Island of the Dolls – Mexico
In Xochimilco, a Mexico City neighborhood known for its floating gardens, goosebumps are guaranteed for visitors still traumatized by Chucky. This creepy island is covered in dolls hanging all over its trees and walls. Certain toys have been there since the 1950s, giving them plenty of time to acquire a particularly haunting — even nightmarish — appearance, with cobwebs, grubby or damaged faces, broken limbs and sometimes missing eyes. Thrillseekers will be pleased to hear that they can visit the island.
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada – Philippines
In this Pacific archipelago, certain ethnic groups bury their dead in hanging coffins, suspended from hillsides. Intrigued visitors can head to the village of Sagada, where coffins can be seen hanging from the cliffs. The tradition prevents the dead from being devoured by wild animals and is also practiced in certain parts of Southern China and Indonesia.
Tana Toraja – Indonesia
In Indonesia, the people of Tana Toraja have a totally different approach to death. Here, the dead remain key members of the family, and relatives talk to corpses, touch them and light them up at night. Bodies can be kept for several weeks or several years, after a mummification process using formalin. Later, ancestors are exhumed and honored in a ceremony where they are washed, groomed and dressed in new clothes. Corpses are sometimes even offered food.
Pripyat – Ukraine
This is one of the world’s most famous spooky sites. The Ukrainian town of Pripyat was abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster and reactivity levels remain very high. This eerie ghost town is frozen in time, with the belongings of former residents still exactly where they were left when their owners fled the town.
The Haunted Forest of Aokigahara – Japan
At the foot of Mount Fuji, the Aokigahara forest is said to be haunted by many souls and spirits. It is, after all, a notorious spot for suicides, most commonly by hanging.
The Kabayan Mummies – Philippines
Back to the Philippines for another terrifying trip, this time to Kabayan, where the mountainsides are home to a series of underground caves housing hundreds of mummified bodies. While the idea of mummies is scary enough, these shriveled, hunched bodies are a particularly chilling sight.
Port Arthur, Tasmania – Australia
At first glance, Port Arthur looks like any other prison. Yet this Australian jail was a penal colony built to house convicts from the British Empire, sent to endure particularly tough conditions Down Under. The dissection rooms make for an especially spooky visit. Prisoners were locked up in pitch darkness and were subject to regular whippings. Around 2,000 victims met their fate in the prison, which closed in 1877. In 1996, Port Arthur was the scene of another nightmare scenario, when a one-man killing spree claimed 35 lives.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado – USA
Stephen King’s stay at this spooky establishment inspired the Overlook Hotel in his bestselling novel “The Shining.” Today, visitors can check in for spine-tingling stays and guided tours to hunt for spooks. There have been many reports of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activity at the hotel, such as a piano that plays itself, footsteps on the stairs, and the sound of children in the corridors even though no kids are staying in the hotel.