With Halloween around the corner we at Oyster thought it would be appropriate to find out what the strangest, spookiest and scariest places are around the world. From creepy caverns to terrifying islands; there are many we can choose from. So we have compiled the top places which will make your hair stand on end and send a shiver down your spine!
- Near the small village of Derweze in the middle of the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, there is a place called the Door to Hell. This bizarre place is a collapsed natural gas crater which had been drilled into looking for oil. However, in 1971 the ground collapsed causing methane to be released from the crater. In a way to prevent toxic gas from affecting locals nearby, the gas was set on fire. The gas was expected to be burnt off within days.
Nearly 50 years later the fire is still blazing creating an eerie but fascinating pocket of fire in the middle-of-nowhere. No wonder the inferno inside has been named the Door to Hell.
- Not too far from the Oyster offices lies the small non-descript village of Pluckley, Kent. However it has a spooky record; the most haunted village in England. There are said to be around 12 ghosts haunting the village including a ghostly highwayman, the ‘Watercress Woman’ sitting on a bridge, smoking and selling watercress and a spooky schoolmaster. Juxtaposed in this typical Kentish countryside with oust houses and rolling hills who knew there would be secret paranormal activity.
- A 15,000ft descent, sheer drops and average 300 fatalities a year, there is a reason this place is called the Death Road in Bolivia – but still people flock here. Set in the striking hills of the Bolivian Amazon rainforest, the ‘road’ at some points is only 3 metres wide. With no road barriers and many attempts to ride the road on a bike, the name only seems fitting.
- Blood Falls in Antarctica is named enough to make you feel dread. The vibrant reddy flow of water out of the Taylor Glacier is striking against the white ice. The colour isn’t caused by a horrible disaster though; it is thought to be iron. The water itself has a very high saline content which means it has a lower freezing point than pure water allowing the water to flow. A fissure in the glacier seeps out the rusty brine creating the macabre looking waterfall!
- About 60 miles off the coast of Belize is Lighthouse Reef which offers beautiful coral and turquoise water, and a 1,000ft wide, 400ft vertical drop sinkhole. This natural phenomenon is imaginatively called the Great Blue Hole found in the middle of the tropical atoll. A haven for daring divers, the sinkhole boasts huge stalagmites and stalactites which formed in the last Ice Age. As one goes deeper into the hole the geology gets older and more imposing, whilst the inky water gets darker and eerily silent.
- In south-east Mexico City, you can find a canal-based series of floating islands named ‘chinampas’. They are used for growing crops and where local farmers lived. One of these islands has become known as the Island of Dolls. Supposedly the man who lived there once found a doll and a body of a girl who drowned in mysterious circumstances. Out of respect he hung the doll on a tree. Yet, afterwards, he supposedly started hearing voices and strange ghostly sounds on his isolated island. Scared, he hung more dolls up on trees fearing the voice was the spirit of the girl he found. Since he died the location has been rediscovered and more dolls are brought there by tourists. The effect created is incredibly creepy and nightmarishly surreal.
- Off the coast of Brazil there is an island named Queimada Grande which for all sense and purposes seems an uninhabited tropical island. However there are snakes there. Many snakes. These endangered snakes are the golden lancehead viper, one of the most venomous serpents in the world. There are some say, one snake for every square meter on the island. The snake has adapted through isolation and lack of prey on the ground, to attack and prey on birds. This has made their venom even more potent to stop their prey from flying off once bitten. As a result, the public are only allowed to visit the island on legally sanctioned visits or biological studies. This is a truly scary place.
- If there is one place which is a real life Fear-Factor it is the Gomantong Caves in Borneo, Malaysia. These caves are home to bats, rats, millions of cockroaches and crabs. Around 275,000 wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bats occupy the roof of the cave and have produced mounds of guano (bat poo) on the ground which makes it a breeding-ground for all creepy-crawlies, rats and crabs to thrive. You can visit these caves as a tourist in a tour – you have to get past the smell first!