About 1,000 self-described shamans, seers, stargazers, crystal enthusiasts, yogis, sufis and swamis are gathering in a convention center in the city of Merida on the Yucatan peninsula about an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, convinced that it was a good start to the coming "New Era" supposed to begin around 5:00 a.m. local time Friday. 

According to one rumor, a rocky mountain in the French Pyrenees will be the sole place on earth to escape destruction. A giant UFO and aliens are said to be waiting under the mountain, ready to burst through and spirit those nearby to safety.

Hundreds of people have already converged on Stonehenge for an "End of the World" party that coincides with the Winter Solstice.

Arthur Uther Pendragon, Britain's best-known druid, said he was anticipating a much larger crowd than usual at Stonehenge this year.

For $1,500, a museum is offering salvation from the world's end in former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's underground bunker in central Moscow — with a 50 percent refund if nothing happens.

The bunker, located 65 meters (210 feet) below ground, was designed to withstand a nuclear attack. 
Some Serbs are saying to forget that sacred mountain in the French Pyrenees. The place to go Friday will be Mount Rtanj, a pyramid-shaped peak in Serbia already drawing cultists.
A local legend has it that the mountain once swallowed an evil sorcerer who will be released on doomsday in a ball of fire that will hit the mountain top.
Another spot said to be spared: Cisternino, in southern Italy, plans a big party Friday with hot-air balloons and music in the main piazza. "Nobody will want to sleep anyway as they await the end of the world," Mayor Donato Baccaro was quoted as saying in the newspaper La Stampa on Wednesday. 

A small Turkish village known for its wines, Sirince, has also been touted as the only place after Bugarach that would escape the world's end. But on Thursday there were more journalists and security officials present there than cultists — to the great disappointment of local restaurateurs and souvenir shop owners.