|In London's Richmond Park|
The World's 6 Spookiest Runs (in my opinion)
1. Richmond Park, London: Richmond Park is a wide, rolling expanse of fields and woods, with deer grazing the sweeping meadows. There's one section of woods which is full of ancient oak trees, gigantic, hollow and gnarly. In the evening gloom, they look absolutely haunted.
|Another Richmond Park oak|
|Vlad the Impaler with his castle ruins|
3. Bonn, Germany: The Venusberg hill overlooking town is covered with woods and is full of great running trails. But the north slope of the hill is another spot with some unsettlingly haunting trees. They aren't so big, but they are growing in all kinds of crazy directions and twisted shapes. Another place that feels spellbound.
|St. Anthony's Chapel ruins at Arthur's Seat, superb photo by Adrian Hart|
6. Dortmund, Germany: Dortmund is an old steel-making city, one of the industrial powerhouses of the world. On my first trip to Dortmund, many years ago, I ran southeast of the Westfalenpark and experienced a surrealistic run through the old Phönix steel-works grounds at night. From a distance, I had seen its ovens spewing out molten red steel into waiting railroad cars, accompanied by ear-splitting screeches. Endless rows of coal cars rolled slowly through the industrial wastelands to fuel the ovens. It looked like I was peering into the depths of Mordor. So I decided to run through the grounds, trying to avoid any security personnel. I was running up and down steep hills of slag, passed a World War II-era bunker teetering on the edge of a cliff, with exhaust-gas flames and steel-ovens bathing the scene in fiery orange light. The steel works have closed down now, and much of the area is occupied by a lake, but part of the steel plant has been left as a silent industrial museum that can be wandered by the curious.