In the true spirit of the season, the die-hard Halloween fans will be looking for the best haunted houses, house parties, and parades they can find. Or maybe extreme horror connoisseurs take a trip around the world in celebration of the macabre. That does seem exciting, but sometimes you have to learn when to say no to creepy shit. Some places are so scary that even the most seasoned might pee in their pants. Stories of the dead, the dying, and demonic inhabitants should be enough to keep anyone away. Thankfully, most of these places are off-limits to the public, but woe to those who dare to cross these paranormal thresholds.
DANVERS STATE HOSPITAL
Why You Shouldn't Visit: the building has been converted into residential homes
Danvers State Hospital was built in 1887 in Danvers, Massachusetts. This medical facility strived to treat mentally ill patients with care and compassion. Unfortunately, this vision did not come to fruition. By 1939, Danvers State Hospital was overpopulated and undermanned. Legend has it that patients would die out of sight from physicians in hidden rooms where their bodies would rot for days, sometimes weeks. Solitary confinement and lobotomies were routinely used to maintain control over the population. Patients were filthy and would often roam the hall in a zombie-like state due to lack of care. The hospital was officially abandoned in 1985 and demolished in 2006. The goal was to turn the grounds into residential apartments. However, in 2007, eight of the new buildings burned down in a large fire. Nothing sounds better than partying on the grounds of where thousands have died.
HOUSKA CASTLE IN PRAGUE
Why You Shouldn't Visit: The dead don’t want you there
The castle was built in the 1300s by ruler Ottokar II. He told the public the castle was for his various land holdings and other royal business. As it turns out, Houska Castle may be a portal to hell, and was built to keep demons from roaming the Earth. Witness accounts say the ghost of a mad monk roams the halls of the castle with an axe trying to kill visitors. The souls of the dead have been seen chained together, each holding a dismembered body part, while continually tortured by the hounds of the underworld. The most mysterious attribute of Houska Castle is the interior. There are stairs that lead to nowhere, doors opening to brick walls, and a chapel built over what many claim is a bottomless pit. Sounds like the perfect place to party with the demons of Hell on Halloween night.
Why You Shouldn't Visit: The island was home to the Black Death
Through history, Poveglia Island has been a mainstay for the dead and the dying. During the 1300s, the bubonic plague (or "Black Death") wreaked havoc on the European population, especially Italy. Poveglia Island is a tiny island on the outskirts of Venice that acted as a quarantine space for those infected with the plague. The sick and dying were burned in the island square to get rid of the bodies and disease. The plague struck once again during the 1600s, and it was back to the burning pit for the sick. In 1830, an insane asylum was built, and when that closed, developers built a geriatric center. By 1975, the island was completely abandoned. This is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. The buildings are old and decrepit, and some say you can smell the stench of death in the air. Locals steer clear of the island, and tourists are prohibited from visiting. I'm a pretty hardy individual, but this place genuinely creeps me out.
Why You Shouldn’t Visit: It’s radioactive
Well, I think you can visit if you want, but why would anyone want to? The Ukrainian city of Pripyat became radioactive on April 26, 1986. Technicians at the local power plant were conducting a common systems test when a power surge blew the lid off reactor number four, creating a large explosion. This exposed the 50,000 city inhabitants to levels of radiation higher than that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. That's not all: 31 people were killed immediately, while 50 or more have died from acute radiation poisoning. The explosion was so massive that everything within a 1,000-mile radius is cleared out. What once was a bustling city with schools, hospitals, and an amusement park now looks like a ghost town right out of the post-apocalypse. Nature has taken over the streets, and apartment blocks are continuing to rot. Pripyat and the surrounding areas will not be able to sustain human life for the next 20,000 years. Sorry, but Halloween definitely can’t be celebrated in Pripyat.
Demonic monks, radioactive cities, and dark caves that time has forgotten—these places would give most people the creeps. However, if you have the guts to explore some of these places, please don’t go alone. Take a camera as well: you might have a ghostly encounter, and you may want to document that for future Halloween stories...