Spooky Escapes for the Long Weekend

View in the snow of A Castle in Transylvania lit up.

With Hallowe’en just around the corner, there’s no better time to book an atmospheric getaway! Luckily, whether you fancy jetting off to foreign shores or staying here for a fun staycation, there are lots of spooky locations worth checking out. Here’s the cream of the crop…

Explore the Home of Dracula

No list of gothic getaways would be complete without Transylvania, the Romanian region that provided the setting for Bram Stoker’s iconic novel, Dracula. Though the famous vampire is fictional, Stoker was inspired by tales of Romania’s haunting landscapes, soaring mountains and dense forestry. You’ll be enchanted too; Transylvania retains a real medieval charm, with its narrow winding lanes, fortified churches and buildings dating back to the 13th century. Be sure to check out Bran Castle during your stay; though not the novel’s actual setting, it’s since taken on an association with the mythic vampire. 

Or Stoker’s Dublin

Of course, the story’s author Bram Stoker was born in Dublin, also worth getting to know better! In fact, every October, the city hosts a festival dedicated to Stoker. Expect four days of spooky fun, including talks, screenings and performances set all around the city. Keep the creepy theme going with visits to the mummies in St. Michan’s Church, the atmospheric crypt of Christ Church Cathedral, and of course, Kilmainham Gaol, a former jail that’s steeped in Irish history and said to be haunted by the souls of those who died there…


The Not-So-Sunny Southeast…

That said, there’s another Irish building that’s believed to be even more haunted. Located on the stunning Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford, Loftus Hall is surrounded by a swirl of dark myth and legend. The foreboding country house dates back to 1350, though it was renovated extensively during the 1870s. Following a visit by what’s believed to have been the Devil, the house’s young occupant Anne Tottenham died mysteriously in 1675. Her ghost is said to still wander its halls. While you’re in this beautiful part of the country, be sure to also pay a visit to Hook Lighthouse


Underground Paris

If you fancy venturing further afield, Paris is always a fantastic city break option. Factor in the city’s eerie underground catacombs, and you’re on to a Hallowe’en winner! During a tour of this winding network of tunnels, you’ll cover 1.5km of ground – all 20m below Paris’ bustling streets. Be warned though, this labyrinth isn’t for the faint of heart… the catacombs are lined with real human skulls, and supposedly haunted by the ghost of Philibert Aspairt. He died there in 1793, after getting lost when his candle was blown out.   

Ready to Book that Trip?

AIB offer travel loans from €1,000 approved within three hours*. You can apply online through AIB Internet Banking and the AIB Mobile App. You can also book a branch appointment or phone 0818 724 725 if you’d like to speak to someone in person.

Use our handy loan calculator to find out how much you can borrow today.



*3 hour loan decision applies to fully completed new personal loan applications processed within 3 hours 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri excl. bank holidays. Loans from €1,000-€30,000. Excludes applications: to restructure or clear existing AIB credit facilities; received through Branch and referred to a lender for review, from customers in financial difficulty; for Student and First loans; applications through Business Centres; or where total borrowings exceed €100,000 (excluding Home Loan debt up to €600,000). Terms 1-5 years. Lending criteria, terms & conditions apply. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status and are not available to persons under 18 years of age. Security may be required.

Some of the links above bring you to external websites. Your use of an external website is subject to the terms of that site.

Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.