Does your idea of a relaxing evening always include a horror movie or two? Is Halloween pretty much the only holiday you even care about? Does the idea of lying around on a beach bore you to tears? If you answered “Hell, yeah!” then you’re the perfect candidate for a horror-themed vacation. There are plenty of famously ghoulish places you can travel to for a quick weekend getaway or a full-on grand tour of horror. Here are just a few suggestions for your next horrifying vacation.
St. Louis Cemetery No.1, New Orleans, Louisiana
Planning a trip to New Orleans? Take a break from the food, drink, and music at what is probably the most famous cemetery in the United States. St. Louis Cemetery No.1 was founded in the late 1700s and is the oldest existing cemetery in the city (St. Louis 2 and 3 are also quite old, but newer than #1). It’s known for its labyrinth of above-ground vaults and tombs, and is the final resting place of famous (and infamous) residents. You need to be on an official tour to enter, so you can’t just wander in. Advance reservations are suggested.
Jack the Ripper Sites, London, England
London has lots of very creepy places to visit, including the Tower of London, Highgate Cemetery, and the Greenwich Foot Tunnel (a scary old tunnel under the Thames that connects Greenwich with the Isle of Dogs). But no trip to London is complete without a Jack the Ripper tour. There are lots of guided walking tour of the East London sites of Jack the Ripper’s famous murders. Most travel experts recommend the Jack the Ripper tour from the London Walks company. It’s a nighttime tour run by a noted Ripper historian and hits all of the key locations.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after he and his wife spent a lonely night in a near-deserted Stanley Hotel back in 1974…the day before it was closing down for winter. King thought that this sprawling old hotel, dramatically nestled in the Rockies, would make the perfect setting for a ghost story. He even dreamed about his young son being chased through the hallways, terrified. The Stanley is a must-visit for horror fans planning a trip to the Denver/Boulder area. Even if you don’t stay at this grand old Colorado landmark, you can still book tours—including spooky night tours—and learn about The Stanley’s haunted history.
The Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo, Italy
Located on the Italian island of Sicily, this fascinating historic site is world-famous for its hundreds of well-preserved mummies. Originally a practice reserved for the Capuchin monks, having your body embalmed, dressed, and put on display here became something of a status symbol for the locals as well. The catacombs are open to the public, although photography (and touching!) is prohibited. Because this is a religious place, visitors are asked to behave in a courteous manner. Not much to ask in exchange for the privilege of touring this unique and macabre place.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Locations, Round Rock, Texas
If you’re a fan of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie, then you need to make a pilgrimage to Round Rock, Texas (near Austin) to celebrate all things Leatherface. You can tour the original Leatherface house, the gas station, the cemetery, and Quick Hill from the 1974 film. You can also visit several locations from the sequels. Texas Chainsaw Tours will pick you up from your hotel, take you on a personalized and private one or two day tour (depending on what you want to see), and then drop you back off at your hotel. The tours are run by Tim Harden, noted Chainsaw expert.