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Everyone has a fear, something that at the very least gives them the willies. Some are grounded in our own biological code which triggers our fight or flight instincts, like snakes, the dark, and heights, while others might seem a little sillier and are perhaps a bit more inexplicable, for example, clowns, aliens, cotton balls… So, there also seems to be two types of people in this world, those who avoid freaky things and those who actively seek out horrifying experiences. This article is for the odd ones, a nice list of some of the scariest places on Earth. Enjoy your abandoned asylums and spooky hotels, we’ll be right behind you.
Isla de las Munecas: Mexico City, Mexico
An island made by the Xochimilco canals in Mexico City, this small wild piece of the city, which translates to The Island of Dolls, is just that, an island where baby dolls, many weathered and mutilated, are strung up in the trees. Originally serving as a memorial to a young drowned girl, it is now one of the creepiest spots on the planet. To add to the mystery, the island had one inhabitant, Don Julian Santana Barrera, who was apparently haunted by the spirit of the little girl for 50 years, until he was found dead, from apparently drowning in the same canal as the girl. Allow this recent Trip Advisor review to paint a picture, “Absolutely terrible and horrifying! I took my four-year-old daughter here thinking it was a land of doll houses and happiness, but it was more like a horror maze of dead people’s lost toys.” Four out of five stars. Sounds like chills seekers should add Xochimilco travel plans to their bucket lists.
Chernobyl: Pripyat, Ukraine
Many remember the catastrophic nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant 32 years ago that caused 31 direct deaths in what is now modern-day Ukraine; it has since claimed 15 people indirectly from diseases resulting from radiation exposure. Nowadays, the town, which was once home to about 15,000 citizens of the USSR, is a ghost town. It may never again be livable but it is open for day visits through a number of Ukrainian approved tours. Because of the rapid evacuation, many homes and places of business look as they were three decades ago, just with layers of dust.
Sedlec Ossuary: Kutná Hora, Czech Republic
This small Roman Catholic chapel beneath a church in the Czech Republic at first glance seems to be richly decorated in Gothic detail. While it is in fact decorated, it is a little less Gothic and a bit more Goth. Why? Because all of the ornamentations are made from human bone. The bones of an estimated 40,000-70,000 people have been neatly arranged into things like skull chandeliers, a bony coat of arms, and the decorator even used bones as a means to write his signature.
The Catacombs of Paris: Paris, France
Paris, the city of romance, the epicenter of refined culture, the only things tourists should consider doing is strolling hand in hand with a lover along the Seine, sip fine wine, and admire the twinkling of the Eiffel Tower from a quaint café, right? Wrong! Paris is built on top of one of the most intricate series of tunnels in the world which are filled with, yep, more human bones. A bit of a romantic mood killer right? Well, wait until the visit because the Paris Catacombs entombs so many dead people! One estimate puts it at over six million people who have been laid to rest in the passageways. The catacombs have so many bones in fact, in certain channels, the walls are made of bone.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
This one may be a little less creepy and bit more flat-out dangerous. This winding Bolivian highway, which connects La Paz to Coroico, is 35 miles of hairpin turns along a steep mountain with minimal guardrails and narrow lanes. “The world’s most dangerous road” has many cheerful nicknames from locals and tourists including Death Road, The Road of Death, and Road of Fate. One 2006 estimate claimed the road claims somewhere between 200-300 lives per year. What does add to the creepiness factor is the road is lined with endless crosses, each marking a place where a vehicle has fallen.
Abandoned Disney-esque Castle Village: Mudurnu, Turkey
Creepy not because of its history but instead for its uniformity, this development project only began in 2014. The developers, The Sarot Group, built lines and blocks full of Gothic-esque homes, complete with turrets one would expect to be struck by lightning at any given point. Of the 732 villas that were constructed not quite half were purchased, but when the development group folded due to bankruptcy, many backed out of their purchases. So now the town lays abandoned, and with high inflation and falling oil prices hurting Turkey’s economy, there doesn’t seem to be much hope that this spooky place will become habitable.