35 Spooky Travel Destinations Around The World
These eerie sites boast haunted histories and paranormal happenings.
When booking a vacation, many people seek out fun and relaxing destinations. But for others, it’s all about the spook factor. Many eerie sites have become popular tourist spots ― from hotels with grisly histories to abandoned ghost towns to chapels decorated with thousands of human bones.
In honor of Halloween season, we’ve rounded up 35 spooky travel destinations around the world.
1. The Stanley Hotel
The historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, was the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's "The Shining" and also served as a filming location for its miniseries adaptation. Today, the hotel offers a few different tours, including one that introduces visitors to "the 'active' phenomena and spirit folklore surrounding our 100+ year old hotel."
2. Bran Castle
Also known as "Dracula's Castle," Bran Castle in Romania is a popular tourist attraction for fans of Bram Stoker's famous novel, though the historical connection between the site and book is questionable. A few hours away is Poenari Castle, the home of Vlad the Impaler.
3. Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving made this village in Westchester County, New York, famous with "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" — a short story about a mythical "Headless Horseman." Irving is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. To this day, some consider the village to be haunted.
4. Catacombs of Paris
Built over 200 years ago, the Catacombs of Paris hold the bones of millions of Frenchmen, making for an eerie underground tourist attraction.
5. Lizzie Borden House
Located at 230 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts, the Borden house is where Lizzie Borden famously murdered her father and stepmother with an axe in 1892. Since 1996, it's been a bed and breakfast and museum operating daily tours.
6. The Island of Dolls
According to legend, the sole occupant of the Island of Dolls (in the canals of Xochimilco in Mexico City) hung up old dolls to ward off the spirit of a girl who drowned in the water.
7. The Gates of Hell
The Darvaza gas crater -- also known as the Door to Hell or the Gates of Hell -- was created in 1971 after a mishap with Soviet scientists' drilling platform caused the ground to collapse. The crater was set on fire to prevent the spread of poisonous gas, creating this scary tourist attraction.
8. The Ancient Ram Inn
The Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, is one of England's most haunted establishments and a popular destination for ghost enthusiasts.
9. Museum of Death
The Museum of Death in Los Angeles has a room dedicated to local murders like the Black Dahlia story and Manson family killings. There's also a location in New Orleans.
10. Loch Ness
Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands is best known for the supposed sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, AKA "Nessie." Visitors can learn about the history of the creature and even take Nessie-hunting boat trips.
11. The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo
The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo on the island of Sicily contain the mummified bodies of thousands of friars, as well as influential residents.
Salem's history as the location of the infamous witch trials of 1692 plays a significant role in its culture to this day. The Massachusetts city offers many Halloween events and spooky tours year round.
The mountainous Republic of North Ossetia–Alania in Russia contains one of the country's most mysterious sites. The necropolis of Dargavs — AKA the City of the Dead — contains almost 100 stone crypts dating back to the 16th century, though some claim there are even ones. These structures were built to house the dead and their belongings.
14. The Siriraj Medical Museum
The Siriraj Medical Museum in Bangkok, Thailand, displays a number of eerie artifacts, including the mummified corpse of an infamous serial killer and grisly crime scene evidence.
15. Jerome Ghost Town
Jerome, Arizona, was a mining town that saw its population diminish after operations ended in the mid-20th century. Today, multiple companies offer "ghost town" tours.
16. The Sedlec Ossuary
Located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints, the Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, is decorated with the bones of more than 40,000 people.
17. The Mutter Museum
The Fairmont Banff Springs aka the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, is famous for ghostly visitors like a "Ghost Bride" and "Sam the Bellman."
The city of New Orleans offers many spooky cemetery and ghost tours that draw on its history, as well as voodoo superstitions.
21. Amityville Horror House
22.Tower of London
There are many stories of the ghosts of former prisoners like Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London.
23. Nagoro Village
As residents of the Japanese village of Nagoro died off or moved away, a local artist started crafting life-sized dolls to replace them. There are hundreds throughout the village today.
24. Poe Cottage
Fans of Edgar Allan Poe's macabre poetry may enjoy visiting his home in the Bronx in New York City.
25. Dearly Departed Tours And Artifact Museum
Hollywood scandal and death expert Scott Michaels operates Dearly Departed Tours And Artifact Museum across from Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Part of the novel "Dracula" is set in Whitby, England. The ruins of Whitby Abbey reportedly inspired Bram Stoker.
27. The Skull Chapel
The Skull Chapel, AKA St. Bartholomew's Church, is in Czermna district of Kudowa, Poland. Toward the end of the 18th century, the chapel was decorated with the skulls and other bones of around 3,000 people. The basement contains more than 20,000 additional skeletons.
Also known as Hashima Island, Japan's Gunkanjima was once home to a coal mining community but has been abandoned since the mid-1970s. Today, tourists can visit the industrial ghost town, which many compare to post-apocalyptic scenes.
29. Winchester Mystery House
This strange mansion in San Jose, California, was the home of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. It's supposedly haunted by the ghosts of people killed with Winchester rifles.
Europe's largest Halloween street parade draws tens of thousands of enthusiasts to Derry in Northern Ireland.
31. The Capuchin Crypt
The bodies of the friars and lay people buried in the crypt of the Capuchin monastery in Brno, Czech Republic, were not intended to be mummified, but the conditions in the space had that effect.
32. Château de Machecoul
This medieval castle in the Loire-Atlantique region of France has links to Gilles de Rais, the 15th century serial killer believed to be the inspiration for the story of Bluebeard.
33. Actun Tunichil Muknal
This jungle cave in central Belize holds Mayan ceremonial artifacts, as well as the skeletal remains of possible sacrifice victims.
34. Witch's Castle
Stories of murder and enchantments surround the so-called "Witch's Castle" in Portland, Oregon's Forest Park.
Share this article: