[via cracked] It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in ghosts, there are some places in which none of us would want to spend a night. These places have well earned their reputations as being so creepy, tragic or mysterious (or all three) that they definitely qualify as "haunted."
Aokigahara is a woodland at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan that makes The Blair Witch Project forest look like Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It probably has something to do with all the dead bodies scattered around.
What Niagara Falls is to weddings, Aokigahara is to suicide. How many suicides does it takes for a place to get that reputation? A dozen? Fifty?
More than 500 fucking people have taken their own lives in Aokigahara since the 1950s.
The trend has supposedly started after Seicho Matsumoto published his novel Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two of his characters commit suicide there. After that-always eager to prove they are bizarrely susceptible to suggestion-hundreds of Japanese people have hanged themselves among the countless trees of the Aokigahara forest, which is reportedly so thick that even in high noon it's not hard to find places completely surrounded by darkness.
Besides bodies and homemade nooses, the area is littered with signs displaying such uplifting messages like "Life is a precious thing! Please reconsider!" or "Think of your family!"
"If you commit suicide here, bears will poop on your corpse."
In the 70s, the problem got national attention and the Japanese government began doing annual sweeps of the forest in search of bodies. In 2002, they found 78. But who knows how many they missed? In all likelihood there probably is a hanged person somewhere in Aokigahara on any given day. You can see some of them here. WARNING, NSFS (Not Safe For Soul).
By the way, if an entire dark forest full of hanged corpses wasn't bad enough, a few years ago some people noticed that a lot of the dead in Aokigahara probably had cash or jewelry on them. Thus began the proud Japanese tradition of Aokigahara Scavenging where people are running around the Death Forest, looking for dead guys to loot.
Located near Scotland's charming little village of Milton in the peaceful burgh of Dumbarton, the Overtoun Bridge is a local arch construction where no human beings have ever died in any suspicious circumstances whatsoever over the last few decades.
However, during that span, for reasons we can't begin to possibly understand, hundreds and hundreds of dogs have killed themselves there. It appears that dogs have been plunging off of Overtoun since the early 60s, at a rate of one animal a month... bringing the total number today to around 600 mutts, who for some reason, decided to end it all.
"Please don't make me do something like this again."-Photoshop Department.
And we're not talking about a series of unfortunate accidents that could have been avoided with a simple guard rail. People who actually witnessed the reported dogs willingly climbing the parapet wall and leaping to their doom with dumbass doggy grins on their faces. Whether they were crying blood remains to be confirmed.
Theories on why is this happening have been all over the place, from particularly aromatic rodents to a simple stream of bizarre coincidences. We call bullshit on both seeing as--to paraphrase Ian Fleming--"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action and over 600 is clearly the work of an ancient Sumerian demon or some shit."
"Because, for real, that shit is straight up like eight different kinds of crazy. Shit."
To further drive the point home, it has been observed that certain dogs that jumped off the bridge and survived, fucking climbed back up and THREW THEMSELVES TO THEIR DEATHS ALL OVER AGAIN.
Because the great Overtoun demon's hunger will not be appeased with tries. He demands fresh canine blood, and lots of it.
In San Jose there is this house. It is a gigantic, sprawling 160-room complex designed like a maze, with mile-long hallways, secret passages, dead ends, doors opening to blank walls and staircases leading to the ceiling.
It's the work of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune. In the late 19th century, deeply saddened over the death of her husband and daughter, she visited a Boston medium who told her she was haunted by the spirits of all the victims of Winchester rifles. She needed to make peace with them by... always be building a house. As in, never stop building a house, or else she will die. What a nice thing to say to someone who has just lost her family. There is no way this could end with Sarah building a real life version of the Addams Family household.
In 1884, Winchester started construction of her new San Jose mansion, which has gone on non-stop for 38 years right until her death. Despite modern contractors taking about that much time to put in the wooden paneling in your kitchen, the Winchester mansion eventually grew so big you could, in all seriousness, get lost in it. And getting lost was the idea, the crazy twists and turns and dead ends were intended to confuse the ghosts. Sarah was kind of a jerk like that.
But pissing off vengeful spirits was just one of the many architectural choices for the mansion. The entire Winchester Mystery House was decorated with a constant spiderweb motif--which Sarah believed had some spiritual meaning--and everything from the hooks on the walls to candle holders has been arranged around the number 13, supposedly for good luck. Yeah... for someone trying to free herself from ghosts, Winchester did everything but sacrifice a baby goat to Satan to assure her house will be haunted.
Remember when we said Aokigahara was the Niagara falls of suicide? Well, for centuries the abbot in the small Czech town of Sedlec has been the Niagara Falls for dead people, regardless of cause of death. Ever since someone sprinkled soil from the Holy Land on the local cemetery in the 13th century, people from all over Europe started demanding to be buried there and the Sedlec graveyard kept growing until 1870, when the priests decided to finally do something about all those surplus bones lying around. Something insane.
Bam! Chandelier full of bones!
Today, the Sedlec Ossuary is a chapel famous for being decorated with tens of thousands of human bones. This macabre style of interior design was the work of Czech woodcarver Frantisek Rint who, for some reason, was hired to organize the church's extensive skeleton collection. The results were huge mounds of human remains in the four corners of the chapel, a terrifying chandelier built from every bone in the human body, and a massive skull coat of arms adorning the entrance.
We realize this is the Czech Republic and all, but it has been 27 years, surely Poltergeist was released out there already. Like, maybe last year or something? Why are they still playing with human bones as if they were Satan's Lego blocks and making them sit through Mass every single day for almost 140 years now? On the Tempting Fate scale, the only thing worse would be to start using some of the skulls as ceremonial mugs or chamber pots.
At this point, does it really surprise anyone that the church became the inspiration for Dr. Satan's lair in the Rob Zombie movie House of 1000 Corpses?
What do you get when you cross a series of abandoned, rusting, futuristic UFO-shaped buildings with a series of mysterious deaths covered up by the government? How about the ghost town-slash-tourist resort of San Zhi, located just outside Taipei and inside your worst nightmares.
The exclusive San Zhi resort in Taiwan was supposed to be the destination for bored, rich folk who always wondered what it would be like to live inside an over-sized hockey puck. Construction of Pod City started around the 80s but was quickly shut down after a series of mysterious on-site fatal accidents... or it could have been due to Godzilla attacks for all we know. There is actually very little official information on San Zhi. We can't even confirm how many people died there or if they screamed something about eyeless children eating their souls. The whole thing is shrouded in secrecy.
Currently, most of the information on the complex comes from the locals who--what a surprise--refuse to go near the damn thing. And thus the abandoned 90 pods just stand there, waiting for anyone foolish enough to wander in.
A hotel? No! This is a... a weather balloon!
Come on dude, don't be a pussy, this place looks legit.
Wait a second... abandoned resort town in the middle of nowhere, mysterious deaths, lack of any official information... where have we seen this before?
We also would've accepted "Our nightmares."
A whole lot of you just got deja vu looking at the above picture. Specifically, those of you who have played Call of Duty 4, as there is an entire level that takes place there. If you thought the idea of a completely silent, abandoned, radioactive city was typical video game apocalyptic fantasy, you were wrong.
Prypiat is in the northern Ukraine and once housed the workers and scientists of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. Founded in the 70s, it held as many as 50,000 people. Then in 1986, according to a footnote in the official Soviet records, there was a small malfunction in the Chernobyl reactor, so for safety reasons the city was evacuated.
Since then, Prypiat has been desolated, its buildings decaying, the giant Ferris Wheel just standing there all alone with nobody to ride it. The city actually had an entire amusement park for the families of the Chernobyl employees. Because when you are living next to a nuclear reactor which was outdated even by 1986 Soviet standards, the only thing on your mind is bumper cars.
The city is located in what is known as the Zone of Alienation, the 30-kilometer radius directly affected by the Chernobyl "minor technical difficulty" over 20 years ago. Despite that, Prypiat is now opened to the public because the radiation levels have apparently went down significantly over the years. We guess we have a different view on radiation than the government of Ukraine. They obviously have a scale for it, while we consider any radiation a very bad thing.
Aside from the inherent risk of getting bit by a radioactive snail and becoming the lamest superhero ever, there is another reason why you will never see us among the tourists occasionally visiting Prypiat.
The fucking nursery. We told you this was a place built for families and wouldn't you know it, they have a nursery, which according to certain claims is currently paved with baby shoes and abandoned dolls. So, Prypiat is basically an abandoned radioactive ghost Soviet baby amusement park.
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