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    The 14 Absolute Creepiest Places To Visit On Earth

    Tips for the spookiest worldwide tour ever.

    1. The Catacombs of Paris, Paris, France

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    Cesar e Camilla

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    Jay Tamboli

    The Catacombs of Paris, which opened in the late 18th century, have a reputation for being the "World's Largest Grave," for in its underground caverns there are the skeletal remains of more than 6 million people. The space measures 11,000 square feet. Tourists have taken an interest in visiting the catacombs since the 19th century, when it was a privilege for more elite Parisian citizens. Today the ossuaries are open to the public, and tours are offered daily.

    2. Beechworth Asylum, Beechworth, Australia

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    the apostrophe

    Flickr: dirty_dan / Creative Commons

    the apostrophe

    The Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, formerly known as the Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum, was operational between 1867 and 1995. The building is surrounded by a form of "ha-ha wall," which is a wall built into a trench that, from the inside, appears tall (so that patients can't escape), but from the outside appears low — done so the asylum didn't look like a prison. Mayday Hills admittance required just two signatures, while getting out required eight. Ghost tours (both daytime and overnight) are available to visitors.

    3. Castelinho da Rua Apa, São Paulo, Brazil

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    Ennio Brauns

    The "Little Castle on Apa Street" was the site of a triple murder in 1937. It is generally believed that the murders were the end result of an argument that broke out between the two brothers who lived there — an argument in which the siblings' mother apparently intervened. Though it is unknown exactly what happened, all three were killed. It is now said that you can see the family's ghosts in the windows of the little castle.

    4. Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine

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    Timm Suess

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    Pedro Moura Pinheiro

    The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is an approximately 1,000-square-mile area that surrounds the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which exploded in 1986 in the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. Though the area is highly radioactively contaminated (and has been almost entirely evacuated), brief guided tours of it are permitted.

    5. Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico

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    Citoyen du Monde Inc

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    The Isla de las Muñecas, or Island of the Dolls, located south of Mexico City in the Xochimilco borough, is a small island where hundreds of toy dolls hang from trees. Before his death in 2001, Don Julian Santana Barrera was responsible for the collection and display of the dolls, which he said he did to appease the spirit of a drowned girl he allegedly found many years earlier. According to Don Julian, the dolls themselves took on the spirit of the girl; witnesses have reported hearing them whisper to one another, and seeing them open and close their eyes. Visitors to the island sometimes bring dolls of their own to add to the collection.

    6. Beelitz-Heilstätten, Beelitz, Germany

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    Matt Biddulph

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    Norbert Löv

    Built in the early 20th century, the Beelitz-Heilstätten hospital complex is made up of about 60 buildings and was originally conceived as a sanatorium. It was thought that it would be easier to treat patients with tuberculosis — then widespread — outside nearby Berlin. Adolf Hitler was famously treated here as a soldier during World War I. The now-abandoned complex is, naturally, the source of numerous ghostly rumors.

    7. Sedlec Ossuary, Sedlec, Czech Republic

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    Flickr: pdxdj / Creative Commons


    The Sedlec Ossuary, also known as the "Church of Bones," is a Roman Catholic chapel situated beneath Sedlec's Cemetery Church of All Saints. It's estimated that the skeletal remains of between 30,000 and 70,000 people are contained within the Ossuary, where they are used to form ornate decorations and furnishings. More than 200,000 people visit the Ossuary's vaunted halls each year.

    8. Fengdu Ghost City, China

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    The Fengdu Ghost City is a complex of shrines and temples that was built almost 2,000 years ago. Legend holds that the complex was given the name "Ghost City" during the Eastern Han Dynasty, when two imperial officials visited the site to meditate, and became immortal. Sculptures and artwork in the complex combine beliefs and imagery from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, with a focus on the underworld. The city features a "Bridge of Helplessness," which the dead must cross to pass onto the next life; those spirits who are deemed evil are pushed off, and prevented from moving on.

    9. Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

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    Xevi V

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    Eva Funderburgh

    The Castle of Good Hope was first built as the Fort of Good Hope in 1652, when it was the first military building in what would become Cape Town. In 1674, construction on the castle that replaced the fort was completed, and many of the fort's previous buildings were consequently demolished. The site is considered one of the most (if not the most) haunted places in South Africa, and ghost sightings are not uncommon. Per the castle's FAQ, "The Castle had time enough to gather a host of ghosts, and its walls and dungeons have known terrifying cruelty."

    10. Lawang Sewu, Semarang, Indonesia

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    Flickr: karenchen / Creative Commons


    Completed in 1919, the Lawang Sewu ("Thousand Doors") complex is comprised of several buildings that once housed the first railway company in the Dutch East Indies. The complex was taken over during the Japanese invasion in 1942, at which point it was partly converted into a prison. A number of executions were carried out in the basement. The building was recaptured by the Indonesian army and returned to the railway company after the war. It was later declared cultural property and began to undergo renovations. The complex is widely considered to be haunted — by "headless ghouls," among other things — and many tourists who visit come specifically for that reason.

    11. La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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    La Recoleta Cemetery is considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, and also one of the creepiest. Among the many notable people buried there are Eva Perón, numerous presidents of Argentina, and various artists and intellectuals. The cemetery is home to 4,691 above-ground vaults in total. It has also become home to an extraordinary number of cats, who lend themselves to the site's spooky air.

    12. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India

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    Shahnawaz Sid

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    Parth Joshi

    The Bhangarh Fort is a 17th-century fortress that was built by King Sawai Madho Singh just under 150 miles outside of Delhi. Today, Bhangarh is a small community that lives near the fort — but not too near. The fort has been called the "most haunted place in India." Many tourists visit the fort, but they're prohibited from staying beyond nightfall. It's said that those who've disregarded this rule disappeared within the structure's walls, never to be seen again.

    13. The Capuchin Crypt, Rome, Italy

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    Flickr: sammyjo / Creative Commons


    Rome's Capuchin Crypt comprises a set of very small chapels beneath the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini. Inside the tiny space are the skeletal remains of approximately 3,700 Capuchin friars. The bones are displayed in a number of different ways, including in patterns on the walls, and hanging from the ceilings as light fixtures.

    14. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, California

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    Alexander C. Kafka

    Alcatraz Island was used as a military fortification between 1850 and 1934 and a federal prison between 1934 and 1963 — when it housed some of the most notorious criminals in U.S. history, including Al Capone and Whitey Bulger. It was later occupied by American Indians, in protest, between 1969 and 71. Its foreboding structure and ominous history have led many to consider it among the most haunted places in America.

    (For more creepy attractions in the United States, see this list.)