The world is an incredible place, I think we can all agree on that. It’s full of beauty and wonders that we can’t even begin to fathom. But, just as it’s full of breathtaking views and natural formations, it’s also full of places that are a little more spooky than they are beautiful.
Sometimes, these are man-made structures that have a long history of sadness, and sometimes, they’re natural formations that we just can’t explain. Either way, there are some pretty terrifying places on our planet.
Jacob’s Well, Texas
At first glance, Jacob’s Well looks like a nice and calm place to visit if you’re looking to get some sun and go for a swim, but in reality, it’s a pretty dangerous place.
At least nine people have died doing dives in the caves of Jacob’s Well, one of which even has what diver’s call a “fake exit” that can trap people.
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar
It looks like a scene from Avatar, but don’t be fooled. Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar is a dangerous place. It’s 250 miles of sharp, jagged limestone obelisks. This giant stone fortress is impassable and barely explored. So much so that any time biologists travel there, they discover new species.
The Bolton Strid, Yorkshire
Don’t be fooled by its fairytale view, the Bolton Strid is dangerous. So dangerous that it has allegedly drowned every person who has tried to step into it.
The Strid is a part of the river Wharfe…which is a giant river, and while it looks like a peaceful creek, it’s basically turned on its side and roiling underneath the surface. The river narrows at this point, and as a result, it runs deep beneath the placid surface, gouging out a huge area beneath the rocky shores.
Local legend has it that no one has entered the Bolton Strid and lived to tell the tale.
As its name suggests, Helltown, Ohio, is a creepy place. The town was abandoned after a bill was signed that allowed National Park Services to take land from people and turn it into national parks. The project didn’t pan out, but the town was left empty.
The town is full of ghosts, a Satanic church, a mutant python, and even a curse that makes people who enter it sick. Or, at least that’s how the stories go.
Dyatlov Pass, Russia
The Dyatlov Pass was always a difficult place to hike, but it wasn’t until February 1959 that it become infamous. An experienced trekking group started their hike on February 1st and were never seen alive again, as six of the hikers died of hypothermia and the other three of serious injuries.
There is a great deal of weirdness surrounding the situation. The campsite they had set up had been ripped apart, and members of the team left the site without their shoes, apparently of their own accord, as there was no evidence of other people there.
Aokigahara, also known as the “Suicide Forest,” is located at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest got its name by being a spot that people go to attempt and often complete suicides. Because of this, it’s also rumored to be haunted.
Before you enter the forest, there is a sign urging people to think of their families and know that they can find help if they need it. An important message for everyone.
Krubera Cave, Abkhazia
For those of you who are claustrophobic, this could be one of your worst nightmares. Krubera Cave is the second-deepest known cave on Earth. It goes down 5,610 feet. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also home to many, many different kinds of creepy crawlies like spiders, beetles, and springtails.
Isle Of The Dolls, Mexico
The Isle of the Dolls is as creepy as it sounds. It’s full of rotting, limbless, and headless dolls full of spider nests. However, this spooky tourist attraction was never meant to be a scary place. The dolls on the island were actually dedicated to a little girl who died too young.
Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
People have been putting crosses on this Lithuanian hill since the 14th century. Originally, when the crosses were placed in medieval times, they were a message expressing the Lithuania’s people’s wish for independence. But, after an uprising that inevitably led to bloodshed, it became a site of remembrance.
One of the creepiest features? Being able to hear the clashing crosses make an eerie sound in the wind.
From the 1800s to the 1960s, Centralia was a peaceful town that was home to those who worked in the nearby coal mines. That was, of course, until the mines mysteriously caught fire one day in 1962. The flames quickly spread through the interconnecting tunnels.
Those who lived in the town knew about the situation, and it wasn’t the fire itself that caused people to leave, but the fallout from the fire—like huge sinkholes and high-temperature gas. Now, the town is mostly abandoned.
This list wouldn’t be complete without the home of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The town was originally built in 1970 and was home to nearly 50,000 people, all of whom were evacuated after the incident.
What makes the place so creepy is that the belongings of the people who left are still where they were on the day of the evacuation. It’s like everyone left for a day at work and will be home soon.
Hanging Coffins, Philippines
Instead of going six feet under when you die, you get raised much higher up in Sagada in the Philippines. It’s been a tradition there for thousands of years that people would create their own coffins and, once they died, would be hoisted up and placed under their ancestors for all the world to see. No two coffins are exactly alike.
Capuchin Catacombs, Italy
This creepy monastery was created back in the 16th century when the Capuchin monastery was overrun. The space was originally created and reserved for those religious men. But, once word got out about the natural mummification that happened to bodies in the monastery, it became something of a status symbol to be buried there, in their best clothing, of course.
Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan
Also known as the Door to Hell, it’s a natural gas field that has collapsed into a cavern. It was intentionally set on fire by geologists to prevent the spread of methane. It’s been burning since 1971 and shows no signs of slowing down.
Snake Island, Brazil
The name says it all for this one, especially if you’re afraid of snakes. The island is one of the most dangerous in the world because of its dense population of golden lancehead vipers. When the island rose above sea level 11,000 years ago, the snakes became hyper-evolved to deal with their new territory. They’ve learned to hunt in trees and developed a venom so strong it can melt human skin.
Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
This chapel has become world-famous for its very macabre decor. It all started back in the 1300s when an abbot of the Sedlec monastery brought back holy soil of Jerusalem, making it the new it place to be buried.
But, as you can imagine, they quickly ran out of space and had to exhume old bodies to make room for the new ones. Instead of finding them a new burial place, the abbots decided to use them as decor.
Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania
If you’re a fan of the supernatural, then you’re no stranger to Hoia-Baciu Forest in Romania. This forest has been home to it all: UFO sightings, ghosts and poltergeists, weird creatures, and sounds that don’t come from any known animal. It’s even reported that many who enter the forest leave with lingering feelings of anxiety and depression, or develop itchy rashes.
Bhangarh Fort, India
The oasis offers a stark juxtaposition to the surrounding desert. While very beautiful, the fort remains largely in ruin, with no one living there. It’s said in local lore that this is because the land is cursed by a sorcerer who had his heart broken by a princess who wouldn’t accept his advances.
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
If the name wasn’t enough to convince you of its mystery, this former imperial palace is a hotbed of horror stories and hauntings. It spent 600 years as a palace where there were executions, poisonings, and, of course, deaths by natural causes.
Now it serves as a museum that you can visit, and if you’re lucky you might see the ghost of a woman on the grounds crying.
The whole city of Canberra, Australia, is full of places that are said to be haunted. It’s such a hotbed for paranormal activity that nowhere is safe from a lingering spirit or two, including the museum, the parliament buildings, and the majority of their hotels.