Are you a true believer in the paranormal? Are you interested in the morbid and disturbing? Do you love to travel? On the day of Halloween, it is believed that the dead spirits of those who passed would come back in search of living bodies to possess. Traditionally, this was their only hope for the afterlife. We celebrate on this day by welcoming all ghosts, ghouls, witches, and everything terrifying that falls in between.
We have compiled a list of some of the creepiest, spookiest places that exist around the world. Maybe one day, whoever is bold enough to go explore these haunting sites can go face their greatest fears in person…… or maybe you just have some great scary stories to share around the fireplace tonight. Either way, Happy Halloween!
The Catacombs in Paris, France
Underneath the city of Paris exists a totally separate city filled with the skeletal bodies of about 6 million Parisians. In the 17th century, the cemeteries in Paris were overflowing with graves and there was no more room for corpses to be buried. The smell of decomposing flesh was spreading throughout the streets of Paris until the citizens couldn’t take it anymore. The solution at the time laid in the tunnels that were underground the city known as the catacombs. The bones were moved five stories underground in the ancient quarries renamed “empire of death”. Now the Catacombs are open for tours to the public, but there are numerous secret entrances and miles of unmapped tunnels hidden all around Paris. If you happen to be in Paris, make sure to go with a tour guide to see this underground cemetery if you like a good spook!
Agokigahara aka Suicide Forest
This forest lies at the base of Mt. Fuji and from afar, has an absolutely breathtaking scenery until entering the haunted grounds. Once entering the forest, there is a eerie dead silence, no hint of wildlife, and it is so packed with trees that very little sunlight or wind cracks through. Compasses don’t even work in the forest so many hikers that go in are easily lost. This forest is referred to as “the perfect place to die”, and known to be the most popular place in Japan to commit suicide and the most popular place in the world after the Golden Gate Bridge. Many people come here to end their lives, approximately 100 a year, and are found on monthly “body hunts” where police go in to search for the forest for victims. There has been many cases where hikers have accidently tripped onto these bodies themselves or seen bodies hanging from a tree. Legend has it that the forest has paranormal activity that has actually drawn victims in and tempted them with suicidal compulsions. If you are a brave hiker, enter if you dare.
The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Legend has is that the island was once only inhabited by one person, a Don Julian Santana Barrera, who left his wife and children to go live in this island isolated. Supposively, Barerra found the body of a young, dead girl drowned in the canal and hung up a doll he found that belonged to her in the trees as a sign of respect. After the doll was hung, Barerra was obsessed with the young girl and her tortured soul haunting her. The whole island soon became a creepy shrine dedicated to her. He began hanging dolls in the trees and trading his resources for more dolls. Tales say that Barerra went insane and believed the dolls to be real children. Where the story gets really eerie is that in 2001 Barerra drowned in the same spot in the canal that the little girl did. Some say the dolls were tortured spirits who killed him. The island is now a popular tourist attraction and hundreds of scary, mutilated dolls are hung all over the island. The dolls are severely beaten up, some even have decapitated heads and are extremely creepy.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodia
In 1975, this former high school was turned into a security prison by the Khmer Rouger to torture and murder prisoners. This was a genocide similar to that executed by the Nazi Party in Germany. Most of the prisoners were former soldiers and government officials due to the government’s own paranoia. The story goes that the souls of nearly 17,000 victims haunt the hallways and paranormal activity is common. Most of the prisoners tortured here were accused of crimes they didn’t commit and out of the all those victims only 7 are thought to have survived. It has now been turned into a museum where there are horrifying depictions of the atrocities that occurred including pictures of victims being skinned alive. All that is really left in this area are the restless ghosts who are thought to be trapped there.
Aradale Lunatic Asylum, Australia
This abandoned insane asylum is one of Australia’s most haunted places. It opened in 1867 as a lunatic asylum, housing people who were described as some of the most dangerous psychotics in the world. It was so large that it was considered it’s own town having once had 68 buildings and over 2000 patients and staff at a single time. The walls there were known as “HA-HA” walls because from the outside, the walls looked low and it looked like a calm, beautiful place. From the inside however, the walls were high and felt more like a prison sentence than a hospital.
It was opened for 130 years and is reported to having 13,000 people who died there. Out of the people who died there many disappeared suddenly, were murdered or committed suicide. Patients there were committed for mental illness or conditions such as epilepsy or women labeled as “promiscuous”, and ended up being trapped there for life. Legend has it that spirits of former nurses are seen wandering the halls in their white uniforms. As you walk through the abandoned halls of the former hospital, you can hear the crying, moaning and footsteps of the past imprisoned patients. There are ghost tours available now at the hospital and many visitors have heard banging in the wards.
We hope that these incredibly eerie places have inspired you to go on some adventures around the world. Maybe chasing some answers or maybe just hoping to get in touch with some creepy paranormal activity. So this Halloween…be afraid….be very afraid.
Remember, if you are traveling outside of the country, a passport is required to leave and enter the United States. Don’t forget to contact Passport Study Abroad for any of your travel document needs.