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For those of us who love the scarier side of Halloween, wouldn’t it be fun to extend the celebration beyond just one day a year? There are many places around the world that epitomize eerie and creepy, you just have to know where to find them.
Better yet, plan your trip around one of these totally weird attractions, then let us know what you thought! And when you’re ready to start searching for great deals on hotels and airfare, then subscribe to our newsletter.
One of the best things about traveling to new places and asking for recommendations once you’re there is you often hear about odd, strange sights that the guidebooks don’t mention. But once you’ve arrived and have checked off all of the major items on your to-see list, there’s real value in going a bit out of the way to explore the incredible oddities nearby.
6 Creepy Attractions Around the World
1. Mummy Museum in Guanajuato, Mexico
When my husband and I were living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico a few years ago, he was overjoyed that we were within an hours drive of the notorious Museo de las Momias in Guanajuato. Knowing that walking through a museum that housed over 100 mummies behind transparent glass walls would give me nightmares forever, I opted to stay home.
It was definitely the right choice.
But he loved it (clearly, he’s the brave one in this relationship, except when it comes to spiders) and took the opportunity to practice his photography skills. You might be asking – where did these mummies come from?
At one point many years ago, the town of Guanajuato enacted a tax on burial plots in the local cemetery. When families could no longer afford to pay the rent for their buried ancestors, the city removed the bodies from their graves. That’s when they realized the soil had unique components that acted to preserve the bodies. Hence, the world’s largest collection of mummies resides in Guanajuato, and for about $3, you can view all of them!
2. The Catacombs of Paris, France
For those truly brave travelers, the Catacombs beneath the city of Paris might be at the top of the scary destinations list. What could be more horrifying than an entire underground cavern filled with human skulls?
But the initial intent behind the creation of the Catacombs was meant to be practical, not gruesome. When the city started to run out of space to bury people in the late 1700s, they came up with a pragmatic solution and built an ossuary to store the overpopulated remains of the dead. Hence the Catacombs, a network of tunnels under the city of Paris, house the remains of more than six million people.
But was it really necessary to line the hallways with human skulls and femur bones? This decor was intended to creep folks out when the tunnels were opened to the public in the mid-1800’s. I’ll say it definitely gets the point across.
3. The New Lucky Restaurant, Ahmedabad India
Are you a finicky eater? If so, you might want to avoid New Lucky restaurant in Ahmedabad which is actually built around old gravestones. Yes, that’s correct.
When the owner of New Lucky realized his restaurant location was actually on top of an old burial site, he decided to treat the graves as an unusual attraction and built a restaurant around them. The graves are scattered throughout the restaurant and have become a part of the dining experience.
Although the tombs are unmarked, many people believe that followers of a 16th century Sufi Saint are buried here. Every morning there are flowers placed near the graves as a symbol of respect and reverence. The owner actually states that eating near the dead is auspicious, hence the name “Lucky.” There’s something peaceful about eating a meal next to those who are forever at rest.
4. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO
Walking through the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, you probably wouldn’t immediately get a sense of foreboding or creepiness. But those who are familiar with the movie The Shining have a much different impression of this historic hotel.
Although the scenes from Stanley Kubrick’s epic horror film were not filmed at this location, the Stanley served as inspiration for Stephen King’s original novel. In fact, the author and his wife spent time at the hotel while he was writing the book. And the hotel celebrates this history with themed events around Halloween, like The Shining Ball, a Murder Mystery Dinner, and a Halloween Masquerade Party.
There are rumors that the Stanley is looking for funding to open a new horror museum on the hotel grounds. Fingers crossed that they can make this happen, I’d be there in a flash!
5. Pripyat and the Ghost Towns Near Chernobyl, Northern Ukraine
The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was a nightmare with a lasting impact on the entire area and towns surrounding the radioactive site. Residents living nearby were quickly evacuated after the event, leaving so fast that in some cases, dinner was left sitting on the table.
Now those who are curious can take a tour of the ghost towns near the Chernobyl reactor to see what is left. Part of the fascination with this area is it was so recently left behind. In the US, we have ghost towns from the early 1900s marked as historical sites. But here, you can walk through a completely vacated town that was thriving in the 1980s.
Would you walk through the remains of the towns near Chernobyl? I’m not sure I would, given I almost can’t look at this picture, it’s so creepy.
6. Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania
Ever since finding out my Romanian ancestry actually originated in Transylvania, I’ve been intrigued by this region. Naturally, I’ve been wondering – could I actually be related to Vlad the Impaler (who the character Dracula was loosely based on)? Would I actually even want to know? Would my co-workers respect me a little bit more (or just pretend to while avoiding me as often as possible) if I was?
I may never know the answers to these questions, but it might be enough to simply visit this old, gothic castle and pretend that my ancestors lived and ruled there. Bran Castle was built in the 1200’s and used as a strategic line of defense during the Ottoman Empire. In popular culture, it’s believed that Bran Castle inspired the description of Count Dracula’s home, therefore, it’s closely associated with this dark, fictional character.
Do you know of a scary spot that isn’t included on this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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