The World's Top 10 Creepy Travel Destinations
From ghostly apparitions of a French girl in a white dress to scuba diving the ruins of the world’s largest ship graveyard, travellers have long been drawn to creepy destinations. In celebration of Halloween, here is our creepy list!
Famous for ghost sightings, past horrors or unexplained mysteries, tourist operators report that these spooky spots are becoming increasingly popular with Australian travellers. From the famous witches of Salem through to a lost Incan city where virgins were said to be sacrificed to a sun god, there is something spinechilling here for everyone…
1. Yangon (Burma)
Reaching the spirit world on a more spooky level, Botatuang is home to Mya Nan Nwe, a deity who has to be handcuffed each evening between the hours of 9pm and 6am.
The nightly handcuffing of Mya Nan Nwe was ordered in 2009 by Myanmar’s former leader, General Than Shwe, who claimed Mya Nan Nwe appeared before him while he was sleeping to warn him of the dire consequences of his government’s repression.
2. Cusco (Peru)
Machu Picchu is without a doubt one of the world’s most mysterious Seven Wonders. Built sometime in the mid-15th
century, abandoned 100 years then forgotten for centuries by the outside world, it’s no wonder the spirits of the Lost City now want to be seen and heard. The most common paranormal occurrences relate to apparitions of ancient Incan priests. This is not surprising given the site holds major religious significance due to its location between two sacred peaks, and the city’s perfect alignment to notable events in the Inca calendar.Over 300,000 travellers embark on the Incan city each year by foot, train or helicopter resulting in countless reports of paranormal activity.
3. Bhangarh (India)
Located 300kms south of Delhi and en route to Jaipur is Bhangarh Fort. While known for its historical ruins, the village is known across the nation as the most haunted place in India.
Legend has it that the Hindi deity of Baba Balanath only allowed the construction of Bhangarh under the condition that the city cast no shadows on him. However, when built the palace of Bhangarh was raised to a height that cast a shadow on Baba Balanath’s forbidden retreat causing him to curse Bhangarh until the end of time.
Entry to Bhangarh Fort is prohibited to travellers before sunrise and after sunset which locals says is a rule put in place to protect visitors from ghosts that guard the ruins, including that of Baba Balanath who is said to be buried there.
4. Humberstone (Chile)
The former mining town of Humberstone is situated in northern Chile. It was created in 1872 on the back of a booming saltpeter mine. The town was known for treating its workers like slaves, and when events such as the Great Depression lead to its collapse, residents completely abandoned Humberstone. Poorly treated workers who died before getting out of Humberstone were laid to rest in creepy open graves, with bodies fully exposed in La Noria cemetery. The dead are said to rise at night and walk the streets. Sightings have been so frequent that even residents of nearby village Iquique refuse to enter Humberstone.
5. Rome (Italy)
The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verita in Italian) in Rome is a common fixture of Roman paranormal legend. The ancient Roman marble disc displays the carving of a man’s face with an open mouth. Many believe it to depict the face of the sea god, Oceanus. It is believed the disc, which was once used to drain the blood of cattle sacrificed to the god of Hercules, is the ultimate lie detector with the face closing on those who place their hand in its mouth while telling a fib.
While actual sightings of the face in truth-chasing action can no longer be traced back to a living generation, many locals who live near the statue in Santa Maria in Cosmedin do not dare tempt the theory and risk losing their limb. Ancient residents who were charged with perjury or adultery were said to have once been dragged here under oath, and little kids are still threatened with a visit if they aren’t honest.
6. Xi’an (China)
It took thousands of years for the first of the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an in China to be unearthed. The funeray art collection was created over 2,200 years ago to be buried with and protect, Emperor Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor.
The collection is estimated to contain more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. While amazing that this vast collection was not uncovered until farmers stumbled upon it in 1974, what is even more incredible is that archaeologists are continuing to dig up seemingly secret tombs.
Numerous paranormal occurrences have been recorded in reference to the Terracotta Warriors (who each have their own unique facial features and expressions) over the years leading many to believe they are taking their job of guarding the emperor well into the afterlife very seriously.
7. Chuuk Lagoon (South Pacific)
Chuuck Lagoon is an idyllic sheltered body of water in the South Pacific but beneath the waters lurks the world’s largest ship graveyard, also referred to as the ‘Ghost Fleet of Chuuck Lagoon’.
The region, previously known as Truk Lagoon due to a common mispronunciation, was Japan’s main base in the South Pacific during WWII however two days of sustained American raids in 1944 sent more than 60 Japanese warships and 200 aircraft were sent to their watery graves.
More than 3,000 people were said to have died during the attack, and as legend has it, haunt the lagoon to this day. It remains a must-see for ghost-hungry divers.
8. Lourdes (France)
Lourdes, on the foothills of the Pyrenees in France is home to arguably the most famous and widely upheld religious apparitions in history. In 1858, 14 year old peasant Bernadette Soubirous was greeted by a female vision on 18 separate occasions. Bernadette described these visions as being of a girl in a white dress, tied with a blue ribbon, a white veil on her head and a yellow rose on each foot.
Bernadette’s story was widely debated by the townspeople, yet by 1859 the story had spread and thousands flocked to the town in hopes to experience the apparition for themselves. A statue of the Lady of Lourdes, as it was decided to identify the apparition, was erected in 1864 and after a lengthy canonical investigation, the Catholic Church officially declared Bernadette’s vision worthy of belief. Over 150 years on, numerous pilgrims have claimed to also have seen the Lady of Lourdes in the village.
9. Cape Town (South Africa)
As the ‘Mother City’, and therefore oldest, of South Africa, Cape Town has no shortage of spooky stories relating to its former inhabitants. However the Castle of Good Hope, a star fort built in the 17th
century in Cape Town, is said to be the most haunted location in the city.
Countless workers and visitors to the Castle of Good Hope, have reported numerous eerie incidences on the grounds. Picking which of the castles lost souls these hauntings can be attributed to has been a difficult task with a cloaked woman, a black dog and a strict Governor all said to roam the grounds.
Two years ago an independent film crew spent the night in the castle, capturing audio and footage plus in the case of the producer, a slap to the face by an invisible perpetrator.
10. Salem (USA)
The famous witch trials of Salem Massachusetts saw twenty women executed, five die in prison and many more accused of witchcraft in the region during 1692 and 1693. The public jury is still out on whether some of these women were guilty of the crimes with which they were accused, however the period gave way to a haunting history that is synonymous with Salem today.
The restless souls seeking revenge for their untimely end are said to wander through Salam with many recorded incidences of hauntings. The Old Burying Point Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in the state, is largely believed to be the most haunted location.