13 Scariest Places in the world to visit

Georgina Willcox | 27 October 2023


Whenever you discover a new travel destination or visit an old favourite place, you're bound to have heard a few notorious stories and legends about haunted sites. So are you brave enough to visit some of these scariest places around the world?!

1. Transylvania, Romania


A visit to Romania isn’t complete until you visit Bran Castle, linked to the legend of Dracula. Sighisoara is believed to be the most haunted place in Romania as it’s considered to be the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula. From Bucharest, you can visit the Snagov Monastery where Vlad is buried. 

2. Valley of the Kings, Egypt


Legend has it if you disturb the tomb of an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, you will be cursed and suffer an early death. The most famous case being the deaths of Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, who discovered Tutankhamun. On our Egypt holidays, step back in time to ancient times and enjoy a cruise down the Nile. In our other blog post, learn more about the top places to visit in Egypt.

3. Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic


The “Church of Bones” is a small Roman Catholic chapel, not far from the capital of Prague, which is estimated to contain 40,000 human skeletons, where the bones have been used to form decorations and furnishings. Perhaps on you're free day during our Prague City Break, you can venture out to see this unusual, yet fascinating site. 

4. Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada


Since the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel opened in 1888, it's been rife with ghost stories, one of the famous being a bride who died falling down the stairs in the 1920s after tripping on her wedding dress. Allegedly, she can be seen dancing the ballroom wearing her ill-fated dress. You could say the hotel looks similar to the Overlook Hotel, the infamous setting of the horror film, 'The Shining.' Fortunately we don't have to stay in this haunted hotel on our Canada holidays when we visit in Banff National Park! Plus, there are less scary and more fascinating places to visit in Canada!

5. Hill of Crosses, Lithuania


On our Baltic Highlights Tour, including Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, we'll discover three incredible countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The Hill of Crosses is located just outside the Lithuanian city of Šiauliai and nobody knows the precise origin of people leaving crosses on the hill. Although this is a pilgrimage site, which contains over 100,000 crosses, we don’t think you would want to spend the night alone here!

6. Fuente del Ángel Caído, Madrid, Spain


Take our Madrid City Break and you can see the Fuente del Ángel Caído is a fountain in Buen Retiro Park depicting the fallen angel Lucifer. Madrid is one of the highest capital cities in Europe and ironically the fountain is located 666m above sea level! 

7. Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo, Italy


On our Sicily holidays, we'll uncover the island's capital of Palermo. Here you can discover catacombs, where mummified bodies are on display, are not for the faint hearted. Originally the Capuchin monks only embalmed Friars, but it later became a status symbol to be entombed into the Capuchin catacombs. One of its famous residents is Rosalia Lombardo who died in 1920 at the age of two of pneumonia. She is eerily encased in a glass coffin, hence her nickname “Sleeping Beauty.”

8. Castle of Good Hope, South Africa


One of the highlights of our South Africa holidays is a guided tour of Cape Town. In the capital, you'll find a 17th Century Fort in Cape Town built by slaves and being one of the oldest colonial buildings in South Africa, it’s no wonder there are many ghostly tales, such as the black dog which haunts the property. 

9. Höfði House, Reykjavik, Iceland


Höfði House is famous for being the location for the 1986 Reykjavik Summit, where President Reagan and Gorbachev met to discuss peace between the two nations. Many people do not know that the house used to be the British Embassy and the consulate wanted to be moved elsewhere, he had to get permission from the Foreign Office, as he was convinced it was haunted by a young woman who drowned. Enjoy a short break in Iceland and you can take the Golden Circle tour and relax in the Blue Lagoon. 

10. The Forbidden City, Beijing, China


On our China holidays, we'll explore the the Forbidden City. Situated in the heart of Beijing, it was the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Ming Dynasty and served as the home of emperors for almost 500 years, where many violent deaths took place. Some people have stated they have seen strange occurrences such as a crying woman dressed in white roaming the grounds late at night. 

11. La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina


On our Brazil & Argentina holiday, you can enjoy free time to explore the capital city of Buenos Aires. You could spend hours observing the various tombs and gravestones in La Recoleta Cemetery. Here you will find the graves of Eva Perón and Guillermo Brown, the founder of the Argentinian navy who was actually from Ireland. 

12. Alcatraz, San Francisco, USA


If you're visiting California on a USA holiday then take a ferry to Alcatraz aka The Rock. Visit the notorious prison located in the middle of San Francisco Bay, where you can learn many fascinating stories about its infamous prisoners, such as Al Capone. 

13. The Door to Hell, Derweze, Turkmenistan


A crater, 69 metres wide and 30 metres deep, in a natural gas field was set alight in 1971 to prevent emitting poisonous gases and has been burning ever since. It’s so scary, we don’t even go there...yet!

Would you like less spooky travel inspiration?! Then check out our recommendations on the Top Romantic Destinations in the World. Also, you can be sure that when you book a guided holiday with Travel Department, it's all treats and no tricks!

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