Many of us love to travel, but what about the places that get the hairs on the back of our neck standing on end?
There are so many beautiful places in the world. Breathtaking views teamed with stretches of beaches and tropical lands. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? Thankfully, Mother Nature has been hard at work all these years as she has crafted some of the most incredible places on the planet.
Sadly, not everywhere gives us inspiration and offers up a chance to relax and take in the beauty that is the surrounding area. In fact, some locations give us the complete opposite feelings. That’s right’ we’re talking about the ones that get the hairs standing up on the back of your neck and a cold shiver down your spine.
Believe it or not, but some places on the planet are so scary that only a few people are brave enough to visit them. They can’t be that bad, right?
Chauchilla Cemetery, Peru
This site has been plagued by grave robbers and thieves over the years, and people have spent their lives trying to piece it all back together. Chauchilla Cemetery was created back in the 9th century as mummified bodies were placed into the burial ground.
However, many are still confused by a lot of the mummified heads in the area. Some have drilled holes in their skulls while others have rope threaded through them, leading some researchers to believe they were worn as trophies or jewelry before they were given a burial.
It’s the dry climate in the area that means the remains have lasted all this time. Most of the bodies are still wearing their original clothes. Plus, some research shows the bodies were dried before they were placed into their resting place.
Snake Island, Brazil
There are so many snakes on Snake Island that humans aren’t allowed to step foot on the land. There’s a good reason: there is at least one lethal snake per one-square-foot. It’s found around 25 miles off the coast of Brazil, but the rumors have spread back to the mainland.
There are stories of the last fisherman who dared to travel too close to the island only to be found in his boat, where he had passed away in a pool of his own blood. Golden lancehead pit vipers are one of the most dangerous in the world.
Yup, you guessed it, they rule the land here as it’s believed there could be up to 4,000 of these snakes alone on the island. Now, the navy maintains the lighthouse to make sure that no one strays too close.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Parts of Edinburgh Castle are more than 900 years old, and their beauty have been standing above the water all these years. However, things aren’t always what they seem. There is an underground dungeon that has been home to plenty of people losing their lives.
It’s believed that many of the souls never left as people claim to have seen all kinds of ghosts. There are so many stories that have come from Edinburgh Castle that it’s now thought to be the most haunted place in Scotland. One of the many people believed to haunt the castle is a piper.
He was sent into the secret tunnel system discovered hundreds of years ago. Apparently, he played his pipes so the people above would know where he was, but the noise suddenly stopped. No trace of the piper was ever discovered.
Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, Australia
For 128 years, Beechworth Lunatic Asylum was treating patients for all kinds of disorders, including a host of husbands who merely wanted to rid themselves of their wives. That’s right; all you needed was a signature from a partner and a willing doctor to have someone admitted to their care – often for good.
Typical treatments would often involve isolation cages, restraint chairs, and straight jackets. Many people lost their lives at Beechworth Lunatic Asylum. It’s said that many never left as there have been plenty of ghost sightings over the years.
As if that wasn’t enough, the entire building is surrounded by ha-ha walls. There was a trench that ran around the whole building, so the walls didn’t look like they were imprisoning people from the outside while they were tall enough from the inside that no one could escape.
Hashima Island, Japan
Nine miles from Nagaski lies Hashima Island. It was once the hub for underwater coal mining, but the land was abandoned many years ago and has been left that way ever since. There was a giant 17-floor-high apartment building built for the miners as well as a hospital and school that were later added to try and help support the growing community.
However, as fuel started to take over, the world no longer needed the coal. The island has since been reclaimed by nature as the walls begin to crumble, and the trees and plants start to take over once again.
Some people believe the island is haunted thanks to the many people who lost their lives here all those years ago, including those who were forced to work there against their will.
Leap Castle, Ireland
This castle comes with a haunted history that is filled with people passing and stories of ghosts. Leap Castle is thought to be one of the most haunted castles in the world. Some believe it was built in the 12th century, while others think it wasn’t complete until the 15th century.
Whatever the case, it was once used for initiation ceremonies. The legend states that two O’Bannon brothers had to leap from the rock where the castle was going to be built. Whoever survived got to lead the clan and build the castle.
Over the years, hundreds of remains have been found as leaders have ended people’s lives in various ways and hidden their bodies. To top it off, many say these tormented souls never left and spend their days seeking revenge and prowling the corridors of the castle instead.
Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
Sedlec Ossuary, also known as Bone Church, has earned its name for one very good reason. There are up to 70,000 people whose remains have all been used to decorate the chapel. This includes skull candle holders, hanging bones, pyramids, a family crest, and even chandeliers that are all made out of human remains.
The story all started back in the 13th century as Abbot Henry brought back a handful of Earth back from the holy land in Jerusalem. He scattered this over the area, and everyone soon wanted to be buried there.
Of course, it wasn’t long before 30,000 remains filled up the space, and they were forced to make a new crypt for the passed. A local woodcarver was tasked with arranging the remains in 1870 and created the huge pieces in the room.
Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania
What is it about forests that can be so terrifying? Hoia Baciu Forest isn’t just scary; it’s been dubbed as the creepiest forest in the world. The Clearing is supposedly the most frightening part of the entire forest as nothing has grown there since records began.
People travel to The Clearing for many reasons, including trying to harness the power to open doors to other dimensions, to reenact great battles, and to attempt to cleanse the supposed evil in the forest through yoga.
The area is named after a shepherd who went missing with all 200 of his sheep when they entered the woods, but that’s not all. Hoia Baciu Forest is one of the top places on the planet for some UFO spotting, with many people claiming to have seen them flying above the trees.
Perhaps a village filled with life-size dolls sounds like the place of nightmares? If that’s the case, then you might want to hold off on a trip to Nagoro. The town only has a population of approximately 30 people.
However, they are completely outnumbered by the 350 dolls that live across the land. Tsukimi Ayano is the one behind the creations. The artist wanted to find a way to replace all the people who have left Nagoro in favor of the big cities or those who have passed away over the years.
This means that many of the scarecrows often resemble real people. The scariest bit? They are randomly found throughout the village where they could be doing anything like fishing in the river, attending classes, or sitting outside local stores. That’s not terrifying at all.
Lake Natron, Tanzania
Few have been unlucky enough to find themselves in Lake Natron. It’s located in Tanzania, but this salt lake has a scary secret. Water flows into the lake, but it can’t flow out. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind crazily high concentrations of salt.
This is enough to turn animals into stone – kind of. Only one species of fish has been able to adapt to the harsh environment, especially as the water often reaches temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat and salt combination means that animals often have the flesh burned from their bodies.
If this doesn’t get them, then the salt preserves their bodies and makes it look as though they have turned into stone, forever preserved in the unforgiving wasteland. On helicopter pilot has even fallen victim to Lake Natron over the years.
Although 31 people lost their lives from the initial explosion, it’s thought that up to 90,000 people could have passed away from the effects. Chernobyl is still considered to be the worst nuclear meltdown in history thanks to the sheer scale of the blast.
It’s thought that it won’t be safe to live in the area for another 20,000 years. However, people still live in the exclusion zone – even though it’s illegal. As the blast happened so quickly, Chernobyl was abandoned without any warning. This means all the buildings are left as they were the day everyone fled for their lives.
The once towering amusement park is now a haunting site while homes show people’s lives in the build-up to the explosion. As if that wasn’t enough, many dolls have since appeared in beds around Chernobyl.
Waverly Hills Sanitarium, Kentucky
Thankfully, medicine has come a long way over the years, but things weren’t always the same. The Waverly Hills Sanitarium opened as a hospital to help treat tuberculosis patients. However, as they didn’t know how to cure the illness, they used the only methods they knew, such as removing ribs to relieve pressure and inserting balloons into damaged lungs.
To top it off, there was even a chute for people who passed away. The staff didn’t want patients to see, so they would send them down the chute to the local railtrack where their bodies were collected and taken away.
Many claim to have seen ghosts, with some of the most famous being Timmy, a six or seven-year-old who plays with toys that people bring and an elderly woman who apparently wears chains but runs in fear when someone approaches.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
When Eastern State Penitentiary opened its doors back in 1829, it was one of the first buildings across America that was fitted with running water and central heating. Sadly, this wasn’t to create a luxurious lifestyle.
The walls were 20-inches-thick while the surrounding area made it feel like a fortress – to keep people in, not out. Al Capone was one of the many to call ESP “home,” where prisoners were often held in solitary confinement and banned from talking to anyone other than the guards and chaplin.
Prisoners would spend 23 hours a day in their cells, and would only be allowed to bathe once every two weeks. However, they were led to the showers in hoods, so they had no idea where they were going and they couldn’t see any other inmates. It’s thought that some prisoners never left.
Bell Witch Cave, Tennessee
If you love to hunt ghosts, then the chances are you might want to head to Bell Witch Cave. The cave is found on a farm that once belonged to the Bell family, hence the name. Sadly, the family wasn’t in for a simple time as it’s reported that they were often tormented by a witch that seemed to haunt the land.
The family members reportedly heard noises like chains getting dragged across the floor or scratching at the doors as well as finding strange animals on their farmland.
The Bell Witch is thought to be the spirit of Kate Bates, who used to live next door to the farm. The Bell Witch Caves became famous as the place where the youngest daughter of the Bell family was taunted by the spirit.
Catacombs of Paris, France
The Catacombs of Paris are home to some of the darkest secrets that the City of Love has ever seen. The remains of more than six million people lie beneath the city. Back in the 18th century, cemeteries in Paris were running out of room.
Plus, the bodies weren’t always buried correctly, and they spread disease within the city. With nowhere else to go, they were placed into the Catacombs. It’s believed there are 200 miles worth of tunnels, but no one has ever been able to map the entire thing.
The people were once taken to the Catacombs in carts and thrown into the pits. That was until workers began to arrange their remains into terrifying shapes and decorations. One of the most terrifying additions is the barrel made from skulls that helps to support the roof.
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel isn’t your typical vacation destination. This was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining, thanks to the terrifying things that have apparently taken place within the hotel.
Feelan Oscar Stanley and his wife, Flora, moved to the area in the hopes that the fresh air would help to cure Freelan’s tuberculosis. The couple fell for the land, but they wanted to help improve things. They built The Stanley Hotel, helped to rebuild the local community, and even built up the dwindling wildlife population.
Legend now says that room 418 is the most haunted room in the hotel, especially as Flora continues to play the piano in the hotel as she never wanted to leave. Plus, there are supposedly many other guests who have decided to outstay their visit over the years.
Catacombs of the Capuchins, Italy
Catacombs are the place of nightmares for many. The Catacombs of the Capuchins in Italy are no exception. Back in the 1600s, the cemetery that was cared for by the monks was full.
They needed somewhere to bury their recently passed Brother Silvestro of Gubbio, so they decided to excavate the tombs below the cemetery. Brother Silvestro was mummified and placed at the entrance where people could continue to pray to him. Silvestro still resides at the door to this day.
People soon wanted their family members to join the Catacombs. Some were dipped in vinegar and stuffed with hay before they were hung on the wall in their best outfits. Others were embalmed and placed in display cases. It’s thought that up to 8,000 people could be forever preserved in the Catacombs of the Capuchins.
Poveglia Island, Italy
Stepping onto Poveglia Island has left plenty feeling pretty uneasy. This was the final resting place for thousands of people. The plague once tore across Europe, taking out anyone that stood in its way.
Anyone with the illness in Italy was shipped off to Poveglia Island to try and stop the plague from spreading any further. The next time there was an epidemic, the island was used as a mass grave. Eventually, Poveglia Island became a place to send anyone who was remotely ill, thanks to the mental asylum that took on the island.
Here, patients became test subjects in all kinds of experiments until the doctor leading the way mysteriously fell from the top of the bell tower. Poveglia Island has been abandoned ever since apart from the hundreds of ghosts that supposedly still haunt the land.
Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, China
There are glass-bottomed bridges, and then there’s the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge. This is the tallest and longest in the world as it towers a whopping 984 feet above the ground. As if that wasn’t enough, you have to make it 1,410 feet across the bridge to get from one side to the other.
The bridge opened back in 2016 as it offered visitors to enjoy the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon from an entirely new angle as you soar above the treetops down below. Only 600 people are allowed on the bridge at one time to make sure that everyone stays safe.
However, if you want to push things one step further, then guests can sign up to zipline or bungee jump from the bridge. This sure is a trip that isn’t for people with a fear of heights.
Museum Vrolik, The Netherlands
There is a good reason that Museum Vrolik is also known as “The creepiest museum in the world.” It is named after professor Gerardus Vrolik who worked alongside his son and a handful of other medical professionals to acquire one of the most unique collections in the world.
The museum is filled with medical collections, including bones and skulls, as well as human specimens and animal parts. There are also many people who have birth defects or conjoined twins.
The samples have been used by medical professionals over the years, and some have even continued to add to the collection. Museum Vrolik is also open to the public, but be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted. The collection is unlike any other in the world, but that might not be such a bad thing.
Tuol Sleng, Cambodia
This museum was once a high school before it was taken over in 1975. All of a sudden, it was Security Prison 21 where it became the largest of its kind in the country. It’s thought that around 17,000 people were taken here over the course of four years before the prison was shut down in 1979.
Tragically, only seven of them ever escaped with their lives. Everyone else was photographed before and after they had their lives ended as the people working at the prison meticulously documented everyone that went in and out.
Tuol Sleng has since been turned into a museum where people can browse through the photos and learn the stories behind the people that were held in Security Prison 21. However, many people can’t face stepping inside.
This French village has stood still since 1944. German soldiers controlled the area in World War II. However, the town had been largely unaffected by the war until the soldiers arrived. Some tales say they believed that one of their soldiers was being held there while others think that the troops were acting before they were given instructions.
Whatever the case, the villagers were told that they needed to take part in an ID check. Everyone headed up to the town square, where the men were separated from the women and children. They then all had their lives ended in various ways with no time to react. Only a few survived.
The government decided not to rebuild the town or knock it down, meaning it has stood as a plaque to those who lost their lives, barely touched all those years.
Sanctuary of Tophet, Tunisia
The Ancient Greeks and Romans were accused of making propaganda about the Ancient Carthaginians when they said the fallen empire used children in sacrifices. It turns out they were right after all. Researchers uncovered the Sanctuary of Tophet that finally helped to put all the pieces in place.
They found evidence to suggest that the Carthaginians would use their own children to try and help keep the gods happy. Plus, there are stories that say wealthy members of the empire could have bought children from poor families to use instead.
The number of urns and remains found in the area suggests that up to 20,000 young children could have lost their lives here over the years. While the sanctuary was once a place of danger and sadness for many, others can now gaze in fear at the remains.
100 years ago, Centralia was a bustling mining town. Now, it’s practically a ghost town that has been left in disrepair. That was all thanks to a fire that started five decades ago. Trash quickly became an issue for the town.
The local council wanted to clear out an old mine that had been used as a dump and decided the best thing to do was set it all on fire. The fire quickly dominated the abandoned mining tunnels and ripped through the city.
People had no idea what was happening until some areas of ground reached 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The ground started to open up, and plumes of smoke dominated the air. There was no way to extinguish the fire, meaning the town was forced to leave with only a few ever saying behind.
Beelitz Sanatorium, Germany
Empty corridors, crumbling buildings, and medical tables that have been untouched for many years are all that remains at Beelitz Sanatorium. It was once used as a hospital during the World Wars, but it was abandoned during the fall of East Germany.
It was supposed to help keep on top of the growing number of people diagnosed with tuberculosis before it was needed to help treat wounded soldiers. The hospital beds and equipment still stand as they did the last time they were used.
However, many of the rooms have now been decorated with graffiti, while Mother Nature has started to take back many aspects of the buildings. As if that wasn’t enough, the hospital even became a bustling community with butchers and post offices before it was abandoned, making a trip here even scarier.
The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
The Island of the Dolls is one of the most terrifying places on Earth for people who have a feeling that dolls are following them across the room. Why? The island is covered with dolls on just about everything you can see.
The story says that Don Julian left his wife and family in the mid-1900s and moved to an island found in Teshuilo Lake. People aren’t sure why he moved, but it was here that Don supposedly found the body of a girl washed up from the canal.
A short while later, a doll washed up. Don hung the doll in a tree to please the girl’s spirit, but one was never enough. He spent the rest of his life collecting all kinds of dolls and their remains. People have continued to add to the collection ever since.
Along the edge of the Namibian Desert lies what was once a grand town that dominated the area: Kolmanskop. The ornate buildings were once filled with people who all worked together to mine the diamonds in the area.
The gems were first found by accident as a rail worker dug them up when inspecting the lines. It wasn’t long before many people moved to the growing town of Kolmanskop to take advantage of the gems.
Sadly, the diamonds soon dried up, and people moved on. Living in Kolmanskop meant having to battle against the elements. Mother Nature has since won the battle as sand pours through the town and has filled many of the empty buildings. Everything from homes to the incredible entertainment hall that once featured as the draw of the town have managed to survive all these years.
Houska Castle, Czech Republic
Just 29 miles away from Prague lies a castle that has been at the center of many nightmares for locals. It was built towards the end of the 13th century as Ottokar II of Bohemia ordered Houska Castle to be built over a hole so deep and vast that no one could see to the bottom.
People told stories of dark-winged creatures and human-animal hybrids emerging from the pit, leading many to believe that it was a gateway to hell. There have been tales of prisoners having the chance to reduce their sentence if they took on the hole.
All they needed to do was get lowered down and report on what they say. Unfortunately, everyone that supposedly went down the hole always emerged screaming for no apparent reason. We may never know what lies at the bottom.
This park first opened as a children’s playground before it was later transformed into an amusement park. It’s now thought to be the oldest standing park in Europe. By the 1980s, many children’s rides were replaced with epic attractions that were meant to push people to the limit and get that adrenaline pumping.
It’s best year saw one million visitors. So where did it all go so wrong? The rides were getting more rundown and dangerous, thanks to the lack of maintenance at the park. A series of accidents were finished with one nine-year-old losing his arm.
The park was supposed to close for one year in 2002 for renovations, but it’s never reopened its gates. Dadipark has since been reclaimed by nature, with the childhood wonderland turning into a place of nightmares instead.
Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
No matter how many times the local government has tried to put an end to the Hill of Crosses, people have always found a way to keep this area alive. No one is sure why people started putting crosses here in the first place.
However, the numbers continue to grow, and it’s thought there are now somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 crosses on the hill. They are made from metal and wood and have been placed here for the last 200 years.
There are also statues of religious figures found among the crosses. Some tales say that the Virgin Mary came to people as an apparition and told them to cover the hill with sacred marks, and they have been following the orders ever since. We may never know the truth.
Crater of Fire, Turkmenistan
While science has come a long way over the years, we don’t always get things right. Things didn’t quite go to plan when scientists thought they would clear some natural gas. The 230-foot-wide crater opened up when they were drilling for a natural gas reserve and stumbled upon the collection.
However, the rig collapsed, and the team were worried that the gas would spread. Dropping in a flame would rid the gas in a few hours, right? Wrong. That was more than four decades ago. It’s been burning ever since.
Hundreds of people visit the site over the years, even though the government tried to have the hole filled back in 2010. There’s no telling how long the gas will continue to burn or how much has been used thanks to the fire.
Kabayan Mummy Caves, Philippines
Some of the most famous mummies in the world are from Ancient Egyptian times, but it wasn’t just this great empire that practiced the art of preserving someone after they have passed away. It’s thought that mummies were placed into the Kabayan Mummy Caves around 2000 BCE, meaning they have laid there for thousands of years.
They are also known as the fire mummies thanks to the process used after their passing. The person would have to drink an incredibly salty drink before having their bodies soaked in salt after their passing.
Then, they would be placed into a sitting position and smoked over a fire where the salt would dehydrate their bodies. The mummies have been found in caves in the surrounding areas. They have given researchers an incredible insight as to how people used to preserve their people.
Skull Tower, Serbia
It seems as though the world once had a thing for building structures out of human remains, but people didn’t have much of a choice about whether they would be a part of Skull Tower. The Ottoman Empire once ruled over many areas of Europe.
However, they were angered by the continual takeovers and rebellions left by others. They needed a way to show people that the Ottomans weren’t an empire to be messed with. They had the perfect answer: Skull Tower.
Anyone that tried to rebel against the leaders had their skulls plastered into the tower as a warning to others. Rather than ward people off, many were intrigued by Skull Tower and wanted to learn the story behind its creation. Now, it’s a permanent reminder of the empire that once ruled the land.
Mount Hua Shan, China
Many of us love an adrenaline rush, but the trail to the top of Mount Hua Shan is taking things to a new level. It is considered to be one of a handful of sacred mountains found in China, and making it to the top means a scary climb.
Many aspects of the trail are mere pieces of wood that are bolted to the mountain. Other parts of the path have simply been carved into the side of the rock. People must hang on for their lives if they don’t want to plummet thousands of feet to the ground below.
The path is filled with sacred shrines along the way that give people something to aim for. Still, it’s not unusual to see people clinging onto the chains for their lives as they try to continue along the path.
This forest is so thick with plants that it is also known as the Sea of Trees. The trees make it easy for someone to get lost inside the forest while the twisting roots and branches make the forest floor a dangerous place to try and negotiate.
To top it off, the trees are so tightly packed together that there is often little air in the middle of it all, giving it a truly eerie feeling. In fact, many people have to use rope or tape to make sure they can find their way back out of the forest before they are trapped forever.
There are many terrifying tales that come with Aokigahara as some believe that it’s filled with demons, while others think that it’s haunted by the many people who have taken their lives here over the years.