Visiting 10 Most Eerie Places in the World: A Dark Tourist’s Bucket List

“Of eerie and gore and myths and lore, our clandestine world resonates with the wails of the yore.”


Our world is full of eerie and bizarre places, from silent ghost towns to doll-infested islands. These places are equal parts creepy and fascinating and compell one to silence their fear and explore the stories behind these damned destinations. So, this Halloween how about instead of watching scary movies for that slow-creeping adrenaline rush, you visit the 10 most eerie places our mysterious world has to offer? 

Visiting the 10 Most Eerie Places in the World – Overview

Given below are brief overviews of the 10 most eerie places in the world, give them a read to find out about the bizarre places in our world.

1. Doll-Infested Island – Xochimilco Mexico 

The Island of the Dolls

Cost – There is no official price for visiting the place and you have to bargain with the locals. A four-hour roundtrip boat ride would cost you about $100. 

Ways to get there – Hire a boat from Xochimilco

Opening hours – Open 24/7, but it’s better to visit before it gets dark

Among the 10 most eerie places of all, the eeriest is the Isla de las Munecas also known as The Island of the Dolls. If you have pediophobia, it is best to avoid the place as your life literally depends on it. In case you thought Annabelle was scary, this place will evoke a fear inside of you, you didn’t even know existed. Home to thousands of dolls hanging by their necks from trees, the place is as eerie as they come, and the dolls aren’t your regular, fantabulous fabulous Barbie dolls, but are decaying, old, weirdly human-like dolls. 

You might be wondering why the island is full of gut-churning dolls. Well, legend has it that over 50 years ago, the caretaker of the island, Julian Santana Barrera found a young girl who had drowned. Near the body of the girl, he found a doll floating in the water, He picked up the doll and hung it on a tree to pay his respects to the deceased.

The locals believe that soon after the incident the ghost of the dead girl started haunting Julian, so he would hang more and more dolls on the trees to appease her spirit. Turns out the ghost was a vengeful one and wasn’t appeased as few years later Julian was found drowned in the same spot, where he found the little girl. 

Too scared to go out to the island? Take a virtual tour of The Island of the Dolls to discover the secrets that place hides and the horrors it resonates with.

2. Ghost Town – Pripyat, Ukraine

Pripyat Ukraine

Cost – From $99 to $319

Location – Pripyat, 255614 Ukraine

Opening hours – 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Pripyat, Ukraine is those kinds of places that instill an utter feeling of doom, gloom, and sadness within you. Among the 10 most eerie places, Pripyat is the one that resonates with an eerie stillness, like the land has gobbled up the sounds of the world, leaving nothing but utter silence. Pripyat might seem like a scene from a post-apocalyptic film, but the reality is much more gruesome than any film could capture.

On the fateful day of 26 April 1986, reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded, claiming many lives. According to the World Health Organisation, the nuclear accident caused over 5,000 premature deaths from radiation. 

After the explosion, all 50,000 citizens of Pripyat had to evacuate the place. They were given only a few hours to pack their belongings, and therefore left most of their possessions and furniture behind. Today Pripyat is a ghost town frozen in time that paints a gloomy picture of the past. The walls of the town are lined with Soviet Union posters and the streets are littered with abandoned possessions.

Visiting 8-Must See Places in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Want to know more about the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone? Head on to our article where we have covered everything from its rules to the must-see places.

3. High School Turned Execution Center – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng

Cost – $6.80

Location – ST 113, Phnom Penh 12304, Cambodia

Opening hours – 8 am to 5 pm

The most notorious place among the 10 most eerie places is the Toul Svay Pray High School which at first glance appears like a typical, normal high school, however, as you inspect a bit closer you will notice fragments of its harrowing past. From Steel bed frames, and barbed wires, to dried blood, the place resonates with the echoing wails of its prisoners. 

In the Khmer Rouge regime, which claimed of lives of up to two million people, the high school was converted into an execution center. Out of its 17,000-odd prisoners, only seven walked out breathing. 

Known as Tuol Sleng (hill of the Poison Tree) Museum of Genocide or S21 Prison, the museum is a constant reminder of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge era. The walls of the place are lined with thousands of heartbreaking portraits of imprisoned children, men, and women that serve as reminders of the brutality humankind is capable of if given power. 

4. The Suicide Forest – Yamanashi, Japan 


Cost – Free

Location – Narusawa, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0300, Japan

Opening hours – 24 hours, but it’s best to avoid the place after sunset 

Aokigahara popularly known as the Suicide Forest is the most macabre place among the 10 most eerie places. Lying near the base of Mount Fuji, the tranquil forests harbor a grim reputation as Japan’s number one suicide spot. In the year 2003, an all-time high of 105 bodies of those who claimed their lives were found in the forest. Aokigahara is lined with signs that read “think carefully about your children, your family”, discouraging people from suicide. The forest is also filled with signs harbouring suicide hotlines. 

Legend has it that in the olden days, the forest was a place where Ubasute, an act of abandoning an elderly or sick relative to die was practiced. In the year 1993, Japanese writer Wataru Tsurumi released “The Complete Suicide Manual” in which he described the forest as “the perfect place to die”. The book became quite popular and forever marked the Aokigahara forest as the suicide spot. Many believe that the ghosts of the suicide victims still linger in the forest, unable to cross to the other side. 

“If you are suffering from anxiety and depression, or are just tired of living, don’t give up as life always turns around. Know that even if you feel lonely there are people who are always here to help and lend a shoulder to cry on. Life is precious, don’t give up just yet” 988

5. The Legend of Dracula – Transylvania, Romania 

Bran Castle

Cost – $15

Location – Strada General Traian Moșoiu 24, Bran 507025, Romania

Opening hours – Varies

For the fans of Bram Stoker, this place was made a part of the top 10 most eerie places list. Bran Castle located in Transylvania, Romina is believed to be the source of inspiration for fiction’s most notorious villain, Count Dracula. The castle is also regarded as Dracula’s Castle and some believe that Stoker’s Dracula was inspired by the 15th century Romanian Price, Vlad Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler who has a long history with the castle and was also imprisoned there for two months. 

Vlad was a cruel and vile man who impaled 20,000 people in 1462. Some accounts even say that the man was diabolical to the extent that he used enjoy dipping his beard in the blood of his victims, sound familiar?

6. The World’s First Prison – Philadelphia, USA

Eastern State Penitentiary

Cost – $20.50

Address – 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, United States

Opening hours – Friday to Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm

Eastern State Penitentiary, built in 1829, is the most diabolical place in our list of 10 most eerie places. The prison was the world’s first penitentiary and was home to America’s most notorious and vile criminals, including the mob boss Al Capone. Apart from harboring dangerous criminals, the place itself wasn’t far from hell. It took solitary confinement to a whole different level, making the inmates live, exercise, and eat alone. Even when they were taken out of their cells to shower every two weeks, they were forced to wear hoods, so they wouldn’t see the other inmates. 

Eastern State Penitentiary was no stranger to scandals either and used to subject its prisoners to cruel torture methods like the iron gag which involved chaining the inmate’s tongue to their arms. The prison is also famous among paranormal researchers due to its ghostly sightings and unsettling voices. It’s not uncommon for a place where people were subject to such cruelty and died a painful death to harbor some sort of negative energy. You can feel the animosity resonating from the walls of the prison. 

Today the 450-cell prison has been converted into a historic site and welcomes visitors from all around the globe to witness the cruelty of their species. The place offers both day tours which feature interactive experiences and night tours, which are definitely not for the faint-hearted.

7. Catacombs – Palermo, Italy

Palermo Catacombs

Cost – $5

Location – Piazza Cappuccini, 1, 90129 Palermo PA, Italy

Opening hours – 9 am to 1 pm, 3 pm to 6 pm 

A place among the 10 most eerie places that is definitely not for those with a weak heart is the Palermo Catacombs. The monks of Palermo have a unique way of honoring their dead and instead of paintings, they display bodies of Capuchin monks on the walls of the catacombs. In the year 1590, the friars had to move their dead to a new resting place as more space was needed. When they exhumed 45 corpses, they noticed that the bodies were naturally mummified and in remarkable condition. Taking this as a sign from God, the Capuchins display the bodies of their dead. 

The catacombs are open to visitors and when you do happen to drop by make sure to visit the chapel of Santa Rosalia, where the perfectly preserved body of a two-year-old, Rosalia Lombardo lies. She is known as the Sleeping Beauty of Palermo and passed away in the year 1920.

8. Beelitz Heilstätten – Beelitz, Germany

Beelitz Heilstätten

Cost – $20

Location – Fichtenwalde 13, 14547 Beelits-Heilstätten, Germany 

Opening hours – Varies 

A dark tourism bucket list without a creepy hospital is a big no. Therefore, we included the famous Nazi hospital where Hitler was treated during World War I in our 10 most eerie places list. Built-in the year 1898, Beelitz Heilstätten housed patients suffering from fatal tuberculosis. When World War I came around, it was converted in a military hospital and also nursed a young Adolf Hitler back to health. 

Being a place that served as a magnet for serial killers, in the year 1990, the hospital again fell under the spotlight due to the serial killer Wolfgang Schmidt also known as the Beast of Beelitz. He claimed the lives of five women including the wife and baby of a Russian doctor who worked at the Beelitz Heilstätten. Now the abandoned hospital is converted into a tourist attraction with scenic treetop walks, featuring enriching history tours.

9. Creepy Dolls Strike Again – Nagoro, Japan

Nagoro, Japan

Cost – Free

Location – Nagoro Doll Village, 191 Higashiiyasugeoi, Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture

Opening hours – 24/7

Another place in our 10 most eerie places list that is infested with dolls is the Japanese Village of Nagoro. As time passed the town’s population fell significantly as young residents set out on their own adventures and elders passed on to another world. The resident artist Tsukimi Ayano wanted to give the village a new life and therefore began creating life-size doll replicas of the former residents. 

More than a decade has passed since Tsukimi Ayano set out to breathe a new life into her village, Now Nagoro has over 350 dolls and less than 40 human residents. The dolls are scattered across the village in life-like positions, that are quite disturbing, to say the least. The classrooms of the village are filled with children’s dolls, while retiree dolls gather at the shops and fishermen dolls spend their days and nights by the river. 

10. A Hellishly Fun Theme Park – Singapore

Haw Par Villa

Cost – Free

Location – 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118 628

Opening hours – 9 am to 7 pm

If Disneyland is the happiest place, then this theme park might be the most disturbing one. This park was made a part of our top mist eerie places list due to its bizarre attractions. Formerly called the Tiger Balm Garden, Haw Par Villa is the last Asian cultural park in the world. Instead of Mickey Mouse, this eccentric park is decorated with giant lobsters and a crab-lady.

The theme park takes inspiration from Chinese folklore and houses statues that are mainly dioramas and tell tales of Buddhist folklore. Its trademark attraction the Ten Courts of Hell is based on Buddhist concepts and Chinese beliefs. The attraction is a subterranean maze where sinners are subjected to brutal punishments. Now doesn’t that just scream fun?

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