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As Halloween approaches, there is no better time to take a look at some of the Caribbean’s spookiest, scariest haunted places and legends. We recently saw a great blog written by Robert Curley at About.com, that lays out a couple of great options which we’ve included below; and also here are a couple more we feel must be added to the list….
Any fan of the Sci-Fi Channel will have seen all of those B-movies about the Chupacabra. It has been spotted in many locations throughout the world, but this scary spook got its’ start in Puerto Rico. The name Chupacabra comes from the creature’s reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats.
It all began back in 1995 when eight sheep were discovered dead with puncture wounds in their chest and entirely drained of blood. Since then, there have been numerous additional reports….
El Morro Fort
San Juan, Puerto Rico is the oldest city in the New World. The fort systems (actually 3 forts interconnected and surrounding the old city) is hundreds of years old and has played an important historical role in fighting off attacks from the Dutch, English, Americans, and more. There are stories of many hauntings – from a Lady in White to a haunted Sentry Box where soldiers disappeared, and various sightings of apparitions, orbs and unexplained phenomena. This is a must-top on your spooky tour!
Top Spooky, Scary and Haunted Attractions and Legends of the Caribbean
By Robert Curley, About.com Guide
With its long history of pirates, shipwrecks, slavery, and even blood sacrifices, the Caribbean is rife with ghost stories and haunted history. If you’re visiting the Caribbean around Halloween or just need a little scare any time of year, you’re bound to encounter more than your share of zombies, jumbies and other astral fellow travelers…
Enter the Bermuda Triangle
Growing up in the 1970s, the Bermuda Triangle ranked right up there with the Amityville Horror house among Places You Don’t Want to Be. Lately, people seem to have forgotten about the Bermuda Triangle — a regional also known as the “Devil’s Triangle” whose geography3 encompasses a rough triangle between Miami, Puerto Rico4 and Bermuda5. But take it from Caribbean sailors and pilots — this boat-swallowing, compass-confusing, aircraft-snatching vortex is still out there. The region is the graveyard to a disturbing number of shipwrecks, and the disappearance of an entire squadron of Navy planes in 1945 — along with a rescue plane sent to find them — and stories of UFO sightings6 have added to the Bermuda Triangle legend.
Meet the Zombies
Zombies — those shuffling staples of B movies from Night of the Living Dead to Zombieland10 — can be traced in legend to the voodoo11 (also vodou or voudun) religion, most famously (and popularly) practiced in Haiti12. In fact, the word “zombie” apparently is derived from the Haitian Crole word “zombi,” a term for a person who has been brought back to life but is unable to speak and is controlled by a voodoo sorcerer. Some researchers have claimed that voodoo practicioners may be able to exert control by giving a mix of drugs to their victims. Voodoo adherents in Haiti strongly object to such stories — they consider themselves Roman Catholics13 — but the religion’s rituals do include communicating with the spirits of the dead through trances.
Beware the White Witch of Rose Hall
If you’re visiting the Rose Hall area of Jamaica25 (near Montego Bay) be sure to pay a visit to the Rose Hall plantation26 for a spooky tour that features the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall27, Annie Palmer. The wife of a 19th-century planation owner, Palmer went through a disturbing number of husbands and was believed to be a voodoo mistress. She also was cruel to the slaves who worked on the plantation, including ordering public whippings and torture in a basement dungeon. Palmer’s ghost is said to haunt the plantation house, which now is home to a bar and restaurant. The nearby White Witch Golf Course, part of the Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall resort, is named in her dubious honor.
Seek the Lost City of Atlantis
Some might say that it’s easy to find Atlantis32 in the Caribbean — just go to Nassau33 and cross the bridge to Paradise Island. But did you know that investigators into the legend of the Lost City of Atlantis say the doomed city may have been located off the coast of Cuba34 or near Bermuda35 or the Bahamas36? Legendary prognosticator Edgar Cayce claimed that the ruins of Atlantis would be found in the South Atlantic, and the discovery of underwater stones cut into geometric shapes off the island of Bimini37 seemed to support the theory. In 2001, however, underwater explorers discovered stones laid out in a geometric pattern in 2,100-foot-deep waters off Cuba, led to speculation that the sunken remnants of Atlantis had at last been found.
Set Sail for Ghost Ships and Shipwrecks
The Black Pearl of the Pirates of the Caribbean40 films is far from the only ghost ship to roam the waters of the Caribbean. In 2006, a yacht was found off the island of Barbados41 crewed by the petrified corpses of 11 men — would-be immigrants bound for the Canary Islands who wound up adrift and helpless in the Atlantic. The Caribbean Sea also is littered with 400 years worth of shipwrecks, from Spanish galleons sunk in hurricanes with all hands to German U-boats sunk in World War II — some still home to the remains of their doomed crews. Some of these wrecks are now popular destinations for divers, who may feel an icy chill as they explore these underwater graveyards.
Visit the ‘Cursed’ Eden Browne Estate in Nevis
Nobody has lived at the Eden Browne estate on Nevis for more than 150 years, and for good reason: the property is said to be haunted by the ghosts of a groom and his best man who killed each other during a wedding in 1822. In fact, the dispute that led to a fatal duel — and a life of heartbreak for the would-be bride — took place on the same day that the property was to be christened as the Garden of Eden at Browne’s Estate. The arranged marriage of Caroline James Beard and John Higgins was intended to bring together two prosperous families, but its bloody conclusion resulted in a curse that persists until this very day.
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Port Royal, Jamaica, the island of Tortuga (near Haiti51) and the port of New Providence (Nassau)52 in the Bahamas53 were some of the most infamous pirate towns of the Caribbean, and the region abounds with tales of bloody pirate attacks, hidden pirate loot, and the all-too-real public executions of those convicted of piracy on the high seas. The ghost of the infamous pirate Blackbeard is said to haunt several places in the Caribbean, including the British Colonial Hilton54, which sits on the former site of Old Fort Nassau. The pirate Calico Jack was just one of the buccaneers hung at Gallows Point in Port Royal, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1692 — an event that some saw as divine retribution for the town’s wicked ways.
Haunt Some Caribbean Cemeteries
Every Caribbean island is dotted with cemeteries, but perhaps none has the reputation for paranormal activity as the Port au Prince cemetery in Haiti, which is said to have a healthy population of ghosts. In Christchurch, Barbados, the crypt belonging to the Chase family earned a spooky reputation when the coffins of Colonel Thomas Chase and his two daughters were found to have moved around — after the crypt had been sealed shut.
For more information, you can see the original article: http://gocaribbean.about.com/od/specialinteresttravel/tp/HauntedCaribbean.htm