplace of legendary vampire Dracula to celebrate Halloween? Once home to Vlad the Impaler, the cruel prince who inspired the story of Dracula, the historically rich country of Romania is the perfect travel location for lovers of Gothic art and architure. Indeed, apart from its association with vampires, Romania is also full of equally entrancing historical sites. Oh and the best part? If you're thinking of visiting Transylvania, you can actually visit Dracula's Castle! The castle, whose real name is the Bran Castle, even opened its doors in 2016 to visitors who were given the exclusive chance to actually spend the night there! If you want to find out more about how to make a visit to Dracula's Castle, you can click here for additional information


Sleepy Hollow, New York (US)

Yes, Sleepy Hollow is a very real place and while many of us might be more familiar with its fictional counterpart, which features in Washington Irving's famous short story and its multiple screen adaptations, the real location is not without its own ghostly charms. The town organizes multiple events for visitors to celebrate Halloween in all its spooky glory, from haunted hayrides to a walk-in mansion decked up in full house of horrors fashion with the legendary Headless Horseman himself as the evening's host! The town also serves as Washington Irving's final resting place and visitors can visit his grave during cemetery tours, along with those of other public figures. You can click here to plan your trip to Sleepy Hollow if you're thinking of dropping by this Halloween. 


Salem, Massachusetts (US)

This list would be incomplete without the town that held of the famous 17th century witch trials. Whether you just want to explore the town's tragic history or make your Halloween more interesting by visiting some haunting places, the town of Salem is a great place to visit during this time of the year. Much like Sleepy Hollow, the town has embraced its haunted legacy and now puts together amazing events each year for its Halloween visitors. If you feel like visiting Salem this Halloween, you can click here for full details on how to plan your spooky trip, including lodging, food places and cool events happening in the town. 

So that's it for this post guys! I hope you enjoyed my recommendations. If you've been to any of those places or you're planning to, whether for Halloween or otherwise, do share your travel stories with us in the comments ^^ As always, if you have other recommendations of awesome Halloween travel locations for me, do let me know also.


Monday, October 9, 2017

My Halloween Reading List

Hey guys! Before I start with today's post, I just wanted to quickly remind you that I made a post a few days ago about my Halloween movie recommendations. So in case you missed it, feel free to check it out here ^^



Alright, so today's post is a list of the books that I plan on reading this month for Halloween. Since I'm rather busy at the moment, I tried to keep my list quite short. But me being me, I might always add some more books to that list during the month haha. Also, if you have some extra recommendations for me, do let me know in the comments.

The Midnight HeirThis is a short story that originally appeared in Cassandra Clare's Bane Chronicles, which she co-wrote with a bunch of other authors and which follows the adventures of Magnus Bane, a character who also appears in her Shadowhunter series. Recently though, the story was published as its own book and me being the hopeless Cassie Clare fan that I am, I had to buy it even if I already own the Bane Chronicles and have already read the story there. 

Since it's a short story, I plan on reading it in one sitting on a quiet afternoon at some point during the month. Or I might keep it for one of my busier weeks when I have less time to read actual novels. 


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington IrvingThis one is also a short story and it's the classic story that inspired the modern day screen adaptations most of us are more familiar with. I love my Gothic, spooky classics and since I recently found a book with Irving's story at my uni library, I figured I just had to read this for Halloween. 

In case you want to check out some screen adaptations, I highly recommend the movie with Johnny Depp  and the 2013 TV show. The movie was directed by Tim Burton and it's one of his best according to me. The movie is not so scary that a scaredy cat like me wouldn't be able to watch it but it has enough of an eerie atmosphere to keep you enthralled throughout. As to the TV show, I would only recommend the first two seasons. Season one was near perfect but things got really weird towards the end of season 2. 

Dracula by Bram Stocker - Here's another horror classic that I thought would fit perfectly with the Halloween season. I've actually read Dracula once before, when I was in early high school and I remember being disappointed because I found it nowhere as scary as I thought it would be. However, since I wanted to add a classic to my reading list anyway, I thought I would give it another try this year. 

I had actually been meaning to pick it up again for years but kept pushing back because I was so scared I would be disappointed again. The copy I'm reading is one I actually borrowed from the university library but if I end up really enjoying it, I think I might buy my own copy. If you've read Dracula recently, do let me know what you thought!

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra BrackenUnlike the other titles in my list, this one is a middle grade horror novel that came out earlier this year. While its reviews have been mixed, many people did mention that the book was a perfect read for Halloween. I wanted to add a more recent book to my list anyway so I thought, why not give it a go?

I tried to avoid learning too much about it to keep the book as suspenseful as possible. From what I can gather though, the book follows the story of a boy who finds a demon literally living inside him due to a pact that his ancestor made with that demon, and then broke. The young boy, Prosper, now has to figure out how to free himself from the pact and the demon. I'm actually really looking forward to this book as I don't think I've ever read anything like that before. I hope I enjoy it though, because the last series I read by her, the Passenger series, left me a tad disappointed. I really enjoyed book one but felt a little meh by the second and last book. So let's see how I feel about this one!

So that's it with my Halloween  reading list guys. Like I said in the beginning, I tried to keep it short as I'm rather busy at the moment. Still, if you have other recommendations for me, do let me know in the comments below ^^




Thursday, October 5, 2017

9 Movies That I'll be Watching This Halloween

Hey guys! Today I'm kick starting my special Halloween event with some movie recommendations for you. These are actually some of the movies that I plan to watch this Halloween season but in case you want some additional recommendations, you can check out this post that I made last year featuring some more of my favorite Halloween movies. 


Let's start!


Beetlejuice

Okay, confession time here. I have never actually watched this movie. You see, in my home country, since Halloween isn't really a thing, we don't get Halloween TV specials or reruns of popular Halloween movies. So most of the movies that are considered classics or staples of the Halloween season are movies that I've only started to discover in the past few years. 
I know that Michael Keaton stars in this movie and that it has a young Winona Ryder as well and already that's enough to make me super excited about watching it. Plus, I have seen a few extracts of the movie on YouTube before so I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy it based on what I've seen so far. 

The Halloweentown series

These I have actually watched before. Many times actually. But this year I really felt like marathoning all of them again. I mean, would Halloween really be Halloween without Marnie? Oh and by the way, in case you hadn't heard, this year the cast of Halloweentown is coming together to celebrate Halloween and honor the memory of the late Debbie Reynolds, who played Marnie's grandma Aggie in the movies. 


The Phantom of the Opera

I actually watched this one last year as well but being a huge Phantom of the Opera fan and given my movie crush on Gerard Butler, I just had to include it in this year's watch list as well. Plus, the dark atmosphere of the movie will be a nice change of pace from my other funnier Halloween selections. 


Bram Stocker's Dracula 

This one also stars Winona Ryder along with Gary Oldman and Keanu Reeves. Although I don't known much about this one, the trailer looks really cool and the reviews are pretty good in general. Plus, I'm reading Dracula this month so this one fits right in. 


It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Yup, another old time classic that I've never watched before! This one is actually only 25 minutes long but it's a classic Halloween TV special and I just had to include it on my list. Especially since it looks super cute. 

Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic 

I'm a huge fan of the anime Black Butler (or Kuroshitsuji) and last year, for Halloween, I watched the Book of Murder, which was a movie that kinda served as the anime's fourth season. Book of Atlantic is a new Black Butler movie that came out this year and since from what I could gather from the trailer it seems to be about a zombie invasion on board a cruise ship, I thought it would be perfect for this time of the year. If they keep releasing these movies, I might make it a personal Halloween tradition to watch Black Butler in October every year (or however often they release those movies). If you didn't know, the anime is set in Victorian England and it follows the story of a young Earl and his demon butler. Like, the butler is an actual demon. So yeah, the anime is definitely Halloween material!

Other movies I might watch if I have more time

I'm currently completing the last semester of my Master degree so I may not have time to watch more stuff. But if I do find some extra time, I'd love to revisit some of my favorites like Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus. If you have additional recommendations for me, do let me know in the comments ^^ 

So that's it for this post guys. Since this month I'm having a special Halloween event, be sure to keep an eye out for my other upcoming Halloween posts.