Popular tourist attractions don’t have to be all nice, pretty, surrounded by palm trees, ancient buildings or hot waitresses serving Pina Coladas. Oh, no! Some of them are actually quite scary, maybe even depressing and definitely gloomy. So gloomy, in fact, that they deserve to be mentioned as a part of one special list- list of the gloomiest tourist attraction ever. That’s why I’ve researched a bit and came up with this list of 8 places I consider the gloomiest tourist attractions, so check them out and tell me what do you think about them!
1. KGB Museum, Vilnius, Lithuania
So real, so frightening and definitely one of the gloomiest tourist attractions out there, this former KGB prison is now a museum you can visit in case you want to know more about this part of Lithuanian history. The fact that this was indeed a prison in which many people were brutally tortured and murdered might not send chills down your spine immediately but wait until you see the prison cells as well as “special rooms” in which confessions were literally forced out of the prisoners. Yup, I’m talking full package – padded walls, straitjackets and a tour through the fully preserved execution chambers accompanied by detailed descriptions of how and where it all happened. Spoooooky!
2. Colditz Castle, Leipzig, Germany
This lovely castle is way more than a nice-looking hostel you can rest in on your way to Dresden and, although it might not seem as scary as the museum in Vilnius, there are some pretty gruesome stories you are yet to hear. Yup, this castle was one of the many German so called “camps” for the prisoners-of-war and, if everything we’ve learned so far about the way Nazi treated their prisoners in the World War II is true, then we can only guess what really happened behind those walls.
3. Cimetière Du Père-Lachaise, Paris, France
Père Lachaise Cemetery or simply East Cemetery is one of the most popular and, I dare to add, gloomiest tourist attractions out there. The cemetery itself is actually quite nice although that doesn’t cover up the fact that it is still a cemetery! So why do people travel all that way just to visit it? Well, simply because they want to visit the graves of some of their favorite poets, writers, politicians and even musicians such as Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac or Moliere. But let’s not forget the famous economist Jean-Baptiste Say either!
4. Titan Missile Museum, Sahuarita, Arizona
World War II is just not your thing? Well, don’t worry because the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona might have exactly what you need- a trip back in time of the Cold War perhaps? Yup, this museum is not only jammed packed with all that retro equipment left over from the Cold War but it also has an actual Titan missile nicely tucked in its launch shaft and waiting for you to snap as many photos as you’d like. You can even enjoy the launch simulation and be the lucky one to press the button… if launching missiles is your thing, of course.
5. Bran Castle, Transylvania
Visiting Count Dracula’s castle might not turn out to be the creepy experience you were hoping for but it sure is creepy enough to end up on this list of gloomiest tourist attractions ever. The exhibits mostly focus on Vlad Tepes, not as Count Dracula but as an important figure in the Romanian history so, if you expected a fancy dress party and paid actors trying to get you to wet your pants- you’re in for a huge disappointment. If you’re, in the other hand, very interested in every aspect of the mythical vampire’s life, sneaking through narrow corridors and secret passages of his castle might turn out to be quite satisfying.
6. The Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, USA
JFK fans might want to head to Dallas for their daily dose of adventure and JFK assassination facts. Take an elevator to the sixth and then seventh floor and let the video, audio, photos and exhibits take you back to the 60’s, not just in time of JFK’s tragic demise but back to his moments of glory too. The most inquisitive ones would probably want to check if the shot was really possible too, so go ahead, go to the seventh floor and do whatever detective work you feel like doing.
7. Jack the Ripper Tour, London, UK
Okay, if you really want an unusual holiday, you simply must take the Jack the Ripper tour! Why? Because you’ll have the chance to walk down the very same streets this popular murderer has walked, check every dark corner he used to visit and learn many interesting facts while doing so. The tour guide won’t only help you to understand Jack the Ripper better but use his knowledge to make you actually feel like you’ve taken a step back in time, away from the modern world and into the Ripper universe. Pick a foggy, gloomy day and your evening Jack the Ripper Tour will be more scary and authentic than you could have imagined.
8. Chernobyl Tour
“Ghost Town”, one of the most horrifying nuclear disaster sites is a major tourist attraction these days… Well, at least for the ones brave enough to actually take it. Before you decide to take a trip to Chernobyl and hopefully snap a couple of those gloomy photos of toys, books, notebooks and shoes, lying there forgotten, unused and kind of sad, you will have to sign a paper stating that the company who has organized your tour won’t be held responsible in case you end up with some “health problems” later on. Yup, the area is still contaminated, uninhabitable and isn’t exactly a tropical paradise but, I guess you kind of seen that coming, anyways. Right?
Now, tell me – aren’t these the gloomiest tourist attractions you’ve ever heard of? I’m sure they are all worth checking out but I doubt many people would trade their relaxing holidays for a chance to visit any one of these places.
Top Photo Credit: Phillie Casablanca