It’s that time of the year again when carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires and trick-or-treating is the order of the day. In celebration of the occasion of Halloween, we decided to take a detour from those typical exotic holiday destinations and explore some of the most frightening destinations to visit around the world.
Leap Castle, Ireland
Leap Castle is known as one of the most notoriously haunted destinations in the world. Over the years, television shows such as Ghost Hunters and TV’s Most Haunted have visited and featured this ghastly castle. Legend has it that Leap Castle was the site of several massacres and episodes of terror at the hands of the O’Carroll clan, the ruthless power-hungry family that reigned over this castle hundreds of years ago. As a result, there are several spirits and apparitions known to haunt this space. If you’re keen to experience this terror first hand then you’ll be glad to know that Sean Ryan, whose family today owns the property, welcomes tourists for visits.
Jacob’s Well, Texas
Jacob’s Well is one of the most dangerous diving spots in the world. Over the years, several people have mysteriously died while trying to explore the depths of this spring in Hays County, which is located about an hour southwest of Austin, TX. Its cool and clear waters are a popular source of respite from Texas’ searing summer weather. But for many adventurers, the allure of exploring its thin openings which lead into underwater caves has proven deadly. The corpse of one of two young Texas men who drowned in one of the well's caves in 1979 was only recovered in 2000. The beauty of its surrounds conceals the horror that lies within its waters. But hey, it might be a fun dive.
The Catacombs, Paris
Paris is known the world over as the “city of love”. Each year, thousands of people visit the French capital to capture and experience the city’s allure. But, if the Eiffel Tower and all that romantic stuff isn’t quite your cup of tea, there’s the Catacombs: underground ossuaries filled with the remains of more than six million people. The Catacombs were built as part of the effort to eliminate the city's overflowing cemeteries. So, if visiting an organized human bone repository is your kind of thing, you should definitely check out the Catacombs.
Isla De Las Muñecas, Mexico
Dolls are meant to be cute and adorable toys for children to play with, right? Well, at Mexico’s Isla De Las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls), dolls are anything but adorable. Legend has it that about 50 years ago, a little girl died under mysterious circumstances off the island's coast, and shortly after her death a doll, presumably hers, washed ashore. Don Julian Santana Barrera, the caretaker of the island, made the discovery and hung the doll to a tree as an apparent show of respect. Today the area is home to hundreds of terrifying dolls with severed limbs, decapitated heads and blank eyes tied up to several trees. Since Julian apparently drowned in the same spot as the young girl in 2001, it has become a tourist attraction, with hundreds of visitors bringing more dolls each year.
Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania
Hoia Baciu Forest, which is named after a shepherd that disappeared in the area with a flock of two hundred sheep, is widely known as the world’s most haunted forest and locally referred to as the Bermuda Triangle of Romania. Like the Bermuda Triangle, it is common for electronic devices to malfunction in its vicinity. Over the years there have been several reported ghost and UFO sightings, amoung other paranormal activities. hoiabaciuforest.com reports: “Visitors to the forest often report intense feelings of anxiety and the feeling of being constantly watched. Moreover, the local vegetation is somehow bizarre in appearance, like something out of a make-believe story with strangely shaped trees, and unexplained charring on tree stumps and branches.”