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World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021
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World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

TripBlog
Sep 6, 20215,2304

As Halloween season approaches, we got to wondering about naturally scary places. Think destinations where adrenaline-packed excitement or otherworldly landscapes invoke spine-tingling sensations. We searched around the world to come up with a list of locations that in one way or another qualify as downright terrifying. From death-defying hiking trails to creepy castles to bone-shaking whitewater rapids, these are among the best scary travel adventures for your Halloween experience. This year, you might not be able to travel far, but these are definitely places for your Halloween travel bucket list.

Contents

Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia
Plank Walk, Mount Hua, China
The Catacombs, Paris, France
Nile River Rafting, Jinja, Uganda
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland, UK
The Gates of Hell, Darvaza, Turkmenistan
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Prypiat, Ukraine
Bran Castle, Bran, Romania

Devil's Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

The very name conjures up towering infernos, steam rising high into the air, and frightful screams echoing from those who ventured too close. The Devil’s Pool, located on the precipice of the mighty Victoria Falls may not be a boiling caldron, but it is every bit as fear inducing. The falls, which straddle the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, are considered the world’s largest sheet of falling water. In the local Lozi language, their name is Mosi-oa-Tunya or "The Smoke that Thunders." The Devil’s Pool refers to an area where centuries of erosion have created a natural depression near the edge. The pool tempers the rushing Zambezi River before it cascades over the 350-ft drop. Outside the rainy season, water currents in the pool are negligible and visitors can swim without much danger. A host of tour operators on the Zambian side offer excursions to the Devil’s Pool. Would you dare venture into these waters?

Plank Walk, Mount Hua, China

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

Most people visit Xi'an in Central China's Shaanxi Province for the famed Terracotta Army, the intricately carved sculptures that guard the tomb of the first Emperor of China. If that’s on your list of places to see in your lifetime, we also very much recommend adding a stop to nearby Mount Hua. Located about 74 miles east of Xi'an, Mount Hua is one of China's so-called Five Great Mountains. It's a remarkable place not only for the stunning natural landscapes, but also for the fear-inducing plank walk. Considered among the most dangerous hikes in the world, the wooden planks at first appear hastily installed with nothing but rusty nails and chains. The path leads a short way around a corner to a rocky outcropping with a small shrine. Stunningly beautiful, this scary adventure is one of those bucket-list destinations and certainly not something for the faint of heart.

The Catacombs, Paris, France

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

Picture an underground cavern piled high with bones. You navigate narrow passageways as a damp air hangs heavy around your shoulders. Long departed souls seem to cast furtive glances at you from around every corner. Now imagine this is no concocted Hollywood fantasy or cheap haunted house, but a real place under the streets of Paris. The catacombs are a large network of underground ossuaries holding the remains of more than six million people. Today they are recognized as one of Paris' 14 municipal museums. The main ossuary chamber contains a macabre façade comprising rows of human tibiae and skulls. It is a truly bone chilling (no pun intended) reminder of the realities of death and the way Europe's cities once struggled with substandard sanitary conditions. The number of visitors allowed to enter is restricted in order to preserve the remains and maintain an atmosphere of contemplation and reflection.

Nile River Rafting, Jinja, Uganda

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

Here's one for the adrenaline junkies. Africa's Great Lakes Region is filled with incredible landscapes, magnificent wildlife, and welcoming people. Located on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda's Eastern Region, Jinja is just over 30 miles from the capital Kampala. It ranks among the world's best destinations for whitewater rafting. The Class V rapids offer large, complex, and roiling currents. These are among the strongest conditions you can face without sophisticated equipment and years of training. A vast network of tour companies operate out of Jinja and specialize in ferrying passengers safely through the challenging waters. If you don't feel up to the full experience there are more sanguine tours through calmer stretches of the river and out into Lake Victoria. If you live for travel and outdoor adventure, this scary destination is perfect for you.

The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland, UK

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

The ominous Dark Hedges are located in the middle of the magnificent Northern Ireland countryside. Enormous 18th century beech trees form a densely packed tangle of branches along solitary Bregagh Road. Add a little fog and some mood lighting and you have one scary place! Often used as a film location, many will recognize the hedges from Arya Stark's escape from King's Landing in Game of Thrones. To arrive, your best bet is to venture up from Belfast. The Dark Hedges is about 45 minutes from Belfast International Airport, or a tad longer if you are coming from Belfast city center. The countryside in this part of Northern Ireland is well worth a visit for its charming villages. Spend some time on the roads getting to know the rolling hills and fertile soils. Rail links are available to Coleraine, which is about 20 minutes by car from the hedges. However you manage to arrive, the Dark Hedges is a scary (and beautiful) place for a bit of Halloween travel.

The Gates of Hell, Darvaza, Turkmenistan

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

The former Soviet Republic of Turkmenistan is a remote and seldom traveled destination. This is unfortunate, however, because despite its mercurial leader and the downright bizarre personality cult surrounding its former president, Turkmenistan is a beautiful country offering true travel adventure. The tiny village of Darvaza is about 160 miles north from the capital Ashgabat. In the middle of seemingly endless desert (which offers its own terror-inducing fear) you will find a downright spooky attraction. The Gates of Hell is a natural depression that formed when an underground cave collapsed. Located in the middle of a natural gas field, large quantities of escaping methane gas alarmed geologists who set it on fire to prevent the gas from spreading to the surrounding environment. The ground here has literally been burning since 1971. After dark, the ominous glow resembles a volcanic caldera. The frightful sight is the perfect location for a Halloween adventure. If you tell your friends you've been here they'll never believe you!

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Prypiat, Ukraine

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

In the early morning hours of April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear disaster the world has ever known occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Nearby Prypiat housed much of the plant's staff, their families, and thousands of support personnel. At the time of the disaster, Prypiat had a population just shy of 50,000. Unlike places that experience a long, slow decline, Prypiat went from a vibrant city to an empty shell as if someone had simply flipped off a light switch. Though the region is still unsuitable for long-term habitation, it is safe to visit for short periods. Tour operators will take you to see abandoned residential buildings still filled with mementos from long gone occupants. Children's toys, a playground, and the abandoned roller coaster are something out of a dystopian thriller. The silence in Prypiat today is broken only by the rustle of the wind and the ever-present reminder of the unspeakable terrors still lurking in reactor building number 4 at Chernobyl.

Bran Castle, Bran, Romania

World's Scariest Destinations for Halloween 2021

Transylvania…the very name is synonymous with Halloween. Historically part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, modern Transylvania is located within the borders of Romania. In the city of Bran sits a foreboding hillside castle. Its red tiled roof seems positively bloodstained while the imposing walls hide who knows what horrors. Though it was not the inspiration for Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror masterpiece, Dracula, Bran Castle has nevertheless become intimately associated with the Dracula legend. Having a loose connection to the notoriously cruel Vlad the Impaler, there is more than enough true historical legacy to justify Bran Castle's downright terrifying reputation. Despite having a reputation that strikes fear into many people's hearts, Transylvania is an impressive and downright beautiful place. Pay a visit to Bran Castle for a frighteningly fun Halloween adventure.

For Halloween 2021, make sure you're on guard against magic spells and avoid black cats, ladders, and broken mirrors. Fortunately, you don't need to be superstitious to enjoy the spooky destinations we profiled here. All you need is a sense of adventure and a desire to experience the world's best scary Halloween destinations.

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