When you were a kid did you ever convince your friends and yourself that ghosts were real, and then dare them to go into the local abandoned house alone? If you didn’t then congrats, you were probably far more normal than I was, but you also probably have no business being on this page.
Kids are fascinated by the occult and the potential “scare” factor of seeing a spirit or ghost; you grow out of it as you get older but even now there is no way you’d catch me visiting any of these creepy places
Number Seven: Paris’ Catacombs
Ah, Paris. The city of love, the city of fashion, the city with the remains of 6 million people under it…
Paris is a pretty cool place, but you need to have nerves of steel to go and visit the catacombs that lie under the city. A 200-mile maze of tunnels and caves sounds like it could be quite a fun day out until you realise the walls are lined with the skull and bones of people who have been dead for centuries.
Skeletons are disassembled and literally stacked one on top of the other, lining the caves from floor to ceiling and providing quite the morbid tourist destination. Unsurprisingly, due to the strange human relationship with death, the catacombs are quite a popular tourist destination, although many areas are out of bounds to the public, presumably because they haven’t quite ascertained just how many skeletons is too many.
Number Six: Pripyat Amusement Park, Chernobyl
Abandoned places always have an unsettling atmosphere anyway, but picture a theme park, open for only one day, then left to rust away to nothing, swing sets creaking in the breeze. Mainly because all the residents of the nearby town got killed in a horrific nuclear accident – the infamous Chernobyl. Add radiation to the already unsettling feeling of abandonment and you have possibly the creepiest abandoned theme park of all time – Pripyat Amusement Park.
Oh, did I say abandoned? My mistake. Because the Ukrainian government is clearly batshit insane you can actually now go and stare at the creepy desolate Ferris Wheel and soak in that wholesome radiation. You even have to go through decontamination when returning to your own country (not that anyone will see you for a while anyway).
This is for the more hardcore amongst you who like a healthy dose of potential death with their visit to the nearest creepy location.
Number Five: Stull Cemetery, Kansas
Also known as one of the seven gateways to hell, because a cemetery that already sounds just like skull wasn’t badass enough.
Considering the village is only home to about 20 people you would assume it was a nice, quaint, suburban town with a lovely little church and graveyard no one thinks twice about. WRONG.
First, there’s the legend popularised by high schoolers in the 1970’s which claimed that the devil visited Stull twice a year – once on Halloween, and once on the Spring Equinox. Then, there’s all the creepy supernatural stuff that residents claim to have to deal with. Multiple reports of weird noises and memory lapses, have led to the belief that the town and cemetery is possessed by demons and witches.
A lot of this can be put down to urban legend but it gets weirder when you learn of the real-life tragedies that also happened in Stull.
Arguably, the worst was the story of a father finished burning a farm field, only to find the charred corpse of his young son in the aftermath. The tragedy led to the belief that anyone who stepped on the young boys grave would be sent straight to hell.
The second incident involved a missing male who was later found murdered, hanged from a tree.
Despite these horrifying events every year the police force in that area must turn away countless people trying to spend a night in the graveyard.
I think the human race might need to collectively consult a psychiatrist.
Number Four: Bird Suicides of Jatinga
We all know the cultural misnomer that lemmings casually fling themselves from cliffs for entertainment, but did you know there’s a place in India where 44 different types of bird actually divebomb to their deaths?
This is where it gets freaky; ornithologists have absolutely no idea why this tiny stretch of land attracts such depressed wildlife and can’t explain why they become disorientated enough to fly headfirst into their deaths. The best answer they’ve come up with is that the lights confuse the birds – which when you think about it is a really terrible explanation, considering lights exist worldwide, yet birds only commit suicide in this one spot.
If you’re not creeped out yet I also forgot to mention that this doesn’t happen at random. Oh no, that would be almost understandable; instead these suicides only happen in September and October and as if the birds are planning this to the minute, they also largely occur between 6-9:30pm.
These birds have a freakin’ suicide schedule.
Speaking of creepy dead things….
Number Three: Akodessewa Fetish Market: Lomé, Togo
Get your minds out of the gutter, it’s not the sort of fetish you’re thinking about – at least I really hope not. Then again if animal bones are your thing, then who am I to judge…
Akodessewa’s Fetish Market is the largest voodoo market in the world and is a cornucopia of unsettling stalls for all your voodoo needs.
Voodoo uses animal parts and talismans for healing and any other type of ritual or spell you can imagine. Lucky shoppers can pick up skulls, skin, tails and almost any other part of an animal they decide they need. Stalls are piled high with dusty bones and just to make it even more unsettling, they’re all in various states of decay and the smell is apparently absolutely delightful.
Number Two: Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Japan’s answer to Fangorn Forest; set against the backdrop of Mt Fuji, it’s known as the ‘Sea of Trees’. Allegedly a beautiful part of the countryside, intrepid explorers venture in to see the stunning ice caves and to be at one with nature. This sounds like an idyllic tourist spot, unless you come across one of the many dead bodies that authorities haven’t managed to recover from the dense forest.
Also known as the ‘Suicide Forest’ it is the cult place to hang yourself and authorities remove over 70 bodies a year. In fact, the problem has gotten so bad that there are signs everywhere telling you to think of your loved ones and that ‘Life is a precious gift’.
The worst part is that the forest is so dense that there is no way to calculate how many bodies simply haven’t been found. Which is why tourists can very possibly come across a body in some various form of decay.
Because that’s the way to make your day out worth it.
This is just beaten out for creepiest place ever by….
Number One: Miyakejima, Japan
Or as I prefer to call it: ‘Gas Mask Island’. Like some twisted ‘Doctor Who’ episode, the inhabitants wear gas masks and there’s a chance you might wake up one morning to a small child asking if you’re their mummy.
This isn’t some weird fetish, although why anyone would choose to live there is questionable; the gas masks are used to stop the population from dying due to the area being the most highly concentrated in the world with deadly poisonous gas.
And that’s not to mention the active volcano merrily erupting away in the background. In fact, the volcano is to blame for the overall creepiness of the island. In 2000 it erupted, spewing so much sulphur dioxide that residents couldn’t return to the island until 2005 – and then it had to be with gas mask in tow.
Gas masks don’t have to be permanently worn on the island anymore. However, a third of the island is still off-limits due to risk of death, and gas masks must always be carried just in case levels increase.
Don’t worry though, if you still fancy visiting you can always pick up a gas mask from the tourist shop!