Travel: Leaving the Commonplace Behind
By Amy Lignor
What is the definition of a vacation? Well, there are those living in the snow who believe their vacation should come along with the warmest beach and a few fancy drinks with little umbrellas in them so they can relax before heading back to the deep-freeze. There are also those who sit at desks all day and dream of a vacation that allows them to hike those trails in the Great Outdoors. There are even more who have the kids literally screaming in their ear who simply want a vacation from their vacation.
But when you look at the “trends” in the travel industry, more and more people are choosing to travel to the fascinating. Of course, in this case ‘fascinating’ is all about haunted places, creepy historical mansions and locales that are truly odd. That’s right…this is not just for Halloween fun anymore. In fact, these locations are now offering some of the coolest hotels, best restaurants, nightclubs and hot spots that offer up evening fun, and even shopping, art, and theatre districts in order to make the ‘abnormal’ a perfect place to visit.
In other words…the commonplace is out.
Let us begin in Portland, Oregon. Here, visitors are heading to the Shanghai Tunnels. These is actually a maze of dark passages that run between Old Town and downtown Portland. People who love the maritime realm will love this “shanghai” tale. It is here, from 1870 to 1940, that abductors took hold of unsuspecting men and actually sold them to captains of sea vessels as basic slaves. These men had to work aboard the ships they were trapped on for no money. How did they get them, you ask? That’s where the tunnels come into play. In Old Town, Portland there were saloons that had trap doors carved in the floor – so when the patron got more than a little tipsy, they fell into this labyrinth and were held there until they were “shipped” out. Haunted by restless spirits, people love touring these tunnels and then heading in to downtown Portland to have a great meal!
Another “Old Town” that’s being visited is located in the bustling city of Chicago. Referred to as Old Town Tatu, it was back in the 1880s that Tatu played home to Chicago’s very first funeral parlor (and you can only imagine the number of mobsters that ended up in there.) Now people go to get inked. Here, tattoos are given, as the visitors (usually) get a view of all types of unnatural activity that includes objects moving of their own accord, active poltergeists, as well as a ghostly apparition that some remember quite well. Chicago is already an incredible city – this just adds to the ‘abnormal’ part of your visit.
There are many mansions across the country that are most definitely anything but commonplace. Although most everyone knows about the Winchester House located in San Jose, California, there is also a mansion in St. Louis that is part of the long list of tourist attractions in this stunning city. Now an extremely popular inn and restaurant, Lemp Mansion actually saw sixty years of tragedy inside its doors. The Lemp family was a truly rich dynasty. But when the brewing business hit the skids, father took his own life, followed by his two sons and then, oddly enough, another death occurred of a boy who lived hidden away from the world inside the mansion’s attic. Not only can you enjoy the location now for both the food and service, but there is also a weekly ghost tour of the mansion given to those visitors who wish to sink their teeth into the ‘abnormal’.
Yet another mansion can be visited in the sunny, beautiful city of San Diego. The Whaley House was built in 1857 by an extremely wealthy retailer. Unfortunately, he just so happened to build it atop “unholy” ground that once served as the site where criminals were executed on the gallows. Whether you believe or disbelieve, the facts remain that Whaley was plagued with everything from deaths to suicides among his family, and when people head to San Diego they love to stop by and meet up with these restless spirits.
And if you are one of those who loves to hike and be a part of the Great Outdoors – yet likes a little ‘abnormality’ brought into play – West Milford, New Jersey is the perfect place for your next vacation. Just ten miles long, Clinton Road is a desolate place that has grown popular over time with tales of paranormal activity, phantom trucks being seen flying down the roadway, as well as being the place where mob hit man, “The Iceman” was discovered. Clinton Road has its very own ‘dead man’s curve,’ and offers no exits whatsoever. In other words, you do have to walk, drive or run down Clinton Road the entire ten miles…no matter what you meet up with along the way.
There are many more to choose from out there in the world – places that not only provide you with the beauty and culture you’re looking for, but also spice it up with sites you will never forget.
Source: Baret News