I am a coward. I am thirty-one years old and I still sleep with the covers over my head. I never watch horror movies. I am afraid of basements, attics, dark hallways, and anywhere with creaky wooden floors. If you're like me and are too 'chicken' to explore dark places in the real world, we can explore together, from the safety of the internet. Here are 5 creepy places I wouldn't get within 100 yards of -- just in time for Halloween.
The Fragonard Museum -- A former veterinary school turned small anatomical museum in Paris that features preserved, dissected cadavers over two centuries old the Fragonard Museum features the dissections of Honoré Fragonard, the school's anatomy professor. The museum is one of the most macabre in the world. For example, Fragonard created The Horseman of the Apocalypse, based on an Albrecht Dürer print, displaying a flayed man on a flayed horse surrounded by a crowd of small foetuses riding sheep. Shortly thereafter he was committed to Charenton, France's infamous lunatic asylum.
Aokigahara. Source: Atlas Obscura
Aokigahara -- Also known as the Sea of Trees, this enormous forest lies at the base of Mt. Fuji. Every year, since 1970, police have formed chains to comb the woods to collect the bodies of those who entered to commit suicide. The trees are so dense there is no wind; due to mineral deposits compasses do not work; there is a bizarre absence of wildlife; and, yes, the suicides. There are suicide prevention signs posted all around the perimeter of the forest. I cannot imagine anywhere less enticing.
Catacombs. Source: Wikipedia
The Catacombs of Paris -- In 1786 all the dead inhabitants within the city of Paris were exhumed and relocated into abandoned stone quarries around the city capital. It was 1788 before all bodies had been taken to their new resting place. Currently, there are 12 million people walking around Paris and 6 million lying beneath it.
Doorway to Hell. Source: Atlas Obscura
The Doorway to Hell -- In 1971 a natural gas pocket was discovered by geologists in Turkmenistan. The short version is that geologists were digging when they came across the anomaly and ended up creating a 325ft crater at the center of the gas leak. Thinking they could just burn off the gas, someone lit a match. That was 40 years ago and it's still burning and showing no signs of stopping.
Winchester Mystery House. Source: Wikipedia
Winchester Mystery House -- If you decide that you are in the mood for a theatrically eerie atmosphere, go to San Jose and visit the Winchester House, a local favorite. The home that paranoia built was created by Sarah Winchester, widow and heiress to the Winchester rifle estate, to ward off evil spirits.