5 European Halloween Events You Should Try

With there being so many incredible Halloween and scare events to try out in the UK, it's easy to overlook the awesomeness that lays just a short Ryanair flight away in mainland Europe. I usually try to make sure that I take in at least one European event each spooky season, and this year I'm lucky enough to be trying out three new-for-me Halloween events so I'm really excited about that! I get a real kick out of seeing how other countries scare different, how the atmospheres of each event differ to our own here in the UK and to get ideas for future scares at FRIGHT NIGHTS! Here's my top five European Halloween events that you really should try out for yourself.

Literally translating to 'fear on the park', Peur Sur Le Parc is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a horror event with a little Parc Asterix flair. It's twisted and warped in every way, grotesque and macabre with a slightly phantastical edge. It's spooky in a traditional way but colourful and fun with it, often lulling one into a false sense of security before unleashing full blown harlequin filled madness. It's unnerving because it's so crazy and you really don't know where the next scare is going to come from. The haunts at this event are a little more artistic in their design too, as the French are inclined to be. Inspirations come from the likes of classic French cinema to vintage Halloween greeting cards to the dark ages. Basically Peur Sur Le Parc thinks outside of the box in the best way and it's all the more terrifying for it.

The fairly newly reimagined Halloween Horror Nights event for Europa Park, Traumatica isn't exactly what you'd imagine from a theme park doing a Halloween event. Whilst some coasters ARE open, Traumatica is essentially a completely separate event entirely and mostly utilises a back of house area with pop up marquees and buildings to host the haunts. That's not to say it doesn't encroach on some areas of the park - Greece and a tiny corner of Switzerland do slightly creepy their way onto the map, but look elsewhere if you're looking for an event where you can get some night rides in on the big coasters too.

The thing I like about this event was the festival vibe - for me it felt a lot like Tulleys Shocktober Fest mixed in with the glamour and pageantry of Blackpool Pleasure Beach. For every dingy, dirty gross-out horror maze full of ghouls and doing shots from pop up bars around campfires there's a fully realised horror themed ice show supported by elegant and theatrical scare zones and actors. It's really quite impressive. And the sets and theming are truly something to behold. My only complaint is that, despite all of this wonderful stuff for me the attractions just weren't really about the scares, they were more about looking spooky. Which I can dig, but if you're after hardcore scares I'd look further than Traumatica.

Obviously not one for the scares, but Disneyland Paris never fail to put on a show for Halloween and this year is no exception! Whilst the park doesn't go all out with a full calendar of separate ticketed events like its American counterparts, what Disneyland Paris does do is sprinkle a flurry of spooky magic across the park for the entire season. Frontierland gets decked out in creepy pumpkin scarecrow dudes and you still get the joy of seeing Main Street USA done up in her Halloweeny best. Plus, who doesn't love a good spooky Halloween parade? For me though, Halloween at Disney is ALL about those spooky character meet and greets! One thing I've always loved Paris for is that I don't have to pay for another ticket on top of my entrance to go meet Jack and Sally or bump into some villains or see Minnie dressed up as a witch - they're all just milling around as part of the whole event. Plus, there's even a villain themed show in front of the castle! Definitely the place to be if you like that sort of thing.

Still hands down the best scare event I've ever been to, Fright Nights at Walibi Holland perfectly combines all the ingredients I think are needed for a kick ass Halloween event! Coasters in the dark - check! Intense scare actors - check! Incredibly themed mazes - check! Terrifying scare zones - check! It literally has it all - and the atmosphere is absolutely unbelievable on park. You really can't go anywhere without bumping into something spooky, and whilst the mazes are an upcharge, you really do feel like it's worth it once you're inside and realise just how amazing the detail is. But the best part is that the actors and theming in the scares zones are so bloody good that you wouldn't even feel like you were missing out should you choose not to do the mazes (but you really should, they're bloody great!)

The event itself is infamous in the Netherlands and people travel from all over the country to attend, so you can imagine the atmosphere. And I promise I'm not over-exaggerating, it really is that good!

I visited this event for the first time last season after wanting to visit for a while and honestly I fell in love. Realistically, the event isn't massive. But the great thing is, being a movie park, Movie Park Germany have the opportunity to bring some horror movie favourites to life for their Halloween season. I guess after experiencing it for myself, in premise it's kind of like a mini Halloween Horror Nights in that you have that blend of IP mazes and original concepts. Only difference being that I would argue Movie Park Germany's mazes are scarier than Universal's! Don't get me wrong - nobody could ever hope to build haunted houses quite as detailed and beautiful as that found at Halloween Horror Nights, but Halloween Horrorfest seem to have found that nice sweet spot between balancing great scare moments with staying true to the IP.

And I don't know, maybe it's the cinephile in me but there really is just something more cinematic and spectacular for me about a Halloween event themed around the movies. Love it!

Those are my recommendations - what are your favourite European Halloween events? I'm really looking forward to trying out new events in Toverland, Hellendoorn and Liseberg this year and I can't wait to share my thoughts on these with you!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

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