10 Tourist Destinations that Will Give You Goosebumps

When planning a vacation, not everyone wants it to be stress-free. Some adrenalin junkies go on adventures – mountain climbing, skydiving, or simply wandering in the wilderness on their own, surviving. However, nowadays there is a new kind of tourist destination category involving Creepy destinations.

Much like people who like to watch horror movies, some people want to experience them, so they go and visit places of death.

If you are one of those people, here are some ideas for a creepy holiday.

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

At the base of Mt. Fuji there is a forest with beautiful nature. But tourists don’t go there for nature. Since 1960’s novel “Nami no T?” where main characters commit suicide in this forest, such idea became very popular and an average of 30 people go there every year to end their lives. Only in 2004, 108 deaths took place there. It is filled with signs urging people to reconsider their decision and seek psychiatric help.

Once a year, a group of volunteers patrols the forest looking for bodies. They mark off the places they explore with plastic tape that is never removed, so even if you don’t stumble upon a body, signs of creepiness are there to remind you.

Ilha da Queimada Grande, Brazil

Ilha da Queimada Grande, Brazil

Well, this actually isn’t a tourist destination. In fact, you’ll get arrested by Brazilian Navy if you try to set foot on the island. But it sure is creepy. This island near Sao Paulo is a unique place in the world where you can find golden lancehead, the most venomous snake in the world. And these snakes take their home seriously – there is one snake per square meter on the island! If you could get on the island, literally everywhere around you would be a snake! There are no human inhabitants. The last ones, a lighthouse keeper, and his family were eaten by the snakes. Only a few herpetologists are allowed to visit the island, and they need special waivers.

Leap Castle, Ireland

Leap Castle, Ireland

This castle is said to be one of the most haunted places in the world. Rivaling families, betrayals and murders, and creepy dungeons feature this tourist attraction. The castle was built around 1250, and it was the principal mansion of the fearsome Ely O’Carroll clan. After the head of the family – Mulrooney O’Carroll died, a fearsome fight over succession began. It ended when one-eyed Teige O’Carroll murdered his own brother and priest Thaddaeus during the mass celebration.

More ghosts were introduced throughout the years – McMahon mercenaries who were poisoned instead of paid for services, bodies of unsuspecting guests or prisoners amassed on top of wooden spikes found in the dungeon underneath the bloody chapel where Thaddaeus was murdered, servants who helped Jonathan Darby hide the treasure during the English Civil War, and more recently – Elemental spirit summoned by Mildred Darby in 1900s!

Overtoun Bridge, Scotland

Overtoun Bridge, Scotland

This bridge is also known as “dog suicide bridge,” as it is said that since the 1950s approximately one dog a month leaps into death from that bridge! It is surely not the tourist destination you want to take your dog on. Animal habitat expert Dr. David Sands was called to try and solve this mystery and came to an explanation that dogs are probably (but not certainly) drawn by the smell of mink and not something that they see or hear.


Poveglia Island, Italy

Also known as the plague island, this was used as a quarantine for possibly 160,000 people with plague from 1793 to 1814. Mass graves of plague victims have been found. Napoleon also used it to store weapons. To top it off, from 1922 to 1968 there was a mental hospital with a doctor rumored to have tortured and killed many patients. There are many rumors that surround Poveglia just like weeds surround abandoned buildings. Rumors say that many people were burned and buried there during the plague, so the soil is 50% human ash. Also, local fishermen go around the island in order to avoid netting the wave-polished bones of ancestors. It is said that the doctor who butchered patients in the mental hospital tried to kill himself by jumping off a cliff and survived only to be strangled by a ghostly mist that emerged from the ground… Tourist destination for anyone interested in ghostbusting adventures!


Akodessewa Fetish Market, Togo

The world’s largest voodoo market has an infinite supply of unsettling stuff. For example, all you need for a good old ritual involving animal sacrifice. Animal body parts are also used for potions that healers grind with herbs, burn and rub into the scars they make on “patient’s” chest or back! Togo obviously hosts a market for creepy shoppers!

© Victor Wong, 2012

Capela Dos Ossos, Portugal

This Portuguese “Chapel of Bones” was built by 16th century Franciscan monks to remind those who enter that rewards come in the afterlife and that death should not be ignored. And they thought that the best way to do that is to use human skeletons as the the building material! So they emptied several dozen cemeteries around the chapel, and incorporated different parts of skeletons in walls, ceilings, arches, and there are even two full skeletons hanging on chains from the ceiling! The warning sign above the entrance reads “We bones, lying here, for yours we wait.”
Skeleton selfish anyone? Book a trip to Capela Dos Ossos in Portugal.

Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic

Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic

Speaking of bones as a building material, Czechs have a chapel of their own. Ossuary was built when the cemetery became overcrowded, in the 1400s. Soon enough it was filled to the brim with bones of around 55,000 people.

In 1870, a local aristocratic family, the Schwarzenbergs, hired woodcarver Frantisek Rint to put the bone heaps in some kind of order. But he went further than that and organized bones to make works of art – in Sedlec ossuary you can see bell-shaped mounds in the corners, massive chandelier featuring every bone in the body, garlands of skulls and even artist’s signature and Schwarzenberg family coat of arms recreated in bones!


Phnom Sampeau, Cambogia

The site of massive murder is always a good idea if you think sleeping is a waste of time – this one will keep you awake at night. Killing caves are the spot where bodies were dropped during the Cambodian genocide, with the bones now on display in a glass memorial. Today, the mountain is home to thousands of free-roaming bats, belligerent macaques, and probably (definitely) ghosts.

centralia-pennsylvania-burn-zone-looking-north-east (1)

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Up until 1962, the town was just like every other small American town. Then a fire broke out in the abandoned coal mine below the town, and residents started suffering adverse health effects. Nothing could stop the fire, and experts believe it will continue to burn for another 250 years. Yet some stubborn inhabitants refuse to leave and there are about ten people still living in five buildings with inferno under their streets, while most of others structures collapsed, so the town now looks like a common field with some uncommon paved roads.

These are only some of the world’s scariest tourist destinations famous for their creepiness. Nevertheless, horror movie industry is blooming because of people wanting to be scared. And if a movie is not enough for you, you can always visit houses made to look scary or a Torture museum in Netherlands, or a hotel in the Colorado Rockies where Stanley Kubrick got the idea for the movie “Shining”. Have fuuuuun!

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