October is here, with longer nights and a chilly wind, and while people in the US are gearing up for Halloween, many others around the globe are also trading ghost stories. What if you could make those spooky stories come to life for you and your family? If you dare to be scared, we’ve got some terrifying travel plans that will keep you and your family on the edge of their seats (in a safe, fun way of course).
One of the best reasons to go on a ghost-hunting trip is that October isn’t a traditional vacation month, so right now flights are cheap. Hotels are cheaper too, and if you’re willing to vacation during the week, you can get some of the best rates ever on a getaway for you and your loved ones. Plan a bonding trip for the company, get out with friends, or take the kids somewhere more adventurous than Disneyland.
If you love all things that go bump in the night, try planning your vacation around these possibly haunted locations. They love tourists and offer the best of haunted (and not) sightseeing. You can go antiquing by day and ghost hunting by night at these scare-tastic locales.
Aokigahara, Mount Fuji, Japan – Mt. Fuji is a wonder in its own right. Bustling with a dizzying array of local hotels on either side of the mountain, you’ll find staying near this world wonder is easy. There’s plenty of public transportation to help get you to and from major shrines and hot springs. Just remember, if you do travel outside of the climbing season of July-August, you’ll need to plan a bit more carefully since some of the public transportation options stop. Once you’ve got the local travel handled though, you can enjoy a panoramic spa like Yurari. The temples and guided tours are nearly endless, and the local shopping is bursting with options too plentiful to fit in your suitcases, even if you bring a spare.
With so many regular tourist options, there’s already plenty to do for the whole family. But if you’re looking for something unusual, beautiful, and spooky you don’t have to go far. At the base of the mountain sits Aokigahara. With 13.5 miles of dense trees and even denser undergrowth, this forest is sure to entrance you.
Listen to the locals and do a quick Google search, and you’ll find that this forest is a notorious spot for suicides. The more the stories have spread, the more people have come to visit this absolutely haunting location. Rumor has it, many of these people never come out. The forest is such a popular place for suicide attempts that there are signs reminding visitors to ‘Remember your children and family,’ and that ‘Your life is precious.’ If you’re brave enough to go in, you may even catch a glimpse of the yurei: the mournful spirits of those who spent their last moments between these trees.
Whatever you find, you’re sure to walk away with a bigger scrap book and a ton of great stories to tell!
Beechwood Lunatic Asylum, Victoria, Australia – Victoria, Australia is where people go to do a little bit of everything. You will get absolutely lost in your options for spas, and by the end of your trip, you’ll want to visit at least one! There’s also a dizzying array of gorgeous beaches ready to show you the beauty of the world, but we recommend visiting the 12 Apostles Beach for the best views. If you want an all-day adventure, you can go to Wilson’s Promontory where you’re sure to spot at least one kangaroo.
When night falls, and your family is itching to get into the spooky spirit of Halloween, you can take a drive up to Beechwood Lunatic Asylum, originally known as Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum. This institution was open for 128 years before closing in 1995, and its history would leave any horror film writer giddy with options.
Maybe you’ll get lucky and see one of the famous apparitions, like the man guarding the cellar. Maybe you’ll feel a playful tug on your hair, or hear things that just aren’t possible. Whatever adventures you have at Beechwood, you’re sure to walk away with stunning pictures of the sprawling estate and 60-plus historical buildings. You’re also in Australia, you really can’t have a bad time there!
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is Poveglia Island, Italy. You aren’t actually allowed to get on this island. It has a history of being used as a quarantine zone, home to a mental-institution-turned-geriatric-center that is now closed, and plenty of rumors about things that go bump in the night. In fact, recent attempts to restore the building were unexpectedly haunted.
However, while you can’t go on the island, you can visit the area around it and soak up the culture, local rumors, and plenty of sights. It’s nestled between Venice and Lido so whatever side you choose to stay on you’re sure to have a good time. Between the food, art, culture, and kind locals, you and your family will be spoiled for choice of entertainment and fun. If you’re looking for something spiritual rather than spooky you might try visiting St. Mary of the Friars, or simply taking in the captivating sound of Musica a Palazzo – a “Traveling Opera.”
Add some shopping, and a boat ride from San Marco Square that might just get you close enough to snap some pictures of Poveglia Island, and your family has a new Facebook album that will be the envy of all of your friends.
Take a trip to one of these spooky spots, or tell us about other haunted vacations on your itinerary. No matter where you travel, in every corner of the world you’re sure to find something wonderful, unique, and inspiring. If you ask around enough you may even find a local haunted spot or two. If you’ve got a spirit for adventure and a willingness to explore you are sure to make any vacation spot a unique adventure for you, your friends, and your family. Just make sure you take plenty of pictures and share with the world the wonders you find. After all, the best part of traveling is sharing the story.