Ever travelled to a city and visited a landmark because of its dark, twisted, violent, or bizarre history? Most likely not, but there are plenty of landmarks out there where dark, twisted, violent, or bizarre stuff has happened, more than you’re probably even aware of.
The landmarks that made it to this list have a history of morbid or odd things happening, and this doesn’t stop them from attracting tourists. The average travel guide won’t tell you that jumping off The Eiffel Tower is the third most popular method of suicide, and Amsterdam has a Torture Museum, with an extensive collection of used torture devices, and a guillotine but we will! Here’s your chance to learn facts about some of the world’s most popular landmarks, that either get limited or zero coverage in your grandmother’s travel guide.
11 The Pyramids Of Egypt
10 Ancient City Of Pompeii
9 Borgvattnet (The Haunted Vicarage)
8 The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall Of China took over 1,700 years to build because it’s also the largest cemetery in the world, where over one million people died building it. For over 1,700 years the people in charge persistently continued to build the wall, despite the fact that a lot of lives were lost. If you ever find yourself checking out the Great Wall Of China take a second to marvel in a symbol of widespread sacrifice.
7 Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
6 The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of French culture, and a popular tourist destination. It’s often associated with conventional romance but it’s also associated with suicide.
According to listverse.com, death by falling off the Eiffel Tower is the third most popular method of suicide in that country. Railings and various safety measures are part of the Eiffel Tower design, in order to make it difficult to jump from, or accidentally fall off the tower but that doesn’t stop people from trying. Some wait until after the tower has closed for the evening but others jump during business hours, and then land on the roof of the tower’s second floor, which happens to be a restaurant.
5 The Coliseum
In Ancient Roman times the Coliseum was the home of the Gladiatorial Games, where people of all social classes would show up to watch gladiators fight to the death. Men fought against each other, but they also fought against animals. It was also a place where exotic animals fought against each other. Some of the events such as the elephant that could write in the sand were a lot less violent, but the coliseum is a popular example of public spectacles throughout history based on violence, death, and animal cruelty.
4 Tower Of London
3 Vodnjan Mummies, Vodnjan, Croatia
2 The Torture Museum
The name is extremely self-explanatory. The Torture Museum is located in Amsterdam and filled with terrifying metal contraptions that were once used to torture people. Each device has a vivid description of how it was once used so that visitors can get all the gory details, cringe at how overwhelmingly painful it sounds, and be thankful that no one ever used these devices on them, or anybody they care about. The Torture Museum’s exit has a guillotine nearby, with a sign asking visitors not to attempt to use and/or take photos with the guillotine. This sign is a preventative measure, so that the museum can avoid violent accidents.
1 Aokigahara, Japan
Aokigahara is a quiet, picturesque, peaceful forest, in an isolated environment, and it’s on the base of Mount Fugi, in Japan. Sounds kind of…nice, right? Well after reading this, we doubt you’ll ever want to label it with the word “nice” again. Hundreds of people a year travel to Aokigahara, to kill themselves amongst its dense trees and vines.
It’s gotten so bad that local police do annual sweeps to clear the bodies, and the number of bodies found in Aokigahara is no longer publicized. Signs such as “your life is a precious gift to your parents” and “please consult with the police before you die” are in the forest in order to encourage suicidal visitors to not kill themselves. It’s also rumored to be haunted. A popular belief is that the souls of the people who killed themselves in Aokigahara haunt the area.
Sources: harvardmagazine.com, dailymail.co.uk, vancouversun.com, raileurope.com, cbc.ca, listverse.com
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