1. Capuchin Crypt and Catacombs, Rome, Italy
A large portion of ancient Rome is buried under the banks of the ever flooding Tiber River (Tevere) and also under the construction of modern Rome. This is an amazing playground for archaeologists and new exciting discoveries are made yearly (especially with the recent excavations for line C of the new Rome Metro).
Of course when you start digging up history you sometimes get a little more than you bargained. There are some pretty exciting things below the surface of Rome, but some rather disturbing things too…Early Christians would often bury their dead in underground crypts (it was forbidden to bury the dead within the city walls and pagan customs required corpses to be incinerated). Vast systems of secret passages and crypts were built under the city in order to give their followers a Christian burial.
The Capuchin Crypt is situated beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione. The monks here decided to ‘up their game’. They decorated the walls of various crypts with the bones of thousands of Capuchin monks. The meaning behind this macabre decoration is one of our ‘Inevitable Destiny’, a reminder that we will all die and are small in the grand scheme of things.
This is a truly unique experience and one you will never forget, not only for the macabre aspects and the thrilling adventure, but also for the profound way this will allow you to view life henceforth.
Not all of Rome’s macabre secrets lie hidden beneath the city, there was a good deal of dodgy doings that involved, Popes, burned martyrs, famous piazzas, Castel Sant’Angelo and even the Vatican too, that was done above ground. Of course Rome at night time is absolutely dazzling, which is just as well, as the distraction may come in handy to take the edge of this disturbing but fun romp through historical Rome.Legends and supernatural mysteries lie around every corner if you know where to look in the Eternal City.
2. Whitechapel, London’s East End, UK (Jack The Ripper’s ‘playground’)
The name ‘Jack The Ripper’ was actually coined from the alias of somebody who wrote to a Newspaper confessing to be the serial killer, however claims in the letter were later proved to be false. The killer was never caught and the mystery surrounding this infamous legend continued to grow.Today it’s possible to retrace these bloody footsteps at night (why would you do it any other time?) through the haunting courtyards and dark back alleys of London’s East End.
3. Edinburgh Scotland: The dark side
Among other things stories of Edinburgh’s dark side often include witchcraft, the plague, torture, body snatching and (often witnessed) supernatural occurrences! The dark courtyards and narrow alleyways of Old Town Edinburgh will provide you with enough thrills to make sure you hug your partner tight later that night, or go to bed with the lights on.
4. Gettysburg Ghost Tours, Pennsylvania, USA
Gettysburg is one of the most talked about historic locations in the United States. During the Civil war fifty one thousand soldiers lost their lives in a grassy field just outside the town. In a place where the dead have outnumbered the living for about a century and a half, supernatural phenomenon and ghostly tales have been a part of every day life for so long that you’re almost the odd one out if you have yet to have your own ‘special’ experience…
Not surprisingly many ‘Ghost tours’ have capitalised on this fact and attempt to satisfy the natural curiosity many folks have about the paranormal. Unlike the Gettysburg battlefield tours (which tend to concentrate more on the statistics of war) the ghost tours extend beyond the battlefield and can therefore be considered a good way to learn about the culture and history of the area too.
5. New Orleans French Quarter (Louisiana, USA): Vampires, Ghosts & Voodoo
New Orleans is about soul food, jazz & blues festivals, mardi gras, period architecture, and fun exciting nightlife, however there is a dark side to this fascinating city. The area has always been notorious for people going missing, strange tales of ‘those who don’t age’, and discoveries of wine that has blood mixed into it. The French Quarter, with its Gothic characteristics, seems to attract most of the attention.
Many people from New Orleans say that until you have visited the French quarter you probably won’t understand what the fuss is about. It’s dark and mysterious with many places to hide and appear as you please. If you want to remain innocent then move along to the next attraction, otherwise be careful how deep you dig. Once you have witnessed what’s beyond the dark corners there is no going back…
6. Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Tour, Massachusetts, USA
Now I wouldn’t say Boston is a scary place today, quite the opposite I believe, but the city does have lingering reminders of its 400 year old history that usually go unnoticed unless one takes the time to look around. There are no shortage of tales about Boston’s sordid past: grave-robberies, torture and execution; and the Boston Strangler, Jolly Jane and Dr. John Webster will surely keep you ‘entertained’.The best way to see Boston is at night on a ‘cursed’ trolley and then on foot with some ‘wretched’ tour guide creatures who will show you around the local haunts.
7. Vampires in San Francisco, California, USA
The best way to learn about the fascinating history of Gothic San Francisco is with a ‘real life’ vampire. Mina will tell you all about vampire lore with a good dose of humor