6 Tropical Vacation Spots that Are Spooky All Year ‘Round
When you think Halloween, the stereotypical images of mummies in graveyards, witches on broomsticks and devils with pitchforks often spring to mind. But these haunted caricatures have more cultural significance than just being trademarks of another commercial holiday.
Some of the eeriest ghost stories you’ll encounter trace their origins to all corners of the earth, from the Caribbean to the South Pacific to the Indian Ocean. While many of these locations are known for their white sand beaches and tropical beauty, they also hold spooky secrets that visitors can uncover on their travels.
The best part is, you can visit these spooky vacation spots all year long. If you love the spooky Halloween season, add these locations to your must-visit list.
If you’re heading to Montego Bay, don’t miss this Trip Advisor Hall of Famer. Rose Hall, a colonial Georgian mansion, was constructed on a sloping hillside, complete with panoramic views of the luminous Caribbean. Flanked by championship green golf courses, this is one of Montego Bay’s most famous historical landmarks and tourist attractions. But not just because of its beauty.
There’s a spooky fascination with the Jamaican legend of a “White Witch,” named Annie Palmer, whose spirit haunts Rose Hall. According to the superstition, Annie Palmer was married three times and murdered each of her husbands on the estate. Séances and voodoo rituals are occasionally performed at Rose Hall to conjure the White Witch’s spectral aura and you may just feel her spirit as you walk the gorgeous grounds.
This underwater sinkhole, located 62 miles from Belize City, is the largest aquatic chasm on the globe. So much so, that it’s been designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. It’s home to limestone caverns, striking reefs and vibrant species of marine life — and a Great Blue Hole submerged 410 feet into the Caribbean depths.
This world-renowned destination for scuba divers is an extraordinary phenomenon, but it’s also a dangerous locale where injuries and even deaths can occur. The narrow tunnels, jagged stalactite formations, and extreme water pressure come together to create a potentially lethal combination. These obstacles can impair divers’ faculties and cause physical abrasions, suffocation or, in severe cases, drowning.
As you take in the beauty, you may just feel a shudder run down your spine. If you do, you’ll know.
The Maldives are known for their turquoise waters and above-water cabins. This cluster of about 1,200 islands, however, is known “nature’s sunken garden.” There are few other locations that boast its unique, colorful and abundant oceanic biome teeming with manta rays, anemones, tropical fish, sea turtles and whale sharks. In the midst of all this picturesque scenery, a baffling and inexplicable event alarmed the pristine shores of one Maldives island in particular.
On March 8, 2014, residents of Kudahuvadoo, in the Dhaalu Atoll, insisted they caught a glimpse of the Malaysian Flight MH370 just before it vanished without a trace. In addition, an unidentified metal object was found on the beach shortly thereafter, which some believe was debris from the aircraft. The incident remains a mystery to this day—but that’s what makes it so spooky!
This chain of volcanic and coral formations, about 1,000 miles off the Hawaiian coast, is so remote that no permanent occupants live there. What’s more, tourists need clearance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before they can access the atoll.
With a bio-diverse ecology of dense foliage and turquoise lagoons, it might appear that Palmyra is an untouched natural wonder to seduce off-the-grid explorers. Quite the contrary, its history is shrouded in paranormal incidents and tragic demises, from shipwrecks on the coral reefs to planes vanishing in the underbrush and an unsolved murder.
Head to the Fish and Wildlife Palmyra Atoll page to get set up with your wilderness pass and learn more about the location.
This archeological site in the Mexican region of Chiapas is the location of the last recorded date on the Mayan calendar—January 15, 909. It was once the epicenter of an ancient civilization, yet its inhabitants disappeared under mysterious circumstances, never to be found again.
Today the abandoned area is preserved as a monument to its origins and cryptic demise with primordial Mayan temples, built from limestone and featuring a maze of discreet labyrinths to wander through. The ruins create a striking site all on their own, but when you pause to reflect on the mystery that has perplexed researches for centuries, Toniná becomes steeped in even more allure and intrigue.
This 1700’s-era cocoa plantation is tucked between a mountain range and the lush Trinidad rainforest. It’s presumed by locals to bear the marks of its ruthless, bloodied past. Named after its owner, the French Lieutenant-General Count de Lopinot, this estate was the backdrop for horrific slave lynchings from a cashew tree on the property.
Although these atrocities happened more than 300 years ago, current visitors of the Lopinot Estate, now a National Trust museum, have claimed to hear the general’s footsteps creaking on the floorboards inside. Some also report to have seen him riding past the infamous cashew tree on a white horse, just before evaporating into the wild rainforest underbrush.
Plan Your Next Spooky Vacation
If the Halloween season has you wishing for a truly spooky experience, head to one of these historic, eerie locations. Indulge your daring spirit and prepare to experience another side of island culture — the mystique that makes it more than just a beach getaway.