Prepare to get the fright of your life with our top five haunted houses, spooky attractions and ghost towns around the world. With Halloween just around the corner what better way to celebrate the undead than with a ghoulish attraction. Shrinking violets, lock all the doors…
1 The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
For one heck of a creepy day out, head to Isla de Munacas – Island of the Dolls in Mexico – which is home to hundreds of spooky doll parts and limbless plastic bodies dangling from trees and nailed to walls. The island belonged to a man called Julian Santana Berrera, who began collecting discarded dolls after discovering the body of a dead girl in a nearby canal and thought the dolls would ward off evil spirits. The terrifying island wasn’t discovered until the 1990s and today it is a spine-chilling tourist attraction you can visit by boat. Mr Berrera died in 2001 and was found dead in the same spot he found the little girl. Best not visit on your own methinks…
2 Tower of London
A bit closer to home and perhaps not as eerie as the macabre broken doll fest going on in Mexico is the Tower of London. According to legend, London’s historical stone tower is haunted by dozens of regal souls including Thomas Becket, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury. Keep your eyes peeled for more spooky spectres like Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and take an evening tower twilight tour…if you dare.
3 Bran Castle, Romania
If you’re a fan of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula you’ll definitely want to explore Romania’s Bran Castle, the home of cruel ruler Vlad the Impaler (a Transylvanian prince often confused with the fictitious count himself). During the early 15th century, Vlad impaled his enemies rather than drank their blood like Drac, but you’ll find spooky spiral staircases and crumbling doorways inside to up the menacing mood. In the marketplace below the castle, find stalls selling vampire masks, blood-red wine and wooden daggers.
4 Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA
Personally, I’m not sure I’d relish the thought of staying any night of the year at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, let alone during Halloween season. Because, this reputedly haunted hotel, situated high in the Colorado Rockies was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s unforgettable, paranormal novel, The Shining. It is room 418 which is considered to be the hotel’s most haunted (believed to be visited by the ghost of Lord Dunraven) although guests and staff have many ghostly tales to tell including hearing children playing in the corridors late and night. Here’s Johnny! (Let’s hope not…)
5 Edinburgh Castle
Dominating Scotland’s capital city skyline from its rocky perch, Edinburgh’s iconic Edinburgh Castle is said to be more than just a beautiful tourist attraction. According to many, it is also home to a ghostly piper, a headless drummer boy and a pungent-smelling spectral prisoner who died while hiding in a dung barrow trying to escape the dungeons. And for the hardened sceptics among us, a scientific study carried out in 2001 actually demonstrated the presence of ghosts – or presence of something when participants reported sudden drops in temperature and a mysterious tugging of clothes. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Have you ever been spooked by a haunted house or ghost town? Please share your scary stories below, and share the article on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+