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IGOUGO EDITORS SHARE THEIR TOP 10 FAVORITE PICKS FOR MYSTERIOUS SITES AROUND THE GLOBE

IgoUgo editors find the most mysterious, unexplainable and sometimes creepiest places to visit this Halloween

NEW YORK – October 16, 2008 – Halloween season or not, many people are drawn to mystery and intrigue. There is a fascination with the unexplainable, and sometimes people just like a good scare. That is why this Halloween season, IgoUgo has pulled together a list of their picks for the most mysterious places around the globe. From a burning town to a house of bones, these places are not for the faint of heart.

"IgoUgo editors dug deep to find some of the eeriest sites around the globe," said Michelle Doucette, content manager at IgoUgo.com. "This time of year people are drawn to places with mysterious qualities, and these sites won't disappoint."

IgoUgo editors, quoting advice and impressions from their savvy members, compiled their picks for the world's top 10 places to visit this Halloween season.

IgoUgo's Top 10 Most Mysterious Sites

Bran Castle

Bran, Romania

Photo: Castle Bran Tower

The legend of Dracula—or Vlad Tepes, since you'll be on a real-name basis once you've visited his "dark and frightening" home—harkens back to Bran Castle, rising atop a Transylvanian peak. Today the fortress is a museum, so you can call on Vlad the Impaler any time you want (during operating hours, anyway).

Old Melbourne Gaol

Melbourne, Australia

Photo: Old Melbourne Gaol

Visitors to Melbourne's infamous jail, today marketed with a "Crime & Justice Experience" subtitle, report feeling "disturbed by lost souls" yet find the trip "strangely intriguing"—especially the collection of death masks and hanging beams of Ned Kelly and other outlaws.

Dilmun Burial Complex

Sar, Bahrain

Photo: Honeycomb Graves

One of the most intriguing ancient Arabian burial grounds, the Dilmun complex of intertwining graves is perhaps best known for its "honeycomb" appearance. Both the identity of the buried and the function of excavated buildings—thought to be temples of a very early civilization—remain unsolved.

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

Manteo, North Carolina

Photo: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

After nearly 420 years, visitors to Fort Raleigh are still asking the question, "Where, oh where, is Virginia Dare?" The first baby born to English arrivals in the New World vanished, along with an entire colony of settlers, with a mysterious tree carving their only trace. See the story—minus the mysterious ending—dramatized in the long-running outdoor musical The Lost Colony.

Hill of Crosses

Siauliai, Lithuania

Photo: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site

The hill sagging under tens of thousands of crosses is such a striking sight that many visitors to Lithuania claim you haven't really visited the country until you've seen it. Its origins are unknown, though Lithuania has long maintained a tradition of carving crosses that express "both sorrow and hope."

Burning Town

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Photo: Warning - Underground Mine Fire

A must-see oddity on any northeast US road trip, a coal vein has been burning beneath this town for 46 years. You'll know you're close when you hit "undulating blacktop" on Route 61, and then you'll see the ghost town with its "few families who refuse to leave, several cemeteries, and the smoking strip mine where it all started." If you're not creeped out yet, it's two hours to Philadelphia and the "haunted".

Hallstatt Bone House

Hallstatt, Austria

Photo: Hallstatt Bone House

Tight for space, for hundreds of years some Austrian graveyards gained new ground by burying and then exhuming bodies, painting the skeletal remains and arranging them in a beinhaus. Centuries of bones—the newest decorated skull, gold tooth still intact, dates only to 1983—can be seen in the Hallstatt chapel and while it is "in no way sterilized, it is not tasteless either."

Okefenokee Swamp

Waycross, Georgia

Photo: Mirror Lake

The Seminoles' impenetrable "Land of Trembling Earth" still makes visitors tremble with fear. No one can confirm—or discount—the tales of swamp people, ghosts, and larger-than-life supernatural beings, but visitors can confirm that the ancient Native American burial mound on Chesser Island is worth a visit. If it's live things that scare you, go gator-spotting on one of the wildlife refuge's boat tours.

Castlerigg

Keswick, England

Photo: Castlerigg Stone Circle

Locals prefer Castlerigg's Cumbrian Druid formations to those at Stonehenge because you can "touch them, sit on them, and appreciate how they're set off by the dramatic backdrop." (Perhaps also because it's free.) Visits can be "peaceful," "oddly disturbing," or "threatening, mystic, and magical," depending on the weather—and on whether you spot any of the bizarre light phenomena reported at the site.

Catacombs of Paris

Paris, France

Photo: Paris Catacombs

If you’re not "faint of heart" or "claustrophobic," the "morbid" and "dim" catacombs have been a preferred place to beat the heat in the City of Light since the late 1700s. Besides walls of femurs and tibias, officials also "formed pictures, warnings, and messages out of the bones, making the sight even more grotesque."

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