Being scared of the dark is pretty normal. Even though most people know that there really isn't a rational reason to be afraid when the lights go out, it's estimated that over 11% of grown adults can't handle of being in complete darkness. Most people feel at a loss in the dark, because they no longer have vision and cannot use their senses as accurately as they can in lit spaces. Even though anything can happen any time of the day, many people experience a rush of adrenaline when their vision is impaired without proper lighting, which is usually caused by a dose of (normal) fear.
Some people actually thrive on this and seek out experiences to feel the thrill of being surrounded by darkness. That's why so many spooky attractions exist and why guests will pay such large amounts to experience them, even if the spooks are fake. Some places around the world are just inherently dark, others are thought to be haunted, and some are even underground. Whatever the case is, people who can't handle the dark would be best to avoid these destinations, and instead seek out those with an unusual amount of light!
20 17. Bran Castle, Romania (Dark!): Dracula's Castle in the Night
Situated near Bran Romania on top of a cliff, this fortress is commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle.” This castle was depicted in the Story of Count Dracula which was based off of its 15th century tenant, Vlad the Impaler. Vlad got the name “The Impaler” due to his cruel habit of using stakes on his victims. This inspired author Bran Stoker to write Dracula.
While Count Dracula himself never set foot inside this castle, coming to the castle and hearing the stories of Vlad the Impaler will certainly send you home with jitters.
19 6. London, England (Light!): Not Exactly the Rainy City
While London is commonly thought of as a “rainy city,” that is actually a very big misconception! It rains only 29 percent of days per year, leaving the other 71 percent for the sun to shine. There are 1,410 hours of sunshine per year in London, which makes London an amazing vacation spot for anyone looking for a Urban vacation with a lot of history and culture.
Besides the amazing shopping through the streets of London, there is a rich history to be explored. You can visit the Churchill War Rooms from WWII before making your way to the House of Parliament. Take a beautiful stroll through Hyde Park and stop at Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. Don’t miss a thing!
18 15. Barrow, Alaska (Dark!): A Winter of Only Night
Located in the Arctic Circle, Barrow is only roughly 1,300 miles south of the North Pole with a small population of somewhere around 4,212. The sun sets in Barrow on November 18th or 19th and it remains dark there for about 65 days, something known as polar nights.
The sun does not return completely over the horizon until January 27th or 28th. The idea of polar nights has been subject to multiple vampire movies over the years. While this is clearly made up, the idea of 65 days in complete darkness is still creepy.
17 7. New York, New York (Light!): The City That Never Sleeps
Compromised of 5 boroughs, sitting at the intersection of the Hudson and the Atlantic Ocean, New York City is the most densely populated major city in the United States and one of the largest cities in the world. From Broadway to Chinatown and all in-between, the possibilities are endless in NYC.
Known as the “City That Never Sleeps,” there is something to do at all hours of the day; even the New York Subway provides continuous 24/7 service. There is an endless list of activities to do in the city, which is good because there is 24 hours in the day to complete them.
For someone who doesn’t like the dark, New York City is the place to be since the city never shuts off its lights.
16 12. Gerlach, Nevada (Dark!): One of the Smallest, Darkest Towns
With the closest town 60 miles away, Gerlach is surrounded by nothing. This town with a population of 240 residents is home to not much of anything besides the Black Rock Desert. With most of the residents being elderly, the town appears to be a ghost town to outsiders and rarely has visitors.
Some of the only people traveling to Gerlach are hunters who come to hunt a wide variety of game as well as festival goers who come for the week-long Burning Man Festival.
Gerlach is quiet during the daytime but completely silent at night. It isn't spooked in the traditional sense, but is definitely unsettling to anyone afraid of the dark.
15 10. Yuma, Arizona (Light!): Sunny and Dry Arizona
Of all the majorly populated placed in the United States, Yuma is the most dry, most sunny, least humid and overall warmest place. It is said that the sun shines during about 90% of the total daylight hours; this equates to roughly 4,015 hours of sunshine per year.
These numbers make Yuma the sunniest place in the world. It is a great spot for outdoor activities and exploration as it is located near the Kofa Mountain Range and wildlife refuge. The dry heat allows for ample opportunity to get outside and enjoy the endless sunlight. No need to be afraid of the dark when there is none.
14 20. Death Valley National Park, California (Dark!): See the Stars if You Aren't Scared of the Dark
Located 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 295 miles northeast of Los Angeles, this national park is the hottest, driest and lowest of all US national parks. Due to its desert-like climate and geography, this park has some of the darkest night skies; it even holds the certification as the third International Dark Sky Park in the U.S. National Park System.
The Park prides itself in this certification and has even gone as far as to improve external lighting at nearby facilities to reduce skyglow and glare in the park. What this means is that this park has some of the darkest skies across the globe.
13 1. Alicante, Spain (Light!): An Outdoor Lover's Sunny Paradise
A city and port in Spain, Alicante is a historic Mediterranean destination with a bustling population of 330,525. This area of Spain has a semi-arid climate with little rain all year-round. This lack of rain is paired with quite a bit of sunshine: 2,953 hours per year to be exact! The busy port city of Alicante has much to offer, including outdoor activities ranging from hiking to horseback riding. If you'd rather relax on a beach, that's easy to accomplish. Among Alicante's most notable features is the Castle of Santa Barbara, which sits high above the city on a mountain-top ledge. Touring this castle is a notable memory for all who visit Alicante.
12 18. An unfriendly Fortress, Rhode Island (Dark!): Spooky Attractions
The Fortress of Nightmares (aptly named) at the historic Fort Adams in Newport, RI contain four haunted attractions: Mayhem 3D, Tunnels of Terror, Spirits Rising and Paranormal. None of these are for the faint of heart. Between a 3D walk through twisted scenes, a ghoulish maze, a high-tech haunted house, and a VR horror movie, this fortress has some of the darkest and scariest attractions on the East Coast and is known throughout the country.
These Halloween attractions are designed to lead you through mazes with suspense around every corner, each attraction spookier than the last. Visit this Fortress at your own risk, especially if you have a fear of the dark!
11 3. Kahului, Hawaii (Light!): A Vacation Destination for a Reason
On the island of Maui, Kahului has a hot, semi-arid climate with dry and sunny summers. Because it has both beautiful weather and amazing geographical phenomena, Kahului has so much to offer to its tourists.
Whether you are spending your vacation in Kahului or just passing through while spending your time on the island of Maui, you will want to explore every inch of Kahului.
Various outdoor locations frequented by tourists and locals alike are Kanaha Beach Park, Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, and Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. Additionally, if you want to spend more time in the sun, you can book a helicopter tour and fly over the entire island with the help of a pilot-guide.
10 11. Daufuskie Island, South Carolina (Dark!): Dim, Unexplainable Events
Only accessible by boat, Daufuskie houses roughly 200-500 permanent residents year-round. Traveling to this remote island bring you back in time, as there are no cars on the island and the only mode of transportation is golf carts. A prominent fixture on the island is the Haig Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse is thought to be spooked by residents and tourists alike.
The tale is that Maggie Comer, a young woman who was abandoned by her naval engineer boyfriend, took up residence as a ghost and never left. There are many stories of unexplainable events happening in this lighthouse, although nothing has been proven definitively. Avoid Daufuskie Island, unless you're up for a thrill!
9 9. Aswan, Egypt (Light!): A Huge Amount of Sunlight
Located south of Egypt, Aswan get an average of 3,863 hours of sunshine per year. Awan is a busy market city and tourist center on the bank of the Nile River. Besides the immense amount of sunshine, Aswan is also one of the hottest and driest places in the world.
While the summers can be almost unbearable due to the heat, winters are the absolute perfect temperature to spend the day outside. Exploring the immense culture of Aswan is very important when traveling there as there is a rich history hiding in the bustling city. Aswan is still a unique and magical place and is iconic in regards to Egyptian history.
8 13. Seven Sisters Road, Nebraska (Dark!): A Remote, Mysterious Street
Known as a real paranormal hotspot, Seven Sisters Road is home to multiple accounts of mysterious yells, the sounds of bells ringing, and cars stalling for no reason. The folklore behind the haunted road is that in the 1900s, a young man became angry with his parents, and when they left for the evening, he brought his seven sisters to the woods and left them there.
It is now thought that the seven sisters haunt these woods, contacting anyone who dares pass through. Only the bravest can visit this road, especially since there isn't any type of tour and you'd have to venture out alone.
7 8. Phoenix, Arizona (Light!): High Temperatures, Lots of Sun
With roughly 3,872 hours of sunshine per year on average and temperatures reaching on average about 107 degrees Fahrenheit in the hottest months, Phoenix is the second sunniest city in the world.
Phoenix has almost 1.5 million residents, making it the largest city in Arizona. The subtropical desert climate makes for extremely long and hot summers combined with short, mild winters. Luckily for residents and visitors of Phoenix, the subtropical climate causes a dry heat which is manageable and allows for various outdoor activities even on the hottest of days.
Phoenix locals love to partake in water sports, hike, mountain bike, float the salt river, and camp at Seven Spring Recreation Area. It's a great active city if you love adventure in the sun!
6 14. Yuma Territorial Prison, Arizona (Dark!): Ghosts of Prisoners Past
Opened in 1876, this former prison in Yuma Arizona once housed both men and women serving sentences for a range of crimes. While the punishment of inmates was considered “humane” for the times, there are still stories of inmates being thrown in “the dark cell” as punishment for not following the rules.
While no one passed away in the dark cell, two inmates did need to be relocated to the insane asylum during their stay.
It is believed that ghosts are in the dark cell - the spirits of prisoners past remain trapped in the walls of the dark room, unable to escape. If you're seeking a thrill, you'll definitely find it here.
5 5. Key West, Florida (Light!): Year-Round Sun
An island off the state of Florida, Key West is the southernmost place in the US. Only four miles long and one mile wide, this island is a very popular tourist location. Key West has a tropical savanna climate, meaning that there is only a small different in monthly temperatures throughout the entire year. The two seasons are simply wet and dry; from November to April, the weather is normally sunny and dry. While May through October is typically the wet season, it is still sunny by most standards.
Enjoying the sunshine in Key West is extremely easy with all of the outdoor activities available at almost every corner!
4 16. Derinkuyu, Turkey (Dark!): Small and Cramped
Extending approximately 60 meters below ground, this ancient multi-level underground city was only rediscovered in 1963 when a Turkish man was renovating his home and dug down deep.
After exploring the city, it was learned that it is 11 levels deep, covering an area of four miles, and includes structures such as temples, tombs, living quarters, and livestock pens. This forgotten underground city was utilized as protection during battle. Many of the levels remain inaccessible due to their architecture today, however.
Now, the rest of the city remains open for tours, but walking in these deep dark tunnels is strongly discouraged for the claustrophobic because of their tiny size and darkness.
3 4. El Paso, Texas (Light!): Safe and Sunny
Not only is El Paso ranked as one of the safest, large cities in America, but it is also one of the sunniest. On average, El Paso gets around 3,763 hours of sunlight per year. The hot desert climate allows for arid summers and dry winters with 302 days of sunshine per year.
Due to the immense amount of sunshine, El Paso is known as “The Sun City”. All of this sunshine allows for year-round outdoor exploration. The largest Urban Park in the nation, The Franklin Mountains State Park, is located within city limits and is popular with tourists and locals alike. The park is open year-round and includes activities like hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, and taking in the great views of the city.
2 19. The Vaults, Edinburgh (Dark!): Damp With a Spooky Element
Formed in 1788, the Edinburgh Vaults consist of 120 rooms beneath the surface of the South Bridge. For the first 30 years, these vaults were used for business but as the rooms' conditions deteriorated, business left and the vaults soon became hotspots for dodgy activity.
The vaults are now believed to be haunted and even have fully documented spirit encounters written by tourists. Not only are the vaults supposedly spooked but they are dark, damp and extremely claustrophobic. Tours through the spooky caves take brave souls through the vaults utilizing nothing but candlelight. If you're scared of the dark and anything paranormal, this definitely is not the place to visit.
1 2. Valletta, Malta (Light!): European Sun Year Round
The southernmost capital of Europe, Valletta was established in 1566. With its extensive history and beautiful weather, Valletta is definitely somewhere to add to any travel destination list. Its Mediterranean climate is warm with dry summers and mild but wet winters. Valletta has an average of 3,049 hours of sunshine per year! The extensive culture and history make Valletta a great place to tour on foot.
There are multiple museums, including the Grandmaster’s Palace, the Knights Hospitallers, and the Great Siege of Malta. Also, along the way, you can check out the various 15th century churches and cathedrals. For history buffs and sun lovers alike, Malta is a great destination!