Follow us on:

Spooky Halloween Happenings

23rd October 2019

 

Halloween, also known as ‘All Hallows Eve’, originates from the Celts who lived 2,000 years ago. On the night of October 31st, they celebrated Samhain when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. Nowadays, we celebrate with Jack-o’-Lanterns and trick or treating but for those brave enough there are still opportunities to discover ghostly goings on now and throughout the year!

 

 

England has its fair share of ghostly places and haunted happenings. For a true adrenaline rush and real-life scares, visit ‘Scaresville’ in the deepest Suffolk countryside, in an immersive adventure where you traverse woods, buildings and parklands of a haunted village being shadowed by a team of ‘scarers’!

Visit the Gothic Highgate Cemetery. Winding sinuous paths, steep wooded hill and ivy clad monuments make secluded landscape feel a million miles away from the city of London. The East Cemetery is home to illustrious figures of the nineteenth century such as Karl Marx.

Royal Palaces and castles are a perfect place to follow in the footsteps of The Royal Family past and present. The Tower of London certainly has many secrets to tell with a presence on the same site for nearly 1000 years. An after-hours private guided visit to the Tower of London will be sure to bring it’s fascinating and gruesome history of be-headings, treason and disappearing Princes to life.

Not far from Sandringham, the country retreat of HRH The Queen, is Blickling Hall in Norfolk. Renowned for its extensive library, beautiful gardens and meadows, this Jacobean Mansion is believed to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn. She was famously beheaded on the orders of her husband Henry VIII. Now her headless ghost is said to return every year on 19 May, the anniversary of her execution.

______________________________________________________

With Scotland’s haunting beauty and turbulent past, it is not surprising that many castles claim to have ghostly goings on! Crathes Castle looks like it is straight out of a fairy-tale, with its intricate maze of turrets, towers, oak panels and painted ceilings, but it is no secret that this castle is haunted by a ghost referred to as ‘The Green Lady’. Venturing further south to Culzean Castle, perched on top of the Ayrshire hills, you may be able to hear the ghostly music of a piper lost in the cliffs below on a stormy night.

Explore the darker side of Edinburgh with a ghost tour. A walk along dim streets to the Canongate graveyard will bring you to the resting place of the city’s most famous figures including David Rizzio, lover of Mary Queen of Scots. Then follow your cloaked guide through the shadowy streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town for a private exploration of underground vaults, reputed to be amongst the most haunted places in the city. In this atmospheric location, lit only by the flicker of candlelight, your guide will regale you with stories of murderers and vagrants, torture and hangings – their true history is even more terrifying than fiction.

Experience ‘Locked in’ in the city’s only escape game based in real rooms. Explore the secrets of Edinburgh’s old Vet School ending up deep within the building exploring an old laboratory, a dissection room, an anatomy theatre or even the small animal hospital.

______________________________________________________

If you fancy an Irish frightening, take a private tour of Leap Castle, a family owned castle in Co. Offaly, said to be one of the most haunted castles in the world! It was built over an existing site previously occupied by druids who used the property for initiation ceremonies, been used as a fortress, home and a tomb and has been a centre for the sinister and paranormal ever since.

Ballygally Castle in Co. Antrim takes the title as the most haunted hotel in Northern Ireland. Legend tells of three well-known ghosts that are said to roam the rooms and the halls at this castle hotel. Cosy up for a dram in Grace Neills, considered to be Ireland’s oldest pub and the most haunted. Soak up the past as you enjoy a Guinness in one of the original snugs  mingling with the ever-present spirits of smugglers, pirates, sailors and soldiers.

Visit Dublin and follow in the footsteps of Bram Stoker, creator of the Gothic masterpiece Dracula. Take a private tour of Trinity College where he studied and visit the Library where he spent his time. There is even a Dracula Vampire Museum for hardened enthusiasts!

It is said that Dracula was inspired largely by Irish folk tales. Take a hike in the beautiful Mcgillycuddy Reeks in Co. Kerry to find the hidden fortress named Castle of Tainted Blood, guarding a lonely pass. It was, and still is, reputedly inhabited by blood-drinking, shape-shifting fairies and could be the inspiration for the name Dracula.

 

 

  • "Probably the best of the best in the UK and Ireland for organising amazing trips. They know their stuff, have fantastic relationships with suppliers and always go the extra mile."

    Rob Arrow, Al Tayyar Group

  • "Lovely suite. Fabulous private tours. Everything has exceeded our expectations. "

    William A Heim, Client

  • "I had the most wonderful time with you and learned so much...What you offer is rare and much needed in the truly exclusive travel world. "

    Jean Newman-Glock, Signature Travel Network

  • "You were the heart and soul of the trip….I truly admired your sunny personality, sense of humor, organization and professionalism.  You also demonstrated  that a guide’s work is never done as you were constantly researching….. Did you ever rest??? "

    Sharon Delano, Frosch

  • "We want to thank you and the team from Dream Escape.  All six of us in our group had a wonderful time, and we all agreed we owed that in large measure to the work of Dream Escape. From the onset of working with you, you demonstrated a tremendous knowledge about all the activities we wished to pursue —from playing golf to dining at excellent restaurants to seeing historical sites and the Tattoo and Fringe Festival.  And, then you executed "

    Thomas Cohen, Client

  • "THANK YOU a zillion times over for choosing/assigning Rosie to be with this family.  She MADE the trip for them – there’s no other way to put it! "

    Jill Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "Our holiday in Scotland now tops their lists of best trips…… To their growing list of amazing and memorable first-time experiences, our sons may add fishing for trout and salmon on the River Tay; steering a motor boat on Loch Ness; and taking private guided tours on Culloden Moor Of the eight full days we were in Scotland, Alex and Mattie thought each and every day was the best"

    Michael Guadarrama & Trammi Nguyen, clients of Peter Carideo. CRC Travel

  • "All six of us were deeply moved by the whole experience. Bravo Dream Escape "

    Max Levy, Direct client

  • "Thank you Karen and all of the staff and guides affiliated with Dream Escape…..the Flemings are having an awesome tour of Scotland. You all have made me look like a star! "

    Joni Gerace, The Travel Society, LLC

  • "Thanks for all your help and we can chalk this one up as a big success!   Our anniversary celebration was all we could have hoped for "

    Clients of Courtney Regan, Affiliate of Brownell Travel

  • "Rosie was MORE than outstanding – she went out of her way to help us in every regard...She was so knowledgeable – we all loved her"

    Jill A. Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "I cannot thank you, Nicola and all the Dream Escape “clan” for the wonderful care & attention you have provided, and are providing for my clients"

    Cindy Evans, Travel Consultant

  • "I hope I have another opportunity to work with Dream Escape in the near future. The company is so professional, yet approachable and easy to work with. It has been a pleasure!"

    Carole McFarland, Universal Travel

  • "Dream Escape is delivering in a superb manner. Jim Johnston is a great driver and one of the best guides we've had - I wish to very much thank the Dream Escape Team for fulfilling a Dream…"

    Donald M. Davis, President, Luxury Travel, Inc.

  • "Thank you all so much it's great to have trusted friends on the ground to take care of our clients!"

    Peter Carideo, CRC Travel

  • "The trip was great.... Dream Escape is the name of the game"

    Ann Lipschitz, Worldview Travel

  • "Your level of service is just outstanding"

    Debra Fini, VWTI

  • "Dream Escape don’t just organise trips – they create adventures"

    Financial Times, How to Spend it

  • "It was, without doubt, one of the most spectacular weekends I have ever had"

    Country Life

  • "David Tobin’s an ace at getting inside private castles and estates and he’s well connected.... "

    Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

  • "The level of service they provide is outstanding. They truly care about every aspect of the trip to ensure you have a fantastic stay. Rosie is a hidden gem of a tour guide. Just fabulous."

    Yvonne Malka, Signature Travel Network, April 2018