Reality is often said to be stranger than fiction. The world is filled with beautiful places that look too good to be true, unexplainable phenomena, and just plain odd structures. Now see these 19 strangest and scariest places in the world, including creepy museums, haunted castles, deserted towns, and even an old drained sea.
01. Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania
Hoia Baciu Forest is known as the Bermuda Triangle of Romania. The forest has legends of missing people, electronic devices that spontaneously stop working, and UFO sightings.
02. Mütter Museum, Pennsylvania
The Mütter Museum is just plain creepy. It houses a collection of body parts, fetuses, and wax statues.
03. Oradour-sur-Glane, France
Oradour-sur-Glane was a small French village that the Nazi SS made an example of. The entire city was burned, and almost every inhabitant was executed.
04. Jacob’s Well, Texas
Jacob’s Well is a natural spring over 100 feet deep. Multiple novice swimmers have died exploring its depths. Water zombies? Terrifying.
05. Maunsell Sea Forts, North Sea
The Maunsell Sea Forts were designed to protect England from a possible Nazi invasion during WWII. Today they are mostly uninhabited, except for by recluses, smugglers, and the Principality of Sealand.
06. Varosha, Cyprus
Varosha is a completely uninhabited resort city on Cyprus’ coast. After the Turkish invasion, Varosha was quickly evacuated. Today, Varosha stands frozen, displaying exactly how life was in 1974.
07. Leap Castle, Ireland
Reportedly one of the most haunted castles in the world, Leap Castle’s hallways are patrolled by the Elemental — an unexplainable force. Also, Leap Castle was the site of historic slaughter, and it was also built on top of a torture pit.
08. Jatinga, India
Nothing is particularly horrifying about Jatinga…except for the en masse bird suicides that happen every September to October. The bizarre part? They only occur from 7–10 p.m.
09. San Zhi Resort, Taiwan
Once upon a time, San Zhi was built to be a peaceful resort outside of Taipei, Taiwan. Mysteriously, construction was suddenly abandoned after a series of deaths, leaving the mostly finished “pod resort” to decay.
10. The Catacombs, Paris
The Parisian Catacombs function as a gigantic ossuary and cemetery for approximately 6 million bodies. Beyond just bones, there is also the non-tourist section of the Catacombs, where a primarily illegal and unpoliced second city extends for miles beneath Paris.
11. Wonderland, China
Wonderland would be China’s answer to Disneyland, but multiple times more significant. Construction problems led to the project being scrapped. The crumbling remains are open to any would-be adventurer or warlord, though.
12. Akodessewa Fetish Market, Togo
Since over half of the population of Togo continues to practice indigenous beliefs, fetish markets command huge sails. Just imagine shrunken heads and skulls as far as the eye can see.
13. Cincinnati’s Subway System, Ohio
Cincinnati attempted to build a subway system in the early 1900s, only to run out of funding. The empty tunnels still run beneath the city, half-finished and thoroughly creepy.
14. Kryziu Kalnas, The Hill of Crosses, Lithuania
Originally Kryziu Kalnas was a ceremonial site where Lithuanians would mourn the dead lost at war. The Soviet Union twice bulldozed this area, only for locals to build it bigger. Today, over 100,000 crosses stand on the hill.
15. Kabayan Mummy Caves, The Philippines
The Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves are precise as they sound. They’re just manmade caves full of some of the most well-preserved mummies in the world, isolated from the rest of the world in remote mountains.
16. Muynak, Uzbekistan
Muynak was once a busy port city on the Aral Sea. That was until the Soviets (not again!) unintentionally drained the sea for irrigation. Today, rusted-out boats litter the now-desert floor.
17. Centralia, Pennsylvania
Centralia was once a bustling mining town until the coal veins under the city caught fire. This fire has been burning continuously right beneath Centralia since 1962. Today the entire city lies abandoned.
18. Island of the Dolls, Mexico
The Island of The Dolls is uninhabited in Xochimilco, Mexico. According to legend, a girl died in the canals surrounding the island, after which dolls began to wash ashore constantly. The island’s sole inhabitant took to hanging the dolls around the island as a vigil for the deceased girl.
19. The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
The Door to Hell was originally a gas field set alight by Soviet scientists that had been burning continuously for over 40 years. Spiders seem to love this place and swarm there by the thousands.
It’s astonishing that such strange places even exist. I’m sure there are many more that remain in secret. Share these ghostly places with others by clicking the buttons below.
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