There is no doubt Halloween is an exciting time! The kids get to go trick or treating and stock up on their favorite candies, and even the adults can go to their local haunted houses or see the spookiest places in their hometowns. But for the travelers out there, there is a world of options when it comes to strange places waiting to be explored. Discover 10 of the spookiest destinations around the world — if you dare — and get some travel inspiration just in time for Halloween (warning — some of these stories may be unsettling and are not for the faint of heart)!
Known as the Sea of Trees, the Aokigahara Forest is known to be peaceful and quiet. Streams of light, gorgeous ponds and sky-high trees are scattered throughout the forest and welcome visitors to wander through the trails. This magnificent forest is situated at the base of Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan. However, as beautiful and peaceful as this place might be, it is also where many visitors have come to take their lives. Over the years many wanderers have experienced creepy encounters upon entering the grounds — hearing distant screams, seeing apparitions, and having their tape trails mysteriously cut off are common occurrences. Japanese folklore explains the forest is also home to many spirits roaming the grounds which might explain these creepy encounters.
Romania is known for many things… breathtaking castles, charming villages, and the tale of Count Dracula are only a few of them. Speaking of Vlad the Impaler, in the heart of Transylvania you will find the creepiest forest in the world. The Hoia Baciu Forest is reportedly haunted by ghosts, and locals have encountered strange phenomenons that are difficult to be explained. Some of these spooky encounters include the story of a young girl who entered the forest and came out five years later without having seemingly aged a day, several UFO sightings which have been captured on camera and been ongoing since the 1960s, and strange noises with giggling sounds which are often heard and seem to come out of nowhere.
Once a small city comprised of magnificent walls, exotic temples, bustling bazaars, and intricate palaces, the Bhangarh Fort, built in the 17th century, was eerily abandoned only a century later. Today it is recognized as one of the most haunted places in India as ghosts are believed to frequently wander around the grounds and trigger paranormal activities. While this extraordinary fort is open for travelers to visit during the day, entering the premises at night is strictly forbidden as the grounds are deemed unsafe for this reason before sunrise and after sunset. This mysterious fort boasts magnificent ruins which are truly fascinating to see and can be easily visited as the site is within driving distance of Jaipur.
What better place to spend Halloween than in an abandoned asylum? If there is something about former hospitals that creeps you out — take a look at this one. Situated in the small city of Gyeonggi, slightly east of Seoul, this asylum was shut down with little notice in the 1990s allegedly due to high sudden fatality numbers amongst patients. It is rumored that the Director of the hospital killed all of the patients. Perhaps the most haunted place in South Korea, many visitors have reported sightings of ghosts and paranormal activity within the grounds. The rusted wired fences and dirty beds and chairs will only add to the creepy appeal that draws visitors into visiting this former institution. There was even a movie based on this spooky institution that is entirely based on these South Korean stories!
Also known as “Plague Island”, this isolated Italian island can be found off the coast of Venice. With a quarantine center and a psychiatric hospital that was built in the 20th century, due to its isolated nature, this island quickly became a place of exile amongst plague patients. It is reported that nearby residents can still hear the bell of the bell tower (which was removed) after a doctor was allegedly “driven mad by ghosts” and jumped off the tower in the 1930s. While visitors are strictly prohibited from visiting the island as it is forbidden, there are special boat tours that will take you to learn about the history and myths of one of the spookiest destinations around the world.
As glamorous as the City of Lights might be, there is a dark side to this city (or under this city) that many visitors are not aware of. With the tombs of over six million Parisians lying within the grounds, if there is any place on Earth that would be haunted — we are not surprised it’s this one. This spooky tunnel is also known as the largest grave in the world going 65 feet underground as Parisian cemeteries were overflowing in previous centuries and bones were continuously dropped and transformed into catacombs. A small part of this place is open for visitors to walk through the dimly lit chambers — but there is a very limited capacity allowed inside so make sure you book your ticket in advance. Legends say visitors can hear distant voices calling them to wander through the grounds and lose themselves in the chambers…
Situated outside of Dargavs in North Ossetia, visitors will find the City of the Dead. The grounds of this necropolis hold the tombstones of 10,000 people within its crypts. While these bodies are well-preserved, many of them are exposed so visitors can expect to see skeletons and bones. The ranges of the Caucasus Mountains surrounding the hills are truly breathtaking and the village is so remote that travelers can hear silence for miles amid the Russian landscape. While many locals believe that those who visit this necropolis won’t find their way out alive, travelers often admire how peaceful and serene the surroundings are. If you are bold and brave you could give this place a shot — you just have to drive through the winding roads within the mountain ranges to get there.
This tiny village in Serbia has a population of fewer than 800 inhabitants — whose ancestors lived among Petar Blagojević in the 1700s. Locals believe this Serbian citizen transformed into a vampire after he passed away and slaughtered numerous residents. For several days, every 24 hours another death was reported — and all of the victims remembered being strangled by Petar the night before passing away. When experts examined his grave several weeks later, it seemed as if his hair and nails continued to grow. Following this strange phenomenon, they plunged a stake into his body through which fresh blood gushed out of… After this final execution, the deaths mysteriously stopped. Walking through the local streets might feel haunting knowing so many residents were inexplicably attacked here.
South of Mexico City lies the Island of Dolls. This creepy island might be a fascinating place to visit during Halloween but it will make for a chilling experience. After a man named Don Julián Santana Barrera (the caretaker of the island) witnessed the drowning of a young girl, he found a doll along the canals. Out of respect for this young girl he hung up the doll — followed by many more until the island was entirely covered in spooky figures. Legend says Don Julian was possessed by the spirits of the girls who passed away and continued to haunt the islands, until he himself passed in similar circumstances to the girl he had found. Locals have reported hearing the dolls whisper to each other when rowing by the island, inviting them to explore the land…
While this gorgeous mansion, situated in the heart of metropolitan Toronto might not seem creepy at all, Casa Loma has reportedly been haunted since the 1930s. Staff members and visitors frequently report sightings of shadowed figures and hearing voices that echo into the distance. It is believed that Sir Henry Pallett, the man who built Casa Loma, returned after he passed away and continues to roam the grounds. Many visitors have also reported seeing The White Lady, who is believed to have worked as a maid in the castle around the time of the influenza. During the Halloween season, the castle is decorated and transformed into a haunted house known as the “Legends of Horror”. Every year visitors are invited to explore the grounds and see if they can spot paranormal activity with a ghost hunting tour. If you want to see a spooky destination that is close to home, pay a visit to Casa Loma.