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11 International Borders That Defy Convention

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There are plenty of international borders where you can stand in two places at once, but in some places, standing at the border is an even more unusual experience. Some countries have discrete cities completely surrounded by foreign territory; other international borders run straight through a single town. In Belgium, there are five separate enclaves that belong to Germany, for instance.

The travel agency Just the Flight created this infographic of unusual international boundaries around the world. Test your knowledge below:

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8 Magical Harry Potter Halloween Festivals for Wizards and Muggles
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Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail? Don't worry: You can still experience Halloween the Harry Potter way by visiting one of these events. From fast-paced Quidditch tournaments to frothy mugs of butterbeer, these community festivals and private events will help you celebrate the most magical night of the year the way Dumbledore would have wanted you to.

1. WIZARDING WEEKEND // ITHACA, NEW YORK

Press Bay Alley in Ithaca, New York transfigures into Diagon Alley from October 28 to 30 this year, and you don’t even need to tap any bricks with a wand to get there. In fact, it’s free, so it’s extra easy for muggles to attend. Wizarding Weekend started last year as a one-day trick-or-treat route for the community, but blew up like a game of Exploding Snap and drew nearly 8000 attendees. This Wizarding Weekend will be just as magical as the last, with Quidditch matches (on electric bikes instead of broomsticks), advanced potions (a.k.a. cocktails) classes for adults, Horcrux scavenger hunts, Dark Arts coffee tours, and more.

2. HARRY POTTER HALLOWEEN // SCOTTSVILLE, VIRGINIA

If your permission slip is signed, visit Valley Street in Scottsvilla, Virginia from noon to 10 p.m. on October 29 for a day in Hogsmeade. Local stores transform into their wizarding world alter egos, like Honeydukes and Ollivanders, and host Harry Potter-themed activities.

3. POTTERPALOOZA // NORMAL, ILLINOIS

Adults (21 and over) take over the Children’s Discovery Museum on October 21 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Get sorted into your Hogwarts house and take classes like divination, herbology, and potions. Admission is $25, but includes food and a free drink ticket. Come in your finest wizarding attire or dressed as your favorite character from the series.

4. GREAT HALL HALLOWEEN FEAST // CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

The Ada Street restaurant gives Hogwarts a run for its galleons on October 28 to 30. The restaurant will serve guests a four-course dinner complete with firewhiskey dessert; each course is paired with Harry Potter-themed cocktails, like Pumpkin Juice and the Dementor Antidote. Diners will also enjoy a pre-dinner butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, as well as house sorting and Quidditch beer pong on the patio. Tickets are $75 and include tax and tip.

5. A HAUNTING AT HOGWARTS // OMAHA, NEBRASKA

Hogwarts alums get to dust off their robe uniforms on October 22 at the Omaha Children’s Museum. Activities at this adults-only event include Harry Potter trivia and a costume contest, plus a special “potions class” science show. Appetizers and drinks, including nonalcoholic butterbeer, will be served. The museum’s permanent exhibits will remain open for this event as well. The event is sold out, but you can have your named added to the wait list by calling the museum.

6. HARRY POTTER FESTIVAL AND QUIDDITCH TOURNAMENT // PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

This festival, held from October 21 to 22, is more expansive than the underground vaults at Gringotts, spanning a full 10 blocks of Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill neighborhood and drawing in thousands of attendees. Attendees can have a cup of tea at Madame Puddifoot’s, explore the Triwizard straw maze, try hands-on activities at Horcrux stations, see live owls, ride thestrals, and more. There’s also a ticketed Potter Pub Crawl complete with glasses of butterbeer, and a Harry Potter conference with an academic bent, but admission is free to both the festival and the Quidditch tournament.

7. HARRY POTTER FESTIVAL // EDGERTON, WISCONSIN

From October 21 to 23, witches and wizards young and old celebrate all things Potter at this pay-as-you-go community festival. (Guests also have the option of paying $25 for the entire weekend.) There are plenty of Hogwarts classes on the roster, like Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions, as well as house sorting, live raptor demonstrations, wizard roller-skating, and Horcrux hunts. All the activities and events are laid out on the festival’s version of the Marauder’s Map; just solemnly swear you’re up to no good.

8. HARRY POTTER AND THE TRANSFIGURED TOWN // GODERICH, ONTARIO

The Huron County Museum gets Potter-fied on October 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with activities like a costumed photo booth and face painting. The museum’s stationary train becomes the Hogwarts Express for the night, and Ministry of Magic officials have volunteered their services for misguided museum tours. Sweet tooths will be satisfied with a Honeydukes candy trolley and (nonalcoholic) butterbeer. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for kids, with proceeds to support local food banks.

28 Haunted Houses You Can Visit in the United Kingdom

Britain's “Ghostly and Gruesome Trail,” compiled by the nation's Historic Houses Association, includes a series of renowned properties where gorgeous architecture and haunted history meet. Dark legacies, gray ladies, spectres, banging and clanging, the eerie sound of footsteps, and many more pieces of paranormal lore lie ahead. Reader beware.

1. ATHELHAMPTON HOUSE // DORSET

This famously haunted house is said to host the ghost of an ape from the 16th century, whose haunting manifests as scratching coming from the secret staircase and cellar, where the animal is supposedly trapped. Other spirits have been reported elsewhere in the house, including a pair of duellists and a figure known as the Gray Lady of Athelhampton.

2. LONGLEAT HOUSE // WILTSHIRE

Longleat House is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Lady Louisa, whose husband Thomas Thynne killed a footman whom he suspected of having an affair with his wife. Thynne buried the footman in the basement and told his wife that the man had simply left the house unexpectedly. However, Louisa’s suspicions sent her into a frantic state and she searched every room for many days and nights following the incident. During her relentless search, she caught a cold that developed into pneumonia, then died during childbirth. She is reportedly still searching the house today.

3. TIVERTON CASTLE // DEVON

Among the spirits said to haunt Tiverton Castle is a young bride who hid in a chest during a game of hide-and-seek on her wedding day, and accidentally locked herself inside. Despite an extensive search, she wasn’t found until many years later—when all that was left was a dress and skeleton. It’s said that people have seen a young bride wandering the halls of the castle, often without having any prior knowledge of the sad story.

4. PRIDEAUX PLACE // CORNWALL

Those who’ve slept in The Stair Room at Prideaux Place have reported hauntings from a vicious dog, blood streaming down the walls, a beheading, and a gathering of monks (which makes some sense, since the house is on the site of a former monastery). A former resident wanders the house, and the tunnel that goes under the public road is occupied by a mysterious “white lady” who emerges to frighten the children.

5. OLD BOWLISH HOUSE // SOMERSET

During World War II, naval officers often stayed here and commonly reported seeing the ghost of a dressed-up lady as well as a young girl, who was seen shooting herself in the head with a pistol before disappearing. One officer apparently tried to fire at one of the figures, leaving a bullet hole in one of the bedroom walls, which has since been lost or covered up.

6. THE PETO GARDEN AT IFORD MANOR // WILTSHIRE

The mysterious smell of incense, an apparition of a monk, a child humming, blown-out candles, and unexplained thumps and bumps are all said to occur at this haunted manor.

7. CHAVENAGE HOUSE // GLOUCESTERSHIRE

A headless king and a gray lady supposedly haunt this house, and one of the bedrooms was so upsetting to guests that an exorcism is said to have been performed there.

8. POWDERHAM CASTLE // DEVIN

One of the oldest family homes in England is supposedly haunted by forces that reportedly cause dogs to refuse to cross the threshold of a particular landing, and which make photography tricky, if not impossible, at the same time.

9. SAMLESBURY HALL // LANCASHIRE

The ghosts of the Lady Dorothy Southworth, a man who killed himself in the Long Gallery over debts, and a Catholic priest who was beheaded there are among the spirits said to haunt this troubled place.

10. ASTLEY HALL // LANCASHIRE

A man who appears to be a country gentleman from the early 20th century and a young girl have appeared and disappeared so many times that the staff knows not to try to collect their entrance fees. There’s also a woman in Tudor clothing who’s been seen all around the house and yard, and the phantom sounds of children laughing and Mozart being played on the grand piano have been heard.

11. LEVENS HALL // CUMBRIA

A gypsy reportedly cursed this house as she died, and it’s now haunted by spirits such as that of a little black dog, who has been seen on the grounds and inside the house.

12. MUNCASTER CASTLE, GARDENS & OWL CENTRE // CUMBRIA

The Tapestry Room in the castle is no longer used for guests because so many people reported the sounds of a child crying, doors and handles rattling, and a feeling of terrible chest pains. There’s also a ghost named Tom Skelton—a resident jester who is said to have murdered a carpenter who “misbehaved” with his boss’ daughter—and who now haunts the place, despite the fact that he has a name almost too good to be true.

13. HOGHTON TOWER // LANCASHIRE

Countless paranormal events have been reported here, and ghost tours have been taking place since 1955.

14. RIPLEY CASTLE // YORKSHIRE

This castle is said to be occupied by the spirits of the Ingleby family, who owned and occupied the building for hundreds of years, dating back to the 16th century.

15.  NEWBY HALL & GARDENS // YORKSHIRE

The Church of Christ the Consoler on the grounds of Newby Hall is the site of a well-known “ghost” photo. It's considered to be either staged by Reverend Lord or the result of water damage. Or, you know, it could be a real and terrifying spirit from the great beyond.

16. KIPLIN HALL // YORKSHIRE

Kiplin was used by officers in the army and Royal Air Force during World War II, and since then people have reported smelling cigar and pipe smoke. Paranormal investigators have seen men in the house and noted the same smells.

17. BURTON AGNES HALL // YORKSHIRE

Anne Griffith, the daughter of Sir Henry Griffith (who built the hall), was attacked and robbed before construction on the building was complete. As she was dying from her injuries, she requested for her head to remain in the house after her passing. Her family buried her in the churchyard, and the haunting supposedly began immediately, with slammed doors and the sound of someone running up and down the corridors. Her skull was brought into house, where it’s reportedly still located, though no one knows where.

18. NORTON CONYERS // YORKSHIRE

According to legend, a woman known as “Mad Mary” was imprisoned in the attic here in the 18th century and her spirit still resides in the house.

19. INVERARAY CASTLE AND GARDEN // SCOTLAND

Many ghosts are said to haunt this castle, but perhaps the most unusual is the apparition of the Galley of Lorne, a ship that is said to sail over land all the way to the castle to take its victims.

20. GLAMIS CASTLE // SCOTLAND

The hauntings at this castle are apparently thanks to an ancient curse brought on by Sir John Lyon, who removed an ancestral chalice from a spot where it was supposed to reside forever, and opened the door for a slew of spirits. These include an unidentified woman with no tongue who runs around pointing at her face, and another who was burned at the stake for suspected witchcraft.

21. DORNEY COURT // BERKSHIRE

The spectre of a bald woman appears only to men in this residence, which is known for supernatural occurrences.  

22. BEAULIEU // HAMPSHIRE

In 1928, four coffins were discovered on the grounds of the abbey, one of which contained the remains of a man with a hole through his skull and a crown on his head. Arthur Conan Doyle himself held a séance there with the help of a psychic, where the spirit of the crowned body reportedly rose. All that is just the beginning when it comes to Beaulieu's long and storied history of paranormal activity.

23. KNEBWORTH HOUSE // HERTFORDSHIRE

This Gothic mansion is said to be inhabited by the ghost of Jenny Spinner, who was imprisoned in the east wing by Lady Lytton after her son fell in love with Jenny. It's also home to others who have appeared to guests throughout the years.

24. HARLINGTON MANOR // BEDFORDSHIRE

A lady in a silk gown—possible a friend of Lady Anne, daughter of the first Earl of Anglesey—is said to haunt the residence.

25. WOBURN ABBEY // BEDFORDSHIRE

Robert Hobbes, the last abbot of Woburn Abbey, was hanged from a great oak outside the abbey during King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. He is said to haunt the grounds along with the spirit of Lady Mary Tribe (a 1920s adventurer) and a duchess who lived at Woburn in the 19th century.

26. TISSINGTON HALL // DERBYSHIRE

Wilhelmina FitzHerbert, an ancestor of the current owners, died tragically in 1862 and now haunts her former bedroom, as do spirits in the library, and a man dressed in black in the cellar.

27. FULHAM PALACE // LONDON

Fulham Palace was the Bishop of London’s country home for over 12 centuries, and is still haunted by one to this day.

28. CHILLINGHAM CASTLE // NORTHUMBERLAND

Hundreds of paranormal events have been recorded at Chillingham Castle. It's said to be haunted by former prisoners, a famous torturer, a woman in white, and Lady Mary Berkeley, among others.


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