Saturday, 27 October 2018

Spooky Bucket List

In the run-up to Halloween, it's natural to be thinking about the spooky and haunted places one would love to visit. Well, it is if you're a bit of a weirdo like me! Over the years, I've gathered a rather long list of historical, haunted, and creepy places to visit, as it seems there's no end to the world's macabre locations. From the sites of witch trials, morbid museums, and burial sites in their many forms, to the voodoo capital, sites of multiple hauntings, and locations where the inexplicable happens - there are plenty of places to visit for your fix of the grim and ghoulish. This list is absolutely not extensive, but a collection of some of my priorities and places I'm most interested in! 

Pendle // Pendle is the site of the most famous and well-recorded witch trials in British history. Pendle Hill is part of the beautiful, scenic Lancashire countryside, surrounded by small villages where the accused witches lived. Many paranormal investigations have happened upon the grassy heights of Pendle Hill, and it has become a sight of pilgramage at Halloween, where people flock in an attempt to experience the presence of the witches. I'd love to visit for the history and paranormal happenings, but the quaint villages filled with independent shops and the enchanting landscape do sweeten the deal!

Sedlec Ossuary // Sedlec Ossuary is a breathtaking Roman Catholic chapel in the Czech Republic. What makes it so special is that it contains the bones of 40,000-70,000 people, arranged into intricate chandeliers, pillars, and even a coat of arms. It's astounding to look at, and I've been keen to visit for several years. I'm eager to learn more about the history of the site as a cemetary and monastery, and how the decision was made to display the mortal remains, including that of plague victims, typically seen as dangerous in those times, in such an artistic fashion. 

Salem // Need I explain more on this? We all know the history and legend that surrounds Salem and its famous witch trials. I've been fascinated by Salem and witch trials since studying The Crucible in school. My mum is utterly convinced I'll get married in Salem on Halloween, so I suppose I should at least visit the famed town first!

The Warren's Occult Museum // If you've seen The Conjuring, or any of the films in that universe, then you'll know who The Warrens are, and what the Annabelle doll is. Did you also know that they are real? The Warrens are real-life experts in the spiritual realms, and for over 50 years have travelled and rectified incidents of posession, poltergeists, and dark forces. Ed Warren's expertise as a demonologist, and Lorraine Warren's skills as a medium combined have made them world-renowned at their work. Through this work, they have collected vast amounts of artifacts - posessed, used for dark rituals, and with histories more grim than most could imagine - including the legendery Annabelle doll. I'm incredibly keen to visit as it sounds like a completely fascinating place, but in the meantime I'll have to settle for the videos and content on their website.

Museum of Death // This museum is not for the faint-hearted. It's exactly what it says on the tin, a museum of all things death-related. It has everything from mortician's tools to beautiful antique funeral ephemera, but also contains chilling artifacts, such as artwork by serial killers, Manson family memorabilia, and crime scene photographs. It shows death in its every form, from the peaceful and loving, to the grisly and distressing, providing a poignant look at everything related to our only inevitability. 

Newsham Park Hospital // This one is a more local choice, and one I'm dying for the chance to visit! Newsham Park Hospital has been a hospital, asylum, and orphanage, and now lies derelict, so has all the makings of a haunted building. There have been a multitude of ghost sightings and experiences, and so Newsham Park Hospital is now host to paranormal investigations. It's something I'll definitely be doing as soon as possible! 

Edinburgh Dungeons and Vaults // I've been lucky enough to visit Edinburgh and do a ghost walk around some of the many above-ground haunted locations, but as I was only little at the time, my mum thought going into the actual dungeons and tunnels may prove a bit too much for me! I was obssessed with the TV show Mystery Hunters as a child (imagine a child-friendly Most Haunted), and since I saw their episode on the Edinburgh Dungeons, I've been desperate to explore the dark and tortured corridors that run beneath this historic Scottish city. 

New Orleans // I'm a huge fan of Buzzfeed Unsolved, and their episode on the voodoo culture in New Orleans absolutely fascinated me. I don't know a whole lot about it, and it's not my culture to speak on, particularly considering the history of racism entwined with it. I'd like to visit New Orleans to explore, listen, and learn from the people who practise it and who's ancestors were part of the development of this spiritual practise. 

Vatican City // Okay, I've probably watched too many exorcism films, but the idea that there is more going on behind closed doors in The Vatican is something I can't let go of. I'd love to soak up the history there, visit the crypts in which the previous Popes lie, and learn more about Catholicism. I know there's not much to learn there about demons and exorcism there, but I'd love to learn about the saints and other intricacies of Catholicism. 

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth // Did you know that Richard Mather, father of Increase Mather and grandfather of Cotton Mather, the Puritan divines heavily involved in the Salem witch trials, was master of a chapel here in Liverpool? The chapel, built in 1611, still stands in near perfect condition and is still functional as a chapel. I'm planning on arranging a visit soon as I'm absolutely enchanted by the place. I pass it frequently on the way to visit a friend, and always find myself staring and desperate to go inside and explore this long-lasting segment of mysterious history. 

There are many places that could be considered mysterious or macabre, that I would love to visit, and countless more that I haven't yet heard of. Is there anywhere you're keen on visiting? I'd love to hear about it and add it to my ever-growing list! 

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  1. Newsham Park Hospital is super scary, more so at night time but I would highly recommend it! I also wanna visit Salem babe, it sounds odd but it seems so magical to me 💜✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie x

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    1. I'm desperate for a visit to Newsham Park Hospital - I think in the new year I'll book myself a ghost investigation! x