Review by Cat Croteau
Guide To The World’s Supernatural Places : More Than 250 Spine-Chilling Destinations Around the Globe, by Sarah Bartlett
National Geographic’s Guide To The World’s Supernatural Places is an armchair tour of all the creepiest, eeriest, most mysterious places around the globe. Sarah Bartlett, a paranormal expert, combines her knowledge of the paranormal with the history and geography of more than 250 locations.
The art, paintings, and photographs that grace each page are at once, both beautiful and eerie. My kids enjoyed sitting on either side of me peering at the various pictures and etchings as I read excerpts from the locations. Guide To The World’s Supernatural Places is divided up into six classifications: Haunted Places, Vampire Haunts, Witchcraft and the Dark Arts, Sacred Places, UFO Hotspots, and Myths and Legends. The divisions make it easier for the reader to find exactly what they’re looking to read.
Travelers may be interested in researching spooky locations before arrival, either to avoid haunted locations or plan their own haunted tours. Bartlett also includes tips or suggestions of when to visit or what to pack before heading to locations. I would never have known I needed to visit Victoria Falls during the stormy season (March through April) to have the best chance of spotting a lighting bird. According to the legends of the area, the lighting bird is a “human-sized bird that can conjure violent thunder and lightning with its wings and talons.”
Area 51, Dracula’s castle, the Bermuda Triangle and other obviously creepy locations are included in the book, but Bartlett also includes locations I had no idea were considered haunted–like the oracle at Delphi, Machu Picchu, and the Badlands in South Dakota. I was really excited to discover several haunted places that I’ve visited have been included as “spine-chilling” and hope I’m lucky enough to use Guide To The World’s Supernatural Places to check out more.
There’s something about being scared that can feel good and Bartlett’s book is the right combination of eerie and education. Use this book to learn the legends, myths, and beliefs of cultures around the world or plan an adventure like my family. We discovered the sacred Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming isn’t that far from us. Road trip!
Cat Croteau is an avid hiker, yogi, and mom to 4. Currently residing in South Dakota with her soul mate, Cat loves exploring the Black Hills with a baby on her hip and her family by her side.