10 CREEPIEST PLACE ON EARTH

Where can you go to find a real black magic market? Which city sits atop tunnels full of bones? Find out as we take a look at the Creepiest Places on Earth!



10. Mano del Desierto
Located among the Chilean sand dunes of the Atacama Desert, as if peeking at the last struggle of a submerged colossus, a large iron and concrete hand reaches from beneath the sand towards the sky above. This uncanny sculpture juts out of the barren wastes 36 feet, towering over those that come to see the strange piece of artwork. This eerie appendage was crafted by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrazabal and inaugurated as a public work in 1992. The sculpture, named Mano Del Desierto, or Hand of the Desert, is 75 kilometers from the nearest town of Antofagasta and draws the attention of thousands of tourists a year.

9. Marche Des Feticheurs
On the Atlantic coast of Africa, along the shores of the nation of Togo, is the capital city of Lome. This region is the largest and highest populated city in the country once referred to as the “pearl of West Africa.” Within Lome one can find the Akodessewa Marche des Feticheurs, or Fetish Market; a bazaar featuring all the charms, talismans, and assorted animal products required to complete voodoo rituals. This black magic market is stocked consistently with the bones, skin, organs, heads, and other remains belonging to an assortment of animals like apes, crocodiles, gazelles, goats, leopards, monkeys, snakes, and various birds.

From these items, voodoo practitioners and believers will construct or strengthen conduits with the spirit realm they call fetishes. Other items that may be purchased include herbs, spices, charms and idols. Those objects which aren’t bought for fetishes are used for balms, powders, and elixirs meant to offer a variety of health benefits and cures. Open daily from 8:30 in the morning to 6 o’clock at night, this real-life, voodoo version of Diagon Alley is still open to the public and serving the voodoo practitioners of Togo...and wherever else they may hail from.

8. Hashima Island
Originally established as a settlement for undersea coal mining in 1887, this small island would remain inhabited until 1974 when the mines finally dried up. For three decades Hashima Island, also commonly referred to as Gunkanjima, remained abandoned, only being disturbed by the foliage and ocean that surrounded it. There are more than 500 islands near the city of Nagasaki that claim zero human residents, but what makes Hashima stand out is the fact that a small community of up to 5,259 people once lived there resulting in a small but dense town. The dilapidated structures now sit hauntingly as tourist attractions, emanating a dreary sense of the pitfalls that come with the push of industrialization.

7. Banff Springs Hotel 
Perched between the northern Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada is a quaint winter getaway in the form of the Banff Springs Hotel. While not the Stanley Hotel that inspired iconic Stephen King novel “The Shining,” the large echoing halls of this antiquated hotel surrounded by blankets of snowfall and a thick evergreen forest certainly evokes the same hair-raising vibes of the book’s film adaption.

And just like the Overlook Hotel in that famed movie, this one is reportedly haunted. The Banff Springs Hotel is said to have many strange regular occurrences, such as ghosts that occupy the 15-floor building. The tale of the Ghost Bride is one of the more famous stories to come out of the hotel, originating in the late 1920s. The fable goes that during the wedding day of a young bride, while descending one of the hotels many marble staircases, something caused her to fall tragically in her gown, tumbling to her quiet demise.

Now she is supposedly seen by guests and staff members roaming the stairwells and dancing alone in an upstairs ballroom, still wearing her wedding dress. Her tale is so widespread that the Royal Canadian Mint even produced a collector coin and stamp in her honor! Other potential oddities around the hotel include a ghost bellman that helps guests, a ghost bartender that tells you if you’ve drank too much, secret rooms with apparitions standing guard, and the mysterious Room 873 which is said to have been closed up due to continual reports of paranormal activity.

6. La Isla De Las Muñecas
South of Mexico City near the Estadio Azteca football stadiums in the channels of the Xochimilco borough is the Island of the Dolls, or La Isla De Las Munecas as the locals know it. This isle was originally owned by a farmer named Don Julian Santana Barrera who, until 2001, decorated his property with dolls he hung from trees and buildings. He claimed that he witnessed a young girl drown in the canals and shortly afterwards began to experience strange happenings near his isolated hut. Spooked by these inexplicable incidents, Santana Barrera began hanging dolls he found, either in honor of to deter the spirit of the drowned girl he believed to be haunting him. He continued to do so for around fifty years, trading goods with locals for more dolls or finding them in alleys or the canals covered in grime.

Whether they were missing limbs, eyes, or hair, he strung them up all the same. Santana Barrera kept up this behavior until his passing in 2001, where he was found drowned near his island...seemingly in the same spot as the girl did 50 years earlier! To this day, the island of the dolls remains a popular tourist attraction and visitors still claim to hear whispers while walking among the weathered toys that ornament the area.



5. Willard Asylum
If you’ve seen films like Shutter Island, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, or any one of the dozens of horror films set in them, then you probably get the sense that a mental asylum can be a very scary place. But reality can’t be nearly as bad as what you see on the silver screen, can it? Well, if any place can prove reality to be as nasty as fiction, it’s the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane. Opening in 1869, the facility served to punctuate the norm of county holding facilities where patients were locked up and treated inhumanely.

The concept behind this asylum was that mentally unstable patients could be helped, treated, and trained to work within the confines of society. One example of this change is the first patient of the facility, dementia-stricken Mary Rote. She arrived in chains after spending 10 years in a bed at a county poorhouse, the results of which permanently deformed her posture. Once at the Willard location, she was finally freed from her chains and taken care of like a person for the first time in a decade, which showed from her near-immediate improvement in health.

But, while many finally found the help they needed from this place, others stayed long past necessity and some still didn’t even need to be there at all. As was the case with Joseph Lobdell, who by modern standards would only be recognized as a transgender person. But in 1879, after having been arrested for wearing male clothes, Lobdell, who was born Lucy Ann Lobdell, was taken away to the Willard Asylum where he was a patient in a published article called “A Case of Sexual Perversion. Here he stayed locked up for 10 years, while his significant other thought him dead thanks to a premature obituary published for him in 1885.

Instead, he was eventually transferred to another facility, the Binghamton State Hospital, where he stayed until he passed in 1912. Many others suffered a similar end at the Willard Asylum, spending the rest of their lives between padded walls before perishing and being buried nearby, identifiable not by name...but by number. This truth became all too clear when, years after its closing in 1995, numerous suitcases were found in the attic belonging to all those who had checked in but never had the chance to check out.

4. Aokigahara
At the northwestern edge of the famed Mount Fuji volcano in Japan sits the tranquil forest known as Aokigahara. Also known as the Sea of Trees, this serene green landscape has earned a new nickname in recent years thanks to extensive media coverage as the Suicide Forest. The forest has become one of the most prominent suicide locations worldwide, with one suspected cause being its calm, soothing atmosphere. Growing out of the hardened, porous lava of Mt. Fuji’s last eruption, Aokigahara has much of its ambient forest sounds absorbed by the igneous floor.

Thus an eerily peaceful vibe is fittingly produced. Another common attribution for its status as a haven for self-destruction is the novel Nami No To, which translates to the Tower of Waves. In the book, a couple endure enough hardships to where the heroine of the novel ends the story by ending her life in Aokigahara. Since its release, Japanese suicide rates have increased to the point where in 2014 the country had a daily average of 70 suicides a day and it became the leading cause of fatality in men age 20 to 44.

But haunted stories regarding the forest precede the novel with some historians and locals believing the forest to be a location for ubasute, or the mythical act of purposefully abandoning an elder in the wilderness. Regardless of its past, though, Japanese officials have since looked to the future with the inclusion of signs in the forest with warnings, messages of positivity, and recommendations on how to contact a suicide prevention associate. And it seems to be helping with Japan hitting a 22-year-low of 21,764 suicides in 2016, down from their usual norm of nearly 30,000 a year.

3. Sedlec Ossuary
Within the confines of a small Czech suburb called Sedlec lies a bone-ornamented building the likes of which is almost too strange to be real. Beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints, a small Roman Catholic chapel opens its doors to the public with an interior laden with the the bones of somewhere between 40 and 70 thousand skeletons. Said to have been blessed with earth from Golgotha, the crucifixion site of Jesus Christ, the cemetery reached popular notability after this blessing in the 13th century. It became a desirable posthumous destination, and the cemetery answered this uptick in business with the expansion of the gravesites.

But in the mid 14th century when the Black Plague hit Europe, the proprietors of the church and cemetery grounds decided to take a new route with the establishment of an ossuary — a holding facility for bones. To keep up with the high demand, exhumed skeletons were stored in the ossuary to make room for new burials. Here they stayed in storage for hundreds of years, gathering in quantity until 1870 when a woodworker named Frantisek Rint was hired to assemble the thousands of skeletons into some ordered fashion. The result is the ghastly church footage you see before you as the Sedlec Ossuary remains open to visitors to this day.

2. Edinburgh Castle
A top the hill overlooking the Scottish capital of Edinburgh perches the castle and military fortress with its namesake. This royal establishment is more than 900 years old and was a key location in many historical events throughout Scotland’s existence. In addition to being the most visited tourist attraction in Scotland, drawing more than 2 million visitors in 2017, Edinburgh Castle is also believed to be one of the most haunted places in the country.

Some of the reported experiences within the castle walls include feeling clothes being tugged, sensing burning on the arms, feeling yourself being touched on the face, sudden drops in temperature, feeling yourself being watched, and seeing shadowy figures move through the grounds. Creepier still are the tales of a phantom drummer who appears to foretell danger approaching the castle, and the stories of tenants that occupied the Edinburgh dungeons like a Duke of Albany who stabbed and burned his captors or a Lady who was burned at the stake for witchcraft. In an independent paranormal investigation, 51% of participating visitors found the areas believed haunted within Edinburgh castle to actually exhibit signs of haunting!

1. Catacombs of Paris
Before the creation of these catacombs, the city of Paris had an issue with their deceased as the developing city’s departed were literally jam-packed within cemeteries at the center of the metropolis. To combat the diminishing burial space (and worsening smell), plans were put in motion to convert former mines below the city into a massive ossuary. Burials within city limits became banned in 1780 and nearly 6 million corpses were exhumed and relocated to the catacombs below. Today, the chambers under the city have been transformed into a macabre mausoleum housing ornate skeletal designs and remains open to the public daily. Which of these places would you dare your friends to spend the night? Let us know in the comment section below.

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