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Take a Trip like The X-Files

Visit almost any metropolitan area or small town and you’re bound to run into several true believers of ghosts, strange entities and the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. Nowhere are these curiosities and rare occurrences more prevalent than America’s southwest. From the notorious alien sightings at Nevada’s Area 51 to the eerie glow of the Marfa Lights, it’s a paranormal phenomenon junkie’s paradise. While taking a bizarre tour of this region, make sure to visit these highlights, which will put you in mind of that cult 1990s television classic, “The X-Files.”

Area 51

Originally built in World War II by the Army Air Corps, which later became the modern day Air Force, Area 51 was the sight of a notorious partnership between the CIA and research and development company Lockheed, which aimed to build a top secret high altitude aircraft under the code name “Skunk Works.” The open air space over Area 51 and a variety of experimental aircrafts led many to designate the sight as a full-fledged alien land strip. Over the years the controversy has grown and made Area 51 the destination of choice for UFO enthusiasts. While there stop into the small town of Rachel, Nevada, which is inhabited by around 100 residents and speaking to the town’s occupants will turn anyone from a skeptic to a believer in a matter of hours.

Roswell, New Mexico

1947 lives in infamy for the inhabitants around Roswell, New Mexico. It’s long believed an alien spacecraft crash-landed in the New Mexico desert on this date, leaving behind a massive hole and several unanswered questions. A buzz of activity surrounded the sight ever since, although the Army and United State’s government vehemently denies any existence of UFO-related phenomenon in the area. If planning your visit around your love of Ufology, definitely visit Roswell during the annual UFO festival to enjoy the myth, reality and a variety of family friendly events. However if you need a break from paranormal phenomenon, consider booking your hotel in Albuquerque instead of Roswell and visiting one of the nearby attractions including the White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Sitting Bull Falls instead.

Phoenix Mystery Castle

Nestled amongst the desert landscapes, amazing hotels and fabulous restaurants of Phoenix, you’ll find a little-known oddity called the Phoenix Mystery Castle. Built in the foothills of the South Martin Park, the “castle” was constructed in the 1930s by Boyce Luther Gulley. Originally from Seattle, Gulley abruptly left Washington and his wife and young daughter after learning he contracted tuberculosis. He built the odd structure for his family from found materials, including railroad tracks, telephone poles, stone, automotive parts, goat milk, mortar, cement and calcium. Boyce Gulley passed away in 1945, leaving the home to its intended inhabitants, who resided there until his daughter passed away in 2010. The word “strange” doesn’t begin to describe this castle, which is an oddity lover’s must-see attraction.

Marfa Lights

The “Lone Star” state features more than big hair, 10-gallon hats and the Texas State Fair. Each night a stretch of highway near the unassuming town of Marfa, Texas becomes a hotbed of unexplained phenomenon. The eerie glow seen along the horizon lovingly dubbed the “Marfa Lights” by occult enthusiasts and has been a source of controversy and debate for several decades. Supporters will tell you the glow is caused by UFOs or spectral visitors. Skeptics believe the strange lights are nothing more than an atmospheric phenomenon or the glow created by the headlights of cars traveling along U.S. Highway 67 between Marfa and Presidio, Texas. The lights were even the subject of the popular television show “Unsolved Mysteries.” Decide for yourself by visiting the sight, talking to your fellow travelers and witnessing the Marfa Lights. Be advised that Marfa is located near Texas’ Western border with Mexico and is hundreds of miles from any other of the state’s metropolitan areas. Stop into the town if you’re planning a road trip to Mexico or make the Marfa Lights the sole stop on your unearthly tour of America’s Southwest.

Remember to book early, especially if you’re traveling to these areas during peak tourist times or between June and September. Then, get ready to feel like Mulder and Scully, investigating the Southwest’s bizarre attractions.

This article was written by Charles Watkins, an avid traveler and online media consultant for Tacoma hotel.