While some of us picture our dream vacation on a sandy beach with palms and turquoise sea, some might feel a bit more adventurous. If your favorite movie genre is horror, you're not afraid to be alone in the dark and you're always up for an adrenaline-charged holiday, read on because we have something special in mind for all those travelers seeking out the spooky!
From Mexico to France, these places aren't for the faint-hearted
Sometimes we like to imagine scary places only exist in movies or our imagination, but you might be surprised at how many eerie locations around the world you can actually visit. And we're not talking about movie sets or amusement parks, these places were created by actual humans, some of them not even that long ago. Mysteries and spooky places have always had something intriguing in them, and some of us just can't resist experiencing them in person. So, if this sounds like your cup of tea, check out this list of the world's 8 most terrifying destinations that will give you instant shivers up and down your spine. Explore them all, but only if you dare!
1. Chernobyl, Ukraine
What location could be scarier than the site where one of the most disturbing events in human history occurred? More than three decades ago, the town of Pripyat was struck by the catastrophic explosion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. The city was blasted with 400 times the radiation of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, leaving thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands forced to evacuate. Today, the chilling place is becoming more and more a tourist destination, with more than 10,000 people visiting it every year. On guided tours you can explore the disaster site and wander the eerie empty streets of Pripyat.
But is it safe to go here? Well, local tour companies insist that you'll be safe from radiation as long as you don't wander out alone. Tours take you through specific zones around Chernobyl, avoiding the ones with high radiation, and you are ensured with dosimetric testing twice a day during your visit. Also, it is forbidden to sit down or touch any of the items on the site. "You will probably get more radiation during your flight to Kiev," one tour company posted in their advertising. Still, experts have noted that Pripyat won't be inhabitable for the next 20,000 years. It's up to you if you want to take the risk or not.
2. Gates of Hell, Turkmenistan
When Soviet scientists started drilling for oil in 1971, no one could have guessed what they would eventually discover. In the middle of the Karakum Desert, near the Turkmenistan's town of Derweze, the drilling rig hit a large natural cavern filled with gas and collapsed, creating a 65-foot-deep and 230-foot-wide crater. To stop the methane spread, scientists lit the crater on fire, expecting that the flames would eventually burn out. But that happened more than 40 years ago and the fire in the crater is still burning today. Pretty creepy.
Because of this the place gotten a nickname the Door to Hell or the Gates of Hell, and it's become a tourist attraction. Locals avoid visiting the fiery pit firstly because of the unpleasant smell and secondly because some believe that the place is cursed and that it's a portal to the world of horror. If you're brave enough to make the trip, make sure you take all the safety precautions first!
3. Hashima Island, Japan
From a distance, this abandoned island looks like a giant sunken ship, which is why it's nicknamed Battleship Island. Located 9 miles off the coast of Nagasaki, this island was home to 5,000 people, mostly coal miners working in the island's mines. After the closing of the mines, inhabitants left the island completely deserted.
Years later, this ghost Island was named a UNESCO Heritage site, and in 2012 it was featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall. With a knowledgeable guide you can explore the town's mysterious streets and houses with crumbling facades, some of them still furnished on the inside. Feel the eerie atmosphere of a once bustling city and imagine what life used to look like here. But watch out, due to danger of falling structures some viewing areas are off-limits.
4. Catacombs of Paris, France
Probably the most unusual attraction in this city of love, light and fashion is the catacombs, hiding in the dark underworld. Underneath Paris you'll find a miles-long maze of tunnels and chambers. One part of this underground tunnel network is open to public, and it's lined with actual human bones and skulls.
Around 6 million Parisians were buried in these tunnels and their bones are preserved even today. When the graveyards in Paris became overpopulated, resulting in disease, the authorities decided to empty the them. The only location with sufficient room to store that much bodies were the underground tunnels. The bones are even arranged in various shapes and decorations, maximizing the spooky atmosphere!