7 Terrifying Places in the World You Never Knew Existed
In search of a Halloween-fright fix? Look beyond the slap-em-up-for-Halloween haunted houses and try a destination that will set your heart a-pounding! From real torture chambers to the gateway to Hell, check out these terrifying places around the world you never knew existed.
- The bowels of the earth: The subterranean labyrinth of Derinkuyu winds through approximately 7,000 square feet beneath the Turkish landscape of Cappadocia,( with tunnels connecting to other underground cities). Accidentally discovered in the 1960’s during a house renovation, Derinkuyu is one of the most extensive underground cities of the region. Containing air shafts and even wells, this subterranean city was built to comfortably house an estimated 20,000 people. 8 levels of Derinkuyu are open for exploration with a rumored more below. Thought to be first dug by the Phyrgians (7 B.C.) and expanded by later civilizations, we suspect they were looking for Middle-Earth. Not for the claustrophobic. Derinkyuyu, Turkey is located 35km south of Göreme.
- Spirits of the undead: the Nekromanteion oracle of the dead ( also Necromanteion of Acheron) in Epirus, Greece. Homer described this site in the Odyessy, as the place where Ulysses was sent to locate the seer, Teiresias. Dating back to 3 B.C., many mortals have since visited seeking contact with their loved ones in the netherworld. Strange experiences have happened down in the secret chamber, so enter the oracle if you dare. Afterwards traverse turquoise waters of the Acheron River, through the gorge- the gateway to the underworld and some really neat mountain springs. Though the only terrifying thing about the Acheron is it’s dang cold! Nekromanteion of Acheron: Mesopotamos 480 62, Greece.
- Vampire legends: Castle Bran, Transylvania, Romania. Home of Dracula. Yeah, that is where the tourists go. Head over to the real castle of Vlad the Impaler, Son of the Dragon: a steep 1,500 step climb to Poenari Fortress in Wallachia, near Curtea de Arges. It was here that Vlad Tepes set up camp, after forcing the locals (who hated his guts) to rebuild the old fortress, and then promptly killing them afterwards, keeping in line with his bloodthirsty image. As the even more vicious Ottoman Turks approached, his wife threw herself from the castle, staining the river red with her blood. Ugh. For serious Dracula fans, check out Corvin Castle (Hunyadi Castle), where the captured Vlad spent his final days locked in the dungeon pit. Complete with torture chamber and bear pit (yup, they threw their enemies to the bears), this place puts those Hollywood movies to shame! Poenari Castle: Cetatea Poienari, DN7C, Romania. Corvin Castle: Strada Curtea Corvinilor1, Hunedoara, Romania
- Horrific haunts: Horrifying executions, ghostly voices in the chapel and spirits galore: Chillingham Castle in Northumberland. Dating back to the 12th Century, this British stronghold has seen many a battle. The torture chamber alone contains ghastly relics of horror like the iron maiden (not the rock group!), the rack and a bed of nails- ouch! Chillingham Castle boasts so many paranormal sightings that they have their own crew of ghost hunters! Join their paranormal investigators on an all night vigil- if you dare! Chillingham Castle, Chillingham, Alnwick NE66 5NJ, UK.
- Bloody Massacres: The heights of the lofty Pyrenees hide many a horror, and the massacre at Montségur is one of them. The fortress and last Cathar stronghold holds a bloody past. In 1244, after holding off 10,000 of the French Catholic forces for nearly a year, they were defeated. 200 of the Cathars who refused to denounce their faith, were burned alive. The steep 35-40 minute climb to the Château de Montségur is reputed to fill people with fear and despair, (but that may be due to the strenuous uphill hike.) The castle itself has been home to bizarre sightings from ghosts to UFOs. Château de Montségur, Montségur 09300, Ariege, France
- Unsolved Mysteries: Another hidden place of dread, despair and a tortured past is nearby Rennes-le-Château . A place of rumors, mystery and history from Celts and Visigoths, to the Cathars, Jesus and the Knights Templar, this was the place that inspired Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. A poor priest who mysteriously came into a secret fortune restored the village church of Rennes-le-Château and constructed the lavish Domain Saunière Chateau. The stories swirling around Abbe Bérenger Saunière’s sudden wealth range from fraud to buried treasure and even pacts with the devil. Treasure hunters in search of Saunière’s wealth continued to poke and dig around the place so much that the local municipality had to put a ban on excavations. So leave the shovels at home, but be sure to check out the curious architecture, which is thought to hold Saunière’s secrets. Rennes-le-Château: 11190 Rennes-le-Château, Aude, France.
- Bloodthirsty Cults: Kali, the blood-thirsty goddess of destruction and renewal. Dating back to the 13th century Kali’s followers, known as Thuggees, have strangled millions of victims to offer in sacrifice. Just when you thought this was Hollywood fiction (Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom) or an archaic tradition laid to rest, Kali worship appears to be alive and kicking, and the mere animal blood sacrifice is not always sufficient. In 2006, the British Guardian reported child kidnappings in the rural Uttar Pradesh farming community of Barha, where the taken children were sacrificed in hopes of Kali granting them (the kidnappers) a better life. The Digital Journal reported a more recent incident in 2012. Yikes! Of course you can always get your Goddess of Destruction kick in Geneva, Switzerland, where a statue of Kali holds a prominent place in front of the CERN building, home to the Hadrian Collider. Yeah, what is that all about?
And for those Walking Dead fans, if you can hold on until after Halloween, the American polls open for the US presidential elections on November 8th. Apparently CBS2 Los Angeles discovered over hundreds of dead people voting in California. Who knew!
- Greek Ministry of Sports & Culture: http://odysseus.culture.gr/