Urban legends have always fascinated young and old alike. Who has never wanted to solve the mystery behind Jack the Ripper's true identity, or stride across the catacombs? According to physicians, being scared (in a safe setting, of course) is considered a key to well-being. Actually, when you get goosebumps, a cascade of chemical reactions take over your body: hormones such as endorphin and adrenalin are released and give you pleasure. Go for a hit of happiness and join the dark side of the force!
London, on the steps of Jack the Ripper
Wander through the dark alleys of the Whitechapel district, where the bloody murders took place between August and November 1888. They were pinned on the elusive figure of Jack the Ripper but were actually never solved.
Venture in the gloomy and sinister part of London. Walk around Whitechapel Road, follow on Aldgate High Street onto Mitre Square, then come back from the East by Goulston and Gunthorpe streets until you find yourself in front of the infamous 29 Hanbury Street, where the mutilated body of Annie Chapman was found. This is a spine-chilling experience.
To this day, numerous tours are being organised for those who would like to uncover the identity of the most famous serial killer ever.
Please note that you can find Jack the Ripper in the company of other masters of evil – such as Sweeney Todd – at London Dungeon, one of the most incredible horror museums in Europe. The most dreadful stories that took place in the English capital are being told by actors (a)live, in the midst of numerous attractions using spectacular special effects. Will you be brave enough to face London's bloody past?
The London Dungeon
London SE1 7PB
+44 (0)20 7654 0809
Edinburgh, city of mystery
With its dark alleyways and gloomy buildings, discover the mysterious side of Edinburgh. Get ready to shiver and discover the horrible secrets of the ancient Scottish city. When night falls, legendary macabre stories of murders and ghosts will catch your attention. Such as the one of the original body snatchers Burke & Hare, two Irish immigrants who made their living murdering strangers to sell their corpses to the medical schools for dissection purposes.
You can also visit the cemeteries of Old Calton Burial Ground and Canongate Kirkyard where it is said lost souls still haunt the place. A walk that will make your hair stand on end in one of horror's hallowed grounds.
Old Calton Burial Ground
27 Waterloo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3BQ
Tel : +44 131 664 4314
153 Canongate, Edinburgh EH8 8BN
Tel : +44 131 556 3515
Paris, 20 metres down below or in the Manoir de Paris, side with the dead!
Paris, the city of lights… Or is it really? Go underground and discover one of the most spectacular places of the entire French capital: catacombs. Enter into the ossuary that gathers the bones of about 6 million Parisians, transferred here into the belly of the city between the end of the 18th and the middle of the 19th centuries. The shadowy galleries and narrow corridors turn a walk in the catacombs into a game both mysterious and horrific at the same time, where the staging of death appears like nowhere else. It will shake you up!
Did you love getting scared? We dare you keep on once you rise to the surface! Head over to the Manoir de Paris, in the heart of the 10th arrondissement, where you'll be in for a treat. Suitable for all ages, this new concept introduces a theatrical troupe that will endeavour to plunge you in a living nightmare, full of ghosts, zombies, vampires and witches among others. As you go along, these characters will test your strength. But you're brave, aren't you?
1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
Tél : +33 (0)1 43 22 47 63
Manoir de Paris
18, rue de Paradis
Tel : +33 (0)670893587
Venice: city of fear or of romanticism?
Though it is considered as one of the most romantic cities on Earth, mythical Venice hides a darker side, a strange maze haunted by hordes of legendary ghosts.
Gather your courage and walk the streets at night, into the secret recesses of the Serenissima. Get the shivers listening to old scaring tales about some of the city's infamous inhabitants, like Biasio the Butcher, or the strange skeleton of a vampire found on the Lazzaretto Nuovo island – a place known as a quarantine area for being plague-stricken in the 16th century. Tremble in fear when walking down the Bovolo haunted staircase and the Calle dei Assassini.
Not for the faint of heart.
Scala Contarini del Bovolo
Corte del Maltese
San Marco 4302
Tel : +39 041 260 1974
Calle dei Assassini
Rio Terà Assassini, 3695
Tel : +39 041 528 7986
In Poland, the most Gothic Chapel in the world
At the border with the Czech Republic, between Prague and Cracow, you will find a tiny Chapel that looks straight out of a Tim Burton movie. It was built with more than 20,000 human skulls and bones that mainly belong to Polish victims of the epidemics of the second half of the 18th century. Facing the altar, you will feel the presence of thousands of lives resting there. In this strange atmosphere, you can let yourself wonder about life and death, while taking inspiration from the architects, priest Wacław Tomaszek and grave digger J. Langer. Absolutely macabre, yet incredibly original!
Skull Chapel (Kaplica Czaszek)
Town of Czermna
ul. Stanisława Moniuszki 8