Are you an adventurer who loves creepy buildings, abandoned places and strange ghost towns? If so, this is the list for you! From haunted prisons to eerie towns left in ruins, we’ve compiled a list of five of the spookiest places to visit around the world. These places are guaranteed to give you on goosebumps!
Five of the spookiest places to visit:
Missouri State Penitentiary, United States
Originally opened in 1836, the infamous Missouri State Penitentiary was once the largest prison in the United States and was known for holding many death row inmates. Many notorious figures were held captive here, from famous gangsters to James Earl Ray, who killed Martin Luther King, Jr. The prison itself was closed in 2004 and now runs tours so you can take a peek into its brutal history.
Due to many unexplained happenings within the prison walls over the years, many believe that the prison is haunted. It has even been featured on some television shows. Some have claimed to see ghost sightings and over 100 paranormal investigations have taken place here! Not sure you believe it? Take a ghost tour yourself or conduct your own investigation by staying overnight in the prison!
Located in Jefferson City, Missouri, there are several landmarks nearby worth visiting including the Lewis and Clark Monument. the Missouri State Senate, plus shopping areas and eateries all over. You are right on the Missouri River, too, and there are plenty of affordable hotels in the area.
The town was founded in 1908, during the diamond rush. It was thriving and had a school, hospital and even a casino as many German miners dreamed of making their fortunes here. When the First World War came around however, diamond sales slumped and the area was eventually abandoned. Since then, sand storms have blown through Kolmanskop and have submerged some of the buildings there.
Today it’s a magnet for photographers, eager to capture the town’s eeriness. Before travelling there, we recommend getting yourself a durable outdoor camera as your phone may be affected by dust and other debris in this harsh landscape.
There isn’t anything else around for about five miles, but once you’re outside of the city, you’ll find many restaurants and cafes in Luderitz, which is a good place to stay overnight. Other attractions nearby include the Goerke House, Diaz Point, and Felsenkirche, an old church that has beautiful stained glass windows.
Located in Italy, Craco is an abandoned, medieval ghost town that fell into ruins simply due to natural disasters. Sitting in the arch of the boot of Italy, the town of Craco was built upon a steep summit, so it could be easily defended if necessary. Being built on a hill unfortunately made it susceptible to landslides. A succession of landslides, earthquakes and floods in the 1960s eventually made the town too dangerous to live in and it was sadly abandoned.
Today, the area nearby is pretty populated and you can take a guided tour through Craco to see the churches and other structures there. Be sure to stop by one of the several restaurants like Rosso di Sera or Paninoteca o sole mio for authentic Italian food. Nearby attractions include other structures like churches and sanctuaries. Visit Santuario Santa Maria di Anglona or the Compless Dei Padri Riformati.
There are also several hotels to relax in later like the Hotel Torre Flore or Motel San Marco. If you’re planning to go exploring at night, improve visibility by taking some night vision binoculars with you (to learn more about this, visit Optic Gear Lab).
Bankhead, Alberta, Canada
Located in Banff National Park, Bankhead was a small coal mining town that rose in the early 20th century. Industrial action and poor yields led to the mine closing in 1922. Fast-forward five years later and the town was virtually deserted due to lack of employment.
This is a great area to visit if you have an interest in history, love hiking or taking photographs. You can take many trails in the area like the Tunnel Mountain Trail and the Banff Legacy Trail. Lake Minnewanka is about 1.5 miles away and offers beautiful views. Mount Norquay and Mount Girouard are on either side of Cascade Mountain, with Snow Peak Mountain just south of there.
Just south of the Snow Peak Mountain, you will find many hotels and bed and breakfasts. Eat locally at Whitebark Café or Keg Steakhouse. You can also stroll around the Cave and Basin National Historic Site which has hot mineral springs, a cave, and an emerald coloured pool!
Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Mexico
This northern Mexican town was once thriving due to the mining industry and was home to many gold and silver mines. The Ojuela Mine’s origins can be traced back to 1598. During the 19th century, the railroad allowed the minerals to be transported out of the town to be processed.
The town eventually built a Catholic church, stores, bars, and a post office. In the 20th century, mining exploitation occurred due to the Mexican Revolution and the fact that there was water in the mine. Eventually the revolution ended and minerals ran out in the mines. The city began to die and is now a ghost town.
The buildings are in ruins but you can take a guided tour to see the old church, ruined miners homes and more. The only solid structure left is the suspension bridge called Puente de Ojuela. There are also a number of other interesting bridges and tunnels in the area.
As you can see, the world is filled with ghost towns, which were once lively and thriving places but were left abandoned for various reasons. All of these places are beautiful in their own, unique way.
Looking for more offbeat travel inspiration? Read these posts next:
- Jack the Ripper Tour Review: Bringing the Horrors of History Alive
- Exploring an Abandoned Railroad Yard in Berlin
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