Whether they're ghost hunters, investigators of the unexplained or just X-Files junkies getting their David Duchovny on, a surprising number of people believe in the possibility of ghosts, aliens, cryptids and other unexplained phenomena. After all, it only takes one UFO or Big Foot sighting to turn someone into a believer for life.
If you want to do a little more paranormal travel, these destinations are some of the top places to investigate or experience something from another world or dimension.
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, surrounding Mt. St. Helens is home to many different species of wild creatures and creepy crawlies, none more useful for our purposes than Gigantopithecus canadensis--Bigfoot. This hairy homonoid is most often sighted in the forest around the Pacific Northwest and Mt. St. Helens is supposedly its home turf. Stories of cannabalistic wild men living around the mountain date back to the mid 1800s, so for many it's not a stretch to turn those stories into tales of Bigfoot. Consider hiking through these pristine evergreens with a pork chop on a string for best results, and remember to keep that camera ready. Sasquatch seems to be getting quicker with age. Find out where else you can spot mythical creatures
By definition, it would seem that something called an Extraterrestrial Highway would have to be located on another planet. But this parsing of words didn't stop the folks of Rachel, Nevada from bestowing that moniker on Route 375, which extends 98 miles from Warm Springs to Crystal Springs. According to Nevada tourism officials, there are more reported UFO sightings on this 98 mile stretch of road than anywhere else in the country. And that's with a paltry 200 cars a day. This two-lane road runs near the secret military base Area 51, which explains some of the Unidentified-ness of the Flying Objects, but not the flashes of light, unaccounted for passages of time and green ooze that appears on your windshield. Discover some more great road trips in the US
Famous for its weather balloons and little green souvenirs, Roswell, New Mexico has become the archetypal paranormal destination. Although it was inundated with serious truth-seekers after the famous 1947 crash of a flying saucer that was either an experimental surveillance balloon or an interstellar vehicle, the town has become more of a tourist trap in the last few decades. Nevermind that the crash itself was actually about 75 miles away from Roswell. Information about the crash abounds in museums dedicated to the crash, however, and there is no shortage of people who'll be happy to tell you all about it. Although there was only one documented witness of the debris recovery effort in 1947, there are now more than 600 people in Roswell who claim to have witnessed the government cover up. Book a hotel in New Mexico
Castles are great places to find spooks and specters, especially in suits of armor or paintings with moving eyes. Ross Castle, in Killarney, Ireland, is one of the most haunted of them all since the O'Donoghue clan fell to Oliver Cromwell during the Irish Confederate wars. Legend has it that O'Donoghue himself was sucked out of the window and into the lake at the base of the castle along with his horse, writing desk and library when the artillery arrived and the castle fell. He now lives at the bottom of the lake, keeping an eye on the spirits that died during the assault and move about the castle. An Irish team of ghost hunters studied the castle in 2006 looking for tangible proof or evidence of supernatural activities, but came away empty-handed. Still, it is not recommended that honeymooning couples take a boat ride across the lake. Check out other castles to visit in Ireland
In 1884, the widow of William Wirt Winchester--Sarah Winchester--began building her house in California, and did not stop for 38 years. After losing her daughter and husband and feeling the guilt of living off of a fortune amassed by the sale of the deadly guns bearing her family's name, Winchester consulted a medium for help. She was told that she should move west, to San Jose, and build a house. Once the house was done, she would die. So she never stopped building. By the end, the house had 52 skylights, 47 fireplaces, and five or six kitchens in the 160 room maze-like building. It's full of staircases to nowhere, doorways that open to ten foot drops, and rooms built within other rooms around chimneys that did not reach the ceiling. If this house isn't haunted, it should be. See the official website for more pictures, including circular staircases. Read about other historic homes you can visit
The Markawasi Stone Forest in Lima, Peru gives new scope to the term "paranormal traveler." Both a geologic and space-time anomaly, the spiritual sensitivity of the Markawasi's giant rocks is well known and it's thought that the specific kind of sensitivity is conducive to actual inter-dimensional travel. According to some locals and paranormal investigators, the unique combination of energy produced at Markawasi often opens portals where you can look into the same space in other dimensions, and even walk through to join what some claim to be a 17th century looking village on the other side. It does not seem to work both ways though, so think real hard about this trip before you take it. Book a flight to Peru
For more on haunted and mystical places, read:
- Nessie and Friends: 7 Lakes and Their Monsters
- Vampire Travel: Where the Bloodsuckers Are
- 5 of the World's Most Haunted Places
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