There are places, where not even the most courageous and hardened people want to venture. Sites of bloody tragedies, murders, supernatural phenomena or just very creepy occurrences that send chills down even the bravest of spines. If you are one of those people who have an odd fascination with haunted places and scary locations, you will certainly enjoy today´s post. We’ve searched the world over to find 25 Of The Scariest Places On Earth (Warning: The faint-hearted should avoid these places at all costs). From the terrifying suicide forest in Japan and the super haunted Leap Castle in Ireland to the creepy Voodoo market in Togo and the macabre Italian catacombs (with life-like dressed mummies…yikes!), all of the places featured in this list are the stuff nightmares are made of.
1 – Kabayan Mummy Caves, Philippines
Found in Kabayan in the province of Benguet, Philippines, the Kabayan Mummy Caves are natural caves that host the Fire Mummies. Dating back to as early as around 2000 BC, they are among the most well-preserved mummies in the world. The mummification began shortly after a person died, where he would digest a very salty drink. The corpse was then washed and set over a fire in a seated position, thus drying the fluids.
2 – Kolmanskop, Namibia
Once a thriving center of diamond mining, Kolmanskop is now a ghost-town in the Namib Desert in southern Namibia. After World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted, the town started to decline until it was ultimately abandoned in 1954. By the course of time, the desert has taken over this area, creating one of the eeriest places in Africa.
3 – Bran Castle, Romania
One of the scariest castles in the world, the Bran Castle is alleged to have been the seat of Vlad III – a cruel Romanian ruler better known as Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler. Notorious for brutally impaling his enemies, the character of Vlad III inspired Bram Stoker to write his famous Gothic horror novel Dracula. Yet, the castle has another creepy element – one of its chapels hosts a gold casket in which Queen Marie’s heart was placed and buried.
4 – Akodessewa Fetish Market, Togo
Situated in the Togo´s capital of Lome, the Akodessewa Fetish Market is the world´s largest fetish and voodoo market. One of the creepiest places in Africa, the market offers anything from leopard heads and human skulls to Voodoo priests who bless and create fetishes or predict the future and make medicines to heal whatever ails you.
5 – Oradour-sur-Glane, France
Located in west-central France, Oradour-sur-Glane is a little village that was a site of a grisly massacre by the Nazi Germans in the WWII after rumors had circulated that a German officer was being held prisoner there. As collective punishment, residents of the village were ordered to assemble in the village square and hundreds of them including women and children were then massacred in a horrific machine gun attack. These days, the site serves as a museum and permanent memorial to the atrocities that occurred during the German occupation of France.
6 – Catacombs of the Capuchins, Italy
Located in the Sicilian city of Palermo, southern Italy, Catacombs of the Capuchins are unique burial catacombs known for the fact that the corpses are displayed like a museum exhibit, dressed and arranged in grotesquely life-like posts. Containing about 8,000 corpses and 1,252 mummies, the catacombs have become a popular tourist spot.
7 – Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky
Formerly a treatment center for tuberculosis patients in the early 20th century, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky is considered one the scariest and most haunted places in the US. The sanatorium had up to 63,000 people die within its walls; many deaths were attributed to mistreatment or immoral experiments. Shadows and screams can be seen and heard throughout the building as well as walking across random cold spots.
8 – Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
Located in Central Czech Republic, the Sedlec ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel lying beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints. The chapel is famous for containing skeletons of up to 70,000 people, whose bones were artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. Thanks to its unique spooky look and atmosphere, this macabre place has been featured in several horror movies.
9 – Snake Island, Brazil
For those who suffer from Ophidiophobia (abnormal fear of snakes), the Snake Island is definitely the scariest place in the world. Located just off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil, this little 110-acre island is home to more than 4,000 snakes including a viper species that can “melt human flesh”. Some reports suggest you can find a snake per every square meter here.
10 – Door to Hell, Turkemnistan
11 – Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Situated on Lake Teshuilo near the Mexico City, the Island of the Dolls is the creepiest place in Mexico. The legend has is that the island’s only inhabitant, Don Julian Santana, found a body of a drowned girl in a canal. Haunted by her spirit, Santana began to get dolls for the girl and he kept doing that for years until he drowned in the very same waters. Today, hundreds of terrifying, mutilated dolls with severed limbs and decapitated heads “embellish” the island.
12 – Tuol Sleng, Cambodia
The Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in the Phnom Penh occupies the site of a former high school, which was converted under the Khmer Rouge into the notorious Security Prison 21. Up to 20,000 people were imprisoned, tortured and murdered here between 1975 and 1979. The grim museum attracts hundreds of tourists each day, and contains photographs of inmates, skulls and instruments of torture.
13 – Stanley Hotel, Colorado
One of the world´s most famous haunted hotels, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, inspired Stephen King to write the iconic bestseller “The Shining”. While at the hotel, King stayed in room No. 217 but it is room No. 418 that reports the most ghostly activity. The hotel is supposedly haunted by Flora Stanley, the wife of the owner, who likes to play the piano late at night. Her ghost is said to be a very visible and high profile haunting.
14 – Prypiat, Ukraine
Located in northern Ukraine, Pripyat is the town where the Chernobyl disaster happened in April 1986. During the accident, now known as the worst nuclear power plant accident in human history, 31 people died, but long-term effects such as cancers and deformities are still being accounted for even today. The estimates differ greatly, but some say that millions of people have been affected by the tragedy.
15 – Freeman Ranch, Texas
A 3,500 acre plot of land between the cities of San Marcos and Wimberley in Central Texas, the Freeman Ranch is a working ranch devoted to various fields of research including forensic anthropology. Human remains are left there to rot so that decomposition processes can be studied.
16 – Leap Castle, Ireland
Considered one the most haunted castles in the world, the Leap Castle has an unusually bloody history. There was a brutal fratricide committed in this 13th century castle and also many people were held prisoners and executed there. Therefore, the castle is rumored to be haunted by a number of spirits, including a violent supernatural entity known as the Elemental, most recognizable by the accompanying smell of rotting flesh and sulfur.
17 – Chauchilla Cemetery, Peru
Located 30 km (19 mi) south of the city of Nazca in south-western Peru, the Chauchilla Cemetery is an ancient cemetery that contains pre-hispanic mummified human remains and archeological artifacts. Due to the exceptionally dry climate of the Peruvian desert, the exposed corpses clothed in embroidered cotton are remarkably well preserved.
18 – Suicide Forest, Japan
Officially called Aokigahara, the Suicide Forest lies at the base of the Mount Fuji in Japan. Historically associated with demons in Japanese mythology, the forest has such a dense tree distribution that it literally blocks winds, making it an exceptionally quiet and eerie place. Despite numerous signs urging people to reconsider their actions, the forest – for some reason – has become a popular spot for suicides. Statistically, about 100 suicides occur here every year.
19 – Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Situated about 12 km (7,5 mi) north of the city of Siauliai, northern Lithuania, the Hill of Crosses is a unique catholic pilgrimage site notable for its sheer numbers of crosses, giant crucifixes, statues of the Virgin Mary, effigies and rosaries. The precise origin of the practice of leaving crosses on the hill is uncertain, but it is believed the hill is now home to at least 250,000 crosses.
20 – Beelitz Sanatorium, Germany
Located in Beelitz, Brandenburg, eastern Germany, the Beelitz Sanatorium once treated the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. These days, the large 60-building treatment complex is abandoned and ruined. Littered with graffiti on its peeling walls, the dilapidated hospital has a disturbingly creepy, apocalyptic-like atmosphere.
21 – Museum Vrolik, Netherlands
Located in Amsterdam inside the University of Amsterdam, the Museum Vrolik is one of the creepiest and scariest museums in the world. Named after Willem Vrolik, a Dutch anatomist and pathologist, the museum consists of various human and zoological body parts, fetuses and plaster casts that exhibit different aspects of embryology, pathology and anatomy. It also features numerous examples of congenital malformations and medical anomalies.
22 – Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland
Located in Oswiecim in South Poland, the Nazi concentration camp is a place where at least 1.1 million (mostly Jewish) prisoners died. Living conditions in the camp were extremely brutal, and many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, or inhumane medical experiments.
23 – Catacombs of Paris, France
Called “The Empire of the Dead”. This Paris catacomb is one of the largest and scariest catacombs in the world. With a total length of about 200 km (over 320 km), the catacombs are estimated to hold the remains of about six million people. Due to their extreme length and complexity, many people have found themselves lost and eventually died there over the years.
24 – Lake Natron, Tanzania
Located in northern Tanzania, the Lake Natron is a salt and soda lake notorious for its extremely high content of salt and scorching temperatures of up to 60 C (140 F). There are a few animal species that managed to adapt to this harsh environment but if any other animal touches the water, it can burn its skin and kill it. Then, the lake´s deposit of sodium carbonate will preserve the dead body, making it a true mummy.
25 – Hashima Island, Japan
Once home to over 5,000 people, the Hashima Island is now an abandoned and scary place located about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city of Nagasaki, southern Japan. The island used to serve as a mining facility but after the coal was mined out, its residents quickly abandoned this place, leaving it at the mercy of nature.