The world’s 10 most spine-chilling destinations

Posted by Kyro Mitchell on 19 January 2021

Our planet is home to a number of beautiful and fascinating places to explore, from the highest mountain peaks to the deepest depths of the ocean, there will always be a new location to discover. There are, however, certain places on Earth that are best left undiscovered because of the sheer terror they inspire. Here are 10 of the most terrifying places on Earth in no particular order.

Nagoro, Japan

The village of Nagoro in Japan is like any other small village or town you’re likely to come across, with one eerie exception. The village is home to a population of life-sized dolls that outnumber the human population 10:1. That means there are around 350 dolls dotted around the village, with only 27 human beings. The inanimate residents were created by local artist Tsukimi Ayano, who started making the dolls when one of her neighbours either died or moved away.


Xochimilco, Mexico

Sticking with the theme of inanimate residents, Xochimilco in Mexico, or the ‘Island of the Dolls’, as its more commonly known is located in the channels of Xochimilco, south of the centre of Mexico City. As the name implies, Xochimilco is home to hundreds of dolls and doll parts, either hanging from trees by their necks or scattered around the island’s many bushes and fields. The exact reason as to why these dolls have been strewn across the island remains unknown. But folklore says a now-deceased resident named Julian Santa Barrera once found the body of a dead girl in a nearby canal. As a way to ward off evil spirits, Barrera started to collect and place dolls around the island. Surprisingly, Xochimilco is actually regarded as a Unesco World Heritage Site.


Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital, Germany

The only thing more terrifying than an abandoned hospital is an abandoned hospital that once held Adolf Hitler as a patient. This is the case with the Beelitz-Heilstätten complex, which was first opened during World War I. The hospital was initially used to treat victims of mustard gas and machine guns, and one of those patients was Adolf Hitler, who had been shot in the leg. After WW I had come to an end, the hospital fell under the control of the Nazi soldiers during World War II. Surprisingly, parts of the hospital are still being used to this day as a neurological rehabilitation center, but a majority of the complex is completely abandoned, giving the facility an eerie, post-apocalyptic look.


Hanging Coffins, Sagada, Philippines

A typical funeral usually involves purchasing an expensive coffin for your deceased loved ones. However, residents of the small town of Sagada, Philippines have a different outlook on how they bid farewell to the departed. Instead of burying them six-feet-under, locals choose to ‘bury’ their dead in coffins attached to the sides of cliffs. The tradition dates back thousands of years and involves carving out your own coffin for when you eventually kick the bucket. Once you pass on, your family and friends then hoist you UP to your final resting place, right next to your ancestors.

Capuchin Catacombs, Palermo, Italy

The Catacombs in Paris are a well-known feature of the city, with a 2014 movie being made about the location. However, fewer people know about the Catacombs in Italy, which are arguably just as creepy. The Catacombs in Sicily, Italy, or Capuchin Catacombs as they’re more commonly known were created in the late 16th century during a time when the cemetery at the Capuchin monastery became overrun. At first, the Catacombs were meant exclusively for religious men, but as more and more residents found out that ‘natural mummification’ was taking place at the monastery, the process quickly became viewed as a status symbol. As a result of this underground unusual burial process, the Catacombs now contain around 8,000 mummified bodies.


The Great Blue Hole, Belize

When you think of terrifying places around the world, the last place you think of is the picturesque waters in Belize, a nation on the eastern coast of Central America. While the area boasts a plethora of coral life and shallow turquoise waters, it is also home to the Great Blue Hole, which measures 304 metres across and 125 metres deep. The cause of the massive hole is unknown, but divers flock to the location each year to attempt to do dive deeper into the abyss. The Great Blue Hole features underwater stalactites and stalagmites which formed during the last glacial period. According to divers brave enough to venture into the hole throughout the years, the further down you go, the clearer and more beautiful the rock formations supposedly become.


Sculpture Garden, Parikkala, Finland

Finish artist Veijo Rönkkönen is known as one of the most famous contemporary folk artists for his time, but he also built a reputation of being quite reclusive, as he refused to showcase his sculptures in public spaces. Instead, Rönkkönen chose to display his collection of 500 concrete figures, most of which are decorated with real human teeth, in the comfort of his own back garden. This might not sound terrifying at first, but when you’ve got figures that resemble a nun lurking behind bushes or a cloaked man with long, outstretched arms, its easy to why this Sculpture Garden made the list. 


The Door to Hell, Derweze, Turkmenistan

In 1971 Soviet scientists were on the hunt for a large oil deposit in Turkmenistan. While they didn’t find the oil they were looking for, they did accidentally stumble across a methane reserve while mining in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The scientists then decided to light the dangerous gas in an effort to get rid of it. This is when they figuratively, and literally, depending on how you look at it, opened ‘The door to Hell’. The location is a burning pit that has been on fire for the last 40-years.


Snake Island, São Paulo, Brazil

Ilha de Queimada Grande or Snake Island is located off the coast of São Paulo, Brazil, and as the name suggests, is an island filled to the brim with some of the most venomous snakes. Studies done on the island’s population of snakes suggests there are one to five snakes per square meter. It is believed that the snakes became trapped on the island 11,000 years ago when sea levels rose and separated Snake Island from mainland Brazil. As a result, the snakes were forced to evolve and adapt to their new environment. Because there is little to no ground prey, the snakes were forced to learn how to hunt from treetops and strike at birds from the air. The snakes also evolved to have venom five-times stronger than a normal snake, as they needed to kill their prey instantly, instead of having to wait for the venom to take effect and then tracking down their prey.


Pripyat, Ukraine

Thanks to the hit HBO TV series Chernobyl, most people are already familiar with the abandoned city of Pripyat, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. The city was established in 1970 and at its peak, had a population of around 50,000. However, after the devastating Chernobyl disaster in 1986, which forced all of the cities residents to immediately evacuate, the city has remained a desolate wasteland ever since. All that remains are the abandoned hospitals, office spaces, residential complexes, and of course the rundown theme park, which is now nothing more than a skeletal reminder of what used to be.


Picture: Twitter/@OtravelAI

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