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Saturday, October 21, 2023

Some of My Favorite Spooky Places - Part 2

In my last post, I took you through some of my favorite spooky places, but there are so many, I decided to break it up into two posts, giving you more inspo for your fall travels, or to build your own creepy stops into your existing trips.

I want to take you through some of my favorite spooky places, giving your inspo for your future fall travels. #halloweentravel

Some places are creepy or spooky to some and completely normal to others. I visit a lot of cemeteries and undergrounds, but there are places that have so much history that they feel creepy to others. I find I have a mix of such things.

Colonial Williamsburg

While not spooky upon first glance, Colonial Williamsburg is steeped in history, much of it not great. Everything is frozen in time here and the ghost tours are really interesting. I grew up going there most summers, so I have a soft spot for strolling the streets and interacting with the period actors, learning about the history of the area...and watching Shakespeare for some reason.

Abandoned buildings have a dilapidated beauty to them. They are fascinating and present so many questions, even places that are not entirely abandoned, because they've become a part of the parks services. There's an audio tour and small art exhibits at this old prison that tells so many stories it's hard not to get spooked and feel so many different things for the people who were placed here, no matter their crimes. Eastern State gives you a good inside look at the prison system in the U.S., even if it hasn't been used for 50+ years.

Lone Fir Cemetery
Again, I love a cemetery. This beautiful one in the middle of Portland, Oregon has such a variety of headstones and tombs of notable people who lived and died in the city. You can spend several hours visiting with the dead here and Portland's usual drizzly day just adds to the atmosphere. You can even take ghost tours around Halloween, or regular tours throughout the rest of the year. 

The Mütter Museum
This museum had been on my list for a long time and when we traveled to Philadelphia, I knew I would go there. You can't take photos inside, so I can't show you any of the things inside, but trust me when I say that if you're fascinated by medical oddities, then you will love exploring this place. From bones, to drawers full of things people have swallowed, to tumors. They, somehow, have it all. Is it gross? Some of it. Is it awesome? 100%.
The Pharmacy Museum
On the same note, if medicines are more your thing, visit the first apothecary shop (pharmacy) in the U.S. It holds a wide variety of cures and artifacts from old medical practices and voodoo rituals, including ghastly instruments used in the past for dentistry, many by the former owner, a dentist known to conduct grisly experiments on patients. Though the daily "tours" are interesting, they can get quite crowded and you won't be able to look around while they occur. Try to go at a different time, so you have the room to see everything. It's also said that the museum is haunted, but I didn't see or feel anything on either of my visits. Of course, I was really into the exhibits, so it's possible I wasn't aware of anything trying to get my attention.

Mary King's Close
Old Town Edinburgh, Ireland is full of little alleyways that lead to other buildings, shops, and restaurants. These are called closes. Mary King's Close was once the second widest street in Edinburgh, only matched by the Royal Mile. This seems like a feat when you visit, because it's probably only 6 feet wide. This small alley used to be the main street for housing and was 11 stories high on both sides. During the day you'd find stalls on either side selling wares and also stairs going to people's front doors. 

Mary King's Close has remained unchanged for the last 400 years, except for the electricity and safety measures added, and can be found underneath the streets of Old Town. As such, you are not allowed to take pictures, but that just makes it that much more authentic. Learn about the poor people of Edinburgh and how they lived, including those who contracted the plague. Your one-hour tour teaches you about Plague Doctors (and how they avoided contracting the plague by sheer luck/superstition), what life was like in the Close, the ghosts that might still reside there, and the man who had the first indoor toilet.

I have a lot more spooky things on my list for when I travel in the future, so I'll definitely bring them to you when I get to them.

Share your favorite creepy places in the comments.

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