World’s Scariest Places
One of the best things about getting older is putting an adult spin on holidays you enjoyed as a kid — like Halloween. Sure, it’s still fun to dress up as ghosts and goblins, but why not immerse yourself in the spirit of the holiday in a different way?
There are destinations all over the world that have the reputation of being spooky. Here’s a sampling of some of the world’s scariest places that you can enjoy at Halloween or beyond.
The “Screaming Tunnel” was built by Grand Trunk Railroad in the early 1900s and is located near Niagara Falls. The tunnel was meant for railroad cars but shortly after finishing the structure, World War 1 began and GTR went bankrupt – never finishing laying tracks in the tunnel. Legend has it if you enter the tunnel, stand in the middle and light a match, something will blow it out and you may hear screams in the distance. Horrible story, but makes a great ghost legend.
Photo of Screaming Tunnels, Canada by Sean Alexander
Rumored to be one of the prohibition-era gangsters’ favourite places to dump bodies, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery in Chicago, is an old and decaying burial ground that has been the site of countless stories about ghosts, spirits, and devil worship. Several headstones in the cemetery seem to move at will, and many claim that the spirits of the dead often materialize and walk the grounds at night. The most famous of these is the “White Lady,” the ghost of a young woman who is always seen in a white dress, often cradling a baby in her arms.
Photo of Bachelor’s Grove, Chicago by John W. Iwanski
The Chase Mausoleum in Christ Church Graveyard in Barbados, is famous. The coffins of family members buried in the early 1800s move around in the locked vault, sometimes lining up vertically along the walls. At one time, the Governor of Barbados personally sealed the vault, but nine months later the coffins were rearranged even though the seal had not been tampered with. Eventually, the government reburied the coffins in separate places which seems to have put an end to the phenomenon. The empty Chase vault is now open for all to see.
Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland, and Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. The castle is a historical fortress that stands magnificently between sea and hills with parts that are over 900 years old. The cells of its ancient dungeon, the site of uncounted deaths, could very well be an eternal place of unrest for numerous spirits. Other areas of Edinburgh also have ghostly reputations: the subterranean vaults of South Bridge and a disused street called Mary Kings Close where victims of the Black Death plague were sealed up to die.
Photo of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland by Patrick McKay
Singapore is Asia’s most haunted city. Strange lights filter through Hougang School, near East Coast Beach and people are said to be slapped by an unseen presence at the Changi Beach Houses. Ghosts appear out of nowhere and beg for food along the coast near Lor Halus, and St. John Island is haunted by a ghost that calls for help and then runs away.
Photo of Singapore by Christopher Chan
Princess Theatre in Melbourne has reported several ghosts since it opened in 1886. The theatre’s best known ‘inhabitant’ is Frederick Baker, best known as ‘Federici’, a talented bass-baritone singer who died in March 1888 while performing. He was seen by the rest of the cast taking his bows with them shortly thereafter. For years the theatre kept a seat vacant in the dress circle for Federici, and his appearance in the dress circle during rehearsals for a new show is considered a good omen.
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Best meal I've ever had while traveling: Delicious Chicken Vindaloo in an open-air restaurant during a rain storm at a resort in the Goa region of India, where Vindaloo originated. Lovely….and Spicy!!!
First thing I do in a new place: Stroll around and get acquainted with the immediate vicinity of where I’m staying and if I have time, start exploring further.
View that took my breath away: First view of the Taj Mahal when you enter through the gates and into the main area of the park. It’s a place I’d never thought I’d ever visit and there I was.
Most challenging travel moment: There have been a few! Travelling home standby from Europe in my early 20s and running out of money. The airline I had a ticket for cancelled my flight and other airlines flying that route refused to honour it, and I needed to buy a new ticket. However, because it was the end of my trip, my credit card (I only had one back then), was maxed out and this was a time when most bank machines in Europe didn’t allow you to access an account in Canada. Ugh! A kind airline employee took pity on me and sold me one of her employee guest passes in exchange for the small amount of currency (from 3 countries) that I had in my pockets. She was a lifesaver! There was also the time we decided to forego the cruise line shore excursion to Paris from Le Havre and opting instead to rent a car and drive to Paris for the day. Upon returning to Le Havre, we were unable to find a taxi to take us back to the ship as the town virtually shuts down at 6pm. To top it off, we misjudged when the ship was leaving and had significantly less time than we thought. We finally had to flag down a local and explain our predicament to him in broken French and ask him to give us a ride. 4 adults, plus the driver, in a tiny, TINY European car, that also had a baby seat in it. We made it to the ship by the skin of our teeth. But would I do it again….for sure…..but I’d leave a LOT more time!
Favorite way to get around: My convertible, but if not, then public transit.
Greatest travel lesson learned: If you don’t think you’ll ever be back, take in as much as possible.
Travel ambition: Luxury safari in Kenya, including seeing the annual wildebeest migration and visiting the Ngorogoro Crater.
My most beloved place in the whole world is: my hometown of Toronto. There’s a reason why I choose to live here. You should come visit!
Fondest travel memory: The highs and lows of a round-the-world trip I took, with stops in San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, Capetown and London. Every part of that trip was a memory, from doing the Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney and seeing Sydney Opera House for the first time…to not planning ahead and having to sleep in our car on the Great Ocean Road and arriving in Adelaide after a 2-day drive to find that we’d left our passports in the hotel safe - in MELBOURNE! But I’ll never forget my first time seeing a pride of lions in the wild for the first time. Or coming around a corner of a dirt road to find a huge giraffe standing in the middle of the road chewing his cud while watching us. I loved every part of that trip!