Sometimes we like to get a little spooky on our trips. When we take students to Boston, we ofter make a pit stop in Salem, Massachusetts. Even though the infamous Salem Witch Trials ended in 1693, many believe the area to be haunted. We take students on a wicked good tour through the town. Visits are great anytime but once October hits, Salem goes nuts wearing Halloween costumes any day of the week.
And why stop there? While many of you may not think of Ottawa as a spoOoky spot, we try to make sure schools slip in a Haunted Walking tour. This tour isn’t your average– we take students through Ottawa Jail Hostel. The name says it all. This building used to be a jail and most of the original structure is still intact. You can see how tiny the solitary confinement cells were, get a sense of the awful mistreatment that went on and hear stories about attempted escapes. Nowadays, the building functions as a hostel and people looking for an interesting way to spend a few nights can stay here.
Want more AH in your trAHvel? Another notorious spot to visit is San Pedro prison in Bolivia. About 1,500 inmates are housed here, 80% for drug related offenses. But, this isn’t your typical jail. Pass the thick walls and security gates, and any sense that you’re in a typical jail disappears. There are market stalls, restaurants, and even a hotel. Prisoners here have to pay for their own cells, ranging from dingy with concrete floors to “luxury” cells that are much more spacious and have cable t.v. If you can’t afford a cell, then you sleep where you can find space. Tours — run by the prisoners themselves!- used to be quite popular but are currently not allowed. Looks may be deceiving and even though it seems like a cool place (and a good story to have for later) and you might find yourself shopping at stalls inside, this place is still a place that houses criminals.