From grotesque museums to voodoo markets, there are all sorts of creepy tourist attractions that even the bravest of people might be reluctant to visit. Here are eight of the world’s creepiest tourist attractions – have you visited any of them? If not, would you visit any of them?
Island of the Dolls, Mexico
A farmer living on the island was traumatised by the sight of a young girl’s dead body which had washed ashore one day. He also found a doll floating in the water and hung it up in the trees to placate the girl’s spirit. He would continue hanging dolls in the trees around the island, many without heads and limbs, until he himself drowned in the island’s waters. Many tourists who visit bring their own dolls to add to the island’s already eerie doll population.
2. Overtoun Bridge, Scotland
What makes Overtoun Bridge so creepy is that a surprisingly large number of dogs have committed suicide by jumping off it. Over 600 dogs are believed to have killed themselves since the 60s, though no one knows exactly why. It was proposed that the scent of mink urine in the undergrowth could be the reason why this has been happening, though a local hunter refuted that claim, saying there weren’t any mink in the area. It remains unknown why so many dogs have jumped off the bridge and dog walkers are warned to keep their canine friends leashed at all times when crossing the bridge.
3. Siriraj Medical Museum, Thailand
This museum houses a collection of medical marvels and exhibits that many would find grotesque. There’s a series of medical instruments from centuries past that look more like torture devices and a number of preserved cadavers, including the mummified remains of one of the first serial killers in the modern history of Thailand and the remains of many murder victims. Other creepy displays include a dissected human body, over 2,000 organs and a collection of parasitic worms up to a metre in length.
4. Akodessewa Fetish Market, Togo
If you’re into voodoo and need some supplies, head to the Akodessewa Fetish Market to stock up. This is the world’s largest voodoo market and you’ll find pretty much everything you need for voodoo rituals, including voodoo dolls, desiccated cobras, monkey skulls, antelope horns and bear skins, not to mention lots of other animal parts.
5. Nagoro Doll Village, Japan
When 64-year-old artist Tsukimi Ayano returned to her hometown of Nagoro on Shikoku Island, she was sad to see the population had massively shrunk. People had either died or left for better opportunities. Tsukimi set about boosting the population by stitching life-size dolls to represent the village’s former residents. There are about 350 in total and they’ve been placed around the village and made to look like they’re doing normal, everyday things.
6. Cockroach Hall of Fame, USA
A pest control specialist in Texas decided to set up a museum featuring exhibits made up of dead cockroaches. The cockroaches are set up in all sorts of displays and a lot of them are dressed to look like historical figures or celebrities. There’s also a collection of live hissing cockroaches that are about an inch thick and up to four inches long!
7. The Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Italy
Quite the macabre attraction, the Capuchin Catacombs are home to around 1,200 mummies and over 8,000 corpses that can be seen lining the walls of the numerous hallways. It all started in the 16th century when Palermo’s Capuchin monastery ran out of space in its cemetery, so crypts were excavated below and over time, more and more people wanted to be buried there. Taking photos is expressly forbidden.
8. The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
When a group of geologists were drilling in the area, they discovered a huge cavern filled with natural gas. When the ground beneath the drilling rig gave way, a large hole about 220 feet across was left. To avoid poisonous gas affecting people living nearby, it was decided that the best thing to do would be to set the hole alight and burn the gas. The geologists thought it would only take a few days, but the gas in the cavern is still burning away today.