Ramp up the fear-factor this October with a trip to one of these five creepy destinations
We can all agree that the year 2020 has somewhat resembled a dystopian novel; with a global pandemic and mandatory lockdowns to thank. So for Halloween this year, you really need to up your game to get your spook on. Jokes aside, October 31 is fast approaching and for those of us who love all things creepy, here are five of the best spots around the world you can visit (or add to the bucket list) to get your dose of scare. But a word of warning, don’t blame us if things suddenly start to go bump in the night…
Dracula’s castle, Romania
Although Bram Stoker never visited Romania himself, the castle he describes in 1897 gothic novel Dracula is almost exactly that of Bran Castle which sits deep in the hills of Transylvania. So much so, in fact, that the region and the mythical horror villain have become synonymous with one another. Each year many fans of the book head to the medieval castle in homage to the blood-sucking monster, carrying a clove of garlic in their pockets – just in case.
The doll village of Japan, Nagoro
Japan has an ageing population, which is most strongly felt in its rural communities. Nagoro, a mountainous village in the Iya Valley was once a thriving town, complete with its own diner and medical clinic. But now, as time has moved on and the young residents have left, there isn’t a single shop left. With the number of residents falling year on year, Tsukimi Ayano began making dolls in the former resident’s likeness. Some 350 dolls later, the inanimate residents outnumber the living ones by more than 10 to one, and can be seen all around the village including at the abandoned school – creepy or what?
Catacombs of Paris, France
An underground cemetery, this famous labyrinth beneath the city of Paris holds the remains of over six million people. In the darkness of the twisting tunnels are walls made of skulls and bones giving the space a truly unnerving feel. The tombs are now part of the Paris Musées (Paris Museums) so guests can expect to learn all about the underground grave’s eventful past as they walk within the dimly lit tunnels.
Al Jazirah Al Hamra, UAE
Around 20km from Ras Al Khaimah’s main town is the abandoned village of Al Jazirat Al Hamra, which directly translates to The Red Island. Once a bustling pearl fishing community, the village is now eerily quiet and empty. In the 1830s, it’s estimated around 200 people, most of whom were fishermen, lived in the village. And, by the 20th century, close to 200,000 people were living in the coral homes. But by the ’60s, both the people and date palm roofs were gone, leaving just the empty shells of abandoned buildings – and perhaps some ghosts.
The Tower of London, United Kingdom
Sitting on the north bank of the River Thames in London lies a castle that’s officially known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. But more commonly referred to as The Tower of London, the landmark is famous for its dark history. Between the years 1110 and 1952, it functioned as a prison for those out of favour with reigning monarchs. The dark fortress was also the stage for many historic public executions, earning its place on this list today. Among the beheaded prisoners was Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn who was killed in 1536, and there are rumours she continues to haunt the grounds today.
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