An extreme Halloween can make you scream for a multitude of reasons: the possible danger, your ominous surroundings, or even the foreboding weather. There are plenty of places to visit where you’ll get the Adrenalist rush with the added fright of the creepy, peculiar and ghoulish, too. With Halloween just around the corner, join us as we traipse through the strangest and scariest adventure spots the world has ever known.
An Abandoned Waterpark / An Abandoned Six Flags
Watch as freestyle skateboarder, Kilian Martin, rolls through an abandoned family fun park in the tired browns and grainy yellows of the sun-drenched Mojave Desert. The music, by Patrick Watson, lends to a harrowing sound that conjures up catcalls from the past. Filmed and edited by director, Brett Novak, the short splices together footage from the original water park, where families frolic and play in a bygone era of bucolic beauty, and the contemporary Martin, now pulling tricks on his skateboard as the park’s remnants lay at the side or become another vehicle of expression. Both creepy and haunting, it’s like watching a professional skateboarder pulling tricks with a crowd of specters looking on.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in late August, 2005, the New Orleans Six Flags closed for business. Since the devastation of the storm was so widespread, nobody remembered the park until it was too late; four years later, and it proved too expensive to restore or demolish, so it sits as a skeleton of pre-Katrina ebullience. This doesn’t mean its present state is without merit. The ghastly clowns and desolate rides lend the air a spooky vibe, and the landscape is dotted with vestiges of Mardi Gras past. It’s a permanent haunted amusement park, slowly recessing into the land of its birth.
The Paris Catacombs
The ossuary that lays to the south of the Paris gates of “porte d’Enfer” has been a popular tourist center since the early 1900s. The Paris Catacombs are said to house more than 6 million human remains as they sit in Paris’ long-dormant mines.
In the inchoate days of Christianity, burying the dead became more mainstream, and churchyards and grave sites started to overflow with the remains of the poor who couldn’t afford private burial grounds. In the interest of sanitation, it was decreed the abandoned stone mines to the south of the city would be the new sepulture for the excess dead. It’s now just about the spookiest subterranean labyrinth in existence. Don’t get lost!
Cave Of The Crystal Sepulcher
The Actun Tunichil Muknal, also know as the “ATM” or locally as “Xibalba,” is a cave in Belize near the San Ignacio district. The cave is a known Mayan burial ground, with notable artifacts dotting the cave floor and various open chambers where human and animal sacrifices were performed thousands of years in the past. It’s an archaeological wonderland filled with ancient ceramics, stoneware, and several skeletons, especially in the main room. It’s that last part that makes it so terrifying.
The best known skeletal remain is the “Crystal Maiden.” A teenage girl’s bones have calcified to the cave floor and in the ensuing centuries formed a sparkling, crystalline appearance. Hence, the “crystal” caves. The girl’s remains was even featured on an episode of the SyFy channel’s Ghost Hunters International.
Just getting to the caves can prove an arduous task: you have to hike a couple miles through the forest and over a river before getting to the cave entrance and hiking another hour inside. Once you’ve arrived and found some pottery to ponder, you might notice the “kill holes,” which tipped off archealogists and ethnographers they were ceremonial Mayan offerings to their polytheistic deities. If you don’t break a sweat hiking through the Belize forest, then descending into the cave’s mouth followed by another hour of traversing the tight corners of the cave will probably get a sweat out of you.
World’s Scariest Path And Bridge
In the Spanish provice of Malaga, is the “King’s little pathway,” steeped along a gorge in El Chorro. Near the Alhora municipality in southern Spain, the Caminito is a largely deserted stone path first formed for workers of the Chorra Falls and Gaitenejo Falls in the earlier decades of the twentieth century. King Alponso XIII traversed the path in 1921, which is the origin behind its contemporary name. The walkway is only 1-meter wide and rises 350-feet over the gorge. Handrails and guardrails are missing and there are some sections where all, or part, of the concrete roof has collapsed. In 2000, after a couple fell to their death, both entrances were closed. In June 2011, however, the regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Alhora agreed to help pay the costs for restoration, including a museum and parking. Be careful where you step.
In Passu, North Pakaistan, near the Chinese border, there’s a suspension bridge over 200-meters long that connects villagers and tourists to the Khuramabad pasture. Located in the Yunz Valley, a popular hiking and adventure area, this suspension bridge is often used by tribal leaders to travel and meet. Adventurers can cross, if they dare, and make a relatively easy climb up to Avdager. First, they’ll have to brave the Passu suspension bridge, which is barely a rope and wood planks.
Extreme Halloween Haunts
The haunted hay rides of your adolescence or the tamer ones of your childhood are all well and good. Maybe some even gave you a small fright, but these next adult haunted rides feature a more visceral experience, one that attacks your senses and leaves your fight or flight response comatose as you reel in fear.
“Alone” Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida
In 2010, Bush Garden Tampa’s Hall-o-Scream offered to let participants engage with their haunted maze; except, instead of screaming in delight with your friends, and trying to figure out the proper way to go, you’re alone in the maze. If you can’t figure out which way to take, just run screaming and you’ll get there eventually.
“Blackout” Los Angeles, California
The Blackout haunted house in Los Angeles is limited to people old enough to vote; the 18 year age requirement is because you’re required to walk and crawl through a pitck-dark maze, alone, with a protective mask and flashlight. That’s not just a haunted maze, that’s a lot of people’s worst nightmare.
“McKamey Manor” San Diego, California
Blackout is for 18 and older, and “Alone” was one of the first halloween-themed experiences you did entirely on your own, but McKamey Manor in San Diego is amped up even further. You have to sign a waiver form before even entering. Once you step inside, an onslaught of monsters grab, tickle, touch and push you through. It’s very hands-on, and that hand might not even be attached to a body. Yeah, I’m not sure we’d sign the waiver either.
Happy Halloween from the Adrenalist!