Scariest Places in the World

Abandoned bumper cars in the ghost town of Pripyat.
Abandoned bumper cars in the ghost town of Pripyat.

There are numerous places on earth that are even scarier and stranger than the fictional horror movies and haunted house tales that we were told while young. Here are some of the scariest places in the world. 

Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries that are filled with the skeletal remains of over 6 million individuals. These ossuaries are found in small tunnels that merge with the old stone mines in Paris. They were built as a solution for the overflowing cemeteries in the city. They remained forgotten from the late eighteenth century until the nineteenth century when the space was converted into a novelty-site for private events and concerts. Today, tours of the Catacombs are one of the most popular, and without a doubt spookiest, tourist attractions in Paris.

Winchester Mansion

The Winchester mansion was once the home of Sarah Winchester, the widow of a man who worked for a gun manufacturing company called the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Tabloids from her time claim that after Sarah Winchester’s husband and daughter died, a Boston Medium told her to relocate from New Haven and travel west. There, she was to find a place to continuously construct a house for herself and the spirit of the people who were killed by the Winchester rifles. Following these orders, Sarah Winchester bought an unfinished farmhouse in San Jose, California and started building her mansion with no architect. The mansion has numerous oddities like stairs and doors leading nowhere and windows overlooking adjacent rooms. These oddities have been attributed to her belief in ghosts and spirits.

Edinburgh Vaults

The Edinburgh vaults are a sequence of chambers that were created by the 19 arches of the South Bridge whose construction ended in 1788. The tradesmen and cobblers used the vaults as workshops and taverns for 30 years. They later became a hotspot for criminal activities like an illegal whiskey distillery, illegal gambling, and places where corpses were stored overnight by bodysnatchers. The vaults were closed during the nineteenth century until the 1980s when a tunnel leading to the vaults was discovered. The vaults form a sequence of chambers and tunnels which are currently used for Ghost tours.

Door to Hell

The Darvaza gas crater is a gas field that collapsed into an underground cave. The gas crater, sometimes referred to as the "door to hell", is situated in Turkmenistan and occupies an area of about 57, 566.9 sq feet. It has a depth of about 98 feet and a diameter of approximately 226 feet. The gas crater was set on fire by geologists to stop it from spreading methane gas. They expected the gas to burn for some few months, but instead it continues to burn to date. It is a famous tourist attraction and has received over 50,000 visitors since 2009. The region surrounding the crater is quite renowned for wild desert camping.

Bouvet Island

Bouvet Island is a deserted volcanic island and a territory of Norway that is found in the southern parts of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the world’s most remote island and lies on the southernmost parts of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Over 93% of the island, which occupies an area of about 19 square miles, is covered by a glacier. There is an ice-filled crater in the middle of the island. As if the fact that this island is in the middle of nowhere isn't creepy enough, the fact that random boats and oars have been known to wash up on the island's shores is extra creepy.


Nagoro is a village situated in Shikoku Island, Japan. Nagoro has been turned into a tourist destination for a a very strange reason: scarecrows. These numerous scarecrows were constructed by Tsukimi Ayano, who built these scarecrows after her family left the village while she was young. Most scarecrows resemble previous inhabitants of the village. The village school, which was closed in 2012, has numerous scarecrows, including one fishing in the river and three seated near a telephone pole on the outskirt of the village. The village gained notoriety after being featured on Google Maps' streetview. The sight of all the scarecrows is unsettling to say the least.

Ilha da Queimada Grande

Snake Island, also known as the Ilha da Queimada Grande, is a Brazilian Island that occupies an area of about 4,600,000 square feet. The island is part of Peruibe municipality, and has various terrains ranging from the rainforest to bare rocks. It is also home to one of the most poisonous snake on earth known as the golden-lancehead pit viper. The golden-lancehead pit viper, also known as Bothrops insularis, is a critically endangered snake that feeds on birds. The only people who can visit the island are selected researchers and the Brazilian Navy.

Rose Hall

Editorial credit: Debbie Ann Powell /

Rose Hall is a mansion that was built in the 1770s in Montenegro Bay, Jamaica. Local legend has it that Rose Hall is haunted by Annie Palmer, a woman who killed not one, not two, but three husbands. The mansion was refurbished and turned into a museum that showcases the mansion’s original fittings, antique splendor, and spooky history. Rose Hall offers night tours that focus on the legend of the "White Witch of Rose Hall" complete with underground tunnels, murders, haunting, and bloodstains.

Hill of Crosses

The hill of crosses is a pilgrimage destination situated in the northern parts of Lithuania. It has over 100,000 crosses. The intention behind the crosses is unknown, but the first cross was placed on Domantai hill fort after the Russian-Polish war of 1830-31. Over the years more crucifixes, crosses, Virgin Mary statues, rosaries, effigies and the Lithuanian patriot’s carvings have been brought to this place by the Catholic pilgrims. Today, the numerous crosses give an eerie appearance.


Pripyat is a Ukrainian Ghost town that is near the Belarus-Ukraine boundary. It was established on February 4, 1970, as the Soviet Union’s ninth nuclear city and served the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It became a city in 1979 and had over 49,360 residents when it was evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster of April 27, 1986. The city occupied an area of about 7,090,000 square feet and had 160 apartment blocks with about 13,414 apartments. Even though the radiation level has reduced over the years, the city is not safe for human inhabitance. Today, it is one of the world's most notorious ghost towns.


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