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    17 Places That Look Straight Out Of A Horror Movie But Are Actually Real

    Spooky season is upon us! When you're ready to get out of the house and live in a real-life horror movie, consider visiting one of these creepy destinations.

    If Halloween is your favorite holiday, you've seen more horror movies than anyone you know, and your idea of a vacation is spending the night in a haunted hotel, then keep scrolling, because you'll definitely want to add these stops on your next trip.

    1. Dracula's Castle in Bran, Romania

    Old Romanian castle overlooking tree covered hills
    Eduardo Fonseca Arraes / Getty Images

    OK, so it might be named Bran Castle, but it's widely known as Dracula's castle since it inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula. 🧛🏻‍♂️😱

    There is no spookier region in history than Transylvania. Known for bloodthirsty vampires and the infamous Vlad the Impaler, fall in Romania is as creepy as it gets. 

    Creepy castle on a hill with dead winter trees surrounding it
    Eduardo Fonseca Arraes / Getty Images

    To take a tour of Bran Castle, you can purchase an adult ticket for 45 LEI (~$11 USD) or a student ticket for 25 LEI ( ~$6 USD).

    They also have a special Halloween tour. Visit the castle during the day for 60 LEI (~$14 USD) or by night for 80 LEI (~$19 USD). The day tour is for all ages, while the night tour is recommended for visitors over 18. Both tours include access to the medieval torture instruments exhibition and the photo/video fee.

    2. Abandoned waterpark near Hue, Vietnam

    Abandoned waterpark with graffiti and desolate dragon staircase
    Manan Vatsyayana / AFP via Getty Images

    I'll admit, this is more cool than creepy, so if you're not ready for full-on haunted houses, this might just be the best spooky destination for you. Ho Thuy Tien waterpark was built in 2004 and abandoned swiftly after. It is located outside of Hue, Vietnam, making this is the perfect stop for those traveling between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. 

    When you first enter the park, you'll notice a large dragon that you can climb for amazing views. Explore more and you'll find abandoned slides, overgrown foliage, and masses of graffiti. There have also been sightings of crocodiles on the slides; however, it's rumored that they've been removed.

    Manan Vatsyayana / AFP via Getty Images

    Since it's abandoned, it is free to enter and roam around at your own risk. However, locals often post up outside to collect their own entrance fee, so make sure to bring some cash just in case.

    3. Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts

    Tall dark house
    Chicago Tribune / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

    Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks; When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.

    The Lizzie Borden House, home to an infamous and gruesome double murder in 1842, is quite possibly the most haunted house in the United States. If you're planning a visit to New England this fall, you might want to book a night's stay — may I suggest in the murder room? 

    Part haunted house, part bed and breakfast, the Lizzie Borden House offers house tours during the day and both ghost tours and ghost hunts at night. Prices start at $25 USD.

    Not able to make it to Massachusetts but dying for a good haunt? You're in luck! The Lizzie Borden House offers virtual house and ghost tours on demand, 24/7.

    4. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

    Old hotel with mountains in the background
    Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post via Getty Images

    Unlike the Lizzie Borden House, the Stanley Hotel doesn't present itself as a haunted tourist attraction. In fact, you might not even notice it's known for its haunted history if you didn't scroll far enough on their website. 

    The Stanley Hotel is famous for inspiring Stephen King's novel The Shining.

    Antique picture frames and mirrors on a wall
    Helen H. Richardson / Denver Post via Getty Images

    Take a day tour of the hotel to learn its history, or come by after dark for their "Spirited Night Tour" to explore the "dark edges" of the hotel.

    Of course, like any hotel, you can book a few nights and enjoy what seems like a quaint historic hotel. But if you're looking for something spooky, you'll want to consider one of their events like The Shining Ball, Devotchka: Halloween Black Tie Ball, or BruceFest.

    5. Chernobyl and Pripyat in Ukraine

    abandoned bumper cars in a forest
    Francisco Goncalves / Getty Images

    If you've seen the series about Chernobyl, you might be wondering how it's safe to visit. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster killed 30 people within a few months of the explosion. The fallout made the area uninhabitable and now creates the eerie scene of an abandoned town.  

    Thirty-five years later, it is safe to visit the area on guided tours. The radiation levels are not high enough to cause any health threats when exposed during a short tour.

    Take a day tour of Chernobyl and Pripyat from Kyiv.

    6. The Paris Catacombs in France

    wall of skulls and bones with concrete cross in the middle
    Frédéric Soltan / Corbis via Getty Images

    In the 18th century, amidst a public health crisis relating to the city's cemeteries, authorities decided to relocate the cemeteries' remains to an abandoned quarry. This effort created the meticulously arranged Paris Catacombs lined with bones.

    You can visit the catacombs for 29€ (~$34 USD).

    7. Island of the Dolls near Mexico City, Mexico

    eery forest with broken dolls hanging from the trees
    Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Isla de las Muñecas, or Island of the Dolls in English, is a small island just south of Mexico City where hundreds of dolls hang from the trees.

    Legend has it that a young girl mysteriously drowned in the river. Her doll was found and hung from a tree in tribute. But not long after, it was believed the doll was possessed by the girl, so the man who originally found her kept bringing more and more dolls in an attempt to please her spirit. Now tourists visit the island to place dolls, some mutilated and hanging from trees.

    While the island is difficult to reach, it is possible to visit by ferry and explore the nearby canals of Xochimilco. 

    8. Door to Hell in Darvaza, Turkmenistan

    large crater in the earth filled with fire and ash
    Giles Clarke / Getty Images

    The Darvaza Gas Crater is also known as the Door to Hell. Located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan, this crater was formed after an attempt to drill oil struck the huge gas pocket. The site collapsed, creating the massive crater and releasing natural gas that deprived the area of oxygen. When animals began to die, the scientists decided to light the crater on fire in hopes that the natural gas would burn away in a few weeks. This was in 1971, and the crater is still burning today.

    The crater is about a four-hour drive from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Tours are available leaving from Ashgabat.

    9. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    old prison with paint chipping
    Buyenlarge / Getty Images

    Eastern State Penitentiary is a historic prison in Philadelphia best known for holding notable prisoners, like the infamous Al Capone.

    There are two ways to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary — a prison tour by day or a Halloween tour by night (these run until November 13). 

    Al Capone's concrete cell with small bed and desk
    Buyenlarge / Getty Images

    Book a day tour Wednesday through Sunday for $17 USD. 

    Or enjoy the Halloween tour for $39 USD, which includes haunted houses, performances, themed bars, and plenty more spooks and scares throughout the cellblocks. 

    Additionally, for those a little too far away, they offer online tours where you can virtually explore the prison and read about the dark history.

    10. Hill of Crosses near Šiauliai, Lithuania

    Hill covered in crosses of all sizes and a statue of a mother and child
    Universal Stopping Point Photogr / Getty Images

    As you might've guessed, the Hill of Crosses is in fact a hill covered in crosses — hundreds of thousands of crosses. While it may look creepy, it's actually a symbol of strength, hope, and freedom for the Lithuanian people. During the Soviet era, authorities tried to remove the crosses time and time again, but people kept replacing them in the middle of the night to commemorate those they lost. Throughout the years, the Hill of Crosses has become a pilgrimage site for many Lithuanians. 

    11. Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia

    oak trees with spanish moss and large fountain in the center
    Jumping Rocks / Getty Images/Collection Mix: Subjects RF

    Savannah is consistently listed as one of the most haunted cities in the United States, and in my opinion, it tops the charts. 

    This little city on the Georgia coast has countless haunted buildings; it almost seems like the entire city is a stop on one ghost tour or another. While Forsyth Park isn't the most haunted area in Savannah, it's definitely the heartbeat of the city's paranormal hotspots. And I'd say the oak trees dripping in Spanish moss give off serious historic spooky vibes.

    old cemetery with large oak trees and spanish moss
    Jumping Rocks / Getty Images/Collection Mix: Subjects RF

    The best way to experience the haunts of Savannah is to sign up for a ghost tour that will take you to the city's creepiest places — like secret burial grounds, cemeteries, the Mercer William's House, 432 Abercorn Street, Moon River Brewing Co., The Marshall House, and dozens of other spots.

    There are so many different ghost tours to join on your next trip to Savannah. Book this women-owned walking tour with prices starting at $25 USD.

    Or for a little more, you can sign up for a ghost-HUNTING tour. Prices start at $33 USD.

    And if you're in it for the boos and the booze, you can book a haunted pub crawl and ghost tour combo for $31 USD. Savannah has open container laws that allow you to roam the spooky city with drink in hand.

    12. Poveglia Island outside of Venice, Italy

    old desolate building with bell tower on a deserted island
    Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images

    Poveglia Island has a long and disturbing history. It was mostly used as a quarantine colony during the Bubonic Plague and the Black Death. Symptomatic citizens would be exiled to Poveglia, and both the sick and the dead would be burned in giant pyres.

    In the 1800s, the island was turned into an asylum where doctors were rumored to perform horrifying experiments. The doctor who ran the asylum ended up falling from the top of the bell tower, probably driven mad by the ghosts of his patients.

    Today the island is abandoned and closed to visitors. While it may be illegal to step foot on this haunted island, it is possible to take a boat tour around the island.

    13. Veijo Rönkkönen's sculpture garden in Parikkala, Finland

    Esa Hiltula / Alamy Stock Photo / Via, Esa Hiltula / Alamy Stock Photo / Via

    Part sculpture garden, part terrifying. Finnish artist Veijo Rönkkönen constructed hundreds of creepy, human-like sculptures and displayed them outside of his home. While an ordinary concrete sculpture may not be classified as scary, these surely cross the line to horror as the statues are displayed in masses, with many bodies contorted into yoga poses, and some even including REAL, HUMAN TEETH!

    After his death, the sculpture park was bought and is now a destination for tourists to visit these unnerving statues.

    14. Underwater City of Shicheng, China

    Big Blue Scuba Diving International / Via

    This city was flooded in 1959 and forgotten until 2001, when divers began to explore the remains of this now-underwater city. 

    The city is surprisingly well preserved, and there are a few tours taking divers to explore this eerie submerged city. If you are an experienced diver, you can join this multi-day diving trip from Shanghai. 

    15. Bhangarh Fort in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India

    crumbling fort on a grassy hill
    Smit Sandhir / Getty Images

    This well-preserved fort is known for being the most haunted fort in India. So much so that no one is permitted to visit the fort after dark. 

    Surrounded by desolate villages, the tale of this fort is a classic: A man sees a beautiful princess and is "in love" with her, princess is not interested in this random man, random man happens to be a tantric priest, priest attempts to put a love spell on the princess, the princess finds out and evades the spell, priest then uses black magic to curse the princess for not loving him back, and then the whole village is cursed for eternity. And now the fort is believed to be haunted by the cursed villagers who can never be reborn.

    stone fort with tree covered grassy mountain behind it
    Smit Sandhir / Getty Images

    The fort is located within India's Golden Triangle — a popular tourist route consisting of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Just a two-hour drive from Jaipur, it is a must-see site for those interested in its haunting history.

    There are plenty of ways to visit the fort, either by car, taxi, or group tour. This group tour includes a private guide and transfer to Bhangarh Fort as well as the beautiful Chand Baori stepwell that's all over Instagram.

    16. George's Church in Lukova, Czech Republic

    plaster ghosts sitting in pews of abandoned church
    Matej Divizna / Getty Images

    This 14th-century church in a small village outside of Prague is home to many ghosts — some may be real, but many are sculptures.

    The church was abandoned when the roof collapsed during a funeral service. Considered a bad omen, it was left desolate for many years. No one could afford to renovate the church, until a local artist decided to create dozens of ghost sculptures to sit in the pews. The art installation attracted tourists and was able to raise enough money to repair the roof.

    plaster ghost sitting alone in a pew against the wall at abandoned church
    Matej Divizna / Getty Images

    You can explore the church and enter or just peek inside. Visiting hours are not always regular, but for now you can visit the church on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

    17. Hoia Baciu Forest in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    Daniel Mirlea / Alamy Stock Photo / Via

    This forest is filled with crooked trees, contorted into strange shapes almost as if they're attempting to warn visitors. Known as the Bermuda Triangle of Translyvania, there have been many reports of UFO sightings, ghost encounters, and unexplainable illness. 

    There are many legends and stories about this forest, perhaps the creepiest being about a young girl who disappeared, only to emerge five years later with no recollection of what had happened.

    Definitely enter at your own risk — you never know what the Hoia Baciu Forest might have in store for you...

    If you've made it this far, you're probably no stranger to spooks. What's the creepiest destination on your list? 👻

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