Eerie Facts About The Spookiest Places On Earth

December 1, 2023 | Carl Wyndham

Eerie Facts About The Spookiest Places On Earth

"If one door closes and another one opens, your house is probably haunted".

Haunted houses. Abandoned asylums. Creepy caves. There are as many “haunted” spots are there are towns and villages around the world. It seems every little town has its place that the locals talk about in hushed tones and where the neighborhood children dare not go. These places are worse. This list is for the houses that are (allegedly) home to a hundred ghosts, the woods teeming with monsters and mutants, the dark, subterranean tunnels from which no one has ever escaped—truly the scariest, strangest, and most mysterious locales our planet has to offer. Read on, if you dare, for 42 eerie facts about the spookiest places on our planet.

1. Off To Market

People in Togo spend their weekends much the same way many Americans do—with a trip to the market. But you won’t find organic radishes and apple cider at the Akodessewa Market, for this is a market for witches. Here you will find leopard bones, elephant feet, even (supposedly) powdered human heads—everything you might need for performing traditional vodou rituals and warding off illness.

Lord Voldemort FactsShutterstock

2. Don’t Look Down

You won’t find any ghouls or goblins on the North Yungas Road in Bolivia, but it still certainly manages to give travelers enough frights for a lifetime. The epitome of a treacherous mountain pass, this "road" travels through fifty miles of mountain, forcing motorists to navigate fog and falling rocks with nary a guardrail to shield them from the 15,000 foot drop mere feet away. By some counts, 300 people pass on the North Yungas Road each year.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

3. The Vortex

At 1,575 feet deep and 3,600 feet wide, the abandoned Mir diamond mine in Mirny, Siberia seems poised to swallow the city that developed at its edge. However, its what the mine does that is truly frightening: the pit is so deep that air is warmed by the earth’s core, which, when it meets the freezing cold Siberian air, creates a swirling vortex that is powerful enough that it can swallow helicopters.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

4. The Haunted Pub 

The most haunted place in the British Isles may be the Ancient Ram Inn in Gloucestershire, UK. This local pub was built in 1125 AD on what was thought to be the sacred burial ground of pagan Celts. For nearly a millennium, the Ancient Ram has been host to all manner of spooks and specters, not to mention the occasional thirsty traveler who might be regaled with stories of the spooky watering hole's history.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikipedia

5. Skeletons In The Closet

Hauntings at the Ancient Ram haven’t stopped in the modern age. The current owner, who has owned the pub since 1968, describes being dragged across the floor by some unseen assailant on his first night in the pub. He has also uncovered signs of occult rituals and bloody daggers, not to mention the skeletons of two children under a staircase. Though, to be fair, his word might not be the most reliable seeing as he relies on tourists looking to spend money at a haunted inn.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikipedia

6. Friendly Neighborhood Ghosts

The sleepy village of Pluckley, in England, is considered the most haunted village in the world, making it a popular destination for amateur ghost hunters. Pluckley is home to no fewer than fifteen distinct, recurring spirits, and maybe as many as forty, but don't worry, the locals promise none of the ghosts are dangerous. Well, that's a relief!

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

7. The Screaming Woods

Near Pluckley lies the Screaming Woods, a forest that, well, screams. Supposedly, shrieking and wailing can be heard from within the woods day and night, leaving very few brave enough to enter. While the friendly ghosts at Pluckley never bother anybody, it seems whatever’s going on inside the Screaming Woods is much more menacing.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Flickr, barbara w

8. Shades Of Mortality

New Jersey's Shades of Demise Road earned its title as the location of many highway thefts during the 18th and 19th centuries, and since then, it has been the host of numerous apparition sightings. However, the most disturbing occurrence on Shades of Fear Road may have been the finding of hundreds and hundreds of photographs showing distressed women in the nearby woods. According to the magazine Weird NJ, law enforcement initiated an inquiry into the photographs, but it dissipated when they mysteriously disappeared.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikipedia

9. The Catacombs

The famous Catacombs of Paris house the bones of six million Parisians and cover 11,000 square miles. The macabre tombs are nevertheless a popular tourist attraction; in 2015, Airbnb even held a contest offering two “lucky” contestants the chance to spend Halloween night in the Catacombs. No thanks!

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

10. Room Enough For Everybody

The tunnels below Paris have been particularly useful to would-be revolutionaries and spies. In 1825, French revolutionaries caused the demise of a group of monarchists there. Over a century later, during WWII, the Catacombs were used as a hideout and transportation system for members of the French Resistance, while also serving as a secret subterranean bunker for German operatives.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

11. The Scariest Place On Earth™

If you assumed that enduring a two-hour line in Florida's intense heat was the peak of amusement park discomfort, you are yet to discover Haw Par Villa in Singapore. Featuring a theme-park whose theme is essentially a gruesome underworld, Haw Par Villa welcomes visitors with terrifying displays like people getting sawed in half or thrown onto heaps of sharp objects—warnings for young children about what happens when they misbehave.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

12. The Evil Island

The island of Poveglia, located ten miles off the coast of Venice, was used as a quarantine site for plague sufferers during the 18th century. Later it was converted to a lunatic asylum where lobotomies and other inhumane surgeries were performed; according to one legend, the head surgeon at the asylum succumbed to his own life there, driven mad by the ghosts of his patient-victims. Historians estimate that as many as 100,000 people have lost their lives on Poveglia over the centuries.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

13. Fair Warning

Poveglia has a rich legacy of terror, but perhaps the island has always had an air of foreboding evil about it. Before it ever served as a fort, a quarantine station, or an asylum, the island had been offered to a group of Camaldolese monks. The monks rejected the offer, preferring to go homeless rather than build a monastery on the island. Maybe they knew something no one else did?

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

14. The Graveyard

Stull, Kansas, might be a town of just 20 people, but Stull Cemetery is one of the most haunted places in America—and with good reason. The original owner, a farmer, burned the surrounding brush and tragically, his son lost his life in the accident. Later, a local man went missing, only to be found hanged from a nearby tree. The substantial number of tragic deaths, followed by ensuing hauntings, in the Stull Cemetery have led some to believe Stull is one of the seven gateways to the underworld.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikipedia

15.  Ring Of Fire

Deep in the Karakum Desert of Turkimenstan exists a unique attraction, a 230-foot-wide, seemingly bottomless crater, with a perpetually raging fire that seems impossible to extinguish. This crater was actually the result of an industrial accident in the 1970s, but you've got to admit, the image of the fiery portal in the middle of a desert wasteland is the stuff of nightmares.

A view of San Antonio Mountain across the high desert of northern New MexicoBeach Creatives, Shutterstock

16. To The Abyss And Back

In 2013, the Karakum Desert, inclusive of the Door to the Inferno, was declared a national nature reserve. In the subsequent year, an explorer named George Kourounis emerged as the pioneer to journey inside the Door to the Inferno, descending entirely to its base to gather scientific samples.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

17. Gas And Light

For a sight that is both terrifying and eerily beautiful, consider the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia. Kawah Ijen burns around the clock, letting off clouds of blue-green sulfur which sometimes liquify and pour into the nearby lake. Once the sun goes down, visitors can see the gases as they combust, and the caustic landscape becomes an eerily stunning lightshow. 

Chilling paranormalPexels

18. The Bat Cave

The Gomantong Caves in Malaysia are home to more than two million bats. If that isn't enough to make you shudder, consider the other citizens of Gomantong—massive Malaysian cockroaches, cave-dwelling crabs, and giant venomous centipedes, all of which feast on the acres of bat guano which flood the caves' floor. Just because a place isn't haunted doesn't mean it can't be absolutely terrifying.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

19. The Perfect Hiding Spot

Sarah Winchester was the heiress to the Winchester firearm family, and one of the wealthiest people in the world. She was also an ardent spiritualist. These two facts intersected when she started to believe that she might be haunted by the spirits of all those people who met their end through Winchester rifles. To avoid those angry spirits, Winchester devoted her basically infinite budget to building the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

20. Trap House

Until her final days, the Winchester House was in a constant state of construction. A dedicated team of workers was assigned to the continuous creation of faux doors, stairways leading to nowhere, and corridors ending abruptly. Their purpose was to confound the malevolent spirits believed to be trailing Sarah Winchester. The Winchester House has over 160 rooms, 10,000 windows, and nearly 50 fireplaces.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

21. Spooky And Swanky

While the Winchester Mystery House was meant as a kind of massive roach trap for ghosts, Sarah Winchester didn’t skimp on the luxuries. The mansion had electric light, steam heat, indoor plumbing—extravagancies for the late 19th century—not to mention windows designed by Tiffany and Co. Following Winchester's passing, she possessed an abundance of furniture so immense that for six weeks straight, six trucks had to be operated eight hours a day to entirely relocate it.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsShutterstock

22. Toy Town

The tiny Japanese village of Nagoro has about 35 residents. 35 living residents, anyway. Nagoro is also home to more than 350 life-like wooden dolls, the work of local artist Tsukimi Ayano. Admittedly, the dolls are kind of cute, but the sight of so many lifeless bodies sitting at bus stations or in classrooms, never moving, never blinking, always watching… well, that’s a little unnerving.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsFlickr, Roberto Maxwell

23. Missing Neighbours

To increase the eeriness, the dolls all symbolize individuals from Nagoro who relocated or are no longer alive. Or at least that’s what Tsukimi says; we’re not ready to rule out the possibility that Tsukimi has been turning these “missing” neighbors into living dolls.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsFlickr, Roberto Maxwell

24. The Island Of The Dolls

Speaking of dolls, you may have seen pictures of Isla de las Muñecas, a floating garden outside Mexico City “decorated” with hundreds of weathered and dismembered dolls. Locals won’t disagree that the site is haunted, and some visitors swear they hear the dolls chattering to one another, but if you were hoping “the Island of Dolls” was just the handiwork of someone with eccentric taste, I’m afraid you’re out of luck.

World's Eeriest Ghost Towns factsWikimedia Commons

25. The Story

The island had been the property of a local hermit named Don Julián Santana Barrera. One day, while strolling about the island, Barrera came across the body of a little girl, seemingly drowned in the canal, clutching a doll. Barrera hung the doll from a tree as a sign of respect. But from that moment on, Barrera began hearing voices and footsteps around the island, especially the voice of a little girl. For 50 years, he hung dolls continuously, hoping to ward off whatever evil spirit was haunting him, and leaving the island almost completely covered with doll parts.

Famous Real-Life Ghosts factsWikipedia

26. Creepy Coincidence

In 2001, Barrera’s body was allegedly found in the exact spot where he found the drowned girl 50 years earlier.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsFlickr, Alejandro De La Cruz

27. Snake Island

Off the coast of Sao Paolo, Brazil, lies Snake Island. That’s not just a name either, the island is literally crawling with a super-race of golden lancehead pit vipers—there are five for every square yard of island. Isolated on the island by rising sea levels, the snakes have evolved to slither up trees and strike birds right out of the air.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

28. No Feet Allowed

Another evolutionary tick: the snakes of Snake Island have venom five times stronger than that of ordinary golden lanceheads—so strong it can dissolve human flesh. The Brazilian government has very sensibly banned any visitors from Snake Island.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsFlickr, shankar s.

29. Chapel Of Bones

Overrun with bones, monks at the Sedlec Ossuary left the task of exhuming and re-locating all those skeletons to a half-blind colleague. And credit where credit is due, he was certainly creative; the Czech chapel makes for a terrifyingly beautiful site, with bones carefully arranged into arches, garlands, shields, and even a chandelier.

Scary FactsWikimedia Commons

30. A Walk In The Woods

Aokigahara Forest in Japan is often referred to as "the Sea of Trees" due to its dense foliage, however, it holds a more somber global reputation as a location where many people tragically choose to end their lives. Every year as many as 100 people wander into the dense forest to end their lives, and many of the bodies are never recovered, remaining in the forest until they turn to dust.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

31. In The Red

Suicides in Aokigahara Forest increase in March, traditionally the end of the fiscal year in Japan.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

32. Search And Rescue

The prevalence of self-harm at Aokigahara has escalated to such a level that local authorities have placed reminders throughout the forest, urging visitors to consider taking up mental health and crisis prevention services. Volunteers wander through the forests searching for bodies and providing aid to anyone who may be suffering emotional and mental distress.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsFlickr, Liz Mc

33. The Golden Gate

Regrettably, Aokigahara Forest isn't the sole global location where people choose to end their lives, however. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, known as one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, is also one of the most popular destinations for people seeking to end their own lives. At least 1,600 people have leapt from the bridge since it opened in 1937, adding an air of sombre darkness to the otherwise-beloved destination.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

34. Diving Dogs

The Golden Gate Bridge has its canine equivalent in Milton, Scotland. For reasons no one understands, dogs crossing the Overtoun Bridge feel an overwhelming urge to leap to their deaths. Over 600 hounds have met their end at the site, with some surviving the jump only to climb back up and leap again.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

35. Beyond The End Of The World

Let's start with the so-called 'End of the World'—the term coined by the inhabitants of Boston Mills, Ohio, for the terminated section at the conclusion of Stanford Road. Past the 'End of the World' unfolds a thick forest, rumored by locals to house satanic cults, fugitive mental patients, and even the altered victims of an industrial mishap. To make things even more mysterious, the majority of Boston Mills was bought out by the government decades ago, leaving the place a ghost boarded-up houses and ruins today. For these reasons, the community often goes by another name: Helltown.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsFlickr, Andrew Borgen

36. The Ridges

Ohio was also home to the Athens Lunatic Asylum, which, for over 100 years, was home to all the horrors that 19th- and 20th-century mental health care had to offer. Though it’s been closed since 1993, The Ridges, as the place is now known, is still visited by ghost hunters and enthusiasts of the macabre. The main attraction: the perfectly person-shaped stain of a mysterious inmate who escaped, only to be found six weeks later. In a baffling turn of events, she ventured into an abandoned ward, disrobed herself, and reclined on the cold floor until she succumbed to the harsh elements, leaving an enduring mark that is still evident today.

Spookiest Places On Earth facts Wikimedia Commons

37. Lucky 13

The Athens Lunatic Asylum has been ranked the 13th most haunted place in the world by the British Society for Psychical Research—a pretty significant place on the list. No doubt the ranking is helped by the five cemeteries surrounding the asylum which, when connected, make the shape of a pentagram.

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikimedia Commons

38. Mining Terror 

Not to be confused with the Parisian Catacombs, which are creepy in their own right but at least well-marked and accessible to visitors, the 12th-century mines which run hundreds of feet below Paris are completely off limits to the public. A seemingly endless series of tunnels adorned with mysterious paintings and littered with bones from Paris's overflowing cemeteries, the mines are all but unnavigable. But good luck calling for help: the tunnels are so labyrinthine that voices don’t carry. Who knows how many explorers might have met their fate down there?

Spookiest Places On Earth factsWikipedia

39. Centralia

Now imagine the Gateway to Inferno opening right under your own hometown. That’s exactly what happened to the people of Centralia, Pennsylvania. In 1962, a fire spread to the coal mines which run like veins beneath the city. The fire has been burning ever since, never consuming the town, but always simmering beneath it, leaving many residents with little option other than to just pack up and leave. Just seven people remain of the town's original population of close to 1,000, and the subterranean fire continues to burn to this day.

Creepiest Place FactsWikimedia Commons

40. Checking Out

Misfortune resides at Los Angeles' Cecil Hotel. Besides the multitude of suicides recorded at the hotel since the 1920s, the Cecil Hotel was also the backdrop of a grievous attack on telephone operator “Pigeon Goldie” Osgood. At least two serial slayers—Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger—lived there, and Elizabeth Short, AKA the Black Dahlia, was allegedly last seen drinking in the hotel bar before her body was found.

Cecil Hotel FactsWikipedia

41. Widespread Aggression

In more recent times, the Cecil Hotel became known for the strange incident involving Elisa Lam. A video of Lam darting down the hotel's corridors and seeking cover in an elevator from a hidden harasser gained worldwide attention, sparking international speculation about the sequence of events that culminated in Lam's disappearance. She was eventually discovered lifeless in a water tank atop the hotel after guests started reporting an unusual taste in the water.

Unsolved Mysteries FactsWikipedia

42. As Seen On TV

The Cecil Hotel’s sordid history provided the inspiration for American Horror Story: Hotel, and won it a designation as a Los Angeles Historic Site. 

Spookiest Places On Earth factsAmerican Horror Story: Hotel(2015), FX

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 

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