Just in time for Halloween, I've pulled together some of the best spooky destinations you can visit. I'm not talking about your average haunted hayride. I'm talking about real places that are dripping with haunted history! They are also beautifully breathtaking for adventure seekers. Just don't forget to pack your garlic necklace or wooden steak.
Salem may arguably be one of the most (if not the most) infamous haunted destinations. The witch trial 1692 accused over 200 individuals of witchcraft and sentenced 19 women and one man. Tour the Witch Dungeon Museum and watch reenactments straight from the 1692 trial transcripts, or discover hidden stairways inside the original House of Seven Gables. Salem is also a big draw for Hocus Pocus fans! The 1993 cult classic movie was filmed at various locations around Salem, most of which can be seen and visited today!
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Washington Irving's spooky tale The Legend of Sleepy Hollow put this town on the map for fall destinations. There are countless things to see and do during the day. Visit the Dutch Reformed Church, Philipsburg Manor, Sunnyside Estate or take a stroll through Rockefeller Park Preserve. Once nighttime falls, pay your respects at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery or Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse. Sleepy Hollow is so much more than the setting for Irving's eerie tale. Who knows? You might see a Headless Horseman!
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland, UK
The ominous Dark Hedges are located in the middle of the magnificent Northern Ireland countryside. Many say it’s the ghost of a maid from a nearby house who died mysteriously long ago. Others think it’s Margareth “Cross Peggy” Stuart, the daughter of a previous owner of the land, James Stuart. Some even suggest it’s a lost spirit from a deserted and long-lost graveyard, believed to lay hidden somewhere in the nearby fields. Whatever her tormented past was, locals call her the Gray Lady of The Dark Hedges. Dark Hedges is often used as a film location, many will recognize the hedges from Arya Stark's escape from King's Landing in Game of Thrones.
Catacombs of Paris
Picture an underground cavern piled high with bones. You navigate narrow passageways as damp air hangs heavy around your shoulders. Long departed souls seem to cast furtive glances at you from around every corner. This is no concocted Hollywood fantasy or cheap haunted house, but a real place under the streets of Paris. The catacombs are a large network of underground ossuaries holding the remains of more than six million people. Today they are recognized as one of Paris' 14 municipal museums drawing thousands of visitors each year!
Bran Castle, Romania
Commonly referred to as Dracula’s Castle or Transylvania…the very name is synonymous with Halloween. In the city of Bran sits a foreboding hillside castle. Its red tiled roof seems positively bloodstained while the imposing walls hide who knows what horrors. Though it was not the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror masterpiece, Dracula, Bran Castle has nevertheless become intimately associated with the Dracula legend. Having a connection to the notoriously cruel Vlad the Impaler, there is more than enough true historical legacy to justify Bran Castle's downright terrifying reputation.
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