Sure, we all know that creepy old haunted house in the neighborhood, that one street all the kids avoid, the friend’s attic nobody ever, ever dares explore. But around the world, some of the scariest places on Earth are real places you can visit - if you dare. (Unless you prefer to stay home and maybe visit Disneyland or the library or something. You know, like a normal person.)
Want some examples of these real haunted places in the world? Did you know there's a frightening forest in Japan where people go to kill themselves? Or that there's an entire city in the Ukraine that was abandoned because of a nuclear explosion? What about some cliffs in the Philippines where ACTUAL DEAD PEOPLE HANG? Or a massive hill of crosses that mysteriously keeps getting bigger… and bigger… and bigger?
Most people would traditionally avoid such scary places. But maybe you are that kind - the kind who seeks out churches made entirely of bones or abandoned mental hospitals and cemeteries the Devil supposedly visits on occasion. (You know who you are.) So if it does strike your fancy, you can choose to visit these most haunted real places in the world. Yes, these scary places really exist.
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Imagine lush, green, lovely woods where you can hike, bird watch, observe native plants, and maybe come across a corpse or three? Known as the “Suicide Forest,” Aokigahara is the site of some 50 to 100 suicides each year, mostly by hanging or sleeping pills. Volunteers sweep the forest once a year looking for bodies and cleaning up the belongings of the dead. On second thought, that camping trip doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun…
Ever taken a walking tour of the Notre Dame church? Did you know that 20 meters below your feet lay the remains of more than six million Parisians? Built in the late 18th century when traditional cemeteries posed a disease risk to the public, the long, bone-lined tunnels cover some 11,000 square miles.
Fun fact: In 2015, Airbnb held a competition offering two people the chance to stay in the Catacombs on Halloween night. see more on Catacombs of Paris
This place was so haunted, it even scared an American president away. Andrew Jackson had heard of the hauntings in Adams, Tennessee, and after spending a night there once, he vowed never to return. The Bell Witch supposedly set out to kill landowner John Bell and ruin his daughter's life in the mid-1800s. Legend has it that she accomplished both goals. Their house is gone, but the witch is said to haunt a cave on the property, and many still report frightening occurrences in the area.
see more on Bell Witch Cave
Poveglia Island, Italy
Ah, Italy... that tourist-luring land of beautiful architecture, delicious food, and islands 10 miles away from Venice that housed plague-ridden disease carriers and the mentally ill. It was here that a deranged doctor performed hideous experiments on the unwanted (like chiseling their brains). Half dirt, half human ash, the island is so macabre, the government doesn't want you visiting, and gondoliers sure don't want to take you there.