Cobblestone streets, white-sand beaches, and long mountain walks are cool and all, but where are the hair-raising stories, spooky castles, and haunted forests at? If you’re one who seeks out creepy things to do, then you’ll enjoy our list of the eight scariest experiences in the world.
1. Take a ghost tour in Edinburgh
The streets and underground vaults of Edinburgh have many dark tales to tell. Edinburgh’s past is teeming with bloody events, backhanded deals, and shocking betrayals. While just hearing the stories is hairy enough, listening to them while walking through the hidden alleyways, overgrown graveyards, and underground passages that the dead are said to still roam is a spine-tingling experience.
2. Face your fears in Mexico
Relive your childhood nightmares at Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls) in the Xochimilco canals near Mexico City. The beyond creepy island has old dolls (some with missing limbs and empty eye sockets) hanging from trees and buildings. Legend has it that after a girl drowned near the island, a caretaker hung up her doll in remembrance. The collection has since grown with locals convinced that the girl’s spirit possesses the dolls. It’s like walking through a real-life horror film.
3. Meet the dead of Paris
Paris’ famous 18th-century catacombs hold the remains of over six million people. Today, you can take a tour and explore underground alleys that have skulls and bones lining the walls. Tours visit different sections devoted to various bones and body parts. The bones are arranged into different shapes and decorations (like hearts and a giant barrel of skulls) to add to the creepiness.
4. Visit Dracula’s castle in Romania
Are bloodsucking, black-cape wearing vampires your kind of thing? Then a trip to Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania is right up your alley. Bran Castle, the inspiration for the famed Dracula novel, is now a museum and often hosts Halloween events. Real vampire fanatics can immerse themselves further in the legend of Vlad the Impaler with a tour of Transylvania, including visits to Bran Castle, Peles Castle, and the medieval city of Brasov. Just remember to bring garlic for protection!
5. Learn about witch trials in the USA
Salem is the world’s best destination for delving into the world of witchcraft. Known for a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in the 1600s, a trip to Salem takes you through the trials while learning more about the accusers, the accused, the court proceedings, and the executions.
6. Relive the Middle Ages in Heidelberg
The romantic university town of Heidelberg in Germany has quite the past to explore. Join a walking tour with the hangman’s daughter and learn more about the gruesome profession of being a hangman in the Middle Ages. Go in search of haunted houses and witch hiding spots. Listen to stories of poltergeists, burned witches, and evil dogs. If dreadful crimes and cruel punishments pique your interest, then learning about Heidelberg in the Middle Ages will tick all your boxes.
7. Discover paranormal activity in Australia
This Tasmanian town of Port Arthur is a hive of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters will be in their element with the many ghost tours around Port Arthur, an 18th-century convict settlement. The souls of more than 1,000 people who died in Port Arthur during its 47-year history as a penal settlement are said to still roam around the town. For the full experience, add a cruise to the Isle of the Dead — the graveyard used between 1833 and 1877.
8. Travel to the City of the Dead in Russia
The story goes that if you ever try to visit the village of Dargavs (aka the City of the Dead), you won’t emerge alive. The village is located in a valley in southern Russia that contains almost 100 ancient stone crypts where locals are buried. You’ll likely be one of only a few tourists visiting due to the remote location, but the spooky history makes for an unforgettable trip.