You should visit these places…if you aren’t too scared… There are some truly breathtaking places in the world. From natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef, to man-made metropolises like New York and Tokyo that bustle with life, these beautiful places attract countless visitors each year. There are other…less lively places that offer some spectacularly spooky sights to tourists who want a different kind of thrill (and chill) in their vacation.
1. Akodessewa Market, Togo
In Togo, where many people still practice the indigenous religions, there’s no better place to buy your monkey heads than the Akodessewa Market….”Akodessewa Monkey Heads: We don’t monkey around with our quality.”
2. “Door to Hell” – Derweze, Turkmenistan
A natural gas field that Soviet engineers tried to burn off in 1971 has been burning constantly since then, and doesn’t appear that it will ever stop. When the Devil comes to Earth, it’ll probably be through here.
3. The Island of the Dolls – Mexico
This tiny island near Mexico City was inhabited by a recluse named Julián Santana Barrera who hung up the discarded dolls he found floating in surrounding river for 50 years to appease the spirit of a girl who drowned nearby which he said haunted him until he died of a heart attack near the same river. Can’t imagine why he was scared to death…
4. Pripyat, Ukraine
The town of almost 50,000 was quickly evacuated in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster which was nearby. Visit their famed amusement park, and you’ll come back glowing!
5. Capela dos Ossos – Évora, Portugal
The “Chapel of Bones” was built by a (super weird) monk in the 1500’s who decorated the building with the bones of an estimated 5,000 of his fellow monks. If that’s not creepy enough, two bodies hang from the ceiling, and one them is a child. Jesus would be proud.
6. Grand Hotel Prishtina – Pristina, Kosovo
The marquee hotel in in Kosovo’s capital isn’t so “grand” anymore. During the brutal Balkan Wars of the 90’s, Serbian militants used the hotel as a place for the torture and execution of their prisoners. Their Trip Adviser rating took quite the hit.
7. Catacombs of Paris
The network of tunnels under the City of Lights is over 200 miles long and is home to an estimated over 6 million bodies. Some parts of the catacombs are open to the public as an official museum, but other sections are off limits, yet are visited illegally by thousands of curious tourists and local troublemakers.
8. Aokigahara Forest – Japan
The beauty of this forest near the base of Mount Fuji, belies its nickname as the Suicide Forest. For over 60 years, about 100 people have killed themselves in the forest each year. It’s a severe problem in Japan that local authorities aren’t sure how to stop.
9. Hanging Coffins – Sagada, Philippines
Local tribes practice the custom of mounting their dead’s coffins on a cliff-face in hopes that they will be closer to heaven. And what a view!
10. Old Jewish Cemetary – Prague
The cemetery is nearly 600 years old, and has about 12,000 tombstones packed in it. Per Jewish tradition, no bodies have ever been moved, so when they ran out of room, the bodies were put in layers, now 12 deep. There are an estimated 100,000 bodies in this one graveyard.
11. Roosevelt Hotel – Hollywood, Los Angeles
For some close to home hauntings, visit the Roosevelt Hotel in LA. The hotel was a staple of Old Hollywood, and Marilyn Monroe supposedly still visits her favorite room, Suite 1200.
12. Tashirojima, Japan
The small island of about 100 fishermen is known more its other inhabitants, the hundreds of feral cats that give the place the name “Cat Island.” Bred for good luck, the cats are EVERYWHERE. If you aren’t a cat person, this island is definitely not for you.
13. Ilha da Queimada Grande, Brazil
Another small island, but with much scarier inhabitants. Off the coast of Brazil, the tiny “Snake Island” is home to an estimated 4,000 Golden Lancehead Vipers, and is the only place in the world these extremely venomous snakes can be found. The only people who dare visit the uninhabited island are the occasional scientists who are truly brave souls.
14. House of the Bulgarian Communist Party
Tucked away in the Balkan Mountains is this now abandoned monument to the Eastern Bloc. Graffiti marks the walls of the former seat of Bulgaria’s Communist Party. The place looks like a crashed spaceship. Completely otherworldly.
15. The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
Paranormal activity has been reported at The Stanley since the early 70’s, and a night spent there by Stephen King inspired him to write “The Shining.”
16. Poison Garden – Alnwick, England
In this section of the famed Alnwick Garden, you definitely don’t want to stop and smell the roses because they could kill you. Added in 2005 as a bit of a tourist attraction, the garden’s plants are toxic and poisonous, and grown for educational purposes.
17. Cambridge Military Hospital – Aldershot, England
From 1878 to 1996 the hospital treated Britain’s soldiers and then civilians until high costs and asbestos caused the hospital to close its doors. Certainly the souls of an unfortunate patient or two still haven’t checked out.
18. Jacob’s Well – Wimberley, Texas
The natural spring is a popular swimming hole, but the complex network of underwater caves beneath the surface is the real attraction for aspiring explorers. Unfortunately, the caves have claimed the lives of eight people who underestimated the Well.
19. St. George’s Church – Lukova, Czech Republic
Artist Jakub Hadrava ironically brought some life back to this abandoned Czech church by installing plaster sculptures of ghosts. Tourists from all over the world come to see the spooky specters.
20. Leap Castle, Ireland
The castle has a grisly history as it has been the center of several power struggles for over 500 years. In the mid-1500’s a feud between brothers of the O’Carroll clan turned bloody as one brother stabbed the other, a priest, to death in front of his family while holding mass in the castle’s chapel.
21. Kryziu Kalnas, Lithuania
The “Hill of Crosses” has been a central location to religious Lithuanians who have placed crosses on the hill for over 150 years. Even after the ruling Soviets destroyed the hill multiple times, the devout would return and bring more and more crosses with them. There are now over 100,000 crosses on the hill.
22. Hashima Island, Japan
The abandoned island off the coast of Nagasaki was home to over 5,000 as a mining community, until the mines ran dry in 1974. The island was left to rot and now stand as time capsule over 40 years later.
23. Subway System – Cincinnati, Ohio
he Queen City tried to build a subway system, but ran out of funding in the 90’s. An eerie system of half-built tunnels and abandoned subway cars are now found throughout the city.
24. San Zhi Resort – Taiwan
Construction of the resort outside of Taipei was halted after a series of mysterious accidents and suicides. People said the calamities were caused from bad luck due to the destruction of a Chinese dragon statue during construction and/or possibly the site being an old burial ground for Dutch soldiers.
25. Maunsell Sea Forts – The North Sea
The British built these strange forts in the middle of the North Sea to deter a Nazi invasion during World War II. Obviously, they didn’t help much, but they’re still standing, empty, today, among other places.
26. Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital – Germany
This terrifying old hospital treated Hitler for a time. Enough said.
Centralia became a ghost town in the early 80’s after an underground mining fire began releasing toxic gases. Today, 10 of the town’s residents have decided to stay and live out the rest of their lives in quarantine. Centralia is also part of the places people hardly visit.
28. West Virginia State Penitentiary
This prison has been home to over 100 executions. Who wouldn’t want to take a tour?
29. Poveglia, Italy
Known as “Plague Island”, Poveglia was a place of forced quarantine for plague victims from 1793 to 1814 that numbered about 160,000. Their mass graves are still there. Perhaps even more morbid, the island would later be home to a mental hospital whose doctor did strange experiments on patients before killing himself because he said he was being haunted by ghosts.
30. Sanctuary of Tophet, Tunisia
Ancient Tunisians would sacrifice thousands of children during hard times. Seems legit.