Travellers have long been fascinated by otherworldly landscapes and geological oddities. But have you ever considered that the journey can be just as eerie as the destination?
We’ve circled the globe to bring you some hauntingly beautiful travel spots, from a mysterious glowing train tunnel in Australia to a spooky Hawaii shipwreck surrounded by underwater ‘bats’. Go explore them… if you dare!
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1) The spookiest spot in Iceland?
The desolate crash site of a former US Navy plane in Solheimasandur, Iceland, has become an iconic photo haunt for many an intrepid hiker. In 1973, the plane was forced to crash land here on the black sand beach. Fortunately, the crew survived, but the abandoned aircraft was left to decay in the elements.
The path entry can be found just past the impressive Skogafoss waterfall on Iceland’s southern coast – but be warned, it’s about a 2–3 hour round trip from the car park, depending on your pace and the Icelandic weather conditions. Come at the right time of year and you’ll be sure to get a chill, with the plane’s sinister silhouette glowing through the eerie backdrop of the aurora borealis.
2) Enter the gates of Hell in Stockholm
You might feel like you’ve entered the satanic depths of the underworld when descending into Stockholm’s spectacular Solna Centrum metro station, aptly nicknamed the ‘Gates to Hell’ and just one of the many extraordinary artworks found in the Swedish capital’s stations.
Created as an environmental statement back in the 1970s, the station features a chilling blood-red cavernous sky above a spruce forest mural that runs the length of the dark, bleak tunnels.
3) An eerily glowing tunnel near Sydney
An ethereal blue glow radiates out of a derelict 19th-century train tunnel in the town of Helensburgh, 45km south of Sydney, Australia. Decommissioned and subsequently abandoned in the 1920s, the tunnel was taken over by bioluminescence squatters when hundreds of glow worms made the dank moss-lined walls their home. If the eerie light isn’t spooky enough, local legend has it that the tunnel is also home to the ghost of a miner who was killed by a train in 1895.
Over the years, the tunnel has been frequented by ghost hunters and nature-lovers alike, so it’s not surprising to learn the area was recently given controlled public access to protect the glow worm population. So whether you’re after an illuminating or spooky encounter, remember to check if the tunnel is open before you leave.
4) Hawaii’s spooky shipwreck with underwater ‘bats’
Eagle rays glide like bats around the ghostly blue shadows that surround the Sea Tiger shipwreck found west of Waikiki in Honolulu, Oahu. Originally seized by the US Coast Guard following illegal activities, the former Chinese merchant ship was deliberately sunk in 1999 to create an artificial reef. Beneath the waves, deep in the shadowy underwaters (this is Oahu’s deepest dive site at 120ft), divers typically encounter turtles, schooling fish and moray eels slithering out of the wreck’s crevices.
5) Detroit’s creepy abandoned train station
Is this the haunted house of your nightmares? Ghostly and dramatic, Michigan Central Station stands abandoned one mile west of downtown Detroit. Once the gateway to the Midwest rail network in the early 1900s, it’s now hard to imagine that over 200 trains frequented the iconic depot in its heyday. By the 1970s, air travel and cars had gained popularity, reducing the need for train travel and causing the building to gradually fall into disrepair.
Following countless demolition attempts, the building has ironically been saved by the Ford Motor Company, who not only have plans to reincarnate the once grandiose station into an ‘innovation hub’, but are transforming it this Halloween into a haunted house, replete with its own spooky graveyard.
5 bone-chillingly scary destinations was originally published 30 October 2018.