I will admit – I am a scary places and haunted house junkie. I love to be frightened and terrified beyond my wits, which is easily done in a scary place since I usually travel solo! Please don’t keep reading unless you’re ready to hear about some of the scariest places on Earth. Prepare to be terrified – and happy halloween. Heh heh heh.
Nightmares Fear Factory – Niagara Falls, Ontario
If you’ve been to Niagara Falls, you’ll know that on Clifton Hill on the Canadian side is full of plenty of haunted attractions. But the real deal isn’t on the main drag – it’s actually up and over a block. Nightmares Fear Factory was tipped off to me by a number of Twitter followers as Niagara’s best attractions, and once I’d made it through, I had felt like it was one of the scariest places on earth. You see, the building was once a coffin factory! In respect of the venue, I won’t reveal some of their trickery, I will just say watch your back – you never know what might happen in here as it isn’t all man made fear. Gulp.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Any hotel worthy of a Steven King film set is worthy of being called one of the scariest places on earth. The Stanley Hotel is a gorgeous Georgian hotel set in the Rocky Mountains. The spot itself is a unique one – you have fantastic views and are in sort of a sound bubble – the peaceful kind, yes, but if you scream, there’s nobody around to hear you. The scary events that were featured in King’s The Shining are mostly based on real events that have happened here – when the American Sci-Fi channel team came to film here, they saw tables throw in the air and their drinking glasses shattered, but only when the cameras were turned off. Creepy.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh Scotland
As I have said to many people, Edinburgh is full of dead people. It was a city in constant struggle between England and Scotland, and so many lives were lost in the city limits. But there’s one particular place that is truly one of the scariest places on Earth – I have witnessed with my own eyes a friend shoved by some mysterious force and knocked off her feet and thrown into the air. This happened at the well known Covenanters Prison, where many souls were tortured and tied exposed to the harsh Scottish weather. The city had so much trouble with this spot they put it under lock and key, and today City of the Dead tours will take you inside. Warning: there are many, many, many documented events on this tour, including scars, marks, and other troubling ailments of the guests after entering the prison.
The Catacombs of Paris, France
What do you do when you run out of space to bury your city’s dead citizens? Build tunnels to throw them in, of course! The mine-like catacombs that run underneath the streets of Paris are filled with so many bones, and so “organised” it’s hard to fathom how such a strange place came to be. For me, this is definitely one of the scariest places on earth – as you wander through these halls, with empty skulls staring back at you from all sides, you will feel the presence of those from another plane, both mentally and physically; many visitors report hands brushing against them or touching them. And you’re underground – making a quick exit is not possible. The Catacombs seem to be open one day and closed the next, however the whims of the Parisian government feel.
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Tucked away at the foot of Mount Fuji, Japan’s Aokigahara Forest is known by many tourists for its lovely ice caverns, but few realise the more sinister aspects of this sea of trees. You see, this is Japan’s number one suicide spots, and one of the biggest suicide spots in the world, as it is a location featured in many Japanese folk tales. Ubasute was once often practiced here, where an elderly female member of a family was taken here and left to die. To add to its reputation as one of the scariest places on earth is a number of other strange features of the landscape, including rumours that compasses and other electronic equipment fail in the forest, resulting in many travellers getting lost and allowing the forest to claim yet another victim.
Waverley Santiorium, Louisville, Kentucky
The Waverly Sanatorium was originally build as a family home, but in the days before antibiotics, plague victims were often rounded up and put in hospitals, and this home was turned into exactly that in the early 1900s. The hospital is now in disrepair, and is often called the most haunted hospital in America. What is particularly creepy (and why it is one of the scariest places on earth) is known as the tunnel. The underground passage was used to carry the dead from the building and out to the graveyards, but when people started dying a little too quickly, this is where the bodies lay in wait for the hearse to take them away. Think you can make it through the tunnel?
Montee Cristo Homestead, Junee, Australia
It’s hard to believe this beautiful building is widely considered the most haunted in Australia and one of the scariest places on Earth. The building seems to have some worldly bad luck – a child fell down the stairs and died, a maid fell off the balcony and died, a stable boy burnt in a fire, a caretaker was murdered, and an insane man was imprisoned in the basement. So it’s no wonder there are some very angry spirits here – visitors on the public tours have been physically held back from going up or down stairs and voices have given then specific orders to leave rooms! Most disturbing, though, are the reports of mutilated animals, found inside the house which remained locked up. Proof that unfortunately, Australia isn’t only sunny beaches and azure ocean.
Leap Castle, Ireland
It’s not hard to imagine a dark, rainy day in Ireland inside a old castle to be one of the scariest places on earth. But Leap Castle, in County Offaly, is a castle with a very dark secret. It was built in the 15th century by one of the O’Carroll clan’s most powerful families, and this clan was known for their brutality and force in which they protected themselves and their lands. Family troubles plagued the clan, which eventually resulted in their downfall. This may explain Leap Castle’s sinister side, as you’ll find a spiked pit behind a false wall. The current owners, who are trying to restore the castle, say it took several trips to remove all of the bones found in the pit, and a number of strange events have occurred since, including the owner being thrown off a ladder while trying to work!
Hunyad Castle, Romania
While it isn’t conclusive that Romania is home to some of the scariest places on Earth, there is certainly something funny going on. Out of the castles that are associated with the story of Count Dracula, it is Hunyad Castle that has the most reputed sightings. Perhaps it is because of the Turkish prisoners, who were dropped into a pit and told if they dug a well to water, they’d be set free. Of course, when they reached water, their captors failed to live up to their offer, and left them for dead. If you visit, don’t miss Bran Castle or Poienari Castle for the full creepy experience.