Every single person is at least a little strange in their own unique way, which leads to a world that is full of odd and wonderfully weird places. Those among us who like to travel will see a great many things that are strange, whether these things are the work of a single determined person or an effort of collective weirdness. There are more things to be seen in the world than we can imagine.
This list is full of stories from travelers and Internet users who have visited some truly odd places in their wanderings and chose to write down and share their experiences. Most of these are stories of oddities that turned out to be frightening in nature, so read with the lights off for maximum effect!
45. The Gaol
Old Melbourne Gaol (jail). It dates back to a time when women and children were imprisoned alongside common criminals because they were all seen as undesirables, often the cells would be overpopulated. The hanging station, a beam of wood with a drop door under it, is in plain view of the cells and is where the infamous Ned Kelly was executed, a bank robber who wore a cast iron suit of armor during a shootout with police. You can see a resin cast of his face post-mortem as well as many others who hung at the gaol, unmistakably with very defined features.
44. Company Made It Worse
I work in IT and we were recommissioning an old hospital that had been closed for a year.
All the lights were out, the place was in disarray, some homeless people were camping out but no longer there. We surveyed the entire nine-floor building from top to bottom and used flashlights.
The worst part was the guy I was with, he was freaking out every time he heard a noise. When we got to the medical ICU he said: “Uh oh, this is where my uncle passed away when I was a kid.” Then he went on about how many people must have passed away in the place.
The wind gusted through a broken window and every hair on my body stood up. I got freaked and said let’s come back tomorrow during the day when there is more light.
Tried to leave the way we came in but apparently the doors locked behind us. We finally found some emergency exits leading to the ground floor, but man my heart was pounding walking around that joint.
43. A Personal Hell
The Quincy Mine in Hancock, MI.
They walk you down to the point where the shaft is flooded. You’re standing under 200 feet of rock, looking down a mine shaft full of about 8,800 feet of still, freezing water. You start thinking about all the buried bodies still trapped down there, and how the water is about 100°F at the very bottom due to the depth. To me, it’s an accurate description of the underworld.
42. No More Girlscouts
The forest around my grandparents’ house…the worst place was a half mile down a trail, an abandoned girl scout campsite complete with cabins. Hadn’t been used in decades at least. I don’t think they were in use when my father was a kid in the 50s. They just sit forlorn in that unnerving forest, four of them surrounding a fire pit. While run down, they’re not really overgrown with plants, which is also weird.
41. Gone In The Night
Canada. Campsite. When we arrived (around 22:00) it was full of people. We woke up at 06:00 to get an early start on the day. The campsite was now completely empty. The forest ranger wasn’t sure what we were talking about when he came to collect.
40. Soldier’s Remembrance
The Duaumont Ossuary, near Verdun in France, no doubt.
Embedded in its basement (and visible through small windows at the base of the building) lie the remains of other 130,000 unidentified soldiers fallen during WWI. Imagine a huge room, filled to the very brim with skulls and bones. And right in front of the building, you have an array of tiny white crosses stretching to the horizon for the soldiers lucky enough to have been identified.
39. Texan Ghost Town
Driving through north Texas middle of the night. Realize I really need gas. Relief washes over as I see an exit to a town approaching. Exit and drive into town a couple of blocks. I then realize I’m in a ghost town. Like horror movie quality ghost town. My friend and I lost our minds and were even afraid of flipping around because it would slow the car down too much.
38. Bear’s Hidey-Hole
Found a hole along the bottom of a cliff. I could see rock about five feet down so I lowered myself in. I was standing on a cliff and judging from the echo and cool air rushing up it was a fair drop down. I only had my phone so I turned on the flashlight to see what I could see. After a moment a pair of darting eyes came in to focus. The eyes were about 10-12 inches apart. I was standing on a blacked out cliff beside an absolutely massive bear and my only way out involved dangling my legs and pulling myself out. This was in the middle of the woods on Vancouver Island.
37. Tunnels And Pits
The Củ Chi Tunnels in Vietnam. It’s a tunnel network used by the Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War, for hiding, transporting materials, meetings, etc. But the tunnels are SO TINY – I got stuck in one for a minute and had a mild panic attack – and it’s pitch black inside, obviously. There are spike traps in there for opposition soldiers who tried to sneak in there. Just huge pits in the floor with gigantic spikes sticking out. And those are still there. Just really creepy and intense.
36. Recent Graves
We went wandering through the huge old cemetery in town to look at the graves from the 1700s. We all really liked historic stuff and found lots of families places in the area were named after.
Then we walked a bit too far back and ended up in the “recent” section. Found way too many children’s graves and one “fresh” one. Left a bad feeling in my gut and this sick eerie feeling followed me for a few days.
Not like horror movie scary, but “damn, everything is finite and children are no longer here” scary.
35. The Rite
There is this huge mental hospital that got abandoned in the 60s in the woods where I grew up. Breaking in there with flashlights in the middle of the night was the “rite of passage” for all the kids growing up nearby.
It was abandoned during the golden age of weird psychiatric experiments, so you can find all sorts of weird equipment in the basement. Bathtubs with electronic equipment, belt-beds, weird surgical tools, you name it.
The scariest part, however, is the endless hallways with patient rooms, though our terrible flashlights could only light up so much. In one of the rooms, we found a satanic shrine with a cat, probably made by some other kids.
34. Serf Castles
I visited Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle in Ghana and went on the tours. They were serf castles. Part of one of the tours was going into the dungeons where they held the people and having the door closed for a minute. It was absolutely terrifying, to be in a place where so many people suffered so much…
33. Random Illuminati
Las Vegas, New Mexico. It’s a small town where they filmed movies like Red Dawn (the original) and No Country for Old Men. Desolate Martian landscape, everyone you meet is either apprehensive or hostile, stray dogs roaming the streets, and the stupid Illuminati symbol stenciled on random surfaces.
32. A Forest For Ghosts
There is a forest at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan that is known to be haunted and has a high amount of people taking their own lives in it. It was the creepiest forest I have ever seen and was ridiculously cold.
31. Decay In The Air
A chemical plant, probably built around 50 or 60 years ago, where they manufactured analytical grade hydrogen sulfide gas. That stuff can mess you up at less than 100 parts per million, and they were shipping rail cars full of 99.9% product. Literally, one blown seal could have hurt everyone on site if they couldn’t get to supplied air in time, and the whole place always had a hint of rotten eggs in the air, so at least a few things were already leaking a bit….
30. Famously Haunted
The Jerome Grand Hotel. I had stayed a couple of nights in what many believe to be the most haunted room. I didn’t sleep well. Walking along the main strip of the town left me feeling uneasy the entire time. Even when it was completely empty, I couldn’t get rid of the feeling I was being watched from every angle. I had nonstop goosebumps and felt cold chills wherever I went. Mind you, this was before I had ever heard of the reputation of the town itself as well as the hotel. I found out after my stay.
29. All The Same Down Here
The catacombs of Paris. You go way underground and through a narrow cavern filled with ossuaries, literally piles of bones. All along the way through the catacombs there are signs in French that say things like “Kings and Peasants, can’t tell from the bones. All end up here.”
It’s from the old graveyards of Paris because they literally filled up, so the city had them emptied into the catacombs. Massive piles of countless skulls and bones. Each one is just the shadow of an entire life, a whole separate existence which is so old that not even a tombstone remains. Just a skull and a femur. The other bones pretty much turn to dust. It’s so humbling and just a huge reminder of how fleeting and short life can be.
28. Names In Red
I visited Terezin in Prague and the knowledge of all that happened was just too heavy. I remember specifically walking into a room that looked to have red designs on the wall. As you get closer you realize it’s wording. Get closer still and you realize they’re names in small, small writing. Then you look around and you’re in a huge room with so many red names on all the walls. The magnitude hit me hard.
27. Mental Forerunner
An old mental asylum in England, it was the forerunner for breakthroughs in the mental health field. Even the breakthroughs that were found to be later wrong and inhumane. The place was gutted but there was still a lot of original features and bars of cells there. It was midday when I went and I just kept getting chills at the thought of so many people wandering about, some ill and others being held there because they were deemed loopy by the state but had nothing wrong with them.
26. The Very Wrong Side Of The Bed
A friend’s old redone farmhouse complete with an OLD SCHOOL SO-DEEP-YOU-CANT-SEE-THE-BOTTOM STONE WELL IN THE BEDROOM FLOOR!! Lift a trap door in the later-added-on back bedroom floor and you’re staring down at stone nothingness. Had a rough night there in general with strange stuff and hated it. My friend who owned it said the ghost “liked him” but he also liked to mess with me so who knows if he was just messing with me.
25. Living Nightmare
Anywhere near a homeless camp in Portland, Oregon. At night the substance addicted and mentally ill hit the substances really hard. They will laugh or scream maniacally for hours sometimes. The worst is when some woman will often be heard screaming for hours as they’ve gone too far. They often scream about a lost child or just these wheezing, panting blood-curdling screams that come in waves. They often just put them aside to lay on the edge of the camp until they stop. It’s beyond horrible.
It’s the closest thing I can think of to what the actual underworld must sound like.
24. Tour Of Quarantine
My girlfriend treated me to an evening ghost tour at the Quarantine station here in NSW.
They start at the bottom of the hill, right at the shore, a quick explanation of house rules and such, and then they walk you into, effectively, a shed very close to the water’s edge, and close the door behind you.
So we were in total darkness, about 30 on the tour, and I got a distinct… impression? Of a man in a white coat walking in front of me and holding a stethoscope to my chest, and I did get a cold tingling sensation when the stethoscope was involved.
After a few minutes, the hosts opened the door and explained the history of the shed: it was where any returning forces from Europe circa WWI who exhibited symptoms of Spanish flu were held and treated so they didn’t pass anything on.
23. Be Nice To The Miners
Cooperative Mines in Bolivia.
Don’t go. Seriously. Don’t let someone talk you into it. It’s terrifying and for the love of God, don’t sign up with a tour doing an explosive demonstration. Everything about touring the mines is exploitative and dangerous as heck.
If you must go, bring six or seven packs of cigarettes with you so you can give smokes to the miners. What you’re handing them is often worth more than what they’ll make that day.
22. Smells Like Silent Hill
Was working with my father, fixing an AC unit on a meat packing factory. After re-installing the unit, he told me to go down and check to see if it was working in the walk-in refrigerator. Me being the over eager young man that I was, rushed downstairs, walked in and shut the refrigerator door behind me. It was then when I realized it was pitch dark, getting very cold (meaning the unit worked, yay!) And the whole place just reeked of decay. If there was a way to describe what a Silent Hill game would smell like, it would be the smell of old blood and rust from a meat packing factory.
21. Felt What I Didn’t Hear
I went to a concentration camp near Berlin called Sachsenhausen. It was by far the windiest and coldest day of the year and me and a friend of mine came late to the school trip so we had to find the way ourselves through the small village. We had to stop several times to warm our feet so we could keep walking and when we finally arrived we stood in front of a gate to huge field confined by walls and surveillance turrets. I hadn’t heard the stories of the people who were imprisoned there yet but the feeling of passing that simple metal gate and standing in that big windy field was unforgettable.
20. The Biffy House
A place called Seafield House in Ayr, Scotland; it’s known around as “the biffy house,” biffy meaning scary. It’s kind of a local thing that people would smoke and venture in; I only made it so far before “biffing out.” It’s creepy and was an old children’s hospital a long time ago, and you just get a bad vibe. Can’t really go there anymore; the police always get called now plus new fences make it harder to get into.
19. Home Haunted Home
My family’s house/property. The house and barn were originally grain mills built back in the 1800s. Apparently, the man who started the mills was shunned by his family and the town since he got his fiancé pregnant. I feel like the bad blood there left some negative energy as we have all seen or “felt” female energy in the house.
Also, back in the 80s a kid drowned in the creek running through the property and I have on multiple occasions seen a young man in the woods who would promptly disappear.
Finally, irrefutable proof that ghosts exist (to me). I was talking to my mom as she was coming home one day and I looked out the window to see her pull in the driveway. Then I noticed a woman wearing 19th-century clothing picking apples from our apple tree. I asked my mom who the lady was (my mom was currently in her car about 50 feet from said apple tree) and she had no idea what I was talking about. I could see my mom looking right at the lady but she couldn’t actually see her. I looked away for a moment and when I looked back she was completely gone.
18. Memories Of Horror
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.
Went to Washington DC during middle school for a three-day field trip and it was one of the places we visited. The whole museum was eerily quiet where my group went but you could hear people crying from other rooms/sections. Also, there were some crazy exhibits showing all the messed up stuff Nazis did, like the different types of torture and human experiments.
17. Shining Vibe
Mount Washington Resort. The resort itself has a The Shining-esque vibe and everything felt a little off and dilapidated, but the really freaky part for me were the surrounding grounds. There used to be a lot of other hotels and stuff there, but they all went bust and there are a lot of ruins hidden in the woods.
I went for a hike on an overcast day and there was nary a soul out there with me. Between the general eeriness and the wind doing creepy stuff (pushing the rusted swings back and forth, making the buildings moan), I pretty much ran back to the hotel with my tail between my legs.
16. “Before” It Got Bad
Juarez, Mexico around 2007. This was right before it got really bad. Funny thing is it was the police that robbed us. Then it started pouring rain and there’s no drainage, so within five minutes, there were six inches of water everywhere to wade through to get back to the border.
15. Home Guard Ghost
Definitely the house I was raised in.
The house I lived in until I was 10 was super creepy. Half of the people in my family agree it was haunted.
One particular day I was coming home from school, I was eight. When I got home, I was alone for an hour and forty-five minutes until my parents got home from work. The first thing I was to do every day was to get the phone and call them to let them know I made it home.
This was the early 2000s, so we had two house phones and the one I used was in the living room, right next to the stairs. I get home, grab the phone and turn to my right and see a large figure at top of the stairs.
He had on armor, I remember he was wearing a cloak, and the armor was grey-blueish. I turned and ran outside the house, didn’t even look back to see if it was following me.
14. So Much Sadness
We visited the Death Museum in LA. Seeing the artwork of criminals like John Wayne Gacy was really creepy. So was the makeshift wake they had set up for GG Allin, which, if I remember correctly, had pictures of him in his casket in a jockstrap holding a beer. So many bizarre things in that place.
13. Too Realistic
Hospital in the Rock museum in Budapest. It’s a war-time hospital built under the ground (and in the rock), and it is re-created for the visitors. A bit too well, I would say – these figures (nurses, patients, soldiers) look like demons. They are incredibly life-like looking, but their eyes… Sweet Jesus, if someone locked me in there for the night I would lose my mind. The museum and the hospital are excellent, but these figures will give you nightmares.
12. Security In The Dungeon
I used to do security for a complex that had clubs and bars during the week when they were closed. One of the areas I had to patrol was underground. We called it the dungeon and it had 0 cameras. It was also where they put all the seasonal stuff that needed to be guarded so I had to go down there a few times a shift. This was in Baltimore so already I had to deal with the fun citizens of that city. Some less fortunate folks would sometimes sneak down into the completely pitch black series of tunnels that were made forever ago. Every time I went down there I had a weapon in one hand and my phone flashlight in the other. Every once in a while I had a guy hiding behind stuff that I had to nicely ask to leave. Most left with no issue, some, however, were not the nicest. Luckily as ex-military I knew how to de-escalate most situations. Every time I went down there though I was terrified because there are a ton of small dark rooms with no lights.
11. The Smell Of Age
I don’t believe in ghosts or anything but I did live in a thousand year old castle for six months and I was weirded out many, many times. Anytime I take out my diary from the place I still get that big smell that the castle had. It was/is surreal.
10. Just The First Floor
We have a psychiatric hospital in my town that actually closed not too long ago. Closed in the 80s or 90s. Anyway, it’s huge and abandoned but there were multiple reports of hauntings.
I really really REALLY didn’t want to go but after years of getting talked into it, and I also graduated with a psych degree so I was interested in it, a couple of my friends decided to investigate. We went during the day, and immediately the second you step foot in this place it has such an eerie feeling that’s screaming for you to get out and not to disturb.
We didn’t even get far. We stayed on the first floor, and there are about five floors. Noises could be heard upstairs, like pots and pans being clashed together. A doll’s head was ripped off and nailed to the entrance of what I’m assuming was the day room. I swear every second I kept imagining I was seeing things in the corner of my eyes. You could hear all our breathing because we were so silent and terrified.
9. Forest Haven
Forest Haven – an abandoned asylum in Laurel, MD…I was stationed at Ft. Meade and some friends and I decided to check it out one night. Scary as heck. We found old patient log books with treatments/observations/etc., old equipment and whatnot. At one point, the “security” of the abandoned acreage discovered our presence and chased us out. Will NEVER forget that place.
8. Scorched Earth
My scariest place was a burned-out area of forest, and it was the huge, dead trees and creaking and popping that terrified me. Those trees fall over without warning and are more than large enough to seriously hurt you.
We were only there for maybe an hour before we got back into live growth, but it was one of the most frightening times of my life. Every time the breeze shifted (which was constantly, since we were in the mountains), there’d be this deep groan and these popping sounds like distant fireworks and you could never tell where it was coming from. It felt like every second there was this towering pine ready to collapse on you.
7. True Darkness
Linville Caverns in North Carolina.
On the tours there, once a group reaches the end of the open part of the cavern (~ 1000 feet from the entrance), the guide will tell this story about a couple of boys who wandered into the cave a long, long time ago and dropped their lantern, rendering the cave so dark that it took them 2 days to find their way out, crawling on their hands and knees along a stream running to the outside.
After finishing the story, the guide then shuts off all the lights in the cavern. And it is, indeed, dark as he says. So dark that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. So dark that you suddenly feel that intense phobia of caves that you didn’t even know you had. Even on the darkest, gloomiest night, there is still a tiny amount of light from the stars – enough for your eyes to adjust somewhat, given enough time. Not so in a deep cave – there’s so little light there that eyes actually de-evolve over time.
6. Not Stopping.
Took the wrong exit and ended up driving through Gary, Indiana. There was a factory on one side and a bunch of identical houses on the other. Halfway down is a stop sign with a crosswalk.
Driver: Why is there a stop sign here?
Me: So they can catch us.
Driver: …silently blows through stop sign.
It was especially creepy because we didn’t see a single person. It was like 2 PM and not a soul in sight.
5. Trophies And Dolls
When I was 12 years old I was traveling with my aunt and uncle on our way to Oregon. We stopped to stay a night at their friend’s home. This home was the most terrifying place I have ever spent time in. The man of the house was a big time hunter and had taxidermies everywhere – coyote, wild boar, pronghorn, pheasant, bear, etc. He had hundreds of dead animals around the house.
As if that was not bad enough, his wife collected porcelain dolls. I ABSOLUTELY HATE DOLLS. Even as a little child, I have always been terrified of dolls. This lady had them everywhere. There were at least 10 in every single room. I didn’t sleep a wink that night.
4. Tour Phenomena
In Adelaide, South Australia my wife and I went on a ghost tour of a closed down asylum which had housed people who were subjected to medical experimenting – electro shock etc.
As we went from room to room and were told about the history we went into one of the upstairs rooms. Our guide was telling us about how this particular room had different effects on different people – at least that’s what my wife told me. I couldn’t hear a thing the guide said (he was about 3 meters from me and speaking normally). I didn’t hear a word he said – to me the floor was like standing on the deck of a boat at sea – it was moving up and down so much I became sick and ran out to throw up. We were in a group of 6 and while I was sick, 2 other people said they didn’t hear a thing the guide said either.
3. Cave-Ins And Tommyknockers
I used to help with a mine tour in the mountains as part of a summer camp. It was a pretty straightforward; a stick to the path, everything is well-lit and well-constructed kind of tour.
One of our kids wasn’t feeling well and decided to turn back without telling anyone. I did a head count and realized I was missing one, so I left the group with the tour guide and another councillor and went looking for the missing idiot.
Well, he didn’t get back to the muck room at the entrance of the mine. So he must have made a wrong turn and accidentally gone down a roped off section of the mine. I grabbed a lantern and went looking. I found him about a half mile down a part of the mine we had no business being in. The timbers were falling apart and there was no light. Also, no oxygen being pumped in, so the air was pretty thin.
I swear to god I could hear the mountain creaking above us. Years of stories about cave-ins and Tommyknockers made me paranoid. I grabbed that kid and dragged him out faster than a rat from a sinking ship.
2. The Inbetween
I toured the DMZ a few years ago. It was the most surreal place I have ever been.
There was a North Korean with binoculars looking at us as we toured the DMZ as we were walking around. There were South Korean soldiers with us as we went inside the conference rooms where they negotiate. It was, they said, to deter any action by the North Koreans.
1. They’re Still There
Herculaneum in Italy.
It’s all fine as you walk around, knowing the place was evacuated.. Until they take you down into the tunnels under the docks where 300 people were hiding. Wiped out by the pyroclastic flow, they are all still laying there in a pile where they passed away, 2,000 years removed. Some still have jewelry on.