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Halloween Countdown, Day 26

Let's go to some spooky places today!

Catacombe dei Cappuccini, Palermo 3


Listening to the Skeptoid podcast (which I highly recommend) reminded me of its Episode 323: "Eight Spooky Places, And Why They're Like That." Here is the Skeptoid's -- that is, Brian Dunning's -- list of spooky places.

8. Eternal Flames at Jwala Devi Temple (India)
7. New Haven's Cemetery in a Basement (United States)
6. Mapimí Silent Zone or La Zona del Silencio (Mexico)
5. Underground Tomb at Okinawa (Japan)
4. The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund (India)
3. Dead on Display at Capuchin Monastery (Sicily)
2. Skeleton Cleaning at Pomuch Cemetery (Mexico)
1. Zoroastrian Towers of Silence (India, Iran, Pakistan, and various)

For full descriptions and explanations of these eerie locales, check out the transcript of this podcast episode.

Paris Catacombs



I'll add a few more to this list, if you don't mind...

* The Catacombs of Paris (France)
One word: skulls.
* The Grounds and Catacombs of Kensal Green Cemetery (England)
There's something about the way the ground rolls and pitches and seems to be vomiting up the stones and coffins.
* Westminster Burial Ground and Catacombs in Baltimore (United States)
The church was built over the original burial ground to discourage graverobbing. I was fortunate to get the "special tour," which included folding myself double and shuffling in alone where the expert tour guide no longer will go, into the all-but-buried (pardon the pun) Robb family grave area. It was comforting to know Edgar Allan Poe was nearby. My photos don't do the experience justice, but they are here.


Okay, your turn. What other places are spooky, and how did they get that way?

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
witchcat07
Oct. 26th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
I have a submission for your consideration:

http://roswellghosttour.com/photos/

This is a ghost tour in Roswell, GA (not New Mexico) that we went on a few years ago. They had several locations on the tour with a very spooky vibe.

First, the aptly named "Creepy House". That is actually how it is listed at the real estate office. Our tour guide, who was very sensitive to the paranormal would not actually get near it herself, but encouraged us to do so if we wanted to. It is supposed to have a very negative and hostile aura. From the reactions of some tourgoers it is even suspected that child abuse may have happened in the house. The only known fact is that it was the house of the town hangman, and he was not a very nice person. The fact that it is rundown doesn't do it any favors, but the realtors can't seem to sell it, and so include it as a package deal with the building next door, proposing it be used as storage.

The building next door used to be the jail, and is now known as the abandoned restaurant. I don't know if it is still owned by the people who set it up as a restaurant, but they had everything ready for their big opening, and then the night before that they got the hell out of Dodge, er, Roswell, leaving everything behind. If you peer in though the front window you can see all the tables set up with wine glasses, folded napkins, and silverware, just as if they were set to open, and everything is covered with layers and layers of dust; they never came back to collect it, and that to me is the creepiest part, cos know one knows why they left.

The Mill also deserves a mention, though we didn't get to see it because it is no longer part of the tour because it can be very upsetting. During the un-Civil War when Sherman was coming through causing rack and ruin everywhere he went, he decided the women working at this mill, providing supplies for the Confederate army, were traitors, and with this very flimsy excuse he rounded them all up and arrested them, and shipped them out to far off prisoner of war camps. Many of them never made it back to Roswell, even after the war was over. Not surprisingly there is a very negative energy at the mill and people have reported hearing the screams and crying of the women as they are carted off to who knows where.

That spooky enough for you?
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
Oh wow!!!! This is brilliant! I love having the photos to look at while reading your descriptions. Thank you so much.

Those three sites in particular all sound wonderfully spine-tingling. This especially got me: "If you peer in though the front window you can see all the tables set up with wine glasses, folded napkins, and silverware, just as if they were set to open, and everything is covered with layers and layers of dust; they never came back to collect it, and that to me is the creepiest part, cos know one knows why they left." Just the wrongness of that, seeing everything ready and organized but covered with dust... it gives me a shiver!

One of these days I'll have to visit there and take that tour! Thanks again for the great details!
witchcat07
Oct. 29th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
You're welcome! :)

Yes, that really creeped me out more than anything else on the tour, the look of neglect.
alivion
Oct. 27th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
I few years back Archaeology magazine ran an article on that Capuchin Monastery. It's fascinating and creepy and wonderful, and it really stuck with me because Rosalia Lombardo looks disturbingly similar to one of my younger sisters, and her surname is tangentially related to ours.

The creepiest place I know of won't show up as a haunted or spooky place in any tour guides or anything. It's quite simply an ordinary house in a regular little town.
When I was about 15, my family was house-shopping and one of the places we looked at still gives me the shivers when I think about it. It was a regular house, maybe 20 or 30 years old. It wasn't really tattered, but it was definitely lived-in. It didn't have that lived-in feel to it, though, instead the entire interior of the building was filled with an oppressive, almost tangible, creepiness. Not like there was a presence in there, but like it was full of some spooky relative of air. There were some odd stains in some of the cupboards, and since I was 15, had been reading Thrawn Janet, and was quite imaginative, I decided they were bloodstains.
I was thoroughly creeped out, so I went outside, ostensibly to "check out the back yard" but really to escape the pervasive creepiness, and on my goodness, that yard was full of death.
There had been a forest fire a year before, and the yard was right up against the edge of the forest which had burned. This explains all the plants being dead and skeletal, and it could explain some of the dead animals, but I have never seen that much death in one place at once.
There was a vertebrae, presumably from an elk, all newish and with muscle still attached. There were a number of other bones from elk and deer, some ancient-looking, some new, some sunbleached, some grey and brittle. There were countless dead songbirds, some crawling with maggots, some completely dessicated, some freshly dead. I think there may have been some dead mice, too. There was a birdfeeder with the remnants of some birdseed, but otherwise teeming with dead bugs.
And of course, the creepy feeling was still present in the yard (though it wasn't quite as oppressive as indoors).

After my family had finished looking the place over and we were in the car on the way home, my mom was all "it's nice and roomy and the price is good, we should buy it!" and me and I was all "NO!" and my dad, always a bit deadpan, was all "I don't think that's a good idea." but declined to elaborate.

Just recently I was talking to my brother (who would have been about 9 at the time) about ghosts and hauntings and the like, and he said "remember the house and Suchandsuch St.? That's the most haunted place I've ever been."

Edited at 2013-10-27 01:08 am (UTC)
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:37 pm (UTC)
it really stuck with me because Rosalia Lombardo looks disturbingly similar to one of my younger sisters, and her surname is tangentially related to ours.

Ack! No wonder that stuck with you!

I genuinely got chills reading your description of the oppressive atmosphere of the house you visited. (No wonder the price was good!) And that backyard! It sounds like a portrait of death in all directions. Just horrifying. It speaks volumes that you and your brother both independently remember the place so clearly, even though you both young at the time.

There's something particularly disturbing about the anonymity of a place like that, as you say "an ordinary house in a regular little town." There's likely a story -- or stories -- behind it, but no one remembers or knows. It's not some high-profile crime scene. It keeps it's secrets. It's just there to encounter unexpectedly.

Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic comments!

gilda_elise
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:18 am (UTC)
Spooky places, indeed! I loved your pictures of Westminster Burial Grounds and the church. And how lucky to visit Poe's final resting place.

I'm going to have a couple of wickedly spooky days visiting all these sites (I've already done some trolling through the Catacombs of Paris.)
eldritchhobbit
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so pleased you liked the photos from Westminster Burial Grounds. Thanks for taking a look! I arrived just a couple of hours after a major rain. I was impressed that the notes/candy/flowers left for Poe were dry, so they represented visitors who had come just in the last 2-3 hours. Very moving.

I'm going to have a couple of wickedly spooky days visiting all these sites (I've already done some trolling through the Catacombs of Paris.)

Yay! Happy (or spooky) site visiting! :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )