There are many legends revolving around certain destinations in the world that are further filled with mysteries and traditions from the past. These terrifying places with their horror stories and demons, great stories of massacres or simply with their spooky appearance will lift your hair up.
In the same vein, if you are a horror movie fanatic and the word ‘fear’ doesn’t fit in your vocabulary; we encourage you to discover the twenty-nine most mysterious and creepy destinations of our planet. Graveyards, abandoned cities, castles and sanctuaries among many others will definitely give you goose pumps!
# 1 The hanging coffins of Sagada, the Philippines
The people of Sagrada follows a traditional burial process for their dead. The dead members of the Igorot tribe were put into coffins that hang from a cliff for hundreds of years. It is thought that this ritual will bring the descended ones closer to their ancestors, while keeping the bodies safe in the same time. Moreover, do NOT touch the coffins! Bring binoculars to watch them from a distance with their deserve respect.
# 2 Island of the dolls, Mexico
According to the tale, the caretaker of the island Don Julián Santana found a drowned girl from the waters circling the shore. A short while after the tragedy, he saw a doll floating in the water. He hang the doll up to the trees as a sign of respect, and to support the spirit of the young girl. He continued hanging up more dolls during 50 years, until he died in the same waters by drowning. Today the place is a tourist attraction.
# 3 Hashima island, Japan
Moreover, nine miles from the city of Nagasaki sits a once-rich abandoned island. This little island used to serve the public as a quarry. It was the home of thousands of people, until the mines run out of coal in 1974 and and petroleum began replacing it, the island was abandoned rapidly. As a tourist site, the island was named a World Heritage Historical Site in 2015 by the UNESCO. In addition, nowadays you can do a virtual walking tour around the island in the website of Hashima Island.
# 4 Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague
This cemetery is situated in Josefov; and for 300 years it was the only place where it was allowed to bury Jewish people in Prague. It was established in 1439; or at least that’s what the first tombstone of Avigdor Karo says. In the same vein, it was growing over the years, but it never reached its true potential. There was not enough space for all the bodies, so the corpses were buried on top of each other. For instance, they could reach even to 10 bodies stacked up. Today one can see over 12.000 tombstones that mark the graves of 100.000 people.
# 5 Suicide forest, Japan
Aokigahara is a forest by the mountain of Fuji, where more than 500 people have taken their own lifes since the 1950’s. The officials put up signs with messages saying “Your life is a wonderful gift from your parents” and “Please, talk to the authorities before deciding to die” in order to prevent people from committing an atrocious mistake.
# 6 Catacombs of Paris, France
The Catacombs of Paris is one of the most famous cemeteries in Paris. Moreover, it consists of a large network of tunnels and underground rooms where during Roman times the limestone mines were. The mines became a common cemetery in the late 18th century. The 200 kilometer-long web of tunnels under the streets of Paris further contains the remains of more than 6 million bodies.
# 7 Centralia in Pennsylvania, United States
Centralia is a borough and nowadays an almost ghost town. This miner town was abandoned due to a fire in the depths of the coal mine in 1962 and still remains the same today. The inhalation of the toxic chemical carbon monoxide was the reason for the evacuation. It is estimated that the town will be combustible for another 250 years.
# 8 Sedlec Ossuary, the Czech Republic
The Sedlec Ossuary is a picturesque Catholic chapel located under the church of the All Saints Cemetery in Sedlec. This creepy chapel contains the skeletons of more than 40.000 people, hanging in an artistic way to form the unique decoration. The unburied bones are arranged to represent the artwork of the cemetery.
# 9 The fire mommies, the Phillipines
In order to get to the Caves of Timbak, you have to travel first 5 hours in a car towards the mountains and later walk another 5 hours to get to the stone steps that will lead you up. Further in the caves that were used as graves, you will find well-preserved mommies in a fetal position in their original coffins.
# 10 Sanctuary of Tophet, Tunisia
This area is actually an ancient sacred area dedicated to the Phoenician deities Tanit and Baal. In the sanctuary we can find for instance thousands of graves of children that date back to the Punic times of Carthage. It is believed that all of them were victims of human sacrifice during difficult times.
# 11 The abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine
Due to the nuclear accident of Chernobyl, you will find a ghost city in northern Ukraine, near the Ukraine–Belarus border, named Pripyat. The whole area was evacuated and was once home for 50.000 inhabitants. Moreover, the town was founded on 4 February 1970; as the ninth “atomgrad“, a type of closed town in the Soviet Union meant to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In 1986, the city of Slavutych was constructed to replace Pripyat.
# 12 Overtoun bridge, Scotland
Do not take your dog with you when you want to visit the Overtoun house in Scotland. About 600 dogs have jumped off the bridge for unknown reasons and died since the 1960’s; this is where the name ‘Dog Suicide Bridge’ comes from. But, why do they jump out? Some say there are rational explanations involving the terrain and the scents that may drive the dogs into a frenzy. On the other hand, other explanations take on a more paranormal tone; given that the bridge is located on a mesmerizing spot where heaven and earth overlap.
# 13 Psychiatric ward in Parma, Italy
All over the halls you can see the shadow paintings that represent the tortured souls wandering in the mental hospital’s hallways; these were added by an artist named Herbert Baglione. In addition, Baglione is based in São Paulo but has painted these ghostly guys all over the world; from public walls and in abandoned sites like Paris and Madrid to others undisclosed locations. This is all part of a project he calls “1,000 Shadows“; where it seems to be an experiment at keeping urbanites scared at night.
# 14 Catacombs of the Capuchin in Palermo, Italy
The Catacombs of the Capuchins are ceremonial catacombs located in the city of Palermo. For instance, inside the catacombs there are about 8000 mummified bodies; many of which are creepily hanging from the walls and well-preserved. Further, the catacombs have been separated into corridors; each one hosting a specific type of person: religious figures; professionals, such as doctors; and a room for women, virgins and infants. In addition, the oldest corpse in this macabre collection is the one of Silvestro da Gubbio; a friar who passed in 1599.
# 15 San Jorge church, the Czech Republic
St. George’s Basilica in Prague is the oldest preserved church within the space of the Prague Castle. This church was abandoned in 1968 when the ceiling partially collapsed during a funeral ceremony. The creepy statues representing phantoms were added later on by an artist named Jakub Hadrava; making the atmosphere of the church even scarier.
# 16 The abandoned metro in Cincinnati, United States
The construction of the underground subway tunnel began in the 1920s but was never finished because of the elevated costs. You can visit the tunnels with a guided tour two times per year. Moreover, many people even decide to enter and wander alone for kilometers through these abandoned tunnels!
# 17 Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Belize
Further inside these caves there are the remains of 14 skeletons, all of them with a fatal injury in the skull. In the same vein, all of them were victims of Mayan human sacrifice; and half of them being children. The most famous one is an 18-year-old girl called the maiden of Chrystal; her name originated because of her complete calcification of her skeleton in recent years.
# 18 Chauchilla cemetery, Peru
Moreover, the typical dry climate of Peru has kept the bodies of this antique cemetery very well preserved. Even so that the grave robbers spread the remains all over the place. Subsequently, later on all of this has been restored the best way possible into its original state.
# 19 Military Hospital in Beelitz-Heilstätten of the Red Army, Germany
This magnificent complex has more than 60 buildings, most of which are abandoned, though some are still functioning today. The hospital has been in use since the First World War, and one of the most famous patients here was Adolf Hitler. The Beelitz-Heilstätten Männersanatorium was built in 1898 being overall one of the biggest hospitals of its kind. In addition, this site was divided into two parts; firstly a health-resort, north of the rail racks. Secondly this sanatorium at the south side. Both parts had separate buildings for man and for woman.
# 20 West Virginia State Penitentiary, United States
This gothic style prison was closed in 1995. This prison is currently one of the most haunted places in the world. Hundreds of people died inside its walls, including people sentenced to death as well as normal inmates who became victims of violent conflicts among the prisoners.
# 21 Akodessewa Fetish market, Togo
Moreover, this is the largest fetish market of the world; popular among people who practice voodoo. The meaning of ‘Fetish‘ in this context refers to the talismans that are used to perform the acts of voodoo. The market consists of objects like crocodile heads, hands of chimpanzees, snakes and bones.
# 22 Island of the snakes, Brazil
There is approximately one snake per square meter in this island; all of them variating from all kinds like the golden lancehead pit vipers, which is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. The last inhabitants of this island were the lighthouse caretaker and his family, who were eventually killed by the snakes. Subsequently, as of today the island remains inhabited.
# 23 The abandoned house of the communist party, Bulgaria
This building, which has a shape of a flying saucer, is located on one of the Balkan’s most unwelcoming hills. The inscription on the door says “At your feet you inglorious comrades! At your feet, slaves of hard labor! Oppressed and humiliated, walking against the enemy!”. The Monument House of the Bulgarian Communist Party was built in central Bulgaria by the Bulgarian communist government and inaugurated in 1981. Moreover, it commemorated the events of 1891; when a group of socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organized socialist movement that subsequently led to the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a forerunner of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
# 24 Chapel of the bones, Portugal
The Chapel of Bones is one of the most famous monuments in the city of Évora in Portugal. This frightening chapel contains the bones of 5000 monks; and if this is not scary enough, it also has two bodies hanging from the ceiling. However, the other of these skeletons belongs to a child.
# 25 Poveglia island, Italy
Poveglia is a small island near Venice that was used as a quarantine for 160.000 people infected by the plague between the years of 1793 and 1814. Mass grave pits of the victims have been found in the area. In addition, Napoleon also used the zone as a storing place for guns. Later, from 1922 to 1968, there was a mental hospital in the island; and the legend has it, that there was a crazy doctor who used to torture and kill many patients inside of these facilities.
# 26 Hill of crosses, Lithuania
With about 100.000 crosses standing on the hill, the Pope declared this place for hope, peace, love and sacrifice in 1993. The meaning of the crosses is not only catholic, but also pagan. The first crosses were put up in the 14th century, and many myths revolve around them, trying to give an explanation about their origins.
# 27 Military Hosipital of Cambridge, England
Cambridge Military Hospital was a hospital in Hampshire, England; which served at the time for the various British Army camps there. In the First World War, the Cambridge Hospital was the first base hospital to receive casualties directly from the Western Front. Later, after the Second World War, with the decline in importance of Britain’s military commitments, civilians were admitted to the hospital. This hospital was functioning from 1878 until 1996; until it was finally closed due to the high costs and asbestos of the walls. Subsequently, in 2014, permission was granted for the hospital to be converted to provide housing.
# 28 The Leap Castle, Ireland
This castle in one of the most haunted ones in the world and it has a long history of mysterious and scary deaths. For instance, one priest was murdered by his own brother during a mass in the chapel. From that moment on, the place has been called the bloody chapel.
# 29 The city of the dead, Russia
Dargavs seems like a beautiful town on a hill with 100 small houses made of stone, but in the reality, these buildings are crypts filled with bones. Many of the bodies were buried with clothes on among with other personal belongings.