Mystical, mythical, spooky and otherworldly - if these are the kind of adjectives that pique your interest, then these are the travel destinations for you.

Whether you’re a dedicated UFO hunter, a wannabe Ghostbuster, a medium, a supernatural buff, or maybe you just fancy swapping the regular tourist trail for something a little different, there are locations spanning the globe where you can indulge your weird and wonderful interests. Some might even have you jumping out of your skin.

These locations are shrouded in mystery, their stories have become the stuff of legend, and they spark the curiosity of theorists, tourists, and everyone else in between. Take Britain’s Stonehenge, for example - was it built by the wizard Merlin or set up by an alien power as a UFO landing ground? Or possibly neither? What about the famous Nazca Lines in Peru - who drew them, how was it done and, most intriguingly of all, why?

Some of these locations will leave you scratching your head, others will give you goosebumps, but they all promise mystery and intrigue by the bucket load, even if you’re the most cynical of traveller. To be on the safe side, though, maybe take a friend.

20 20. A Magnet For Mystics: Stonehenge, UK

Mystics from all over the world flock to the prehistoric stone monuments of Stonehenge, which have long been believed to possess great spiritual powers. Built on the Salisbury Plain, about 140 kilometres south-west of London, Stonehenge is thought to have been built in stages from 3000BC, and it remains one of England's most popular tourist attractions.

Many theories have been put forward as to why Stonehenge was constructed and the more archaeologists study it, the more mysteries unfold. Scientists suggest maybe it was a corral, a religious centre, a place of healing, or symbol of British unity. Less conventional theories suggest that Merlin brought the stones from Ireland to build the magic stone circle, or that it’s a base for UFO landings, while others hold that it's an ancient calendar, an astronomical chart or a place for worshipping the sun. Whatever its original purpose, we may never be able to say for sure.

19 19. Limbo Of The Lost - The Bermuda Triangle

Tales of lost mariners and ships, disappeared aircraft and even vanishing humans, have surrounded the Bermuda Triangle for centuries. The vast 700,000 square-kilometre swathe of ocean is also known as the Devil’s Triangle, and theories as to why so many travellers fall foul of its clutches are plenty.

Some say there are magnetic anomalies that throw compasses off course, others say that bad weather and human error are merely to blame. But if you visit the area today you may never go home again - out of choice. The gorgeous islands of Turks and Caicos are located in the south and the coves of Bermuda in the north.

18 17. The Hotel That Inspired A Stephen King Classic: The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel is a 142-room hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, just five miles from the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It offers panoramic views of Lake Estes, the Rockies and especially Long's Peak. So far, so pleasant. But the Stanley Hotel also served as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s 1977 bestseller The Shining and its 1980 film adaptation, starring Jack Nicholson.

In the years following the book’s publication, The Stanley Hotel has gained a reputation among paranormal investigators for frequent activity and the hotel now offers guided ghost tours to guests and visitors. Not for the faint-hearted.

17 16. The Lines In The Sand - Nazca, Peru

Scarring their way across the dusty desert landscapes of southern Peru, the Nazca Lines are among the most mysterious and awesome prehistoric remains in all of South America.

From the ground, it's impossible to appreciate their magnitude but from the air, an incredible kaleidoscope of pale drawings of animals, birds, plants and intricate geometric designs gradually emerges over a site covering about 1,000 square kilometres.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, no one really knows why they were made by the ancient Nazca people. Perhaps they were an offering to the gods? It’s still a mystery.

16 15. The Most Puzzling Of Modern Mysteries - Kryptos, Virginia

While it may look like a regular piece of contemporary art, this sculpture was created for the CIA headquarters in Langley and nobody but its creator has been able to decipher it.

Artist Jim Sanborn unveiled the Kryptos sculpture in 1990, and the 3.6-metre-high artwork of wood, granite and copper, contains four encrypted messages that have been baffling cryptographers ever since.

Three messages have been solved, but the fourth remains an enigma, and despite Sanborn releasing a second clue to mark both the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and his 69th birthday, no one has come any closer to unlocking the riddle, a secret kept by just 67 letters. Do you have what it takes to crack the code?

15 14. The Legends of Transylvania, Romania

Tales of the supernatural had been circulating in Romanian folklore for centuries before Bram Stoker, a writer from Ireland, picked up the thread and spun it into the tale of Dracula. The famous blood-sucker was inspired by some sinister and notorious characters from Romanian history, including Vlad The Impaler.

With its turret-topped citadel and medley of Gothic towers and gargoyle-peppered roofs, Bran Castle provided Stoker with the inspiration behind Dracula’s castle. Historically, it is believed that Vlad tried to overrun the fortress, where it was possible he was eventually imprisoned in the dungeon there. Whatever the truth of its past, the castle retains an eerie atmosphere that attracts tourists from around the world.

14 13. The Archeological Marvel That Is Machu Picchu, Peru

Dramatically perched on an Andes mountain ridge some 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru, Machu Picchu is a visual wonder and a technical masterpiece. Incans built the site's 15th-century ruins without mortar, fitting the blocks of stone so tightly together that you still cannot fit a piece of paper between them. The design included steeped, agricultural terraces to boost planting space and protect against flooding.

Although the site was discovered more than 100 years ago, the origins of Machu Picchu remain a mystery. No one knows why, and how, it was built. They left no record to explain its purpose, or why it was later abandoned.

13 12. The Unexplained Crooked Forest, Poland

In a small corner of western Poland, near the town of Gryfino, a strange and eerie woodland exists. The Crooked Forest consists of around 400 pine trees that grow with a 90-degree bend at their base, the vast majority of which are bent northward. Curiously, the Crooked Forest is enveloped by a larger forest of straight growing pine trees.

It is estimated that the trees were planted in the 1930s and that they were around 7-10 years old when they experienced whatever force/damage that resulted in trunk curvature. Debate has raged as to what caused it, with theories as wide-ranging as torrential snowstorms to lumberjack growing techniques. Very weird.

12 11. The Holy Grail, Knights Templar And More - The Many Theories About Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland

The village of Roslin has two unusual claims to fame: it was near here, at the Roslin Institute, that the world's first cloned sheep, Dolly, was created in 1997; and it also boasts the mysterious, richly decorated late-Gothic Rosslyn Chapel.

Since the late 1980s, the chapel has been the subject of speculative theories concerning a connection between everything from Freemasons, the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail, the Turin Shroud to the True Gospels, and the regular sightings of UFOs over Midlothian.

The 15th-century chapel really shot to fame when it prominently featured in Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code and its 2006 film adaptation. Conspiracy theories notwithstanding, the beautiful chapel is very definitely worth a visit.

11 10. The Eternal Flame Falls, United States

A fire that burns eternally behind a stream of cascading water - if you think that needs to be seen to be believed,  check out the Eternal Flame Falls. This small waterfall, located in the Shale Creek Preserve in Western New York, has a grotto at its base that emits natural gas, which can be lit to produce a small flame, which is visible nearly all year round.

For years, scientists thought that the eternal flame was kept alight by gas produced by ancient, extremely hot rocks. However, researchers from Indiana University have discovered that the rocks underneath the area aren't hot enough to produce this gas, which means another process must be producing it. As to what exactly that process is, no one yet knows.

10 9. Everyone’s Welcome In Roswell, New Mexico. Aliens Included

For those not in know, the Roswell Incident refers to events surrounding the town in the summer of 1947. It is claimed by many theorists, even eye-witnesses at the time, that a UFO crash-landed outside the town, with its extraterrestrial occupants still on board.

Some say the event has been covered up. Many say it never happened in the first place. Either way, the town has attracted a stream of tourists, UFO researchers and dedicated believers in search of the truth… and souvenirs.

It’s a legacy the town wholeheartedly celebrates and has fun with, from the alien-themed souvenir shops to the International U.F.O. Museum and Research Center. It’s definitely one for Mulder and Scully.

9 8. The Last Remaining Wonder Of The Ancient World: The Pyramids At Giza, Egypt

They're the best-known structures of the ancient world and ever since the early days of Western exploration, the pyramids have been shrouded in rumours and legends. Elaborate booby traps and vast stores of golden treasure gave rise to stories of curses and unexplained events.

More than that, the ancient engineering feats at Giza are so impressive that even today scientists can't be sure exactly how these 4,000-year-old pyramids were built. Today they stand as an awe-inspiring tribute to the might and achievements of ancient Egypt. And they make for incredible travel photos.

8 7. The Curse Of Bhangarh Fort, India

Located at the border of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, Bhangarh Fort is a 17th-century fort famous for being the “Most haunted place in India“. Because of the numerous supernatural experiences and happenings in the fort premises, villages have sprung up well away from it, due to the local’s fear of what goes bump in the night within. Even the Archaeological Survey of India has forbidden the locals and tourists from entering at night.

Legend has it that the fort was where the wizard Sinhai tried to ensnare a princess by offering her a love potion. The plan backfired on the wizard, but not before he could lay his hex on all the inhabitants. Spooky stuff.

7 6. The Unknown Secrets Of The Terracotta Army, China

The Terracotta Army is regarded as one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century. One of China's top attractions, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains thousands of clay life-size models that are said to represent an army from 2,200 years ago, created to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang in his journey to the after-life.

Since its discovery in 1974, archaeologists have uncovered more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and 670 horses, and no two figures are exactly alike. Why has mercury been found at the site? Why were some of the pits burned? And just how much has the site yet to reveal? Only time will tell.

6 5. The Hidden History Of Easter Island, Polynesia

The 887 moai statues on Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, have turned one of the most isolated islands in the world into one of the most well known, and most mysterious. Just how did the moai statues travel to their final resting places? What caused the apparent decline of the people who lived there?

With each year, more theories arise. Among them is, you guessed it, that the massive statues were created by aliens. The mystery continues.

5 4. Walk Across The Island Of The Dolls, Mexico

Near Mexico City, among the beautiful canals of Xochimico, is the rather spooky Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls), where old dolls hang from trees and buildings in a scene straight out of a scary movie. But behind its weird facade lies a sad tale.

Legend has it that after a little girl passed away near the island some years ago. Its caretaker hung up her doll in remembrance, and the collection was added over the years. Locals say the dolls are watched by the girl’s spirit, and some have claimed to have even heard the dolls whisper to each other. If you’re easily spooked, maybe give this one a miss.

4 3. Things That Go Bump In The Night In Highgate Cemetery, UK

Opened in 1839, London’s Highgate Cemetery was once a fashionable destination for the living and the not-so. Its since developed a reputation for being London's spookiest cemetery and has become a popular location for occult, paranormal and vampiric enthusiasts.

The graveyard holds around 170,000 people and is the final resting place of Karl Marx, Lucien Freud, Christina Rossetti, and many others. But from the 1970s, people reported seeing a ghostly figure, dubbed the ‘Highgate Vampire’, stalking the cemetery grounds. Scores of ‘vampire hunters’ regularly converge on the graveyard in the night.

Thankfully, the hysteria surrounding Highgate and its alleged vampire have quieted, and the beautiful grounds are still worth a visit. If you do schedule a trip, however, it may be wise to grab a clove of garlic, just in case.

3 2. The Prison On Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Alcatraz Island has been home to a fortress, a bird sanctuary, the Red Power movement, and - most famously - a prison. It’s now a draw for tourists who are fascinated by the former facility’s reputation for spooky happenings.

Some say a ghostly Al Capone, a former inmate, can be heard practicing the banjo he played in the prison's old band. Others say that mobster Alvin Karpis never left the bakery and kitchen. But the consensus is that the most thrilling spot is in cell block D, where the notorious escape attempt took place.

2 1. The Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

The Hanging Coffins of Sagada are just a few of the cliff-side burials sites in the world. The tombs reportedly follow an ancient funeral custom that entombs the deceased in coffins attached to rock faces or within caves in the face of cliffs. The Sagada people are thought to have practiced such burials for more than 2,000 years, and that some of the coffins on display today are well over a century old.

The reason for the practice was that the placements prevented animals from reaching the bodies and did not take up value farm space for burials. It makes for an unforgettable sight.

1 18. The Mysterious Islands At The End Of The World - The Tikis On Hiva-Oa, The Marquesas Islands

The Marquesas Islands are among the most remote islands in the world, lying over 4,500 kms from the nearest continental land mass in Mexico. In total, the Marquesas are known for some 95 ancient stone tiki. Most of these valuable statues are located in Hiva-Oa and Nuku Hiva and almost all of them are situated in Me’ae.

A Ma’ae is an ancient Marquesan site, arranged for ceremonies and gatherings, where diverse rituals were performed. Among these were funerary rites, which often required human sacrifice. Many locals are convinced that spirits of the deceased are still wandering the sites. Carved in rage-red stone, some of the sculptures are almost twice the height of a person and more than twice as wide, and they've been bewitching visitors since the first European ethnologist arrived to examine them in 1897.

References: businessinsidercntravelerlivesciencenationalgeographic