Happy Halloween! Er, should I make that Happy Day of the Dead? Believe it or not, America isn’t the only country that likes to celebrate spooky holidays. In Mexico and some parts of Latin America, November 2nd is the chosen day to remember and celebrate the lives of deceased ancestors. Though one might think a holiday about death would be a somber affair, it’s usually not. Much like Halloween, family and friends get together to laugh, eat some good food and pay tribute to those who have passed. The jolly skeletons captured here by Flickr user borderfilms (Doug) in Chiapas, Mexico are a common Day of the Dead decorating theme.
Photography isn’t just about clicking a shot based on what’s in your viewfinder. Elements like lighting, framing and timing all matter when you’re hoping to capture that perfect shot. Just take a look at Flickr user andykee’s image of these four lake houses in Delaware for proof. Andy turned what could have otherwise been a ho-hum shot at the beach into a photo loaded with atmosphere. The muted gray colors, blurry reflections and ample space at the top and bottom suggest the structures are floating on air – mysterious ghost houses shrouded in mystery and intrigue.
BOO! Halloween is now only a week away and it is time for some real trip planning if you have yet to begin. If you’re too embarrassed to go cruise your home digs in costume with a begging bag in hand consider some of these ghostly destinations provided by MSN. Start with a trip down to the legendary Bermuda Triangle known for making many a vessel disappear while sailing the sea span between Miami, Bermuda and San Juan, P.R. If taking to the seas on one of the creepiest nights of the year doesn’t give you goose-pimples try a visit to the city of Salem, Mass., where the famous witch trials took place in 1692. All month long Salem makes the most of its utterly gruesome past by hosting several ghost tours, street fairs and costume balls. In all honesty Salem looks like one of the best places to head too if you’re really wrapped into this stuff. Other stops include Roswell, London’s Ghost Walk and Transylvania of course. Having been to Transylvania before, I say skip the expensive plane ride over and again, head to Salem.
See MSN for the spooky rest.
Call it coincidence, but in this month’s edition of concierge.com they’ve listed 10 hotels across the globe with a spooky past. (Coughs, can we say perfect timing for Halloween, hmm?) After going through each one, I noticed the history of some were creepier than others depending on what you tend to get spooked by. Shack up in a past crime den, nun’s cell, jail or my personal favorite an old soup kitchen. From the photos featured one might not ever know that these places have a tale to tell, but don’t let the looks deceive you. When you’re at rest in bed the howling you hear isn’t coming from the outside. It’s the cry of the mentally unhinged resident that stayed there before you. (Insert: horror laughter.) I’m only kidding – sort of.
Check out the Poor House: Hopper Hotel Et Cetera in Cologne, Germany which now sits as a cheap-chic boutique hotel, but was once a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Heading to Puerto Rico? Stay at the old Carmelite convent, now one of San Juans’ most luxurious hotels was once home to 11 nuns that moved out in 1903. If you’re in need of prison time look at their picks out of Turkey and the U.K., just don’t say I didn’t try to warn you of their bone-chilling ambience.