Halloween is almost upon us, prompting folks to search out all things spooky to celebrate the holiday properly. This includes visiting escape rooms and notoriously haunted houses. These haunted landmarks include an island filled with haunted dolls, to the house that inspired The Overlook Hotel from Stephen King’s The Shining.
The Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco – Mexico City
La Isla de las Muñecas is known for its collection of supposedly haunted dolls. The story claims that a former caretaker of the island found a doll which was haunted by a little girl after he couldn’t save her from drowning. The man hung the doll on a tree as a sign of respect, and continued adding to the collection to “please her spirit.” 50 years later, the man was allegedly found dead in the exact same spot he found the young girl’s body in. Locals insist that the dolls come alive and move every night, and even if they don’t, the thousands of eyes watching you should be scary enough.
If you’d like to visit the island you can, but it is about a 2-4 hour journey from any nearby land. Find out how to pay a visit to the Isla de las Muñecas website.
Stanley Hotel in Estes Park – Colorado, USA
The infamous Stanley Hotel is what inspired Steven King’s The Shining. That should say a lot about the terrifying location, which reportedly has high paranormal activity.
“Stanley Hotel features a variety of rooms with high paranormal activity including the famous Stephen King Suite 217, the Ghost Hunters’ favorite room 401, as well as 407, and 428. These are among our most-requested rooms, availability is limited,” states the website, so go ahead and pay a visit if you dare.
Poveglia Island – Italy
Poveglia island was initially used as a quarantine station for victims of the plague and other diseases for more than 100 years, where many deaths occurred during the time. It was later turned into a mental hospital, which closed in 1968. It’s been abandoned ever since and has a reputation of being haunted by those who died on the island.
You can visit the island, but it requires a long application process.
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Originally a property of a Chinese aristocrat and businessman named Hua Bon Hoa, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is said to be haunted by the soul of his only daughter. After having lots of sons and one girl, Hoa tried to send them all to schools abroad but the daughter refused. After the sons left, people stopped seeing the girl around the house, and unnatural events started happening frequently. There have been lots of speculations, with many believing that the father was so shocked and upset about his daughter’s death that he put her body in a room and treated her just like she was still alive by bringing food, treats, and water. A movie surrounding the story was also created, which generated even more curiosity.
The new museum is open to the public and welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually.
Chibichiri Cave – Okinawa, Japan
During World War II, Okinawa experienced an 82-day long battle where more than 100,000 people lost their lives. Americans invaded the island and civilians hid in caves like Chibichiri after being exposed to years of propaganda that taught them that the American soldiers would rape, torture and murder them. When the soldiers arrived at the cave, they threw in pamphlets in Japanese claiming they’d treat the civilians well, but no one believed them.
The story says an 18-year-old girl told her mom to kill her so that the soldiers wouldn’t rape her, and the mother did. The killing set of a wave of parents killing their children and themselves, resulting in 83 deaths in the cave. The bones of children can still be found in Chibichiri, and Okinawa is considered to be one of the most haunted islands in the world. You can visit the cave, but only one entrance is currently open to the public.