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The 12 Most Terrifying Places On Earth

Writers can try their best, but the most terrifying fictional places don't hold a candle to real life. Think you can handle it? Take home The Evil Within, and see how well you sleep at night.

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This forest at the base of Mount Fuji is known for being the site where between 50 and 100 people per year commit suicide. (Police stopped publishing data, so the last known exact number was 105 in 2003, an increase from the previous year's 78.) The forest is thick, and not all people who die here are found.

What happens when the most desirable burial spot in Europe is full? If Sedlec Ossuary is anything to go by, you exhume the skeletons and get a half-blind monk to stack them beneath the church. Centuries later, you employ a woodcarver like František Rint to arrange them in Baroque Gothic designs. There are between 40,000 and 70,000 skeletons in this ossuary.

3. Overtoun Bridge, Scotland

Since the 1960s, dogs have been leaping to their deaths off this bridge in Scotland for reasons known only to themselves. No humans have ever jumped off it, but dogs die here at a rate of roughly one per month. Is it because of the sound of the running water beneath, or is there an optical illusion that only dogs can see? Until a dog can actually tell us, all we have are theories.

This island on the canals of Xochimilco near Mexico City is covered in hundreds of dolls strung up in the trees by their necks and limbs. The story goes like this: Roughly 50 years ago, the island's only inhabitant found a drowned child in the water. Following that incident, anytime he saw a doll float past he would hang it in a tree to appease her spirit. When there weren't enough dolls floating past, he would trade fruit and vegetables for more dolls to hang in the trees. He died in 2001, having drowned in the same canal as the girl he had found.

Pripyat was a city founded in the 70s for the workers and scientists of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant – roughly 50,000 of them. They even had their own amusement park. It was evacuated days after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and has since been left to decay, with the floor of the high school littered with discarded gas masks.

This was once the house of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester. There are several factors that led to the construction of this weird place, not the least of which being her infant daughter dying, followed by her husband 15 years later in 1881, leaving her in a deep depression. Under the advice of a Boston medium supposedly channeling her dead husband, Sarah moved from New Haven, Connecticut, to an unfinished farmhouse in San Jose with her massive inheritance. The medium had said that Sarah needed to build a house for herself, as well all the spirits of the victims of Winchester rifles in order to appease them. Without employing an architect, Sarah had improvements done to the house round-the-clock until her death in 1922. There are stairs that go nowhere, doors that open onto walls, and windows that overlook other rooms. It's very possible to get lost in here.

A set of abandoned pod-shaped UFO buildings were built in 1978. It was originally supposed to be a resort for nearby U.S. military officers, but construction was halted after a series of suicides and fatal traffic accidents, which were said to have happened because of the bisection of a Chinese dragon sculpture near the entrance in order to widen the roads. Rumour also has it that the buildings sat atop a burial ground for Dutch soldiers.

Hellingly Hospital was an insane asylum that opened in 1903. They performed procedures right out of horror movies (lobotomy, anyone?) and finally closed in 1994.

Originally built as a hunting lodge in 1725, this structure was used as a meeting place for the Irish Hell Fire Club between 1735 and 1741. Tales of occult practices, demonic manifestations, and general debauchery have become part of the local history. Plus, it's supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a massive black cat.

Take the horror home 14 Oct with The Evil Within. Sleep well.

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