There are many of us out there who love exploring spooky, haunted locations. But no matter how brave the explorer, there are some places that are simply too terrifying to set foot in!
So here is a list of 5 Nightmarish Places You Don’t Want to Visit! And I’ve saved the scariest till last, so make sure to read to the end as you don’t want to miss number 5!
1. Poveglia Island
Less than half a mile from the splendor of Venice lurks an island so terrifying the locals refuse to go near it. This is known as Poveglia Island, and its history is about as chilling as they come.
The history of Poveglia begins all the way back to the Roman era, when the Romans took advantage of it in order to reduce the spread of the bubonic plague. By which I mean the island literally became a gruesome dumping ground for the dead and dying alike.
Its unsettling history continued as the location became the site of an asylum in the 1920’s, housing those with mental illnesses. But far from receiving the necessary care, these helpless patients were instead subjected to brutal, experimental procedures, including horrific lobotomies.
The doctor who carried out these barbaric cruelties later went on to commit suicide by jumping from the asylums bell tower. Some say he became racked with guilt over his crimes, but others say he was driven mad by the many spirits patients insisted populated Poveglia.
The asylum was closed in the 60’s and the island has been abandoned ever since. Local rumours say that fishermen refuse to fish near the site for fear of netting human bones, and the island itself is said to be incredibly haunted.
Visitors and explorers report disembodied voices, unexplained bangs, and the unshakable sense of a malicious entity stalking nearby. Some locals claim this is the doctor himself, who continues to be as nasty a piece of work in spirit as he was in life.
2. Waverly Hills Sanitorium
It’s fair to say that abandoned hospitals have a pretty scary reputation. And the Waverly Hills Sanitorium has a scarier one than most.
Opened in 1926 in the grip of an US tuberculosis epidemic, Waverly Hills is an example of a place that genuinely tried to help but ended up doing much more harm than good.
The experimental treatments attempted in the facility ranged from the useless to the just plain gruesome. On the less disturbing side of the scale, treatments included deliberate exposure to cold air. But on the more disturbing – and bloodier – side, other procedures included removing ribs, and inserting balloons in to patient’s lungs in order to inflate them.
Needless to say these ‘treatments’ didn’t exactly reduce Waverly Hill’s death rates. It raised them. To the point that a hidden ‘death chute’ was created to transport dead bodies out of the hospital, to avoid alarming the other patients.
Following the discovery of effective drugs to treat TB, the hospital was finally closed in the 1960’s. However it soon after opened it’s doors again, this time as a home for people with dementia and learning disabilities. But this too closed two decades later, due to appalling levels of abuse and neglect within the institution.
In the 21st Century Waverly Hills has finally closed for good, but it remains far from empty.
Now the home of regular ghost tours, Waverly Hills is said to be home to many cold spots, shadow figures, unexplained voices and inexplicably slamming doors.
Waverly Hill’s two most famous ghosts include that of a little boy named ‘Timmy’, who is said to roll balls across the empty rooms, and that of a nurse who hung herself in room 502. Another nurse is also rumoured to have committed suicide by jumping from the window of room 502, leading many to speculate that room is cursed. Or quite possibly the residence of a negative entity, that has been sensed by several psychics over the years.
3. Holy Land
Abandoned theme parks are incredibly spooky, but those with a biblical theme are somehow even creepier.
Created in the 1950’s by Roman Catholic John Baptist Greco, Holy Land was conceived as a place were people of all races could join together in faith, in Christianity’s very own answer to Disneyland!
The park was modeled in an imitation of biblical era Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and included towering illuminated crosses, models depicting various biblical scenes, and even its own ‘Garden of Eden’.
In its heyday the park saw over 40,000 visitors a year, but in 1984 the park was closed for good, after it’s owners became unable to afford hefty restoration costs. The park was simply left to rot, and more than 30 years later it is a deeply unsettling place, and a magnet for urban explorers.
Nowadays the once grand park is now a mass of crumbling Israelite buildings, decaying statues and rusted crosses, amongst a sea of overgrown greenery which is steadily consuming the park.
What was once a place of splendor is now one of intense eerieness, which over the last few decades has also begun to attract vandals, in addition to curious trespassers.
But the general creepiness of Holy Land took a sinister turn in 2010, when the lifeless body of a 16-year-old girl was found below one of the parks enormous crosses, having been assaulted and strangled by a male acquaintance.
While this tragic murder was unconnected to the history of the site itself, it has certainly added to the aura of negativity attached to the park in subsequent years.
4. The Bell Witch Cave
Caves can be pretty creepy places, especially if you suffer from claustrophobia. But the back story of the Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee makes it an especially terrifying place.
The origin of the Bell ‘Witch Legend’ stems from the haunting of the Bell family, who in 1817 began being tormented by an unseen but deeply malicious entity. While the entity was never actually seen, it was frequently heard speaking; taunting the petrified family.
Identifying itself as a ‘witch’, the entity harbored a strong hatred of the father, John Bell, physically attacking him, and repeatedly stating it’s intent to kill him.
And, if the witch is to be believed, it eventually succeeded. When in 1820 John Bell died following an illness, the witch took gleeful responsibility, claiming to have ‘poisoned’ him with a mysterious liquid discovered shortly after in a glass vial. Satisfied with its handy work, the witch reportedly disappeared from the property shortly after.
So where does the cave come in? Well, many believe that the cave, located on the Bell’s former property, acted as a paranormal portal through witch both ‘arrived’, and to which she later ‘returned’ to following the death of John Bell.
Fast-forwarding to the present day, and the caves are now a tourist attraction. The Bell Witch Legend lives on and so, apparently, does the Bell Witch. Both former and current owners claim to have seen a faint, misty figure stalking the cave, and the echo of unexplained footsteps are another common occurence.
The caves are also allegedly haunted by the spirits of native americans – a legend stemming from the discovery of a native american grave inside the caves. Some believe this grave belongs to the ‘witch’ herself, which could go a way to explain her grudge against the Bell Family. Afterall, no one likes noisy new neighbors ruining your peace and quiet.
5. Island of the Dolls
There are few things quite as horrifying as possessed dolls. But did you know there is an entire island full of them in Mexico?
Known as Isla de la Munecas – or ‘Island of the Dolls’ – it is home to literally hundreds of decaying, dismembered dolls. And the story of how they came to be there is even more unsettling.
The tale of the island begins a little over 60 years ago, with the discovery of a drowned girl by Julian Santana Barrera, a hermit living on the island. Profoundly affected by the discovery, when Julian found a toy doll floating in the same canal he had found the little girl, he decided to hang it from a tree as a mark of respect.
But the story didn’t end there. Over the next 50 years, Julian continued to feverishly collect as many dolls as he could get his hands on, even trading his own home-grown crops in exchange for them.
Why did he do this? Because he claimed he was being haunted by the unhappy spirit of the little girl, and hoped to appease her spirit through these offerings. He also strongly believed that the dolls themselves were being used as vessels for possession, by the numerous spirits who inhabited the island.
So did Julian Santana Barrera ever manage to appease the child’s spirit? We will never know for sure, as Julian himself was found dead in 2001. Drowned, rumours say, in the exact same spot his discovered the little girl all those decades ago.
Following his death the island is now a tourist attraction, and the dolls are apparently as active as ever. Visitors and locals alike insist that they’ve witnessed the dolls moving their limbs or heads, and many people have claimed to hear them whisper and giggle amongst themselves as well.
Other common reports include the mysterious screams of a woman, a occurance that also troubled Julian himself during his time living on the island.
So that was 5 Nightmarish Places You Don’t Want to Visit! What terrifying places are you too scared to enter? Do let me know in the comments below!
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