It seems that in every corner of the world, there are not only spectacular travel destinations to be found, but also paths that lead to eerie places full of mystery and creepiness. The hushed atmosphere of a lone or abandoned structure seems to always lead to tales of terror. On this list are images of just a few of the eeriest places around the world and the stories that surround them
5: Yuma Territorial Prison
The gate in this picture doesn’t seem like it’s leading anywhere good, does it? In fact, historically it has been said to lead to not only dark cells, but chaos and death. The Yuma Territorial Prison in Arizona was built during the 17th century and housed over 3,000 prisoners. The inmates, the youngest of which was 14, slept on iron-forged bunks. A cell in the centre of the prison building was nicknamed The Dark Cell, after prisoners left inside in solitary confinement went insane after being tied to the walls with ring-bolts, in the pitch-dark.
These days, the morbidly curious can visit the abandoned prison as well as the prison museum where they can buy memorabilia that include sets of handcuffs. The prison building is situated on a hill overlooking the originally named Prison Cemetery, which is said to be home to not only the remains of several prisoners but to their angry spirits as well.
Oh, and a creepy place like this wouldn’t be complete without a ‘little girl ghost’ that goes after visitors who wear red and pinches them.
Imagine taking a trip to a surreal little town where the only creatures watching you are chickens and geese, and the only company is mannequins? Well, you don’t have to only imagine it anymore. Instead you can experience it for yourself at Demolition World in Invercargill, New Zealand. Demolition World is an entire ghost town made from recycled materials and mannequins strategically placed to freak people out.
Here you will find an old church, toy shops and even a health clinic, all with their own resident mannequins including one in a Superman outfit, a mannequin bride, and another one placed in the shadows on a porch of a small wooden cabin.
3:No Man’s Land
Built to defend the coast from invasion, the No Man’s Land fort near Portsmouth, England, was eventually sold off as a ‘private island’ and turned into a hotel during the 90s. Many troubles ensued, including a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak which caused the owner at the time, Harmesh Pooni, to lose a lot of money.
It took 20 years to construct the fort with the intention of it housing at least 80 troops as well as 49 cannons. Its center was sunken as refuge against bad weather and a well dug into the seabed provided fresh water. The fort has had many owners over the years and in a bizarre incident in 2008, Pooni barricaded himself inside the structure, claiming to still be the owner and refusing to let administrators KPMG, evict him. When they finally did, they found the place full of dilapidated furniture, dead plants as well as a pool half-filled with brown water. In 2020, No Man’s Land Fort was put up for sale yet again.
For now, it remains an abandoned, creepy-looking structure in the ocean.
2:Village of the dolls
Nagoro, Japan is a small village where the population never declines. Well, it does, but as soon as someone dies, local resident, Tsukimi Ayano, is at hand to sew together a doll to fill the gap the living person left. These dolls are said to outnumber the people in the village by 10 to 1. The dolls, resembling scarecrows, can be found in classrooms, in the town centre, at the creek, inside the town hall and just about everywhere else. Ayano started the project because she wanted to get rid of the feeling of emptiness she felt every time she looked around the rapidly depopulating village.
The idea came to her sixteen years earlier, when she’d sewn together a scarecrow and dressed it in her late father’s clothing. She placed the scarecrow in her garden to keep birds from eating the seeds she had planted. A worker passing by once said hello to the scarecrow thinking it was a person. This, in turn, got Ayano thinking, and soon the valley of the dolls started coming to life.
Many people refuse to go anywhere near Nagoro, calling it ‘the creepiest place on Earth’, while others are fascinated and come from all corners of the globe to see the dolls in person.
5: The Notre Dame convent
South Africa is home to many open fields, hills, mountains, beaches and nature reserves. In between however, you will find a lot of houses, office buildings and shopping centres. So very, very many shopping centres.
Some of these structures have been abandoned over the years and all that remains of them are crumbling ceilings, broken-down walls, and urban legends. They include hospitals, private homes, offices, farms, and convents.
In Kroonstad in the Free State stands an old convent, the Notre Dame, that was converted into a school in February 1907. In June 1908 the Sisters at the convent awoke to a commotion and learned that the convent was on fire. The cause of the blaze was never established, but there were several rumors of arson after a dispute with workmen. The building was restored by the end of 1908 and over the years many additions were made. The convent was also turned into a temporary hospital during the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918. Two more fires in 1967 was the beginning of the end and the convent was closed in 1972. However, as the end of 2020 approached, the building was once again put to use for educational purposes with yet another school having opened, this time a private Catholic facility.
This hasn’t shielded the building from several urban legends however, the most terrifying of which has it that candles were found in the adjacent cemetery, placed on the graves of nuns and priests. Analysis revealed the candles were made from human fat.