With Halloween quickly approaching, we can’t seem to stop seeing pumpkins, scary movies on every other channel, and candy galore everywhere we turn. In true travel spirit, we researched some of the most haunting, cringe-worth destinations you can find that will deliver quite the scare. Visit these places…if you dare.
Island of the Dolls – Xochimilco, Mexico
As scary as it sounds, this island is in fact inhabited by dolls hanging from the trees. Legend has it that they roam around at night killing the animals on the island. The backstory goes that a man named Juilán Santana Barrera, a native of the LA Asunción neighborhood was a loner who was rarely seen. His claim to fame arrived when he would collect the broken bodies of dolls from the canals and then hang them from the trees to ward off even spirits and for a dead little girl who supposedly talked to him and told him how she died.
Juilán passed away in 2001, but the remains of the dolls still rest on the island and attracts many visitors looking for a good haunting.
Poveglia Island, Italy
Between Venice and Lido, sits a small island that plays host to many wandering spirits and has been dubbed as “The World’s Most Haunted Island”. It is said that you can often hear voices and screams from the island and the building that sits atop it. That building was once used as a mental asylum in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Before this time, however, the island was used to quarantine those who had the Bubonic Plague during the 14th century and later after when the Black Death swept through Italy in 1630.
Eerie enough, the bodies of the diseased were burned on the island and then in the 1800’s when the asylum was built and operating, it is rumored that ill treatment and non-ethical experiment procedures were performed in the building. It closed in the mid-20th century and is no longer inhabited. Locals dare never to step foot on the island in fear of becoming cursed and fisherman also refuse to fish in the area worried they could bring up human remains.
Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh, Scotland
Some call Edinburgh the most haunted city on Earth. The castle overlooks the city and dates back to the Iron Age. It has been the site for torture and many bloody battles during its time, which equals for a recipe of ultimate haunting chills.
The castle is open for tours, but many of the visitors and staff have experienced things over the years like the sightings of apparitions, spirits with unique resemblances (old man with an apron, a headless drummer boy, and a piper who lost his life in the tunnels below the castle).
St. Augustine Lighthouse – Florida, United States
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and surrounding buildings are known as the “Mona Lisa of paranormal sites” because of how ‘active’ it is. Both visitors and staff have spoken of similar bone-chilling stories of what seems to be the same ghostly spirits roaming the grounds. Two of the spirits are believed to be the daughters of Hezekiah Pittee, who was in charge of the lighthouse construction in the 1870’s. They both died during its construction and can now be found wandering the tower catwalk.
Other visitors who are no longer alive includes a woman whose voice you can hear, often crying for help. Another is a man in the lighthouse basement who is believed to be a Civil War hero and former lighthouse keeper William A. Harn. Visit if your dare.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Pennsylvania, United States
Built in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary was the first prison of its kind to introduce solitary confinement (so you can see why the souls chose to hang around). Prisoners would be completely isolated, living and doing everything alone, even when taken outside, they had to have a black hood covering their head. At no surprise, most prisoners were driven to insanity and the harsh punishments were later scrapped in 1913, but the penitentiary remained open until 1970. Famous convicts to this prison even included Al Capone.
Since it has been closed, paranormal experiences are far too common in this place and chilling reports includes seeing shadowy figures, an evil crackling noise coming from cellblock 12, figures sliding down walls in cellblock 6, ghostly faces in cellblock 4, and strange sounds like distant talking, footsteps, and banging on cell doors have been heard.
Ancient Ram Inn – Gloucestershire, England
This is believed to be the most haunted house in the world! Built in 1145, there have been numerous tales of stories so haunting, it will make your skin crawl – like, child sacrifices, devil worship, and evil spirits. It is also said that an agent Pagan burial ground resided in the property over 5,000 years ago.
During its time as a bed and breakfast, guests would often flee in the middle of the night from seeing full-bodied apparitions in their rooms, the feeling of being touched or pulled, heading voices and the overall feeling of evil. The current owner and resident has reported all of these stories as well and has even found two child skeletons underneath the staircase.
Do you know of a haunted destination? Share it with us in the comments below!