Article Words : Wanderlust team | 10 November

7 utterly spooky locations we dare you to visit

From abandoned towns in Ukraine to mysterious pubs in Britain's far-flung corners, here are seven spooky locations where Wanderlust readers get the chills...

1: Pripyat, Ukraine

Even 30 years after the world's largest nuclear disaster, the town of Pripyat remains abandoned – but curious explorers still find ways to visit the chilling scene. Located just 10 miles north of Chernobyl, the town showcases just as many abandoned buildings and eerie objects as its neighbouring city, including long-lost dolls and gas masks.

Abandoned school in Pripyat (Dreamstime)

Walking through the overgrown undergrowth we found a small primary school with a rusty old swing creaking in the breeze, while dolls and miniature gas masks were strewn about the place (Johny)

2: Alcatraz, California

Isolated by the wave-crashing Californian coast, Alcatraz Island is known for once imprisoning high-level convicts including George 'Machine Gun' Kelly, Al Capone, and successful escapee Frank Lee Morris. After its closure in 1963, it become a tourist hot spot with regular tours available to members of the public. Haunting stories range from mysterious floating lights to hearing whispers in unoccupied cells and ghostly voices shouting down empty corridors.

Alcatraz Island from the shores of California (Dreamstime)

Just after sundown they still have the closing down of the cell doors, a giant slam of metal bars coming down at the same time, secluding the inmates from the rest of the world (Nandini)

3: The Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

Built in 1750 on the edge of Bodmin moor, this tucked-away inn has acquired many unsolved mysteries over the years. One involved a stranger being summoned into the darkness of the night, only to have his corpse found in the misty moorland the following day and his cause of death left unknown. The pub even hosts monthly murder mystery evenings, as well as paranormal investigation weekends for those that dare to stay the night.

The Jamaica Inn (Dreamstime)

My friend and I were sat at the bar and could hear footsteps near the other end, but there was no one else to be seen. They're thought to be the dead man's spirit returning to finish his drink (Ellie)

4: Dartmoor Prison, Devon

First used to lock up prisoners of war in the Napoleonic years, Dartmoor Prison remains in active use and is home to low-category convicts. Even if an inmate were to escape the barbed-wire and floodlit boundary, traipsing through Dartmoor's desolate marshlands would certainly diminish their chances of survival.

When the moorland fog creeps in and only the tips of grey-stone buildings can be seen, the eerie landscape feels like a scene from The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Dartmoor Prison, Princetown (Dreamstime)

Dartmoor prison museum is one of the creepiest places I've ever been. The whole atmosphere surrounding the prison is something you have to experience to really appreciate (Claire)

5: Edinburgh, Scotland

When the streets of Edinburgh were ridden with poverty, citizens took shelter in underground slums. In these damp, dark and desperate conditions, it’s no wonder Edinburgh Vaults became a prime spot for criminals and body snatchers – including famous serious killers Burke and Hare who sold corpses to medical schools. Visitors who dare to explore the underground are said to feel the presence of victims in the darkness of the vaults.

Edinburgh Castle (Dreamstime)

I did a tour and felt a strong pressure pushing men away from women in one particular room. Apparently one of the spirits doesn't like the two standing together and we all felt it (Rebecca)

6: Pendle Hill, Lancashire

Double, double, toil and trouble... The Pendle Witches are a long-living legend in the county of Lancashire: apparently ten 'witches' were trialled and executed for deaths in the community. With a stark contrast between its history and fresh rolling hills, even this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty gives visitors the chills.

Wanderlust editor, Phoebe Smith, had a close encounter with one of the witches in Roughless village, after an installation commemorating the 400-year anniversary of the Pendle Witch Trials was added to the local area.

Mist atop Pendle Hill (Dreamstime)

I knew I was being watched. I could feel an icy stare bearing down on me. She peered from under her hood with big, wide eyes (Phoebe)

7: Bangour Village Hospital, Scotland

This abandoned Scottish hospital and former mental asylum remains a popular dog-walking spot for locals, but in this case it seems man's best friend is able to sense something that we can not. Derelict and run down after its closure in 2004, Bangour Village Hospital gives the chills to those who dare to lurk around the corridors where war wounds and mental disabilities were once treated.

Psychiatric hospital, Scotland

Lots of people walk their dogs around it, but mine won’t budge once out of the car if we try to take him. I think he senses the ghosts as he loves his walks (Siobhan)

If you enjoyed taking a read of these competition entries, submit your own tips and answers in our latest competitions HERE.