The Spanish saying goes, “I don’t believe in witches, but they do exist!” And this seems to be the perfect time to talk about them… and about ghosts, murderers, vampires, or skeletons. Everything goes for Halloween.
But here all the talk is travel related and what better excuse than the Day of the Dead to discover some destinations immersed in mystery and shivering stories?
The first suggestion on this list of scary places is the only one I’ve visited so far, and I can talk about it in the first person. For the rest, I looked for other sources of reading material that will help you to have more information.
The Abandoned Hotel in the Lagoa das Sete Cidades – São Miguel, Azores
Located on the Lagoa das Sete Cidades, in São Miguel, Azores, near one of the island’s best-known viewpoints (Vista do Rei), there’s an abandoned hotel with possibly one of the most beautiful views you will ever have.
Here the state of degradation is advanced, and one must step carefully over the wreckage and broken glass that is everywhere.
The hotel unit started to be built several years ago, but for some reason, the construction stopped in the middle of it. Today, as we walk through those corridors, we have the notion of having entered a world apart. Those rooms never saw life, but even so, there’s something that awakens the curiosity of those who pass through it.
The place isn’t that scary if you go and visit in a group like I was. Now, go alone or already after the sunset.
The Dracula’s Castle in Bran – Transylvania, Romania
Who has never read a book or seen a movie about Count Dracula?! For years that the character created by Bram Stroker inhabits the universe of the fantastic and the terror. But Stroker didn’t invent Dracula out of the blue. The story has its genesis in the Romanian prince Vlad Tepes. Known as “The Impaler,” Tepes’s history includes a 19th-century castle in Bran, Transylvania… known to the present day as the Castle of Dracula.
To know more about the history of one of the most visited monuments in Romania, I suggest you visit Bran Castle official site, where you can get some more tips about the fortress of the vampire king!
Jack, The Ripper and the Streets of London – England
Jack the Ripper stayed in the history of London and the world as one of the bloodiest murderers ever. It was in the late 1800s, in the year 1888, to be more exact, and East London was terrified by a series of crimes involving mostly prostitutes and low-class women. The serial killer slashed his victims and removed the internal organs, in an act of pure violence such as never seen before.
Jack’s story has always been shrouded in mystery, and for a long time, speculated about the true identity of the killer, since the crimes were never resolved.
The Whitechapel region of the East End is nowhere near the ruined neighborhood of that time and can be crossed on one of the guided tours that reconstitute (or at least try to) various passages in this macabre story.
The Witches of Salem – Massachusetts, USA
The small town of Salem, Mass., enters the history of the darkest places in the world because of a series of judgments that took place in the 17th century and result on the hanging of 26 women accused of witchcraft.
But if one day this place tried to expel the witches, today it welcomes them with open arms. There’s a museum dedicated to them and frequent references to the places where that unfortunate story took place.
To know more about visiting Salem, take a look at the official website.
The Death in Oaxaca – Mexico
There’s no better place to celebrate the Day of the Dead than in Oaxaca, Mexico. The city takes the festivities very seriously and for several days is filled with customs and traditions ranging from altars, markets, tapestries made of sand and, of course, visits to cemeteries and comparsas (masked parades, with music and dancing).
In this article from Trip Savvy, you can read more about the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca.
Are you a Halloween fan?
What was the strangest place you’ve ever visited? Share with me in the comment box below. I’ll love to hear from you!