There’s something about being alone that feels great. You’re allowed your own peace and quiet, no one’s bugging you and you have complete and full control over the remote control. However, at the same time, it’s nice having someone there with you, we are, after all, social creatures. So much so, prisons separate inmates from one another as a form of strict punishment. That said, it isn’t exactly a burden being alone in your living room compared to a jail cell, but still it’s interesting to think about, because when we’re left all by our lonesome in a less appealing place it can be a little more than tough. Hell, it can be downright terrifying, and some places more than others. Some places have broken histories, some places have a lingering creep factor you can’t ignore, and some are just so utterly vacant and forgotten that you’d settle for even seeing your shadow if it meant you had someone to talk to. Well, for fun, I compiled a small list of those exact places and I’m here to share them with you today. Here are 15 terrifying places to be caught alone:
15. Varosha, Cyprus
There was a time when Varosha was the top vacation spot in Cyprus, and if you get to take a look at it in its heyday around 1972 you’ll see why. High-rises on the beach with bikini-clad babes only leaving their champagne breakfasts to tan their skin on the white sand. In fact, from 1970-1974 it was one of the top tourist destinations in the entire world. So what happened in 1974? The Turkish Armed Forces that’s what. They invaded Cyprus and their armies came to blows with the Greek Cypriot right on the streets of poor Varosha. Needless to say, the 39,000 people residing in the beach town took one look out of their windows, saw two nations killing each other, and hightailed it out of there as fast as they could. Only other problem was they could never return to retrieve their things. Turkish armed forces blocked off all entrances and the city remains abandoned to this day, stuck in 1974. Imagine being stuck all alone in Varosha with nothing but Turkish Armed forces on their way to kill you and a dusty old disco ball hanging over your head.
14. Whale Bone Alley
When you’re vacationing to an unknown place it’s smart to pick someplace with a lot of culture and nightlife, maybe even some fine local cuisine, or if you’re into horrifying loneliness and dead fish then whale bone alley might be for you. Located on the northern shore of Yttygran island, whale bone alley is exactly what it sounds like… a large amount of land devoted to whale bones stacked and embedded into the ground. There are also several small holes made out of bone that people believe to be meat storage pits. What makes whale bone alley a horrific place to be alone is that nobody knows who, or why all those whale bones are there. Some think it was once a location for initiation rituals or sporting events, but others believe it was some sort of whale butcher, which would explain the meat storage.
13. Akodessewa Fetish Market – Togo
If you’re into voodoo then I don’t have to tell you how much of a pain in the butt it is to find ingredients for your many daily curses. The Akodessewa Fetish Market in West Africa has put an end to that problem once and for all because with their makeshift flea market of monkey heads, skulls, dead birds, and crocodiles etc. they’ve installed the world’s foremost voodoo supply store and it’s scary as sh*t. Look at that picture and tell me this is a place you think you’d be able to compose yourself for even a minute. Personally, if I get lost in the supermarket on a Sunday I have to look up breathing exercises on the internet. If I was in the shrunken head aisle in Akodessewa with no clue how to speak the language and no “run this way for immediate exit” signs in English I think panic would take me over pretty quickly.
12. Maunsell Sea Forts – North Sea, England
I could think of a handful of reasons as to why these armed towers off the coast of the UK scare the hell out of me and if you have at least one eye I’m sure you’re able to do the same. Built during World War II to defend the United Kingdom against naval attacks, and after the war ended it was used by pirate radio in the 1960s, but since then they’ve been nothing but red heaps of rust that resemble some sort of War of the Worlds style alien death machines… you know the ones that have the long legs and walk around looking for humans to crush… yeah those. There’s also something about free-standing war time capsules that you can’t leave from on foot. You either dive in and take your chances swimming to shore through those choppy waters, or you just wait there… in the dark… until some other brave soul decides to give it a shot.
11. Hoia Baciu Forest – Romania
Locals love this forest for so many reasons. It’s great for hiking, paintball, biking, archery and the like, but there’s one pesky nuisance and that is, of course, the crippling presence of otherworldly beings. Hoia Forest has been a hotbed for paranormal activity for decades ever since the 1960s when archeologists began unearthing ancient tombs under the forest floor (an excavation that lasted over thirty years). The dense fog has been known to make men question their left from their right and those wacky trees definitely aren’t helping. Back in the 60s a biologist by the name of Alexandru Sift did tests to see how the light and magnetism acted so strangely here, and he collected a lot of data and photographs. The only problem was he kicked the bucket in 1993 and nearly all of his work mysteriously vanished a week later. Yeah, no thanks.
10. The Catacombs – Paris
If you’ve been to the Catacombs then you know how creepy it is down there. You’re directly under the bustling streets of Paris and you’re 100% surrounded by walls made of human bones of more than six million people dating back to the 1700s. And if you have an extra 20 euros to spend, you can freely roam amongst the stacked skeletons at your leisure. No tour guides and very little light. Some parts are blocked off as well as they can be, but people have been known to wander off the beaten path. That’s where the danger of being left alone in the Catacombs begins. The seemingly infinite corridors of the attraction all look the same, and if you stray even a bit, you’ll find yourself in a dark tunnel, with no way out, where no one can hear you through the thick cement walls and human bone… and that flashlight battery is starting to get very low…
9. Abandoned Domino Sugar Factory – Brooklyn, New York
Let’s bring it back to the states for this one. That way if you want to get terrified it won’t cost you that much in airfare. The Domino Sugar Refinery was built in 1882 and was, at the time, the largest sugar refinery in the entire world (which… I think is supposed to be cool). But, by 2004 the refinery’s best days were behind it, employees had picketed for better work conditions (the longest strike in U.S. history), and the building closed its doors for good leaving this brick behemoth looking out over Brooklyn… and it’s spooky as it gets. If you take a stroll around the premises you’re bound to get lost in either tight quarters with rusty gears pressing against your skin, or endless warehouses where you have nothing but the echo of your own voice to keep you company.
8. The Last House on Holland Island – U.S.A
Yup, it’s a house in the water, but more specifically it’s a terrifying house in the water. The “Last House on Holland” as it’s famously known by, was once one of many on Holland Island which was once even the most populated island in the Chesapeake Bay boasting a population of 360 and over 70 structures by 1910. But, what the booming fishing community failed to realize was that the island was made up of dirt and silt rather than rock, and slowly the island was washed away into the waters. Little by little the residents fled to the mainland, and when it was all said and done, only this one house remained after a century. What you can’t tell by the image is that this house is not, by any means, close to the shore, so if you’re stuck here (most likely on the top floor) that’s where you’re staying, just you and all the ghosts of the dead from the graveyard that was also swallowed up by the bay.
7. Kolmanskop – Namibia
It’s not an archeological find, although it does feel like an Indiana Jones movie because it involves an exotic land covered in sand, Nazis and diamonds… let me sort that out for you. In 1908, a railway worker in Kolmanskop found a diamond during his shift and showed it to his German supervisor. Fast forward a few years and there’s a full blown German diamond mine complete with a small town for the men and families digging in the sand. However, after the first World War the ground beneath Kolmanskop started running low on precious gems and by 1954 the entire diamond trade was caput and the small town was left to deal with the unforgiving desert weather on its own. Today the buildings still stand, but the interiors are filled waist high with sand, giving the ghost town an eerie and almost chilling feel.
6. San Zhi Houses – Taiwan
The Sanzhi UFO houses, as they’re more commonly called, were originally built in 1978 to be a resort for tourists and U.S. soldiers on leave, but funding ran out real fast and by 1980 these futuristic looking pods were left for teens to practice their window breaking skills. What makes these little pods creepy, besides the way they look, is that during construction there were a series of suicides and car accidents that many people believe were caused by workers cutting a sacred dragon statue in half to accommodate a new road. While others believe the entire site is built on an old burial ground for Dutch soldiers. Either way this place very clearly has a whole lotta no chance written all over it.
5. The New Bedford Orpheum -U.S.A.
There are a lot of Orpheum Theaters in the U.S. (the first being in Los Angeles) but the one in New Bedford, Mass. is the second oldest having been built in 1912. It was originally owned by The French Sharpshooter’s Club of New Bedford and came complete with an armoured sharpshooter range along with the ballroom and theater itself. Once live performances started to decline, the theater attempted transitioning into movies, but by the early 1950s there was nothing left but empty seats and the sharpshooters sold it to a tobacco company. The building is pretty much unused to this day, and time has certainly taken its toll. Paint is chipping, wallpaper is curling, but to add to the creep factor everything to put on a stage performance is there complete with dusty pianos and dozens of seats waiting for a ghost to plop down into them.
4. Abandoned Military Hospital in Beelitz – Germany
Hospitals are creepy enough as is, so imagine an abandoned Nazi hospital… yeah. Beelitz-Heilstätten was a hospital built in the late 1800s outside of Berlin to deal with all of the tuberculosis patients in Germany, but after World War I it was converted into a military hospital that even treated a young, wounded Adolph Hitler. After WWII the Russians took control of the hospital all the way up to 1995. In 2000 the entire hospital officially closed and what’s left is a massive structure with decaying hospital beds and rustic medical equipment. The thing about the hospital is that it really is enormous. It spans over sixty buildings that are, supposedly, very easy to break into. So, if you’re itching for a terrifying stroll around the halls where doomed Nazis once strolled, I’ve got just the place for you.
3. Sea of Trees, Aokigahara – Japan
That’s not a ghost. It’s a jacket draped over a fallen tree branch, but it’s still bone chilling. What else is chilling about this forest at the base of Mt. Fuji is that it’s known for the 25,000 people who have committed suicide amongst the consuming wilderness. Reports say there are 100 or more bodies removed from the forest every year and the abandoned cars are towed away from the parking lot outside the forest each month. There are even signs along the trails begging hikers to “reconsider” and the park rangers make frequent rounds ready to talk people down from the proverbial ledge. Obviously, without even having to think about it, you know this forest is about as haunted as it gets, and you shouldn’t venture into the dense foliage unless you’re carrying a proton pack.
2. Old Newgate Prison – U.S.A.
Nobody every talks about Old Newgate Prison when they’re talking about creepy places not to set a foot in, but they should. Located over copper deposits, the prison was originally a copper mine which was built in 1704 and ran until 1745. After that, someone had the bright idea to slap some bars over these tiny cave entries and they converted the underground tunnels into a colonial prison (which sounds an awful lot like a dungeon). Soon after, it was used to house Loyalists who knelt to the crown and fought against American freedom. Once the war ended, it was converted to a prison, the first state prison in the nation actually, until it closed down in 1827 and it’s been virtually abandoned ever since. Like the Catacombs in Paris, Old Newgate prison isn’t a place to mess with unless you’re with a group, or before you know it you’ll be stuck in a dark cell that a British soldier died in three hundred years ago.
1. Winchester Mystery House – U.S.A.
This Californian historical landmark is the mansion-sized brainchild of Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester throne as in Winchester rifles. According to lore, after Sarah’s husband and child died, she channeled his soul and he told her to move west and build a house for herself and the ghosts of the victims of Winchester rifles… so she did. She constructed a seven story mansion in San Jose with 161 rooms, including 40 bedrooms, two ballrooms, and only one working toilet, the others were of course decoys to fool wandering ghosts. Yep, she was a bit looney and believed the house she built was tremendously haunted. So, to ward them off, she built toilets that didn’t work, staircases that lead nowhere and doors that lead right into walls. Imagine being stuck in there, it’s enough to drive a person mad.