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15 Top Vacation Spots Where People Vanish Without A Trace

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15 Top Vacation Spots Where People Vanish Without A Trace

Let’s play a little word association game. When you hear this word, state the first thing that comes to your mind: Vacation. Now, what did you say? A large guess is that they were all positive things. Relaxation, peace, escapism, fun. Everyone-children and working adults alike-loves a vacation. Who wouldn’t? But, unfortunately, like good ole human nature and due to a thing called life, which we all share here on Earth, something positive can be turned negative. And sometimes, vacations really do become escapes from reality, the vacationers escaping from physical reality never to be seen again. In particular, there are some major spots where reports upon reports of missing persons have appeared that it can no longer be considered a coincidence. (HINT: Water is going to pop up a lot throughout this list. Coincidence?)

15. British Columbia, Canada: Yellowhead Highway


You know what was said about not being in ships on vacation at the beginning of this? Yeah, well, add cars to that list. (For some odd reason, Canada is popping up on this list frequently.) Dorothy tells us to follow the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz, but you might want to rethink that; or at least, not follow the Yellowhead Highway. In the British Columbia section of this busy, major western Canadian highway that stretches 1,777 miles from Winnipeg to Graham Island off the coast of British Columbia via Saskatoon and Edmonton, there have been nearly 20 disappearances of women. The first body that vanished-and the only one to be found-belonged to a Monica Ignas in 1975. The other 17 girls unfortunately have never been found since their disappearance. The old saying from poet Robert Frost goes, take the road less traveled. That might be the best advice ever.

14. Southwest Vermont: The Bennington Triangle


Now, this list cannot go on with making the Midwest the only Big, Bad Wolf in the US. Over on the Northeast Coast a.k.a. New England, cheddar cheese, maple syrup, and Ben & Jerry’s are not the only big things coming out of Vermont. There’s something else that’s coming in and not coming out of Vermont: bodies. Most specifically, in the southwest region of the state, a spot called the Bennington Triangle, has caused some head scratches and bone chills since 1945.  Why? It was the last place five people were seen between 1945 to 1950. The first person to go down in this air of creepiness was an 18-year-old female hiker who disappeared out of thin air when two other hikers were literally close enough, in eye-distance to see her as they followed behind her. Not even a week later-three days-a man vanished from a moving bus never to be seen again. Even with all of the spookiness said, that’s not enough to stop hundreds of people from visiting this state for its famous delectables. Come on, who doesn’t love some Rocky Road?

13. Sierra Nevada, California: Yosemite National Park


Welp. Right behind water, ships, and cars, you might want to add parks to the list of things to avoid. Home to an estimated 45 cases of disappearances, Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is the most notorious of all the American national park vanishings cases. The unsolved stories residing there range from a hiker (James Michael Millett, Jr.) that had been missing for three weeks to finally have his body found at the park just recently in 2015 to a plethora of strange legends. But, Yosemite is not to be quarantined as the only horror-stricken national park. To date, over 1,100 people total have gone disappearing in a wide gamut of the 59 America’s National Parks. So, in conclusion, if you plan on visiting a park while on your getaway, make it the good ole staple “swings and basketball court” variety. Pass on the ones with waterfalls, canyons, and mountains.

12. Oranjestad, Aruba On Land


Finally we can let North America off-the-hook and move down the worldly waters over into the Southern Hemisphere in the Caribbean to a particular island known as Aruba. Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela is all sunshine and golden beaches. Scratch that-it’s not all sunshine. It’s also all blinding lights that keep our eyes blocked from some unsolved darkness and disappearances. Most notably, if you watched TV (yes, people still did this) even remotely in 2005, you heard about Natalee Holloway. On May 30, 1995, this newly graduated American high-schooler disappeared while on a class graduation trip when she didn’t show up to her for the return flight back. She was last seen in a car with three local young men outside a nightclub in Oranjestad. The three men were understandably called in for questioning not one, but three times, and each time they were released for lack of any evidence. However, it has been strongly suggested that Holloway was sent into slavery by the three suspects, which was even explicitly stated by one of the men himself (Joran van der Sloot) to American news anchor Greta Van Susteren in a public interview. To this day, Holloway’s case remains unsolved and her body never found leaving her to be declared dead in absentia on January 12, 2012.

11. Oranjestad, Aruba On Water


Next up is a less-circulated case of another fellow 23-year-old American by the name of Amy Bradley who disappeared on this same island of Oranjestad, Aruba all the way back in 1998. While vacationing on a cruise ship with her mother, father and younger brother that had just left Oranjestad, Aruba, and was heading to Curacao on March 24, 1998, she went missing. She was a young woman with a new job awaiting her upon her return back home. Her last spotting was by her father having drinks with musicians at the cruise ship bar, but they insisted that neither parties extended their connection past that setting and that they parted ways with Bradley pretty quickly. When the band’s rooms were searched, nothing of Amy’s or Amy herself were found. However, a human jawbone that washed up ashore briefly re-sparked attention to this unsolved story with many trying to speculate if it belonged to Bradley or Holloway. Both Bradley’s and Holloway’s cases share another similarity besides their young ages, promising futures, and location of disappearance, both of their parents also stated that authorities appeared not urgent enough in tackling their disappearances. Maybe these last words can sum up this vacation spot the best: “All that glitters isn’t gold.”

10. The Caribbean in General…


Another pair of people have been missing since their own Caribbean getaway upon a cruise ship back in May 8, 2005. An elderly Californian-American couple, Hue Pham, 71, a retired railroad worker, and his wife, Hue Tran, 67, a retired office worker, while on a seven-day cruise in the Caribbean aboard the Carnival Destiny, went missing around midnight. When the crew informed the Phams’ daughter Sharon, 38, who was traveling with them, all that could be found of the couple were Hue Tran’s purse and their abandoned flip-flops on a deck overlooking a 70-ft. drop to the sea. Over the next several hours, while still cruising, the crew searched the entire ship, but to no avail. The international search effort that followed the next three days after was just as unsuccessful. An FBI investigation concluded that the couple must have gone overboard. There was never any evidence uncovered to suggest foul play, yet the couple’s son from Seattle who did not go on the cruise with the family insists that there wouldn’t have been any reason for his parents’ to consider jumping the ship. The couple still has not been found.

9. Paris, France


Oh, bon jour. You weren’t aware that this city was more than glamour and elegance, but also the place of body counts? This particular case of vanishing is more non-traditional to the others on this list, but still the cut because the Eiffel Tower in Paris is one of the top spots in Europe for suicides. This popular pick for beginning a new life together of marriage is also unfortunately a popular pick for ending a life in death. With a height of 1063 feet and once holding the world’s tallest structure title, it can be understood why this iron tower is used for that particular purpose. The vanishing people who decide to take a leap from this tower are quite literally never seen again.

8. The State Of Arizona

Via: and

Yep, that’s right. The entire state. So, just don’t go there, alright? (And anyway, why would you even want to? Hint: 100 degrees every single day.) Yes, we all know that it’s a perpetual vacation for many (a.k.a. retirement for many post-60s individuals). However, this arid land is one of the top three American states with the most open cases of missing persons per 100,000 people (its count is over 10). These bodies become deserted and lost out in…well, the desert. In all honesty, much of the western coast of America has high missing persons cases and one can’t help, but to surmise that much of these states are covered in sand, much, much unoccupied land, and mountains, which are perfect hiding spots for people to conceal evidence. One can’t forget there was a time dating back to the 1950s when nearly 150 bodies and skeletal remains were found buried deep in the sands throughout the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada. 37 of the ones able to be identified were strongly sided to be murdered. That is not to say the same is occurring now or can be an answer to finding missing persons in Arizona, but both are high desert areas.

7. Ontario, Canada: Lake Superior

Thinking about taking a trip to any of the following states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan? Or are you already a native Midwesterner and looking for a vacation right at home? Or are you thinking about having an international experience and visiting Canada, Ontario to be more specific? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you might want to say ‘no’ to this one stop during your getaway: Lake Superior. This massive body of water doesn’t have its name for nothing. With an area of 31,700 mi² and a depth of 1,333 ft (406 m), this lake is truly superior over all of the other Great Lakes of North America. However, water mass isn’t the only area in which Lake Superior reigns larger than its counterparts; the other one is body mass. Nearly 200 (189 to be exact) ships have completely vanished in its intimidating waters never to be seen again. Well, except for one. After a century, in 2014, one huge 199-foot ship called Nelson that had disappeared in the lake in Grand Marais, Michigan in 1899 due to poor weather, was rediscovered by Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society remarkably well intact. The boat that carried 10 people-including the captain’s wife and their infant-only had one survivor: the captain himself. What’s even scarier (and why this vacation pick is the first on this list) is The Great Lakes account for more unexplained disappearances per unit area than the Bermuda Triangle. So, if you’re thinking of spending some time in the water around this lake-or even Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, or Lake Ontario-during your Midwest or Canadian escapade, just make sure not to do it in a boat.

6. San Francisco, California

Tying in with number nine, this particular spot of course has to make the list as another case of disappearing acts. In fact, it probably should’ve went before number nine, because while the Eiffel Tower is the top suicide spot in Europe, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is the top suicide spot in the wolrd. More than its surplus of comfortably sunny weather and trolleys, is its other big tourist attraction: the Golden Gate Bridge. This particular structure has been the host to over 1300 suicides since opening in 1937. To elaborate, between 1937 and 2012, approximately 1600 bodies were pulled out from the waters underneath the bridge. Even a documentary entitled, The Bridge, shares this unfortunate ‘tradition’ and the lives of the jumpers who partake in it. At a whopping 8,981 feet, those who decide to ‘vanish’ from this earth with this structure, must truly be at their end and have lost all hope.

5. Pecos, New Mexico

Via: and

This relatively low-key state compared to its popular, flashy US counterparts like New York or California is known for its unmarked natural beauty and overall calm. However it’s on this list for that very same reason. As they say, ‘Still waters run deep.” And being undetectable allows for a lot of plotting and scheming. If you’re visit this state for the big cities like Albuquerque or Sante Fe, don’t venture outside of it. Particularly, don’t venture out of Santa Fe into…Pecos. Just outside of Santa Fe is the huge Pecos wilderness along with Sante Fe National Forest. It’s a popular place of outdoorsy types and skilled hikers and fishers. But, even the skilled aren’t exceptions to the mystery of this city and what takes some of them. On September 6, 2009, a man named Mel Nadel while on a hunting trip with two friends, was discovered gone when they returned to camp. When scent dogs were involved and found his footprints, the prints suddenly stopped without a trace, leaving the dogs confused. To this day, Mendel-who was a skilled hunter, equipped with a Black belt and a bow at the time of his disappearance-has not been found. What’s even more chilling is that Pecos has a history of disappearances and strangeness.Native Americans of the area have long believed it to be inhabited by evil supernatural spirits and they always avoid it. But, even early Europeans seem to offer support to those legends because they also stated to see dancing lights in the woods and mentioned cases of people disappearing mysteriously. And if that doesn’t freak you out enough, the Pecos area is a prime location of UFO spottings.

4. The Entire State Of Alaska


Yes, an entire state again on the list. With it being all darkness for months on end with rigid chills to boot, who wouldn’t want to disappear from this state? (Why even live there in the first place?) Those who’d want to visit here are a mystery all to themselves. But, like Arizona, a lot of dropouts, runaways, and lost souls (and possible hiding convicts/derelicts?) come to the state for reasons other than a vacation. Its only difference is that it’s on the polar opposite scale of weather severity. Alaska is another of the top three U.S. states with open missing persons cases, its count being ver 10 cases unsolved for every 100,000 people. With being a state with a population smaller than San Francisco, a city, having 3,000 people go missing in 2015 for instance was very extreme and therefore, very disturbing. But, the ways one could disappear in this hih cliate landscape are endless: nearly 4,000 of some of the biggest bears that are known to this planet, immense wild life, icy waters, and of course, the real-life 30 Days of Night a.k.a. the up to 67 days of no sunlight in winter that many Alaskan cities like Barrow experience. That last condition, complete darkness, is the perfect and very ample time for things to go on in the dark.

3. Portland, Oregon (And Really the Entire State)

Back to the west coast of America, the Southwest to be exact, is present a quick fact: in 2015, more than 100 bodies remained unidentified in Oregon morgues. The stte capital, Portland, might be known for its eclectic, peace-loving people who are healthy, ethical, and vegan (and gluten free), but the peace isn’t entirely being kept in the state as a whole with its high number of open cases of missing persons per 100,000. With a count of 7.5 to 10 open cases per capita, it rounds out the top three American states with missing persons. Exactly why is it that Oregon has so many vanishing people? Portlanders say their slogan is meant to reflect their value of supporting local businesses and owners, but maybe there is also some unspoken, untelevised support going on for those who don’t want to pay child support too. It’s not unheard of for a dad or mom to steal their children from their exes or to hire a hit man to handle a nagging wife or husband and create a sob story of disappearance. The reasons for all of these missing people are uncertain, but one thing’s for sure: Keeping Portland weird isn’t hard. There’s definitely something strange going on in Oregon.

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Anyone considering a last-minute family summer vacation to Tennessee or North Carolina? If you are, scratch Great Smoky Mountains National Park for spots to visit while in town. Nestled right on the border of the two states, this national park is full of scenic forests, mountains, and streams, rivers, and waterfalls line the hiking routes that include the Appalachian Trail. However, while this might sound like an All-American experience, it’s more like an undetected American Horror Story because this nature site is also full of strange disappearance cases that have not been solved to this day. To be exact there have been three individuals, each in different years and of different ages, who have vanished without a trace while spending time at this particular site. Those cases would be six-year-old Dennis Martin who went disappearing on June 4, 1969 while with his family in the Spence Field, 16-year-old Trenny Lynn Gibson on October 8, 1976 while hiking the Andrews Bald trail on a field trip with 40 other classmates, and 58-year-old Thelma Pauline Melton on September 25, 1981 while hiking with friends near Deep Creek Campground. Maybe the park itself tries to give its visitors a warning about its murky character through its name: a smoky, mysterious site for mysterious vanishings.

1. Eastern California

To end the Southwest segment, let’s go by a long stretch and look at Eastern California and particularly, a 4,000 square area of immensely hot, dry desert appropriately called Death Valley. A name couldn’t be any more fitting. It stands right alongside African and the Middle East as one of the hottest places on earth at the height of summertime, reaching up to 134 degrees as the highest recorded temperature ever in the state. And it;s also one of the deadliest for another reason besides the heat: the missing people found here dead. Stories range from a Germn family of 4 who were visiting the US, deicided to visit Death Valley, and never made it back to Germany. Their car was found locked in the valley with all of their belongings inside. A more recent and unsettling story comes from 2014 when an African-American gay male en route to his Hollywood dream of becoming a star was found here with all of his organs missing. Even more suspicious was cops’ slow motivation and action in tackling the case and providing any information to his family. To this day, no clue as to who his killer could be or what the cause of his death was can be found.

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