It’s that time of year again! The spookiest time – when we share some of our favorite creepy, haunted and otherwise unexplainable destinations to you. Here’s what we’ve come up with – guaranteed to put you in the Halloween spirit!
Wind Phone, Ōtsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
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When Itaru Sasaki lost his cousin in 2010, he didn’t know where to put his grief. So he came upon the idea to put a phone booth in his garden where he could “call” and have a one-way conversation with his cousin. Then, in 2011, a massive Tsunami and earthquake decimated the town he lived in, killing more than 10% of the residents. Residents of Ōtsuchi in the Iwate Prefecture soon spread the word and more and more people came to call their loved ones. Now he gets visitors from around the world, all hoping to connect with someone on the other side.
Amityville House, Amityville New York
In the early 70’s, this little house on the south side of Long Island became the site of a notorious murder. Robert De Feo shot and killed 6 members of his own family. The next family to live in this house, George and Kathy Lutz and their 3 children, claim they were terrorized by paranormal activity and left after just 28 days. A famous movie, “The Amityville Horror,” was made in 1979 and from there the legend was set in stone. The house is still there, and you can drive by it – on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville.
One of the most famous battles of the Civil War occurred in Gettysburg. The battlefield left more than 50,000 soldiers dead and dealt a crushing defeat to the Confederacy – more than a third of General Lee’s army. Is it any wonder that people believe that hallowed ground to be haunted? You can even take a Haunted Tour of the battlefield and other spooky spots.
Winchester House, San Jose, California
It would be hard to do a “Haunted Places” list without including the Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester was married to the rifle-maker’s son and maybe not the most stable woman around. After a period of feeling “cursed,” Sarah sought out the advice of a fortuneteller. She was told that the ghosts of those who died from her family’s guns killed her family. To keep away the vengeful spirits, she commissioned a nonsensical, over the top mansion with staircases that lead directly into the ceiling, doors that open onto brick walls, and windows that lead to secret passages. And for years tourists have been flocking to the house to marvel at its curiosities.
Snake Island, Brazil
Ilha da Queimada, located 90 miles off the coast of Brazil near Sao Paulo is only 106 acres in size, but it’s land is inhabited by the endangered lancehead pit viper, which has a diet of birds. Still, you probably don’t want to meet a pit viper, let alone an island full of them (one snake per square meter, the Brazilian government reports), so it’s closed to the public to protect both the vipers and the humans.
Tower of London, London, England
Did you know that the Tower of London is the most haunted spot in the city? It’s seen a fair share of torture and murder in its history. The most famous ghost is Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded on the outdoor green. What was her crime? Well, on orders from her husband Henry VIII, she was beheaded for the unforgivable sin of giving birth to a stillborn son. Anyway, plenty of other people were put to death there – but Anne’s ghost is justifiably furious. And when people see her, she’s typically walking around carrying her own severed head.
Chernobyl, Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat is a ghost city in Ukraine, close to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant site. It was built in the early 1970’s to house workers who would be working at that plant. When the reactor melted down in 1986. The city was evacuated the day after this terrible disaster, so the city is suspended in time, with deserted schools, apartment buildings, an amusement park and businesses. You can visit if you take unnerving and eerie tours that are run out of Kiev.
Hoia Forest, Romania
There’s not much to say about Hoia Forest, but the beautiful and eerie forest has long been the subject of Romanian spirit lore. And that should tell you how local people feel about it. Come for the twisty, strange beauty and stay for the ghost stories and overwhelming sense of foreboding.
Island of the Dolls, Mexico City, Mexico
Are you a fan of creepy, busted dolls? Then, have we got a place for you! In the 1950’s, a Mexico City man, Do Julian Santana Barrera, left his wife and kids to live on an island alone. No one knew exactly why he made this choice, but the island was in a lake where a young girl had drowned. One day, Don Julian saw a doll floating in the lake. He fished it out and hung it in a tree, in order to appease the spirit of the dead girl. From there, his collection grew. When he died in 2001, his body was found in the lake – drowned at the exact spot he always claimed to have seen the spirit of the dead girl. Tourists have flocked to the location ever since to pay their respects and freak themselves out.
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
The Darvaza Gas Crater is a natural gas field that collapsed into a cavern near Darvaza (also known as Derweze) in Turkmenistan and was discovered more than 50 years ago. Even though the crater has been nicknamed the “Gates of Hell and the “Door to Hell,” it’s a natural occurring phenomenon. The Turkmenistan government hopes the site continues to grow in popularity, and in fact, the area around it is a popular site for desert camping.
Happy Halloween and happy travels!