Crypts, Graveyards, and Hauntings—Oh My!
Collected by Danielle Walsh, AFAR Contributor
From an above-ground graveyard in New Orleans to a haunted castle in Ireland, these 26 spots are some of the spookiest places in the world.
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
1400 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
New Orleans' cemeteries are part of the city's culture as well as its landscape—and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most famous. Opened in 1789 on the edge of the French Quarter, the cemetery is home to the tomb of Marie Laveau, a...
Piazza Sant'Ambrogio, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Saint Ambrose, the first Bishop of Milan, was a lawyer by training, and a diplomat by nature. Legend has it that bees swarmed to his honeyed voice--the patron saint of Milan is also the patron saint of beekeepers! One of the most influential...
Zámecká, 284 03 Kutná Hora, Czechia
Always wanted to visit a bone ossuary. Not really sure why, except they just seem so bizarre. Finally got to Sedlec at Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. It didn't disappoint in the bizarre factor. I was so fascinated by how carefully arranged the bones...
Lorrha, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Call me morbid but I have a fascination with cemeteries. I love the silence and contemplating the former lives of the people buried there. In Ireland there is not shortage of old cemeteries and Abbeys with hundreds of years old graves. I cannot...
Swain's Ln, Highgate, London N6 6PJ, UK
Dating back to the 1800's, Highgate was a fashionable place for burials and was much admired and visited. The Victorian attitude to death and its presentation led to the creation of a wealth of Gothic tombs and buildings. It occupies a spectacular...
Plaça de la Vila de Madrid, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
In the middle of a fairly ordinary looking plaza en Cuitat Vella, savvy visitors can spot evidence of Barcelona's Roman history. Once a road with funerary monuments on either side, gradually the road was surrounded by the city. You can see the...
408 AZ-80, Tombstone, AZ 85638, USA
Wander around the Boothill Graveyard and you will see famous Westerners wherever you turn. The tombstones are really interesting to read, some of the nicknames will have you rolling! It will also illustrate just how dangerous the wild, wild west...
1074番地 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1111, Japan
There are whole graveyards in Japan full of small Buddha statues with bibs tied on and toys placed lovingly about - they commemorate those lost to abortion and miscarriage. "Liquid Life" by William LaFleur provides an engaging study.
Lipstown Upper, Narraghmore, Co. Kildare, Ireland
I like graveyards. The spookier the better. I like the cracked and crusted tombstones, the coverings of moss and ivy, the degraded stone and crumbling facings. I like the feeling of... otherworldliness. The graveyard of Moyle Abbey is imbued with...
Ermou, Athina 125, Greece
The location of the Kerameikos graveyard is fairly off the beaten path, and there's basically no signs or anything to tell you how to get there. There's also very little information about this site in most guidebooks or maps. Having said all of...
Budapest, Fiumei út 16-18, 1086 Hungary
Tucked away behind a long brick wall and lines of trees sits the most famous cemetery in Hungary—The National Graveyard on Fiumei Street. Also known as Kerepesi Cemetery, this site, south of the Eastern Railway Station and built in 1847, is where...
Père-Lachaise, 75020 Paris, France
We don't know if Chopin, Molière, Colette, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and other famous denizens of Père Lachaise were disturbed by the keening sounds of Bruce Ackley's soprano saxophone on this cold January afternoon. But a security...
560-600 State St, Knoxville, TN 37902, USA
The First Presbyterian Church graveyard is the city’s oldest cemetery and final resting place of Knoxville founder James White and the first territorial governor William Blount. Platted during the second survey of Knoxville in 1795, the plot hosts...
59200 Museum Dr, Hatteras, NC 27943, USA
Even with miles of beautiful coastline and beaches stretching from Corolla south to Ocracoke, the waters of the Outer Banks remain the most treacherous. For over 400 years, the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" has been the final resting place of over...
Jirón Carabaya, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
A city tour of Lima isn’t complete without visiting the catacombs of the Monastery of San Francisco. The basement of the working monastery reveals the bones of wealthy Limeños who believed they would be the last to rest in their expensive plots....
Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, 1110 Wien, Austria
Vienna’s Central Cemetery is a storied place where great names like Beethoven, Schubert and Strauss can be found on the headstones. Over 3 Million people lie interred here, making it the cemetery with most interred world-wide. The many small...
Olympos, Yazır Mahallesi, 07350 Olympos/Kumluca/Antalya, Turkey
The ruins of Olympos are very cool. Unlike some of the other ruins in Turkey, they sit back in the trees. You kind of feel like Indiana Jones as you walk through them. the thicker vegetation, waterways and uncleared ruins. It was one of the...
The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
Often called, "Scotland's Greatest Cathedral" the now-ruined medieval St. Andrews, overlooking the North Sea in its namesake town, is a splendid sight any time of day or night. However, in my several days of residence in the town made famous by...
1000 Howard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
Discover a history that can be felt and a little local flavor with one of the many tours available or explore it all on your own. The beauty of this cemetery is a reflection of it's location. Worn and unkempt, its air of mysterious romanticism can...
29-35 Niddry St, Edinburgh EH1 1LG, UK
The Banshee is hands down the coolest pub I've ever been to. It's noted as "Scotland's most haunted pub", and boasts two bars, a billiards room, a stage, a cinema, and loads of space to sit down and enjoy a pint (or one of their drink specials,...
Castleholding, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
I had long been enamored of the stories swirling around the eerie Leap Castle in County Offaly. Notorious for being the most haunted castle in Ireland, Leap looms out of the rolling countryside, a crooked finger gesticulating at a leaden sky,...
St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK
Visitors to this turreted riverside castle enter a thousand years of history filled with cultural significance (but go early to avoid lines to see the crown jewels). Tudor fans can view the spot where Anne Boleyn was beheaded and the kinds of...
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