15 Popular Tourist Sites With The Darkest Backstories

Some people wonder what could scare the bejesus out of us, to make us fear dying in places that people wouldn’t dream of taking their 90-year-old great-grandmother to (she’d probably drop stone-cold dead at the mere mention of these sites; that is, if she were alive now). Curiosity is the main culprit. People do wonder what it would take for a place to scare them enough, to make them fear death because of the simple act of visiting a certain site. Hmm. Food for thought.

Picture this; you are at an unknown place. For some reason, your hair is standing on end at the nape of your neck, your heart beats faster like it’s going to jump out of your chest, paranoia starts to set in, and your adrenaline kicks in. Yet, you feel a “pull”. This is where your natural curiosity takes over. Your brain shouts, “I wanna see!” Your reaction after “seeing” depends on how old you are. A teenager would probably say, “This is some cool s**t!” A middle-aged person might just hope that he/she doesn’t have a bum heart in the family history. After you peruse the list, you decide what kind of reaction you would have if you ever visited these places. BOO.

15 The Riddle House 

via en.wikipedia.org

This house used to be a funeral home. Eerie, at best! It seems that the actual house was taken apart, and put back together at the Yesteryear Village at the fairgrounds (who in holy hell would want to do that?) in South Florida. The Riddles bought the home in the 1920s.

A past employee of the Riddles, Joseph, hung himself in the attic. His spirit apparently didn’t like men, and started besieging them. Why? Nobody seems to know. As a result, it became a general rule that men aren’t supposed to go inside the attic. So, gents, only women allowed in the attic. There have been all kinds of spooky stories surrounding this house and its attic, one of the most chilling being that you could actually hear what sounds like furniture being shoved around by Joseph’s spirit in the old funeral home— or perhaps the spirits haunting the home just didn’t like the décor?

14 Welcome To Helltown

via blumhouse.com

Summit County, OH, lays claim to the area in Boston Township known as Helltown by the locals— even the road to the 'town' is closed off to them. The 1970s had started out promising when the government proposed a buyout. After evicting the residents of the hamlet, the buyout went haywire, and it never happened. The idea was to turn the town into a national park, thus the buildings would be bulldozed. Yet, the houses and other buildings are still there.

That's about the time when the stories about the town started circulating. One such story is about Stanford Road; everyone who's gone down it, hasn't returned. The rumors vary wildly, from snakes, to the KKK, and even to mutants attacking anyone who gets to the “End of the World”, as the Stanford Rd. dead-end is referred to. The place is creepy enough for tourists and death thrill-seekers alike. Have your pacemaker checked before venturing there, and maybe tell people where you're going so they can come looking for you when you don't come back.

13 Stairway To Hell - Stull Cemetery, KS

via onwravens.net

Cemeteries are spooky both during the day and at night, but generally much more so at night. Most of the larger ones have gates that close at night to avoid trespassing. Then some have no gates at all. Either way, as you well know, people are dying to get in there when the sun goes down.

However, there is one cemetery that is so bad, it was claimed that Pope John Paul II refused to fly over it when he came to the US. And for good reason, people say it's actually one of the seven gateways to hell. That cemetery is Stull Cemetery, in the minute hamlet of Stull, KS. The legend is that somewhere in this cemetery, you'll find the stairway leading directly to hell. There is a quote that sums up how terrifying this particular cemetery is, “There are graveyards across America that go beyond merely being haunted and enter into the realm of the diabolical. They are places so terrifying that they say the devil himself holds courts with his worshippers there. The cemetery on Emmanuel Hill in Stull, Kansas, is one of these places.”

Something is definitely going on here as there isn't only a gate surrounding it, but guards patrolling to chase tourists away. Whether they're just trying to keep trespassers away or trying to protect visitors from evil is up to you to decide.

12 The Ridges

via pinterest.com

As insane asylums go, most are pretty bad. Scary? Not really. People were put in these for a myriad of reasons, most were ridiculous. The 'treatments' were so insane, a number of times, those treatments often left the patient helpless and worse off than he/she started. But this particular place, what used to be known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, in Athens, OH, is on the list as one of the spookiest 'hospitals'.

A famous rapist, Billy Milligan, was admitted into the asylum for many years with a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). But, that's not what's spooky about this old asylum. The most blood-curdling story was that of a particular female patient. The staff thought that she had escaped the hospital. She was missing for 6 weeks until her decomposed body was stumbled upon, nude, in a ward that had been closed and unused by anyone. Clothes were found in the same room she was in, like some laundress came in and took care of them. Her death is not even the weirdest part. To this day, after the asylum was shut down, the stain of her rotted body is practically engraved into the floor and refuses to wash away.

11 Humberstone And La Noria - Chile

via gloetzner.net

Humberstone and La Noria, in Chile, South America, were saltpeter mining towns in 1872. The mines and the towns were booming, but just before the Great Depression, the mines were drying up. Miners were always in search of a new strain, or vein, but eventually, the miners and their families abandoned Humberstone and La Noria, and its surrounding little towns in a hurry.

The graves in the cemetery are frequently uncovered with the bodies still there. That, in itself, is unnerving. Who would do such a thing? Legend has it that the ghosts roam the cemetery at night, and roam the abandoned towns by day. People have even claimed to have captured these ghosts or spirits on film. The residents of the nearby towns refuse to venture into the mining towns at all because of all the hauntings.

10 Byberry Mental Asylum - Philadelphia, PA

via everybodys.us

This asylum has had different monikers (don’t they all). It started out as the Byberry Mental Hospital, as it was known in 1907 when it was built. Now, it is referred to simply as the Byberry, or the Philadelphia State Hospital at Byberry. By 1960, the hospital was overflowing with patients, swelling to over 7,000 bodies. In 1990, the asylum closed completely. Pretty ordinary, right? Well, you might change your mind after reading why it closed down.

The terrifying part was not the hospital itself, but the workers and how they treated the patients, and how the patients treated each other. The workers, simply put, were abusing the patients, and got away with it for years. For example, it was common to perform complex dental procedures without any anesthesia. What's more, patients were killing other patients, and some were even seen playing with other patients’ body parts, like teeth. It got so bad, that it's often been compared to Nazi concentration camps.

9 Leap Castle - Ireland

via irahistory.com

What a castle! What a history! Dungeons, but no dragons. A family, by the name of O’Bannon, erected the castle in the late 15th century. However, another family took over the castle because they, the O’Carrolls, were of the ruling class, and kicked the O’Bannons out of the castle, because they were merely peasants, or serfs. When Mulrooney O’Carroll died, the remaining brothers went to war with each other. One of them actually killed the other, a priest, right in the castle's chapel in front of the whole family during a mass, hence the name it was given, the Bloody Chapel.

There was a dungeon, discovered centuries later, which was accessible through a hatch in the floor. The eerie part was all the skeletons they found. Not only were people thrown down there, but there were wooden spikes protruding from the ground which would inevitably impale the falling prisoners, left there to die a most gruesome death. It is said that Leap Castle is haunted by the spirits of these poor souls, as well as by a small 'creature' that supposedly wreaks of sulphur and the scent of decomposed bodies.

8 Shades of Death Road

via alltrails.com

This ominous name for a 7-mile stretch of road in rural New Jersey, is actually the real name of the road. Honest. Cross my heart and hope to— well, no...

There are many, many theories as to how the road got its unusual name. Some say it was because of three murders during the '20s and '30s. Others speculate that highwaymen traveled up and down the road, robbing, and killing their victims. Could be also that the highwaymen were found hanging from the highest trees. There were also lots of car-wrecks, and never any survivors.

Speaking of highwaymen, legend has it that their ghosts ride up and down that road, looking for their next victims, or, perhaps, for the persons who had strung them up in the trees. There is also a lake there unofficially called Ghost Lake. Want to take a guess why?

7 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

via know-no-boundaries.us

Prisoners of this heinous place were mostly of the regime of Lon Nol.  There are pictures and they are horrendous, akin to the Nazi “special treatment” death machine throughout Europe. The Khmer Rouge regime captured, tortured, and ultimately killed people because of their professions and association with the previous regime of Lon Nol. Doctors, teachers, seamstresses, and many more were under fire. However, farmers were spared. Probably because the Khmer Rouge needed to eat. Prisoners were apparently forced to say the names of family members, only for them to be dragged in to the establishment to live out the same fate as the ones before them.

The basis of the rules for prisoners was to not speak unless told to, obey all rules or else, don’t cry when being punished (they were fond of electrocution), and so forth. The prisoners must have wanted to die instead of being tortured. Think you can handle a stroll down these halls?

6 The Mines Of Paris

via worldmysteries.us

The mines are just beneath the streets of the city of Paris, France. These mines are not the catacombs, which you hear so much about. The mines are so unsafe, and ghoulish, with scattered human bones in the hallways, manholes, some passageways are so narrow and small that you would have to crawl on your belly to get through them, if at all, or get stuck (and, no one will hear your cries for help). People who suffer from claustrophobia would do well not to visit the mines.

Not that you could, the conditions are so bad that it's illegal to go into the mines, and violation carries a stiff fine and penalties.

What's freaky about the mines is obviously, the bones all around you, but also that the city was forced to use the mines as cemeteries when the ones above the ground were full. What's creepier than a mine turned underground cemetery?

5 Dachau Concentration Camp - Germany 

Dachau was one of the major Nazi concentration camps situated throughout Europe. You should go there, to be able to better understand the Nazi mentality, and to hear the people 'housed there'. Dachau is north of Munich. It housed hundreds of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and even Germans that hid Jews from the Nazi Machine. The prisoners were made to work all day to build more barracks for more inmates, kitchens, 'hospitals', and whatever else the Nazi commandant thought of.

This is the home of one of the most chilling pieces of history. Within the walls of the Dachau camp, innocent people were subjected to such atrocities as 'selections'. The term used for the process of selecting those to be killed versus those who could work. You tried to look as healthy as possible so you would be spared. Paranormal activity and 'hauntings' aren't particularly associated with Dachau, its history alone is the scary part. Anyone who visits this site is sure to feel some kind of horror in their gut.

4 Dam Square - Amsterdam

via flickr.com

From riots to executions during the Spanish Inquisition, to underground drug dealings, shootings, and public overdoses, this place is filled with deep, dark secrets. The dealers, in broad daylight, would ply their trade, and after dark, things got worse. That's when it was deadly to be in Dam Square, and its winding canals. If someone did a dealer wrong, there would be bodies littering the Square, and then dumped into the canals. Come morning, everyone could see the aftermath of the night before, then the morgue would come through and pick up the bodies left. Though people fill the now popular tourist site for events and festivals, it's not hard to see why someone aware of its history would be freaked out by the very ground they're standing on.

3 Auschwitz

via articolotre.com

Everyone knows the part Auschwitz played during Hitler's 'reign'. This is where you'll find the main crematoriums; they have been left there, intact, as well as the camp's barracks and other buildings. Surrounded by barbed wire and a gated entrance with the inscription “Arbeit Macht Frei” (work will set you free). Of course, it didn’t. If the back-breaking work didn’t kill you, along with poor diet, there were many other ways. When these ways were discovered, the prisoners could only wish it would be quick. Gas chambers filled with cyanide gas were disguised as showers. If you were selected to be killed, you either went to the gas chambers, or to the crematorium to be burned. Some people were even shot while working, on the spot. Yes, Auschwitz was a place where some of the most horrific deeds have taken place. Visitors around the world make their way to Auschwitz, and undeniably feel the haunting chills as they tour the grounds.

2 The Old Walled City - Nuremberg, Germany

via jndstravelog.com

The Old City, as it is known, is in the heart of Nuremberg, behind a very tall, stone wall that surrounds it. There are many legends that pertain to the city inside. One of them is that this is where Mad King Ludwig would hold execution by gunfire of the locals who defied him. Another legend is that he had a special guillotine for his royal subjects that were rich, and balked at his ruling behind his back. But, the haunting detail is that you'll find a bloodied wall where the rifle squads shot people, and some believe that it is still there as a reminder of what happened and that it can happen again. Of course, the wall has probably been washed clean by now, but it is said that the Mad King still haunts the walled city every night to remind people of who the real king is.

1 Brutality In Italy

via huffingtonpost.com

As beautiful as the city is, Rome has a rich history of torture; throughout its years, its methods held a reputation which made you wish that you were dead, just so you would not have to go through the unholy terrors they were known to inflict. Torturing slaves was first among the Roman people. Then, it expanded to the criminals, and to the enemies. Lo and behold, torture became a legal way to punish the people, especially when trying to get a confession and convict someone.

Whip-lashing was a popular choice; the scars lasted a lifetime, and that goes for the emotional ones as well. The more sadistic torture methods involved branding irons— it's hard to even think about what they did with those things. The city isn't lacking in tourism, but when one thinks of the brutal torture methods that were used, you can't help but be glad you're visiting after the era died out.

Sources: listverse.comlifeinitaly.com

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