The world, and more precisely the Earth, is a wonderful place. There are so many wondrous locations and things to see that no one will ever succeed to visit in a lifetime. Some will devote their existence to find new, more magical places, species and artifacts and yet, we will never fully explore everything.
However, not everyone is attracted to the wondrous parts of our world. Some prefer the darkest, creepiest sites of our history and territory. Humanity has believed in supernatural phenomenons since the beginning of time, and will always believe in it. We’ve seen over time traces of UFOs and ghosts and other weird things that sometimes can’t be explained.
On Earth, there are many places to be “creeped” out, whether built by man or inexplicably by nature. The horrifying stories associated with these creepy places is what adds to their chill factor.
From historical massacres to supernatural forests and abandoned islands, here’s list of the 15 Creepiest Places on Earth.
15. The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
Situated near the Derweze Village in the middle of Karakum Desert is this huge pit of fire. The Door to Hell, a name given to this 60-feet-large and 20-feet-deep hole of burning gas, was created by Russian engineers in 1971. They thought they would find oil, but when they dug, they found gas and everything collapsed. Afraid that the gas would incapacitate the nearby village and thinking it would only last a few weeks to burn it away, the engineers lit a match in the hole… and it’s still burning today!
Creep bonus: spiders are strangely attracted to the fire pit, jumping straight into the hell hole.
14. Ship Graveyard In Muynak, Uzbekistan
Rusty ghost ship parking, that’s what Muynak is about now. However, it used to be the only port-city of Uzbekistan and a real boost to the economy. With time, excessive fishing and Soviets interference dried the Aral Sea. However, the ships are still there, abandoned, and ready to creep you out.
13. Jatinga, India – Mass Bird Suicides
Jatinga is located in Dima Hasao District in the Assam State, India and is known mostly for it’s mysterious mass bird suicides. The legend says that sometime during the year, birds go to Jatinga where they fall from the sky and die when they hit the ground. However, it’s not exactly true: due to lack of light and disorientation due to moonless and foggy nights, birds go to Jatinga where the villagers’ torches attract them. The people freak out to see so many birds arrive at the same time, so they basically kill the birds, which are seen as bad omens.
Imagine a cloud of panicking birds rushing at your door… Yes, I can imagine why the villagers are scared.
12. Oradour-sur-Glane, France – Ghost Town
June 10, 1944, a Nazi-Waffen SS company walks on the Nazi-occupied village of Oradour-sur-Glane, and massacres its 642 inhabitants, including women and children. In the morning, the village was sealed off by the Nazis who gathered everyone at the square to verify their papers, apparently. Women and children were locked up in a church, while all the men were separated in six barns. The Nazis shot their legs and when they couldn’t get away, threw fuel on them before lighting fires. Meanwhile, another fire was set in the church and those who tried to escape through the windows were shot.
It’s not surprising that this whole ghost-village is haunted…
11. Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania – The Crooked Forest
The Hoia Baciu Forest is situated to the west of the city of Cluj-Napoca, near the open air section of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania. Many paranormal activities have been reported in this forest of weird-looking trees. In 1968, a UFO was photographed. Cataloged as the “Bermuda Triangle of Romania”, it would seem that a weird magnetic field makes paranormal activities more likely to happen. And people tend to disappear when they take a stroll in there. It is also believed that this forest is a gateway to another dimension.
10. Leap Castle, Ireland
Leap Castle is known to be the most haunted castle in Ireland because of it’s violent, bloody past. A well-known murder occurred here in 1250 in “The Bloody Chapel,” when one-eyed Teige O’Carroll shove his sword through the back of the priest, also his older brother, during a mass. The priest fell upon the altar and died in front of his family. There also was an oubliette, discovered in 1922 by workmen, which held enough human bones that it took three carts to clean the room. Basically, the O’Carroll family pushed their guests in there, where they’d fall on wooden spikes and have their lungs punctured, and waited to die a horrible death.
But that’s only two examples of what happened in there.
9. Sanzhi, Taiwan – UFO Houses
The UFO houses started were built in 1978 as part of a plan to attract tourists. However, in 1980, the project was abandoned for lack of funding because several fatal car accidents and suicides occurred on the construction site. It was believed this happened because a dragon statue was broken at the entrance of the site, which released malevolent spirits. It could also be because this was the burial site of Dutch soldiers. Who knows?
In 2010, the site was demolished and is now being rebuilt into a water park.
8. Akodessewa Fetish Market, Togo
Situated in Togo’s capital city of Lomé, where the voodoo was born, is the Akodessewa Fetish Market. The market is “a kind of super supply store for fetishes, charms and anything else one might need for a ritual,” according to Atlas Obscura. There, you can find piles of dead animals and even human bones, in every stage of decay, to cure any omen someone might have placed on you, even the blackest of curses. Within the world of voodoo, every being is considered sacred, whether it’s dead or alive, which explains the piles of corpses.
7. Centralia, Pennsylvania – Ghost Town USA
If you’ve watched Silent Hill (the movie), you’re already familiar with this place. From 1,000 inhabitants in 1981 to 10 in 2010, Centralia is considered a ghost town now. In 1962, a fire started in the mines under the city, which resulted in an unstable ground, instant crevices and collapsing buildings. By now, the government has demolished most buildings that used to be in Centralia, but still a few homes remain for the people who refuse to leave this place.
6. Island of the Dolls, Mexico
To put it simply, a guy who lived as a hermit named Julián Santana Barrera had found the dead body of a little girl in a stream near his house. After he retrieved her corpse, creepy dolls started coming down the same stream and he would gather them, tie them to trees, thinking this would appease the girl’s spirit. Barrera said he believed the dolls were “still alive” but “forgotten” by their owners and also that they would walk around the island at night and kill animals. Not creepy at all.
5. Hashima Island, Japan – Ghost Island
One of my personal favorite creepy places. The island was built as a residence for the family of the miners who worked underneath the city in the underwater mines. However, the mines were no longer exploited in 1974 and the 5,000 inhabitants left the island. The buildings decayed fast on the ghost island, which is now a restricted area. Though it’s not haunted, it still became a popular tourist attraction in the 2000s. In July 2015, Hashima was approved as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in Japan.
4. Pripyat, Ukraine – Chernobyl Contamination
Pripyat is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine, near the Belorussian border. The location has been popularized recently thanks to the video game series Counter Strike. Pripyat was abandoned after the disaster at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl as it was located in the contamination zone. Its creepiness can be found in the pictures of the site: ghost attraction park, decaying buildings, abandoned children’s hospital with creepy dolls, etc. It’s got everything to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand. Oh, and radiation is still present as of today.
3. Hanging Coffins Of Sagada, Philippines
The Igorot tribe believed, and still do, that being buried in the air made them closer to Heaven. Their ancestors feared to be buried in the ground because they knew that, eventually, water would get to their corpses and they would rot. Wanting a place where their bodies would be safe, they started to hang their coffins on the mountainside. Also, an enemy tribe of the Igorot tended to hunt down their dead bodies and take their heads. This explains why there are hanging coffins, even centuries later, in Sagada.
2. Poveglia, Italy
Okay, that one is really scary. Poveglia is an island in Italia, close to Venice, where no one wants to go. From 421 until 1775, there wasn’t much to fear about the island : it was flourishing for a time, then abandoned. Nothing to freak about yet. However, in 1776, Poveglia came under the jurisdiction of the Public Health Office and and became a check point for all goods and people coming to and going from Venice by ship. In 1793, the island was transformed into a temporary confinement station for the plagued people; this role became permanent in 1805, under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, until 1814. There, people lived out the last of their lives together and every time an epidemic happened, barely alive bodies were dumped there and burned in mass graves.
After, in the 1920s, a mental hospital was built to welcome anybody that showed symptoms of any sort of sickness, physical or mental. A doctor ran the mental hospital and conducted all kinds of brutal experiments on residents of the island, as inserting instruments in their brains to see what would happen. Eventually, the doctor fell off the bell tower, and it’s not clear if he did it on his own or was pushed by a patient or a pissed-off ghost. Apparently, he had survived the fall, but some kind of thick mist swallowed him when he hit the ground and finished the job.
Because, yes, ghosts. The island is filled with over 100K angry souls who died in horrible conditions, either by disease or torture. It is also said that 50% of the soil is actually earth. The other half is human ashes.
1. Aokigahara, Japan
“Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die!” are what’s written on these panels, all through the Aokigahara forest, which sits at the feet of Mt. Fuji. Also known as “The Sea of Trees” because of how thick its vegetation is, Aokigahara is the world’s second most popular place to die.
Because of Japan’s economic and social pressure on people, there’s a lot of suicide over there. And the national favorite spot is there. Aokigahara is a really strange forest with thick, twisted trees which have grown on a volcanic floor. It’s rumored to be so thick and dark that there’s no wind in there and barely anything alive because of the sun’s incapacity to reach the ground. The forest ground is made of roots and holes in which you might fall and never be discovered. It’s also really hard to find your way back once you leave the trail because no compass works, thanks to the high magnetic field coming from the volcanic floor.
Popularized as “the perfect place to die” by a suicide guide written in the 70’s, if I remember correctly, Aokigahara has seen its share of human misery. Every year, it is said that about 70 corpses are recovered from the forest by volunteers, but it’s also believed that the Japanese government hides the real number.
When a corpse is found, in order to appease its spirit and prevent it from becoming an evil entity, the body is brought to the forester’s office where it’s put on a bed, and one of the guards must sleep beside it so the soul can leave the material world peacefully.
However, it’s believed most bodies are not recovered and won’t make it to the Heavens, leaving their tortured souls in the forest, free to haunt those who leave the trail.