The mysteries of our beautiful planet are manifold. Dotted with innumerable exotic locales and breathtaking destinations that charm us no end, our planet is also home to many eerie places that are deemed ‘haunted’ and are fabled to be under the spell of some evil spirit or a curse.
Indeed, there are many unsolved mysteries in the world that are beyond the grasp of the intelligent human mind. Even after many many years, they have managed to retain their mystic aura and no scientific explanation has been successful in confining them within the realms of logic and rationalism.
While a few of them do have a background, that somewhat lends credibility to all the unnatural activities that are in existence, the others simply defy any logic and are plain creepy for no rhyme or reason. If you consider yourself a brave heart and an uncanny whisper or a tinkle cannot make you run for cover, then a paranormal vacation is what you need to quench your eternal thirst for supernatural events and stories. Though no corner of the earth has been spared from the evil powers, there is only so much you can cover in one trip right?
Kick-start your supernatural sojourn with the Europe and the Americas as they flaunt several spooky places where all the startling drama and action happens.
They are scary, they are unnerving and they are straight out of a horror movie!
Four scary places to travel to:
Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Situated in the southern half of North America, the picturesque country of Mexico is well-known for its surreal beaches, diverse topography, ancient Mesoamerican ruins and its colorful festivals. The stunning locale is also the ‘go-to’ place if you wish to visit the haunted Isla de las Munecas or the ‘Island of the Dolls’. Located to the south of the Mexico City, the uninhabited island is nestled between the canals of Xochimilco and exhibits a terrifying atmosphere with its plethora of mutilated dolls that hang from the surrounding trees.
Legend has it that the sole inhabitant of the island, Julian Santana Barrera, made the island his abode in the 1950’s after he decided to live the life of a recluse. Upon his arrival, Julian came to know of a young girl who was drowned in the canal waters while playing. It is said that her spirit never left the place and she began to communicate with Julian frequently. In order to appease her troubled spirit, Julian bought old dolls and hung them all over the island in memory of the dead girl.
Another story doing the rounds is that the dolls washed ashore by themselves and were discovered by Julian. Either way, goosebumps are guaranteed when you look at these decomposing dolls with their severed limbs, decapitated heads and empty eye sockets. Tourists, who have been to this island, claim to have seen the deformed dolls move their heads and arms, open their eyes and even whisper to them at night! There are reports of visitors feeling uncanny about mysterious eyes following them and those who were on a boat near the island felt that the possessed dolls seemed to beckon them to the ill-fated island. Several years later, Julian himself was found dead, floating at the very spot in the canal where the young girl lost her life. Sounds utterly creepy right? This is indeed one nightmarish destination that is a must-visit for you and one that will linger on in your memories for a long long time.
The Tower of London, UK
Historically, many ancient castles and towers have been privy to unfortunate events with plenty of sad tales to tell. Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London is one such embodiment of bygone torture and brutality and continues to remind us of its chilling past in the form of apparitions and spectres. Gracing the northern bank of the River Thames, the Tower of London is a famous landmark of central London with its umpteen incidents related to the spirits and ghosts of former kings, queens and princes.
Established in 1078 by William the Conqueror, the 89-feet tall tower was the exile for many eminent personalities during the 16th and 17th centuries and is now preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower is most renowned for the spirit of Anne Boleyn, the wife of the erstwhile King Henry VIII. It is said that she was beheaded in the tower premises in 1536 because of her treachery to the king. Buried in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula, her ghost is still said to haunt the tower. On multiple occasions, she has been cited to walk around the White Tower with her head tucked under her arm. Other unnatural sightings include ghosts of Lady Jane Grey, Henry VI, Margaret Pole and the horror-struck faces of two princes who were supposedly murdered in the White Tower by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Countless incidents exist wherein the guardsmen at the tower have been frightened, some even to death, by the unusual paranormal activities. The Tower of London should definitely feature on your travel bucket-list if you are in the mood for a spine-chilling rendezvous. You may not be lucky (or unlucky should we say!) enough to witness the horrific incidents in person but a first hand recount of the chilling stories will surely send shivers down your spine.
Beelitz-Heilstätten Military Hospital, Germany
If you thought that a life-saving hospital would be the last place on earth that could give you the creeps, then you haven’t yet heard of the defunct military hospital of Beelitz-Heilstätten in Germany’s historic town of Beelitz. First conceptualised in the late 19th century as a sanatorium of 60 buildings, the hospital complex was built to provide care to tuberculosis affected Berlin workers. The large complex was subsequently transformed into a military hospital during the onset of World War I with the intent to serve the wounded soldiers of the Imperial German Army. The legendary Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, also underwent treatment at this very hospital for an injury inflicted from a shell blast.
While parts of the complex still remain operational as a neurological rehabilitation centre and as a research centre for Parkinson’s disease, major areas of the hospital were abandoned way back in 1994 and now don a creepy look and feel. A tour of the deserted hospital will make you feel uneasy with the unexplained silence and the presence of cranky beds, grim and obsolete surgical and psychiatry wards, rusty equipments, peeling wall paints, abandoned corridors and vine-covered courtyards that do nothing to put you at ease! If this is not spooky, then what is? The hospital’s ghostly environs have served as the backdrop for quite a few notable films including the Oscar-winning movie called ‘The Pianist’ as well as the Tom Cruise starrer ‘Valkyrie’. If you want to gift yourself a hair-raising holiday, then this is one haunting tourist attraction that you simply cannot afford to miss.
Screaming Tunnel, Canada
Stumped that a tunnel too can scream its lungs out? Seems unreal right? Not when you are making your way through the scary 38-metre long limestone tunnel that is located in the north-west corner of the Niagara Falls. Situated in Ontario, Canada, the unearthly tunnel runs underneath the former Grand Trunk Railway lines and was built to drain water from the farmlands.
Wondering what’s so spooky about it? Well, locals say that if you dare to cross the tunnel during a pitch black night with a lighted match, the match will blow out on its own and will soon be followed by blood-curdling screams. Frightening huh? The screams are believed to originate from a young girl who is said to haunt the tunnel ever since her death within its walls. There are many local versions behind the cause of her death. Lore has it that the little girl ran to the tunnel while trying to escape a nearby farm building that was ablaze. While trying to do so, her clothes caught fire which led to her death. Another version doing the rounds is that the girl was trying to save herself from the wrath of her enraged father who eventually burnt her to death. Stories also exist that she was actually raped inside the tunnel and burnt alive to remove any potential evidence. Whatever the case might be, it is a fact that this is one bizarre spot that most holiday seekers would steer clear of! No doubt the haunted tunnel primarily attracts paranormal seekers and its secluded locale has acted as the setting for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s illustrious horror novel called ‘The Dead Zone’. If there is a need for a door to hell, then this one can certainly be considered as one.