The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth (Part 2)
In Cracked's continuous effort to make your local haunted house look like a boring pile of dog turds, we once again present the creepiest real places on Earth. Whether it's due to their bizarre histories, suspicious coincidences or good ol' human insanity, these are the locations even the die-hardest of atheists wouldn't venture into without a crucifix and a Super Soaker full of Pope-blessed water.
Isla de las Munecas
Located smack in the middle of a swamp in the heart of Aztec country is the popular tourist destination La Isla de las Munecas, or Island of the Dolls, a name missing at least two adjectives and the word "fucking." To get there, visitors have to hire a guide to take them by boat through the canals of Xochimilco, then to the island itself, all the while making the guide promise on a stack of Bibles that he's not going to abandon them once they reach their destination.
"Seriously, Pablo? We will haunt your ass."
Not that he'd do that, right? It's just an old abandoned island, once occupied by a single inhabitant named Don Julian Santana Barrera, who seemed to have a knack for doll-collecting. So what? Lots of people collect dolls.
The legend goes that years ago a small girl drowned in the canals near the island, and not long after her death, Barrera found her
corpse doll floating in the water. Then he found another one. By that point he was hooked on a new and exciting hobby.
One that will cost tourists sleep for decades.
Over the course of the next 50 years, the guy collected thousands of discarded dolls, which he thought would somehow serve as companions for the dead girl. Makes sense. Everyone knows Mexican girls enjoy mutilated trash dolls displayed in gruesome manners meant to simulate acts of torture and suicide. We try not to be too judgmental about other people's cultures.
However, it does seem that the offerings weren't such a success, considering that in 2001 Julian passed away ... by drowning in the same canal as the girl whose ghost he was trying to appease for all those years.
Either that or he was murdered, Chucky-style, by his horrific collection, who then dragged him to the canals to make it look like a drowning.
Guess we'll never know.
Gunkanjima (literally Battleship Island) is another name for Hashima, an uninhabited island 15 kilometers from Nagasaki nicknamed for its apparent resemblance to a battleship. From 1887 to 1974, Gunkanjima was a coal mining facility, but the coal mine shut down and everyone left. Still, abandoned islands aren't that uncommon in Japan. Even Gunkanjima is only one of 505 uninhabited islands near Nagasaki. But it's by far the creepiest.
Have you ever wondered what cities would look like if the human population was suddenly wiped out? Wonder no more.
Also, sleep soundly no more.
For over 30 years, the man-made structures on the island deteriorated with hardly any contact with the outside world. The sight of crumbling buildings and grass literally growing up through asphalt was so creepy, in fact, that the island was used for footage in the History Channel's show Life After People.
A documentary that 38 percent of our readers found "comforting."
And the creepy factor doubles once you find out that Gunkanjima was also a forced labor camp for over 500 Korean prisoners during WWII, and you know that some of them had to die horribly violent deaths and are currently seeking revenge on all who dare to enter.
For many years, though, only selected journalists with balls bigger than their heads were allowed to enter, presumably having to sign a "Don't sue if possessed" clause before being let in. Since 2009, however, those restrictions have been lifted, but still only about 10 percent of the isle is open to the public.
The rest is just lousy with Shoggoths.
Some photographers do sneak deeper into the island from time to time, although we would not recommend it. Because of harsh weather conditions, access to Gunkanjima is possible only 160 days a year. So if you get stuck at this remote fortress in the middle of the sea at the wrong time, it might be months before any help can arrive. And you will need help.
This building is called "Guaranteed Demon Ass Rape Heights."
The first things you need to know about Hellingly are that it's an abandoned hospital in England and the word "Hell" is right there in its name. Like, right there. It couldn't be more obvious that this place were of the devil unless the devil himself showed up in the photos torturing souls in the hallways.
That would actually make some of them less creepy.
Oh yeah. We forgot to mention that this place wasn't just a hospital; it was an insane asylum.
For insane babies?
Hellingly was once a state-of-the-art mental institution designed by a guy named G.T. Hine, who had the dubious distinction of being super good at building insane asylums. This particular one was a biggie: a 63-acre estate with its own rail line, a ballroom, a salon and a water tower, plus a buttload of wards for the kinds of people who, for whatever reason, needed to live in an insane asylum.
But once the place was abandoned in 1994, it took a bullet train to Creepytown. To look at these pictures, you'd think it was abandoned in 1894, not a mere 16 years ago.
It's aged only slightly better than Jennifer Aniston.
The deterioration of the huge facility has been helped along by arsonists and vandals, though some of them have helpfully brightened up the place with graffiti.
Somebody's winning the Unsettling Olympics.
If we had a choice between spending a night alone in Hellingly and having our arm chopped off with a rusty ax, we'd immediate answer, "So, are we talking below or above the elbow?" while pulling up our sleeve.
Kryziu Kalnas started out like any other old Lithuanian hill: green and hilly, not too creepy. But beginning around 1831, the mini-mountain somehow became a hot spot for remembering failed uprisings, lost independence and how much the Soviet occupiers sucked. After years of conflict with the Russian empire, the family members of fallen soldiers turned the little mound into a sort of memorial to their loved ones. And what do you do when you want to memorialize someone? You plant a cross, of course. Or two or three or four.
After 100,000 crosses and crucifixes, shit can start looking creepy.
"Fuck you guys soo hard." - Count Dracula
Today Kryziu Kalnas is a home to enough religious imagery to resemble the universe's cemetery. And the Soviets didn't help matters when they bulldozed the place twice, guaranteeing the Hill of Crosses will be nice and haunted for all eternity. And every time the Soviets bulldozed, the Lithuanians rebuilt with a holy vengeance. Kryziu Kalnas ultimately became a symbol of enduring Lithuanian Catholicism, in spite of the heavy hand of the Soviets. In fact, in 1993, Pope John Paul II came out and blessed the place.
As if it needed it.
Way down in southern Brazil, about 20 miles west from El Bumfuck Nowhere, there lies the peaceful little town of Candido Godoi, also known as the twin capital of the world. That's not the creepy part.
After all, we have nothing against twins. And that's good, because Candido Godoi is actually nicknamed "The Land of Twins" because of the unnaturally high rate of identical twin births among its inhabitants. What exactly is an "unnaturally high rate"? About 18 times higher than the world average, meaning that one in five pregnant couples in the town are guaranteed a two-for-one deal on their future bundle of joy.
Here's the creepy part:
There is a distinct possibility that all those twins are a direct result of the experimentation of famous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele.
That is the theory proposed by Jorge Camarasa, an Argentinean historian and an expert on Nazi war criminal and Auschwitz chief physician Mengele, aka the Angel of Death. Mengele -- a bona fide mad scientist who was fascinated with twins and fled to South America after WWII -- was identified by Camarasa and a few Candido Godoi elders as the mysterious German doctor who appeared in the area around 1963.
He first posed as a vet but soon started offering medical services to the ladies of the predominately German settlement. Soon after that, the bizarre twin births supposedly started.
Looks like someone is having a great birthday party!
Unfortunately science, being the party-pooping nerd that it is, chipped in by claiming that Mengele couldn't have had the means to orchestrate a genetics experiment of these proportions. Whew!
No, according to a group of Brazilian scientists, the unusually high twin birthrate can be easily explained by inbreeding or exposure to toxic waste.
So, take your pick. Either Candido Godoi was an experiment to create a race of perfect Aryan children, performed by a Nazi nicknamed the Angel of Death, or it's "just" a secluded Brazilian town full of identical blonde twins whose hobbies include inbreeding and hanging around toxic waste.
Bones, Bones and More Bones
In the 12th century, the Austrian city of Hallstatt faced a serious problem. Like everyone else in the 12th century, they were running out of room to bury their dead, so they came up with a genius solution: They started renting out graves. Bodies over there were only laid to earth for 10 to 15 years, after which time the bones were exhumed, bleached and displayed in the ossuary.
Before your bones were displayed, your family would totally graffiti the shit out of them.
The reason for this eerily beautiful desecration was the obvious lack of any grave to put flowers on or something. On the other hand, it's way harder to explain the desecration that's going on in Capela dos Ossos, a small chapel in Portugal that in addition to cementing human bones in its walls proudly exhibits two full skeletons (one of a small child) suspended on chains.
The best images are the ones that stay with you when you close your eyes.
The chapel was in fact the work of a single 16th-century Franciscan monk who wanted to make his fellow Christians contemplate the transitory nature of life. Nonetheless, we think he was just trying to be dickhead when he wrote the following over the entrance: We bones, lying here bare, are awaiting yours.
Is that skeleton jerking off? Spooky!
But the unquestionable Grand Masters of recycling humans as building materials have to be the Catacombs of Paris. Located in the remains of Paris' stone mines, the Catacombs were established in the 18th century when the sanitary conditions in the capital became too unbearable even by French standards.
To avoid an epidemic, city officials started gathering human remains from various cemeteries and storing them underground, which was actually a wise and understandable decision. Though why they decided to rearrange them in a style that can be only described as Early Temple of Unspeakable Evil is anyone's guess:
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a freelance online journalist and Japanese-English-Polish translator. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's keep this terror train moving with 7 Horrific Boogeymen Used to Scare Kids Around The World and The 5 Most Horrific Ways People Have Tried to Discourage Sex.
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