Highgate Cemetery is steeped in supernatural lore. Constructed out of need with six other cemeteries in the early 1800s, with London’s population nearing a million and the death toll rising, there was no more room to bury the dead. This cemetery is one of the most famous in the world, with many notable historic figures, such as Karl Marx, buried there.
The architecture of the cemetery is truly unique. In the heart of the grounds is an eccentric structure called the Egyptian Avenue which consists of sixteen vaults, entered via a great arch. Each vault fits twelve coffins, purchased and used by individual families. This avenue leads to the Circle of Lebanon which was built in the same style consisting of thirty six vaults. A separate gothic-styled catacomb, named the Terrace Catacombs, has an additional fifty five vaults.
But what lures most people to the cemetery are the legends and myths that include ghosts, a vampire and other unexplained phenomena. Spirits coming out of the mausoleums, a glowing woman who roams the paths in between the graves, a man in a top hat, and misty ghosts that hang around the tombs are just some of the the spirits that inhabit the cemetery. Its the account of the “Highgate Vampire” that makes the site legendary.
The first report was in 1970, when a young man reported that he had seen a dark figure resembling a vampire in the cemetery. Since then, hundreds of claims of suspected vampires continued to be reported. Helping the belief along was the fact that dead foxes, with their throats torn open, kept turning up on the grounds. Aside from ghosts and a resident vampire, Highgate Cemetery in London is a hauntingly beautiful place to visit, or spend eternity.
By the light of torches, candles or miners lights, haunting scenes centuries old appear to unfold. Scenes of skulls, bones and death are everywhere. The passages can be as low as three feet overhead or even less. The air heavy with dust, and the ground underfoot flooded with grimy water splashing way over your shoes. In tunnels up to 100 feet below the surface bustle of one of the world’s great cities, another clandestine world exists.
Consulting maps, self-trained guides lead the way, while others look for opportunities to take photographs. Exploring the Paris Catacombs, also known as the Mines of Paris, carries risk. For one, it is strictly illegal, with special police and their dogs patrolling the vast subterranean network. There is also a very real danger of getting lost, as well as the chance of cave-ins in some places.
This was the abandoned Hotel del Salto, also known as the Tequendama Falls Hotel, located in San Antonio del Tequendama, Colombia. The old hotel overlooked the Tequendama Falls on the Bogotá River in Colombia. It was opened in 1924 and shut its doors in the 1990′s. For the last 20 years, the hotel had stood abandoned with a grand haunted past. But it is now a museum.
In 1923, the building was constructed as a mansion by the architect Carlos Arturo Tapias, as a symbol of the joy and elegance of Colombian’s elite citizens of the 1920’s. The house was named “The Mansion of Tequendama Falls” and was built during Colombia’s presidency of Pedro Nel Ospina (1922-1926).
The hotel was abandoned in the 1990s, for more than two decades, due to river contamination. The hotel’s French Gothic design and neglected beauty enhanced the idea that the hotel was haunted by local residents. After 20 years, the abandoned beauty was finally put to good use. The hotel has become the Museum of Biodiversity and Culture, restoring the old building’s beauty and purpose.
In the splendid beauty and serenity of the desert in Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead. Composed of mirrors, LED lighting and custom-built electronic equipment, the cabin transforms depending on the time of day.
In daylight, the 70-year-old cabin reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or a hallucination. As the sun sets behind the mountains, slowly shifting geometric color fields emerge and produce incredibly beautiful colors that pierce the night sky.
Smith states, “Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”
The electric lamp shown here came from the catholic church. The assistant curator says: “Mantin wanted to have comfort—he was very interested in modernization.”Mantin was interested in all sorts of eclectic things, and in his house you could find not only the stuffed wolf but also a diorama of real dead frogs fighting a duel in a glass globe. There is also a rat playing a violin and a stuffed blowfish.
The Real Stairway to Heaven
The Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder, is a steep hiking trail in Kaneohe, Hawaii, on the island of Oʻahu. The trail began as a wooden ladder spiked to the cliff on the south side of the Haʻikū Valley.
It was installed in 1942 to enable antenna cables to be strung from one side of the cliffs above Haʻikū Valley to the other. A building to provide a continuous communication link between Wahiawā and the Haʻikū Valley Naval Radio Station was also constructed at the peak (elevation approx. 2,800 feet/850 m). In the mid-1950s, the wooden stairs were replaced by sections of metal steps and ramps; it is estimated that there are nearly 4,000 total steps. In 1987, the station and trail were both closed to the public. [Source]
Although the public is forbidden to trespass, this has not deterred people from reaching and climbing the famous steps. While you can find rough directions online, accessing the stairs has become increasingly difficult as there is now a security guard stationed at the entrance.