One of the best parts of Halloween is a good old-fashioned scare. While haunted houses, ghostly tours, and Halloween themed attractions might be seasonal, we know a few experiences that will scare you all year round.
For our Halloween themed post, we’re going to be focusing on a few of the scariest tourism experiences in the world. These aren’t necessarily haunted or Halloween themed activities, but we can understand why some of these places can definitely leave people freaked out.
Prepare to face your fears as we explore these six unique experiences.
Warning: This post contains photos of spiders, heights, dolls, and abandoned villages.
In With the Spiders: Zoological Society of London
Anyone afraid of spiders may want to move on to the next item on this list. At the London Zoo, there is an exhibit that allows people to walk through a room filled with spiders. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, these spiders aren’t in any kind of glass exhibit; instead, they hang along the trees and walls of the building. Technically, there’s nothing stopping one from crawling over your shoulder or into your pocket if they wanted to.
The exhibit is actually a fascinating educational display that showcases many incredible species. Poisonous spiders are not out in the open, which is comforting, but you may still want to shake out your coat before you leave!
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge: China
If you can brave this next attraction, then I'd argue that a fear of heights won’t ever bother you again. Currently, China is home to the world’s longest and highest glass bridge. Hanging over the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, this 430 meter (1141 foot) long bridge was built with transparent glass that sits about 300 meters (984 feet) above the canyon. And don’t worry, you can see everything below.
Online, you’ll find countless videos of people being dragged across the bridge by their friends, or visitors who clutch the handrails for dear life.
Paris Catacombs: France
The Paris Catacombs are probably the most famous attraction on this list. Featuring the skeletal remains of millions of Parisians within the walls of the cold, underground tunnels, this site continues to leave thousands of tourists unnerved.
There isn’t actually any sinister purpose behind the catacombs, which were built to reduce overcrowded graveyard populations that were causing public health concerns. Where it does get scary, however, is in the knowledge that for hundreds of miles, these tunnels snake underneath the entire city of Paris.
Nagoro 'Scarecrow Village': Japan
Nagoro is a small village in Japan. While very few people live there, it's a huge tourist destination due to its other inhabitants. Should you find yourself wandering around the desolate streets, entering the local school, or venturing down to the village riverbank, you will be under the watchful eye of hundreds of life-size dolls - 350 to be exact.
The story behind this unusual location is certainly a sad one. A former resident, Tsukimi Ayano, returned to the village in the early 2000s after all but 20 residents had left searching for work elsewhere. Tsukimi created the dolls to represent each member of the village, long since departed. The eerie silence and loneliness felt while exploring the village, makes for a powerful and haunting experience.
Following one of the biggest nuclear disasters in history, the small town of Pripyat has been left abandoned since 1986. Tourists today embark on guided tours of this ghost town, visiting iconic locales such as the decaying ferris wheel and the Polissya Hotel. Levels of radiation are thankfully low unless you go digging in the soil or trudging through the overgrowth. Reports of mutated creatures and ghost sightings are rife, with locals in the surrounding areas advising any curious tourists to stay away from the town after dark.
Karni Mata Temple: India
There are rats, and then there are holy rats. That's what you'll find upon visiting the Karni Mata Temple in India which houses approximately 25,000 black rats. Also known as the Temple of Rats, people from all over come to pay their respects to the 'kabbas', another name for these holy rats.
Hidden in the small town of Deshnoke, rats live, eat and are worshipped here. While not for the faint-hearted, thousands of tourists visit this temple to witness the unique human-animal coexistence. Did we mention that visitors have to enter the temple barefoot?
Were there any places we missed? Let us know! If you're looking for some local spooky tales, check out one of our previous blog posts featuring Vancouver’s most haunted spots.