The world is overflowing with places of wonder and spectacle, however, some places take a turn into the darker aspects of life. These places are filled not with happy thoughts or positive experiences but are instead a source of fear and horror. Here are 10 nightmare places that really exist.
1. The Forbidden Cave
Deep beneath the idyllic ski town of Steamboat Springs in Colorado lurks an unsettling subterranean world which is deadly.
In the darkness, a cave system there is covered with a horrid mucous. The slime has congealed on the ceilings to create dangling blobs which drip on whoever enters the cave. The dripping sludge is made from sulfuric acid, which burns anything it touches. The few who have seen the cave use breathing apparatuses and protective clothing because its darkened tunnels and caverns are filled with toxic gas which will suffocate anyone unprepared.
Amongst the slime, strange insects scurry about and are joined by wriggling, blood-red worms which thrive in the toxic environment. The forbidden cave beneath Steamboat Springs is the very definition of a nightmare and will consume anyone who enters its dark domain.
2. Mystery Hill
H.P. Lovecraft created some of the most compelling horror literature ever put on paper. His stories often contain descriptions of ancient evils far beyond the comprehension of us humans.
While Lovecraft’s stories are controversial today due to his prejudiced perspective, some of those stories were based on real places. One such location is Mystery Hill, which is often called America’s Stonehenge. No one knows exactly who built these structures, but some believe that they’re far older than written history itself.
Tourists who have visited this location have often been overwhelmed by a sinister atmosphere. Others have heard whispers and unseen footsteps around the decaying ruins. Such experiences leave open the possibility that Lovecraft’s stories of ancient horrors were based on a very real lurking terror from humanity’s past.
3. The Museum of Sin
The Museum of Sin is one of the most horrific places on Earth and almost too horrible to describe in detail. You can find the museum in Tambov in Russia, though its unlikely many would want to actually go there. It contains anatomical collections preserved in jars.
The man who owns the collection has gathered these specimens as a twisted way to teach people mortality. For example, one jar tells the story of a man who cheated on his wife. Trying to avoid being caught, he sneaked out of the apartment and then climbed quickly over a fence. There his hand caught on the railing, and he had to wrench it free before escaping. The jar contains a warning for those who cheat on their partners, along with a piece of the man he left behind when trying to free his hand from the fence. There is much worse than that at the Museum of Sin and it is not for the faint of heart.
4. Hell Garden
Another horrifying place filled with nightmares is the Hell Garden. This bizarre park can be found in Thailand and contains within it gruesome statues of those reborn in a form of Buddhist hell.
These statues surround the ruins of an 11th-century monastery, only adding to the already potent atmosphere of a place suffocated by decay and fear.
Most of the statues are too shocking to show as their skeletal frames writhe and twist in an unnatural fashion. Each statue represents what awaits sinners should they be reborn in Naraka, a place of torment and pain.
Many believe that these ghoulish human statues are more than simple nightmares brought into form by artists but that they are actual representations of the terror which awaits in Naraka, a true living nightmare from which no one can wake.
5. The Halloween house
Some places begin with a positive history. However, in some circumstances, the twisted minds of storytellers can turn the most idyllic environments into stark images that haunt our dreams. This is the case with the Halloween house.
It was used in the classic 1978 John Carpenter movie Halloween. The house sits on a quiet street north of Sunset Boulevard called Orange Grove Avenue. Tourists visit this location to revel in the fear that they experienced as moviegoers.
However, rumors persist that the very act of filming a horror story there about a psychopath who has escaped incarceration and fled into the night to terrorize people has left a strange imprint on the place.
Some visitors say that they see things out of the corner of their eyes when standing outside of the house, and others believe there is much worse to be found inside.
6. The Aldgate Pump
Water fountains were common in Victorian times and were often found on the busy streets of London. These fountains gave the general population direct access to clean drinking water.
One of the most interesting water fountains in London is known as the Aldgate Pump. But this strange pump, complete with a sculpted wolf head where the water flows from, hides a dark history.
The pump was designed to commemorate the last wild wolf killed in the city of London. But in 1876, people began to complain about the taste of the water it produced. They also noticed lumps of congealed matter in the water that they drank.
The true horror was revealed when engineers investigated the source of the contamination. As it turned out, the well beneath the ground ran directly underneath a cemetery and had infused the water with disgusting pieces of deep earth that lay there.
7. The Park of Monsters
Theme parks are usually places of joy. But in a small town called Bomarzo in Italy, a park filled with woods has a truly ghastly theme. It’s known as the Park of Monsters.
The park was founded in the 16th century by a prince. Between the trees and grass, it has ever since been populated with statues depicting strange and frightening creatures. Not much else is known about the park, and the true purpose of the bizarre statues which leer at passers by remains uncertain.
The statues themselves are carved directly out of rocky outcrops and seem to depict madness and terror personified. Some speculate that the prince who created the strange carvings did so after returning home from a traumatic war to find his wife dying.
The monsters and nightmarish shapes of this park then can be seen as the direct expression of grief and personal horror.
8. Izu Islands
Off the coast of Japan just south of Tokyo resides a group of islands which are among the most frightening in the world. Known as the Izu Islands, one, in particular, is a literal hell on Earth. It’s called Miyake-Jima, and those who live there face danger unlike anywhere else on Earth.
The island sits on top of an active volcano chain. In 2000, one of the volcanoes erupted, spewing toxic gas into the air. People were evacuated and not allowed to return to their homes until 2005.
Now residents and visitors must carry gas masks with them at all times. If an air raid siren sounds, everyone must put on their mask to protect themselves from the coming toxic fumes which are regularly released. If they don’t, they will be consumed by the sulfur gas and become a permanent part of the island landscape forever.
9. Nazino Island
Nazino island contains one of the most tragic and unnerving events of the 20th century. In 1933, Stalin sent 6,200 prisoners and a few Soviet guards to the frozen Siberian island. It was there that the people were charged with creating a new settlement, but they were given very few tools and almost no food to survive.
Many of those living there were quickly claimed by the ice and snow. Some attempted to escape by building makeshift rafts. Many of those broke up in the icy waters, but even those who escaped were only rewarded with a barren wasteland. For those who survived, the starving reality of the situation was unbearable. Thousands disappeared, and I’m sure many of you can imagine what happened to them.
If Nazino Island teaches us one thing, it’s that of all the nightmares on Earth, the worst ones come from humanity’s capacity for cruelty.
10. Hoia Baciu Forest
Transylvania is most famously associated with the story of Dracula, but deep within its borders, it hides a real place with true nightmares.
Hoia Baciu is regarded by many as the creepiest forest in the world. The forest was named after a shepherd who disappeared there along with a flock of 200 sheep. Since that time, the trees have been linked to vengeful spirits and UFO sightings.
A large section of it known as The Clearing is a spot where nothing grows and there’s a pervasive sensation that something is tainting the land from beneath.
Those who visit the forest often report feelings of nausea and anxiety along with the unnerving experience of being watched from between the crooked trees.
Strange shadowy figures are often seen wandering nearby, and locals believe that whatever walks there is too frightening to confront.