These catacombs were created for the same reason they were in Paris: they started to run out of room in the local cemeteries. What is different here is how they are laid out; there are separate spaces for religious figures, professionals, children, and virgins.
It is thought that the super dry air underneath the monastery is responsible for the almost perfect mummification process. The process went something like this: priests would lie the body out on a shelf to drain, and after a year, the body would be treated with vinegar and redressed before being placed in the proper spot. This process has kept some bodies well preserved for hundreds of years.
The Tower of London was once used as a prison and has seen many executions. The tower was first built by William the Conqueror and took 20 years to construct. Killings were not the only blood to be shed here. It is said that King Henry VI was murdered while he was praying in the King’s Private Chapel. In 1674 two skeletons were unearthed and were believed to be the two sons of Edward IV.
For 800 years, the tower served as a prison. Some people stayed a few days; others spent quite a bit of time here before they were eventually executed. What is interesting is that in the 20th century, German spies were brought here to be shot.
The tower also holds a new myth surrounding ravens. The old story goes that if the ravens leave the tower, both it and the kingdom will fall. Today, seven ravens call the Tower home. The Tower of London is one of the world’s leading tourist attractions.
This tiny Japanese village is home to a mere 35 residents: no wonder it turned out a little creepy. A local artist by the name of Tsukimi Ayano created life-sized dolls to replace the villagers that had died or moved away. The town now consists of around 350 toys.
The creator herself used to live in the village, and upon returning, realized that the place she held dear to her heart was slowly disappearing. After concocting a scarecrow modeled after her father, she decided to make dolls to replace every person who had left the small village. After working for over a decade, she finally finished her collection of creepy creatures. To this day, Ayano continues to make changes and fixes to her creations; she regularly fixes damaged dolls and creates new ones.
Now bed and breakfast, this home was the sight of a grizzly murder back in 1892. Lizzie Borden, the alleged perpetrator of the crimes, was eventually acquitted. She was accused of murdering her father and stepmother, both with a hatchet.
Her father was found on the sofa, having been struck with the ax 11 times; his face was disfigured entirely, both eyes cut in half, and his nose severed from his face. Mrs. Borden was found upstairs in the bedroom, having being struck 19 times and had been the first one attacked.
More About the Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts
At first, no one even suspected Lizzie as a culprit. But there was too much circumstantial evidence against her. Her statement simply did not make sense that she was out in the barn at the time of the murders: since it was discovered that Mrs. Borden was murdered a few hours before her husband, the killer would have had to lie in wait for his next victim inside the house, which was not possible with the servants and Lizzie running around. She was also seen burning a dress she claimed was too soiled to wear any longer.
Another point of interest here is that, at the time of questioning, Lizzie claimed that her mother had gone out to see a friend after having received a note. The note, however, was never discovered. Lizzie tried to dispute this by saying that her stepmother could have burned the letter before going out.
Lizzie’s trial lasted two weeks. She was eventually found not guilty, even after testimony from a pharmacist claiming that just the day before the murders, Lizzie had come into his store asking to purchase cyanide, which she needed a prescription for before she could buy. After the trial, Lizzie and her sister left the house and bought a new one in Fall River.
It is precisely what it sounds like: a hill filled with crosses. People have been placing crosses here for a long time, since the 14th century at the earliest. The crosses at first were an expression of the desire for Lithuanian independence. After independence was achieved, the hill transformed into a burial ground.
In 1831 the country was torn apart by a peasant uprising, and they used the hill to bury the fallen. This scary site is also a place of Soviet defiance; the Soviets actually tore down all of the crosses on three separate occasions. The locals were persistent, however, and kept replacing the crosses. Today, there are about 100,000 crosses upon the hill.
More About the Hill of Crosses, Siauliai, Lithuania
The first mention of the Hill of Crosses dates back to 1850, but locals believe the area was first blessed with crosses around 1831.
The Russian tsar actually denied the people of Lithuania from adequately burying their dead in cemeteries, which some speculate is the reason the hill was chosen as a resting place in the first place.The crosses are available for view today, with a myriad of organizations maintaining the upkeep of the grounds.
This wonder is located about 60 miles from the coast of Belize; it consists of a beautiful coral reef and breathtaking views. Inside of this reef, there is a giant blue hole, literally. It drops down about 400 feet and is 1,000 feet wide!
It’s a giant sinkhole in the middle of the ocean. It may seem scary, but the place is pretty beautiful. The Great Blue Hole is home to some of the most amazing features, including underwater stalactites and stalagmites. There is also a limestone shelf surrounding the hole that sits 40 feet below the surface.
The Great Hole is the most gigantic sea hole in the world! Sea holes are really caves that were eventually submerged under rising waters. This particular sea whole was covered over 10,000 years ago. The site did not become popular until 1971 when Jacques Cousteau visited the hole.
A few more interesting facts about this creepy wonder before moving on. The hole is home to a few species of sharks and can be seen from space! Due to the nature of this natural wonder, only experienced divers are allowed into the underwater cave system.
This tiny island is most famous for hundreds of dolls and doll parts hanging from the trees. The island used to be the home of a man named Julian Santa Barrera. He was the one responsible for placing the dolls around the island. The story goes that Barrera found the body of a girl in one of the canals surrounding the island and put up the dolls in order to ward off evil spirits as well as to honor the memory of the deceased young girl.
Another story has it that the girl’s spirit possessed the dolls. After finding the girl’s body, Barrera found a baby doll floating in the water, which he presumed to belong to the girl he had seen. According to Julian, he was haunted by the spirit of the girl, which is what precipitated him putting up dolls around the island.
More About Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico
Barrera collected dolls for 50 years before he met the same fate as the girl he could not save. He was found in the same spot he saw the small girl all those years ago.
The island is visited often, and individuals even bring their own dolls to add to the extensive collection. What may have been a man’s innocent desire to honor the untimely death of a young girl inevitably turned into a morbid tourist attraction — who knew?
While we have already mentioned a few demented artists, here is another worth mentioning. Although a more substantial work, it still contains some of the most bizarre works of art the human mind can imagine.
Haw Par Villa is an 82-year-old theme park, but nothing like you have ever seen before. The park contains over 1,000 statues that will leave your skin crawling. The main attraction of the park is called Ten Courts of Hell, which is an underworld themed attraction. While meant for children, this attraction is as extraordinary as you can get: exhibits include people cut in half, dismembered, and thrown onto a hill of knives.
Haw Par Villa was built in 1937 by the founders of Tiger Balm. Originally named Tiger Balm Gardens, the theme park was abandoned during World War II when the Japanese used the grounds as a place to watch the sea for invaders.
In 1980 the park began to come alive again. In the late ’80s, the Singapore Tourism Board bought the place and spruced it up, renaming it the Haw Par Villa.
You may be thinking, what could be so gruesome about a glacier? Well, this is no ordinary glacier. This particular glacier houses a five-story crimson red waterfall. This is an entirely natural phenomenon dating back millions of years.
What happened here is that the glacier trapped a microbe-rich lake beneath it, effectively keeping light and oxygen away from the water, which caused it to become more concentrated with salt and iron. Because the salt content is so high in the water, the water never freezes; this is also what gives the water its color.
More natural wonders are coming your way! The peak of this volcano is impressive in itself, consisting of sulfurous gases that can reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The gases sometimes condense into a solid, lending the lava from the volcano a blue hue. Sulfur also produces beautiful colors as it burns in the air. The lake beside the volcano has also been transformed from the sulfur gas: it has turned green!
This town was once known for its productive coal mines between 1800 and 1960. In 1962, one of the mines caught fire and wound up spreading underground. The fire didn’t pose a problem until 1979 when gasoline tanks started experiencing abnormally high temperatures and then in 1981 when a boy fell into a sinkhole in his backyard that was created by the underground fire.
As of 2014, only seven people inhabit the town. To this day, smoke can still be seen coming out from fissures created in the ground; scientists believe the fire will continue to burn for hundreds of years to come.
Who doesn’t remember or who have not heard about the Chernobyl fallout? This city is the result of that disaster. Once a thriving town with a population of 50,000, it is now completely deserted.
Everything in the town remains exactly as it was left. Creepy right? The most iconic remnant from the city is a giant Ferris Wheel. Officials say that once radiation has reached safe levels, the town will reopen as a tourist attraction.