Ah, night time, All is quiet, annoying people are asleep, there’s no light coming through the window to glare off my screens… However, this PM presence is really just whenI’m feeling comfortable. You know, in my room with a good book or a movie, or maybe at a party with some friends. However, there are definitely places that I would NOT want to be at night. That’s when all the spooks and specters come out to cause mayhem! I’d really rather not find myself on the receiving end of a malevolent ghost, or a bloodthirsty ghoul. Plus, you gotta factor in your limited nighttime vision, the potential for full moons and other monster power-ups, and the fact that nothing is ever what it seems, and you’ve got a recipe for a bad time. Today we’re going to talk about some scary places, and reasons you should probably avoid them at night. In other words: the Top 5 Scariest Places You Should Never Visit at Night. Let’s get started.
5: NAGORO, JAPAN
If you were to travel out to this sleepy valley village in remote Japan, you might see a lot of elderly folks working the land, putting up signposts, playing with children. However, your eyes would be playing tricks on you! A majority of the hundreds of Nagoro residents are actually creepy human-sized dolls. They’re everywhere. They fill the schoolhouse, they toil in the fields, they hang out in the town. You’re pretty likely to wave hello to one before realizing that you’ve just extended a friendly greeting to a scarecrow. The town had around 300 human residents at one point, but as is the case in a lot of Japanese villages the population has dwindled. Young people have left for better jobs in bigger cities, and many of the elderly residents have passed away. These days, there are only about 30 people living in the village. If these dolls ever gained sentience, I’d say it would be over for humans in Nagoro. So you might be wondering where the dolls come from. They couldn’t have just appeared one day, could they? Lucky for us, they do have a rational creator.
Tsukimi Ayano makes the dolls, and recently she’s started inviting people to workshops to make even more. Ayano moved back to Nagoro after living in Osaka for most of her life. The first doll she ever made was actually supposed to be a scarecrow to keep birds away from her house. The original was modeled after her dad, and soon she was making similar figures in the image of all sorts of villagers. It’s an interesting memorial project; filling up an empty village with dolls who look like deceased residents. Maybe someday the spirits will return to their new vessels and live in the village as they did when they were alive. A village of living dolls, yikes. I can only imagine what it would be like at night: Dolls moving in and out of your peripheral vision, as you hear children singing by the schoolyard. Off in the distance, a hammer echoes through the valleys. You hear muffled shuffling behind you. The dolls are tired of being made of straw and paper, they want a real human body again. I’ll never look at a scarecrow the same way again.
4: BEELITZ-HAILSTATTEN HOSPITAL
Abandoned buildings are usually bad news at night. Nothing good could ever come of visiting a crumbling edifice during the witching hour. You never know who, or what could be lurking. Abandoned hospitals are even worse news, considering all of the death and pain and suffering that have transpired within. And this abandoned hospital, in particular, has a whole host of reasons not to visit at night. The Beelitz-Hailstatten has a long history behind its haunting. Way way back in 1898, it was used as a sanatorium for lung diseases. You know, tuberculosis and the like. As it housed those poor breathing-impairedGermans, I’m certain it saw its fair share of suffering and death. Medical science has come a long way, but back then Tuberculosis was pretty much a painful death sentence. A lot of this would have happened before the iron lung was invented in the 1920s too, so it’s not looking too good for these patients. So we have an old sanitorium full of ghosts with bad lungs, what else? It then became a field hospital for treating Germany casualties during the First World War.
This was around the time that machine guns and mustard gas were first being used, so I would imagine it was quite gruesome. Now we’ve got soldiers both young and old going ghost in the Beelitz. At one point it even housed a young, injured Adolph Hitler, blinded by gas and wounded in the leg. Then, in 1945 the Russians occupied it during World War Two, making it a field hospital once again. So we have lung patient ghosts, German soldier ghosts, Russian soldier ghosts, that’s a pretty wild mix of spirits. No not THAT kind of Russian spirit. Nowadays, the complex is shut down, and the elements have started to take over. The forest is creeping in, and it has become dilapidated as hell. They give tours of some of the main areas with a canopied pathway, which is kinda lame. But don’t worry, they’ve hidden the good stuff from the public. An intrepid adventurer could sneak past the barricades and potentially run into some phantoms in the crumbling hallways. But I would never suggest that you do that, that would be illegal!
3: McKAMEY MANOR
It’s very likely you’ve already heard of this one quite recently. It went viral for offering twenty thousand dollars to anyone who can complete it, with a five hundred dollar penalty for every failed challenge and use of profanity. Don’t get too excited, you haunted house aficionados because this is no regular spook show. McKamey Manor is an extreme haunted house that operates year-round. Over twenty-four thousand people are chomping at the bit for a chance to test their mettle. Yet, not one single person has made it through! How is this possible you ask? Well, it’s literal torture! Visitors can expect to be drenched in fake blood, screamed at by actors, locked in small freezers, put underwater, dragged across the concrete, and more! In fact, there is a pretty rigorous screening process that involves one of the most insane waivers I have ever seen. Actually, this waiver is probably the most insane thing experienced lawyers have ever seen too. Here are a few excerpts just to give you an idea of what exactly is going on. -once the participant enters MM there is no quitting unless the serious physical or psychological injury is present. -injuries may occur during their tour of MM, which may include, but not limited to, head, neck, and back injuries, death, stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain aneurysms, cerebral or retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, loss of consciousness, whiplash, harmful heart reactions, nausea, headache, dizziness, lacerations, broken or sprained bones, torn ligaments, bleeding wounds, scrapes and/or cuts, heatstroke, or downing -their tour may include the use of hypodermic needles, zappers, tasers, or dog shock collars; a nail may pierce their hand; their hand maybe smashed with tools; medication may be given that induces hallucinations or sedatives given in pill form or by hypodermic; They may be fish hooked which may inadvertently cause drippage to the mouth area; They may have a tooth extracted without Novocain; They will be participating in various medieval torture devices such as knife throwing while strapped to a spinning wheel; MK Ultra (mind control) may be used; Water torture may be used. There has been some controversy around McKameyManor’s hiring practices, and how they screen their participants as well. So I would say just stay away in general, unless you’re looking to hear the screams of people being tortured. And if you’re thinking of trying it out yourself? Just don’t! I’m looking out for you here.
2: TRANS-ALLEGHENY LUNATIC ASYLUM
This West Virginian manor opened with only the best of intentions. Thomas Story Kirkbride was a doctor and crusader for the mentally ill who founded the American Psychiatric Association. His goal was to treat asylum patients in a more humane way, for better results. He built the asylum to offer the patients more freedom, light, and fresh air. If everything went to plan, it would have been wonderful! However, after being built, mental health illnesses were diagnosed more often, and there were major stigmas surrounding this. As such, the asylum was totally overpopulated. Five patients in every one-patient room. Malnourishment on a wide scale. These factors exacerbated the mental illnesses that the patients already had. By 1938 the asylum was six times overcapacity, with patients running wild and orderlies unable to stay in control. At its peak, the 300-person facility was holding2600 patients. This meant that patients were sleeping on floors in freezing rooms, the windows were filthy, the walls disintegrating. Many patients were being locked in cages, and the more unruly ones were being lobotomized through Walter Freeman’s icepick method. That’s when an icepick-shaped instrument is pushed through your eye socket to disconnect the frontal lobe and renders you functional but totally zombie-like.
By the time the asylum closed, the only wing that was expanded was the graveyard. Those poor, poor patients. Tours are given of the main parts of the asylum, and many ghost hunters claim to feel the presence of hundreds who died in awful conditions. There are ghost stories abound, including ones about a little girl who was born and lived in the asylum, and a mysterious woman floating through the kitchen. It has been said that if you’re in the right room at night, you can hear the shouts and hollers of patients from years gone by.
1: THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS
If you didn’t already know, there are kilometers of limestone passageways underneath Paris, filled to the brim with human remains. After the city’s graveyards overflowed, allowing corpses to spill into the streets, a military officer decided that piling all the excess bodies and remains down in the limestone tunnels was a good idea! So now we have underground passages lovingly decorated with the bones of Parisian ancestors. How fun. Human remains are pretty scary, and being in dark tunnels full of them can’t be too fun. But there are way more scary stories about the catacombs than one would expect. About two kilometers are open to the public on a regular day, but beyond the state-sanctioned skeletons, there is so much more to explore. It is very easy to get lost among the tunnels and pits and bones, and many people actually have done just that. In 2017 a couple of teenagers were lost for three days, and they were found suffering from hypothermia. Even scarier is the famous uncovered videocamera story. In the early ’90s, a group of catacomb explorers found a beat-up old video camera.
There was footage still inside the camera of a man who was very clearly lost and alone in the catacombs. He seems to be going mad trying to find his way out of the massive network by the light of his camera. It ends with him dropping the camera on the ground, and to this day nobody knows what happened to him. Poor guy should have brought a map. Some say the movie “As Above, So Below,” was inspired by this event. There are many more stories of secret societies, mysterious voices, and underground swimming holes that would be enough to creep out the most cynical of thrill-seekers. Maybe someday we can take a deeper dive into the horror that is the Catacombs. And that’s it for today! Would you ever spend a night at one of these locations? Are there any spots you think are scarier? Let me know what you think down in the comments. As always, make sure to give us a big thumbs up, and subscribe for more scary stuff. I’ll see you next time, and thanks for watching.