Here is a short list of some of the scariest places to travel to! Have you been to any of these and do they live up to the hype?
Paris’ famous catacombs are lined with skulls and hold the remains of over 6 million people – where better to visit for a spooky Halloween experience? Built in the late 18th century as a way to deal with the city’s overflowing cemeteries, the catacombs feature sections dedicated to different bones and body parts. They don’t call Paris the ‘city of love’ for nothing, you know.
Among the beautiful canals of Xochimico near Mexico City is the beyond-creepy Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls): old dolls, many sporting missing limbs or empty eye sockets, hang from trees and buildings in a scene straight out of a horror film. Legend has it that after a little girl drowned near the island some years ago, its caretaker hung up her doll in remembrance, and the collection was added over the years. Locals say the dolls are possessed by the girl’s spirit, and some have even heard them whispering to each other.
This Massachusetts town is synonymous with the 1692 witch trials, during which 20 people were hanged for witchcraft. The town has fully embraced its witchy past: local police cars sport witch logos, and locals can send their kids to Witchcraft Heights school (we’re not sure if they play Quidditch there, though).
Just the name Transylvania brings to mind bloodsucking, black cape-wearing vampires. Make a gothic horror pilgrimage to Bran Castle – a grand, turreted medieval castle widely regarded to be the inspiration for Dracula’s – just make sure to bring some garlic.
Near Mount Fuji, Aokigahara Forest is infamous as one of the world’s most popular suicide spots and is closely associated with the home of the dead in Japanese mythology. The country’s suicide problem has grown to such an extent than in 2010, 200 people attempted suicide; signs at the entrance now warn suicidal people to seek help, and patrols regularly search the forest for bodies.
Those with a fear of anything slithery should avoid this rocky outcrop in Brazil, home to an estimated 2,000–4,000 golden lance head pit vipers, an endangered venomous snake. The island, Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island), is closed to visitors both for their own safety and to preserve the snake population.
The world’s tallest glass bottomed bridge opened in 2016 in Zhangjiajie and is not for the faint-hearted. The 430-metre-long (1,410-foot) bridge gives visitors views 300 metres (985 feet) down into the lush, green valley below. As if just walking across wasn’t scary enough, visitors in June 2016 witnessed a terrifying safety experiment involving a BBC journalist hitting the glass walkway full force with a sledgehammer.
When Tsukimi Ayano returned to the Japanese village of Nagoro in the early 2000s after a lifelong absence, she noticed many people had either moved away or died. To preserve their memories, she started making dolls in their image and placing them around the village. So far she has made over 400, including a whole classroom of children in the abandoned village school. Just goes to prove that one person’s art project is another person’s waking nightmare.