15 Tourist Spots That Send Chills Down the Spine
If mysterious places, unusual buildings, and ancient legends allure you, then you’ll surely like this list prepared by Bright Side!
15. The Island of the Dolls (Isla de las Muñecas), Mexico
According to legend, a small girl drowned in a canal near the island, and her soul never found peace. Julian Santana Barrera found a doll near the place of the girl’s death and began to compile this eerie collection to appease the child’s spirit. Despite the superstitions surrounding the Island, it’s readily visited by tourists.
14. Garden of Bomarzo (Sacro Bosco), Italy
The Garden of Bomarzo was built between 1548 and the 1580s for Duke Pier Francesco Orsini. It contains 30 sculptures including Hercules, Aphrodite, and Cerberus as well as the leaning house and gate of the Underworld. After several centuries of oblivion, the park was restored and reopened for visitors in 1954, receiving another name: "Park of the Monsters."
13. Ghost Town Centralia, USA
In 1962, an accident occurred that turned this town into a kind of Silent Hill (scenes were actually filmed there). Firefighters were burning garbage at a landfill set up in an abandoned coal mine. Flames spread to the coal seams, and an underground fire began which is still burning. This doesn’t stop extreme tourism lovers, photographers, and journalists.
12. The Hill of Crosses (Kryžių kalnas), Lithuania
The Hill of Crosses reminds one of an old cemetery, but it’s a place of Catholic pilgrimage. People believe that if they leave a cross here, their wishes will be fulfilled. According to a legend, the first to establish a cross on the hill was a peasant whose daughter was seriously ill. The girl soon recovered, and new crosses appeared.
11. "Hand of the Desert" (Mano del desierto), Chile
The 11-meter sculpture is installed not far from Antofagasta. Author Mario Irarrázabal says this imposing monument symbolizes loneliness, injustice, and helplessness. The sad place is popular and regularly visited by tourists. Unfortunately, some visitors cannot resist vandalism, so the hand is periodically cleaned from graffiti.
10. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
“Aokigahara“ is translated as ”Plain of blue trees," but it’s also known as “Suicide Forest” — it’s a favorite place for suicides. The authorities do everything possible to prevent it: the forest is regularly patrolled, cameras and helpline signboards are installed along the paths, and local residents report all suspicious people to the police.
9. Ghost City Ordos Kangbashi, China
Ordos Kangbashi is called a ghost town. The new city was never settled because of high property prices and financial problems. It still has about 20,000 people living there, but considering it was designed for 2 million inhabitants, this creates the illusion of an absolutely empty city. Tourists are found there more often than local residents.
8. Spotted Lake, Canada
The lake is located in British Columbia. The Okanagan people call it Kliluk and attribute to it mystical properties. The unusual appearance is explained by the high concentration of magnesium sulfate, silver, calcium, and titanium. Tourists can’t get close without permission from the elder of the local tribe, so they prefer to photograph the lake from a distance.
7. Darvaza gas crater (Derweze), Turkmenistan
Darvaza gas crater, the "Door to Hell," was formed in 1971 as a result of a ground collapse during explorations. The hole was formed, releasing gas which was set on fire so as not to poison people from the nearest settlements. According to geologists’ calculations, the gas should’ve been completely burned in a few days, but the fire has been burning for 46 years, attracting travelers, photographers, and researchers.
6. Sedlec Ossuary (Kostnice v Sedlci), Czech Republic
Sedlec Ossuary, The Church of All Saints, is located in the cemetery of the Czech city Kutná Hora. It’s famous for its interior which is decorated with human bones. The cemetery was unable to accommodate all the dead, so in 1400 the chapel with a vault was built and used to store human remains. The bones and skulls were later cleaned, bleached, and used for decoration.
5. Poveglia Island, Italy
Legends say that Poveglia was the place where people with the plague were sent to die, and that’s why restless souls are still wandering around there. A psychiatric hospital opened from 1922 until 1968. There were rumors that experiments were conducted on patients, and the chief doctor went mad and committed suicide by jumping off the tower. The island was abandoned and remains in this state to this day.
4. Hoia Forest (Pădurea Hoia), Romania
The forest earned the reputation of a paranormal place thanks to the regular appearance of UFOs and other strange phenomena. It’s believed that a prolonged presence in the forest can cause nausea, rashes, and dizziness. Of course, all this could be considered no more than urban legends...if not for photos of unidentified objects that were recognized as genuine.
3. Overtoun Bridge, Scotland
The bridge in the city of Dumbarton is notorious: dogs jump off it head down, always from the same place — on the right, between the last two spans. It was blamed on mysticism, until animal behavior expert David Sexton examined the place, finding huge amounts of mink and mouse urine. This substance strongly affects dogs, making them thoughtlessly jump down off the bridge.
2. Christ of the Abyss
Created as part of an art exhibit in 1965, three statues were sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Copies were made and one was sunk off the coasts of Florida. Being massive in scale they tower over any person scuba diving around them, and remain utterly surreal when surrounded by the whiteness of the ocean floor.
1. Hashima Island, Japan
Hashima Island, commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning "battleship island" for its ship-like silhouette) is an abandoned island lying not far from the city of Nagasaki, Japan. The island was known for its undersea coal mines, and more than 5,000 people resided here in the 1960s. At one time it was the most densely populated place in the world. In 1974, however, the coal mines were closed down, and people gradually left Gunkanjima.