The 25 Creepiest Places on the Planet

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There are some places out there in the world where it’s as if danger and mystery are lurking behind every corner. We’d like to introduce a few of them here. But we warn you: this is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re brave enough, though, read on!

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, Czech Republic

Funerals took place in this cemetery over the course of nearly four centuries, from 1439 to 1787. In this comparatively small plot of land, around 100,000 people have been buried in total, and there are as many as 12,000 gravestones. Workers covered over some of the older graves with earth, and then buried more of the deceased on top of them. In the cemetery grounds there are places where up to 12 layers of graves lie on top of each other. As time passed, the ground sagged, revealing old gravestones once more for the living to see. The old stones pushed against the more recently placed ones, shifting their positions in the ground. The result is a graveyard that looks not only thoroughly unusual, but also downright terrifying.

The Island of Dolls, Mexico

There is a very strange, deserted island in Mexico, which is largely populated by a collection of terrifying children’s dolls. In 1950, Julián Santana Barrera, a recluse, is said to have begun collecting abandoned dolls from rubbish bins and displaying them on an island south of Mexico City, in an attempt to bring peace to the soul of a little girl who had drowned in the vicinity. Barrera himself drowned on the island on 17th September 2001. The collection of around 1,000 dolls are still there today.

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima is a former coal mining settlement, which was founded in 1887. It was considered one of the most densely populated places on Earth — in 1959, a total of 5,259 people lived there, but the coastline is only around 1 kilometre long. Eventually, it became unprofitable to extract the coal, and the mine was closed in 1974. The settlement joined the ranks of ghost towns around the world.

Chapel of Bones, Portugal

This chapel was built in the 16th century by a Franciscan monk. It is not particularly large — just 18.6 metres long and 11 metres wide. But it contains the bones of 5,000 monks. The phrase ’Melior est die mortis die nativitatis’ (’Better is the day of death than the day of birth’) is written on its roof.

Suicide Forest, Japan

’The Suicide Forest’ is the unofficial name of Aokigahara Forest, which lies on the island of Honshu, Japan. It is notorious for its status as the preferred place where people go to commit suicide. The forest has always been associated with Japanese mythology, which depicted it as the abode of demons and ghosts. It’s now the second most popular suicide spot in the world (the first is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco). A notice stands at the entrance: ’Your life is the priceless gift of your parents. Think about your family. Don’t suffer alone — call us on 22-0110.’

Abandoned psychiatric hospital, Parma, Italy

The building which once housed a psychiatric hospital has now been turned into an art installation by the Brazilian artist Herbert Baglione. He certainly captured the spirit of the place, with ghostly figures of the former, tortured patients now depicted on the floors and walls.

St. George’s church, Czech Republic

This church in the Czech village of Lukova was abandoned in 1968, after part of its roof collapsed during a funeral ceremony. The artist Jakub Hadrava recently placed a collection of terrifying sculptures in the church, giving the place an especially sinister atmosphere.

Catacombs of Paris, France

Centralia, Pennsylvania, USA

Akodessewa market, Togo

This market of supposedly magical objects and herbs has spread out directly in the centre of Lomé, the capital of Togo, West Africa. The populations of Togo, Ghana and Nigeria practice Voodoo, believing in the magical properties of dolls. The assortment of objects found at Akodessewa is thoroughly exotic; it’s possible to acquire the skull of huge oxen, the dried-out heads of monkeys, buffalo and leopards, and many other no less ’magical’ items.

Plague Island, Italy

Poveglia is one of the most famous islands in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It is said to have been used as a place of exile for plague victims since Roman times, with as many as 160,000 people buried there. The souls of many of the dead supposedly returned to the place as ghosts; they now occupy every corner of the island. The place’s dark history is compounded by stories of terrible experiments which were apparently carried out on patients at the psychiatric clinic that was built there. As a result, some paranormal investigators consider the island to be one of the most terrifying locations on the planet.

Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

The Hill of Crosses is just that — a hill where a huge number of Lithuanian crosses and crucifixes have been placed (in total, around 50,000 of them). Despite its appearance, it is not a cemetery. According to popular belief, those who place a cross on the hill will experience good fortune. No one can say with any certainty either when the first cross was placed, or what the reasons were. Unsurprisingly, to this very day the hill is shrouded in mystery.

Burial place of the Kabayan Mummies, Philippines

Overtoun Bridge, Scotland

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, Belize

Leap Castle, Ireland

Chauchilla Cemetery, Peru

Sanctuary of Tophet, Tunisia

Snake Island, Brazil

Buzludzha, Bulgaria

City of the Dead, Russia

Abandoned military hospital of Beelitz-Heilstätten, Germany

Unfinished Cincinnati Subway, USA

Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

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