8 of the Scariest Places in the World

September 23, 2016

Once the nights draw in, we get a little antsy about Halloween. With this in mind, we've rounded up eight of the spookiest places to visit in the world that'll leave you totally creeped out.

Boo. Did we make you jump? Here at Travioor HQ, we love to scare the wits out of ourselves. That's why we've put together some of the scariest places to visit in the world, including macabre attractions, ghoulish haunted houses and eerie ghost towns, so you can go and scare the wits out of yourself too. 

Don't say we aren't good to you. 

1. The Island of Dolls, Mexico City

Dolls found on Xochimico, The Island of Dolls, Mexico City

Just south of Mexico City, in between the canals of Xochimico, you'll come across a small island known as Isla de las Munecas (Island of the Dolls) once owned by Julian Santana Barrera. Back in the '50s, Julian found a young girl drowned near the island and ever since started to collect dolls and place them around the vicinity in an attempt to ward off evil spirits. He died in 2001 but according to local legend, the dolls left there are possessed by the young girl's spirit, moving their heads, arms and opening their eyes. A few have even said they heard the dolls whispering to each other...oooh spooky. If you're not put off by this story, we'd recommend a trip to Mexico City and make the fabulous Valise Hotel your base for exploring.

2. Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan

15km off the coast of Nagasaki, Hashima was used for the coal mining industry between 1887 to 1974, with the population growing to over 5359 in 1959. After petroleum took over from coal, the island was abandoned, hence the apt name, 'Ghost Island'. Tourists can now visit a small area on a guided tour, which was featured the evil lair of the baddie, Raoul, in the James Bond film, Skyfall. In 2013, Google released street view photos of the forgotten island and with the aid of Google Chrome, the island now has its own dedicated website allowing you to take a digital dip into history to explore Hashima's mysterious, desolate landscape so you can spook yourself in the comfort of your own swivel chair. 

3. Tower of London

Entrance sign to the Bloody Tower at Tower of London

As London's most imposing building, the Tower of London has quite a grim history. According to legend, the halls are haunted by the past regals, with many meeting their ends behind the grey walls. They include: Thomas Beckett, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, who were murdered here back in 1483. Anne Boleyn was also beheaded on the Tower Green in 1536, while Catherine Howard was executed six years later. Don't miss the guided tour to get all the gruesome details and get clued up on all of the other haunted goings-on. 

4. The Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

The Hill of Crosses, Vilnius, Northern Lithuania

In the northern area of Lithuania, the Hill Of Crosses has been a pilgrimage site for hundreds of years. With over 200,000 crosses to date, the hill is a powerful testament to religious devotion. The tradition began after an uprising against the Russian tsar in 1831, when relatives of the dead rebels, with no bodies to bury, decided to leave crosses to commemorate their fallen nearest and dearest. When the Russians occupied Lithuania again during the soviet period, religion was totally forbidden, leaving many to sneak to the hill in constant fear of being arrested by the KGB. Fly to Vilnius and now that it's open to the public, take a tour to see the spectacle for yourself. 

5. Paris Catacombs, France

8 of the Scariest Places in the World - Paris Catacombs, France

As a top off-the-beaten track recommendation during a Paris visit, it doesn't get much spookier than the Paris Catacombs. The underground ossuary is contains the remains of an astonishing six million people. The many caverns and tunnels run for 280km under the city and were used by the French Resistance in the Second World War. If you're in search of the macabre, a guided tour here will leave you positively creeped out. 

6. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle lit up in Winter, Scotland

As one of the most haunted sites in Scotland, Edinburgh Castle is said to be home to the phantom piper, a headless drummer and a spooky dog. In 2010, the castle had a scientific survey taken with all the Ghostbusters-style kit: night vision goggles, digital cameras, thermal imaging and over 200 carefully screen volunteers with some spine-tingling results. Nearly half reported ghostly sightings and other spooky incidents, including sudden chills and presences tugging them. We don't know about you, but this gives us the heebie-jeebies. Make a weekend of it in Edinburgh, with a stay in The Raeburn and make sure you head on a night walking tour to see more of the city's haunted sites. 

7. Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA

The famous haunted Stanley Hotel in Colorado, USA

Situated high in the Colorado Rockies, the Stanley Hotel was most famously the inspiration behind Stephen King's hair-raising novel, The Shining. The idea came to King when he was staying there in room 217, but it's room 418 that's given people the spooks. It is believed to be visited by the late Lord Dunraven and many have reported hearing children playing in the corridors late in the night and piano music coming form the empty ballroom. Eep. For the thrill-seekers out there, book a stay and keep an ear out for things that go bump in the night. 

8. Bethnal Green Underground Station, London

Black and white photograph of an Underground tube station in London

During the Second World War, 173 people were tragically crushed to death while attempting to take shelter in Bethnal Green Underground Station during an air raid. London Underground staff have reported hearing screams at the station late into the evening (but with the night tube now in operation, it could just be inebriated commuters.) Aside from its station's chilling history, Bethnal Green is a great place to make your base with the likes of Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Victoria Park and Spitalfields Market within walking distance. Stay in the Town Hall Hotel and Apartments for a lavish weekend break and take an alternative tour of eclectic East End with a local to learn more about the area. Other creepy stations include Farringdon, haunted by Anne Naylor, a young girl murdered on the site in 1758; Bank, haunted by the 'Black Nun'; and Liverpool Street, home to the ghost of Rebecca Griffiths, a former resident of the Star of Bethlehem asylum (Bedlam). 

Do you know of any haunted sites to add to the list? Tweet us @travioor or post a comment on Travioor's Facebook page

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Jenny McFarlane
Born in Belfast, Jenny’s lived in Albania and Washington DC. Now in London, she loves to plan trips away with friends and travels as often as she can. From joining a motley crew on a yacht in Croatia to walking on the wild side in Borneo, she's always up for new adventures. Follow her on Twitter @jennykmac