Halloween’s just around the corner and to commemorate this most hallowed of days, we’ve scoured the globe and picked some places which will raise goosebumps and send chills up and down your spine. Come one, come ghouls, here are the world’s spookiest places:
1. Old Changi Hospital, Singapore
There are few things scarier than an abandoned hospital. How lucky are we to have one of our own in Singapore?
The now-abandoned Changi Hospital, was built by the British in 1935 as a military hospital. Sadly, when the Japanese took Singapore in WWII, the hospital was turned into a prison. It’s been reported that the Japanese military police, the Kempeitai, tortured POWs on-site.
In 2006 there was a failed attempt by a private developer to turn the site into a spa/resort (we wonder why…) and today, the building remains empty — except of course for novice ghost hunters. It has been used as a setting for several local TV dramas and even a horror film. Visitors and filmmakers reported sighting of apparitions and hearing strange screams…
This is the trailer for Haunted Changi which was released in 2011. Quite a decent film in our opinion, though we definitely do not envy the filmmakers for spending that much time on the haunted grounds of Old Changi Hospital.
2. Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
Port Arthur, in the southern end of Tasmania, is infamous for two reasons.
The first lies in its origins as a convict settlement. The picturesque location, set behind a calm bay, was a penal colony between 1833 to 1877. The sandstone prisons were the home of some of the most hardened criminals. According to records, prisoners were subject to some brutal physical and psychological (mis)treatment.
The second reason was the Port Arthur massacre, which occurred in 1996. Martin Bryant went on a killing spree and shot dead 35 people and wounded 25 more. Together, the tourist site, with its crumbling ruins, gives most visitors the creeps.
When you visit, don’t forget to take a tour out to the Isle of the Dead. The island served as burial grounds for over 1000 prisoners who died at Port Arthur. You can take things one step further by joining ghost tours of the site.
3. Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, China
In Nanjing, China, when the Japanese invaded in 1937, it’s believed that thousands of Chinese were executed and buried in mass graves. The Memorial Hall, built by the Chinese government in 1985, documents and memorialises the lives lost. Gruesome execution photos are almost as spine chilling as the preserved mass grave, complete with exposed skeletons heaped on top of one another.
The darkness of the massacre reached deep through time and lives. Iris Chang, the acclaimed author who wrote The Rape of Nanking, took her own life in 2004. The museum also documents a foreign nurse who aided the Chinese during the period, and who subsequently killed herself.
CC 2.0 / Cernavoda
4. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum & the Killing Fields, Cambodia
A visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide museum in Phnom Penh isn’t for the faint of heart. This former high school was transformed into Security Prison 21 by the Khmer Rough. It’s believed that as many as 20,000 people were tortured and executed on site. Today, the quiet grounds give no clue as to its grim past…until you start exploring the buildings.
The former cramped makeshift prison cells are intact as are some torture equipment. Most haunting though are the photos of the deceased prisoners along with some gruesome images of torture. The entire experience is rather sobering and you’ll not want to be there when it gets dark. If you can stomach some more Khmer Rouge brutality, pay your respects at at the Killing Fields (Choeung Ek; 17km south of Phnom Penh). The site of the Khmer Rouge era mass graves is intact and marked with a memorial.
5. Catacombs of Paris
CC 2.0 / Tom Hicks
It’s no secret that there are ossuaries located in tunnels 20 meters below the city of Paris. These hold the remains (read bones!) of close to six million people.
They were interred here in the 18th and 19th centuries as graveyards were being exhumed for health and city development reasons. If you’re up for a 2km jaunt through an eerie section of wall and bone, visit the official Paris Catacombs site. 200 visitors are allowed to tour a section of the catacombs daily.
Apparently, there’s also a subset of tunnels known as the “mines” of Paris. These were former limestone mining tunnels dating back to the 13th century and are officially off-limits. Not that this has stopped the curious (also known as cataphiles) from getting in to explore them. If you somehow manage to wander through these tunnels, you’ll find skulls and bones, crumbling stones and claustrophobia.
CC 2.0 / garann
What to do in Singapore for Halloween?
Update: Here’s what we recommended for Halloween 2014 in Singapore. You can do all of them for Halloween 2015 too. But we found Halloween Horror Nights 5 far less scary than last year’s.
If any of these places pique your dark side, book your flights from Singapore for last minute deals to these spooky spots and scary tours. If you’re staying in town, here are some things to do in Singapore this Halloween.
Celebrate Halloween with a Ghost Tour in Singapore
If you fancy getting a scare in Singapore on Halloween, look up the Asia Paranormal Investigators. These lot run “Spooky Tours” around some of Singapore’s most eerie spots.
The Official Singapore Halloween Pub Crawl
It’s that one time of year when the more awful you look, the better your chances of impressing the opposite sex.
Deck out in your spookiest Halloween costume and party with fellow undeads on a phenomenal pubcrawl in Singapore. The crew takes care of all the planning so you just have to focus on keeping those shots down and looking your
best worst! Finding a houseparty and a good excuse to dress up is a little hard in Singapore. So make the most of this!
It’s tons of fun and makes Halloween much more enjoyable when you’re surrounded with a whole bunch of friendly people getting into the full spirit of things.
Check out the Singapore Pubcrawl Facebook page for details on how to get tickets. Everyone WILL be dressed up so don’t be afraid to go full out — sexy or scary.
Last Chance for USS Halloween Horror Nights
Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights returns for the fourth time, bigger, better and scarier than before.
Editor’s Note: I’m usually a cool cat when it comes to horror movies –and trust me I do love horror movies. So I was surprised to find myself screaming throughout this event. With undead peeking over your shoulder while you’re distracted trying to take a selfie, giggling real-life dolls, and creepy spawn crawling at you on all fours, the whole place really transforms into one giant nightmare.
Turning the corners within the 4 haunted houses was especially nerve-wrecking and scream-worthy. It’s really immersive and genuinely freaky.
Many of the rides are also included. Well worth the money — highly recommended!
Come this Halloween, don’t be a lifeless zombie in the spidery corners of your own home. Get out there and have a little fun! Happy Halloween Singapore!