/ / / Top 10 Horror Destinations

Travel is one of the most popular pastimes during holiday seasons but why not spice up your next trip by having a theme: a horror travel theme. This list looks at ten of the horror destinationson the face of the earth (many of which are unlikely to be known to the average person).

1.Hill of Crosses

The Hill of Crosses, Kryzių Kalnas, located 12 kilometers north of the small industrial city of Siauliai (pronounced shoo-lay) is the Lithuanian national pilgrimage center. Standing upon a small hill are many hundreds of thousands of crosses that represent Christian devotion and a memorial to Lithuanian national identity. The origin of the first crosses is unknown, but despite repeated attempts by the occupying communists in the 20th century to destroy the hill and remove the crosses, they still come back in their thousands. You can view a panoramic image of the hill here. While the subject is not scary in itself, the concept of a hill with mysterious crosses appearing is a little disturbing.

2.Kostnice SedlecKostnice-Sedlec-2

Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech’s Kutná Hora, has long been a popular place for burials, thanks to a monk who took part in the crusades and of Calvary rendered particles scattered here. In the 15th century a large church was built and as the cemetery was crowded because of the plague, the exhumation of the bodies began and they formed a sort of crypt. Around 1870′s a carpenter named Frantisek Rint made sculptures, candle holders and soldier’s shields out of these bones. This is one of the most popular destinations in the Czech Republic.

3.Château de MachecoulChâteau-de-Machecoul-3

The Château de Machecoul was home to Gilles de Rais (1404 – 1440), a Breton knight, the companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc, and a Marshal of France, but best known as a prolific serial killer of children. In 1434–35, he retired from military life, dabbled in the occult, and depleted his wealth by staging an extravagant theatrical spectacle of his own composition. Sometime between spring 1432 and spring 1433, the first child-murder occurred and was followed by similar crimes. The victims may have numbered in the hundreds. After raping the boys he kidnapped, he would slash their throats and masturbate in their blood and innards.

4.European OssuariesEuropean-Ossuaries-4

An ossuary is a chest, building, well, or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. They are frequently used where burial space is scarce. All over Europe ossuaries can be found and – fortunately for those of us with a love of the macabre – visited. Perhaps the most famous is the Catacombs of Paris which are a vast network of skeleton lined caverns beneath the streets of Paris. The photograph above comes from Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, a church in Rome, Italy, commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1626. The remains of over 4,000 friars can be viewed there. Some of the skeletons are intact and draped with Franciscan habits (as above), but for the most part, individual bones are used to create elaborate ornamental designs. This is but one of the many amazing (and spooky) ossuaries you can visit. You can view a large photo gallery and read more about ossuaries here. Be sure to check out the enormous human skeleton chandelier.

5.The Queen Mary, CaliforniaThe-Queen-Mary-California-5

RMS Queen Mary is an ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for Cunard Line (then Cunard White Star Line). The Queen Mary was purchased by the city of Long Beach, California in 1967 and transformed into a hotel. The most haunted area of the ship is the engine room where a 17-year-old sailor was crushed to death trying to escape a fire. Knocking and banging on the pipes around the door has been heard and recorded by numerous people. In what is now the front desk area of the hotel, visitors have seen the ghost of a “lady in white.” Ghosts of children are said to haunt the ship’s pool.


Abandoned in 1986, Pripyat was the city founded in the Chernobyl for the nuclear power plant workers. It was evacuated after the unfortunate event and represents the sight of which the blood is chilling – roofs collapsed, water leaking, trees growing from the floor… Some people come here to take pictures and measure the radioactivity, but this adventure is better to be left to the experts.

7.Island of DollsIsland-of-Doll-7

This chinampa (floating garden), covered with hundreds of dolls is situated in La Xochimilco channel in Mexico. The dolls are hung from trees in order to keep the evil spirits away and to remember the death of the girl who drowned here. Judging by the words of Don Julian Santana Barer who has made an unusual “exhibition” dolls are living, but forgotten by their owners. Chinampa is accessible by boat, and the dolls are in place, although Don Barrera died in 1992.

8.Edinburgh CastleEdinburgh-Castle-8

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. And Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War – even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds’ dog cemetery.

9.Capuchin Catacombs of PalermoCapuchin-Catacombs-of-Palermo-9

First of all, these should be not confused with the many bone-houses in Europe (item 1). The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo are burial catacombs in Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy. Today they provide a somewhat macabre tourist attraction as well as an extraordinary historical record. In 1599 the monks at the monastery mummified recently-dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and placed him into the catacombs. The bodies were dehydrated on the racks of ceramic pipes in the catacombs and sometimes later washed with vinegar. Some of the bodies were embalmed and others enclosed in sealed glass cabinets. Monks were preserved with their everyday clothing and sometimes with ropes they had worn as a penance. Originally the catacombs were intended only for the dead friars. However, in the following centuries it became a status symbol to be entombed into the capuchin catacombs. In their wills, local luminaries would ask to be preserved in certain clothes, or even to have their clothes changed at regular intervals. The catacombs were officially closed in 1880 but tourists continued to visit. The last burials are from the 1920s. One of the very last to be interred was Rosalia Lombardo, then two years old, whose body is still remarkably intact, preserved with a procedure that was lost for decades, but was recently rediscovered.

10.Winchester Mystery House Winchester-Mystery-House-10

After losing her husband and young child, Sarah Winchester had become convinced that ghosts haunt her family because of the weapons produced by the Winchester family empire. To remove the curse, she moved to the unfinished farm and ordered that a new house was being built 24 hours a day. This construction, known as the Winchester Mystery House was not completed during her lifetime. Today, this ‘four-winged’ house with 160 rooms is opened for the visitors, and is located in San Jose, California. It represents a confusing layout, non-functional bathrooms and doors that silently emerge from the walls.


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