MISSION: EXPAND YOUR WORLD

Our top 5 seriously spooky spots

 

If you’re looking for the next level in spine-tingling horror, it may be time to upgrade from Halloween "scream" parks to destinations that are filled with genuine terror and creepiness.

 

We've rounded up the top five scaretastic sites that promise to make your hair stand on end and the little voice inside your head scream, “Go baaack!” as they bring you to the edge of a darkness that no Hollywood film experience can match.

 

Spooky spot #1: Catacombs in Paris

 

In the late 1700s, Paris was overrun with contamination and disease from improper burials in cemeteries. In response, a maze of tunnels and rooms deep underneath the quaint streets was converted into a burial site and filled with skeletons from the graveyards around the city. Gathering the remains of an astounding seven million people, these bones weren't merely relocated. They were made into art, displayed in macabre rows and chilling patterns that line the narrow passageways.

 

 

Today a portion of the vast 186 winding miles of catacombs are open to the daring tourist who's brave enough to come face to face with the millions of skulls and bones lining these dark, damp trails. Watch your step, thoughsome of the passageways are so narrow, it's a challenge not to brush against a femur or smiling skull. Be sure you're truly up for this experience before you descend into the Catacombs. Once you’re down there, it takes a long time to get back out again.

 


 

Where: 1 Place Denfert-Rochereau, Paris, France, 33 (0) 1 43 22 47 63

 

Can’t make the scene?

 

Take a free virtual tour of the Paris catacombs at Triggur.org.

 


Spooky spot #2: Bermuda triangle

 

The joke is that you’ll save money on your trip to the Bermuda Triangle because you won’t need a return ticket. In this case, there really is truth in jest, since dozens of planes and ships have mysteriously disappeared without a trace while passing through the triangular area of water between South Florida, Bermuda and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

Those who've spent years researching the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon have come up with several theories: there may be a strange electromagnetic pull in the area that drags down aircrafts and ships into the deep, there may be an invisible funnel that has transported these airplanes and boats to another time and place, alien life forms may have set up a tractor beam in the area, or a powerful crystal that drowned with the lost city of Atlantis is dragging hapless souls down into the sea with it. Despite the many theories, to this day, no one has been able to conclusively solve the mystery—or put an end to the disappearances.

 

There are documented radioed messages from pilots and captains right before they vanished. But they're so strange that, rather than offering clues in the mystery, they only make researchers more puzzled. For instance, some radioed in that their cabins were filling with a strange-smelling vapor and their compasses were no longer working. Others claimed that an object was hovering over or near them. In one case, a pilot radioed in from the Bermuda Triangle, then shortly afterward, radioed in again from an astounding 600 miles away before vanishing forever.

 

If you're willing to tempt fate and try your luck at solving the mystery, you can charter a plane or boat to go through the Bermuda Triangle yourself. But finding a willing pilot or captain may be difficult since many refuse to pass through the doomed area.

 

Where: Bermuda Tourist Office, Global House, 43 Church Street, Hamilton HM BX, Bermuda, (441) 292-0023

 


Spooky spot #3: Lizzie Borden B & B

 

Lizzie Borden took an axe

And gave her mother forty whacks

When she saw what she had done

She gave her father forty-one…

 

There’s nothing like spending the night at a real murder site to chill your blood, and that’s the experience offered by the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts.

 

The gruesome axe murder of Andrew  and Abby Borden in 1892 shocked the townnot just only because the perpetrator delivered an alarming number of disfiguring axe chops to Mr. Borden's face as he sat in his parlor, but also because the prime suspect was his own daughter, Lizzie. Although she was eventually acquitted of the charge, townsfolk still suspected her of the crime and barred her from ever chopping firewood again.

 

Checking in to one of the seven rooms gives you free rein to wander the halls and conduct your own investigation. For an extra treat,  your stay includes a replica of the final breakfast Mr. and Mrs. Borden enjoyed just before they met their bloody demise.

 

Where: 92 Second Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie-Borden.com, (508) 675-7333

  


Spooky spot #4:
Winchester house

 

When a psychic told Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, that the only way to appease angry spirits who were killed by her family's famous rifle was to continuously build on her house or she would die, Mrs. Winchester took the warning seriously. She began construction on an elaborate 160-room Victorian mansion and never stoppedironically until the day she died.

While doing continuous daily construction on one's home is a tad odd by itself, things at the Winchester mansion get a bit more bizarre: Not content to simply add a library wing or pool house, Mrs. Winchester instead made a whole host unusual design decisions that have baffled architects for decades. There are doors that open directly onto solid walls, a window built into the floor, a chimney that rises four stories, a staircase that leads to the ceiling and many more design oddities.

 

Some say Mrs. Winchester was suffering from mental illness. Others who say they know better insist that Mrs. Winchester was getting her design instructions from the very spirits she was desperate to appease and building a home only the dead could appreciate.

 

Take a tour through the creepy corridors of the Winchester house and perhaps you'll see one of these restless souls passing through a door that leads to a place only they can go.

 

Where: 525 South Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, California, (408) 247-2000

 


Spooky spot #5: Roswell, New Mexico

 

Whether or not you believe in aliens, one thing is for suresomething came screaming out of the sky on a hot summer night in 1947 and fell to Earth in Roswell, New Mexico, leaving a trail of curious debris behind it.

 

 

Whether the vehicle was a UFO from outer  space or a high-altitude balloon that was part of a secret military project is still a subject of hot debate nearly 60 years later. Local residents who had a chance to collect, examine and experiment with the debris say that it had unusual properties they never encountered before, such as thin rods that were as light as balsa wood but could not be bent nor broken. The military said, “No wayand don’t talk about it anymore”.

 

Most people who visit Roswell describe it as one of those places that just feels like something other-worldly is going on. Visit the UFO Museum, which contains pieces of the debris and other evidence, and decide for yourself.

 

Where: International UFO Museum, 114 North Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico, (505) 625-9495

—Douglas Lichterman


  

 

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