If you’re a fan of some dark tourism or just love giving yourself a dose of the heebie-jeebies, there really are some spine-tingling places on Earth. Visit if you dare — some locations might leave you with goosebumps long after you come back home.
Once a town filled with workers from the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, Pripyat was evacuated 36 hours after the disaster and has been a ghost town ever since. Residents and left many precious possessions behind, making the city a total time capsule. Even the amusement park remains stationary to this day.
In one of the most macabre locations in Italy, the living and the dead share the same space at the Capuchin Catacombs. Rumour has it there are close to 8,000 corpses lining the walls underneath the Capuchin Monastery because they ran out of room to bury bodies in the 16th century. Corpses were preserved by drying them out, and many still wear their finest clothes.
Poveglia Island has managed to become haunted in practically every way you could imagine. During the plague, the small island was used as a quarantine location, and over 160,000 people are said to have lived out their final days there. As much as 50% of the soil has been estimated to be human remains. As if that wasn’t enough, in the 1920s, a mental hospital was built there where a doctor conducted brutal experiments on the patients.
The aging population of Nagoro, Japan, is quickly declining. One local artist, Ayano Tsukimi, returned to the village and decided to create a life-sized doll of every villager who either died or moved away. There are now 350 dolls but fewer than 40 actual villagers in Nagoro.
Otherwise known as Death Road, it’s clear why this winding mountain road in Bolivia is here. The road was made by Paraguayan Prisoners of War to connect La Paz with Las Yungas. Before a new route was made, approximately 300 people died on the road each year.
Hundreds of decomposing dolls line the trees on La Isla de las Muñecas just south of Mexico City. According to legend, the first doll was hung in the trees after a resident of the island found a young girl drowned and hung up her doll as an offering to her spirit.
Between 40,000 and 70,000 skeletons make up everything from chalices, candelabras, pyramids, and candleholders in Sedlec Ossuary. There are so many skeletons in the monastery because it became such a popular burial site in the 13th century that there simply wasn’t enough space to fit all the bodies.
Helltown, Ohio, is rife with urban legends. Some say the town was populated with Satanists who still try and ensnare unknowing visitors. Others claim that the town was abandoned after a chemical spill caused the residents to mutate. Even the old school bus was apparently the site of a gruesome murder.
A forest with a truly tragic reputation, Aokigahara is known in Japan as a place people go to take their own life. Spiritualists believe that the suicides have become a part of the forest and generate paranormal activity. The trees are covered in signs reading “Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” as well as blue string, which trekkers use to find their way back in the dense trees, giving the forest an eerie atmosphere.
For 2,000 years, the elderly in Sagada carve their own coffins from hollowed logs. When the person dies, instead of being placed in the ground, the coffin is hung from the side of a cliff. The belief is that the higher the dead are, the greater chance of their spirits reaching a higher nature in the afterlife.