Travel theme: Spooky

It’s almost the time of year when hedgerows sprout glowing orange pumpkins…

…doorways mysteriously develop intricate cobwebs…

…and the creepiest of visitors start hanging around outside your window.

Yes, it’s almost time for one of my favourite holidays, Hallowe’en; a festival that started back in pagan Ireland and is celebrated now in many corners of the world. If you fancy celebrating Hallowe’en the traditional way, check out the post I wrote last year about the proper Irish Hallowe’en.

I’ve had some thrills and chills this past year – the hair-raising midnight drive along Beartooth Highway, my chilling encounter with the horseman in Sleepy Hollow, and meeting the Van Cortland squirrel murderer to name but a few. But all this talk of Hallowe’en has got me in a spooky frame of mind, so I’ve been looking around for some suitably eerie photographs, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

Driving through Utah under heavy cloud cover, a line of eerily white fog started to creep across the desert brush towards the road. I couldn’t help feeling it was out to get us.

arches national park utah monsoon fog

More fog, this time in the depths of the jungle in northern Guatemala, with an ancient Mayan temple looming up out of the mists. Breathtakingly beautiful, ever so exciting and just a little spooky.

mayan ruin temple tikal guatemala ruins

The last photo is also from Guatemala. I was visiting a coffee farm just outside of Antigua, and noticed an extensive display of devil masks on one of the walls. They were in all shapes  and sizes but the creepiest one of them all was the least ornate; a sparse black mask with unnerving features. Coincidentally, that same night there was a festival in the centre of town where they burned an effigy of the devil. See the whole post here.

devil mask antigua guatemala

So what do you find truly spooky? If you’d like to join in this week’s travel theme, here’s what to do:

  • Create your own bone-chilling post and title it Travel Theme: Spooky
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes

I’m quaking in my boots in anticipation of the chills and frights you have in store for me.



About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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241 Responses to Travel theme: Spooky

  1. says:

    Great idea!!

  2. Great photos, especially of the Bat Man 😀 Creepy dude!

  3. adinparadise says:

    Yikes!! Very spooky pics indeed!! 🙂

  4. Nothing more spooky than creeping fog!
    I remember your post last year – enjoyed that one.
    Wrote my spooky post “beside her” recently…don’t know if ghosts will visit again
    Especially like the pix with the arches

  5. Ahhh! frightening yes, spooky for sure…and certainly timely!

  6. bulldogsturf says:

    That photo of the Bat man, could do without walking into that at night…

  7. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky « True Travelings

  8. truetravelingtales says:

    Great idea love the haloween theme, here’s my entry

  9. Maureen says:

    It can be a spooky world no matter where you travel! What a fun post!

  10. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | StandingStill

  11. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | Ron Mayhew Photography

  12. cinova says:

    How apt for this week, Ailsa. Your vampire creature is super creepy! And I love those misty shots. I might pop back with some spooky landscapes of my own. Meanwhile, here’s some pics of my first ever acknowledged Halloween.

    • ailsapm says:

      Ooh, I’d love to see some spooky landscapes, cinova. I have to say, your pumpkin carving skills are impressive – mine usually end up looking like someone just attacked a pumpkin with a hatchet (which is probably even scarier than a well-carved pumpkin!) 🙂

  13. viveka says:

    Nice to read that you know that Halloween come from the Celtic in heritage. They celebrate it big time in Scotland too .. it was the way to chase all the evils out from the homes before Christmas comes. We don’t have this tradition as such in Sweden, even if we haven started to get Halloween parties. An good excuse to through a good party and we Swede are going for it. I really like you first photo. Thanks for a great post. That figure hanging up side in too spooky for me.

  14. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign and Travel Theme: Spooky | Wanderings of an Elusive Mind

  15. Carol says:

    Intertwining challenges this week, I think – with the Weekly Photo Challege of Foreign and this one of Spooky – similarities there, to my (possibly twisted) way of thinging, so here’s my entry for both:

  16. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | Esenga's Voice

  17. Great theme, Ailsa! And love your photos, especially the creepy visitor hanging outside the window :). Here’ s my entry:

  18. masadiso79 says:

    Well… I might be repeating myself by posting a pumpkin photograph to both challenges, but they both proved to be quite difficult as subjects to me. Here’s my entry for the “Spooky” challenge:

  19. Pingback: Travel theme: Spooky « masadiso79's Blog

  20. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky Portugal « Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal

    • ailsapm says:

      OMG Julie, that first creepy face is just wrong, I’m more than a little weirded out right now! And to answer your question, the painting is creepier than the skulls! 🙂

  21. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | Tea with a Pirate

  22. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | Lucid Gypsy

  23. Beautiful to ghoulish – unsurpassable collection. I especially like the pumpkins in he hedgerows, but the human chrysalis, now that’s something to contemplate!

    • ailsapm says:

      Something to contemplate…. from a distance, Wanderlust. It looked so lifelike I didn’t want to get too close for fear it would reach out and grab me! Gulp.

      • At night, I’d be steering clear, that’s for sure.

        Didn’t recognise you there for a moment – you gone all West Coast and Luscious Lips now???? 🙂

        • ailsapm says:

          Squee – you’re the first one to notice. I was messing around with photoshop and made my very own kiss the world logo. Just sort of slipped it in there to see if anyone would notice!

          • Cook kisses, eh? It’s very sweet, and displays better than your legs, i must say, Ailsa 🙂 I must pop over and see what the response has been after a few more hours – and to see other posts, too, of course!

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow, scary, Gilly. I would have been a goner back then too, for sure. Something to do with the broomstick I carry around and my predilection for pointy hats.

  24. Madhu says:

    Ghoulish is the word! these are super spooky and hard to beat Ailsa 🙂

  25. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | Wind Against Current

    • ailsapm says:

      Hope you’ve got your hatches battened down ready for Hurricane Sandy. I remember the insanity in New York leading up to Hurricane Irene. Hope this one misses too! xxx

  26. DagEnDauw says:

    Hi Ailsa,

    Great theme again! And that vampire is really adorable!
    Here is my entrie for this week. Hope this is creepy enough …

    Have a smashing weekend pumpkins!

    – Dauw –

  27. Ah, super! Sorry I´m leaving for Madrid now and will not be able to come up with an entry before Thursday! Good luck to you all – looking forward to see yours!

  28. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | a hectic life

  29. Pingback: Spooky: weekly travel photo challenge | Artifacts and fictions

  30. Suzanne says:

    Your photos are truly spooky Ailsa. Mine are nowhere near as ghoulish but they are from Ireland

    • ailsapm says:

      Ireland has some seriously creepy places – have you ever braved the Hell Fire Club at night? Terrifying. Lovely post, Suzanne, I really liked the sketch outline version of the bottom photo! xxx

  31. Pingback: Travel theme: Spooky | Across the Bored

  32. ideflex says:

    Spooky is as spooky does! What a great time of year, please have a look at

  33. Pingback: TRAVEL THEME – SPOOKY « Dear Bliary

    Here’s my brief look at spooky. 🙂
    Nice job, Ailsa. And thanks.

  35. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Spooky | Stephen Kelly Creative

    • ailsapm says:

      Wrong on so many levels, it’s perfect, Stephen. The lack of eyes is bad enough, but wrapping them in plastic, that’s proper creepy. 🙂

  36. Pingback: Weekly photo challenge: Foreign and Spooky « Sounds like wish

  37. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme: Spooky | a vacation in my mind

  38. Sheri Garvin says:

    Got it… I did not have photos readily available for my trip to Scotland. Now that is a place that is gorgeous, but you can feel the tragedy and the haunting from all the wild wars conducted on those hills.

    • ailsapm says:

      Oh Sheri, I agree, The Raven was so scary! Amazing shots of Colorado, and I know what you mean about Scotland. The creepiest place I visited there was Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh – there’s a section off to the side called Covenanters Prison, and I’m convinced it’s haunted. It didn’t help my nerves that I visited it at night!

  39. trishworth says:

    I’m not sure I want to say I like your photos, because I don’t like being spooked. But I really appreciate your weekly efforts to come up with themes. And at least the theme this week has given me a use for these photos:

    • ailsapm says:

      Good grief, what a spooky place, the blood stained mirrors and girls falling to their death gave me the shivers. I promise I won’t spook you next week!

  40. bebs1 says:

    The third and the last photos would give me nightmares for many months. Here’s mine:

  41. Pingback: Weekly travel theme: Spooky | SeamlessStyle

  42. OMG that bat-man! I actually moved a few inches away from my computer screen at that, holy hell.
    Hope you like these!

    • ailsapm says:

      Haha I laughed so hard at your comment, seamless, priceless. Oh, and I have got to get one of those left-handed clocks, they’re too weird for words, I love it! 🙂

  43. Ali says:

    Fabulous photos! I wasn’t aware that Halloween began in Ireland, so thanks for passing on your knowledge!

  44. Pingback: Photo Journal/ Travel Theme: Spooky in Prague «

  45. Pingback: Travel Theme: Spooky | The Serenity Space

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