Revealed – Europe’s darkest and weirdest weekend breaks
Is there anything better than switching off the lights, settling down on the sofa and putting on a scary film on Netflix at Halloween? Not much. Except perhaps exploring some spooky movie locations for yourself. If you’d prefer to travel to some macabre destinations yourself rather than just ‘Netflix and Chill’ this Halloween, We Are Promotional has created the ultimate list of torturous attractions that have been used in movies. So forget your beach towel and pack the tissues as we take you on the REAL tour of Europe – the one that’s not in the guidebooks!
- Catacombs of Paris, France
Movie: As Above So Below
Type: Underground burial site
Closest Airport: Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris
Below the streets of Paris lie 200 miles of labyrinth tunnels called the Denfert-Rochereau Ossuary, but they are often referred to as ‘The Catacombs’. The site is home to the remains of some six or seven million Parisians. During the 18th Century, graveyards became overcrowded and as illness and disease swept through the city, so Priests had to find somewhere else to bury the dead. At night they would move the bodies into the tunnels beneath the city, and they have remained there ever since.
The location is so spooky it was even the inspiration for its own film, As Above So Below. The movie was even set at the location (despite the difficulties it caused) and follows the story of a group of explorers who venture deep into the tunnels beneath Paris; on their journey uncovering dark secrets that lie within this city of the dead. Today you can walk through the underground labyrinth of bones and skulls, one of the most horrible sites in the city with human remains stacked floor to ceiling on either side.
Be careful not to get lost on your visit – Philibert Aspairt vanished in the tunnels in 1793, and his body was not discovered for another 11 years.
- Chernobyl, Ukraine
Movie: Chernobyl Diaries
Type: Nuclear disaster
Closest Airport: Kyiv International Airport (Zhuliany)
In the north of Ukraine, you will find the town Pripyat where the Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened in 1986. A horrific disaster turned tourist attraction, Pripyat now attracts over 10,000 visitors a year. On April 25 1986, during a late night safety test, there was simulated station power blackout. The safety systems were intentionally turned off for the test but due to a number of flaws in the reactor design and human error, the nuclear reactor exploded.
It was the worst nuclear power plant explosion in history realising vast quantities of radioactive material into the earth’s atmosphere. Two people were killed during the explosion and over the coming weeks and months, the full repercussions of the explosion would be realised. The rise of visitors to Chernobyl has inspired its own film, The Chernobyl Diaries. The story follows a group of American tourists on their travels across Europe.
The group decided to go on an extreme tour into Pripyat, near the nuclear disaster site, once they find their way in their van is sabotaged. They end up lost and stranded, no one knows they are there and that they are definitely not alone.
- Pompeii, Italy
Type: Archaeological site
Location: Pompeii, Italy
Closest Airport: Naples International Airport
Pompeii has been famed for centuries for its volcanic eruption in 79AD that left the entire city in ruin. It is probably one of the oldest dark sites in Europe, and although the term ‘dark tourism’ was coined relatively recently, people have been making the voyage to see the destroyed city for centuries. This ancient site lay covered in ash from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius but was uncovered in the 18th Century and has since held a draw for those interested in the grim and gruesome.
The story of the horrific destruction of this once great city has been the inspiration for a number of television shows and movies. Most notably Pompeii, released in 2014 and starring Kit Harington. The movie follows Milo, a slave-turned-gladiator who must save the woman he loves, Cassia. As Mount Vesuvius erupts and lava falls from the sky, Milo must fight his way out the city and save Cassia before the city crumbles.
- Overtoun bridge, Scotland
Type: Celtic mythological site
Location: Dumbarton, Scotland
Closest Airport: Glasgow
Near the quiet and peaceful village of Milton in Scotland, there is a mysterious bridge. For reasons unknown, this bridge has been attracting suicidal dogs since the 1960’s. If you’ve ever owned a dog you probably realise why this is such a strange occurrence – you’re probably thinking ‘I didn’t even know dog suicide was a thing.’ According to most people and canine psychologist Dr. David Sands, it’s not, making the fact that an estimated 50 dogs have taken their lives here even weirder.
The eery and puzzling legends surrounding this town and its ‘suicide bridge’ have been of fascination to many, not least of which Samuel Horta, who wrote and directed a documentary about the horrors that have occurred here. In the Documentary film, Overtoun delves deep into the mysteries surrounding the estate, looking back through history and at the present day, in hopes of discovering if there is any truth behind the myth.
- Whitechapel, England
Movie: From Hell
Type: Murder tour
Closest Airport: Heathrow/Stansted/Gatwick/London City
As night descends on the district of Whitechapel in London, you will find yourself transported back to the streets of the 19th century. During the year of 1888, a number of brutal murders took place on the streets of Whitechapel. To this day the identity of the killer remains a mystery and the case of ‘Jack The Ripper’ still continues to both horrify and fascinate many.
The ghastly events that took place here have inspired many books and films, including From Hell which was released in 2001, starring Johnny Depp. Depp plays a clairvoyant police detective who is investigating the Whitechapel Murders. The investigation becomes personal for him as he begins to fall in love with Mary, the friend of one of Jack the Ripper’s victims.