There are some people who really love a good scare. In fact, they will traverse the globe in search of that one thing… that one place that will raise the hairs on their arms and send chills down their spines. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Halloween is the only time to go in search of the creepiest and the scariest, because there are places that do not exist on the plane of time, and they seem to beckon to visitors… no matter the season. So turn on the lights and listen carefully for a creaking in the hallway, or pay close attention when the candlelight flickers, as we explore some of the absolute most terrifying places on the planet.
Located a bit south of Mexico City, this silent, eerie island sees thousands of visitors, all arriving to see the creepy dolls hanging in trees and hoping to perhaps catch a glimpse of the ghost of a young girl.
Julian Santana Barrera came to live on this island for a little bit of peace and quiet, but what he found was the body of a child… floating sadly in a nearby canal. But what came afterwards was even more terrifying. Barrera began to hear the tortured screams of the girl and, when he could take it no longer, he began to hang dolls in the trees, hoping to quell her sadness and anger.
Fifty years later and after the death of Barrera, his family has opened the island to tourists, seeing if they, too, may be able to hear the whispers of the dolls.
Fort East Martello may seem like just another seaside fort, once built to protect Key West, Florida, during the Civil War. But paranormal seekers everywhere visit for another reason altogether. They come for Robert the Doll.
Robert the Doll has been considered to be one of the most haunted “items” in all of the world. Some believe that this is case of demonic possession, and others that it is some sort of eerie enigma. Yet, most seem to agree that this is no ordinary doll.
Robert belonged to a boy named Gene, who was fond of telling his parents that Robert was playing all of the nasty pranks about the house. Robert stayed with Gene until his death, at which time Robert was taken to the house of a single woman, who claimed that things were moved from one room to the next when she was home alone. She decided it was best to donate the doll to Fort East Martello, hoping that the fort could contain whatever evil lived within the doll.
Today, visitors may peer at Robert through thick plexi-glass, often wondering if he has, in fact, slowly moved a leg or whispered a word.
This military hospital was once a thriving state-of-the-art facility, where plastic surgery was used on war veterans and many stunning advancements were made. However, in 1966, asbestos was found in the building, and it was forced to close.
Over the years, many urban legends about the hospital have been spread, and fearless trespassers dared to sneak into the building to explore… but not for long. A new housing development is slated to be built on the grounds. I wonder if the new homeowners will experience any of the paranormal activity that has been reported in the old hospital building.
Many visit St. Croix for its beautiful, serene beaches and its tranquil, warm waters. Some even come for the delicious rum, made right on the island. However, thrill seekers arrive on this gorgeous island for something of an altogether different nature. They come to dive The Wall, which is a two-mile vertical drop into a terrifying abyss. With the crystal-clear waters, divers may see right into this hellish descent.
The Capuchin Catacombs offers locals and visitors alike a horrifying spectacle to behold, but all with the hope to illustrate the cycle of life. Preserved corpses are situated in seemingly endless rows, including the remains of women, children and even infants. This chilling display is utilized to bring forth the message that after death, people move along to a better life and a higher power.
Port Morseby is noted as one of the entire world’s most dangerous places to live and to visit. Crime consistently runs rampant, with atrocities like theft, rape and murder in the dangerous streets. However, Mother Nature also has to bring in a terrible toll on the otherwise undesirable city, with its numerous natural disasters, including landslides and tsunamis.
At first glance, Jacob’s Well may seem like a serene place to swim, cooling off on a warm Texas afternoon. However, this tunnel, which opens into a deep spring, leads straight downwards for about 30 feet before dipping into a gigantic tunnel system that goes completely underground. Due to its unusual attributes, several divers have met their deaths attempting to explore this peculiar and terrifying, intricate system of caves and tunnels.
This 16th century chapel was built by a Franciscan monk. It is a tiny building, but it is said to house the bones of approximately 5,000 other monks, with most of the bones on display and worked into the architecture of the building. However, the grisliest sight is that of two corpses hanging from the wall, dangling next to a cross. “Melior est die mortis die nativitatis” is written on the roof, which translates into “Better is the day of death than the day of birth.”
Visitors may explore this small chapel, and see the mysterious chapel with their own eyes.
Closing its doors in 1971, the Eastern State Penitentiary was designed to “reform” the prisoners, and this reformation was carried out through complete isolation. Many prisoners died here in absolute misery and loneliness, tying them for eternity to this dark, castle-like structure. Al Capone was also once housed here, and many visitors report that they hear his voice emanating from his former cell.
Today, brave souls may tour the former penitentiary, and perhaps even witness why travelers come from all across the globe to walk its storied halls.
Mt. Huangshan affords beautiful views of the Anhui region, but its paths and trails can be extremely treacherous. It is really known for its thick stone steps, which are literally carved into the side of the mountain. Before there were safety devices invented just for this particular type of climb, the bravest souls would trek across the mountain solely by maneuvering across these stone steps.
Set about 90 miles off the coast of Sao Paolo, Snake Island is considered the most dangerous island on earth, and definitely the scariest. This small area of land is completely overrun by golden lancehead vipers.
However, what is the most terrifying fact of this story is that when the island was cut off from the mainland thousands of years ago, these vipers needed to adapt to be able to catch their prey. They began to climb into trees and attack from the air, and their venom became five times more powerful than regular vipers, with the ability to actually melt human flesh.
Even if you would ever want to visit this island, visits are banned by the Brazilian government.
This tiny island in Japan, approximately nine miles from Nagasaki, was once a thriving mining town, and it was inhabited by thousands of working people. After some time, there was no longer enough coal to continue the mining efforts, so the town was abandoned in 1974. This island also has a dark side, as that it was used for concentration labor during World War II. It is said that while the town has been abandoned, spirits still continue to roam its streets.
The island became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015, and the island is now open for tourists to visit.
The Killing Fields consist of several areas where well over one million people were slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge regime at the end of the Cambodian Civil War. Bones and human remains may still be found sticking out of the ground at many of the locations.
Tourists may visit the site of Choeung Ek, allowing them to serve as reminders of such a horrible part of Cambodian history. The surrounding trees were used for hangings, and mass graves were dug for those who were first tortured, and then killed.
In 1971, Soviet geologists drilled into a cave filled with gas. The ground below the rig fell through, and there was a large, gaping hole beneath it. The Soviets decided to attempt to burn off the natural gas to stop the fire, but things did not go as planned. In fact, the gas still continues to burn, showing no signs of slowing.
Locals are terrified of this great, burning hole, and they refer to it as the “Door to Hell”.
Due to its lack of oxygen, the highest portion of Mt. Everest is known quite morbidly as the Death Zone. Any amount of time in the Death Zone without some type of oxygen will make the climber feel as if he is being slowly choked, also creating terrifying hallucinations. For those that succumb to the environment, sadly many of their bodies are never found. In fact, there are at least 150 climbers whose remains are still buried somewhere within the Death Zone.
The Chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, just outside of Pripyat, Ukraine. The plant, the city and surrounding areas were evacuated due to the radiation, and the residents were never allowed to return. Many people lost their lives initially, with others to follow as the radiation exposure took hold and wreaked its havoc.
There are a few tour groups that safely take tourists into the area, being sure to monitor radiation levels and only offering short visits. Deserted amusement rides are some of the creepy things that visitors may see, along with abandoned homes and personal items.
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Known as the “Suicide Forest”, this foreboding spot is the second favorite place for people to take their own lives, just behind the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Nestled on the small island of Honshu, located close to Mount Fuji, the dense forest’s floor is covered with twisting tree roots, and it is considered in Japanese mythology to be a place of pure evil. Many also say that the forest is haunted by yurei, which are wondering, restless souls, and that they might follow you throughout the forest.
Visitors may walk through the forest, but due to its history, cameras are ever present, as well as patrolmen. Some areas are also closed to the public.
Not far from the warm, crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea lies an estate that can easily recount the troubled history of Montego Bay. Locals fear this house, spreading story after story about sightings of the “White Witch”. But sometimes the truth is more horrible than fiction.
Annee Palmer ran Rose Hall with a whip and a plethora of other torturous devices. Her slaves feared her, but not enough to push down the basic instincts to rise up against her. In fact, it was her slave lover that finally ended her reign of terror, killing her in her very own bedroom.
Tourists may visit Rose Hall, and even see the very room where Annee Palmer, also known as the “White Witch”, took her last breath.
This may look like a peaceful, flowing stream… the kind you might like to sink your feet into. However, this river is extremely treacherous. In fact, 100% of people who happen to tumble into this river never manage to claw their way back out again. Due to its depth and its horrific undercurrent, those unlucky enough to trip into the river are often washed far away downstream before their bodies can be recovered.
Every year, groups of people searching for proof of the paranormal make the trek to Louisville, Kentucky, hoping to walk the halls of what was once a large tuberculosis hospital, a final home to many of its residents before they succumbed to this dreaded illness.
Today, visitors flock to this dreaded locale, where tours are offered, allowing guests to walk the halls and even explore the former operating room. Overnight stays may also be arranged, providing a horrifying backdrop for a night of ghost hunting. If you go, be sure to see the body chute, where cadavers were sent down the hillside for burial, and make special note of Room 502. It is believed that a young nurse took her own life in this room, and dozens of visitors have felt her presence or even her touch.
With its Victorian Gothic and Queen Anne architecture, this building, located in the sleepy town of Mansfield, seems to rise like a castle into the sky. However, there were no happy endings here, and many prisoners who walked in never came back out.
The prison was built in 1886, and it was closed due to inhumane conditions and its continuing state of ill repair in 1990. Once inside the imposing structure, it is as if time has stood still. Some cells contain a book or a tattered magazine, and the paint from the walls is peeling in long tatters.
Tours are offered, and visitors may step inside and see the cells, the showers, what is left of the kitchen and the prison yard. Guests may also visit the warden’s office, where the warden’s wife accidentally shot and killed herself. It is not uncommon for tourists to smell a whiff of perfume in this room.
The reformatory also hosts a haunted house during Halloween, but something tells me that the spirits are always there… reliving their last horrid moments in this dreaded place.
The LaLaurie Mansion sits on a street corner in New Orleans’ French Quarter, “almost” looking like a regular abode in this historical haven, with its wrought-iron railings and arched windows. However, this mansion has seen a remarkable amount of horror, all committed within its very walls.
Madame LaLaurie and her husband were a part of high society in the Vieux Carre, all along hiding the cruel acts that were bestowed nightly upon their slaves. They were tortured and mutilated mercilessly, until a fire broke out in the kitchen. Neighbors broke the door down, hoping to save the LaLaurie’s, but they were instead met with the unforgettable sight of Madame LaLaurie’s imprisoned slaves.
Visitors are not allowed inside the mansion, but guests of the Big Easy often stand before it in the moonlight, hoping to hear a scream or see the silhouette of Madam LaLaurie in the window of the second floor parlor.
Salem is infamous for the terrible witch trials that occurred there in 1692, ending in the brutal executions of 19 men and women. When visitors first see the seaside town of Salem, it is hard to imagine that such tragedy once took place on these picturesque, tree-lined streets.
But the ENTIRE city of Salem is said to be haunted. Spirits seem to run amuck through the house belonging to the witch trials’ judge, the Old Burying Point Cemetery and the old Salem Jail. Visitors claim to hear voices in the Howard Street Cemetery, where Giles Cory was pressed with weights until he died, but not before cursing the town of Salem.
Tourists pour in all year long to see these eerie destinations, often finding it difficult to believe that such horror once took place here so long ago. However, when the moon is full or the branches of a tree blow just a certain way, it isn’t hard to imagine, after all.
Nestled away in the green meadows and rolling hills of Ireland, this castle may just be the most haunted on earth. In the 15th century, two brothers struggled for ultimate control of the castle and its lands. The fight culminated in one brother killing the other, who was a priest, right in his own chapel.
During renovations, workers found an oubliette, which is a dungeon accessible by a hatch, which was filled with human remains.
Those brave enough to do so may tour the castle, but be wary of the smell of rotting flesh and sulfur, because this may signal that the Elemental, a hunched beast, could be close by.
Built in 1788, these underground vaults were constructed beneath the arches of the South Bridge. The living conditions here were very poor, but tradesmen and families alike inhabited these dank, dark catacombs. There were taverns, cobbler shops and even meat vendors in this underground city. It is even suspected that Burke and Hare, the infamous serial killers, hid bodies within the winding tunnels. Many people also died from the terrible conditions, which is why the vaults are considered to be one of the most haunted places in all of Great Britain.
If you feel that you’re up to visiting, tours are led beneath the ground, allowing visitors to explore the Edinburgh Vaults for themselves.
The Pensacola Lighthouse has been protecting the bay since 1826, and it is a well-known landmark in the Pensacola region. However, visitors do not come merely to learn of its historical significance. They come to hunt for ghosts.
The lighthouse holds regular ghost investigations of the keeper’s quarters, offering all manner of equipment to aid in photographing, hearing and even seeing the spirits that seem drawn to the lovely lighthouse.
Guests may also climb 177 steps to the top and walk along the observation deck, which is yet another thing to fear at the Pensacola Lighthouse.
The people of Papua, New Guinea, in area that is very remote and detached from any resemblance of the modern world around them, have a very strange belief that smoking the bodies of the deceased will heal their souls through a sort of “curing process”. This treatment is not performed in a private space, but the bodies are put on display throughout the villages for all to see, as that this is a high honor for those souls that are crossing over.