Halloween, All Hallow's Eve and Da de Muertos are some of the Halloween celebrations that take place around the globe.

The last day of October and the first two days of November are believed to be when the dead come back to life. Are you afraid of ghosts? That is what costumes are supposed to do.

Before you write off Halloween as just tricks and treats for the kiddies, why not visit a city that takes its traditions seriously and has fun? These are five of the best Halloween travel destinations.

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Medusa and Under Sea Creatures joining the Halloween Parade
Medusa and sea creatures at the New York's Greenwich Village Halloween Parade © ElArbolito / Getty Images

1. New York City  get your groove on with the village people

An estimated 2 million people are expected to attend the largest Halloween parade in the world since 1973. The whole city seems to come together in a true melting pot experience when you show up early on Sixth Avenue.

This alcohol-free event is an only-in-New-York madcap delight and features a provocative array of costumes designed to thrill, shock, and defy explanation.

Do you want to be a part of it? The theme for this year is freedom. A creative costume is a must if you want to participate in the parade. There are prizes for the best dressed, as well as inspiration from past years. There are volunteer spots if you can't get a costume together but want to.

Two women sit beside a pair of candle-lit graves at night in Oaxaca, Mexico. In the background other people eye other decorated tombstones.
Join parades and marvel at candle-lit tombstones as part of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca © Kobby Dagan / VWPics / Getty Images

2. Oaxaca – party with the dearly departed at Día de Muertos

There is something about the phrase Da de Muertos that makes it roll off the tongue. According to the Catholic calendar, this festival commemorates the memory of deceased family, friends, and ancestors.

Oaxaca is home to the most spectacular festival in Mexico. The streets overflow with parades, colorful markets and costumed revelers sporting wildly macabre masks, as well as in nearby graveyards families spare no effort in their quest to create the most extravagantly decorated tombstones. There will be a lot of morbid sweet treats on display at a panaderia. The eggy pan de muerto is a sugar-spun coffin.

A historic New Orleans mansion decked out for Halloween
A historic New Orleans mansion decked out for Halloween © Xinhua News Agency / Getty Images

3. New Orleans – vampires and voodoo in the French Quarter

You can take the decadence and craziness of the festival. Adding a witch costume, an eerie soundtrack, and a dash of magic will make you a N'awlins Halloween. In late October, the Big Easy cranks up the fright factor in a way that is perfect for parading around in a daring costume. The shindig will last several days and will end on October 31 with parades and parties in the streets.

The heart of the Vieux Carré is where an exotic spectacle of Halloween fashion will be on display. In exchange for "tricks" (usually a smile and a wave), revellers toss down treats from the balconies.

Are you feeling adventurous? If you want to find your fortune, head to historic Jackson Square or take a moonlit cemetery tour, both of which have strict dress codes.

A giant monstrous effigy is paraded through the streets of Dublin as part of the Bram Stoker Festival. Around it, a large crowd watches on.
Dublin's Bram Stoker Festival includes Halloween-themed events, performances and parades © Niall Carson - PA Images / Getty Images

4. Dublin  unleash your pagan side at Samhain

Samhain means summer's end. Dublin has a rich Celtic history and claims to be the birthplace of a famous vampire.

There are a lot of traditional bonfires around town and a carnival style parade. Do you want to combine your horror with history? The Dublin Castle's Upper Courtyard is home to the Northern Lights spectacle in 2022, as well as seances, theatrical performances, and haunted tours.

The National Leprechaun Museum has a lot of fun with the superstitions. Along with Celtic-inspired stories and games, expect to be haunted by costumed characters.

Tourists wave to Mickey Mouse, who stands proudly atop a giant pumpkin as part of the Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween Parade.
With activities on offer for adults and little ones, Hong Kong is a great all-round Halloween destination © Joshua Lee / Getty Images

5. Hong Kong  join the fun at a theme park party

One of Asia's most festive Halloween celebrations can be found if you mix a lot of international expats with local traditions. The epicenter of the party all-night action is located in the Lan Kwai Fong district. The perfect place to start the night is at the restaurants and bars that are known for their Halloween decor.

Hong Kong has some of the best theme parks in the world. Book your tickets in advance for the scariest attractions at Ocean Park. The kids are in tow. At Hong Kong Disneyland, famous Disney villains, such as Maleficent, are in charge for the night. There will be a lot of special-effects delights, from a haunted roller coaster to show-topping pyrotechnics.

The article was published in September of 2019.