Myths and legends have always held power over us. They can quite possibly divert us from every other task and make us focus on uncovering the truth behind them and their concreteness. And like many other myths and legends, haunted places too wield this power to make us search for a definitive answer. Sometimes, we have plausible answers, and sometimes, we are led to unlikely and ambiguous explanations. But we have to agree; haunted places have a charm of their own. Despite being able to terrify you to the core and immobilize your limbs, they also lure you in like a siren. You want to uncover the mystery behind these stories.
Here are some of the scariest places in the world. Let’s uncover the mystery behind them.
1. THE ISLAND OF DOLLS, MEXICO
Isla De Las Munecas in Mexico is one of the creepiest places in the world. It has been tarnished by the tragedy of a little girl who was mysteriously found in the river. The island’s owner, Don Julian Santana Barrera, who was the sole dweller and caretaker of the island in Xochimilco, could not save the little girl.
Heartbroken by this tragedy, he was deeply affected. One of these days, he found a doll in the river and believed it to be the little girl’s spirit. So, he decided on affixing that doll and many other dolls on the island. At present, the island is like a catacomb winding to reveal numerous dolls, rotten and hollowed, on every surface on the island.
Some say that Don Julian died in the same manner as the girl in the river. Others doubt the story of the drowned girl and say that it was concocted by Julian’s imagination to deal with his loneliness. Whatever the truth may be, the place is extremely creepy, and people even claim to feel an eerie presence on the island, as is with the scariest places in the world.
Dolls everywhere and not the pretty kind. Sounds creepy, does it not?
2. AOKIGAHARA, JAPAN
The Aokigahara Forest, also known as the Suicide Forest in Japan, has a dark past. It has been the focus of many writing pieces not because of nature and the corresponding beauty but because it has been the place where hundreds of people still commit suicide. The place was said to be haunted by Japanese ghosts in the past. But as the past unfolded to the present, the Sea of Trees, as the forest was known earlier, is now called the Suicide forest, one of the scariest places in the world.
While the trees that grow with little space in between cover the forest with an eerie dark broken by rays of the sun that creep through small spaces, the ice caves are marvels that should be seen. The island rests on rocks, which are cooled down lava and full of tiny holes that absorb every sound. The silence which can be overwhelming here and the dark which looms upon you like a heavy presence are quite gloomy on their own. Some myths say that when food was scarce, families decided to leave women, mostly elderly relatives, alone to die in the forest.
Today, the place sees an unprecedented number of suicides. So much so that the authorities have installed signs like “please consider again” and “think about your family and friends.”
3. OLD CHANGI HOSPITAL AND CHANGI BEACH, SINGAPORE
The beach and the hospital have a dark history. Built in 1935, the hospital was turned into a torture camp because of World War II. The Japanese Police used the hospital to torture Chinese prisoners of war. And now the place is said to be haunted by the ghosts of these soldiers. People claim to have seen ghosts of these soldiers in the hospital and at the beach at night.
4. PRIPYAT, UKRAINE
You must have heard of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Pripyat was a city close to Chernobyl, just about 2 kilometers away. The city had to be evacuated because of the nuclear disaster. The city sings a haunting lullaby of abandoned homes, gymnasiums, rotting toys, swings, go-karts, etc.
It is the most solid and harrowing reflection of the gruesome history of the place. It will always serve as a reminder of the ramifications of the deadly Chernobyl disaster. You will see the city and feel the decay that looms in the air. You can almost sense the haste of the people who were told to leave everything behind, from the rotten and decaying beds in homes, sports halls, kindergartens, etc. Pripyat has surely secured its spot among the scariest places in the world
The world seems to be equal parts creepy and equal parts pretty. Anyway, let us focus on the pretty.