It doesn't matter whether or not you believe in ghosts, there are some places in which none of us would want to spend a night. These places have well earned their reputations as being so creepy, tragic or mysterious (or all three) that they definitely qualify as "haunted."
Aokigahara is a woodland at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan that makes The Blair Witch Project forest look like Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. It probably has something to do with all the dead bodies scattered around.
What Niagara Falls is to weddings, Aokigahara is to suicide. How many suicides does it takes for a place to get that reputation? A dozen? Fifty?
More than 500 fucking people have taken their own lives in Aokigahara since the 1950s.
The trend has supposedly started after Seicho Matsumoto published his novel Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two of his characters commit suicide there. After that-always eager to prove they are bizarrely susceptible to suggestion-hundreds of Japanese people have hanged themselves among the countless trees of the Aokigahara forest, which is reportedly so thick that even in high noon it's not hard to find places completely surrounded by darkness.
Besides bodies and homemade nooses, the area is littered with signs displaying such uplifting messages like "Life is a precious thing! Please reconsider!" or "Think of your family!"
"If you commit suicide here, bears will poop on your corpse."
In the 70s, the problem got national attention and the Japanese government began doing annual sweeps of the forest in search of bodies. In 2002, they found 78. But who knows how many they missed? In all likelihood there probably is a hanged person somewhere in Aokigahara on any given day. You can see some of them here. WARNING, NSFS (Not Safe For Soul).
By the way, if an entire dark forest full of hanged corpses wasn't bad enough, a few years ago some people noticed that a lot of the dead in Aokigahara probably had cash or jewelry on them. Thus began the proud Japanese tradition of Aokigahara Scavenging where people are running around the Death Forest, looking for dead guys to loot.
Located near Scotland's charming little village of Milton in the peaceful burgh of Dumbarton, the Overtoun Bridge is a local arch construction where no human beings have ever died in any suspicious circumstances whatsoever over the last few decades.
However, during that span, for reasons we can't begin to possibly understand, hundreds and hundreds of dogs have killed themselves there. It appears that dogs have been plunging off of Overtoun since the early 60s, at a rate of one animal a month... bringing the total number today to around 600 mutts, who for some reason, decided to end it all.
"Please don't make me do something like this again."-Photoshop Department.
And we're not talking about a series of unfortunate accidents that could have been avoided with a simple guard rail. People who actually witnessed the reported dogs willingly climbing the parapet wall and leaping to their doom with dumbass doggy grins on their faces. Whether they were crying blood remains to be confirmed.
Theories on why is this happening have been all over the place, from particularly aromatic rodents to a simple stream of bizarre coincidences. We call bullshit on both seeing as--to paraphrase Ian Fleming--"Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action and over 600 is clearly the work of an ancient Sumerian demon or some shit."
"Because, for real, that shit is straight up like eight different kinds of crazy. Shit."
To further drive the point home, it has been observed that certain dogs that jumped off the bridge and survived, fucking climbed back up and THREW THEMSELVES TO THEIR DEATHS ALL OVER AGAIN.
Because the great Overtoun demon's hunger will not be appeased with tries. He demands fresh canine blood, and lots of it.
In San Jose there is this house. It is a gigantic, sprawling 160-room complex designed like a maze, with mile-long hallways, secret passages, dead ends, doors opening to blank walls and staircases leading to the ceiling.
It's the work of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune. In the late 19th century, deeply saddened over the death of her husband and daughter, she visited a Boston medium who told her she was haunted by the spirits of all the victims of Winchester rifles. She needed to make peace with them by... always be building a house. As in, never stop building a house, or else she will die. What a nice thing to say to someone who has just lost her family. There is no way this could end with Sarah building a real life version of the Addams Family household.
In 1884, Winchester started construction of her new San Jose mansion, which has gone on non-stop for 38 years right until her death. Despite modern contractors taking about that much time to put in the wooden paneling in your kitchen, the Winchester mansion eventually grew so big you could, in all seriousness, get lost in it. And getting lost was the idea, the crazy twists and turns and dead ends were intended to confuse the ghosts. Sarah was kind of a jerk like that.
But pissing off vengeful spirits was just one of the many architectural choices for the mansion. The entire Winchester Mystery House was decorated with a constant spiderweb motif--which Sarah believed had some spiritual meaning--and everything from the hooks on the walls to candle holders has been arranged around the number 13, supposedly for good luck. Yeah... for someone trying to free herself from ghosts, Winchester did everything but sacrifice a baby goat to Satan to assure her house will be haunted.