Celebrate Halloween in Mexico at These Spooky Places

Celebrate Halloween in Mexico at These Spooky Places


Do you love watching scary movies or reading horror stories? With Halloween approaching and the days getting darker and colder as fall nears, it’s high-time for spookiness.

Mexico celebrates Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) between October 31st and November 2nd, so if you’re planning a Halloween trip there, it perfectly coincides with their spooky festivities! While Day of the Dead is completely different from Halloween, the celebration is equally as festive with face paint, mini coffins, candy, papier-mâché skeletons lining shops, homes and cemeteries. Beneath the cheerful surface, Mexican belief in the supernatural runs deep and dates back to the Maya and Aztec periods. Some people still go to shamans for healing and others believe in the use of an ofrenda (altar) as a mythical conduit to Mictlán (a spiritual antechamber) to contact the dead. With such deep-rooted beliefs, it comes as no surprise that a culture so close to its dead is known for haunted locations and portals to the Underworld.

If you aren’t spooked enough by the allegedly haunted Mexico City International Airport on arrival (videos have apparently captured a ghostly girl staring at people from an abandoned plane on the property) here are five more places in Mexico that will give you the shivers!


Isla de las Muñecas, Xochimilco, Mexico

Courtesy of Richard Baker | Flickr

Start with the most haunted place in Mexico, an island located just south of Mexico City between the canals of Xochimilco. Isla de las Muñecas (“Island of the Dolls”) is actually a floating garden populated by thousands of people and hundreds of terrifying dolls in the trees. Their limbs are severed, heads decapitated and their blank eyes stare at visitors that pass. Though pretty scary during the day, the dolls are particularly terrifying at night if you dare to walk through the forests.

Legend has it that the caretaker of the island, Don Juan, failed to save a girl that drowned nearby and hung her doll to a tree as a sign of respect. Apparently, he became haunted by the spirit and couldn’t stop hanging up dolls in the trees. People who knew him said he seemed possessed by something they didn’t recognize as a part of him. Since his death in 2001, the area has become a tourist attraction, with some locals reporting seeing dolls move, speak and open their eyes. Orbs have also been reported here. Even just passing by the island gives visitors the creeps, so if you’re having second thoughts about walking onto the island, just pass by boat and feel the spooky vibes from a distance.

Consider staying at nearby Mexico City’s Four Seasons Hotel and if you’re really brave, stop by the Hotel Posada del Sol on your way back—you aren’t allowed to enter this abandoned hotel and it’s believed a little girl haunts one of its underground chambers.


The Rainforests of Quintana Roo, Mexico

Courtesy of Philip Larsen | Flickr

Pack your hiking stuff and your infrared cameras—the haunted rainforests of Quintana Roo are next on your Halloween vacation. Located in the state of Quintana Roo on the Caribbean side of the Yucatán Peninsula, the rainforests here are ancient and have dense, heavily-branched terrain that’s challenging to pass. You might hear a familiar voice from a person you know calling to you from deep within the forest, but unless you are visiting the rainforest with this person, don’t follow that voice!

Legends tell of a ghost known as Juan de Monte that inhabits these jungles. His ghost is known to lead wanderers astray by imitating human voices. Some people, however, say that the ghost is benign and protects the forest. If you venture far into the woods, you’ll also reach the Coba Ruin, a Maya pyramid with steep inclines and spirits at night! Nearby Chichén Itzá is a bit more touristy and safer for those that are quickly unnerved.

When you’re ready to wind down but want to remain near the spooky vibes, consider nearby Rosewood Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen. This resort is located on a lagoon, so you could see orbs or one of Mexico’s mythical chaneque nature spirits while relaxing or kayaking on the water.


The House of Mummies in Guanajuato, Mexico

Courtesy of Javier Arriola | Flickr.com

Located in the center of Guanajuato, Mexico, the Museo de las Múmias (“Museum of Mummies”) has a collection of mummies that creep out anyone who visits. The mummified bodies were discovered in the city’s cemetery, accidentally mummified by the area’s mineral-rich soils and dry climate, so they are nearly perfectly preserved. Museum visitors report that the well-preserved bodies move, whisper and even weep. Others have reported a ghostly lady walking about (possibly a spirit that once belonged to one of the bodies) and the sounds of crying babies. This is definitely a place where you’ll need to bring more than just yourself: visitors have reported being so terrified that they left the city of Guanajuato altogether after their experience and got themselves a hotel somewhere else.

If you’re staying in Guanajuato, consider the Camino Real Guanajuato hotel. The hotel has two pools and was converted from a 17th-century manor, so there are plenty of spooky corridors for exploring. If you feel like taking a break from ghost hunting, the modern Hotel Boutique 1850 in downtown Guanajuato is historically styled with a spa for complete relaxation. Don’t miss the restaurant and the beautiful old theater next door.

If you dare, the House of Laments is also in Guanajuato, where visitors report hearing crying sounds.


Playa de Los Muertos Near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Courtesy of Kimberly Smith Gregg | Flickr.com

Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead) may seem like a normal, lively place when you visit, but it hides a dark and tragic past. When you visit this beach during warm and quiet summer nights, you might still hear and feel the ghosts that met their end here. It’s said that many sailors in the past who fell off-board during storms were washed up on this beach due to the strong currents. Luckily, you can swim here without worries, because today the area is monitored by a coast guard. Most visitors will never know or understand why it’s called Beach of the Dead and will simply enjoy its present-day beauty.

For a place to stay after, consider the Club Regina Puerto Vallarta, a beach resort with a spa, pools, dining and plenty of water sports.


Mapimí Silent Zone in Durango, Mexico

Courtesy of migueljim 27 | Flickr.com

The Mapimí Silent Zone, or La Zona del Silencio, is a desert patch near the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve in Durango, Mexico. Legends abound that the area is unable to receive radio communications and that compasses refuse to function. Other locals have reported seeing large or alien-like people appear before disappearing again into thin air, and a blond man who will appear out of nowhere and then disappear. The most interesting tale is the missile that was launched from the United States and landed right in the middle of the Zone of Silence—400 miles south of its intended target. Additionally, the zone has plenty of orbs flying around that terrify during the night. Be sure to come during the warmer months, as nightly temperatures can reach freezing.

The Hotel Gobernador Durango is an elegant option for winding down after your trip. The property offers two restaurants, including the excellent La Hacienda, and an outdoor pool. If you have more time in this city, you can appreciate the Durango Regional Museum, Durango Cathedral and the two-story Paseo Durango Shopping Center. They are not quite as haunted as the Silent Zone but may offer a ghost or two!

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