From Dracula to the Headless Horseman, these mythical creatures have become somewhat legendary in our culture. To celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday, we take a look at a few of the most frightening – and the magnificent destinations around the world that they are linked to.
Where you’ll find him: Bran Castle, Romania
- There’s another common name for Bran Castle, which sits on the border of Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania – ‘Dracula’s Castle.’ The fortress here was built in 1226, with the castle being completed in 1388.
- Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, who gave rise to the Dracula legend, was associated with Bran Castle – and it’s believed that in his novel Bram Stoker used the castle as his inspiration for describing Dracula’s residence.
- If you decide to visit this place, you may want to think about taking a stake and some holy water (just in case!).
2. Loch Ness Monster
Where you’ll find it: Loch Ness River, Scotland
- Some know her as ‘Nessie’ but around the world, most of us refer to her as the Loch Ness Monster. Sightings of this dino-like creature have been ‘documented’ as early as 1933 with photos, videos, sonar readings – of which many have been deemed hoaxes.
- Most recently, one monster hunter named Steve Feltham put forward the theory that Nessie might actually be a Wels Catfish, which can grow up to 4 metres long.
3. Abominable Snowman
Where you’ll find him: Himalayas, Nepal & Tibet
- The Yeti or Meh-Teh has long been thought to inhabit the cold Himalayan Mountains by natives of the region, and originally, the creature is believed to have been an important figure in the local religion.
- While many explorers and travellers have claimed to see the Yeti – or at least its huge footprints – it’s widely believed that the creatures seen were simply apes or bears.
Where you’ll find him: The Pacific Northwest forests, US
- There seems to be no shortage of large, half-ape, half-man sightings roaming the earth – and the US has its very own version – known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch.
- To date, no real evidence has ever been presented to prove Bigfoot’s existence, though the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin short film apparently showing the creature walking away has become highly popularised. Most of us who are sceptics, however, are pretty convinced it’s just someone in a gorilla suit.
Where you’ll find it: The North York Moors, UK
- Werewolves have their origins in early European folklore and despite their common occurrences in legends and tales, they’re mostly considered fictional today.
- However, in the Moors of North Yorkshire, many travellers have claimed they’ve seen a werewolf – or at least a man walking about with a wolf’s head. The 1981 movie An American Werewolf in London has also added much werewolf fame to the Moors region.
- Backpacking through the Moors might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but if you’ve got werewolf phobia, stay away!
6. Headless Horseman
Where you’ll find it: Sleepy Hollow, US
- Washington Irving’s story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow may have popularised the Headless Horseman, but this guy has been haunting people all over Europe and the UK since medieval times.
- In Irving’s Sleepy Hollow, however, the so-called Headless Horseman apparently rises each Halloween to go in search of his lost head. The Old Dutch Church where his body is buried and the surrounding Sleepy Hollow cemetery (where, ironically, Irving was laid to rest) can easily be visited today!
- You’ll find Sleepy Hollow about 1 hour’s drive north of New York City.
Where you’ll find it: The seas near Norway & Greenland
- It’s hard to say what does and doesn’t swell in the great depths of the sea, but the gigantic Kraken has been attacking ships, scaring the pants off sailors and making its way into writings and mythology since the 13th century.
- It’s widely believed that early sightings of the Kraken were simply that of either a giant squid or colossal squid, each of which can grow up to 10-14 metres in length.
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