If you ever walked through a cemetery at midnight (yes I know, who does that?!) – then you might have felt a feeling of fear and unease. Your common sense tells you that there is nothing to be scared of, yet deep inside, you almost expect a skeleton to emerge from the grave, grab you by the ankles- and drag you down into the underworld.
It’s just one of those things. People are intrigued by death (who doesn’t like a good Horror movie), but we are also programmed to run away from it. That is why the idea of being surrounded by corpses will give most people a chill down their spine and why most of us never took that midnight stroll down the cemetery. It doesn’t matter if you believe in ghosts or not, there are just certain places where none of us would want to get stranded after dark. These places bare a dark legacy of the horrible events that took place there. Here we have devised a list of some of the most scary haunted places on Earth. If you ever plan on visiting any of them, we’ll just wait in the car…
1. Hunedoara (Hunyad) Castle – Transylvania
Some say Hunedoara is the most frightening castle in Europe. Not just now, but also before the legend of Vlad the Impaler was born. Most castles in the area were destroyed, not Castle Hunedoara though. Invaders through history never came near it.
Some believe this is because of the castle imposing size, but others believe there was a dark presence emanating from the castle, an evil that nobody wanted to come face to face with. This is the reason why Hunyad castle is still in such a good shape. With good shape, I mean relatively speaking as the castle is long due for a renovation. Renovations did start, but none were ever finished. The last workgroup to try, packed up and ran like screaming schoolgirls after seeing bloodstains appear which couldn’t be removed…
Over 13 storeys high, Hunedorea Castle is not just an intimidating construction, it’s also a place were some very disturbing events took place. When entering the castle yard you will immediately notice a well that is over 30 meter deep. According to the legend, this fountain was dug by twelve Turkish prisoners to whom liberty was promised if they reached water. After 15 years they completed the well, but their captors did not keep their promise and chopped of their heads instead. It is said that the inscription on a wall of the well means “you have water, but no soul”.
It is also the place were the legendary warlord Vladimir the Impaler learned his sadistic hobby. Thousands of people were impaled in the castle and after being imprisoned by János Hunyadi, the crazed warlord couldn’t stop his sadistic urge, as he started impaling the rats in his prison cell instead. Yes Vladimir was pure evil incarnated and by drinking the blood of his victims he sought to harness the power of the devil itself. Did that work out for him? Some believe so…
The Legend of Dracula
The superstitious people of Transylvania strongly believe in supernatural creatures they call “Strigoi”. Strigoi are the troubled souls of the dead rising from the grave. They can be living people with certain magical properties. Some of these properties include: the ability to transform into an animal, invisibility, and the ability to drain the vitality of victims via blood loss.
The residents of Transylvania are known to take extra good care of their weakening relatives. They would never put demented granny into a nursery home. Why? Because they are convinced that if they do- and granny doesn’t like the food or you didn’t visit as much as she wanted, she will be coming back from the grave as a Vampire or a freaking Werewolf to chew your face off. For most of us that seems a little far-fetched, but for them it’s so serious that it’s an accepted tradition to visit the cemetery and drive a stake through your deceased relatives as a preventive. The goal is to drive the nail all the way through the coffin into the ground as according to legend, the corpse has to be nailed in the earth to lift the curse.
Not everyone is susceptible to turning into a Strigori but mythology states; a person who lived a life of sin is cursed to wander the earth as an undead creature of the night. Of course that would make Vladimir a pretty good candidate. As you can imagine, people have tried to stake him before he could return from the dead. Problem however was that his grave was empty, except for some animal bones. His body has never been discovered…
Some say that Strigoi always return to the place where they have their best memories -and taking into account his bizarre pleasure from impaling people, they are convinced that Hunyad Castle is now the home of Dracul’s spirit. Mediums say there is an extremely powerful evil presence that resides here and which has manifested itself in every nook and cranny of the Castle. Numerous exorcist rituals have taken place here- but the dark powers of the castle are too strong to banish- or even do battle with, according to Gypsy witches who took place in these rituals. Yup… definitely a place, I don’t want to spend the night.
2. Trees of the Sea – suicide forest
Aokigahara, also known as the Trees of the Sea is a 35-square-kilometre forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The density of the trees is so intense that you can wander in pitch black darkness during the day. Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is also known for being extremely quiet. That’s it? I can hear you thinking. Just a dark forest were you can hear a pin drop? Give me my iPod and a flashlight and it doesn’t sound that bad. But wait there is more…
The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology and is the second most popular place for suicides in the world (right after the Golden Gate Bridge). Almost 100 people a year wander in the forest never to return again. If you ever plan on visiting, then don’t be surprised to run into a few as Japanese authorities have a hard time finding and removing all those bodies. For years the corpses just stayed there and rotted away, meaning the forest is scattered with human skulls and bones. Nowadays they do a yearly sweep through the forest and in 2010 they again discovered 54 bodies. You can see some of them here. WARNING, not ment for children!!
The suicide plague has gotten so bad that the officials even put out signs throughout the park displaying discouraging messages like: “Life is precious! Please think about it!” or “Is she really worth it?”
It is said that this macabre suicidal trend started after Seicho Matsumoto published his novel Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two of his characters commit suicide there. However Japanese spiritualists also believe that the suicides committed in the forest have generated paranormal activity in Aokigahara that prevents many who enter from escaping the forest’s depths.
Complicating matters further is compasses going apeshit by high concentrations of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil! Unless this forest has a pot of Leprechaun gold and I have GPS coordinates, I wouldn’t go near this place!
3. Abandoned Takakanonuma Amusement Park - Japan
What makes this abandoned amusement park so frightening is the amount of mystery that surrounds it. It’s literally surrounded in a thick cloud of mist that swallows the park entirely, making it the ideal location for anyone with a Halloween mask to scare the living crap out of anyone foolish enough to set foot in that place.
Built in 1973, the park’s first attempt at bringing fun family entertainment lasted only two years. While never officially confirmed, it was rumoured to be closed due to a number of mysterious death’s inside the park. Perhaps the park was repaired, or maybe it was long enough for people to forget the bizarre freak accidents, but the park reopened in 1986. This time it only stayed open for a single year, again mysterious death’s were rumoured to be the cause.
Today, the sprawling hills and trees of the surrounding forests seem to have taken over the park, and its grounds are littered with the remnants of a failed run as a theme park. Roller coasters are still in place and their tracks sweep through the evergreens, but no one has been here for over a decade. Although adventurous travellers or Horror movie directors- may be tempted to seek out this Disney Land from hell, the recent nuclear meltdown at Fukushima keeps a prohibitive level of radiation in the area.
Of course the lethal freak accidents are just rumours, but think about what that park must have cost? There has to be a pretty damn good reason to just pack up and leave it totally abandoned like that, right? What’s also very creepy is that there is no official information about the place… at all. It’s not on any map…almost like it never existed. A whole amusement park vanishing, without David Copperfiel around, now that is plenty of reason for concern…
4. “La isla de la Muñecas” or “The Island of Dolls”
If you ever watched “The River”, then you know where they got their inspiration from for the creepy baby tree scene. This bizarre- and frightening place is located within an extensive group of canals, south of Mexico City. That sounds like a beautiful holiday destination right? It’s not… this strange place is actually the opposite of beautiful. The island is totally abandoned and the few people who travelled there descibe it as dark, silent with a feeling of chill.
What doesn’t help this place becoming a popular travel destination is the fact that almost every single tree is decorated with deformed and mutilated dolls. The dolls almost seem evil and I seriously wonder where one would buy such creepy dolls, other than the Michael Jackson estate auction. As you walk the island, it supposedly feels like you are being watched at all times
Scared yet? Well of course creepy toys aren’t enough to make this a candidate for scariest place in the world. You guessed it, the island is supposedly haunted!
Even though the island is totally abandoned, over 50 years ago, a man named Don Julian Santana left his wife and kids and moved there to live the rest of his life alone. When he was living there, the body of a dead little girl came floating up in one of the canals. Don Julian thought he had become haunted by her spirit. He began to collect dolls and decorate the island with them. He would trade vegetables and fruits in exchange for any dolls. The dolls were believed to be used by Don Julian as a shrine for the spirit that haunted him. Over the 50 years that he lived there, he continuously collected dolls and decorated them all over the island, until he died.
Some natives of Mexico believe that Don Julian went crazy. They think that Don Julian would throw the dolls into the canals and save them as if they were real babies. His family said this was not true. They say it was his way of coping with the haunting of the little girl.
In 2001, Don Julian was found dead by his nephew. He found him in the same canal that Don Julian supposedly found the little girl. After his death, tourists have said that they heard dolls whispering as they passed them. People have become so superstitious with this island that they believe you must bring a gift to the island for the dolls in order to ease the spirits.
This was an easy pick for one of the most scary places in the world. If you ever go here- you better pray on a stack of bibles that the guy operating the boat doesn’t leave.
5. The Sedlec Ossuary
The Sedlec Ossuary is a Roman Catholic Chapel, located in a small Czech Republic village called Sedlec. This bizarre chapel does not have any ghost stories to help with the scare factor (as far I am aware of). However it makes up for it with some serious creepy interior decorating. The Ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of over 60.000 people, whose bones have been used decorate this entire place.
Four gigantic bell-shaped mounds occupy the corners of the chapel. There’s an enormous chandelier which contains at least one of every bone in the human body. Other works include a large Schwarzenberg coat of arms, and the signature of Rint, also executed in bone, on the wall near the entrance.
The place looks so evil one would think there is horrifying story behind it. The truth however is not as scary as you would expect. In 1278, Henry, the abbot of the Cistercian monastery, was sent to the Holy Land. He returned with a small amount of soil and sprinkled it over the Sedlec cemetery. After word spread of this divine act- the cemetery became a desirable burial site throughout Central Europe.
It became so popular in fact that the bodies stacked up and something had to be done about the surplus of skeletons lying around… something bizarre! In 1870, František Rint, a wood-carver, was employed to put the bone heaps into order. The man was obviously brimming with creativity- and this is the macabre end result.
6. The Winchester Mystery House
In San Jose you can find this victorian mansion that has 160-rooms and is constructed pretty much like a maze, filled with mile-long hallways and secret passages. The house was build by Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Wirt Winchester, who was the son of the manufacturer of the famous Winchester repeating rifle. Sarah lived a wealthy but extremely cursed life, losing both her daughter and husband to illness. These tragic turn of events made Mrs. Winchester fell into a deep depression from which she never fully recovered. It is said, she ultimately sought help from a spiritualist.
According to some sources, the Boston Medium consulted by Mrs. Winchester explained that her family and her fortune were being haunted by spirits – in fact, by the spirits of American Indians, Civil War soldiers, and others killed by Winchester rifles. Supposedly the untimely deaths of her daughter and husband were caused by these spirits, and it was implied that Mrs. Winchester might be the next victim.
The medium gave her an alternative by building a house to please and accomidate the spirits, and as long as she kept building, her life would not be in danger. The result is Sarah building this real-life version of the Addams Family household.
Remember this is just part#1 of the most scary, haunted places on Earth and more creepiness is soon to follow! If you have any suggestions of places that deserve a spot in the list- then don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know!