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Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Some of My Favorite Spooky Places - Part 1

Often when we travel, we look for non-traditional activities and attractions. Sometimes this leads us to a cemetery or a ghost tour or a haunted building. It's easy to find these things in most destinations you visit, so we are always doing something that other people find odd. We have fun, which is kinda the point of traveling and doing it with another person or other people. 

Often when we travel, we look for non-traditional activities. Sometimes this leads us to a cemetery, a ghost tour or a haunted building. #spookyvibes
An elaborate gravestone in Pere Lachaise

Here are some of my favorite spooky places that might be something to add to your travel list:

Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
Paris may be the City of Lights and be known for romance, but it has a lot in the way of spooky stuff. Now, I love a good cemetery, especially one with as much history as Père Lachaise. The tombs and headstones are so ornate and beautiful, it's almost as if there are hundreds of tiny churches on the grounds. I have been lucky enough to visit twice, seeing different parts each time, and feel so peaceful saying hello to strangers and admiring their graves, hoping that at least a few that I've stopped to spend a little extra time are just waiting for a visitor to come by. (The guy in the title pic seems to be waiting for someone to come chat.)

The Catacombs
I've also been to the Catacombs in Paris, though it's been over a decade now. I was thrilled to be able to snag tickets and wander among those that didn't have much choice of where their bones ultimately ended up. It appears that a lot of care went into stacking them though, and they get visitors each day. People have said it's haunted down there, but aside from it being dusty and kind of dark, I didn't feel like someone else - who wasn't on my tour - was with me. It's pretty beautiful down there. 

The Resting Place of Edgar Allan Poe
This is not the last cemetery on my list, and it's not even that creepy, especially if  you visit during the day, which is the only time it's open. Of course, I say this, and half of my pictures had this weird glaze to them, so maybe some ghosts were with me after all on my stroll around the yard. This small graveyard outside of a church in downtown Baltimore has both the original burial site of Edgar Allan Poe and then the new and more impressive headstone. 

One of the homes of Edgar Allan Poe

Poe lived and wrote in a handful of houses during his career. This one in Philadelphia is a historic building. they have not added modern lighting or heating to it, so you're basically walking around in half darkness, which makes this little house even creepier. You can really feel how this atmosphere could contribute to spooky stories like the Cask of Amontillado and The Black Cat. 

Chislehurst Caves outside of London
Take the Underground to the Orpington station and you're almost there. Chislehurst Caves housed families during the war and then became a concert venue for amazing bands and then was a filming location for Dr. Who. Now you can visit with a guide (so you don't get lost in the tunnels) and walk through all those iterations. Yes, it's very cool, but it's also dark and echo-y and spooky, made even moreso by us being the only people on the tour. We made a friend of our tour guide and still keep in touch. 

These are just a few of the spooky places I have enjoyed. Stay tuned for a part two, because there's no shortage of weird, wacky, and creepy places for you to visit when you travel. Share some of your favorites in the comments.

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