I love ghost stories and scary movies and all things Halloween, so in honor of my favorite holiday I’m going to take a stroll down (creepy) Memory Lane, and share with you the real-life scariest places I’ve been. Lock the doors and turn on all the lights, it’s about to get spooky up in here.
The Stanley Hotel: High on a hill overlooking the quaint mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado, this grand structure looms. With its white columns and red roof, it looks harmless enough; like a grand old home from days gone by. But this is the hotel that inspired Stephen King to write “The Shining.” I snapped a photo of the door to room 217, where King stayed (it’s rumored to be the most haunted spot on the property). When I was there, it really was a dark and stormy night, and that only added to the creepiness around every corner. Plush red carpet, dark wood, and visions of creepy kids filled my dreams that night. Fun fact for all of you scaredy-cats: this hotel is also where they filmed “Dumb and Dumber.” So it’s scary and scary-funny.
Edinburgh Vaults: Edinburgh, Scotland was a surprise to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the old city was beautiful in a dark, gothic way. And one of the best tours I’ve taken was through the strange underground vaults that run through the city. In the 1700’s and 1800’s these tunnels housed businesses and people, due to overcrowding in the city above. I’m not normally claustrophobic, but walking through those cold stone chambers, with no access to fresh air or sunshine, definitely gave me goosebumps. Add to that the legends they spin as you make your way through the subterranean caves, and you’ll be grabbing the arm of the person next to you as you hurry back above ground.
Tower of London: As a history buff, I love the Tower; everything from the Yeoman Warders (also called beefeaters) in their black and red uniforms to being thisclose to the crown jewels. But the most interesting part for me is hearing the stories of all the people who were imprisoned within its walls: from Anne Boleyn to Sir Walter Raleigh to Elizabeth I (before she became Queen). You can almost feel the tension and sadness in the air. Probably the most well known story about the Tower is the story of the two young princes, allegedly murdered by their Uncle Richard. Their bones are believed to have been found in the White Tower. Shudder.
New Orleans ghost walk: NOLA is a city full of atmosphere; a sultry mix of cultures blended to create a personality all its own. I love the wrought-iron railings and European architecture of the French Quarter. And the ghost stories aren’t bad either. From voodoo queens to the infamous Madame LaLaurie, the ghost walk provided me with enough fodder for years of nightmares. New Orleans may be called “The Big Easy,” but it could just as easily be known as “The Big Scary.”
What are some of the creepiest places you’ve been?
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