18 Places From Around The World That Will Give You More Than Just Goosebumps

The world is a big, big place. There are many places that have storied pasts that come back to remind us that they are still here. Some of us are brave enough to go visit and sometimes, we come back with more than just a series of pictures and chills down our backs.

1. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodia

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Located in Phnom Penh, this museum used to be a high school — which had been converted into a security prison by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. The notorious Security Prison 21 (also called Tuol Sleng) was built within the high school — its structures converted into cells for inmates.


For a period of just four years (1975 to 1979), an estimated 17,000 people were held in S-21. Some estimate the number to be as high as 20,000, but the real number is mystery.

Prisoners were tortured repeatedly into naming associates and family members. The tortured were eventually killed.

image - Adam Carr
image – Adam Carr

When prisoners would arrive at the prison, they would be photographed and their life history would be recorded. They would then be stripped to their underwear and all of their immediate possessions confiscated.

image - waterboardingdotorg
image – waterboardingdotorg

In the cells, they would be shackled to the walls — or the floor — or to a long bar. They were forbidden to speak. Meals would be four small spoonfuls of porridge and soup — essentially leaves in water — twice a day.

Regarding torture, prisoners would be beaten and tortured with electric shocks to searing skin with hot metal to waterboarding. Some were suffocated with plastic bags or cut with knives, others had their fingernails removed and alcohol poured over the open wound. Women would sometimes be raped by the interrogators. Approximately 100 prisoners were murdered by the Tuol Sleng medical unit by bleeding them out to death.

image - Adam Carr
image – Adam Carr

The executed were placed into mass graves that held anywhere from 6 to 100 bodies.

2. Helltown, Ohio, USA

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?sll=40.152415231459756,-79.532164&sspn=5.2272463074126385,7.3835179047158395&t=m&q=Boston+Ohio&dg=opt&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Boston,+Summit,+Ohio&ll=41.276,-81.549797&spn=0.050314,0.100079&z=13&iwloc=A&output=embed&w=584&h=390%5D

Founded in 1806, this village was essentially dismantled to create a national park in the county.

Conspiracy theorists claimed that the government was trying to cover up a chemical spill in the region. The Krejci dump did occupy 47 acres along Hines Hill Road, but it has since been cleaned up, after multiple incidents of park rangers and hikers complained of odors, rashes and severe headaches. The dump was closed in 1986 and toxic substances from PCBs, AHS, arsenic, as well as heavy metals among other carcinogens were found on the site.

image – NPS Photo

Tourists, not realizing that the houses were bought off by the government wrongly believed that they had stumbled onto a ghost town. The cemetery is said to be haunted by a man and a tree that moves. Grave robbers are said to visit the graveyard as well.

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The chemical spill has led to rumors of mutants running amok in the national park, and lore has been exacerbated to a chemical plant explosion — there has never been a chemical plant in or around Boston Village.

3. Hunedoara (Hunyad) Castle, Romania

Also known as Corvin’s Castle, this Gothic castle towers over the fields in the region of Transylvania, Romania.

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The first foundations were laid to ground in 1446 for John Hunyadi. The castle was built in a Gothic style, but it features elements from the Renaissance.

image - Todor Bozhinov
image – Todor Bozhinov

It’s said that this castle is where Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned for seven years.

image - Wikipedia
image – Wikipedia

There a well that is 30 meters deep and it is said to have been dug by Turkish prisoners who were promised freedom if they found water. It took 15 years to complete the well, but the captors did not keep their promise.

4. Spreepark, Berlin, Germany

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Spreepark was an amusement park in Berlin that opened in 1969. It was the only constant entertainment park in both East and West Berlin. From 1989 to 2001, the park slowly changed its image towards a more Western-style park, as well as charging an entrance fee that covered all of the park instead of charging at individual attractions.

image - Mdkoch84
image – Mdkoch84

In 2002, the park closed its doors and the company behind it was declared bankrupt. The park operator, Norbert Witte, and his family moved to Peru. He and his son were arrested and charged with possession of $14 million worth of cocaine while flying back to Germany.

image - Mdkoch84
image – Mdkoch84

Just check out the pictures of the park.

image - Mdkoch84
image – Mdkoch84
image - Swithun Crowe
image – Swithun Crowe
image - Swithun Crowe
image – Swithun Crowe

It’s pretty creepy.

5. La Isla de las Muñecas (The Island Of The Dolls), Mexico

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?q=19.272856,-99.088043&t=h&hl=en-GB&ie=UTF8&ll=19.27238,-99.088783&spn=0.0079,0.01251&z=16&iwloc=near&output=embed&w=584&h=390%5D

I only heard about this after Destination Truth did an episode on the island.

image - Esparta
image – Esparta

A man named Julián Santana Barrera collected the bodies of dolls from the canals and he tied them around trees on the island to keep away evil spirits and to keep the spirit of a dead girl he found at bay.

image - Esparta
image – Esparta

This started since the 1990s. Barrera would explain that the dolls were still alive, but forgotten by their owners. At night, these said dolls would come to life and kill animals on the island.

image - Esparta
image – Esparta

Barrera and his island of dolls were found when the area was being cleared of water lilies.

image - the_toe_stubber
image – the_toe_stubber
image - Amrith Raj
image – Amrith Raj

The man died an unknown death in 2001, with rumors circulating that he was drowned by the dolls, or that he was driven insane by the dolls, leading to his death.

6. Aokigahara Forest, Japan

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Just look at how dense the forest is. Apparently there are parts of the forest where the branches are so thick, no light is visible. Just imagine when it’s night.


Aokigahara forest is a popular place for suicides and drug overdoses are the most common means of ending their lives.

image - ajari
image – ajari

Body hunts are done by local volunteers every year to scour the woods for suicide victims. Click here (WARNING: NSFW/NSFL) for graphic images of bodies found in Aokigahara.

When entering the forest, there are signs put up by the local government pleading and warning would-be suicide victims to reconsider their decision and to seek help.

People enter this forest with the wish to disappear forever. According to urban legend, the forest became a popular destination for the suicidal after Seicho Matsumoto’s novel, Kuroi Kaiju was published in 1960. The two lovers in the novel commit suicide in the forest, which is said to have started the trend. However, the suicides in Aokigahara predate the novel by centuries.

A controversial bestseller, The Complete Suicide Manual, written by Wataru Tsurumui recommends the forest as the perfect place to die. The police and volunteers find this book often, placed near tents or the corpses.

The locals believe that the suicides have caused Aokigahara to generate an evil and paranormal atmosphere. The forest is entirely devoid of any wildlife and compasses have been known to go haywire.

7. Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania


Yeah, the show says it’s in the middle of nowhere, but really, it’s near the city of Cluj-Napoca.

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This particular clearing has no trees, no shrubbery or wildflowers growing.

At night, this particular spot is rife with activity — unknown activity. Lights are visible, emitted from unknown sources as well as finding mysterious marks on trees and an audible hum can be heard only in the clearing.

Many who have entered the forest claim to have the unsettling feeling of being watched and people have witnessed, on several accounts, of orbs, apparitions, and the most creepy of them all: scratches. That’s right. People have been scratched while standing in the clearing or around the forest.

It’s said that the Romanian peasants that were murdered in the forest are still looking for a way out.

8. Sherman Ranch, Utah, USA

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The Sherman Ranch, also known as the Skinwalker Ranch is home to UFO sightings and paranormal activities.

The ranch has had a 50-year long history of bizarre activity, from cattle mutilation, vanishing cows, UFO sightings, to apparitions of large animals that seem to be immune to bullets and even invisible objects emitting destructive magnetic fields.

On more than one occasion have there been unusual indents in the ground around the ranch.

The word Skinwalker comes from the Native American legend of a person with the ability to shapeshift into any animal.

9. Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic

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Okay, so imagine this. You’re walking through this historical town, and you’re pouring over the travel guide when you see this pristine-white chapel.

image - lyng883
image – lyng883

“Oh awesome,” you say to your companion. “This place looks nice! Want to check it out?” Little do you know, there are 40,000 skeletons lining the walls of this building.

image - Tscherno
image – Tscherno

Okay — I was wrong, maybe up to 70,000 people.

image - milan.boers
image – milan.boers

It all began in 1870, when a woodcarver was employed to put the skeletons from the burial site in Sedlec into a macabre and ornate decoration.

image - milan.boers
image – milan.boers

And macabre it is.

10. Hotel at Tequendama Falls, Colombia

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This breathtaking mansion was constructed by Carlos Arturo Tapias in 1923. It was to represent the elegance of the elite class in the 20s.

image - ArturoAparicio
image – ArturoAparicio

However, due to river contamination in the 90s, the mansion-turned-hotel was left abandoned for over two decades.

image - Pedro Felipe
image – Pedro Felipe

The abandoned mansion/hotel is unsurprisingly rumored to be haunted, as many people have taken the opportunity to jump to their deaths from the hotel’s balcony into the river below.

image - Pedro Felipe
image – Pedro Felipe

The site is now a museum. And the interior is just as breathtaking.

11. Banghar Fort, India

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Located on the border of the Sariska Reserve, this fort is situated at the foot of sloping hills.

image - Arindambasu2
image – Arindambasu2

Legend has it that this fort is haunted and that no one is allowed to remain in the fort at night — The Archaeological Survey of India actually requests this. Apparently, a local wizard cursed the fort to its destruction — and the city of Bhangarh was actually sacked and all 10,000 people were killed.

image - Arindambasu2
image – Arindambasu2

The fort — even before entering the premises — gives off an eerie and unsettling vibe. The fort is totally ruined and there are many doorways that could be hiding something sinister.

12. The Hanging Coffins, Wuyi Mountains, China

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The people of Bo are famous for their hanging coffins. They were massacred by the Ming army and many historians thought that they were wiped out.

image - jojo nicdao
image – jojo nicdao

In 2005, it was revealed that there were descendents of the Bo living in Xingwen County in Sichuan.

image - jojo nicdao
image – jojo nicdao

It’s said that the hanging coffins were to prevent animals from attacking the corpses and to place the souls closer to the sky and bless them forever.


13. Changi Beach, Singapore

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Without knowing the history of this location, it seems like an ordinary park, but this was where the Sook Ching massacre took place in 1942 shortly after the Battle of Singapore.


From February 18 to March 4, the massacre took place in various places in Singapore. Sook Ching means “a purge through cleansing,” and perhaps closest the the English word of “genocide.”

As expected, the Japanese and the Singaporean governments don’t agree on the number of the death toll. Incredulously, the Japanese government refused to make reparations for the killing of thousands and instead accepted that the Japanese army did kill in Singapore and that they would provide funds in other ways.


It’s written that the massacre was premeditated by the Japanese army, because the Chinese in Singapore were anti-Japanese.

Changi Beach served as one of the many killing grounds for the Japanese. The area saw the most brutal killings in Singaporean history, where the Chinese were bayoneted, shot execution-style, shot by execution squads. The Singaporean government estimates that 50,000 to 100,000 men were murdered.

People say that they hear strange cries and screaming around Changi Beach Park.

14. Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=37.362433,+127.33747&aq=&sll=40.741247,-73.732289&sspn=1.188243,1.318359&t=h&gl=us&ie=UTF8&ll=37.362449,127.337465&spn=0.026606,0.050039&z=14&output=embed&w=584&h=390%5D

It’s not easy to find an abandoned psychiatric ward in Korea.


Unfortunately, for the adventurous, it’s not a tourist attraction and the local government asks that people stay away from the building because of safety reasons.

image - Freaktography
image – Freaktography

I also need to remind you that Koreans are very superstitious.

image - Freaktography
image – Freaktography

The hospital closed in 1996 when — according to rumors — people started to die mysteriously. The owner of the hospital just up and left the place, leaving the hospital to crumble away on its own.

image - Freaktography
image – Freaktography

As with superstitions, people tend to exacerbate details. The hospital actually closed due to sewage problems and the owner simply packed bags and moved to the United States without filing any paperwork.

15. Ghost City of Fengdu, China

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This ancient city has been turned into an amusement park showcasing demons. Approximately 110 miles downstream from Chonqing, this “city” is a popular tourist attraction.

image - Gisling
image – Gisling

Tourists, when they enter the city, come to learn about the Chinese ghost culture. And even after death, the Chinese have to partake in examinations to pass through the afterlife. Aren’t standardized tests in our corporeal life enough?

image - Gisling
image – Gisling

However, as tacky as it may seem, wandering the streets at night might just be your entrance to hell.

image - !eberhard
image – !eberhard

16. Scott’s Hut, Ross Island, Antarctica

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Can you imagine spending any amount of time in this desolate place? I certainly can’t. No sir, I like my life just fine.

image - Eli Duke
image – Eli Duke

It was here that the majority of Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition team — The Terra Nova Expedition — perished on their fateful journey to the South Pole.

image - lin padgham
image – lin padgham

Twenty-five men from the Terra Nova party lived in Scott’s Hut and in 1911, Scott and his party set out on their journey. When they did not return the remaining member set out to search for Scott and his team. In 1913, the Terra Nova expedition was over.

Scott’s Hut was used again from 1915 to 1917 by the Ross sea party, after their ship, the Aurora broke adrift, leaving the men behind. They survived and the hut was eventually locked up until 1956, when the hut was dug out by US expeditioners.

17. Dudley Town, Connecticut, USA

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This particular ghost town is located in Cornwall, Connecticut and was founded in the mid-1740s.

image - lindsayΔlachance
image – lindsayΔlachance

Today, Cornwall exists mostly as a forested community and Dudley Town embedded in the very heart of it.

In fact, Dudley Town was never a town. It consisted of the Dudley family — of which were under a curse. Several residents of Dudley Town were to have gone insane and some had committed suicide. The “town” was fully abandoned in 1899.

Hikers report seeing orbs in the area and claim that that there are no wildlife in the area, but that has since been proven false.

It is, however, worth noting that Dudley Town is literally in the middle of the woods and it is inconceivable as to how residents were able to live without a viable source of water within walking distance.

image - lindsayΔlachance
image – lindsayΔlachance

Police are vigilant about keeping explorers out of the woods, so if you get arrested, it’s not my fault.

18. Fremantle Prison

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This former prison is located in The Terrace in Western Australia. It was built in the 1850s using convict labor (wait, isn’t that all of them?). The prison was formally closed in 1991 and was reopened as a museum.

image - ghostieguide
image – ghostieguide

A riot in 1988 caused $1.8 million (Australian dollars) worth of damage, particularly due to the sweltering temperatures within the prison — recorded at a blistering 127ºF.

image - Ghostieguide
image – Ghostieguide

The last person to have been hanged was Eric Edgar Cooke — a serial killer — in 1964. Interestingly, the former lead singer for AC/DC — Bon Scott — spent some time in the Fremantle Assessment Center as well. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Michael Koh

Follow Michael at @UghHugs.

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