Content warning: suicide
In recent years, it feels as though horror media has been more successful than it has been since the 90s. Whether it’s found-footage movies like the Paranormal Activity films, TV shows like American Horror Story, or video games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there’s a lot of variety of content available now. What you should know however is that a lot of the horror media out there takes some inspiration from truth. Below are just five examples of real-life horror sights to get you in the horror spirit. Some inclusions have major real-world consequences tied to them, so proceed at your own risk if you may be sensitive to such content.
Island of the Dolls
Dolls can be the creepiest thing in the world; it doesn’t make it any easier to manage when you visit a place like the Island of the Dolls and see them at their creepiest, strung up around the island. The origin of this spectacle was a man living on an island who hung dolls around the island in order to appease the spirit of a drowned girl whom he believed had been haunting him. Perhaps ironically, the man wounded up drowning to death in the same spot that she died, requiring tourists to add dolls in his place.
Pripyat, Ukraine is one of the most noteworthy examples of an abandoned area that you are likely to see on one of these lists, but there’s good reason for that. Not only does the aesthetic make you feel unsettled (particularly the abandoned ferris wheel), but the nature of what happened does even more so. It serves as an all-too-valuable reminder of just how volatile nuclear energy can be if we do not ensure that we don’t handle it safely.
Aokigahara, known commonly as the Suicide Forest, earns its reputation. Since as early as the 19th century, the Suicide Forest has had a reputation for a high rate of attempted and successful suicides. The problem got so bad that the Japanese government resorted to erecting a sign that advises suicidal people to rethink their decision and to think about their families.
If ever there was a place that those with a fear of snakes should steer clear of, it is Ilha da Queimada Grande, very accurately nicknamed “Snake Island.” It was estimated at one time that the island was home to nearly 500,000 snakes, and at present, the island is home to zero human residents, ever since a family that operated a lighthouse on the island on the island died from venomous bites.
This city is an interesting one to talk about due to my personal interest in the Silent Hill series of video games, which took inspiration from this ghost town. Ever since 1962, the town has been experiencing an underground coal mine fire, and over time dwindled from >1000 residents to hardly any today, who rejected the eminent domain of their homes. The town had a mayor until 2014 in the form of Carl Womer, who passed away that year.