Spooky places to visit this Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching, a time for scary masks, ghost stories and trick or treating. But if these things don’t really give you the fright factor, you might want to consider visiting some of these creepy attractions this Halloween…

Winchester Mystery House, Northern California

This is somewhere I have always wanted to visit. This massive mansion in Northern California was once the home of Sarah Winchester, who was the widow of a gun tycoon. Following the death of her husband and child she consulted a medium who suggested that she was being haunted by the spirits of those killed by the guns her husband manufactured.  Bizarrely, the solution to appeasing the spirits was to build them a grand house. As long as the construction of the house never stopped, Sarah Winchester would avoid being the victim of the spirits. Building commenced in the late 1800s and continued until her death in 1922. The result was a creepy house with secret passages, empty rooms, blocked out windows and staircases leading to nowhere.

Island of the Dolls, Mexico

Dolls are creepy at the best of times but imagine an island filled with dolls hanging from the trees…not the most appealing place to spend your holiday.  The island was once inhabited by a man called Julian Santana Barrera. Following his discovery of a dead girl in one of the nearby canals, so began a weird obsession with collecting dolls and doll parts. These creepy objects were hung from the trees in a bid to ward off evil spirits. Mr Barrera has since died but for anyone who fancies a spooky trip, the island can still be visited by boat.

 The London Dungeons

A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the London Dungeons. The Dungeons were once home to some of London’s most dangerous and infamous criminals including Guy Fawkes and Jack the Ripper. While it’s not an attraction for everyone, the Dungeons certainly go to great lengths to create the scare factor. As soon as you enter you’ll find live actors and special effects to recreate the macabre scenes of London’s gory history.

Pripyat, Ukraine

There’s something unnerving that comes with a deserted town and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Pripyat in Ukraine. Following the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, the area was evacuated leaving a deserted ghost town. Years after the disaster visitors can now go back and see the disconcerting remains of the town including an abandoned fairground.

Paris Catacombs

This underground ossuary is the resting place of around 6 million people. The network of caverns and tunnels originally formed Paris’ stone mines but were opened to the public in the 18th century. The Paris Catacombs are now regularly visited by tourists who are in search of the macabre. Inside you’ll find halls of systematically arranged bones as well as some which are arranged in a more sculptural way.

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

While the forest may look like your typical woodland scene, Aokigahara forest has a much darker side. The area has in fact become infamous for the number of suicides which occur there every year. On average around 30 people end their life in the forest each year and in 2004 there was a record breaking 108 deaths. The government has even placed signs leading into the forest urging people to reconsider their decision. If you decide to visit you’ll find plastic tape marking the spot of each suicide.

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For a truly frightening Halloween, leave the mask at home and explore one of these spooky attractions for an experience which really will give you the chills.

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Emma

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