1. I went to a rest stop at 1am outside Springfield Illinois a few years back. Went to the restroom and there was blood everywhere. It looked like something got slaughtered. I have never high tailed it out of somewhere so quickly as I had there.
2. When I was in high school it was a popular dare to go to “the dollhouse.” The dollhouse was a little house in the side yard of a normal house in a neighborhood by the school. It was surrounded by lighted angel statues, so many you couldn’t walk on the grass and had to step onto paving stones arranged into a path. It was insanely well built, like a scaled down version of a normal house. There was even a little air conditioner. The people who owned it never locked it so you could go right in through the front door. At first it seemed normal, just small. There was carpeting and a set of stairs leading up to a tiny second story. The air felt stale and quiet.
Then you would see them.
Dozens of dolls, all posed on small couches, standing at tiny tables, just dolls, a meter tall and frozen as though you’d just caught them doing something they shouldn’t have. It was creepy as fuck, and even after seeing that weird shit you still had to walk back out past all the angel statues.
Maybe the owners built it for their grandkids or something but no me gusta.
3. One year I worked in a haunted house that was inside a building that used to be a funeral home. The morgue was downstairs and still had the drawers. My job was to lay in the drawer and pop out when people walked by. Laying in a cramped drawer, in the dark, on cold metal, with flashes of lights and screams in the distance was probably the creepiest place.
4. The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River Massachusetts.
Here’s the story behind it…
30 year old Lizzie Borden lived in Fall River in the 1800’s. On August 4th, 1892, her father Andrew Borden and her stepmother Abby were both murdered, each hit in the head with an axe multiple times, the father was hit 11 times and Abby was hit 14. Although Lizzie was never found guilty of the murders, everyone in and around the city still suspects her involvement, considering there was no evidence of her not knowing it was going to occur. The home is now a museum and a bed and breakfast, tourists can pay to stay the night in the victims rooms, and live in the house for the day.
There is a full Buzzfeed Unsolved video about the case as well, I would recommend checking it out. It’s my favorite thing/story about my hometown.
5. The “Killing Fields” memorial in Cambodia. I was there in 2005 so I don’t know how much it’s changed but there was a huge stack of skulls/bones, blood on the walls etc. The worst part of the tour by far was a huge tree that had about a one foot indentation in it about two feet off the ground. The guide explained that the indentation was made by picking up children by the feet and smashing their skulls into the tree to kill them so they could save on bullets. It was somebody’s job to literally stand there all day picking up children by the feet and smashing their brains out against a tree. After hearing that I had the most physically sick reaction I’ve ever had in my life. I started shaking and sweating PROFUSELY. I was drenched in sweat in a matter of seconds. I felt physically sick and couldn’t eat or sleep for three days. I couldn’t focus on anything. I felt like a zombie. I wish I never would have went there and it’s why I will never go to any of the former holocaust concentration camps, or anything remotely like it. I guess I just don’t have the stomach for being near places where mass evil against innocents has occurred.
6. Earnestine and Hazels in Memphis. Old Blues bar that Ray Charles played at back in the day and prior to that was a brothel at one point, ran by 2 sisters(?) Earnestine and Hazel. Later, we find the place is reportedly haunted.
We had a few beers and ate possibly the best handmade hamburger I’ve ever had.
We venture upstairs which still looked like an old boarding house with dark colored bead board on the walls and ceiling. It was darkly lit with empty rooms filled with dim colored lights, broken pianos, jukeboxes, odd furniture, broken desks, etc.. The upstairs bathroom had a claw foot tub with a single red light bulb in there.. it felt like a murder scene. We were buzzed but I still felt a bit uneasy up there.
There was one door closed and you could tell someone was in there. Figured it was the office or something.
The end of the hallway had an upstairs bar that we chilled at for a while and left soon after.
A few months later I read about the owner, who lived upstairs (and was probably who I saw in that upstairs room), committed suicide in that very room.
It was a very cool place but I will probably never go back in there..
7. My family went house hunting one weekend and we came across one in Salem MA that had been built in the 1700s. It looked it, inside and out. The lady who’d been showing us houses really tried to push us to commit to this one. It was a decent enough house size wise and in pretty decent shape… but none of us could shake the eerie gut feeling we got as we were going through it. We all admitted that the creepy feeling was the strongest when we opened the basement door. None of us was brave enough to go down. When we got a moment to ourselves my mom said she’d gotten the vibe that bad things had happened in that house. Like, people had been killed or something. We all admitted we’d gotten the same feeling and politely nope’d right out of there.
8. Forest Haven is an abandoned insane asylum in Maryland. It’s posted no trespassing and technically patrolled by guards, but in reality is very easy to get into. I was there two weeks ago with my SO, exploring and taking photos. There are 22 buildings on the property, all just wide open and abandoned, covered in collapsed ceiling tiles, broken glass, and graffiti. There is still furniture in some of the rooms, and if you delve deep enough into the property, you can still find patient records that were left behind when they closed.
We actually found a stack of patient files in a dark, windowless room. It was so surreal, reading about a “severely mentally retarded” man with “a history of schizophrenia” who “talks incessantly.” This patient had a 1-page handwritten summary for every year that he had been in the hospital, and they all started out the same… “Kenny is an almost 45-year old white male with severe mental retardation and a history of schizophrenia. He has been at Forest Haven for five years”. Only the age and duration change from page to page. The first one is dated 1973, and the last page in his file is a printed memorial flyer showing he died in September of 1990. The facility was ordered to close in 1974, but didn’t actually close its doors until 1991. In its last year of operation, there were 9 deaths at the asylum. Kenny was one of them.
The creepiest part? The patient who’s file I randomly opened up to, in the middle of a stack of wet, moldering files, sitting on the corner of a collapsing desk in an interior room of an abandoned basement? He shared the same first and middle name as my SO. Just a weird, creepy coincidence in a cold, wet, creepy place.
9. I had a friend who cleaned out and sold foreclosed homes for a living. He once took me on a ride to a house he had to photograph for the bank after it had gone into foreclosure. From the moment we got there, it was unsettling. It was in the area of a ski resort, and the neighborhood was wealthy, but once we stepped inside, it was clear that it had been used as a kind of boarding house for resort staff. Numbers outside each of the bedroom doors, large closets/ weird spaces turned into bedrooms. The place was filthy, with black garbage bags everywhere, pizza boxes, booze bottles, like clearly a party house for staff, but recently abandoned.
At one point, I was on the ground floor, and my friend was in the basement, when I suddenly got full body chills. I was standing in the kitchen and there was a bathroom next to it with the door closed, and I somehow knew that there was someone hiding in that bathroom. At the very same instant, my friend called me down to the basement where he had found a back corner which had been converted into another sleeping area. There was a television still on, just showing static, and a kitchen knife on a crate next to the mattress. That was the moment I stepped directly behind my 6’4”, 300lb friend and told him we had to get the fuck out of there.
I’m pretty sure the home was being used as an illegal boarding house for undocumented resort workers, and I honestly felt bad for the terrified kid who was still squatting in the basement, but I sure as hell didn’t want to find him.
10. My old house. About 5 years ago I was living in a town just outside of Washington DC. The house was a short 2 story house with a basement that was built in the 50s. The whole house has a weird vibe to it, not exactly scary, but unsettling. In 2011, the year that we moved in, the guy that built the house stopped by, he told us that he built the house with his dad and three brothers in 1952. During the building they found a few skeletons while they were digging out the driveway and of course called the police. Turns out the bodies were union soldiers from the civil war who had most likely been killed during the battle of bull run and buried as the union army marched back to DC.
11. When I was in Iceland, I walked past a school at roughly 9:00ish in the morning and heard children laughing. It was VERY dark out, and I didn’t know I was near a school. The combination of the sudden sound of children’s laughter coupled with the darkness created one of very few occasions I have felt unsettled like that. Kids should only be allowed to laugh in groups during daylight, in plain sight.
12. I was in a youth hostel in the Netherlands. The bathroom windows were curtained – not by cloth or blinds, but from being caked in spider webs and THOUSANDS of spiders. More spiders than I have ever seen in my life. The windows barely let in any light at all. And the spiders were fed by the insane amount of mosquitos. Biggest spiders I have ever seen as well, other than tarantulas at the zoo. Spiders in the NL are not supposed to be that big. I never knew bugs could be obese before.
13. I found an old abandoned farm house a little ways outside of my little town.
It looked as if the people who had lived there just up and left one day. There were still dishes in the sink and a coffee cup with a newspaper beside it on the kitchen table (the date was in 2011). All their clothes were still hanging in the closet. State fair ribbons were stuck all over one wall, one dating back to 1912. Had it not been for the thick layer of dust covering everything, animal droppings, and their little footprints in the dust, you’d think someone still lived there, but no.
To make it creepier, I explored the house at about 3 AM. The silence of that place felt so heavy and it made me very uncomfortable being there.
I later asked around about the house and apparently it belonged to an old couple whose children put them in a nursing home and just abandoned the house.
14. An abandoned mental institution in NJ. My friend brought us there and we wandered the grounds and went in a few buildings, including the morgue. The offices still had patient files and the pediatric area still had kids artwork. It had been abandoned for about eight years at that point. It was really creepy and also really sad.
15. When I was a kid, we lived in my dad’s old house, from when he was a kid. It was one of the oldest houses in town, & had been there since the 1800’s, but had been redone a few times. The house had three bedrooms…a master that used to be a screened in porch, a regular room, & a room off to the side that was barely big enough for a twin bed. When my dad was about 11, his older brother died of heart failure, & they had his coffin put in that room, for the viewing. When my grandfather died about 10 years later, his was put there too. When I was born, my grandmother offered the house to my parents, as she’d gotten remarried, so they took it for $30 a month. That room always creeped me out for some reason growing up, & I didn’t like going in there. When I was older, & renting the house from my grandma myself, that’s when my dad told me about the viewings. Still was a creepy room & I kept only things I didn’t use on a regular basis in there!!
16. I went to an interview shortly out of grad school. I’m a librarian, and it was a cataloguing job. It was located outside of the city, on a remote country road. There were no other buildings or houses located nearby. The address was a house. I was desperate enough to not turn around and drive away. I get up to the porch, and there was a VERY LARGE dog waiting in the mud room. I knocked on the door, and out comes this Norman Bates type, and he starts touring me around the main floor of the house which is set up as an office, explaining to me that “Mother” is the supervisor (seriously, you can’t fucking make this shit up). The place is musty, and has a Bates motel meets The Office decor. By the time he takes me out the back deck to VERY rusty, dirty white antique deck furniture I’m thinking “WTAF am I doing here. Am I going to be murdered?” And then he gives me a test for cataloguing (the most normal thing so far) and once I finish it, explains “Mother”’s rules. She’s super strict about a lot of things, but especially the dog. No complaints about dog, ever. I go back through the house with him, and sure enough, there is a photo on the wall of Mr Bates(tm) and Mother. I got the hell out of there, and ignored further emails from him.
The moral of the story is that you shouldn’t apply to random jobs without researching.
17. The gas chamber in Mauthausen concentration camp. It’s a deeply truly horrifying experience.
18. The solitary confinement cells at Alcatraz – which is a pretty creepy place all on its own. But those cells are like the Heart of Darkness. There are four or five of them just off the library, all the cell doors open onto a windowless hallway, so it’s dark leading to dark.
I went in there on my own and I swear something evil was squatting in the corner waiting for me leave my soul unattended. 10/10 for creepy, will not go back.
19. There’s an abandoned mental hospital in my great aunts old neighborhood. We were at her house for Easter and it was a nice day so she suggested that we go for a walk. Looking back on it I think that she walked there purposely. They had a playground but all the equipment was made for adult sized people. I started to play on it and then had a whatthefuuuu moment looking around. Like Alice in wonderland. It was so bizarre. All overgrown. And then I asked what the building had been. (Adults were having polite small talk and hadn’t Seemed to notice their setting). She explained what it had been. Adults looked kinda weirded out.
I didn’t see any ghosts or anything like that but it was the most unsettling feeling. That was caused by a place.
20. Found a pile of human bones on an operating room of a sunken ship.
21. The abandoned turnpike in central Pennsylvania, specifically the Sideling Hill tunnel. Once you get about 50 feet inside, there is no light and the road is all torn up in places, so bringing lighting is mandatory. I went in the middle of winter, and there was nobody around besides the person I was with. Very creepy, but cool.
22. Personally, the Royal Derwent Hospital in New Norfolk, Tasmania. It’s the old asylum, now derelict, partially burned, and partly destroyed by arson. It was the longest continuously operating mental health institution in Australia.
I was allowed to go inside the ‘high security’ end when on a university group, and it’s truly disturbing. Super thick reinforced doors, small, dark rooms with dirty walls, and thick glass windows with curved ledges so you weren’t able to sit on them. The rooms I went to overlooked the yard, which had what was called a “ha-ha” fence — a fence that looked short, but the ground sloped down towards so it was much, much taller than it appears. The high-security end is where people like Martin Byrant (the man who committed the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996) would be held if the Asylum was still operational today, and it shows.
It’s an entirely hopeless place to be inside. Given how mental health patients are treated in Australia now, it’s pretty disturbing to see how things used to be, and how bleak everything was. And the rotting and decrepit building really helps sell the illusion.
23. Centralia, Pennsylvania. The coal vanes under the ground are on fire and have been for years. The ground smokes and is hot. The town is abandoned.
24. In high school my friends and I would go up to the local abandoned state mental hospital to explore. The rooms were mostly creepy from the state of decay they were in. There was a lot of graffiti, with things like “666” and bands names (Tool, Marilyn Manson) spray painted on the walls. The graffiti wasn’t creepy, just markings from other teenagers. Sometimes we would find bullet casings scattered on the floor.
However, the creepiest area I saw were the underground tunnels. A security guard “caught” us on the property and told us to come back in a half hour after the Statie did their rounds. We met up with him and he took us down into the tunnels that staff would have used to travel between buildings. I just remember how dark it was and he was the only one with a flashlight, as that cell phones at this time were Nokia bricks.
25. My neighbor has an old cemetery in her wooded backyard. I saw it one time when I was really young and from then on we either played in the street or in my backyard. Never found out who was buried there, but I know for sure it wasn’t anyone she was related to.
26. A room converted from the previous morgue in a hospital about 135 years old.
27. I explored the abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans. It was closed for Katrina and never opened again. While my friends and I were there we found everything essentially as it was left 4 years prior: computers in the admin office, tickets in admission booth, even jars of fucking pickles in the concession stands.
28. I was on a family vacation to Atlanta, about 1972. We went to visit some cousins of my grandmothers. Twin sisters, never married, in their 80’s. The house was in a rundown neighborhood. From the street you’d think it was abandoned. Overgrown yard, part of the roof caved in, boarded up windows. Inside, it was all antiques, and furniture from the 30’s and 40’s, slowly deteriorating, and it looked as though they hadn’t dusted in years. Wallpaper pealing, old portraits half fallen. Looking up to the second floor from the stairs, just cobwebs and collapsed ceilings. They said they hadn’t been up their in years. And definitely rat noises. They both looked and lived like ghosts, and seemed half mad, very civil and proper but off. As an 8 year old, I was terrified, especially when one of them joked and said “You should leave him here. He can live with us”. I burst into tears, and we left.
29. The crypt (I think that’s what it was) of a church in Bayeux, France. I was there on a school trip and we could choose whether to go to this historically old church, or see the Bayeux tapestry. I chose the church. IIRC they had just found the crypt a couple of years before.
So I was down there by myself, taking pictures, and after a couple of minutes I started feeling downright nauseous. Like, “I’m going to get sick right here” nauseous. Went upstairs to get some air, and the feeling went away instantly. Creeped me out, and when I went down with the group afterwards I felt totally fine.
30. Operating room for brain surgery.
It’s freezing cold, they wheel you up to this stainless steel bed with a cage you put your head in. They tighten down clamps on your head so it can’t move. Then knock you out.
You wake up multiple times over a 4.5 hour surgery, semi conscious, eyes closed but you can say “I hear you guys”, or snap your fingers and hold a finger up like “waiter”, and the anesthesiologist hits you with a dose.
After they’re done, they poke a giant needle (ice pick) into different facial muscles to make sure they didn’t break anything. Poking it into a muscle causes a subconscious flinching and they look at the muscle group flinching to make sure each category is still rigged up. I had a bunch of scabs and taped cotton balls across my face and scalp. Then they seal up your skull and sign off on it.
They use reciprocating saws and similar power tools to carpenters, it’s morbid, terrifying, cold. But it can give you your life back. I spent 2 nights in the hospital and was driving to work 7 days later feeling like a million bucks.