With Halloween just around the corner, lastminute.com.au has rounded up some of the spookiest destinations throughout the world.
But never fear…scary and strange doesn’t have to mean terrifying or depressing. Here are 10 attractions that are creepy and kooky, but also fun, historically significant, and even beautiful. Add them to your travel bucket list….if you dare.
America’s finest museum of medical history Philadelphia’s Mütter Musem is the place to go if you want to see slices of Albert Einstein’s brain, a 9ft long human colon, or North America’s tallest skeleton (measuring 7’6″). In the past you could even show your support for Mütter’s important preservation work by adopting a skull!
Famous for its brutal convict history, Port Arthur in Tasmania has become a popular destination for amateur ghost hunters and historians. Believers (and open-minded sceptics) can even join late-night paranormal investigations to collect evidence of ghostly goings-on. They also receive a DVD recording of their experience, making them stars in their very own ‘Blair Witch Projects’ (although hopefully with fewer runny noses).
South of Mexico City, the Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls) makes for an unsettling day trip. For over 50 years the island’s caretaker, Don Julian Santana Barrera, collected old dolls and strung them up in trees. Legend says Julian did this to appease the ghost of a little girl he found drowned, but unfortunately the dolls themselves ended up possessed by even more dead girls. Probably not the intended result…
Just a few metres below Paris’ romantic, glamorous streets, the Catacombs are home to the remains of around 6 million former residents. The massive crypt was created in the late 18th century in response to the severe overcrowding of Paris’s traditional cemeteries and has been open to tourists since the early 19th century, when it was a popular venue for nobility dinner parties and picnics. Ah, bon appétit?
5. New World Mall, Bangkok
Bangkok‘s New World Mall might not scare you on the surface. However, in 1999, a fire destroyed the already abandoned mall’s roof, which allowed it to gradually fill with rainwater. This caused a major mosquito problem, which the locals solved by introducing freshwater tilapia fish to eat the pests. The fish thrived, multiplied, and now star in YouTube videos that will keep you awake at night.
The Winchester Mystery House is the former residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. According to popular belief, Sarah Winchester moved to San Jose on the advice of a medium, who told her she must start a never-ending building project to create a home for the spirits of everyone who had been killed by a Winchester rifle. The end result: a labyrinthine mansion full of bizarre features like séance rooms, stairs leading to ceilings, and doors to nowhere.
On first look this may not be everyone’s idea of scary, however millions of creepy crawly worms in New Zealand‘s Waitimo Glowworm Caves is sure to get the spine tingling. Those daring to discover this incredible natural site take a boat ride through the caves – which are, in parts, pitch-black aside the glowing bodies of millions of worms – giving a feeling of floating in space. This is a strange, even claustrophobic experience, but one that’s unforgettable.
Ah, Denmark home of Carlsberg and The Little Mermaid. With the Vikings now long gone, there’s nothing to be scared of here, right? Wrong! Head to Zealand and you’ll find Dragsholm Slot, a haunted castle you can actually stay in. Dragsholm is rumoured to be inhabited by three ghosts – the Grey Lady, the (former, obviously) Earl of Bothwell, and the White Lady, whose skeleton was supposedly found in a wall during renovations carried out in the 1930s.
Every year around Halloween, millions of migrating bats gather in a small section of forest in Zambia‘s Kasanka National Park. The tiny vacationers stay for about six weeks and fill the sky each day at twilight when they fly off to search for food. The bats particularly love fresh mangoes, which probably takes an edge off their “scary” status, but the sight of them all in flight is still incredible.
10. Q Station, Manly
Last but certainly not least, the Quarantine Station Sydney. From missing graveyards to unexplained phenomena and mischievous ghosts this treasured piece of Sydney Harbour has an incredible but troubled history. Reputed to be one of Australia’s most haunted sites, the Quarantine Station was established in the 1830s to protect local residents from threat of infection from migrant ships. The site was the first safe anchorage point inside the heads. Apparently over 500 people are buried on the grounds, however majority of graves aren’t able to be located. Spooky! Now days those adventurous enough can stay at this historic site or be scared stiff with a two hour ghost tour of the station.
What’s the scariest place you’ve ever been to?
Want to freak yourself (or a friend) out this Friday evening? It’s not too late. Check out lastminute.com.au ghost tours available throughout Australia. The perfect Halloween (trick) or treat.
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