What is it about being scared that people love so much? The thrill? The mystery? I’m not sure, but there’s a reason haunted houses, for example, are so popular. However, what if I told you that there are places in the world that are waaaaaay better than haunted houses? These places have a real history behind them. And while none of them are confined to just a “house,” they may all be haunted.
Island of Dolls, Mexico
Yeah, I don’t know what to say about this one other than it’s exactly how it sounds. Located about an hour south of Mexico City, this island is full of soulless dolls hanging from trees. And all they do is creepily stare at you. Okay. That may not entirely be true. Legend has it, the Island of Dolls got its start back in the 1950s when the owner, Julian Santana Barerra, found a body of a young girl in the water. He also found a doll that he suspected to be that of the girls. So out of respect, he hung it on a tree on the island. Shortly after, he began to hear little footsteps and cries of anguish. So in order to appease (what he thought was) the girl's spirit, he began to hang more and more dolls. Over the years, tourists to the island would also start to hang dolls.
If you dare to visit today, you’ll find the island about as creepy as ever with dolls in various levels of decomposition (yes, “decomposition” seems appropriate here).
Stull Cemetery, Kansas
You don’t have to go far to find this one. The Stull Cemetery is in Kansas (I’d say rural Kansas, but that would be redundant) where, urban legend has it, that it is not only a location of one of the seven gateways to Hell, but Lucifer himself appears there twice a year: once on Halloween and once on the spring equinox.
Oh, and the fact that it’s been mentioned several times in pop-culture, including the long running CW series Supernatural, only helps its lore.
Beelitz-Heilstätten Hospital, Germany
You may not know how to pronounce the name of the hospital above, but this hospital made a name for itself when it treated, arguably, the worst human to ever walk the face of the earth, Adolf Hitler. The hospital can be found southwest of Berlin. Besides treating Hitler for an injury he received in WWI, it was known as one of the foremost leaders in tuberculosis treatment in the world. Today, it’s abandoned. If rust isn’t the most prominent feature it now boasts, then it may be ghosts.
Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
More popularly known as “the Bone Church” or “the Church of Bones,” the Sedlec Ossuary is home to some 40,000-70,000 skeletons. What’s more? They use many of those skeletons as decoration. For example, there is a chandelier of bones in the chapel that has at least one of every bone in the human body hanging up in it. How’s that for creepy?
If you’re interested in going, you won’t be alone. It’s reportedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Czech Republic. And if you don't decide to go, that’s probably not a bad idea. Just saying…
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
This place is just a sad place and should probably never be visited by “tourists.” That’s because the Aokigahara Forest is more commonly known as Suicide Forest. At the foot of Mount Fuji, it’s the second most popular place to commit suicide at, after only the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. As you can imagine, it’s an extremely chilling place to visit, especially when you consider all of the suicide notes left behind.
Capuchin Catacombs, Italy
These catacombs in southern Italy have their walls lined with roughly 8,000 corpses and nearly 1,500 mummies. This place has been around since the 16th century and was originally intended for monks, but it’s superb mummification process put it on the map.
One of the most famous mummies is a little girl named Rosalia Lombardo, who died in 1920. The thing is, she was preserved so well, that in 1982 if you went to the catacombs and saw her, you’d think she was just sleeping.
To this day, it’s a popular tourist attraction. If you decide to make a visit, there’s little doubt that it’ll chill you... to the bone. No? Okay, fine.
The world is full of things that go bump in the night. Allegedly.
And it turns out, many of those places are popular tourist attractions. Sure, late October would be a fun time to go, but you don’t necessarily have to go then. What you do have figure out though, is the answer to this question: are you afraid of the dark??
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