Hidden beneath the Royal Mile lies Edinburgh's deepest secret: a warren of hidden "closes" where real people lived, worked and died. For centuries they have lain forgotten and abandoned.
Called Mary King's Close, the underground area is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Scotland. On a tour, urban myths and legends are examined, from the famous Satan's Invisible World written in 1685, right through to sightings since it opened to tourists in 2003.
Many have felt ghosts brush past their back in the Close, and during the tour you'll hear firsthand evidence of reputed ghostly communications on the Close.
In Key West, Fla., guests can discover the mystery of absinthe at the lobby bar of the Casa Marina Resort, part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection. Serving Lucid, the first genuine absinthe imported into the U.S. after its 95-year ban, it is the only bar in Key West to carry absinthe, tributing famed author and former Key West resident Ernest Hemingway.
Guests can experience absinthe served in the traditional drip fashion, with or without a sugar cube. Ice cold water kept in an ornate bartop chalice is slowly dripped into a glass of absinthe after passing through a sugar cube poised atop a slotted silver spoon. The result is a frosted, jade-colored cocktail as mysterious at Friday the 13th.
Absinthe, a high-alcohol content drink, has gained a reputation over the years as a mind-altering, potentially hallucinogenic beverage.
A Witch in Jamaica
Jamaica has a legend about Annie Palmer, the White Witch, who ruled with cruelty and met a violent death.
Palmer has been dead for more than a hundred years and is still be remembered for her reign as a ruthless mistress to countless slaves and a murderous wife to her three husbands. People say that Palmer's ghost still appears around Great House, a 200-year-old mansion three miles from Montego Bay.
Although the Great House fell into ruins after Annie was murdered in 1831, the late American industrialist and developer John Rollins and his widow, Michelle, restored it to its original splendor at a cost of more than $2.5 million. Today it stands as one of the most striking architectural restorations of the 20th century, providing an unusual focus on a colorful aspect of Jamaican history
Guests can take the 45 minute tour which is offered daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A Friendly Lighthouse Ghost
Lighthouses and ghost stories go hand in hand, largely due to the isolation, rugged conditions and disasters at sea associated with them. One such tale surrounds Pacific Grove's Point Pinos Lighthouse in California where Emily Fish became keeper in 1893.
Kicking off visits with piano recitals and exotic tea parties backed with a killer ocean view, the "socialite light keeper" ruled the roost until poor health required a replacement in 1914. Today, her apparition is believed to be all the more present and wanders the second-floor rooms, moving objects and leaving behind the scent of perfume and a swishing noise reminiscent of the long skirts of the day.
The Point Sur State Historic Park and Lighthouse in Big Sur is another scary stop, listed among the top 10 haunted lighthouses in America. Many apparitions call this outback lighthouse home, including the spirit of the teenage daughter who died there of tuberculosis in 1900.
The Luck of the Irish