Seeking a spooky place to visit on Halloween? Are you a big fan of A&E’s Ghost Hunters? Whatever the case you’ll be pleased to know that your up and coming visit to Taiwan offers what you’re looking for when it comes to not-so-typical adventures. While the island is rich which massive amusement parks, countless shopping malls, impeccable beaches, and nightlife that never rests, it is also home to mystery and mystique that will give even the most seasoned paranormal investigator pause. If you’re up for it, we have a delightfully eerie itinerary that you and your party will never forget.
5 Spine-Tingling Spots Thrill Seekers Need to Check Out Around Taiwan
1. Mínxióng Ghost House 民雄鬼屋
Mínxióng Township, Chiayi County
A visit to the Mínxióng Ghost House, also referred to as the Minsyon haunted house or Liu family mansion, made our list of the 5 Best Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Taiwan. You can read about the unfortunate events that led to the haunting of the Liu family mansion and what to expect on your visit here. The Mínxióng Township in Chiayi County is located off the western coast of Taiwan, sandwiched between Taichung and Tainan, so if staying in Taipei expect about an over 3 hour drive without traffic. The haunted house is found amidst a seemingly endless swath of rice paddies, abandoned shacks, and drainage canals and even the journey feels a bit otherworldly, making it all the more fun for those who enjoy this sort of thing. Be sure to go with a local guide because this is not one place you want to get stuck in after the sun goes down.
2. Haunted Xìnglín General Hospital 杏林綜合醫院
Xìnglín General Hospital is fairly well known around the world of ghost hunting aficionados, but don’t worry – it’s by no means tourist trap. The historic hospital shut down nearly three decades ago after scandals spread throughout the facility. Word of medical malpractice leading to numerous wrongful deaths along with many attempts to coverup one unfortunate event after the next led to the institution’s demise. Rumor has it that the ghosts of patients who fell victim to malpractice roam the halls in search of answers to this very day.
A place such as this would have been picked apart in most other regions around the world but urban exploration is a culture of its own in Taiwan, and out of respect (and we’re sure in many cases fear) those who have dared to venture within the dilapidated walls have left many creepy artifacts untouched. Some of the rooms still contain personal effects of past staff (and perhaps patients), along with long-expired medications, hospital gowns, sepia-stained photos, and more. If upon exploration you hear or see something move out of the corner of your eye it’s most likely a rodent, feral cat, or dog. Maybe. Again, go with a local guide because you don’t want to get lost in the poorly lit (no electricity) and cobwebbed halls.
3. Haunted Dakeng Scenic Area 大坑風景區
Taichung City, Taiwan
Don’t let “scenic area” fool you, because while the hiking trail is bookend by plenty of beauty, it also comes with an unwanted (for some) guest – the ghost of a little girl whose origin no one knows for sure. The story all started back in the late 90’s. A local family had filmed a seemingly harmless hike along the Dakeng trail, but once back at home playback of their camcorder unearthed footage a little girl in red following them in the background. Soon after reviewing the video (which was aired on Taiwanese News) one of the sons who was on the hike inexplicably passed away. Word spread fast, and others stepped forward with their own tales of mysterious sights and sounds along the trail. Eventually the story inspired the Taiwanese horror film, The Tag-Along. Sure, you can watch the movie but if you hope to meet the star who inspired the film you can head up on with your guide to Dakeng and see what unfolds.
image: The Tag-Along (film)
4. Guanxi Bat Cave 關西蝙蝠洞
Guangxi Township, Hsinchu County
Dark cave. Bats. What else do you need to know? While the most famous “bat cave” in Taiwan is Sanmin Bat Cave in the Fuxing District of Taiyuan, there are no longer any bats there due to an influx of human visitors over the last few decades (they should really consider renaming it). The limestone caverns of Guangxi in Hsinchu County however, reportedly still have plenty of bat colonies hanging in the dark from above. Take note that the entrance of the cave is often inaccessible due to poor weather conditions BUT there is another way in which is found further along the trail, and there is no public transportation to the area. This makes going with a local guide pretty important. Who wants to get lost while searching for a bat cave?
5. Green Island 綠島
Off the eastern coast of Taiwan
A small and beautiful tropical island deemed scary? It can be, when it was once home to a penal colony for political prisoners during a mournful period of martial law. When you also consider the fact that the prison housed Taiwan’s most nefarious criminals and gangsters and that many were executed in order to reduce the risk of escape (and to cut costs, some say) it’s no wonder that tales of haunting spread through the island decades after the prison was decommissioned. Of course, by day the picturesque island has other things to offer including a saltwater hot spring, diving, snorkeling, hiking, and an ironic (for a former penal colony which executed prisoners) visit to honor the Goddess of Mercy at Guanine Cave. But when the sun sets true believers will note the something in the air as the past creeps up on Green Island and asks that visitors remember what happen here long ago.
Remember, while you’re the one in search of some spooky adventure it’s a good idea to enjoy these above haunted attractions with a knowledgeable local guide in tow. Download the Loci Amica app today and connect to a local guide.