9 Spooktacular Destinations That’ll Get Your Heart Racing

by Amanda Thompson

October is here and our desire for paranormal travel has never been stronger! If you have a heart for Halloween and all things haunting and spooky, you’ve stopped by the right corner of the internet. While normally we’d share some foreign exchange student horror stories or other study abroad stories, today we’re adding a little international flair to the haunted travels fire.

Now, we’re not talking about losing your passport (horrific!) or getting the stomach bug in India (awful!). Instead, educate yourself in a part of that country’s ancient history — after all, those ghosts had to come from somewhere. Check out these haunted destinations around the world!

creepy and haunted woods with railroad tracks
Make sure your phone battery is all charged up before you try wandering around these woods...

1. Mexico

If you’ve ever been interested in Mexican cultural celebrations, Day of the Dead is an annual holiday that can be traced back to the indigenous cultures of Mexico. Observed as a celebration of ancestors who have died, Day of the Dead is recognizable by sculptures, artwork, alters and all sorts of cultural trinkets. Are you eager to experience the traditions and celebrations yourself? Consider studying abroad in Mexico.

girl with Day of the Dead facepaint
This young girl has her face painted in traditional Day of the Dead facepaint.

2. Iceland

Seeking haunted travels that are both chilling AND thrilling? Check out the town of Stokkseyri in the south of Iceland, where volunteers with the Canadian Alliance for Development Initiatives and Projects (CADIP) can not only hunt ghosts, but they can BE the ghost! Volunteers act as ghosts in the Ghost Centre and the Center of Ethnomusicology, situated in the Holmaröst cultural center. This is even more of a “spooktacular” experience as volunteers learn about promoting civic contribution and multicultural understanding. Need a place to stay? The Ork Hotel will provide all the ghostly attractions you might need!

foggy day in iceland
Friend or foe?

3. Vietnam

Overcome your fears while visiting Vietnam! Learn about the wooden house carvings that are thought to keep ghosts and bad spirits out of the house. In Vietnamese culture, ghosts are believed to be wandering souls who have an impact on daily life. Beware of the prison camps; spirits haunt the place and when the night falls, sounds of shrieking can be heard. Ghosts are believed to take on many forms, both human and un-human, and if you get in a bike or a car accident, there’s probably a ghost to blame.

bike leaning on brick wall in vietnam
Bad spirits beware!

4. Peru

Some might say it’s the lost cities and ghost-like mountain mists that make the adventure with Peru, a hauntingly attractive destination. Throughout Peru, ghostly legends range from tragic to chilling, and Peru’s intriguing history guarantees an experience of a lifetime – just be careful to avoid any curses! As a location that boasts one of the seven wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, there will be no shortage of spine-tingling thrills!

foggy and smoggy machu picchu
Ghosts can be around any corner.

5. United Kingdom

British folklore has long been notable for its numerous haunted locations.  Legends and myths abound throughout the United Kingdom from the castles and manor homes, to historical events. If notorious villain Jack the Ripper can walk the streets of London, so can you! There’s more to  SPOO-KAY in the UK to discover, from the legend of Lochness to tales of viking wars. You won’t be able to sleep a wink while staying at the infamous Barclay Lodge Hotel, especially if you head there after braving the famed Ghost Trail of York!

dark clouds over english countryside
Can you trust anyone in the haunted English countryside?

6. Australia

Want to experience the all the hops of Oz (kangaroo AND beer, duh!), but with an added creepy twist? Head south – way south – to Australia’s island of Tasmania, where you can do a spine-chilling tour at the historic Port Arthur. Brave a lantern-lit walking tour at night and learn more about the island’s mysterious history. Are the ghosts real or simply a myth? That’s for you to discover!

creepy abandoned house in Tasmania, Australia
This abandoned looking house in Tasmania, Australia probably houses a ghost or two...

7. United States

Where history and mystery collide: why not embark on haunted travels across the United States? From the dusty wilds of the southwest clear-cross the country to Virginia City, you’re bound to feel the presence of phantoms, from cemeteries to abandoned warehouses to sleepy ghost towns. The country may be young but the stories that traverse it centuries old. Visit if you dare...

cattle animal skull in southwest USA
What might your fate be?

8. India

Bhangarh Fort in Ajabgarh, Alwar, Rajasthan is a stark (and spooky) reminder of residents past. It’s now luring visitors for all the wrong reasons – it’s under the spells of dark magic and a forlorn love story (with a tragic ending) takes place here. There are plenty of other ghost towns to excite paranormal travel, many of which boast massive and preserved palaces, which stand guard as a stark (and spooky) reminder of its rich history. Like many cultures, ghost legends in India vary by region and community, so you never know what (or who!) you may come across next!

misty temple in India
Keep an eye out for ghosts as you visit ancient Indian temples.

9. Romania

Is it any surprise that the country that boasts Transylvania as a region would be considered “spooktacular?” Romania is well-known for its numerous haunted castles and history. Despite being a popular zone, there have been reportedly a lot of strange sightings, whispers being heard, people disappearing during night etc. Puzzling AND unexplainable? If you’re feeling superstitious, St. Andrews Eve is celebrated annually on November 29th and is also known as “Night of the Vampires.” Need we say more?

snowy winter cityscape in Romania
It may look friendly and inviting from here, but careful when you get up close...

So, did this list of haunted destinations make you turn ghostly white or are you just thirsting to travel to these wicked cool places? What are some of your favorite ghost-friendly destinations? Share your thoughts in the comment box below and search GoAbroad.com for all your travel needs!