1. The Nazca Lines, Peru
Created thousands of years ago, the “Nazca lines” are a series of gigantic figures sketched across the desert sands in Peru. They were made by scraping red pebbles against the ground, revealing a lighter-colored sand beneath. Other than the method of their creation, however, no-one knows the figures’ meaning. In fact, they were not discovered until the 1930s, when pilots and passengers noticed them. While some speculate that they were made to bring rain, others suspect that they had a higher—much higher—purpose: to communicate with extraterrestrials.
2. Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Lousiana
An aura of mystery and terror surrounds Myrtles Plantation, “one of America’s most haunted homes” built on an Indian burial ground, and where up to ten people might have been murdered and which supposedly plays home to at least a dozen unsettled spirits.
Legend has it that the hauntings began because of Chloe, who was a slave owned by Clark and Sara Woodruff, the original owners. Purportedly, Clark wanted Chloe to be his mistress, she refused, and he continued to pressure her and may have forced her into having sex with him. Then, after she was caught eavesdropping on Sara, one of them chopped off her ear and she wore a green turban to disguise it. She baked a poisonous birthday cake in retaliation, but the plan backfired and Sara and their two daughters died from poisoning, while Clark survived. Ever since, guests at the bed and breakfast have reported sightings of a woman wearing a green turban stalking the grounds.
Unfortunately, that’s not all. The house was reportedly once ransacked by Union soldiers during the Civil War, and three were killed inside. A disgruntled, young Indian girl has been spotted on the plantation, and there’s supposedly a blood stain in the shape of a human body that cannot be removed or even touched by mops or cleaning supplies. There is so much legend to this property that revisiting it seems completely necessary.
3. Easter Island, Chile
One of the few places on this list that doesn’t involve any sort of paranormal activity, the reason why the Easter Island statues are begging to be further investigated is because there is simply no explanation as to why they exist. Although about 200 natives live on the island, even they do not know or have ancestors of the statues’ creators. What is particularly strange is that they reach up to fifty feet tall and it doesn’t seem likely that all the materials could have actually come from Easter Island.
4. Mel’s Hole, Ellensburg, Washington
Mel Waters formerly lived nine miles outside Ellensburg, Washington, and claimed that he had found a geographical anomaly—basically, a bottomless pit. Supposedly, Waters determined that the hole went on for more than fifteen miles, which he estimated after spooling out 18 reels of fishing line (tied end on end) into it. Moreover, he told the story of a man “who dropped the remains of his deceased dog’s body down the hole,” only to then see his same dog shortly thereafter.
While there are aspects of Mel’s stories that seem farfetched or fabricated, several other people have claimed to have seen the hole as well; yet surprisingly, not one has been able to pinpoint its exact location. The general area it’s said to lie in is nearby the Yakima Training Center—a military base—making access difficult. Thus, it’s time that we really investigate Mel’s Hole and get to the “bottom” of it.
5. Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle stretches from the Straits of Florida down to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and up to Bermuda in the mid-Atlantic. In this large area, there have been dozens of shipwrecks and plane crashes, with the first having been reported on September 16, 1950. Many of these incidences have been associated with paranormal activity, extraterrestrial kidnappings, and unusual weather. When Flight 19—a group of US Navy bombers—were flying over the area, the flight leader supposedly radioed that “We are entering white water, nothing seems right. We don’t know where we are, the water is green, no white.”
In the majority of these cases, the entire crew and passengers have not survived, and rarely is any evidence of the plane or ship ever found, making concrete evidence difficult to come by. Due to the great size of the mysterious region, thorough surveys of the Triangle haven’t been conducted, and there’s much left to know.
6. The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, Colorado
Look familiar? Not only is the Stanley Hotel home to hundreds of ghost stories and sightings over the years, but Stanley Kubrick also used the hotel as the sight for the events in The Shining, which certainly doesn’t make it any less terrifying. The hotel has been investigated by paranormal enthusiasts and ghost hunters countless times, and while there have been logical explanations for certain phenomena—like strong winds and faulty pipes—most haven’t been able to figure out the occurrences in the ballroom.
Most of the the controversy in the ballroom concerns its piano, which guests and employees alike have heard playing morbid tunes, even when they know the ballroom was completely empty. Moreover, multiple guests in a particular room have reported seeing an apparition standing over the bed; once detected, he quickly retreats into the closet. Clearly there are some dark secrets to this place, and it could definitely use more investigation.
7. Stonehenge, England
Like the Easter Island statues, the main mystery surrounding Stonehenge is simply: How did it get there? Archeological expeditions have placed the construction date between 5000 and 3000 years ago, years before the first metal tools had been invented. Furthermore, Stonehenge features thirty vertical stones—each over ten feet tall and weighing as much as 45 tons—arranged in a circle and topped with thirty horizontal stones, which are an additional six tons each.
Enshrined in myth ever since it was discovered, explanations have placed the site’s origins to Arthurian legend (with Merlin as its engineer) to extraterrestrial intervention. Transporting such large stones to the site would have involved thousands of people, and then how they were raised and arranged is even more inexplicable. Perhaps the strangest aspect, however, is that the stones are positioned in such a way that during equinoxes and solstices, the sun will shine through certain points and gaps in Stonehenge’s design. It’s nearly impossible that this was mere coincidence.
8. Skinwalker Ranch, Utah
Skinwalker Ranch, named because of the Native American legend of the skin-walker (or shape-shifters), is a 480-acre compound located in Utah. There have been over one hundred separate instances reported within the site, including vanishing and mutilated cattle; seemingly possessed, large animals with bright yellow eyes and unaffected by bullets; sightings of flying orbs and other objects; loud noises coming from underground; and disruptive magnetic fields. In local Native American folklore, the property is well-known for possessing “dark energies.”
Although a couple purchased the property in 1994, it has since been taken over by a paranormal research organization, the National Institute for Discovery Sciences.
9. Oregon Vortex
Occupying a space only 165-feet in diameter, the Oregon Vortex is a roadside attraction that’s been popular in southern Oregon since the 1930s. Aside from visitors experiencing intense vertigo, people have witnessed brooms standing on end, balls rolling uphill, and mysterious unexplainable perspectives—at certain angles, making tall people short and vice versa.
Known to area Native Americans as forbidden ground, animals refuse to enter the space, and these bizarre occurrences are well-documented. Whether the explanation is simply that of a hoax or optical allusion, paranormal activity, “gravity anomalies,” or a convergence of magnetic fields, is up to visitors to decide.
10. The Whaley House, San Diego, California
Thomas Whaley was a successful businessman who moved from New York City to San Diego in 1853 in order to raise a family with his wife. He helped design what he wanted to be his family’s dream home, but only tragedy befell them there. His son died of scarlet fever in the house, shortly thereafter dealing with their store starting on fire. They then moved to San Francisco.
After Thomas’s son Francis inherited the house in 1909 and restored it, several other Whaleys moved in. However, they all died within a few years of one another, aside from Corinne Whaley, who lived there until her death in 1953. Ever since her death, the house has become known as one of the most haunted places in the United States. Aside from the house being associated with the downfall of the Whaley family, it originally served as a gallows before Thomas purchased the property. The first ghost sighted at the house was that of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson, who had been hanged there in 1852.
Further, many visitors have supposedly seen the ghost of Thomas Whaley lurking around, as well as reports of “heavy footsteps” throughout the house (associated with “Yankee Jim”), and several other sightings of Whaley family members’ ghosts. Thomas Whaley’s great grand-daughter, Marion Reynolds, is known to grab people’s arms, and even the family dog has been spotted running around the grounds.