Top 10 Creepiest PlacesYou can join Unsolved Mysteries and post your own mysteries or
by Melinda Allman for the Travel Channel
Ghosts and hauntings. Mysterious disappearances and murderous daughters. Whether it's Halloween or not, most of us enjoy a good, clean scare. What happens, though, if the hauntings are real? When the places appear to remain home to their long-departed guests? Then the fun takes on a whole new meaning; the screams and chills become more than some people can stand. For those who are not faint of heart, though, we've compiled a list--from creepy to creepiest--of some of the most frightening places in the world. Are they real? Are they a sham? You decide!
10. Bermuda Triangle Location: Atlantic Ocean What's cool: Area also called the Devil's Triangle, the Twilight Zone, Hoodoo Sea, and the Limbo of the Lost
A writer named Vincent Gaddis first used the term "Bermuda Triangle" to describe the area from South Florida to Bermuda to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and back to South Florida in a 1964 magazine article. It was a phrase that named the place that had, for years, been a watery grave for countless travelers. Some say aliens captured the unfortunate souls; others maintain that some aberrant energy field creates a time warp that envelops anything. Scientific evaluations have concluded that the number of disappearances in the region is not abnormal and that most of the disappearances have logical explanations. Regardless, it's a place many people avoid, including some pilots and ships' captains.
9. Roswell Location: Roswell*, New Mexico What's Cool: An extensive lecture series and tours to crash sites
In 1947, resident William "Mac" Brazel found pieces of debris from what he claimed (and others came to believe) was a crashed UFO. Since then, Roswell, a tiny desert town guarded by the southern Rocky Mountains, has become synonymous with UFOs and mystery. The dozens of alien-themed shops and the area's International UFO Museum, located in downtown Roswell, only perpetuate the mystery. At the museum (which calls itself the worldwide center of UFO information), visitors can see exhibits ranging from pieces and pictures of alleged UFOs to evidence that claims the town's sheriff and government concocted an elaborate scheme to cover-up the incident.
See also: Columnist Tamim Ansary on "The Truth About UFOs"
8. Winchester Mystery House Location: San Jose, California What's Cool: A window built into the floor and doors that open into blank walls
When rifle heiress Sarah Winchester began construction on her Victorian-style mansion in 1884, she pledged that building would never end during her lifetime, thinking the continuous pounding of hammers would appease the ghosts that plagued her after the deaths of her husband and daughter. Only Winchester herself knows whether or not the plan worked, but the Winchester House stills stands today, now a museum to the oddities and mysteries that were part of this woman's life. Among the most strange, doors open into blank walls; one chimney rises four floors; and a set of stairs leads to the ceiling.
7. Gettysburg Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania What's Cool: A day trip to Washington D.C.
One of the deadliest battles of the Civil War took place in 1863 in the tiny Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. Union soldiers, low on ammunition, were losing the fight, nearly capitulating to the advancing Confederate army. Then, as they used up the last of their gunpowder, a ghostly George Washington on a white stallion appeared before them, commanding them to continue and win a battle that ultimately turned the tide of the war. That's the way the legend tells it, anyway, and to this day, the people who live in and around Gettysburg maintain that George Washington's ghost rides regally across that same battlefield every summer.
6. Salem Location: Salem*, Massachusetts What's Cool: The annual Halloween Haunted Neighborhood
During the winter of 1691 and 1692, in the tiny New England village of Salem, two young girls (9-year-old Betty Parris and 11-year-old Abigail Williams) accused three local women of coming to them in "spectral" (ghost) form and of causing the girls to have fits, cry out in pain, and go mute, among other afflictions. The village elders who heard the girls' story came to believe that the accused women were witches. This set off a hysterical wave of accusations of witchcraft, and led to the now infamous Salem witch trials. Ultimately, 14 women and 5 men were hanged, another suspect was pressed to death under heavy stones when he refused to take part in his trial, 4 people died in jail awaiting their trials, and nearly 200 other people were arrested. Rumor has it that the ghosts of the people who lost their lives still haunt the town, and the Salem Wax Museum and Witch Museum allow visitors to experience the terror that reigned during the trials and come face-to-face with the accused (in wax or, perhaps, ghostly form).
See also: "Petition of an Accused Witch,"* a letter sent by Mary Easty shortly before her execution in the Salem witch trials; and "On the Use of Spectral Evidence Against Witches,"* a defense of the trials by Cotton Mather, a noted Puritan clergyman of the time
5. New Orleans Location: New Orleans, Louisiana What's Cool: Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras
Long a city of mystery and vodou (voodoo), New Orleans is also home to some of the creepiest places in the United States. Among the most interesting is St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, the oldest of New Orleans' ornate above-ground cemeteries, which contains the crypt of vodou queen, Marie Laveau. A tall, attractive woman born in Haiti, Laveau became famous during the 1820s when she started working as a fortune-teller for the well-to-do women of New Orleans. Her talents with vodou came to light soon after, and rumor had it she could make people's enemies die (using vodou alone) for a large fee. Her death in 1881 was shrouded in mystery, and today, lucky (or unlucky) visitors to her crypt sometimes report seeing dancing nude ghosts led by a tall woman with a snake coiled around her body.
4. Tower of London Location: London, England What's Cool: The sites of London
Diaphanous apparitions, rattling chains, howling winter winds... The Tower of London* has it all (or so the legends say). In the 900 years since it was first constructed, the Tower has served as, among other things, a tourist attraction, a prison, and a place of execution for some of England's most notorious characters--Henry VIII's infamous wife, Anne Boleyn, lost her head there, and rumor has it that a chained Sir Walter Raleigh still prowls the Tower grounds. The inner fortifications include Bloody Tower, so called from the tradition that the English child-king Edward V* and his brother Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, were murdered there in 1483; and Devereux Tower, where, in 1478, George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, supposedly was drowned in a barrel of wine. Whether haunted or not (that's for visitors to decide), the Tower displays many eerie mementos of times past--including the guillotine that took the lives of Boleyn, Raleigh and others.
3. Paris Catacombs Location: Paris, France What's Cool: Sign above the underground hallways reads "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."
Hidden beneath the streets of Paris are the city's famed catacombs*, long an escape route for revolutionaries, smugglers, and the French Resistance movement battling the Nazis. In this dark, dank underground world rest the remains (primarily the bones) of long-departed Parisians who died when there was no room for them in the city's cemeteries. Many of the bones are arranged neatly, like carefully laid bricks, and visitors (on their walking tour of about 500 yards) shouldn't be alarmed if they encounter hundreds of human skulls - some with teeth missing, some bashed in, some with grinning jaw bones.
See also: 360-degree view of the Paris catacombs
2. Haunted Hollywood Location: Hollywood*, California What's Cool: A day trip to San Diego's haunted Hotel Del Coronado
Since the first Tinsel Town star walked the first red carpet, celebrities (dead and alive) have been fascinating creatures. Today, visitors in search of a supernatural celebrity sighting can venture into Hollywood at night and discover the places where the deceased rich and famous like to spend their time. Among the most notorious--the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's room 928 (supposedly haunted by actor Montgomery Clift*), the Laugh Factory (and its nightly visits by late comedian Groucho Marx), and the old Hollywood Reporter building (rumored to house reporter William Wilkerson, who died in 1962). If a walking tour isn't your thing, catch a ride on Tour Land's Haunted Hearse, a guided tour that takes visitors to places around town supposedly haunted by celebrities.
1. Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Location: Fall River*, Massachusetts What's Cool: Spend the night at the scene of the crime
In 1892, Andrew Borden and his wife, Abby, were brutally murdered by someone wielding an ax. Although ultimately acquitted of the crime, Borden's youngest daughter, Lizzie*, never regained her precrime innocence, and many folks in Fall River (and around the country) remained convinced that she got away with murder. Today, the house in which the Bordens lived and died is a city landmark, a museum and a bed and breakfast. Anyone interested can visit the murder scene, peruse the collection of Fall River and Borden memorabilia or shop for any number of souvenirs, including coffee mugs, sweat shirts, and even a brick from the Borden chimney (complete with a certificate of authenticity). For those who want an extra creepy experience, the B & B owners treat their overnight guests to a replica of the Bordens' last meal: a breakfast of bananas, johnnycakes, sugar cookies, and coffee.
See also: Creepy Lizzie Borden "children's" rhyme*
Taken from: http://encarta.msn.com/list_CreepiestPlaces/Top_10_Creepiest_Places.html?GT1=6305
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