10 Eerie Places to Visit Around the World
- Audley Travel
- 5th June 2013
Whether you’re wandering around a cemetery at dusk, listening to the eerie tales of malevolent spirits on a tour of a disused penitentiary, or following in the footsteps of soldiers past at some of the world's most important battlefields, there are countless places around the world where you can capture that spooky ‘spirit’.
Here are just some of our favourites.
1. Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, Belize
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, Belize
Not for the faint-hearted, Actun Tunichil Muknal, meaning "Cave of the Stone Sepulcher", is located in the heart of the Belizean rainforest and was once a sacred place to the prehistoric Maya of Belize.
Watch out for the skeletons as you explore the dark and murky chambers before heading to the cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place – this is a real adventure and one that offers numerous unique photographic opportunities.
2. Kolmanskop ghost town, Namibia
Deserted house at Kolmanskop
Once a millionaire's avenue, this ghost town now stands derelict and empty of life. Ruins submerged in sand make for some eerie yet fantastic photographs. A morning here will give you plenty of time to visit the museum and take a guided tour around the town. The desolateness is encapsulated in the town’s crumbling ruins and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to snap away in this unusual and mysterious place.
3. Okunoin graveyard, Mount Koya, Japan
Little statues in Mount Koya cemetery, Japan
Okunoin graveyard on Mount Koya contains the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, and is one of the most sacred places in Japan. Visiting the graveyard at night is an eerie experience; wander amongst the headstones with only the glow from stone lanterns to light your way - a wonderfully atmospheric backdrop to any photo - before spending the night in simple temple lodgings.
4. St John's, Canada
Signal Hill, St John's, Canada
Wreathed in misty fog drifting in from the North Atlantic, St. John's is steeped in history...and the paranormal. The murky vistas make for some interesting images. The town’s Queens Road is reputedly one of the most haunted streets in Canada, where the screams of a young girl hanged from the bell ropes at St. Andrew’s Church can still be heard. Take part in St John’s Haunted Hike to learn more about the town’s eerie history.
5. Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
Penitentiary, Port Arthur, Australia
Port Arthur, found on Tasmania, was originally designed to be the ultimate prison. Miles from anywhere, a penal settlement developed. Today Port Arthur is home to many reputed cases of haunting and ghosts, particularly of convict origin. These include cases of cells with ghostly screams and empty rocking chairs that move. If you’re brave enough, partake in the Port Arthur ghost tour and who knows what you just might capture on camera.
6. Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand
Larnach castle, Dunedin, New Zealand
Built in the late 1800s by William Larnach, this remote castle is said to house many spooky goings on. William’s favourite daughter, Kate, is said to haunt the ballroom which was built to mark her 21st birthday, while her father, who committed suicide after discovering the affair between one of his sons and his third wife, is said to keep a watchful eye over the billiard room.
Larnach is New Zealand’s only castle and photographic opportunities abound inside and out. Don’t miss the property’s spectacular gardens and stunning views.
7. The Battlefields, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Isandlwana memorial, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The north-eastern corner of KwaZulu-Natal has seen clashes between numerous armies. Listening to expertly recounted tales of how a hundred British soldiers held off some 4,000 Zulus at Rorke’s Drift during the Zulu war, or learning how Ghandi, Paul Kruger and Winston Churchill were all involved in a desperate struggle for the desolate summit of Spioenkop during the Boar War will leave you engaged, informed and with your spine tingling slightly – you might even remember to take a few snaps to remind you of your visit.
8. Karni Mata temple, Bikaner, India
Karni Mata temple, Bikaner, India. Image: Shakti/Wikipedia
Around 33 km South of Bikaner is the Karni Mata temple. Devoted to rats, the temple attracts pilgrims from all over the state and beyond. The rats are believed to be reincarnations of holy individuals and are expected to be reincarnated again as gifted humans. Thousands of rats scurry round the temples attracted by the gifts of coconuts, grains and milk which pilgrims bring. This is definitely not for the squeamish, as some of them will inevitably run across your feet, which will of course be bare inside the temple, but they certainly offer a unique photo opportunity.
9. Day of the Dead, Mexico
Day of the Dead, Mexico
On the 1st of November, Mexico celebrates its 'Day of the Dead', a colourful synergy of ancient cultures and Catholicism, involving decorated skulls, candles, banners and parades – try explaining those holidays photos to family and friends! Celebrations take place across the country but there's something eerily enchanting about experiencing this tradition in the colonial towns.
10. Minster Lovell ruins, England
Minster Lovell church through the ruined hall. Image: Bill Bagshaw
Minster Lovell ruins are situated approximately five minutes from Witney in Oxfordshire. Legend has it that Francis Lovell, a former owner of the property, fled from battle in 1487 and hid in an underground chamber at the hall. Only an old and loyal servant knew of Francis' whereabouts and provided him with food and water. When the servant died suddenly, Francis slowly starved to death. The room was apparently discovered in the early 18th century with a male skeleton sitting at a desk surrounded by books, however this story has now dissolved into legend as the room has not been located since.
The ruins themselves are very picturesque and after a busy morning of photography, you can stop at the local for a spot of lunch.
At Audley we believe that your trip should be truly unforgettable, so we don't take any chances. The expert knowledge of all our specialists allows us to select the best possible accommodation, guides and excursions to suit your tastes and budget.
To book a tailor-made trip with Audley, call one of our specialists on 01993 838 000 or contact us online