Six terrifying travel experiences for fearless globetrotters

How do you like to return from a trip abroad?

Refreshed from a couple of weeks unwinding on a beach? Culturally enriched from having immersed yourself in a country’s vibrant history?

Unsurprisingly, ‘deeply traumatised and in need of therapy’ generally doesn’t rank very highly for most people.

For others, however, it’s right at the top of their list.

Adventure seekers, masochists, those with an abnormal brain chemistry who can’t seem to find fun elsewhere – there are plenty of people who seek out discomfort, fear, adrenaline and thrills when they travel.

If you’re one of them, read on for some of the most terrifying, unsettling or just plain dangerous destinations out there.

Don’t look down

China seems to lead the way in vertigo-inducing glass bridges strung between cliff faces, such as this one amongst the East Taihang Mountains, Hebei Province.

Whoever decided to augment the experience with a ‘cracking’ screen and accompanying sound effects is truly a twisted individual.

The world’s most dangerous hike

Sweaty palms, anyone?

El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Path) is a notorious walkway pinned to the cliff walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, Spain. It had fallen into serious disrepair when this video was shot and was officially closed to the public.

Thankfully, it was repaired and reopened in 2014 – instantly becoming a must-visit for thrill seeking hikers.

The most disturbing haunted house on Earth

Not for children, this one.

Supposedly, no one has ever completed the full eight-hour ordeal that this ‘haunted house’ experience offers, in San Diego, USA.

Violence, cruelty, screaming, simulated drowning, fake blood – it’s pretty extreme. But with a waiting list of 24,000 people (!) from all over the world, there are certainly plenty of takers.

Skull and bones club

What do you do if you’ve got piles of human bones lying around the place and you’re the creative type?

Well, assemble them into a selection of macabre monuments to death, of course.

Sedlec Ossuary, about an hour from Prague, the Czech Republic, is serious nightmare fuel for those who get creeped out by skeletons.

Island of the dolls

Speaking of creepy, who’d have thought that dangling dismembered children’s dolls from trees would be the stuff of nightmares?

Everyone. Everyone would have thought that.

The Island of the Dolls, Mexico City, was purportedly started as a memorial to a young woman who drowned in the surrounding waters. When fears of a ghost spread amongst locals, this was their attempt to appease the disturbed spirit.

War zone tourism

Creepy dolls and skeletons aside, perhaps the ultimate in fear-inducing travel experiences is visiting an active conflict zone.

Of course, this can veer very easily into unethical territory (gawping at people’s misfortune is never cool) – but if handled correctly, some of the most dangerous countries on Earth can be incredibly rewarding experiences for the more intrepid traveller.

But choose carefully and make sure you’ve got the backing of professionals.