If your appetite for fear is anything like ours, it’s probably best to read this article in broad daylight in a house full of people to protect you. We know that’s how we wrote it.
But, if you want to test your luck with nothing but a night light and your imagination, be our guest. The globe has been searched, the internet has been trawled, and the fear is real.
Here, in no particular order, are the 20 most terrifying places on the planet:
1. Suicide Forest, Japan
Aokigahara, creepily known as the suicide forest, is located right out of the base of Mount Fuji. For reasons unknown, more than 500 people have killed themselves in the forest since the 1950s. Many more have attempted the act and officials no longer actively publish the numbers to stop copy cats.
2. Hanging Coffins, Philippines
In Sagada, a mountain province in the Philippines, the Igorot people hang their dead from the cliffs in coffins. Most of the coffins are occupied (or reserved) for the elders of the tribe. People believe that placing the coffins on the cliff helps their relative get into heaven faster. Eerily, the coffins are located close to a landmark known as Echo Valley, for the ghostly noises the wind makes through it.
3. The Catacombs of Paris
If more than 6 million bodies stashed in a 200-mile-long network of underground pathways below one a bustling city don’t freak you out, you must not have seen the pictures. The Catacombs of Paris are a morbid tourist attraction, but only some areas are able to be explored. Others are off limits, blocked by rusted gates that none but ghosts can pass…
4. Overtoun Bridge, Scotland
Nobody is quite sure what it is about the Overtoun Bridge in Scotland that drives dogs mad, but they all recommend keeping your furry friends away for their own safety. Some 50 dogs have leapt to their deaths from the bridge since the 1950s and 60s, a rate of around one a year. All of the dogs were long-nosed breeds, and all jumped from almost exactly the same spot.
5. Pripyat, Ukraine
Pripyat was a city built in northern Ukraine to service the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was established in 1970, but abandoned less than two decades later in 1986, days after the Chernobyl disaster. The city is relatively radiation-free and you can tour it with some company to see the creepy remains of what was once a bustling community.