Danvers State Hospital, And Other Spooky Places You Don’t Want To Visit

Danvers State Hospital

Danvers State Hospital was built in 1887 in Danvers, Massachusetts. Architect Nathaniel J. Baker and health care advocate Thomas Story Kirkbride had a vision of Danvers State Hospital becoming a leading medical facility, which strived to treat mentally ill patients with care and compassion. Unfortunately, this vision did not come to fruition. I09 reports that by 1939, Danvers State Hospital was overpopulated and undermanned. Legend has it that patients would die out of sight from the physicians in hidden rooms where their bodies would rot for days and sometimes weeks. To gain control of the population, solitary confinement and lobotomy was used to cure the mentally ill — all thanks to physician Walter Freeman.

Danvers State Hospital, Houska Castle, Cave of The Crystal Maiden, Lake Natron,
Lobotomies were so frequent at Danvers State Hospital, they were used to cure everything from daydreaming to schizophrenia. Hospital visitors described the facility as “a cemetery for the living dead.” Patients would often roam the hall in a zombie-like state, usually filthy due to lack of care and excessive, and sometimes unnecessary, medical treatment. Danvers State was officially abandoned by 1985, and finally demolished in 2006. The goal was to turn the Danvers State Hospital grounds into residential apartments. However, according to Wikipedia, in 2007, eight of the new buildings burned down in a large fire, and they were never rebuilt.. The property is to go further maintenence before building anything on the Danvers State Hospital grounds.

Houska Castle in Prague

Houska Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, is shrouded in mystery, and the Examiner talks about the folklore surrounding Houska Castle as the stuff of hellish nightmares. Legend has it that Houska Castle is a portal to the underworld, and by underworld that means Hell. Houska Castle was built in the 1300s by then ruler Ottokar II. Some think he lied to the public about his intensions for building the castle. He told the public the castle was for his various land holdings and other royal business. As it turns out, Houska Castle may have been built to keep the demons of Hell from roaming the Earth.

The Castle sits in an extremely isolated area of Prague, and folklore recalls that Houska Castle is haunted by the ghost of a mad monk who roams the halls of the castle with an axe trying to kill all who enter. The souls of the dead have been seen chained together at Houska Castle, each holding a dismembered body part, while continually tortured by the hounds of hell. They stand in line as they all wait to take their place with the devil.

The most mysterious attribute of Houska Castle is the interior. There is a chapel built over a bottomless pit. Those that have traveled down the pit to find the bottom have not only failed, but were scared nearly to death of what they saw below.

Stone Lake: Lake Natron

Lake Natron is toxic for most of the local wildlife in Tanzania. The water has a dangerously high PH Balance of 10.5. That is enough to cause second and even third degree burns to the animals who are sensitive to the alkaline levels. The alkalinity can be attributed to the surrounding hills which cause sodium carbonate to flow into Lake Natron. Sodium Carbonate was known to be used in Egyptian mummification, so imagine a menagerie of dead animals, preserved in stone as if they looked into the eyes of Medusa! This is how photographer Richard Brant describes the scene to Livescience.com

Danvers State Hospital, Houska Castle, Cave of The Crystal Maiden, Lake Natron, Castle, Danvers State
That is not to say there is no life thriving at Lake Natron. Salt marshes, wetlands, species of tilapia, Flamingos, and alge organisms are the few species that do thrive at Lake Natron. However, that may not be the case for much longer. There has been talks for years of building a hydroelectric plan on the Ewaso Ngiro River. This new power plant threatens the small ecosystem present at the Lake Natron.

Cave of The Crystal Maiden

The Cave of the Crystal Maiden was discovered in the jungle of Belize. Any place where you can see the bones of the dead, in the depths of a dark cave, deserves to be placed high on the creepy list. Archaeologists accidentally discovered this cave while exploring the outer areas of Actun Tunichil. In Actun Tunichil Muknal or “Cave of the crystal Sepulchre,” lies the remains of several human and animal sacrifices, including a young woman, whose bones are most likely over 1,000-years-old, and have been preserved due to calcite buildup.

Danvers State Hospital, Houska Castle, Cave of The Crystal Maiden, Lake Natron, Castle, Danvers State
The result of the sacrifices is due to what is believed to be religious ceremonies. The questions that lead archaeologist, Holly Moyes and Discover Magazine, have been trying to answer since this discovery is “why would such a religious ceremony be performed in a dank, dark space of a cave?”

Deep within the cave, Moyes and her team uncovered a grisly scene of 14 dismembered skeletons of men, women, teenagers, and infants scattered throughout a small area of the cave. The reason for the sacrifices has yet to be determined.

Although some of these locations haven’t seen activity in hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, they sure don’t sound like great places to visit. Even if you’re a horror fan, some things are just better left alone.

[Photo by Lisa Poole/AP photo]