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13 Tourist Destinations that Are Probably Cursed

1. King Tutankhamen's Tomb

When King Tut's tomb was opened, one of the backers of the expedition was present. The man was an amateur Egyptologist and an aristocrat. He died a year after the tomb was opened, the first victim of the curse. In reality, he died of a mosquito-borne illness. The curse rumor was spread by Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb. He noticed some people had pillaged it a little in the centuries before he found it, and he played up the pulp-fiction idea of a cursed tomb to scare other grave-robbers away.

(image via Flickr)

2. Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle is sort of like quicksand—if you watched any TV at all as a child, you probably grew up thinking it was a much bigger day-to-day problem than it actually is. In 1945, five planes on a training mission disappeared without a trace. And then the seaplane sent to find them also disappeared. Then over the next decade, three more planes and a yacht disappeared, followed by a couple of Air Force Stratotankers.

(image via Instagram)

3. Aokigahara

Japan's "suicide forest" is possessed of an eerie calm, aided by the volcanic-rock floor and the density of the trees. This deathly calm may be augmented by the knowledge that 30 bodies are found in these woods on average every year. A 1960 novel about the place may have boosted its popularity, but the forest was associated with self-harm and death long before that.

(image via Flickr)

4. Epping Forest

Aokigahara isn't the only forest of death. Epping has long been a hideout for thieves, since the days of highwayman Dick Turpin. But the sinister aura of this forest isn't confined to the past. Over a dozen bodies have been found in the woods from 1966 to 2015. One could certainly assume that most of those people were dumped here, rather than actually murdered in the forest itself, but it's still a hard thing to keep out of your mind as you walk around.

(image via Flickr)

5. Leakin Park, Baltimore

Leakin Park is well-known to Baltimore locals as "the city's largest unregistered graveyard." The park has re-emerged in the national consciousness lately thanks to The Wire and, more recently, the podcast Serial, an in-depth investigation into the murder of a girl whose body was found in Leakin Park. One blog lists the body count at 71 since 1946 but admits that it could be higher than that.

(image via Instagram)

6. Newtown Creek

Sometimes in fantasy stories, or in action movies, you'll see some kind of monster made of toxic sludge. The cult classic The Toxic Avenger got three sequels, a cartoon, and a musical. Godzilla fought the smog monster Hedorah twice. If ever something like that were to happen for real, it just might be in Newtown Creek. It connects to the East River and was filled with what scientists described as "black mayonnaise" as a result of petroleum waste and sewage. A 15-foot thick layer of petroleum by-products rests on the creek floor, and all that great sludge feeds into the East River. Whatever it takes to curse a place has probably been done here.

(image via Instagram)

7. Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

In the Judge Dredd comics, most of the United States is a radioactive desert called "Cursed Earth." We don't have to live with anything that extreme, but we do have at least one real-life thing that is similar. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is a barrier set up around the Chernobyl power plant in the wake of the meltdown. It's been evacuated, but a couple hundred people refuse to leave. Others have to work here, taking alternating shifts in the process of decommissioning the reactors. Still, between the knowledge that radiation contamination persists in places and the way that nature has started to take the villages back, the place is eerie.

(image via Instagram)

8. Australian Outback

The Outback does not want us to live there. In 2013, it got so hot that people couldn't pump gas because it was evaporating before it hit the tank. We stopped listing Australian animals in our list of tiny, deadly creatures because we didn't want the article to be all about one place. The forces of nature have combined to make the Outback pointedly inhospitable. If that doesn't count as "cursed," we're not sure what does.

(image via Instagram)

9. Auschwitz

This place is certainly cursed—not by jokey historical figures or vague superstition, but by the undeniably evil work of human hands.  It's certainly something everyone needs to see at least once—we go in-depth in our best places to explore World War II history. There is an oppressive weight to the very air that sticks with you while you're at Auschwitz, and it lasts long after you've left.

(image via Flickr)

10. Danvers State Hospital

Massachusetts is currently in the middle of a mental health scandal that's not new territory for the state. Danvers State Hospital, the hospital that probably inspired H.P. Lovecraft's "Arkham Sanatorium," has been a blot on the state's history for decades. With over 2,300 people crammed into a building made for 600 patients, most of the common shorthands for "terrifying psych ward" apply here, from solitary confinement to massively overused prefrontal lobotomies. The building was mostly torn down. The facade stands in front of an apartment complex, but we wouldn't take a chance on those not being haunted.

(image via Instagram)

11. Catacombs of Paris

Paris is known as the city of lights and romance, but it's also one of our favorite tourist attractions involving dead people. That's because the catacombs beneath the city hold the remains of some six million individuals—leftovers from a period in time where the cemeteries were so overcrowded that corpses would wash into the street when it rained. You throw that many skeletons under the roads, and there's definitely going to be some cursing happening, or a mild haunting at the least.

(image via Flickr)

12. Island of the Dolls, Mexico

This story actually begins sweetly. Don Julian Santana, the caretaker of the island, found a girl drowned in the surrounding waters. Later, after finding a doll floating in the water, he hung it in the trees to show respect and support. The act was tender and sweet. But then he kept doing it. He kept hanging dolls for 50 years. That much of anything is going to be creepy, and when it's dolls, it's especially creepy. The weirdest part of the story is that Santana ultimately drowned in the same waters. Definitely cursed.

(image via Instagram)

13. The Tower of London

It's true that most of the tower's executions were held at nearby Tower Hill, but the Tower is where all of those miserable souls were kept. If you were going to curse or haunt a place, would you pick the place where you were chained up for years or the place where you finally died? This place is almost certainly cursed, right down to the Crown Jewels and the little red museum display buttons you press to hear the descriptions of things.