Haunted histories: top ten spooky spots to visit
Many of us love a good scare – whether that's an historic ghost trail through dark city streets or spine-chilling tours of haunted houses.
When it comes to travelling there are hundreds of scary sights out there with a fascinating past. So if you want an eerie experience with a good dash of historic interest and a great back story then a take look at our top ten terrifying spots from across the globe.
Stanley Hotel in Colorado
High in the Rockies, this haunted hotel is allegedly the inspiration for Stephen King’s chilling novel The Shining. Apparently the idea came to King when staying at the hotel – people believe the ghost of Lord Dunraven haunts one the rooms and staff have heard children playing in empty corridors and music coming from the ballroom. Spooky.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Denver, Colorado.
The ghost town of Bodie in California
In the Bodie Hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountains you'll find the ghost town of Bodie – a place frozen in time. The once glorious mining town was populated after a prospector discovered gold in the 1800s. However, the town is now in a state of decay. It’s a bumpy 13 mile drive from Highway 395 but the dusty journey is worth it. A strange place whose booming past is barely recognisable in its sad desolation.
Fly direct from Heathrow to San Francisco then take onward travel.
The Valley of No Return in Brittany
Sound eerie? It most surely is! Part of the legendary Brocéliande forest this enchanted place was apparently the site where Merlin was imprisoned in a stone. Now known as Paimpont forest in Brittany it still remains shrouded in mystery. The valley is said to be where the powerful sorceress Morgan le Fay imprisons her lovers. Beware!
Fly direct from Heathrow to Paris and take onward travel.
Scotland has plenty of spooky sites with its bleak battlefields and isolated castles yet perhaps the scariest place of all is right in the city centre – Edinburgh Castle. The entire city is suppose to be one of the most haunted in the whole of Europe. Visitors to the castle have claimed to have experienced paranormal activities. Pipers appearing, ghostly sightings, and scares in the underground vaults make this the spot to go if you’re after a fright.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Edinburgh.
The Catacombs of Paris
It’s a macabre sight – tunnels lined with bones that stretch beneath the city unseen until you descend. For those brave enough, the journey down to the catacombs is a dizzying spiral staircase, 20 metres deep. The catacombs were created in 1810 to deal with the problem of burial places in Paris. Take a tour and you'll find plenty of historic interest here too.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Paris.
Monte Cristo Homestead near Canberra in Australia
There’s an abandoned house, miles from anywhere and anybody, in the middle of nowhere – sounds like the start of a horror film, right? Well, in the 1860s the Ryan family bought this homestead and moved in. And yes, they were haunted and still are. However, they’ve managed to turn their seemingly bad luck into a tourist attraction. They have been haunted by the previous owners, a stable boy, and a pregnant maid. If you fancy a scare of your own, you can stay with them for the night! Do you dare?
Fly from Heathrow to Sydney and on to Canberra.
The Hell Fire Club in Dublin
The Emerald Isle is abounding with terrifying tales – head to Dublin and take one of the many ghost tours full of stories and legends of witches, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. Montpelier Hill is where you’ll find the haunted ruin of a hunting lodge – which is supposedly the home of the Dublin branch of the Hell Fire Club with its dark origins.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Dublin.
Aokigahara in Japan
The Sea of Trees to the northwest of Mount Fuji looks like the forest of the Blair Witch Project. It has mythological ties to demons in Japanese history – and it's also eerily quiet due to the thick trees blocking wind and noise. Hikers, keep your guard up!
Fly direct from Heathrow to Tokyo and take onward travel.
Bran Castle in Romania
Known for its ties with Vlad the Impaler – better known as the infamous Count Dracula – the castle is at once beautiful and creepy. Sat majestic and high above the valley below this is a must-see for anyone vaguely curious about the cruel ruler. Vampire masks, blood-red drinks, wooden daggers and other blood-curdling paraphernalia are on sale at the market beneath the castle.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Bucharest.
The Island of Dolls in Mexico
For a truly spine tingling experience, take a gondola to this remote little island where hundreds of decaying dolls are suspended in trees above your head. It is said that the dolls were hung to mollify the spirit of a little girl.
Fly direct from Heathrow to Mexico City.
One last not so scary thing…
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