Ethan Reid received his BA in English from the University of Washington and his MFA from the University of Southern California’s MPW Program, where he studied under author S.L. Stebel, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sy Gomberg, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Frank Tarloff. Ethan is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. He lives in Seattle. His new eBook from sister company Simon & Schuster, The Undying, is available now.
Planning a trip? Why not take a moment to check out some truly spooky places before seeing the usual tourist sites. Just in time for Halloween, Ethan Reid takes you back in time to some of the most mysterious sights in the US and Europe. Don’t forget to mark these places down as ghostly must-sees!
Related: Five Creepy Historical Sites In The South
608 1st Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104
If you’re booking a trip to Seattle or in town for a convention, a great place for a creepy visit is the Seattle underground. Beneath downtown’s Pioneer Square is an eerie subterranean maze of streets and buildings. Take a tour to the mid-19th Century and witness snapshots of the past, businesses trapped in time by the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Forced to rebuild the new neighborhood one story above the burnt out district, these sidewalks and storefronts remain buried below, largely untouched. Guides take you deep underground daily (there is even an adults-only version, if you’re so inclined).
Tip: After taking a tour, stop by the nearby Bar Sajor for stellar food and cocktails.
City Hall Station
Park Row & City Hall Park
New York, New York 10007
If you’re in New York City, take a ghostly tour of one of the Big Apple’s abandoned subway stations. Frozen in time since 1945, the famous City Hall Station, a uniquely tiled vaulted station featuring arched ceilings and ornate chandeliers, is a rare glimpse into New York’s gilded past. Created by the same architects behind the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the ghost station’s tight curves are too unwieldy for modern trains, dooming it to its current fate. Originally opened in 1904, tours head down only a few times a year.
Tip: For a drink or a great meal after a Broadway show, check out Bar Centrale. Nestled discretely on Restaurant Row, this hidden gem is favored by locals.
Cueva de la Pileta
If you’re visiting Southern Spain, don’t miss the spine-chilling Cave of the Pools (Cueva de la Pileta) near Ronda. Not for the faint of heart, these caverns boast cave paintings dating back 25,000 years to the Paleolithic period. Follow the guides into this dark, foreboding world lit only by paraffin lanterns and make sure to watch your footing along the naturally formed stairs and insanely steep drop-offs.
Tip: If you’re staying in Ronda, stop for lunch at Los Cazadores restaurant. The owner has seafood flown in daily, but be sure and get a seat before the hungry locals.
284 03 Kutná Hora, Zámecká
The creepiest pile of bones in Europe is the jaw-dropping Sedlec Ossuary, just outside of Prague. Founded in 1142, this Cistercian monastery is decorated with the remains of 40,000-70,000 victims of the Black Plague. Boasting an enormous chandelier made of all of the bones from the human body, two creepily crafted monstrances, as well the coat of arms from a noble family, it attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year.
Tip: The Czech Republic is known as the birthplace of Pilsner beer. When you’re done, head into the suburbs of nearby Kutná Hora and find the Barborská Cocktail Bar.
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
Paris, France 75014
Go below the streets of Paris and experience the City of Light’s unforgettable catacombs. Originally mined for their limestone deposits, miles and miles of corridors snake beneath the city. Back when the aboveground crypts of Paris began to overflow, and stink, King Louis XVI ordered the remains of six million people to be moved underground. Take a tour and visit tunnels once used by both the resistance and the Nazis in World War II, or check out the wondrous Kata Art left behind by street artists and cataphiles.
Tip: Afterwards, have a glass of wine in any of the bistros that fill the neighborhood, once favorited by the likes of Hemingway, Josephine Baker, and Picasso.