The World’s Spookiest Travel Destinations
Halloween is nearly upon us, and that’s got us planning some spooky travels. The world is full of urban legends, ghost stories and dark corners that can make any trip just a little more exciting. Below, we put together a list of some of the world’s spookiest travel destinations. Take a look, but don’t visit after dark!
1. Salem, Massachusetts
You can’t say Salem without thinking about witches! The name Salem is referenced a lot in pop culture, but it’s actually the real-life place where 26 people were put to death for being witches. Despite this sad history, the town has embraced its spookiness, especially during Halloween. If you visit during October you can experience things like haunted tours, trial re-enactments, witches’ circles, fireworks, and a parade.
2. Highgate Cemetery, London, England
Any visit to London is not complete without a stop at the infamous Highgate Cemetery. It’s an interesting stop for history buffs, as the home to such influential people as Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, and more. The overgrown grounds of this Victorian Gothic Style park give it a creepy atmosphere, but also let you explore for hours (in the daytime, of course!). Rumors are after dark, some seriously spooky apparitions begin to appear. The most famous of these is the Highgate Vampire, a seven-foot tall man wearing a long black coat and top hat who vanishes into thin air…
3. Bran Castle, Romania
A lot of old castles are spooky, but this old Romanian castle is also known as Dracula’s Castle. That’s because it’s said to have been the home of Vlad the Impaler, the supposed inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
As a historical figure, Vlad the Impaler was pretty brutal (as his name suggests). It’s possible that a whole host of atrocities took place in this castle, including cruel torture and impalement of tens of thousands of his enemies. The castle is open to the public year-round, but Halloween is the time to go, because you can take a special Halloween tour.
4. The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
It’s a beautiful hotel, located in a breathtaking Rocky Mountain landscape. It was also the inspiration for the seriously scary Stephen King novel The Shining. As if that weren’t spooky enough, it’s rumored to be haunted by at least three people, including the founder of the hotel, who is said to hang out in the billiard room with his wife in formal dress. Rather than shy away from this bad publicity, however, the hotel has embraced it. They offer ghost tours to guests.
5. Paris, France
There are some seriously spooky spots in the City of Light that are definitely worth a visit. Pere Lachaise Cemetery is an obvious one, with its miles of tombstones and famous residents. Even darker, however, are the Paris Catacombs. During the 1700s, bodies were dug up from the city’s cemeteries and relocated to this maze of underground tunnels. It is now home to nearly 7 million bodies, and is open to the public for a very scary walking tour.