You should visit these places... if you aren't too scared
There are some truly breathtaking places in the world. From natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef, to man-made metropolises like New York and Tokyo that bustle with life, these beautiful places attract countless visitors each year. But there are other… less lively places that offer some spectacularly spooky sights to tourists who want a different kind of thrill (and chill) in their vacation.
Although it’s all we have, and even if it looks small from an astronaut’s point of view—a healthy reminder of our tiny existence, no doubt—the world is all we know, and none of us will ever see everything it has to offer. This ranges from the popular, bright places as well as the dark and remote ones, lying abandoned or forgotten beyond some horizon. Whether due to social, financial, or natural and uncontrollable reasons, many locations—from small sacred sites to entire cities and regions—have been left behind by the modern world. Of course, this allows for the popular imagination to take over as stories, rumors, and legends come forth from these eerie places, thus giving their varied histories a much more sinister nature.
The only question that remains is which one will you go to first?
Pripyat is known as a ghost town, and for a good reason. The town in northern Ukraine (formerly located within the USSR) was once home to almost 50,000 people. Unfortunately, it was quickly evacuated in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster which took place nearby. It was named after the nearby Pripyat River back when it was founded on February 4, 1970. In 1979 it was officially proclaimed a city after it grew to a population of 49,360. Pripyat was a special type of “closed city” designed specifically for power plant workers and their families, as well as some other government employees and those needed for the city’s day-to-day operations.
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened on the 25th and 26th of April back in 1986. During a routine late-night safety test, some flaws in the reactors ended up with a steam explosion, causing a subsequent open-air graphite fire. The fire was dangerous and caused some pretty big updrafts for over a week, most of which resulted in fall-outs across the USSR and Europe. Two deaths were recorded inside the facility, and 28 firemen and employees died later on from the effects of acute radiation syndrome. Since the disaster, there have been hundreds of patients affected by the radiation levels produced by the event, as well as approximately 15 deaths directly traced back to the dangerous conditions and resulting diseases from the radiation.
Today, although located in the Alienation Zone, Pripyat can still be safely accessed on specific tours, as most of the city is now free from lethal doses of radiation. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all gone from the air, ground, and surfaces! If you visit their famed amusement park, you might come back glowing!
“Door to Hell” – Derweze, Turkmenistan
The Darvas gas crater, also known as the “Door to Hell” or “Gates to Hell,” is a natural gas field that is collapsed into an underground cavern located in Turkmenistan. The crater is a pretty popular place for tourists to go, as over 50,000 people have visited the location since 2009. The giant gas crater has a pretty huge surface area. The diameter of the crater is 226 feet, and the depth is just under 100 feet.
The surrounding area is a popular place for wild desert camping, but you have to be a pretty brave soul to pull that one off. Geologists actually set it on fire to prevent the unnecessary spreading of methane gas. The stunning crater has now been burning continuously since 1971, and it has no signs of slowing down. If the devil ever decides to show himself on Earth, we’d guess that he’ll be coming through here.
Grand Hotel Prishtina – Pristina, Kosovo
This hotel in Kosovo’s capital isn’t so “grand” anymore. Back during the brutal Balkan Wars of the ’90s, Serbian militants used the hotel as a place for the torture and execution of their prisoners. The building was abandoned for some time, but up until 1999, the hotel was owned by the Yugoslav government. Now the owner is Unio Commerce.
If you’re someone who believes in ghosts, you probably won’t want to visit this place anytime soon. With the number of people who were tortured in the building, there’s no doubt that there are some troubled souls still running around the halls. You may even be able to hear some of their screams…