The all time creepiest experience I have had was while we were traveling in an unlikely place for creepy experiences. It wasn’t related to Halloween and it didn’t involve anything particularly known for being haunted. So where was this creepy place?
Z and I traveled to Costa Rica for several weeks in the middle of the summer, and we loved our time there. It was about the middle of our trip, while we were in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, right off the Pacific Ocean, when we were taking pictures of the sun and waves towards the end of the day. We wandered down the beach a ways, and in the distance, saw some sort of castle-type tower peeking over the trees in the jungle. Z and I decided to explore down the beach that way to see what the building was. We figured it was some sort of fancy hotel. So we walked down the beach and watched the tiny crabs scurry for their holes in the sand along the path as we walked by. After a while, the path we were following (which was narrow to begin with) stopped in a sandy cove.I was ready to give up on finding the building, whatever it was, since it had been a while since we could even see the building because of the trees. But, Z persisted, and found a very thin path that led back into the trees. We hiked a few more minutes, and I was starting to get nervous walking around the forest, when Z announced that he could see a building through the trees. We walked out of the trees to see the strangest building I have ever seen.
An immense concrete building rose into the sky. It was two stories tall, but then had several tower turrets going another 20 or 30 feet into the sky. At the top of the main tower was a stone hand, cut off at the wrist, with its thumb and forefinger pinched, as if it was pinching the building by the very top of the roof of the tower. That was what Z and I had seen from way down the beach over the tops of the trees.On another part of the building was a large stone octopus. At least one door was standing ajar, and there was no one around the property. It appeared to be semi-maintained, since it wasn’t totally over run with plants, but it definitely had the feel of abandonment. Z and I walked around the side of the building, and saw the faded entryway, with letters that had long since fallen off, to “Hotel Playas de Nosara.” Z was intrigued and wanted to explore more, but between the look of the building, the oppressive trees and plants of the surrounding jungle, the lack of people within a long distance, and the fading daylight, I was ready to run. The whole place felt dense, suffocating, and just wrong. Panic creeped (ok, full on ran) in my voice, and Z listened as I begged him to leave. I didn’t want to walk by the hotel again though, so we tried to leave by an old road to work our way up to the main road that we figured was not too far away. We walked down two different paths that ended in dead ends before I was thoroughly freaked out, and decided we had to go past the hotel again, and as quickly as possible. It wasn’t until we emerged into the sandy cove through the trees before I was finally convinced that we were going to make it back alive. I was actually shaky for a little while after finding that place. Of course Z felt it was all interesting and a grand adventure, but said he had not been scared. I think I was scared enough for the both of us. Safely back at our hostel, I looked up the hotel and found that it did have several stories and creepy encounters written about it online. So I was not alone in feeling freaked out by the hotel. So that’s the most scared I have ever been in traveling. Sometimes being adventurous pays off, and sometimes, it leads to old creepy hotels in the jungle.