Open Ticket How To Scare Yourself (Travel Edition) Stephanie Spitler

Last week I took you on an abbreviated world tour of the scariest places I’ve visited. This week, as the creepy crawlies crawl creepily closer, and the spookiest of nights inches nearer, I’m going to invite you on a virtual tour of the haunts I’d most like to visit in the future (insert evil laugh here).

Winchester House: Built by Sarah Winchester (heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune), this Victorian mansion in California boasts 160 rooms. But the square footage is not the most interesting thing about this residence. All those rooms are connected by secret passageways, staircases that go nowhere, and doors that open not to rooms, but to walls. The story goes that Sarah felt plagued by evil spirits, and she built this house to confuse them. She got her building plans from nightly séances, and was constantly adding on to the house. I’ve always wanted to visit here, but if you get to go, make sure you don’t leave the tour group. Who knows where you might end up?

Tombstone, Arizona: Maybe I’ve just seen the movie “Tombstone” too many times, or maybe it’s my love of Wild West ghost towns (thanks, Brady Bunch and Scooby-Doo), but visiting Tombstone, the most badass Old West town of the bunch, is definitely on my must-see list. I want to visit the OK Corral, and hang out where Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp used to kick it. And the cheesier the town is, the better. I want to drink some sarsaparilla and dress up like a saloon girl. And, come on, a town with as much history as Tombstone has to have some quality ghosts roaming the streets.

Lizzie Borden House: You guys know the rhyme, right? Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks… I’ll stop there. The case against Lizzie Borden, for the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in 1892, was called the trial of the century. She was found not guilty, but the whispers of her guilt still remain. The house where the murders took place is now a bed and breakfast, so if you’re brave (or crazy) enough, you can spend a night there. Scaredy cats can just take a tour, in bright daylight.

Bran Castle: Get to see where the real-life Dracula called home. Vlad Tepes (called “Vlad the Impaler” by some, for his harsh punishments) ruled from Bran Castle in Romania. It has everything a great haunted spot should have: historical legends and a literary connection. It looks exactly what I’d expect an ancient Romanian castle to look like. This one is for those people who like their vampires frightening instead of glittery (Team Dracula!).

Paris Catacombs: In my whirlwind trips to the City of Lights, I’ve done plenty of exploring aboveground. But it seems like I might be missing the best (spooky) part of the city: the catacombs. The tunnels and chambers that twist underneath the city serve as the final resting place for more than six million Parisians. Walls of skulls and elaborately displayed bones have made this a tourist attraction since the late 1700’s. So after you finish your frites, head down underneath the city streets for some frights, French-style.

What scary spot would you like to visit?

Image via Shutterstock

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  1. I have visited the Winchester house, Tombstone Arizona, and the Paris Catacombs and they are all definitely very creepy. I would love love love to stay at the Lizzie Borden house! My co-workers think I’m crazy for wanting to stay there, but at least I know I’m not the only one who wants to. :)

  2. I’ve been to the Winchester house! It’s crazy. And yes, dangerous not to stay with the group!

  3. I used to live about an hour from the Winchester Mystery House. It was a lot of fun to visit and definitely has a creep factor (although the guides don’t go too much in for the seance/ghost part of the story on most of the tour). You can tour the house or take and extended tour and go into the basement as well. The random staircases and the drops are pretty crazy.

  4. One more for the list – I’d also love to fly over the Bermuda Triangle!