Our list of real-life scary locations that will make you quiver like a wet poodle.
#10. The Catacombs of Paris
We all know Paris as the “City of Lights”. The French capital’s streets and back alleys have been made famous in movies, plays and books and are filled with must-visit spots for visitors. But beneath Paris lies the infamous Catacombs where millions of long dead Parisians now rest in the eternal darkness, an Empire of the Dead. If you’re curious about the Catacombs, check this out for more info.
#9. Ilha da Queimada Grande (Snake Island)
There are few things that evoke as much instinctive fear as snakes. Clowns, spiders and ghosts take a back seat to the slithery serpent when it comes to scary. The Brazilian island of Ilha da Queimada Grande is so densely populated by poisonous snakes the Brazilian Navy has quarantined it. With a population density of three to eight VENOMOUS snakes for every five square meters you are never more than three feet from death, which is why visiting Snake Island is a truly terrifying feat.
#8. Japan’s “Suicide Forest”
Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji. It has been claimed by local residents and visitors that the old ancient forest is host to a great number of paranormal phenomena including strange beasts, monsters, ghosts, and goblins. But what puts it on our list is Aokigahara’s ranking as the world’s third most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Toronto’s Bloor Street Viaduct. Due in some part to the novel Kuroi Jukai, which ends with lovers committing suicide in the forest. Since the 1950s, more than 500 people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides, with approximately 30 suicides annually. While scouting for locations, director Takimoto Tomoyuki told reporters that he found a wallet containing 370,000 yen (about $3,700 USD), giving rise to the popular rumor that Aokigahara is a treasure trove for scavengers. Others have claimed to have found credit cards, rail passes, and driver’s licenses.
#7. Edinburgh’s Underground Vaults
Far below the busy streets of modern Edinburgh lies a dark, forgotten corner of Scottish history. Discovered in the mid-1980’s, the Edinburgh Vaults had been abandoned for nearly two hundred years. Lying beneath the South Bridge, a major Edinburgh passage, the rooms were used as cellars, workshops and even as residences by the businesses that plied their trade on the busy bridge above. Abandoned soon after they were built due to excessive water, the vaults remained, unaltered, never illuminated by the light of day. Many visitors to the Vaults have been attacked by the unseen and left with bruises, cuts, and scratches. Others have been knocked unconscious and overcome by debilitating nausea and vomiting. Recently visited by the crew of TV show “England’s Most Haunted,” the Vaults maintained their reputation as the spookiest place in Edinburgh – no member of the team would voluntarily return.
#6. New Orleans
New Orleans is considered by locals, visitors and paranormal investigators worldwide to be the most Haunted City in the United States. With 200 years of ghostly legends involving voodoo curses, Spanish moss draped oak encircled duels, cold-blooded murders, stories of Revolutionary War pirates and Civil War soldiers, and wailing cry of long-dead musicians, New Orleans has earned a serious reputation as one haunted place. Locals say that the concentration of extremes leaves the city open to ghosts. Either way, there’s more to see in the Big Easy than beads!
#5. The Coliseum
At the height of Rome’s power the Coliseum represented everything that was Imperial to the city’s citizens. It also has one of the bloodiest histories of any ancient monument with countless numbers of gladiators, prisoners, and criminals who met their end on the Coliseum’s blood-soaked floor. Tour guides and visitors alike have reported cold spots, being touched or pushed, hearing indiscernible words whispered into their ears; security guards have reported hearing the sounds of swords clashing, of weeping in the more remote areas, and, oddly troubling, ghostly animal noises such as the elephants and roaring lions. Ghostly citizens have been seen among the seats of the Coliseum, and the sight of a Roman soldier standing guard, silhouetted against the night sky, is a common one.
#4. The Bloody Fields of Gettysburg
Battlefields, houses, lonely roads and shallow entrenchments all still bear the tell-tale marks of three days of gore and terror that seared themselves into the collective memory of America. “Gettysburg” This one word can conjure up all these terrifying imagery. Travelers seeking to experience the paranormal side of historic Gettysburg can experience the paranormal activity at the battlefield, where reports by eyewitnesses tell of ghostly regiments still charging each other in pitched battle, complete with the sound of musket and cannon fire. But every street of Gettysburg is filled with ghosts of the unquiet dead. Like the home of Jenny Wade, the only woman killed during the battle, where ghostly activity occurs on an almost daily basis; the apothecary shop where the ghost of a mournful woman still holds vigil over the casket of her dead father; or stay at a haunted bed and breakfast that once served as a hospital during the war. Whatever you choose to see, Gettysburg is considered the most haunted destination, “acre for acre,” in all of America.
#3. The Ripper’s Playground – Whitechapel
The Whitechapel area of East London is infamous in the annals of terror thanks to the knife-wielding psycho known to the world as Jack the Ripper! Jack’s bloody murder spree during the summer of 1888 struck fear in the hearts of Londoners and sent shivers down the spines of newspaper readers around the world. Since Jack was never caught, the mystery of The Ripper is as strong now as it was 126 years ago. Today, visitors to Whitechapel can walk the streets that Jack prowled and visit pubs and other locations he may have haunted in life. Walking tours of the area are very popular and although Jack’s legacy is certainly the most enduring, other ghosts that haunt the East End are those of Jack’s victims, in various stages of mutilation; a ghostly band of Roman soldiers; a murderous sea captain’s ghost that haunts a local pub; and a mysterious black carriage drawn by ghastly white horses that approaches without a sound and disappears right before your eyes.
#2. The Killing Fields
Cambodia’s infamous “Killing Fields” certainly have a horrible back story of genocide, betrayal and terror. Visitors to the site of the 1970’s-era massacres carried out by dictator Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge can feel the evil that permeates the entire area, with many visibly shaken and emotional from the experience. Many of the estimated 1.3 million victims were buried in shallow mass graves where bones and clothing surface after heavy rainfalls. Visitors to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum report that it’s not uncommon to run across the bones or teeth of the victims scattered on the surface as one tours the memorial park.
#1. Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp
The very name conjures the worst evil in human history – the Holocaust. The sheer magnitude of death, conservatively 2.5 million killed over five years, that occurred and the efficient malevolency with which it was carried out make Auschwitz a logic choice for one of the scariest places on Earth. Anyone who has visited the former Nazi death camp is struck by the overwhelming sense of melancholy and foreboding; visitors have been known to break down in tears for no apparent reason and many have to abandon their tour groups without ever completing the tour. Visitors are struck not only by the horrific memory of the place, but also by the effect it has on the present day: birds still refuse to sing in the trees surrounding the death camps and there is little evidence of a thriving natural environment anywhere nearby. The silence, as they saw, is deafening, even after all these years.