One of the things that unites all the cultures of the world is mortality. People all over the world are going to die eventually, but each culture has their own way of dealing with the mysteries of the Great Beyond. So, much like the Civil War battlefields of America and the gothic castles of Europe, we at I Love Halloween want to present you with another travel guide to the spookiest places in the world.
Without further ado, here are some of the most terrifying sites in Asia.
Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, South Korea
A chilly abandoned psychiatric hospital in Gwangju, South Korea, Gonjiam was the site of numerous patient and administrative staff deaths in the 1990s. Family members of the deceased demanded explanations from the hospital administrators but received no answers. The official reason for the hospital's closure was the economic downturn and subpar sewage facilities in the building, but the hospital has become a famous site for urban spelunkers to explore.
The manifestations of spirits in Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital are said to be more violent than typical hauntings. People who've gone exploring have reported violent scratches on their skin and the sounds of screaming can be heard echoing through the abandoned hallways.
Chibichiri Cave, Okinawa, Japan
The Second World War has a million tragic stories to tell and one of the most heartbreaking is the deaths at Chibichiri Cave in Okinawa, Japan.
There was an 82-day battle between American and Japanese forces for the island of Okinawa, which cost hundreds of thousands of lives. During the battle, the island's civilian populace sought refuge in a series of tunnels dug deep into the earth. 83 people, mostly women and small children, sought refuge in Chibichiri cave.
For years, the Japanese Imperial Army spread propaganda among their civilians detailing supposed atrocities that the Americans were performing on captured Japanese soldiers and civilians. As the American troops got closer, they dropped flyers on the civilians promising compassionate treatment.
The terrified civilians didn't believe the Americans. As the battle turned towards the American's favor, the parents in the cave killed their children and themselves rather than risk letting them fall into American hands. Today families who lost people in those suicides have made statues and monuments to their loved one's memories.
Ghost Hill, Penang, Malaysia
Penang War Museum sits on a site known as Bukit Hantu, or "Ghost Hill" in Penang, Malaysia. Well before it was settled, the area had a supernatural reputation, but British soldiers built a hilltop fortification there in the 1930s. When the Japanese took over the island, they converted the fort into a brutal prison camp.
According to the story, the camp was run by a sadistic commanding officer by the name Tadashi Suzuki. Nicknamed the "hippy executioner" due to the unusual length of his hair, the man regularly beheaded prisoners, as well as ordering routine beatings and imprisonment in hot cages underneath the humid sun. He is supposed to still haunt the island alongside his victims, drinking his victim's blood mixed with fine whiskey.
Tat Tak School, Hong Kong
A favorite of ghost hunters, the Tat Tak School is a large, creepy structure where hundreds of students once attended. The legend says that a teacher wearing a red dress hung herself in one of the school's bathrooms. Since then, the place fell into disrepair and the woman has been seen multiple times on the grounds, still wearing the same red dress.
The school was eventually shuttered but it became a location that captured the imaginations of the local youths. Twelve young teens once tested the legend by creeping onto the school grounds, but one of them went berserk at began attacking her friends. Her friends called in mental health specialists and they wheeled the terrified girl out of the Tat Tak School strapped to a gurney. She claimed she saw a woman in red and had visions of murders and suicides while she was at the school.
Today, the school is considered one of the most haunted places in Asia. Many taxi drivers refuse to take people to the school and its legacy still haunted the mind of the people of Hong Kong.
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
A lovely location by day, the 17th century Bhangarh Fort has signs posted up by the Archaeological Survey of India forbidding people from staying on the ground after dark. The reason is, of course, that people believe that it's a haunted and dangerous place.
Supposedly cursed by mystic skilled in forbidden black magic to be inhospitable to people who dwelled there after being rejected by the Princess of Bhangarh, the Bhangarh Fort is one of the few haunted sites in the world to be specifically banned by government order to protect people from the spirits. Thrill seekers often ignore this warning. Some, it is said, never come out.
Aokigahara Suicide Forest, Mt. Fuji, Japan
Aokigahara forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, is located on the northwestern flank of Mt. Fuji. The ground was once molten lava from the last time Mt. Fuji erupted. The earth stifles the sound in the forest, which adds to its haunted feeling. The roots snarl out of the earth and makes the ground appear to have hundreds of open graves.
Aokigahara forest has a dark reputation as a suicide site. Hundreds of people have gone into the woods to hang themselves on the trees. The area is regularly patrolled by rangers looking for bodies and there are signs posted outside the grounds urging people to seek help. Never the less, occasionally people see abandoned shoes by the side of the path, a cultural signifier of suicidal intent. With so much death and unhappiness in the woods, it's no surprise that the area is frequently reported to be haunted.
Did we miss anything? Please let us know in the comments or share with friends who are interested in spooky travel.