The World's Creepiest Places


Written by Barney Cox
21 Wednesday 21st November 2012


Catacombs of Paris

An engraving of a charnel house in the packed Saints Innocents cemetery.

In the 10th century, central Parisian parish graveyards were full to bursting, and graves were priced at a premium. Clergymen came up with a cheap alternative and opened a piece of land dedicated to mass burial: Saints Innocents. By the 17th century, the ground had become so saturated by decomposing corpses that surrounding living conditions were unbearable. Utilising the vast network of abandoned stone quarries underneath the city, it was arranged for a vast sepulchre to be built. As of 1788, the bones were slowly transferred underground.

Headed by a procession of chanting priests, the bones were loaded onto horse-drawn wagons draped in black and deposited in the underground sepulchre. As the remains were so vast in number, this process took several years. The underground sepulchre, located underneath Place Denfert-Rochereau, is now the resting place of approximately six million skeletons. Whilst we seriously consider the sanity of 'cataphiles' (as people who illegally explore the Parisien catacombs are called), we don't deny that we are a somewhat intrigued!


Sanzhi Tourist City

In 1978, a construction firm announced plans to build a futuristic complex in the north of Taiwan. The site would serve as a much-needed retreat for wealthy citizens looking to escape the bustle of the city, and was so popular a concept that it even received partial funding from the government. 

By 1980, however, it stood totally abandoned. What should have been a safe construction resulted in many inexplicable construction worker deaths. So many, in fact, that funding was pulled and the project fell quickly into disrepair. The Taiwanese government have remained tight-lipped about Sanzhi, and recently pulled down the pod-houses, ignoring a popular online petition for the preservation of at least one. Some claim that the site was built on top of a Dutch burial ground, and the deaths are the result of vengeful spirits. Always suckers for a ghost story, we’d like to think so!



Image search Aokigahara with caution. Don't say we didn't warn you!

Aokigahara is a forest nestled at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Don’t be fooled though, its beauty hides a dark secret. Having long association with demons in Japanese folklore, the woodland is most famous for the numerous suicides committed here from at least 19th century and onwards, varying from 75 to 150 every year. Called ‘The Sea of Trees’, the site is huge and densely-packed with trees, making it tragically easy for desperate visitors to end their lives without fear of being discovered. As a result, the forest is the second most popular site suicide-spot in the world (the first being the Golden Gate Bridge).

It gets a lot worse than this!

As a preventive measure, local authorities have erected signs with heartbreaking messages such as “your life is a precious gift from your parents” and “please consult the police before you decide to die!” Aokigahara is reportedly haunted by yurei, the ghosts of the suicide victims, who are said to scream throughout the night. As if that wasn’t terrifying enough, the high contents of iron in the area’s volcanic soil often render compasses useless, so don’t stray too far from the beaten track!


Devil’s Kettle

These twin waterfalls in Minnesota continue to provide much consternation for geologists. As Brule River flows toward Lake Superior, it splits into two waterfalls. So far, so normal. Whilst the eastern waterfall behaves just like any other, however, the western one disappears into a gaping, black hole. Nobody knows where the hole leads, or where the water goes when it enters it. Many theories have been posited by geologists, but none hold water (pun intended). They’ve even tried playing a scientific version of Pooh sticks, tracking the flow of the water by dropping ping-pong balls into the tumultuous river and seeing where they emerge… but they never do. Our theory? The water goes straight into Satan’s reservoirs. The Lord of the Underworld and company must get mighty thirsty down there, working away in all that heat - bless ‘em!


La Isla de la Muencas

This Mexican island translates as ‘Island of the Dolls’, and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. Fifty years ago, Don Julian Santana left his family and took up residence on an uninhabited island on Teshuilo Lake amongst the Xochimilco canals. Don Julian believed that a young girl drowned on the island, but his family member’s state that no such child ever existed. Over a period of many years, he salvaged dolls from rubbish heaps around his home, and even traded the produce he grew for more.

Viewing these creepy toys as benevolent protectors, Don Julian strung them up in the trees and filled his cabin with them. The result is a deeply unsettling testament to one man’s lonely madness, and a memorial to a dead girl who may have not have even existed. Santana’s body was found drowned in 2001, at the same spot where he believed the girl had lost her life.

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