8 Scary Travel Destinations
By Julia Austin, Planet Green
If you watch shows like “Medium” and “Ghost Hunters” itching for a chance to experience paranormal activity, these destinations are your ticket to terror. If you’re someone who firmly says you don’t believe in ghosts, then you should have no problem visiting these either, right?
The Paris Catacombs
Sure, it’s all croissants, fake Louis Vuitton Vendors and Moulin Rouge above ground, but just 60 feet beneath this city of love is the stuff that nightmares are made of. The Paris Catacombs is an underground crypt of epic proportions, housing approximately 6 million pulse-less Parisians.
Due to over-population in graveyards, the Parisians began digging up bodies and moving them to what is now a popular tourist destination, but was then just the useless outskirts of the town.
Artistry runs in the Parisian’s blood, so logically the walls of the crypt had to be “ornamented” in bones and skulls. Breathtaking. Literally.
The Stanley Hotel
Estes Park, Colorado, USA
Any place that gets the creative wheels pinning of Stephen King is naturally ranked high for its freaky factors. Room 217 at The Stanley inspired the cult classic “The Shining.”
You can’t help but feel bad for this hotel, which probably had no intention of being a destination for ghost-hunters. But it is now. Guests have claimed to see apparitions all over the property.
See them for yourself by booking a room at The Stanley’s official website.
Edinburgh’s Underground Vaults
University students clink their foaming mugs in the local pubs and the accent there, well, it’s just too sing-songy to ever feel a hint of the creeps. But don’t be fooled.
What began as a place for the wealthy to store their goods became a place for dirty deeds. The hidden location drew prostitutes with their clients, murderers with their victims and black market traders alike—essentially, “professionals” in businesses that often go deathly awry.
The Auld Reekie Tours company is glad to give you a tour. But be warned—poltergeists are known to be active. One tour guide claims “people have left with cuts, scratches, burns and bruises.”
Lizzie Borden B&B
Fall River, Massachusetts
Even though she purchased cyanide prior to and burnt some of her own clothes after—Lizzie Borden was still acquitted for the crime of hacking her father and stepmother into pieces. Ever heard the rhyme “Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41″?
The home of this charming family has been converted into a B&B. Guests have reported seeing the ghosts of the murdered Andrew and Abby Borden wandering the halls, as well as the lucky acquitted Lizzy herself.
St. Louis Cemetery No.1
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is already a place where voodoo abounds, so generally creepy places like cemeteries just give you extra chills. Especially the St. Louis Cemetery No.1, presumably presided over by the ghost of voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau.
Marie is said to be living an active after life and manifests herself as a red-eyed black cat or the ghost of her pet snake.
A second very real danger exists here—muggers and vandals—sitings of which have been reported by visitors.
Tower of London
Many heads have rolled here, and their bodies have stuck around to look for them. The tower served as a major chopping block during the time of Henry VIII. Expert ghost hunters report a headless Anne Boleyn—Henry VIII’s second wife—strolling the halls. Screams are often heard from the ghost of Guy Fawkes, who was convicted for high treason in 1606 and the ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh frequents the Byward Tower.
Beechworth Lunatic Asylum
Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
Like in the famous Eagle’s song “Hotel California”, it’s much easier to check into this place than to leave. A total of 8 signatures were required for a patient to be released, while a measly 2 signatures had patients checked in by the thousands. Three thousand to be exact, many of whom turned out to not even be mentally ill. Most died within the walls of the asylum.
Beechworth was the site of many malpractices, including the famous Darwin chair experiment, in which patients were tied to a chair and spun around so rapidly they would bleed from their nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
Check yourself in for a visit with the doctor with Beechworth Ghost Tours.
The Bran Castle
Not the home of Dracula, but close. The original “Dracula” was based on a merciless tyrant—Vlad Dracula—who allegedly inhabited The Bran Castle. The surrounding area is overgrown with thick, dark forests and encircled by mountains, creating a feeling of complete desolation.
Those famous fangs may have just been a scaled down version of the real Dracula’s preferred form of execution—impaling to death.
If you dare, tour Dracula’s hometown. Visit his alleged grave at Snagov Monastery, as well as Dracula’s Bran Castle.
Are you a believer yet?
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons