Not for the faint of heart: 10 the scariest places in the world.
If you think there’s no scarier place in the world than Dracula’s Castle, then you read too much and don’t travel enough. Island of dolls, the cemetery of hanging coffins, the forest of suicides – ELLE picked up the top 10 most scary places in the world, visiting which can not only expand your horizons, but also deprive you of sleep.
Nazca is the name of a town and desert plateau in southern Peru. The tiny town of 27,000 people is constantly swarming with tourists. Some want to look at the mysterious drawings left on the dry desert soil, others want to visit the Chowchilla Cemetery. Spread out in the suburbs of Nazca, this necropolis is literally open to visitors. Imagine large pits lined with sticks in which the dead sit. Amazing embalming technology has kept the bodies – at least the bones – perfectly intact. Among the inhabitants of Chowchilla, there are plenty who boast lush hairstyles – this despite the fact that the last dead man was buried here 11 centuries ago.
The town on the banks of the river of the same name stands two kilometers from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Until April 27, 1986 it was a booming atomic town, all inhabitants somehow or other related to the nuclear power plant. Immediately after the monstrous accident at the plant, almost fifty thousand of its population were evacuated, and the city was turned into a monument. Or rather, a memorial. It has stood empty for more than thirty years, having become a ghastly open-air museum. Apartment buildings, a hospital, kindergartens, schools, playgrounds, a Ferris wheel-all these remained. And not a soul.
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada.
The Echo Valley in the Philippines is full of rocks. There are coffins hanging from them right next to each other. The locals are convinced that the higher the body is, the sooner the dead person will be in heaven. Forcing them to bury the bodies is useless. The tradition of burying the dead in the air has existed for over two thousand years, and how and what the coffins are attached, the locals do not tell – it is a secret.
There are many islands in the suburbs of Mexico City, the most famous, of course, is La Isla de las Muñecas, Puppet Island. In the fifties, a young man named Julian Barrera witnessed the death of a child, a girl who drowned off this island. Barrera kept her doll, and from that moment on the spirit of the dead girl began to appear to him. To placate the spirit, Julian began to hang old dolls found in garbage dumps on the island. And eventually he himself settled on the island. In 2001, after his death (Barrera, like the same girl, drowned near the island), his enthusiastic relatives continued the work. There are many dolls here and together they look very creepy.
The real name of the mansion, located in Transylvania, is Bran, but it is known, of course, as the castle of Dracula, Count Vlad the Fourth, nicknamed the Punisher for his love of impaling his subjects. The castle, built on the edge of a precipice, is one hundred percent the embodiment of Gothic style: gloomy decorations, howling sounds (caused by the chimney, which starts to hum in a strong wind). The main attraction of the castle is Dracula’s bedroom with a huge bed, this is where, according to legend, the owner preferred to drink the blood of his victims. The “house” looks very well-kept, thanks to Francis Ford Coppola, who invested in the reconstruction of the castle when he filmed his adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel there.
St. George’s Church
In the Czech village of Lukova, St. George (St. George) Church has stood since the 14th century. It became empty in 1968, after a fire broke out during a funeral service and the roof collapsed. A few years ago sculptor Jacob Hadrava, preparing for his graduation work, decided to turn the church into a site for his experiments. And populated the empty building with human statues whose heads were covered with veils. The spectacle is mesmerizing and terrifying. The teachers, by the way, were also inspired and accepted Jacob’s diploma-in this original form.
Suicide Forest Aokigahara
The famous Mount Fuji is not only famous for itself: at its foot lies Aokigahara, a dense forest full of rocky caves. Aokigahara is incredibly quiet and very, very dark. Already in ancient times, the forest was considered the “residence” of monsters and ghosts. And it was here that the inhabitants took and left their loved ones who could not feed them – the infirm elderly and children. Aokigahara’s dark reputation draws people who are inclined to end their lives there. In the past 60 years more than five hundred suicides have been found in the forest – in this sense Aokigahara is second only to the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
Not surprisingly, the Suicide Forest is packed with signs urging would-be suicides to come to their senses. The Japanese believe that once you enter Aokigahara, you can never get out. That’s why the only people who visit it are rescuers looking for those who want to commit suicide and brave tourists.
10 Scariest Places in the World (Photos, Videos, Descriptions)
Our world is full of stark contrasts. There are beautiful places, as if created by the hands of angels, and there are terrible places, which risk to go only “adrenaline junkie” in search of a particularly thrilling experience. We present you the 10 most terrifying places in the world.
10. Catacombs of the Capuchins, Palermo, Italy
These creepy catacombs appeared at the end of the 16th century, when the cemetery of the Capuchin monastery had no room for bodies. At first they were reserved exclusively for the burial of monks, but when word got out about the natural mummification processes occurring in the catacombs, locals also wanted to be buried there (in their best clothes, of course). But such an honor did not fall to everyone, but only to famous townspeople, benefactors and patrons of the monastery.
As a result, additional corridors and rooms (cubicles) had to be dug to bury all comers. Unlike other catacombs, the Capuchin underground cemetery contains only mummified, skeletonized and embalmed bodies. It is the largest necropolis of mummies in the world.
There are currently about 8,000 bodies in the underground capuchin tombs. The last burial took place in the 1920s. There are separate corridors, including those for monks, for prominent people, for children under 14, and even for virgins. The corpses look more like museum pieces, they are dressed in rich outfits, and their bodies are perfectly preserved. It is forbidden to take pictures in one of the most terrifying places on Earth, and there are discussions about banning gawkers from the catacombs altogether.
9. Aokigahara, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
This seemingly peaceful forest at the foot of Mount Fuji has an extremely unpleasant history. It is the second most popular suicide spot in the world (after the Golden Gate Bridge). Every year, Japanese police, along with volunteer helpers, comb the forest, finding 30 to 80 bodies. Posters are placed on forest paths that urge would-be suicides to think about their loved ones and call for help.
Some believe that one of the worst places on the planet is inhabited by demons who whisper thoughts of giving up their lives to the poor. In the Middle Ages, desperate poor people would bring their old and infirm relatives to Aokigahara and leave them to starve to death. There is a belief that the spirits of the dead never left their final resting place and take revenge on the living for their suffering.
More pragmatic people point out the high density of trees, due to which all the sounds in the forest are muffled and it is easy to get lost there. Many tourists even mark their way with a ribbon or string to make it easier to find your way back later. Do not rely on the compass, it “goes crazy”, as in this area are deposits of iron ore.
8. Pripyat, Ukraine
The scariest places in the world do not have to be full of dead people. An abandoned place full of invisible to the eye and therefore even more dangerous radiation can be no less scary than the last refuge of suicides.
Pripyat, founded in 1970, was home to about 50,000 people when it was evacuated after the Chernobyl accident. Since then, Pripyat has been an uninhabited town, although the buildings, furniture and all other signs of life are exactly where their former owners left them. In classrooms, textbooks are left on desks, rotting dolls lie in toy cribs, and photographs of a carefree life hang on the peeling walls.
Today, Pripyat’s most famous landmark is the rusty Devil’s Wheel, in the city’s amusement park. It is unlikely that it will ever work again.
7. Veio Rönkönen, Parikkala, Finland
Veio Rönkönen was one of the most famous contemporary folk artists in Finland. He was also a recluse and refused to display his works in public places. He built a collection of over 450 concrete human and animal figures in his courtyard, creating an original and rather intimidating sculpture garden.
The largest composition is a group of about 200 statues arranged in various yoga poses. While there are some disturbing things about this group of sculptures (artificial teeth, for example), they are nowhere near as frightening as the creepy, freestanding statues. How about a statue of a nun with a toothy grin, for example, or a cloaked figure with black holes instead of eye sockets, stretching his long arms toward passing people? Visit the Vejo Rönkönen Garden . if you have a desire to never sleep in peace again.
6. Nagoro, Japan
Among the scariest places on Earth is a tiny Japanese village with one very notable feature: the life-size dolls outnumber the living population by a ratio of almost 100:1.
The dolls are the work of local artist Tsukimi Ayano, who began making replicas of her neighbors after they died or left the village.
Creepy doppelgängers can be seen in various places in Nagoro. Here’s a fisherman sitting on the shore, and here’s an elderly couple frozen in eternal repose on a bench, and here are student dolls filling a classroom waiting for a teacher.
There are now about 350 dolls and fewer than 40 living people in Nagoro.
5. “Gates to Hell,” Akhal province, Turkmenistan
The “infernal” name for the crater, located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, was given by the local population. When Soviet scientists were searching for oil in 1971, they accidentally stumbled upon an underground void (cavern), and the drilling rig collapsed there, creating a crater and releasing dangerous methane gas into the air.
Scientists decided to set the crater on fire to burn off the methane created in the cavern and created the Dante anomaly, which has been burning and burning for the past 46 years.
4. Bhangar Fort, Rajasthan, India
This structure, which looked more like a feudal castle than a military fortification, was built in the 17th century for the grandson of warlord Mana Singh I. Inside it were many structures, including shops, temples, and even the governor’s palace.
According to one local legend, Singh, an adept of black magic, fell in love with the beautiful Princess Ratnavati. Knowing that the girl would not even look in his direction, the sorcerer gave the princess’ maid enchanted perfume to give to the princess. But when Ratnavati found out who had given her the gift, she broke the perfume. A huge stone emerged from the shards of the vial, which rolled toward Singh’s house and crushed him. Before he died, the black magician cursed the people of Bhangar, promising that they would all die unnatural deaths and could not be reborn. A year after Singh’s death a war broke out in which all the townspeople died.
According to another legend, the fort and its inhabitants were cursed by the hermit Baba Balathi, who did not want the shadow of the city’s tallest building to fall on his dwelling. As a result, all the inhabitants of Bhangar disappeared without a trace.
Now no one is allowed to enter the fort from dusk till dawn. It is said that those who went to the place after sunset never returned.
3. Changi Beach, Singapore
The now clean and beautiful beach is one of the places where thousands of innocent Chinese found their death at the hands of the Japanese during World War II. This event is known as the Suk Ching Massacre (translated from the Chinese as “deliverance through purification”).
Massacres of civilians were carried out to exterminate all those with anti-Japanese policies as well as those loyal to the British Empire and the Republic of China.
Japan never apologized for this terrible event.
Many people hear crying and screaming while visiting Changi Beach, and at night you can allegedly see pits to bury bodies there.
2. Snake Island, São Paulo, Brazil
In second place in the top 10 creepiest places on Earth is Queimada Grandi Island, where Indiana Jones could have groaned with absolute certainty, “Snakes? Why is it always snakes?” If he had time, of course.
He got his nickname because of the insanely high density of golden spear-headed snakes (aka bottrops). Studies have shown that, on average, there are one to five of the world’s most venomous snakes per square meter of the island.
About 11 thousand years ago, the sea level rose and separated Snake Island from the Brazilian mainland. In isolation, there was nothing to prevent snakes from breeding and reproducing, and adapting to changing conditions.
Since there was no prey at ground level on the island, snakes learned to hunt in the treetops and even catch birds on the fly. Their venom has become five times stronger than that of their mainland counterparts, capable of killing its prey instantly, as well as literally melting human flesh. Because of the many fatalities in attempts to colonize the island, the Brazilian government has forbidden anyone (except scientists) to set foot on the surface of Queimada Grande.
1. The Paris Catacombs.
These catacombs are a network of burial chambers that extend 250 km beneath the French capital. They contain the bones of some six million people. They began to be transported there in the late 18th century from overcrowded city cemeteries and continued to be transported until the mid-19th century.
Somewhere in the catacombs are the remains of famous Frenchmen – the revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre, the writers Charles Perrault and François Rabelais, the mathematician Blaise Pascal.
During World War II, the catacombs of Paris were the headquarters of the Resistance. Curiously enough, just 500 meters away was a secret Nazi bunker.
The temperature in the dark narrow passages is about 15 degrees Celsius and the cold, coupled with countless skulls, creates an atmosphere of fear and despair. Despite this, in the Paris catacombs (more precisely in the 2.5-kilometer part, open to the public) a lot of tourists.
The scariest places on the planet may be full of bones and skulls, poisonous creepers and deadly gases. But one thing they have in common is that it’s better to read about them ten times than to visit them once.