Sometimes, you get a good scare out of reading stories about the boogyman or skinwalkers, or the rake, or even Bigfoot. While those legends are up for debate as to whether they're true or not, these ten creepy locations are actually real, and you can visit some of them.
1) Suicide Forest, Japan
This haunted forest is 8,600 acres in size, and is located on the northwest base of Mt. Fuji. Not only is it dense and silent, but wildlife is scarce. The Japanese name for this forest is Aokigarhara, and it is home to demons in Japanese mythology, but it may also be home to human spirits. More than 500 people have committed suicide here since the 1950s.
Every year, bones, bodies, makeshift nooses, flowers left by loved ones, and empty campsites are found. Tourists can visit the area, but it's easy to get lost, even with a GPS, so official tours are recommended. Be warned, you may stumble upon a deceased person, yourself. If you do, contact authorities as soon as you can.
2) The Bell Witch Cave, Tennessee
No matter what the situation, caves are always a little spooky. They're dark, there can be some narrow passageways, causing claustrophobia, and they can be home to a legion of bats. But the cave on John Bell's property in Robert County, Tennessee has a little extra flair, as it's haunted by a spirit or witch that's looking for its teeth, which it claims to be under the house.
Accounts vary, but early reports state that the spirit began haunting the Bell family in 1817, focusing its attacks on John Bell and his daughter. Additional incidents included knocking on windows and doors, the sound of wings flapping against the ceilings, and the sounds of rats gnawing on the bedposts. The sounds of choking and strangling could be heard, along with chains dragging and heavy objects hitting the floor.
The cave is now the only part of the property that remains unchanged. Though the hauntings have seriously diminished since John Bell's death, you may still encounter malfunctioning electronics, menacing voices, vapors, and elusive faces.
3) Jacob's Well, Texas
Jacob's Well is a spring in Hays County, Texas, that's fed by the Trinity Aquifer, which pushes up water through the well and spills it into nearby Cypress Creek. While it may look tempting to cool yourself off in, as the heat in Texas can sometimes become unbearable, you might want to heed caution.
Leaping off the nearby outcropping into the 13 foot opening of the well, and free-diving to depths of up to 100 feet, even going into underwater caves, are all risky, yet adventurous people have continue to do so for hundreds of years. Even scuba divers who explore the caves have said that the environment is challenging and unforgiving. It's known as one of the most dangerous places to dive in the world.
A 21-year-old from San Antonio lost a flipper while free-diving the caves deep in the well in July 2015. He had to cut away his weight belt to make it back to the surface before his breath ran out. He admitted to reporters the fear he felt when he realized he could die that day.
Around eight or nine people have died there, but the exact number is hard to come by. Two men were caught in one of the caves and drowned in 2009, and it took several years before both of their bodies were brought back. So there could be more bodies that people don't know about.
Jacob's Well can still be dangerous on the surface, as there is an upward current that could catch you if you jump off the rocks and dive into it. It's a swim-at-your-own-risk environment.
4) The Devil's Kettle, Minnesota
In an unsolved geological mystery, this river, also known as Brule River in Minnesota, splits in two on its way to Lake Superior. The eastern waterfall behaves normally, flowing into a pool and continuing on its way. The western waterfall spills large amounts of water into a huge hole known as The Devil's Kettle.
There are different theories as to where the water in The Devil's Kettle goes. One is that water spills into the cauldron, then empties into an underground river that flows into the lake, but no evidence has been found to back that up. Another theory is that perhaps the water dumps into a volcanic tube, but volcanic tubes only exist in basalt, which is not present in the waterfall. A third theory is that the water disappears into a fault line, but the problem with that is the fault line would have to be huge in order to allow that amount of water to flow through it.
Over the years, people have tried to track the course of the water, by throwing things like ping pong balls or logs, and seeing if they reemerge but they never do.
5) The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
A pit of fire in the Karakum Desert is known as The Door to Hell, and was created in 1971. During that time, the Soviet Union held control over the area and were drilling the land searching for oil deposits. The spot they chose wasn't as stable as they had thought, and a sinkhole opened up, swallowing the equipment in the process. It also exposed high levels of natural gas.
The best way to get rid of the gas, or so the scientists thought, was to set it on fire and burn it out. The problem, however, was that there was no finite amount of gas for them to measure, so they didn't know how long it would take for the gas to burn off. Half a century later, and the fires are still burning, with no sign of letting up anytime soon.
6) The Wall, St. Croix
This may not qualify as "creepy" to some, but to others, you might find the idea of a 3,200 foot drop off not far from the coast a little nauseating.
St. Croix is known as a very beautiful place to scuba dive if you're experienced. It is frequently visited for the lush coral reefs that are often described as "breathtakingly beautiful." However, at a certain point, the sea floor takes a sharp and sudden drop—two miles straight down.
7) Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
The Danakil Depression in Africa was formed as a result of Asia and Africa moving apart. It's 200km by 50km in size, and it's the hottest place on earth, with temperatures reaching 125 degrees Fahrenheit. It gets almost no rain during the year, and what little rain it gets is absorbed into the flooring of the depression, leaving it cracked and sunbaked. It's here that the Awash River dries up into a chain of salt lakes, never reaching the ocean. Active volcanoes give life to lava lakes, huge salt pans, and colorful hydrothermal fields that span across the depression.
8) Blue Hole, Egypt
A sinkhole under the water, with a depth of 328 feet, sounds like some place you probably wouldn't feel inclined to visit. But, a lot of people do. In fact, it's dived daily by recreational divers, despite the fact that it has claimed the lives of around 130 - 200 people in recent years. It's located on the southeast Sinai, a few kilometers north of Dahab, Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea. On the side where it opens out to the sea, the depth drops instantly to about 3,500 feet. This dive site is known as one of the deadliest in the world.
The hole and the areas surrounding it have an abundance of coral and reef fish. There is a local legend that the Blue Hole is cursed by the ghost of a girl who drowned herself there to escape an arranged marriage.
A 22-year-old Russian-Israeli diving instructor died at a depth of 115 meters after falling into an uncontrolled descent. He filmed his own death and the footage went viral, making it the most famous death at the dive site. The footage shows him rapidly plunging deeper and deeper, then landing on the seafloor and taking off his breathing equipment to try and fill his buoyancy aid with air, but he is unable to rise. He was subjected to nitrogen narcosis, which can impair judgment and induce overconfidence, euphoria, hallucinations, and confusion.
His body was recovered the next day at the request of his mother, and they found the camera intact and still working. They regrettably played the footage while his mother was still there, and she decided to keep the camera.
9) Death Zone of Mount Everest, Nepal
Mt. Everest is famously known as the earth's highest mountain above sea level, reaching 29,029 feet. Altitudes higher than 26,000 feet are known as "The Death Zone". The reason being that a lot of the deaths on Everest occur up here. It's the most difficult part of the climb, for the following reasons:
Temperatures can dip to very low levels, resulting in frostbite of any part of the body exposed to air. Since temperatures are so low, snow is frozen in areas and it's easy for accidents to occur such as slipping and falling.
High winds at these altitudes can make things feel colder, and it's dangerous to climb when there are such high winds that you cannot keep your balance or when you struggle to walk against it.
Low atmospheric pressure: The atmospheric pressure on top of Mt. Everest is about a third of sea level pressure, which results in not that much oxygen to breathe. A sea-level dweller exposed to these conditions at the altitude above 27,900 feet without acclimatization would likely lose consciousness within two to three minutes.
These conditions are very dangerous because those who are unable to walk or are dying, are often left for dead as attempting a rescue would be too risky. There have been a few controversial stories of dying climbers on Everest. David Sharp went for the summit with no Sherpa aid and fewer oxygen bottles. This got him in trouble as he ended up stranded in a cave in the death zone next to another famous body, Green Boots. As many as 40 climbers passed Sharpe while he was slowly dying over the course of many hours, but none stopped to help.
However, people have survived after being left for dead, though it's very rare and usually a miracle. Lincoln Hall was one of those. After Lincoln became delirious, his Sherpas were fighting to help him down the mountain. Lincoln fell into a coma and that's when his Sherpas finally left him. He survived the night and in the morning, a group of climbers heading to the summit abandoned their attempt to help him get down. But the difference between him and Sharpe was that he was able to walk, and Sharpe was not.
Around 357 people have died on Everest since the first person to attempt the climb, George Mallory.
10) Sable Island, Nova Scotia
I'll end by representing my home province, Nova Scotia, and include the famous Sable Island and its many shipwrecks.
Sable Island is a small, horseshoe-shaped island (ironic since there are horses that inhabit the island) about 300 km's off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is famous for its numerous shipwrecks, which are an estimated 350 vessels. The island's sandbars, thick fog, treacherous currents, and the island's location in the middle of a major transatlantic shipping route and rich fishing grounds are mostly to blame for the wrecks.
First recorded shipwreck: the English ship Delight in 1583.
Last major wreck: the steamship Manhasset in 1947. Her crew was all saved.
No further wrecks occurred until 1999 when three crew members of the yacht Merrimac survived after their boat ran aground due to a navigational error.
It is likely that the construction of lighthouses on each end of the island in 1873 contributed to the decline in shipwrecks. Few of the wrecks surrounding the island are visible, as they are usually crushed and buried by the sand.
After the commercial fishing vessel, Andrea Gail was wrecked during 1991's Perfect Storm, the ship's EPIRB was discovered on the shore of Sable Island nine days after the last transmission from the crew. Other items were found, but the crew weren't, and they are presumed to have perished. You can see why Sable Island is often referred to as "The Graveyard of the Atlantic."
There you have it, ten creepy natural places on Earth. While the Earth is beautiful and mysterious, it can also be dangerous, creepy, and deadly. Have fun discovering new and exciting places to explore.