Tired of the usual beaches and mountains? Hungry for more adventure than the usual thrill-seeking activities in everyone's bucket list? Say no more. Storm chasing and cliff jumping are so last season. Perhaps, you can spend your All Soul's Day vacation leave touring some of the spookiest places on earth! There's nothing quite like the fix from walking on the side of the undead and emerging unscathed. Buckle up; you’re in for a wild ride.
[related: Throwback Treasure: Even Without CGI, These Pinoy Horror Films Scared Everyone Out Of Her Wits]
1. Clark Air Base Hospital, Pampanga. This location has a long, turbulent, and often bloody history, being an American military installation from the early 1900s to 1991. It is a place that is said to have seen more war in the last half century than anywhere else in the world. It was bombed by the Japanese in December 1941, killing most of the personnel inside who were celebrating with their holiday dinner. The hospital also served as an evacuation facility during the Vietnam War, where hundreds of wounded American soldiers were sent for treatment. Today, the ruins of the building play host to a number of paranormal activities such as ghostly apparitions and occasional activity of malevolent spirits.
2. Old Changi Hospital, Singapore. Sitting empty at the end of Halton Road, the hospital was built in 1935 to serve the British Royal Air Force. During the Japanese Occupation in 1945, the hospital was used as a prison camp for anti-Japanese POW, where many inmates were tortured, mutilated and killed. Over the years, the hospital gained a reputation for spectral presences and hauntings that can be attributed to the dark deeds committed in its halls during World War 2.
3. Ospedale Psichiatrico Di Volterra, Tuscany, Italy. Founded in 1888, the derelict ruins of the former mental institution looks like something straight out of a horror movie. The hospital was called 'the place of no return' because patients sent to be cured there supposedly never returned home. While it was operational, it harbored 6,000 people simultaneously, with 20 sinks and two toilets to every 200 patients. Arcane and cruel treatment of the patients, including electroshock treatment, inducement of comas with insulin, and administration of toxic substances for testing purposes to patients, prompted the Italian government to shut down the facility in 1978. Today, the place stands as a silent mausoleum for the suffering of thousands of people whose stories were never told.
4. Aokigahara, Mount Fuji, Japan Also known as the Suicide Forest, this place holds the unfortunate credit for being the world’s second most popular place to take one’s life. For years, disenchanted Japanese have wandered into its sprawling foliage to engage in Seppuku, a ritual suicide practice that dates back to feudal Japan. The forest, however, also claims its own victims. The high content of magnetic iron in its soil wreaks havoc on cellphone service, GPS systems, and even compasses, making it unusually easy to get lost within its thick foliage. Annually, about 70 corpses are found by volunteers who clean the woods, but many are forever lost in the very thick woods. Some believe the mournful spirits of the dead linger in the woods, giving an eerie, bone-chilling feel to all those who enter its vicinity.
5. Paris Catacombs, Paris, France Underneath the City Of Lights lie a subterranean network of old caves, quarries and tunnels stretching hundreds of miles that serves as a final resting place for 6 million of its former inhabitants. The tunnels hark bark to the time of the Romans, when they were used to provide construction materials for the city's buildings. The overcrowding of cemeteries during the 18th century, however, led the government to convert the quarries into a burial ground, where the bones of the dead were removed from cemeteries around Paris for reburial in the catacombs. Yet the scariest part of the catacomb is not the skeletons resting in its hidden lairs, but the enraged spirits who call it home. Visitors report attacks by the angry ghosts of these displaced dead.
6. Isla De Las Munecas, Xochimilco, Mexico Just south of Mexico City, in a small island on Teshuilo Lake in the Xochimilco canals, hundreds of decomposing, mutilated dolls festoon the trees, their soulless eyes seem to follow visitors everywhere they go. The dolls were collected and hung there by the island caretaker to mollify the spirit of a young girl who had drowned nearby. Allegedly, the caretaker found the body of the drowned girl with her doll and decided to hang the toy as a tribute to her passing. Since then, he made it his life's mission to collect and display more and more dolls, believing that each one was possessed by the spirit of dead girl. This strange tale takes a turn for the worse when, after 50 years of collecting dolls and hanging them on the island, the caretaker was found dead, floating in the very spot he claimed to have found the girl, adding another layer of macabrity to the already morbid tale.
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Photographs from Dailymail.co.uk, Flickr.com, Lostaholics.com, Thedesidiaries.com, Nurseslabs.com, Commons.wikimedia.org