It's nearly impossible to visit everywhere you want to go, especially if you have a long list of possible destinations. Work and family often occupy our time, and our dreams of seeing the world are relegated to fantasy rather than reality. In the age of technology, however, we can get the sense of experiencing a new location from behind a computer. Of course, it's not the same as actually going to a place and experiencing all that it has to offer, but there is still a sense of wonder when experiencing a new place for the first time.
Now, most of the places on this list are not on anyone's travel destination bucket list. Some of them are near impossible to get to in the first place, as they are in remote locations or harsh climates. The Google Maps Street View ability allows us to look inside some of these abandoned towns, haunted houses and otherwise creepy locations without having to make a trip across the globe. These disturbing and downright creepy destinations can give a similar sense of wonder and creeps as watching a scary movie, although in these cases, you know that the places you are visiting are actually real.
15 Thirteenth Gate House
The 13th Gate House in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is known as one of the best haunted houses in the country. There isn't much notable lore behind the haunted house, but all throughout the year the staff at this haunted house puts on a show for visitors. If you're a bit too squeamish or scared to go to a haunted house in person, you can explore this one through the safety and security of the internet. You can Explore the haunted house's many attractions, such as an insane asylum and slaughterhouse. In total, there are 13 attractions in the haunted house, though they aren't all available on the Google Maps Street View. You can even take a look behind the curtain and see a few of the actors getting their makeup done. If you want to see what you're getting into before hitting a haunted house, take a look at 13th Gate House on Google Maps.
Frightland is a popular Halloween fun-house located in Middletown, Delaware that is active during the Halloween months. While it's most popular during the spookiest month of the year, the building gives out a creepy vibe all year-round. Commuters riding on US-13 are treated to the sight of a large silo painted in the likeness of a grinning skull. This may not be the scariest sight if you know the context, but any unsuspecting traveler to drive by a farm and see a skull grinning at them must experience a little fright. On Google Maps, you can take a look at the outside of the building and see where the spooks are generated. The skull isn't immune from a little holiday cheer as well, as you can see it sporting a Santa hat and beard during the winter months. I'm sure that's not creepy at all...
13 Scott’s Hut
Scott’s hut is an abandoned hut on the north shore of Cape Evans on Ross Island in Antarctica. The hut was built by The British Antarctic Expedition in 1911, and is still remarkably preserved to this day. The expedition was led by Robert Falcon Scott, which is also where the hut gets its name. It was actually built in England before being sent to Antarctica, and housed the members of the expedition team during their stay on Cape Evans. It hasn’t been used since it was abandoned in 1917, but was dug out of the snow in 1956 by a United States Expedition. On Google Maps, you can take a virtual tour of the property, which is both interesting and unsettling. It’s certainly interesting to see how people survived in this climate over 100 years ago, and everything on the inside of the building seems to be intact. Even from behind your computer, though, there seems to be some menacing images that need explanation. On what appears to be a mirror, there is a large red smear that resembles blood. On top of that, there is a dark basement or closet that has a rope covering the doorway. It’s unclear what’s behind the shadows, as the Google cameras don’t reach that far, but it begs the question: is there something they don’t want us to see?
12 New Orleans Roller Coaster
There's something inherently creepy about an abandoned amusement park. Driving down the road and seeing a large roller coaster with no one in line has a sort of creepy, dangerous feel. The commuters in New Orleans who travel down Paris Road on a daily basis know this feeling all too well. The roller coaster pictured above was part of a Six Flags amusement park. When the city was devastated by massive flooding in 2005, the park was closed to the public. It has yet to reopen, and using Google Maps you can take a look at what commuters on this busy street see every day: an empty amusement park serving as a reminder that tragedy is right around the corner.
11 Bran Castle
Bran Castle may not ring a bell, but given the more popular name of “Dracula’s Castle,” you might begin to understand why this makes the list of creepy places you can visit on Google Maps. Most of the spook comes from the fact that this was the home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as there are not many supernatural reports coming out of the castle. In fact, it is reported that Stoker had little knowledge of the actual castle in his writing. He actually had the layout of a different castle in mind, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is where the king of vampires was supposed to reside. This is one of the hottest supernatural tourist destinations on earth, but you don’t need to renew your passport or book a flight to get a tour. Most of the castle is now visible through Google Maps, so you can peruse the rooms that used to house the founder of Team Edward, Dracula.
10 Pigeon Place
While this isn't necessarily as spooky as some of the other locations on this list, it's definitely jarring if you aren't expecting it. Google does its best to hide the identity of the people who get caught in their pictures. They usually blur the faces, but this is not a foolproof method, as some people have been identified without Google's knowledge. One group in Japan caught word that the Google van would be driving down their street, and decided to have a laugh at the expense of some Google Maps users. In the photo of this Tamagawa street, you can see eight individuals, all wearing pigeon masks and staring directly into the camera. We have to assume that these guys are joking, but it's pretty unsettling to see these pigeons looking right through the camera and computer and into my soul.
9 Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado is one of the creepier places to explore using Google Maps, not only for the work it has inspired but for the ghosts that supposedly still roam the halls. Author Stephen King and his wife spent time in the Stanley Hotel while King was preparing a new novel. That novel would soon become The Shining, and it would be based on his stay at the Stanley Hotel. King didn't experience what his main character did, but he still felt enough of a presence to include the Stanley Hotel as the setting for his ghost/murder house story. When the book was adapted into the film of the same name, Stanley Kubrick filmed it on location at the Stanley Hotel. It is said that the original Mr. Stanley himself is still wandering the halls here, and even a virtual tour of this hotel can be a bit chilling.
8 Los Hoyos, Mexico
The Japanese goofsters who put on their best pigeon masks when the Google car came around weren't alone, but the parallel thinkers in Mexico took it one step creepier in their photo. The Los Hoyos residents dressed up in murderous wolf and scream masks, and stood in the middle of an active road for their snapshot. There are four people in menacing masks, which begs the question; did they plan this or were they about to commit a crime? Either way, it makes for a pretty creepy picture. Adding to the sense of unease, is one man sitting on the side of the road. It is unclear if he is involved with this picture, but his presence on an otherwise empty stretch of road adds a little extra kick to this creepy street in Mexico.
7 Ria Apartments
The Ria Apartments in Malaysia is one of the most notably haunted places in the world. The internet is littered with firsthand ghost encounters, violent inexplicable injuries, and even phantom blood stains on sheets and walls. People who have lived here advise that others find another place to stay, as this place is undoubtedly haunted. While you can't take a look inside the place (which is understandable, as it is an apartment building), you can get a good look at the ominous outside of the building. Steam seems to pour out of the windows, or even emit from the building itself, adding to the chilling lore of this haunted apartment building.
6 Wojnowice Palace
Wojnowice Palace in Poland is creepy to look at from the outside, but when you enter there is sure to be goosebumps galore. You don't need to book a trip to Poland to see this creep-filled mansion, as you can take a virtual tour from your chair by using Google Maps. The Wojnowice Palace now serves as a haunted museum, with dolls arranged to creep you out even when you're thousands of miles away. From a girl staring into a mirror holding a knife to a seemingly occult ritual upstairs, this location is not short of creepy images. While the haunting in this location is mostly man-made and detailed, there is a general sense of unease as you click around and see what's going on behind its walls.
5 Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex
This military facility is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and you can get a pretty good look at it from the street view on Google Maps. The area surrounding the cluster of military buildings is pretty desolate, adding to the ominous feel you get by looking at these buildings. The structure of these buildings is very peculiar, with one of the buildings resembling a modern-looking pyramid, or even a flying saucer. The buildings were constructed in the mid-1970s for the United States' anti-ballistic missile program, but only saw less than a year of use before being deactivated in 1976. It was purchased by Spring Creek Hutterite Colony of Forbes, North Dakota, but it appears to still be out of commission. There's virtually no chance of being able to check these facilities out in person, so this Google Maps view is all we can really hope for. It's fair to say that if there was some sort of shady government experiment happening, it would be taking place in a building just like this one.
4 Bodie State Park, California
Bodie, California, was a mining town in the 1800s, which lured people to California with the promise of wealth during the gold rush. People came from across the country and the world to try to make their fortune, but there was only so much to go around. When production started to fade, people moved on to the next mining town and left Bodie for good. No one really seemed to have any loyalty to the town, because before long the town became completely unoccupied. Bodie was made a state park as a historical landmark, but that doesn't mean it isn't spooky. The town has been virtually untouched since the early 1900s, and it is now an authentic wild-west ghost town. Bodie serves as a chilling reminder that, one day, all of the world may look this lonely and empty - almost forgotten. You can visit in person, but if you want to get the sense of stepping right into the Twilight Zone, you can pull it up on Google Maps and explore the deserted streets in this hauntingly empty town.
3 Hashima Island
Hashima Island in southern Japan is another abandoned location that can be viewed on Google Maps. The lack of activity in an intact city like this is quite disturbing, as it looks like everyone just disappeared one day. The island was used primarily for mining coal, but as Japan switched to petroleum, many of the coal plants had to shut down. This lead to the abandonment of Hashima Island and all of the structures within. Tours are still held of the island, but are only available during certain times of the year due to harsh weather. There's no stipulation on Google Maps exploration however, so the next time you want to see what the world would look like if humanity vanished, take look no further than Hashima Island.
2 Howard Johnson's
Howard Johnson's was a chain of restaurants that was successful in the mid-twentieth century. Travelers on Route 610 in Afton, Virginia would stop at this restaurant frequently, as its convenient spot off of the highway was conducive to traffic. Somewhere along the line, the restaurant had to close its doors, but the building is still standing. Although the building itself remains intact, much of the exterior shows its age, and the large sign that once welcomed visitors is now only a skeleton, sending chills up the spine of those who drive by and people who visit using Google Maps. The position of the building really shows that time waits for no one.
1 Isla de las Muñecas
Isla de las Muñecas, or Island of the Dolls, is a small island in Xochimilco. It is a remote location, and has some pretty creepy lore attached to it. The caretaker and only dweller on the island, Julián Santana Barrera liked to keep to himself. One day, he was walking to the water when he found a girl face down, drowned. He found a doll floating near her, and hung it on a tree as a sign of remembrance and respect. Soon after this he began to hear whispers, footsteps and even screams in the night. Barrera was miles away from civilization, so there were no other people he could attribute the noises to. For 50 years, until his death in 2001, Barrera hung every doll he could find from a tree on the island. Some were missing limbs and eyes, making them even creepier. When he died, it is said that his body was in the same spot as the girl whom he had found. Tours are still given of the island, and people of the town call it “charmed” instead of haunted, but that doesn’t change the feeling that people get when they spot these smiling, lifeless dolls staring at them from atop a tree. Luckily, you no longer have to visit this island in person, and can get a similar experience from your computer chair.
Sources: StanleyHotel, 13thGate, IsladelasMunecas