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Halloween Travel Trick or Treats

Updated on October 31, 2019
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Travel is subjective; I like to find things to do and see that are slightly off the beaten tourist track.

The Haunted Church of Lukova

First sight of the abandoned and dilapidated St George's church in the tiny village of Lukova might make you think it is haunted. If you are brave enough to go in for closer inspection you will see that it is indeed inhabited by ghosts.

The unlucky little church was built in 1352 but suffered a number of disasters including numerous fires and an invasion. However, the 700 inhabitants of the quiet country village continued to rebuild and attend the church until one fateful day in 1968. During a funeral service, the roof of the church collapsed sending the congregation running from the building. For them, this was confirmation of what they had always suspected: the church was haunted. From that day on, services and masses were held outdoors and the church lay abandoned, a victim of theft and vandalism.

One by one, chilling figures started to appear in the church

Then one by one, chilling figures started to appear in the church, some standing, some sitting in the pews, some kneeling to pray. Czech artist Jakub Hadrava wanted to turn the church's fortunes around and so came up with an art project that he believed might help save it. He created a collection of hooded ghosts that glow eerily at night. Made from plaster containing phosphorous, he positioned them around the building, thus drawing attention to the church and bringing international visitors from near and far. Donations made by visiting ghost hunters are enabling the renovation of the church, and the locals have moved back in, but the ghosts remain.

Mummies in Dublin

If you want to see where Bram Stoker, creator of 'Dracula', may have got his inspiration, a visit to the mummies in St Michan's is a must. St Michan's church is located on Church Street in Dublin. Originally founded in 1095 and rebuilt in 1686, its five underground vaults were the burial place for Dublin's most influential during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including the Earl of Leitrim and the notorious Sheares brothers; hung, drawn and quartered by the British for their part in the Rising of 1798

No one is quite sure how the corpses have been preserved as time has disintegrated their coffins, but as the wood from the stacked coffins has fallen aside, arms and legs have spilled out like a scene from Saint-Saens Dance Macabre.
One of the mummified corpses, at six and a half feet tall, lies with hand outstretched, legs broken to enable him to fit in the small coffin. Another has had his feet cut off and hand removed, a punishment for crimes committed in life.

Visitors come away reporting an uneasy feeling of being watched, or of hearing a faint whispering.

You get a feel for how Bram Stoker was inspired as he visited his mother's burial plot here, and many visitors come away reporting an uneasy feeling of being watched, or of hearing a faint whispering.

If a visit to the crypt is not your cup of tea, and Handel is more to your musical tastes than Saint-Saens, St Michan's is also home to the pipe organ where Handel is said to have played his first ever performance of the Messiah. Tickets for entry to the vaults are available from the church. Booking is not necessary.

© 2019 The Quirky Tourist

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