Do you love travelling to historic sites all over the world but want to experience the places full of dark tourism, dark history and spooky travels?Want to explore the real places where macabre ghost stories, folklore and real-life horrible histories come to life?
Travel to the place where plagues ran rampant, where witches were burned at the stake or to the most haunted graveyard in the world.
Fuel your paranormal and supernatural curiosities whole learning about the scary history that have left places with an atmosphere lingering with horror.
Check out all of the places that call out to you and add them to your next spooky travel and dark history itinerary!
What is Dark Tourism?
The term “Dark Tourism” was created in Scotland in the 1990s by Glasgow Caledonian professor John Lennon. Dark Tourism is the concept of travelling to places historically associated with death and tragedy.
Dark tourists, such as myself, are drawn to such places for historical and educational value – rather than from a place for the exploitation of death and suffering.
If you are looking for more spooky travels - be sure to check out the Spooky Travel Destination Guides!
If you are looking for unusual things to do in Edinburgh, you have come to the right place. This is a list of actual off the beaten path things to do in Edinburgh. You won’t find any super touristy locations that pretend to be unusual on this list (okay, there is one, but it has a good reason to be
I’m an avid fan of old cemeteries, and Scotland has them in abundance. Edinburgh, Scotland’s compact and hilly capital, is home to magnificent historical cemeteries you shouldn’t miss during your visit. Such as the world’s most haunted graveyard, which inspired the creation of several Harry Potter characters and is known for its connection with one extraordinarily loyal dog. One of
Looking for the best ghost tours in Edinburgh? The Scottish city of Edinburgh is known for its disturbing dark past. With nearly 900 years of history, Edinburgh survived plagues, witchcraft, grave robbers, cannibals, and so much more. The 12 Best Ghost Tours in Edinburgh Scotland Mercat Tours All of the tours with Mercat are absolutely fantastic, but the best ghost
Edinburgh is known for being a city full of spooky things to do. With so many attractions filled with dark and haunted history, there is no shortage of pubs that have a similar macabre back story. Want to spend a night drinking with the ghosts? Here are the best haunted pubs in Edinburgh. The White Hart Inn The White Hart
Scotland is known for being spooky, haunted and full of a dark history. Glasgow is no exception, although not as haunted as Edinburgh, there are plenty of haunted places in Glasgow. From the ghosts that linger in old theatres to spooky tales of child-eating vampires with razor-sharp teeth. Glasgow is full of terrifying legends, mysteries and places perfect for the
Follow the trail of Edinburgh’s most notorious serial killing duo and explore the real sites of their murders on a Burke and Hare Edinburgh tour. The infamous duo used to prowl the city’s streets in search of their next victim they could transform into a corpse to sell to anatomy students for their next dissection in exchange for a bit
Have you ever sauntered around Edinburgh and wondered how old some of the buildings and structures were? What about the seemingly unimportant walls that line Greyfriars Kirkyard? If you’ve explored the ancient gravestones in Greyfriars Kirkyard, you may have happened upon a towering 24ft-tall wall. Known as the Flodden Wall, this structure was a medieval defence that surrounded Old Town
Although best known for its golf courses and university, St. Andrews has a much darker side with a macabre history. St. Andrews Cathedral in Fife was once the site of the largest medieval church in Scotland. Since left to ruin, today the temple is blanketed with a dark history and spooky stories abound about the ghosts of St Andrews. The
Dark history is everywhere at Holyrood Park. If you’ve ever walked around Edinburgh, you’ll know that no matter where you go, you’re going to be walking through history. The Dark History at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh will be all around you. With buildings that have survived the dreadful plague, horrendous wars and terrifying serial killers almost everywhere you look, you
Scotland is a land of dark history, with some spooky and dark stories from times past. It’s a place where mystical landscapes and abandoned castles have been left to ruin. The country is perfect for a dark history fan and lover of dark tourism in Scotland. If you want a glimpse into the country’s sinister past, want to find haunted
If you want to embrace dark history and immerse yourself in a spooky atmosphere, the Tolbooth Tavern in Edinburgh is a must-visit. Here you can grab some unique Scottish pub grub like a Warlock Pie or a Tolbooth Haggis Tower and wash it all down with your favourite pint. Built in 1591, the Tolbooth Tavern in Edinburgh was formerly part
Spend a day reliving medical and surgical history at the Surgeons Hall Museum in Edinburgh. The medical museum is one of the most unusual things to do in Edinburgh. It is filled to the brim with a collection of curiosities, rarities and oddities that will both educate and shock you. The Surgeons’ Hall Museum, owned by the Royal College of
Have you ever wanted to visit a haunted castle and possibly meet the castle ghosts of Scotland? Or better yet, have you ever wanted to stay in a haunted castle overnight in Scotland? With a richly historic landscape full of imposing medieval castles that witnessed perilous wars, The Great Scottish Witch Hunt and a deadly Black Plague, Scotland has an
As the panic of witchcraft swept over Northern Europe, witches in Scotland were not something to be feared. Scotland had its fair share of healers and herbalists, however, these people (who were also known as witches in Scotland) weren’t seen as evil beings working with the devil. Many of them were sought out to help people alleviate their ailments or
Scotland is one of the most haunted countries on the planet, home to eerie underground vaults, an unnerving possessed cemetery, spine-chilling cursed castles and bloody tormented battlefields that changed Scotland’s history forever. Why not also spend the night at one of the haunted hotels in Scotland. There are so many haunted places in Scotland. It’s almost as if no part
Looking for haunted and spooky things to do in Edinburgh Scotland? The capital of Scotland and Europe’s most haunted city, Edinburgh bears a grim and horrible past just waiting to be discovered. Edinburgh showcases its haunted, scary and spookiest places through gruesome supernatural stories and outright terrifying attractions. With a history burdened by brutal witch trials, the ghastly plague epidemic
Mary King’s Close was a street in Edinburgh sealed off from the world, leaving all the people suffering from the bubonic plague trapped beneath. These people were quarantined and left to die as the residents in the city above went about with their everyday lives. Did they even know there were victims of the plague dying beneath their feet? This
Edinburgh is a city oozing with creepy historic events, many of which have paranormal backstories. Once upon a time, Scotland’s capital decided to throw an amazing festival called “Mary King’s Ghost Fest” which featured several spectral events, including trips to the Edinburgh underground vaults, the incredible Mary King’s Close (my personal favourite), ghost storytelling and even overnight vigils in the
As darkness falls, and as the sparkling lights of the city appear in the distance. I am in the Glasgow Necropolis – exploring the city of the dead. I’m encapsulated by a stunning silhouette of Victorian tombs, monuments, and mausoleums in the Glasgow Necropolis. A crisp winter breeze keeps me company as I quietly make my way through the “City
Salem Massachusetts is well known for the infamous 17th century Salem Witch Trials, but the city is more than just witches. Salem is overflowing with a dark, creepy and macabre history. If you are looking for the best ghost tours in Salem MA, the Witch City has so many fantastic ghost tours to choose from. Spend your evening wandering around Salem’s
New Orleans radiates a supernatural atmosphere and has some of the best haunted locations in the United States. Whether you are into ghosts or just want to learn some of New Orlean’s dark history there are a ton of ghost tours that will fill your evening with spine-chilling tales. If you are looking for a ghost tour that is filled
With a fascinating history that stretches back hundreds of years and involves one of the most horrific witch trials the United States has ever witnessed, Salem is also home to some of the most haunted places in Massachusetts. Although it’s most famous for the Salem Witch Trials, the witch city has plenty more haunted places that attract ghost hunters and
The Charter Street Historic District has a sinister history tied to the dark romantic writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the district, on the corner of the Old Burying Point Cemetery, sits a large empty yellow house weathered by age, neglect and harsh New England winters. The Grimshawe House has a story to tell and I wanted to know more. While walking
Boston is home to boundless intriguing history, from being the birthplace of the macabre mystery writer Edgar Allan Poe to being a city where so many political events took place that shaped the way America runs today. Because of its fascinating past, there are many interesting archival places to visit, including colonial cemeteries, such as the Central Burying Ground and
Salem in Massachusetts is famous for the dark history which fell upon the city over 300 years ago when Puritans ruled the land with their strict authoritative rules. The dark tourism that surrounds The Salem Witch Trials has been an intriguing topic of conversation for more than three centuries, due to the intense wave of hysteria they caused throughout the
Have you ever read a book and wanted to transport yourself directly into its world? I did just that when I visited the colonial House of the Seven Gables in Salem Massachusetts. Having just arrived in Salem, I made my way to my hotel with two backpacks on my back. I wonder what I looked like wearing two backpacks simultaneously?
The witch city of Salem, Massachusetts holds a piece of history plucked straight out of the 17th century. Visiting The Witch House in Salem Massachusetts is like stepping back into history. Standing on the corner of North Street and Essex Street, the striking black Witch House is the only remaining structure from the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Luckily,
The Old Burying Point Cemetery also referred to as the Charter Street Cemetery, is located right next to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Teeming with a history that overflows between the weathered tombstones that are collapsing due to the ravages of time. The Old Burying Point is Salem’s oldest graveyard and one of the three cemeteries with ties to the
LaLaurie Mansion LaLaurie Mansion always makes it onto my list of the best haunted places in New Orleans. It’s got such a horrific and terrifying history of Madame Delphine LaLaurie torturing and performing medical experiments on her slaves. The building is said to still be actively haunted by the tortured souls who met their final demise at the house. Although
New Orleans is a place where legends, folklore and scary stories flourish. Here the locals fully embrace the spooky scene, taking their superstitions and dark folklore seriously. In fact, there’s so much weight given to the dark side of the city that it’s common for landlords to mark their properties available for rent as being “Haunted” or “Not Haunted”, so
Nicolas Cage and I have a few things in common. We both love haunted houses, New Orleans and how The Big Easy is a place unlike any other. Nicolas Cage loves haunted houses so much that he briefly owned the LaLaurie Mansion! More on this below. To quote him in an interview with The Advocate, “New Orleans is not like
York is one of the best cities to visit if you love ghosts and dark history. The medieval city has over 2000 years of history, and going on one of the best ghost tours in York, England, will make your trip extra spooky. As one of the most haunted cities in the UK, York’s ancient streets have some of the
The medieval English city of York has a dark history. From suffering through the Black Death to being bombed in WWII, to the heads of enemies being displayed on spikes at the entrance to the city. York has everything for fans of history, especially those looking for dark history sites and haunted places in York, England. When I visited York,
England is drenched in a dark and macabre past. With a history dating back to gruesome events such as the Black Death, cruel Witch Trials to grisly serial killer murders – there is no shortage of places to visit with a dark history in England. Eyam – England’s Plague Village In the English county of Derbyshire sits a village that
The 17th-century witch trials in England that swept across the country resulted in a wealth of historical witchcraft sites which you can still visit today. What sparked the horrific witch trials and ongoing torture in England? The answer is King James I. He was the initial perpetrator of Scotland’s witch hunts. Following his involvement, witch trials were held throughout the
Fantoft Stave Church was originally built in 1150 in the village of Fortun in western Norway. It was celebrating its 842nd year when it met its doom and was devastated into little more than a pile of ash. This was after the church had already survived the threat of demolition and was ultimately saved by being moved piece-by-piece to Fana,
In the late 19th century, Bergen in Norway had the highest concentration of lepers in all of Europe. To deal with the problem, the city constructed three separate houses for the diseased, where they could be cared for by doctors and researchers studying the epidemic in an effort to discover its cause. Now known as Hansen’s Disease, today leprosy is
Saskatchewan, one of the prairie provinces in Canada, is full of tiny towns and long-forgotten history. Saskatchewan ghost towns are scattered throughout the province just waiting to be discovered, crumbling with the life that used to thrive there. They’re filled with memories of times past, when people carved their lives out of nothing until the harsh Canadian winters grew to
Deep in the rural valleys of Southern Alberta sits a little blue farm building full of unusual, strange objects. The Museum of Fear and Wonder is a unique rural museum full of haunted objects, out of commission ventriloquist dummies and a hallway full of historical ouija boards. The items contained within the museum have been purposely chosen to make you
A ghost town filled with secrets, creepy mannequins, cats and buildings straight out of the wild west…the tiny hamlet of Rowley, Alberta has it all! More than your average ghost town, Rowley has its fair share of abandoned buildings and deserted railway cars. But the townsfolk, a meager population of eight, have transformed the place into a fascinating heritage site
When I think of dark tourism, Canada is the last place that comes to mind. But when I really take a look around, I find there are way more sites historically associated with a tragedy here than I originally thought there were. I always think of Europe as a haven for dark tourists. Especially since this part of the world
Darkness comes to Fort Edmonton Park and I am ready to find out if I can finally be scared! Usually, I’m one of those people who are impossible to scare. But one of these days, I think I’ll be surprised and really have a fright-filled (but safe!) night in a spooky haunted house. Fort Edmonton Park is normally a living
Every city, town and village on Earth seems to have its own ghost stories, with the spookiest tales usually set in locations with a tonne of history and culture. Anytime I think of ghosts, I always associate them with places that are creepy, abandoned and very old. That’s why I never really considered Edmonton, Alberta to be a particularly scary
Alberta is a Canadian western prairie province that offers a range of stunning scenery, landscapes, and sights for the tourist to explore. From spending a day taking in the majestic Rocky Mountains to exploring the Badlands, seeing the Northern Lights and exploring one of Alberta’s many picturesque towns – there’s so much to do! Filled with the history of the
Romania is full of haunted spots and spooky historical places notorious for its creepy vibes and eerie atmospheres. For these reasons, Romania is a haven for lovers of everything supernatural, legendary and folkloristic. Romania has some of the most haunted places in the world. Known for being home to Transylvania, a mysterious place that inspired the creation of monsters such
“This seems close enough,” I said to Chris, as we got off the bus onto a rural road in Romania. We were searching for Dracula at Bran Castle in Transylvania. I could see the top of what I assumed was Bran Castle, so I thought we must have been close by at that point, right? Always panicking when I travel
There are many haunted places in Prague known to house more than a few ghosts. But that doesn’t mean those places have the best ghost stories! So I’ve pulled together all my favourite ghost stories and legends from Prague. To get the best ghost story experience, I highly recommend joining a Prague ghost tour. There is an overwhelming number of
Prague is full of ghosts and legends. There are said to be over 100 ghosts and otherworldly creatures that call Prague home. These spirits are intertwined in the city’s history and culture and part of what makes Prague so enchanting. Although there are spirits all over Prague, some areas seem to be more appealing to them than others. So if
Virtual Dark Travels
Dark history sites you can visit virtually? Yes, please! With more people staying home, tourist sites around the world have been creating virtual tours that you can visit while sitting on your couch. Museums, catacombs and dark tourism sites from around the world are producing online exhibits and tours filled with educational information for everyone who cannot travel right now.