Halloween may have passed but there’s still plenty of opportunities to scare yourself witless around the world. If you’re a traveler who craves excitement and energy, you may not have considered visiting a destination reputable for being scary – but it often makes for a fun if not profoundly frightening experience. Here are five spooky spots to discover around the world. We’re talking about the five scariest vacation spots in the world! Go visit if you dare…
#1 The Catacombs, Paris, France (pictured here)
Famed perhaps by recent film As Above, So Below, the Catacombs that run underneath Paris’ streets have long been a feared destination by many. The underground tunnels are lined with skulls and bones of the dead, with so many as six million people being laid to rest down here below the surface. The Catacombs are hard to navigate without assistance, with it being worryingly easy to get lost should you take a wrong turn – just this year, a group of teenagers went missing for three days after being unable to escape the eerie labyrinth. It has a dark, mysterious history that’s worth discovering – so long as you’re with a guide who knows their way out.
#2 Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Despite Edinburgh being a particularly pretty and charming city, the same perhaps cannot be said for the castle. Sure, it’s a stunning building set in one of Scotland’s most scenic locations – but with visitors reporting to have witnessed things from a headless drummer to French and American prisoners on the castle’s grounds, it has a dark history waiting to be unearthed. Consider a ghost tour around the castle and its surrounding grounds for your best chances at experiencing anything creepy. However, even if you don’t come face to face with a ghost, the spooky setting of the building is enough to give anyone chills – especially once the sun goes down.
#3 Pripyat, Ukraine
You’ve likely seen pictures of Pripyat, the ghost town devastated by the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. The nuclear accident meant the surrounding area had to be evacuated, and it’s never been returned to since – apart from the eager travellers who are willing to explore the eerie, silent adjacent town. Pripyat was the setting for Chernobyl Diaries, the 2012 horror film which saw a group of tourists hunted down by mysterious creatures throughout the night. That won’t happen to you, but the stagnant stillness of the deserted area is enough to send a shiver or two down your spine.
#4 Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA
It’s likely you’ve read (or seen) The Shining, the classic horror story written by Stephen King. The Overlook Hotel, the setting for the book in which a father – Jack Torrance – goes insane after being isolated from the outside world due to being snowed in, was actually inspired by a Colorado establishment. The Stanley Hotel looks unassuming and quite normal upon first glance, but it’s the undeniably chilling aura about it that likely spurred King to start writing. It’s said that room 418 is where the most activity has been spotted, and TV shows such as Ghost Adventures have visited the hotel and successfully documented incidents with the paranormal.
#5 La Isla de las Muńecas, Mexico
Afraid of dolls? Then perhaps it’s best you steer clear of La Isla de las Muńecas, an island off the coast of Mexico City. Pay a visit and you’ll discover an overgrown and uninhabited land full of dilapidated, decaying dolls. Rumours still swirl in regard to the origins of the island, but the settled-upon story is that the once-caretaker of the area, Don Julian Santana, found the body of a young girl in the surrounding waters and, after being profoundly affected by the discovery, decorated the trees with dolls to appease her lingering spirit. It’s a disturbing and chilling story, but it makes for one thrilling excursion.