Happy Halloween Explorers! Why only celebrate the scary and utterly spooky once a year? We’ve created a guide to the top ten spooktacular destinations around the globe. From witches, ghosts and monsters, to real life terror stories and UFO sightings we can guarantee they will scare even the bravest traveler of them all!
- Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a city on the north coast of Massachusetts above Boston. It’s famous for its 1692 witch trials, during which several locals were executed for allegedly practicing witchcraft. Today, the town of Salem is one of the best Halloween holiday spots for its celebration of witches on their most important night of the year.
- Oaxaca, Mexico
On Halloween, the streets of Oaxaca become an enormous street festival for the annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Hallowing ancient Aztec and Mayan legends, costumed people pay visits to local cemeteries, and decorate the streets with flowers, skulls, and skeletons – Dia de los Muertos is not a time of mourning.
- Rose Hall Great House, Jamaica
Annie Palmer was once the pretty young wife of a plantation owner in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She was also said to be a cruel witch who practiced voodoo and tortured and killed her slaves. Tours of Rose Hall focus on reports of hauntings and disembodied voices heard calling from the dungeon. If you’re lucky, you may spot the ghost of the White Witch herself, said to be still roaming these halls.
- Sleepy Hollow, New York
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving is one of the most iconic American ghost stories. Set here in this Hudson Valley village, there are still reports of the Headless Horseman at cemeteries all around the area. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery hosts both daytime and lantern tours, but it is advised that you book your tour well in advance because it is very popular year round, but especially near Halloween.
- Boggo Road Jail, QLD
It’s one Australia’s most infamous prisons – known for tough inmates and even tougher wardens. Boggo Rd was a place of execution until 1913, and held some of Australia’s most dangerous men and women including the Whiskey Au-Go-Go firebombers James Finch and Andrew Stuart, and the only woman hanged in Queensland, Ellen Thomson.
Given its long history of rooftop riots, executions and fatal overcrowding, Boggo understandably has a ghostly folklore surrounding it. No longer running as a prison, the historic site is now open to ghost tours.
- The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
The island of dolls, situated in Xochimilco district Mexico contains the forests where the trees originate with dolls’ heads. It has become a natural process that the dolls’ heads originate from the shrubs and roots of the trees. It is said that a little girl died in this island and her dead body was found in the nearby canal. It is her soul which creates those doll heads naturally from the trees and even when one cuts such trees, the new trees bring the same forms of doll heads.
- Leap Castle, Ireland
The castle is rumored to be haunted by a vast number of spirits, including a violent, hunched beast known only as the Elemental. It is most recognizable by the accompanying smell of rotting flesh and sulphur. While renovating the castle, workers discover an oubliette, which is a dungeon accessible only through a ceiling hatch, into which prisoners are thrown, then forgotten and left to die. This particular oubliette contained three cartloads of human remains, and was filled with spikes to impale those thrown into it’s depths.
- Hoia Forest
Any place located in Transylvania comes with some terror baggage. This is, after all, the place most linked to the Dracula myth, thanks to Bram Stoker’s influential novel which used the central part of Romania as its setting. The Hoia Forest, however, isn’t known for vampire activity as much as for paranormal activity, UFO sightings and missing persons. Also, look at the strange vegetation that grows in this forest — tree trunks with strange, uniform bends, not to mention areas where nothing grows at all, for some bizarre reason.
- Tokyo, Japan
Not far from Tokyo there’s a former family home that became the setting for a horror video game, owing to its haunted reputation. Legend holds that the Himuro family living in the home engaged in a bizarre ritualistic murder roughly every 50 years in order to ward off bad spirits. Whether or not it’s true (and it’s likely not), the Himuro Mansion retains its scary appeal thanks to ghost sightings and inclusion in the Fatal Frame video game.
- Rajasthan, India
Called by some the most haunted place in India, the Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan is said to be cursed. A sorcerer living in the city was in love with the princess who lived in the palace, and when his spell to trick her into falling in love with him went awry, he cursed everyone who lived in the palace to death. You might be inclined to brush aside such legends, but local authorities aren’t taking any chances — it’s still forbidden for tourists to enter the fort between sunset and sunrise.